Posts Tagged ‘player’

Portugal Publishes Shared Liquidity Framework, Player Pools to Merge with Spain and France Soon

 Portugal Publishes Shared Liquidity Framework, Player Pools to Merge with Spain and France Soon

Just over a month since Spain and France merged their online poker player pools, Portugal is about to join them. On Friday, the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), the country’s gaming regulatory body, published its technical standards framework for shared player liquidity. The next step is for Portuguese players to join Spanish and French players at the tables.

In mid-January, PokerStars became the first online poker room to host players from France and Spain at the same virtual tables. Prior to that moment, the two countries, along with Portugal and Italy, had ring fenced their players from the rest of the world, allowing them to play only on country-specific sites.

The four countries announced an agreement to share liquidity in July 2017 and wanted to merge their player pools by the end of the year, but obviously were not quite able to do so. Portugal clearly lagged behind Spain and France slightly, but is now expected to join them – almost certainly on PokerStars – within the next few days.

Roughly translated using the handy-dandy Google Translate and smoothed out by yours truly, the framework says that the SRIJ will make games and bets available between:

1. players registered on a “.pt” domain that is licensed to offer online gambling in Portugal;
2. players registered in the “.pt” domain and players whose access is established outside the Portuguese territory and which are registered in another domain under licenses issued in accordance with jurisdictions where online gambling and betting and shared liquidity are admitted under the law and / or its regulator.

The key online gambling product here is online poker. While online casinos (those that offer games like slots and blackjack) obviously want lots of customers, the actual functioning of their games is not dependent on player traffic. Customers can easily and happily play at tables by themselves and have the same experience they would if there were other players present. In fact, people might prefer to play alone, as they don’t have to worry about someone making an incorrect play in blackjack or wasting time at the roulette table.

With poker, though, player traffic is of the utmost importance. Cash games only run if there is more than one person at the table, multi-table tournaments often have registration minimums, and Sit-and-Go’s don’t start until they are full. And though cash games can operate with just two players, most people would much rather play at full or near-full ring game tables. Thus, if a site doesn’t have steady player traffic, the tables will be mostly empty, resulting in potential new players staying away and the tables remaining mostly empty.

Thus, shared liquidity is important. The larger a potential player base a country has, the more traffic its poker sites will have. Portugal by itself has struggled to supply players to online poker rooms, but with Spain and France to help (and hopefully Italy later), the poker rooms should be much more viable.

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Dealer, Player Arrested for Bad Beat Jackpot Cheating

 Dealer, Player Arrested for Bad Beat Jackpot Cheating

Bad beat jackpots have been in the news lately and today we continue that trend with not one, but two BBJ-related articles. In this first one, a poker dealer and player were arrested in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish for conspiring to rig the Boomtown Casino’s bad beat jackpot.

The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Gaming Enforcement Division arrested Ashley Solomon, 66, the dealer in the game, after he turned himself into authorities on Thursday. 51-year old Dale Foret was apprehended on Friday after an investigation in the bad beat jackpot incident. The two men were charged with “Conspiracy to Commit Theft over $ 25,000 and Attempted Theft over $ 25,000.”

As readers of this site probably know quite well, at a bad beat jackpot table, an additional rake is taken to fund a progressive jackpot. The jackpot is triggered when a player loses at showdown with an extremely strong hand. We don’t know what Boomtown’s rules are, but the minimum hand is usually quads or better, sometimes as low as Aces over Kings or better and sometimes as high as quad Jacks or better. In any case, both the winning and losing hands generally need to use both hole cards and a certain number of players must be dealt into the hand.

There is no dispute as to whether or not the bad beat jackpot hit at Boomtown Casino in January; the problem was that it was not hit honestly. According to investigators, it was determined that Solomon and Foret had concocted a plan ahead of time in which Solomon would set the deck and deal a hand which would trigger the bad beat jackpot assuming all players played a in predictable manner. He gave the monster losing hand to Foret and the winning hand to someone else, who was not involved in the scheme.

From the police news release:

The investigation began on January 19, 2018, when detectives were notified by the casino staff related to several inconsistencies with a “Bad Beat” poker game, with a jackpot of $ 166,471.00. The investigation revealed that Solomon was the poker dealer and intentionally stacked the deck of cards for a favorable outcome. Solomon then conducted two false shuffles. The second false shuffle resulted in a “Bad Beat” jackpot. Foret was one of the players at the table and the recipient of the larger “Bad Beat” jackpot. The investigation later revealed that Solomon had communicated with Foret prior to and after the poker game. Detectives obtained arrest warrants for both individuals on February 5, 2018. Both individuals were booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.

Needless to say, the jackpot was not paid out; one would hope the hand’s winner understands. It has continued to build from its pre-cheat level.

It has not been explained how Solomon was able to arrange the deck without initial detection, nor was it explained how the “inconsistencies” were suspected before the investigation commenced and before security camera footage was likely reviewed.

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Maria Lampropulos, Christopher Kruk Take Early Leads in Player of the Year Races

 Maria Lampropulos, Christopher Kruk Take Early Leads in Player of the Year Races

Yes, it is very early in the year. Yes, these folks probably won’t be here when we come to June (heck, maybe even March). But, for right now, two players – Maria Lampropulos and Christopher Kruk – can lay claim to the title of “best poker player” as they lead the Poker Player of the Year races.

On the CardPlayer Player of the Year rankings, it is the champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure who can lay claim to the crown. The Argentine sensation romped to the title and its million dollars plus payday earlier this week, earning 2100 points for her efforts. The runner up in that tournament, Shawn Buchanan, settles into the second-place slot on the CardPlayer rankings, earning 1750 points for his performance in the tournament. Also making a nice showing at the 2018 PCA was Koray Aldemir, who took third in the Main Event and finished in the runner up slot in the $ 25,000 High Roller; between the two tournaments, Aldemir earned over $ 660,000 and picked up 1610 points.

The High Roller tournaments at the PCA didn’t have as much effect on the POY races in 2018 as they did in the past. Perhaps because of some changes to their computations, the CardPlayer board didn’t overload points on the victors in the big High Roller events. Thus, players like Steve O’Dwyer (who won the $ 50K High Roller with 46 players) and Cary Katz (the champion of the $ 100K Super High Roller with 48 players) didn’t earn as many points as they might have in the past.

While he might not have gotten as much for his win in one of the $ 25K High Rollers, Christopher Kruk made the most of his time down in the Bahamas. Over the span of five days, Kruk earned three cashes, including two final tables and a win. In earning over $ 900,000, Kruk picked up 1113 points, landing in fourth place on the CardPlayer ladder ahead of the fourth-place finisher in the PCA Main Event (and defending Player of the Year) Adrian Mateos’ 1050 points.

Rounding out the bottom of the Top Ten on the CardPlayer board is Justin Bonomo (1004 points), Jason Strasser (960), defending World Champion Scott Baumstein (960), Daniel Coupal (875) and Darryl Ronconi (840) in sixth through tenth places, respectively.

Kruk has no such issues with new computations when it comes to the Global Poker Index ranking of the Player of the Year. The three cashes he earned at the PCA earned him 749.95 points, good enough to catapult him into the lead in the early going. The surprise is Norway’s Aylar Lie, who has been able to take the second slot on the GPI rankings without leaving Europe. Lie cashed six times at the Merit Poker Western Tournament, including a win in a $ 500 Bounty tournament, to rack up 631.15 points. Lie’s success is further accentuated by the fact that Lampropulos earned 606.34 points for her PCA Main Event championship and was only good enough for third place.

Another player who decided against journeying to the Bahamas makes the board in fourth place. Ole Schemion won the World Poker Tour European Championship in Berlin on Monday, to earn 423.22 points (and another cash in a preliminary) and the fourth-place post with 550.61 points. That was enough to eclipse Bonomo in fifth place (543.99 points) as the midpoint of the month is reached.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the GPI POY are a few more surprises. Benjamin Pollak (543.98, sixth), Isaac Haxton (537.95, seventh), Daniel Jones (532.38, eighth), Jeffrey Trudeau (524.91) is ninth and Kunal Patni (518.14, tenth) round out the leaderboard.

Don’t worry, there won’t be a test on this subject. By the end of the month, it is entirely possible that an entire new list of contenders will be sitting in these seats with the Aussie Millions, the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and the L. A. Poker Classis either starting or finishing up their play. But to have a great year of poker is to start off well, and the players listed above have done it. Now they can look to improve on what has been an excellent start to their season.

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Stunning Late Season Move Puts Adrian Mateos Over Bryn Kenney in Player of the Year Races

 Stunning Late Season Move Puts Adrian Mateos Over Bryn Kenney in Player of the Year Races

In a stunning, late season move that is similar to what occurred last year, Spanish poker professional Adrian Mateos has used a surge of success at the tables to pass the man who has led virtually since the start of the year, Bryn Kenney, in the Player of the Year races in tournament poker.

Mateos began the month of December in fourth place on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year leaderboard behind Kenney and it seemed that he was going to have a tough time catching the leader. Not only did he have to climb over two people to even reach Kenney, Mateos had to make up roughly 2000 points to even have a chance at equaling Kenney. But that is exactly what Mateos has done, utilizing the final PokerStars Championship event to do it.

After finishing off November by winning the $ 5000 Eight Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Caribbean Poker Party, Mateos went on a run in December that was stunning. Beginning at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Mateos earned three final table finishes, but he wasn’t done yet. Flying back to Europe for the PSC Prague (which would turn out to be the final event ever on that circuit), Mateos earned four more cashes, three final tables and two tournaments that earned him POY points. By the end of December, Mateos had totaled up 2118 points to pass Kenney and take over first place.

It wasn’t like Kenney didn’t try to maintain his lead. He picked up 105 points for a seventh-place finish in the $ 25,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on the WPT Five Diamond schedule, but it wasn’t enough to ward off the invading Spaniard. As of December 30 (and barring any last-minute finishes), Mateos and his 7220 points will earn the CardPlayer POY over Kenney’s 7173 points.

The remainder of the Top Ten on the CardPlayer list were seemingly OK with where they finished on the end-of-year rankings as they didn’t make a serious drive upwards. Fedor Holz, the runner-up in 2016 (more on this in a minute) will finish in the third-place slot in 2017, earning 5875 points (and more than $ 6.3 million) to hold off Koray Aldemir (5510) in fourth place. Justin Bonomo used a steady stream of cashes in the Five Diamond $ 25K tournaments to ease into fifth place (5411), while 2016 Player of the Year David Peters (5034), Stephen Chidwick (4912), Jason Koon (4859), Steffen Sontheimer (4782) and Benjamin Pollak (4660) round out the sixth through tenth places, respectively.

Mateos’ late season surge also saw him eclipse Kenney on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. Much like the CardPlayer ladder, Mateos was in fifth place to start the month on the GPI board with plenty of space for his numbers to rise (under the GPI rankings, only the 13 best finishes for a player, utilizing a complex calculating system, are counted towards the rankings). Of the seven cashes that Mateos had, five of them improved his 13-tournament total. That 1051.36 increase was enough to push him over the top.

As of December 30, Mateos has the top slot on the GPI POY with a total of 3504.71, while Kenney had to stand pat on his 3478.06 points because his effort at the Five Diamond didn’t knock off one of his 13 prior finishes. Chidwick also climbed a bit during the month of December, moving into third place (3247.43) over Peters (3244.62). Dan Smith, who won the $ 100,000 Super High Roller at the Five Diamond and picked up some more points in another $ 25K event, jumped up to fifth place (3235.92) to conclude 2017.

Rounding out the Top Ten on the GPI POY are Ari Engel (3206.87), Holz (3172.03), Koon (3138.27), Nick Petrangelo (3133.46) and Stefan Schillhabel (3123.39) in the sixth through tenth positions.

The final month of 2017 is remarkable in its similarity to what happened last year. In 2016, Holz dominated the POY races all season long before, in a last-minute rush, Peters was able to pass Holz and take away both POY titles. If Kenney doesn’t find a poker tournament between now and Monday, he will fall victim to the same late-season lightning strike that hit Holz in 2016, only this time at the hands of Mateos.

The end of season rush by Mateos also demonstrates one of the problems that the ranking systems haven’t been able to overcome. Of the eight tournaments (counting the Caribbean tournament) that Mateos played to overcome Kenney, four of them were High Roller events with a buy in over $ 25,000. Without those high-dollar tournaments (which add more points due to their buy-in but offer fewer obstacles in the number of players), it is unlikely that Mateos would have even gotten within sniffing distance of Kenney, who himself built the massive lead he had through primarily playing High Roller events (of his 29 cashes in 2017, 25 of them were in tournaments with more than a $ 25K buy-in).

Hopefully the CardPlayer and Global Poker Index rankings will find a way to deal with the far too numerous High Roller and Super High Roller events in 2018 (limiting the number of cashes from such events might be a good start). For 2017, however, the ink is almost dry as Adrian Mateos looks to become one of the youngest, if not THE youngest, player (23) to ever capture the awards in the two predominant Player of the Year races.

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Christmas Gifts for the Poker Player in Your Life

 Christmas Gifts for the Poker Player in Your Life

The Thanksgiving turkey’s carcass has been cast into the trash, people have gotten over their tryptophan comas and life is moving on, so you know what that means…it’s time to start thinking about Christmas! Yes, that delightful time of the year when we look at our loved ones and say to ourselves, “What the heck do I get you this year?” If that person is a poker player, there are some suggestions that we here at Poker News Daily can make.

D&B PUBLISHING

Everyone thinks that poker books have gone out of favor. The exact opposite is true. If you look hard enough, you can come up with some great poker books that have been released over the past year. And, if you look inside the covers, you’ll probably find that D&B Publishing has been a part of bringing that book to you. There are at least three of their offerings you should take a look at.

First, there’s the autobiography of Phil Hellmuth. Poker Brat:  Phil Hellmuth’s Autobiography is as billed…the story of arguably the greatest poker player of all time in his own words. In the book, we get to find out some of the things that helped to drive the 14-time World Series of Poker champion from his quaint home in Wisconsin to reach his goals of poker superstardom. I challenge anyone to read this book and not hear Hellmuth’s voice reading it.

For a change of pace (and a bit of humility), there is the autobiography of 2016 WSOP Championship Event winner Qui Nguyen. From Vietnam to Vegas! How I Won the World Series of Poker Main Event is a hand-by-hand analysis of Nguyen’s victory at last year’s WSOP while simultaneously telling his life story. Beginning as a child in Saigon until that bright night in November 2016 when he captured poker’s World Championship, Nguyen tells a story (and offers insights into the hands that carried him to the title) that is engrossing and dramatic. (Writer’s note:  a full review of the book will be forthcoming.)

Finally, there’s the story of the United Kingdom’s Chris Moorman. Moorman:  The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time is the book that arguably should have been released before his Moorman’s Book of Poker because it offers a bit of history behind Moorman himself rather than just throwing the reader into reviewing poker hands. There is some of that review in Moorman, but there’s some background given to the reader as Moorman delves into his life and what drove him to his success today.

These are but a few of the releases from D&B Publishing. It would behoove you to check them out if you’ve got a poker fan on your gift list.

MANCRATES

There are those people on your list that are quite difficult to buy a gift for. In those instances, you have to go more for the uniqueness of the gift rather than maybe its functionality. ManCrates is an outlet where you can find that unique gift.

ManCrates is offering an “Ammo Can Poker Set” which will at least give the base for someone’s next poker game (they may need more chips!). A 300-chip poker set is joined with two decks of cards inside an ammunition cannister, perhaps knocking off someone who has a fondness for weapons at the same time. If the poker set doesn’t exactly meet your needs, there are a wealth of other items that you might find for a gift.

BDO POKER TABLES

If you’ve got a bit of money to spend on that Christmas gift – and you’ve got some room in the house – then BDO Poker Tables may have something up your alley. Whether it is a simple poker table or a custom build, BDO Poker Tables should be able to come up with something that will please the poker player on your list. There’s a reason that the company is the official poker table of the World Poker Tour – they do quality work and for a fair price.

BLUE SHARK OPTICS

At least until they are banned, poker players can still wear sunglasses on the tables. The eyewear made by Blue Shark Optics are in high demand from poker players because of the variety of their product as well as the quality. The company states that their glasses stop “100% of UV and over 90% of Blue Light distortion with minimal color distortion.” This is critical in that UV light can damage your vision and, in extreme circumstances, can cause cataracts and macular degeneration. The company also offers eyewear for other life situations such as computer usage and driving, but it is their poker product that they are most known for.

There are usually some things out there that poker players would be excited to receive. What are some of the suggestions that you would make? Let us know and perhaps we’ll create another list of reader suggestions!

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