Posts Tagged ‘poker’

World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

 World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

The World Poker Tour has, at certain points in its history, stretched their moniker as far as “world.” For a few years, the organization barely left the States of America and, if it did, it was still on the North American continent. Of late, however, the WPT has been stretching out into the international market, as demonstrated by their latest endeavors on both sides of the globe.

The WPT and India-based Adda52.com announced that they would be collaborating to expand poker in the billion-people strong country. This Asia-Pacific expansion between the two groups will be twofold, with a new tournament – the WPTDeepStacks India – as well as a brand-new honor for yearly performance in the WPT India Player of the Year award. Between both endeavors, the WPT and Adda52.com are looking to make poker even bigger in the country.

“With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape,” added Angelica Hael, the WPT’s Vice President of Global Tour Management. “Together with our partner Adda52.com, the WPT looks forward to not only sharing the WPT experience through the expansion of WPTDeepStacks to the region, but also giving Indian players incremental value with the WPT India Player of the Year award.”

“We are excited for WPT and Adda52 to take its partnership to new heights by bringing WPTDeepStacks to one of India’s most beautiful locations, Goa,” Anuj Gupta, the founder & Chief Executive Officer of Adda52.com, added. “WPTDeepStacks India will be an exceptionally unique event since the tournament will be held onboard a floating ship. As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is the perfect fit for the Indian poker community.”

As Gupta stated, the WPTDeepStacks India will be held from November 7-13 at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, India. The $ 1000 buy-in tournament will be the capstone to the other innovation produced by the partnership between the WPT and Addar52, the WPT India Player of the Year award. Along with the DeepStacks tournament, two other events in India will be held to find the best player in the country.

From July 20-24, the Deltin Poker Tour Goa will hold a $ 540 Main Event, with the people who cash in the tournament earning all-important points towards the WPT India POY. From September 6-11, there will be another $ 540 tournament for the Deltin Poker Tour Goa where players can earn more points. Along with the November WPT DeepStacks tournament, the player who earns the most points through the three tournaments will win the WPT India Player of the Year award.

Danny McDonagh, the WPT Live Events Specialist, commented, “Alongside the outstanding team at Adda52.com, the World Poker Tour is proud to introduce a dedicated WPT India Player of the Year award to showcase the region’s top talent and to bring WPTDeepStacks to this flourishing market.” In making this statement, McDonagh also brought up the prizes for those who vie for this title. The eventual champion will be named Player of the Year and earn a $ 5000 credit for WPT events and Deltin tournaments during Season XVII of the WPT.

Alongside their stretch into the Asia-Pacific market, the WPT is also looking southward for more poker action. Earlier this week the WPT announced that they had paired with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay to bring a televised poker event to the South American country. As a part of their Season XVI schedule, the new WPTDeepStacks Uruguay Main Event (with two opening day flights and a $ 1500 buy in) will play from November 1-5 this fall.

“With its entry into South America, the World Poker Tour is now on its fifth continent,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, in announcing the new stop. “As the WPT continues its global expansion, we look forward to showcasing the abundance of poker talent across the globe and bringing the game to new audiences worldwide, starting with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay.”

“It is an honor that a company as prestigious as the World Poker Tour has chosen Enjoy Punta del Este to co-host the tour’s first televised event in South America,” said Sebastián Truffello, the General Manager of Enjoy Punta del Este. “It is no secret that the WPT features the best televised poker tournaments in the world, and it is our great pleasure to partner with the WPT for this extraordinary event. We have no doubt that the combination of Enjoy’s expertise and infrastructure, plus the incredible experience of participating in a world-class WPT televised tournament, will result in an incredible event for all of those who attend.”

It seems that the WPTDeepStacks event won’t be the only tournament going on around that time. Although it has yet to be finalized, there is a full schedule of preliminary events that will surround the WPT tournament in Punta del Este, promising plenty of poker action for all. For those that don’t do so well on the tables, there is plenty of beaches and entertainment to take the mind off the losses – at least for a bit.

The WPT – the organization where “world” was once a funny joke – is truly striving to make it an integral part of its being. With the new events spanning the globe in India and South America, the reach of the WPT seems to only become greater.

Poker News Daily

“The Bernard Lee Poker Show” Celebrates 10th Anniversary

 “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” Celebrates 10th Anniversary

It doesn’t seem like it could be possible, but one of the longest running poker radio broadcasts in the industry will be celebrating its 10th anniversary soon. In commemoration of this achievement, there are big plans to celebrate with the fans, including giveaways and special guests that will last into 2018.

Poker player Bernard Lee began his eponymous radio broadcast, “The Bernard Lee Poker Show,” back in 2007 in the Boston area and has been able to carry on the broadcast for the entirety of the last decade, albeit on different outlets. As a way of celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the show, Lee is taking the broadcast back to an old home (2010-13) in the Boston area. “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” will air on the Money Matters Radio Network (1120AM and 102.9FM) at 6PM on Tuesdays.

“When I set out more than 10 years ago to launch a poker radio show in Boston, I never could have dreamed it would have been met with such a positive reaction and go on to be shared with listeners worldwide. I’m a poker fan first and a player second, which I believe has been the key to providing listeners a poker show they continue to find interesting and informative,” Lee said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to host the show for these past 10 years, and I look forward to many, many more!”

Jason Wolfe, the General Manager of Money Matters Radio, seemed to be happy about the return of Lee also. “We are thrilled to have one of the premier poker shows back on our network,” Wolfe noted during the announcement of Lee’s anniversary celebration. “Lee attracts first-rate guests, which always makes for compelling content. Our listeners will be excited to have the show back on our airwaves,”

Coming on as the sponsor for the 10th anniversary festivities is RunGoodGear.com, which also has served as a sponsor for Lee’s poker endeavors on the felt. “Bernard is a great ambassador not only for RunGoodGear, but also for the entire poker community,” Tana Karn, the president of RunGoodGear, stated. “Bernard has done a fantastic job supporting us and we are pleased to be part of this joyous celebration.”

If you think that this is going to be a mild celebration, then you’re in for a surprise. Listeners to “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” are going to be the recipients of several gifts to celebrate the occasion. Those listeners who follow Lee on Twitter (the link to his Twitter feed is here) and retweet or like contest announcements will be entered into the contests. Listeners can also get into the game by following Lee on Instagram (link here).

Over the next three months, Lee will be handing out a wealth of prizes to his listeners. T-shirts commemorating the 10th Anniversary of “The Bernard Lee Poker Show,” buy ins to tournaments at the Borgata and tickets to the VooDoo Zip Line at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas are the top prizes over the next three months. There will be other prizes awarded, including seats at the All-In for CP Charity Poker event in Las Vegas and RunGoodGear merchandise, until the close of the celebration in February 2018.

The guest list for the party is just starting to take shape as well. Featured guests will be a part of “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” that run the gamut of poker history. In May, 2005 World Series of Poker Championship Event winner Joe Hachem will join Lee on the air, with June bringing the defending WSOP Player of the Year Jason Mercier and July the 2012 WSOP Championship Event victor Greg Merson. Future shows will feature the current defending World Champion, Qui Nguyen, and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton.

For his part, Lee is going to look to make his 10th anniversary special from the playing arena. Lee has earned more than $ 2 million in his career on the felt, with his best cash dating to the 2010 WSOP Circuit championship in Hammond, IN ($ 236,368). With such success, however, there are a couple of things that have been more important to Lee: his family and his community. Lee is a devoted family man who has given back to his Massachusetts community, especially with a toy drive for families in need during the Christmas season.

Be sure to check out “The Bernard Lee Poker Show” as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, especially if you can get Money Matters Radio in Boston (1120AM and 102.9 FM) or on one of its affiliates. Congratulations to Bernard and here’s to another ten years of poker broadcasting excellence!

Poker News Daily

New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

 New York Online Poker Bill Passes Senate Finance Committee

It is on to the full Senate for a bill that would regulate and legalize online poker in New York state, as the bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday by a 27-9 vote. On Valentine’s Day, the bill passed the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee by a unanimous 11-0 vote.

The purpose of S3898, according to the text of the bill itself, is:

To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically “Omaha
Hold’em” and “Texas Hold’em.”

Straightforward, it is (Yoda…I am?).

The bill is sponsored by Republican State Senator John Bonacic, who has taken up the online poker cause during the last few years. He introduced a bill last year and everything was going well, especially when it sailed through the Senate by a 53-5 vote, but the Assembly never even voted on it.

Bonacic has been confident about his bill this year, telling GamblingCompliance, “Last year, there was too much gaming for the Assembly to consider with fantasy sports and the efforts in New Jersey for a referendum to put a casino in the Meadowlands, and I really think that it got put on the back burner. So now we are putting it in the front burner.”

We won’t bore our readers with all of the finer points of the poker bill, but some of the provisions, as we listed out in February, as well, include:

•    Permits the state to enter into interstate gaming compacts so that player pools can be combined.
•    15 percent tax on gross gaming revenue
•    A maximum of ten licensed operators who must pay a licensing fee of $ 10 million each. Licenses would be good for ten years.
•    Most forms of poker would be authorized, even though the above “purpose” statement only mentions Hold’em and Omaha (that was likely just a simplification, as Hold’em and Omaha are the two most popular forms of online poker – there would be no reason to exclude other forms, like Stud).
•    When and if the bill is signed into law, there will be a 180-day grace period before licenses can be issued and games can start, likely to make sure the state is properly prepared.
•    Operating an online poker site without a license is a crime. Unlicensed operators will be both fined and taxed.

One of the reasons that the bill didn’t get voted upon in the state Assembly last year was Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who was actually the sponsor of the Assembly’s version of the bill. In a February interview with FIOS1 News’s Andrew Whitman, he said that he was not confident about operators’ ability to prevent cheating. Fortunately, after visiting New Jersey’s Attorney General, he came away impressed and is now “satisfied” that cheating can be prevented as much as is reasonably possible. Pretlow now believes the bill shouldn’t have problems in the New York Assembly, assuming it gets there.

“When I do sign off on something,” he told Whitman, “my colleagues feel that it is a good deal and they don’t question why I made a certain decision. They know that if that decision was made, it’s for good reason. So I don’t really see there’s going to be much opposition to moving this along.”

Poker News Daily

PKR Poker Shut Down For “Financial” Reasons

 PKR Poker Shut Down For “Financial” Reasons

Once again demonstrating the need in the States of America for regulated online gaming and poker if not in the international industry, the online poker site PKR Poker seems to have shut their doors in citing “financial difficulties” as the reason for the shutdown.

Over the past week, there has been some precursors of what would happen over the weekend. On Wednesday last week, the site shut down for what was said to be “regular maintenance” for PKR. That “regular maintenance” stretched out to a full day before the error message was changed to indicate that there were financial issues with PKR that required the shutdown of the site. The problem with this is that, with the site shut down, there was no way for players to access their accounts nor withdraw any money that they had.

If that wasn’t reason to panic, the network supporting PKR’s withdrawal of service sent everyone into a frenzy. The Microgaming Network, who hosted PKR since March of last year, shut down their support of the site, leading to another ominous statement from PKR themselves. According to a statement from PKR, the companies’ corporate entities, PKR Limited and PKR Technologies, had filed “applications” (could be read as bankruptcy proceedings) with the Court for Administrative Orders in the United Kingdom. That hearing is supposed to be heard today.

With the courts getting involved, Microgaming removing their support (the company has stated that PKR held their players’ money, not the network), and the dribble of statements from the site, it doesn’t look good for players who had any sort of funds on the site. For those affiliates who were making some coin from sending players to play at PKR, they have been informed to remove any banner ads or other advertising links from their sites and, as with the players, any monies they are owed could be gone.

The shutdown of PKR is an excellent demonstration of why there needs to be stronger regulation of the online gaming industry worldwide. PKR is simply the latest site – joining such sites as Lock Poker, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, and others – that has shut down operations and left players in the lurch. The supposed “governance” bodies that look over and license the sites – the various Caribbean organizations, those on the Isle of Man and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which hosts many of the sites – have NEVER held the rooms responsible for their closure nor their failure to pay back players for the funds they had on the sites.

In the States of America, and in particular the states that have regulated and licensed online gaming and/or poker, there has been a recourse for the players. When Ultimate Gaming shut down – leaving players in Nevada (poker only) and New Jersey (online gaming/poker) with bankrolls on the site – there was a process established for those players to receive their monies FIRST, rather than the normal process of bankruptcy where the players would have been treated as creditors and may or may not have seen their money. To this date, Ultimate Gaming’s calm, orderly shutdown is the epitome of how to treat the customers when a gaming site goes under.

When it came out, PKR Poker was quite innovative in its approach. Advertised as the first 3D online poker site, that stylish delivery of the game never seemed to catch on with the online poker community. Although it has battled valiantly through the years, PKR could never mount up enough momentum to challenge partypoker at first and then PokerStars after its ascension to the #1 slot in the industry. At one time sporting a stable of sponsored professionals that included Sofia Lovgren (LONG ago) and Jake Cody, PKR hadn’t been that active in the poker sponsorship field over the past couple of years.

Players who have funds on the site or other questions are encouraged to e-mail support@pkr.com, but don’t expect an immediate reply, if one is forthcoming at all.

Poker News Daily

India’s Poker Sports League Moves Forward with Inaugural Season

 India’s Poker Sports League Moves Forward with Inaugural Season

Up until Sunday, it had been a rumor that had yet to come to fruition. After running its draft for the 12 teams that make up the league, India’s Poker Sports League has gone from just a rumor to preparing for its first ever season.

On Sunday at the Playboy Club in Delhi, the 12 franchises that make up the league met to choose players for their teams. The squads, blindly picking numbers, arranged themselves from the first pick to the twelfth. Then, utilizing a “snake” draft (the first round would go 1-12, the second round 12-1, the third round 1-12, the fourth 12-1, etc.), each team picked first their pro player from a pool. The next pool was for players who had qualified for the draft from live play and, rounding out the process, players who had qualified for the league from online play.

What was perhaps the most interesting thing about the Poker Sports League is, from the start, there are individual owners for each of the teams that are major businessmen from India. These are the 12 owners of the teams and the businesses they represent:

Bengaluru Jokers – Kunal Shah (Co-founder, FreeCharge)
Chennai Bulls – Girish Mathrubootham (Co-founder, FreshDesk)
Delhi Panthers – Rishi Kajaria (Kajaria Ceramics); Ruchirans Jaipuria (Jaipuria Group); Abhishek Jain (Leela Jewels); Gaurav Goel (Dhampur Sugar)
Goan Nuts – Gaurav Mohan (Eventwala)
Gujrat Acers – Harish Bahl and Manish Vij (Smile Group); Mukesh Agarwal (VITWO LLP)
Haryana Hunters – Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta (Co-founder, Citrus Payments)
Hyderabad Kings – Amit Shah, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah (IIFL-Wealth)
Kolkata Royals – Ankkit Bhadur (Playboy North);; Taarun V. Jain (Legend Group)
Mumbai Anchors – Mehul Shah (Anchor Electrical)
Pune Sharks – Rishabh Jhunjhunwala (Bhilwara Group); Shamit Kehmka (Synapse India); Chetan Kaharia (Kajaria Ceramics); Sachin Goel
Punjab Bluffers – Aditya Munjal (Hero Cycles Group); Arjun Jain (White Fox); Shiva Vig (Anika International)
Rajasthan Tilters – Purrshottam Bhaggeria (Filatex Group)

While these owners strategized through the draft, the league announced the players who were the wild card selections for each team. This is where the rosters stepped outside of Indian players and picked up several professionals from around the world. One team, the Gujrat Acers, picked up an international player in Henrik Tollefsen, who sits in the twelfth slot in all time tournament earnings for Norwegian players; he is joined by India’s Raman Gujral, who is in the top 50 players in India in lifetime tournament earnings. Samad Razavi, who has the English flag as his Hendon Mob banner and is in 50th place in all-time earnings for English players, was picked up as a wild card by the Hyderabad Kings, while Patrick Leonard – another British pro who has over $ 700,000 in career earnings – will be joining the Rajasthan Tilters.

Full details haven’t been revealed as to how the league will be conducted, but it is expected that it will be a combination of live and online play for the nine player teams (one mentor/captain, two professional players, two wild cards, two live qualifiers and two online qualifiers). What can’t be questioned is the money that the 12 teams are vying for. Up for grabs for the twelve teams is 3.36 crores, or 33,600,000 rupees. That breaks down to roughly $ 525,000 U. S. dollars; for a comparison point, the winners of the inaugural Global Poker League championship, the Montreal Nationals, earned $ 100,000 for winning the league title.

The Poker Sports League says their mission statement is “to promote the tournament aspect of poker across India and to provide every poker enthusiast an opportunity to play for the pride of winning and to promote responsible poker.” For the first part of the statement – promoting tournament poker – it seems that the Poker Sports League is making significant inroads. As to how well it will do in the other aspects, only time will tell.

For more information on the Poker Sports League, be sure to visit their website.

Poker News Daily



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