Posts Tagged ‘Play’

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily

Nationals, Wolverines atop The Standings as Global Poker League Resumes Play

 Nationals, Wolverines atop The Standings as Global Poker League Resumes Play

After a rather lengthy hiatus that saw more turmoil that surely planned, the Global Poker League has surged back into action with the second half of their season. While one conference’s leader seems to be pulling away from the pack, it looks to be at least a two-team battle in the other conference.

In the GPL Americas, the Montreal Nationals haven’t been able to shake the L. A. Sunset at the top of the leaderboard. With 153 points – by far the most in the GPL – the Nationals might have thought they would have a bigger lead. But the Sunset, led by manager Maria Ho and featuring the red-hot Fedor Holz, are only six points back after gaining on the Nats last week. Ho earned 10 points during Six Max Tuesday (two conference matches) and, along with three points earned by Olivier Busquet in the heads up match with the Nationals’ Marc Andre Ladouceur, cut five points off of Montreal’s lead.

The remainder of the GPL Americas is going to have its work cut out for it to even make the playoffs. Currently holding down the final two playoff spots are the Sao Paulo Metropolitans (after a slow start to the season) and the New York Rounders (who arguably dominated the first half of the season and suffered during the “Summer Series” in Las Vegas). Three points separate these teams, but they are 27 and 30 points, respectively, behind the Nationals in the standings. The San Francisco Rush (113 points) and the Las Vegas Moneymakers (100 points) might be in “wait ‘til next year” mode as they have tough odds of climbing out of the basement.

Over in the GPL Eurasia, the battle is a bit closer from top to bottom. The preseason favorite Moscow Wolverines, after a bit of a stumble out of the gate, are now reigning supreme over the rest of the conference with their 136 points. The Wolverines have been able to pull away from the London Royals, adding a point to their lead over the Royals (122 points) through eight points from Igor Yaroshevsky in the Six Max and a victory (six points) by manager Anatoly Filatov over the Paris Aviators’ George Danzer in the heads up segment.

Overall the six teams in the GPL Eurasia are closer together, meaning that there really hasn’t been anyone eliminated yet. The Hong Kong Stars (113 points) and the Aviators (111 points) are battling for the final two playoff spots, with the Rome Emperors (110 points) overcoming their early season doldrums to actually be in a challenging position. Even the team that arguably has been the biggest disappointment in the GPL this season, the Berlin Bears (if you have a team with Dan Cates, Sorel Mizzi, Brian Rast and Dominik Nitsche, just to name a few, you have to do better than 100 points) are still in the mix.

The upcoming week will feature some battles that could help to change some of the standings. After the four matches (two GPL Eurasia and two GPL Americas) that make up Six Max Tuesday, the Wolverines will attempt to put some more space between them and the Emperors (2:30PM Eastern U. S.), while the Royals will know what target they have to shoot at when they take on the Aviators later in the day (5PM Eastern). If the Bears are to make any moves, they have to start with a big win over a strong Stars team that will kick off the heads up fun on Wednesday (Noon Eastern).

In the GPL Americas, the Nationals/Rounders match (3:30PM Eastern) will be the highlight of Thursday’s play as, with a strong showing (a 9-0 sweep or even a 6-3 victory), the Nats can pretty much bury the Rounders and put them in danger of not making the playoffs. That, of course, will depend on the results of the Moneymakers/Metropolitans tilt (1PM Eastern) and the “Battle for California” between the Sunset and the Rush (6PM Eastern) on Thursday.

Counting the upcoming week, there are only five weeks remaining in the GPL season. Four teams from each conference will make the playoffs, so if a particular squad has an interest in playing in the postseason, the time to move is now. The teams at the top of the standings – provided they don’t suffer a complete collapse over the last few weeks – are pretty much guaranteed of a playoff spot at this time.

Poker News Daily

2016 WPT Borgata Poker Open: Farid Jattin Holds Lead at Final Table with More Than Half the Chips in Play

 2016 WPT Borgata Poker Open: Farid Jattin Holds Lead at Final Table with More Than Half the Chips in Play

The final table has been determined for the World Poker Tour’s stop at the Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City, NJ this afternoon and, from all appearances, it might be a quick one. Farid Jattin is the overwhelming leader of the final six, holding more than half the chips in play when the cards hit the air today.

30 men came back on Thursday to whittle their way down to the traditional WPT six-handed final table. At the top of the heap to start the day was WPT champion Matt Waxman with his 2.791 million chips, but Simon Lam (2.268 million), Jattin (2.16 million) and Phong Vip Nguyen (two million even) all joined him in the two million chip club atop the leaderboard. Lurking down the leaderboard were such dangerous pros as Paul Volpe, former “November Niner” Jesse Sylvia and John Racener.

On the very first hand of the day, Chris Limo would knock off Shawn Daniels (Limo’s pocket Aces were never threatened by Daniels’ Big Slick on a seven-high board) in 30th place and the knockouts kept coming. Waxman would improve on his leading stack in eliminating Carl Leckner in 29th place, while Jattin attempted to keep pace in taking out Joseph Chaplin in 27th place. Jattin would move into the lead after about an hour of action with a hand that was strangely played from the start.

After Robert Castoire raised the action, Jattin three-bet him out of the small blind and Castoire made the call. It was checked through by both men on a Q-8-7-5-A board, at which point the strangeness began. Castoire could only show K 10 for absolute air, but Jattin showed an A-8 that, after flopping a pair, improved to two pair by the river. The strangeness of the hand – Castoire’s lack of anything and Jattin not betting out for value at least on the river – had many on the rail talking.

Waxman wasn’t pleased about giving up the lead and demonstrated that in cutting chips out of Sylvia’s stack to break the four million chip mark. Instead of going away, however, Sylvia made a comeback of his own, chipping up with a double through Aaron Overton. By the time play was down to the final 18 men, Waxman and Jattin were atop the standings with Racener in pursuit.

Jattin took a hit when he gave up a pot to Zachary Gruneberg, dropping under 2.5 million in chips, but this seemed to be the last time he made a misstep. He used the double elimination of Tong En Zhang and Castoire in 15th and 16th places, respectively, to climb to nearly five million in chips and Jattin wouldn’t look back. Jattin cracked the five million mark in using a set of Jacks to beat Gruneberg, but it was at the unofficial final table where he did his biggest damage.

Only 11 hands into the unofficial final table with nine players remaining, Jattin and Racener entered into a raising war that eventually saw Jattin all in and Racener nearly to that point. From the betting pattern, it was easy to discern the hands; When the cards were turned up, Jattin’s pocket Aces were in great shape over Racener’s pocket Kings and, once the Queen-high board ran out, Jattin rocketed over the nine million chip mark while Racener was left on fumes.

Jattin kept moving forward as the evening hours rolled along, moving over 11 million in chips when Jattin took a pot off of Lam. It would be Jattin who called the end of the night’s efforts when, in a battle with Aleksei Vandyshev, Jattin caught an eight on the river of a J-10-7-3-8 board to quash Vandyshev’s Big Chick. By eliminating Vandyshev in seventh place, Jattin burst through the 15 million chip mark to hold a dominant lead heading to this afternoon’s play.

1. Farid Jattin, 15.735 million
2. Zachary Gruneberg, 5.39 million
3. Taha Maruf, 4.405 million
4. Chris Limo, 3.46 million
5. Simon Lam, 3.23 million
6. Jesse Sylvia, 3.035 million

It does look like it is Jattin’s championship to lose as he has more chips than the other five table members combined. If there is a challenger it would be Gruneberg, who has $ 840,645 in career tournament earnings and 174 online tournament cashes that total almost $ 2 million (under the screenname ‘HustlerGrune’). Outside of Gruneberg, Limo and Lam have no documented tournament cashes and Maruf has about $ 360,000 in tournament cashes since 2008.

The final table will not only be taped for broadcast of the Season XV schedule of the WPT, it will also be streamed online. The final table will be streamed on WPT.com and on Twitch.tv beginning at 4:30PM (a 30-minute delay) and feature an all-star cast of commentators. Kane Kalas, Jamie Kerstetter, Michael Gagliano and Nick Binger will all take a seat in the commentator’s chair for the streaming broadcast, which should be an entertaining show for any type of poker fan.

Poker News Daily

Rank/888 Holdings Making Play for William Hill

 Rank/888 Holdings Making Play for William Hill

UK-based Rank Group and Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings confirmed rumors this weekend that they have teamed up in talks to acquire competitor William Hill, the largest gambling company in the UK. No financial numbers have been made public.

Both 888 and Rank issued a statement today, which reads, in part:

888 Holdings plc (“888”) and The Rank Group Plc (“Rank”) (together the “Consortium”) note the recent press speculation regarding a potential transaction involving William Hill plc (“William Hill”) and confirm that they are evaluating a possible offer for William Hill (the “Proposed Transaction”).

The Consortium sees significant industrial logic in the combination, through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenue and cost synergies and from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale which will accrue to all shareholders.

No formal approach has yet been made to the Board of William Hill and there can be no certainty that any such approach will be made.  Accordingly, there can be no certainty that any transaction will ultimately take place, nor as to the terms on which any such transaction might be constituted.

In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, the Consortium is required, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 21 August 2016 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for William Hill in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

This is an interesting twist on past gaming industry mergers and acquisitions news, as in February 2015, the roles were reversed, with William Hill looking to buy 888 Holdings.

888 was also at the center of the bidding war for bwin.party nearly a year ago. 888 and GVC Holdings went back and forth with competing offers for the partypoker parent company, with GVC Holdings eventually winning the competition. GVC’s successful offer was for £1.116 billion (USD $ 1.697 billion).

Gaming analysts see the potential hiccups with a deal like this, though very rarely in huge mergers are there no hurdles to overcome. Warwick Bartlett, Chief Executive of Global Betting and Gaming Consultants told GamblingInsider.com:

When I first saw the reports about a possible offer being made between Rank (market cap £925m) and 888 (£803m), I thought this could work. With Rank and 888 having a combined market cap of £1.7bn against William Hill at £2.7bn we should be under no illusions as to who the daddy would be. Clearly the companies are being driven closer together because of the combined effects of ever increasing regulation, and taxation. The combined market cap of all three would be £4.4bn, and one would expect to see some significant synergies and savings on cost.

But I have to ask: Is this Gala Coral mark two? That was a company that had interests in bingo, casino and betting shops, plus an online business. It was hardly a success. The bingo business was sold to Caledonia, and ironically the casino business was sold to Rank.

For this tripartite merger to work there must be a clear emphasis on strategy and leadership. I think such a merger raises more questions than answers.

Poker fans will obviously be familiar with 888 for its 888poker, which is the second largest online poker room in the world in terms of cash game traffic, according to PokerScout. 888 Holdings also has a sizable casino gaming and bingo library. Rank is not a household name, but UK gamblers certainly know the Grosvenor Casinos well. Rank also owns the Mecca and Enracha brands.

Poker News Daily



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