Posts Tagged ‘room’

Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer

 Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer

In September 2016, poker pro Phil Galfond announced that he was going to start his own online poker room named after his poker training site, Run It Once. His idea was to build something that would cater to players of all types, that would focus on fairness, and that would be transparent. Since then, we have heard so little about the new poker room that most of us assumed the project had been shelved. But last week, Galfond wrote a long blog post on RunItOnce.eu (which we assume is the web address for the poker room), explaining what has been going on and trying to get back to the concept of transparency.

Galfond explained that the delays have largely been related to software development.

“Our software delays weren’t the typical delays that come with the territory,” he said. “We made some significant missteps early in our software development (I don’t just mean our tech team – I’m as much to blame as anyone) and it set us on a course that’s been very difficult to navigate.”

He brought in new leadership and a new tech team, which resulted in a reworking of the development strategy. They believed they had the option of either continuing down the track they were on with the downside that future development would be hampered, or redo a whole bunch of things to increase flexibility, but which would also push back the launch even further.

They decided to go for a hybrid strategy of staying on track with cash games and launching them this summer while continuing to work on tournaments, which would be launched in Phase 2.

Galfond said this decision was made for a few reasons:

1. We didn’t want to release anything we aren’t proud of, so launching with unpolished and partial versions of multiple offerings was off the table.
2. We figured that you’d rather have something from us than to wait much longer for us to offer everything.
3. We were furthest along on cash games, and even if we hadn’t been, launching with tournaments only would be extremely challenging for a new site fighting for liquidity.

As mentioned, a big goal for Run It Once was to make a poker room for players, rather than make all decisions just to benefit the business. As such, Galfond said that the rake will be “sensible,” allowing people to actually be able to beat the games if they are good players. He also said the cash games will be “focused on fun and on pure, authentic poker.”

The rewards system will be good for both pros and recreational players. Pros will benefit the most, but recs should be happy, as well. And interestingly, Galfond said it will be impossible to leave rewards unclaimed.

Phase 2, which does not have a target date yet, will include:

1. General software enhancements, more user options
2. A distinct SNG offering
3. An innovative Tournament experience
4. An awesome nosebleed stakes offering, with several unique ideas from someone who’s played these games for a long time and thinks he knows what they need!

Between now and when Phase 1 launches, Galfond has promised to provide updates on what to expect.

The post Phil Galfond Announces Run It Once Online Poker Room Launch Coming This Summer appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Betcoin to Re-Launch Bitcoin Online Poker Room

 Betcoin to Re Launch Bitcoin Online Poker Room

Bitcoin online gambling site Betcoin shut its poker room down on Christmas, but a month later it has announced that the poker room will soon reopen. Interestingly, the decision to rev things back up looks to be because of Betcoin’s bad beat jackpot.

Betcoin is one of the oldest sites to deal exclusively in Bitcoin and other cybercurrencies, having launched in 2014. Its ownership situation has been shrouded in mystery and when it made the announcement that it would be closing the poker room (the other parts of the business have continued to operate, the only reason given was “Betcoin.ag has been acquired.”

We don’t knew who acquired Betcoin and why the decision was made to close the poker room. It looks like player money was safe, so as unfortunate as the closing was, sometimes things happen.

A few days after Christmas, an apology post was published on Betcoin’s poker page.

“First and foremost, we would like to apologize to the great players that have played with Betcoin.ag over the past 4 years,” it started. “We apologize to you, because our research indicates that Betcoin.ag has not taken the very best care of you. We also apologize for not handling the Bad Beat Jackpot matter in the most expeditious and fair manner as possible for all of you great players.”

Betcoin then explained what it planned on doing with the bad beat jackpot money that it had collected without a winner:

Betcoin.ag is now committed to addressing your concerns in the most professional manner and immediately handling player concerns. We are very excited to be improving the overall culture. As our first matter, we believe it is necessary to distribute the Bad Beat Jackpot based on the percentages to players who have contributed to that Jackpot through the years. We will be calculating the totals over the next week to two weeks and expect that all distributions will be posted to player accounts by the second week of January 2018.

Alright, great. Everyone will get the money they contributed back. Seems fair, as the jackpot was never paid out. But last week, Betcoin said, “….it was determined that each contribution cannot be determined with 100% accuracy.”

“Without this 100% transparency and accuracy we believe the redistribution was unacceptable.”

So, what Betcoin has decided to do is reopen the poker room and gradually reduce the requirements for triggering the bad beat jackpot until it is hit. It seems like a strange solution; after all, there was a reason the new owners closed the poker room in the first place and I would be very surprised if that reason had to do with the bad beat jackpot. One would also assume that the poker room will remain open after the jackpot is hit (and the BBJ will be discontinued), so using the BBJ as the reason for the poker room’s revival is just perplexing. Perhaps spending more time figuring out everyone’s contribution would have been a better choice?

Betcoin has said that it will re-open the poker room the week of January 26th. Week naming conventions be damned, seeing as that’s a Friday, I’m guessing that’s the day it will happen.

The post Betcoin to Re-Launch Bitcoin Online Poker Room appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room – The Next Big Florida Poker Destination?

 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room – The Next Big Florida Poker Destination?

Ever since the state legislature removed the limits imposed on its poker rooms, the poker industry in Florida has exploded. Those previous rules limited what stakes could be played for and limited how much could be on the table. In 2009, however, the legislature “uncapped” the poker rooms to allow them to play for pretty much any stakes they wanted. The result was a gold rush to the Sunshine State by poker players of all ilk.

Along with the major tournament circuits like the World Poker Tour (who now conducts their final three events in the state) and the World Series of Poker Circuit, expansion of poker rooms not only in tables but in ACTUAL number of rooms has been the norm. As of 2017, there are 24 poker rooms in the state, some associated with thoroughbred horse racing tracks, some in the Seminole Indian casinos and a couple (like bestbet Jacksonville) that stand alone while offering simulcast wagering on the ponies. In 2016, these rooms generated $ 147 million in revenues (a 231% increase over 2006 revenues); by comparison, the poker rooms in Nevada generated $ 117 million in revenues for the year.

If people are flocking to your business, it is only natural to want to update those surroundings. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa isn’t as acclaimed as its brethren in Hollywood, FL, but it is making a name for itself as a poker destination. First came a massive renovation that saw the poker room move away from the casino floor into a special area of the casino. Those renovations were completed in January and they have made a great difference in the potential future success of the room.

Walking into the room on a Friday night around 7PM, I was expecting about half the 46 tables around the room to be in action. Imagine my surprise when every table – even the two tables in the “High Roller” lounge – was full of action. Sure, there was a tournament going on – a $ 200 buy-in event with a $ 10,000 prize pool guaranteed that eventually fielded around 70 entries – but there was no other explanation for the room to be as packed as it was. Walking to the board to pick a game, I saw why the tables were packed.

The Hard Rock Tampa spreads a list of games, with Texas Hold’em (limit and no limit) as the most prevalent game but Omaha has a strong presence. If there were to be a call for some Stud games, I got the impression that they would spread that, too, IF there were enough people calling for it. There was also a wide array of stakes, from the $ 1/$ 2 for No Limit Hold’em to $ 2/$ 2 Pot Limit Omaha, a $ 2/$ 5 spread game (Hold’em) all the way up to what looked like a $ 30/$ 60 game (this was going on in the separate “High Roller” room). Having a game for everyone’s bankroll is key to bringing in the players, a fact not missed by the Hard Rock Tampa poker room staff.

Everything about the Hard Rock Tampa poker room was top notch. From the chairs at the table (plush and comfortable) to the amenities around the room, you could certainly tell that the Seminole Indian tribe spared no cost in improving its offerings. And it isn’t like they’ve jammed a bunch of tables into a room and put everyone elbow to elbow. The Hard Rock Tampa poker room has a full-service bar, a snack bar (burgers, sandwiches, and other offerings) and 40 HDTVs arranged around the room. Waitress service is quick and there’s even massage service for the players grinding away on the felt.

The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa has hosted some WPT DeepStacks events in the past, but they are deserving of a higher profile tournament schedule. Perhaps a WSOP Circuit roster of tournaments or maybe even a full-fledged WPT Main Tour stop (and where the hell are the smaller tours like the Heartland Poker Tour and the CardPlayer Poker Tour?) would be well-served to come to the poker room for a spell. The Seminole Hard Rock Tampa poker room is a must-play stop for players who come to Florida; with the wide array of games and stakes, the plush surroundings, and its ease of access (Tampa International Airport is nearby), the poker world is really missing something special.

The post Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Room – The Next Big Florida Poker Destination? appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Bovada Re-Opens Online Poker Room

 Bovada Re Opens Online Poker Room

A little more than a year after closing its online poker room, Bovada has decided to re-open it, initially accepting players from nine countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and yes, the United States of America. So is this what making America great again was all about?

Bovada took full advantage of Black Friday, continuing to offer online poker to poker players in the United States after the likes of PokerStars no longer did, becoming, along with sister site Bodog, one of the largest poker networks on the internet and the largest U.S.-facing network.

In August of last year, Bovada surprisingly shut down its poker room, transferring its business and player base over to Ignition Casino. Ignition essentially became Bovada, using the same software, keeping the same players, but using a different name. The sale was a bit of a mystery, though, as almost nothing is publicly known about its owner, Lynton Limited. Ignition continued to serve U.S. customers.

And now Bovada has returned, open for business in the eight Latin American countries listed above plus the U.S. While there has been no indication one way or the other (aside from it not being included in the country list), some think there is a possibility that Bovada may enter the Australian market. Online poker rooms, including partypoker and PokerStars, are fleeing Australia because of new online gambling laws that will take effect in September that make it illegal to operate there without a license. There is no online poker licensing available, so companies are getting out lest they be in violation of the law.

Though Bovada will accept U.S. customers, it will not allow people in New Jersey, Nevada, or Delaware to play on its site, as those are the ones with specific licensing regulations for online poker. It will also stay away from Maryland, likely because much of the legal trouble that the U.S. government has given online poker operators and related companies has stemmed from the state.

Bovada will be on the PaiWangLuo Poker Network along with Ignition and Bodog. PaiWangLuo, a Hong Kong investment group, purchased the Bodog Poker Network in February and renamed it.

The initial reaction many have had to this news is that Bovada must be re-opening its online poker room and accepting customers in the U.S. because Bodog founder Calvin Ayre is out of hot water with the U.S. Department of Justice. But that’s probably not the case, as Bovada’s sports book and online casino have still been up and running since the poker room closed.

The company probably just decided that it wasn’t a fantastic decision to transfer its players to Ignition (or maybe it was – maybe Ignition paid Bovada a lot of money) and now wants to start the room up again to increase brand awareness and get sports bettors to spend some of their winnings at the tables.

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Patrik Antonius Wants to Open Poker Room in Monaco

 Patrik Antonius Wants to Open Poker Room in Monaco

Patrik Antonius was one of the kings of poker before Black Friday. He was a successful player before poker exploded, but it was the poker boom that really helped him rise to fame, as it did with many poker players. One of the most prolific online players of all time, his success at nose bleed stakes plus stunning good looks (and I mean that when judging on a regular attractiveness scale, not just a poker player attractiveness scale) propelled him to superstar status.

His former online poker home, Full Tilt, gone and online games tougher than ever, Patrik Antonius isn’t as active in poker as he used to be, but he is still playing and having a good time. Now living in Monaco, he is currently competing in the PokerStars Championship sponsored by Monte-Carlo Casino. It is there that PokerNews found him and asked him how things were going.

“I’ve been very good,” Antonius told PokerNews. “I’m very happy with my life situation, I can’t complain. You know, I haven’t been traveling for the events. Life changes a little bit and my lifestyle has changed as well.”

“I’ve been here in Monaco with my family, my kids are growing and I don’t really want to be months and months away from home anymore,” he added. “I wished we would have more, bigger and regular games in Europe.”

Hey, makes sense. While there are certainly places to play poker in Europe, Antonius prefers cash games and the best ones are in Las Vegas and Macau, neither of which is ever arguably convenient to Monaco. And while there are a bunch of major tourneys every year in Europe, the United States is still where it’s at.

“I can’t say that I’m a very experienced tournament player anymore,” Antonius told PokerNews. “I was playing a lot of tournaments in 2005 and 2006, but for the last eight years or so, I’ve played fewer than 10 tournaments a year.”

So, since finding a good game locally is a problem and Antonius isn’t very keen on traveling to hell and gone for one, he is doing something about it. Antonius is working on creating his own land-based poker room right there in Monaco.

“I can’t share any details yet but if we could get a nice poker room in Europe, that would be good for a lot of people,” he said.

Oh, but he did share some details. Antonius believes that Monaco could support a poker room because he knows of enough poker players who are interested in playing “decently high stakes” cash games and who would also be happy to make a short trip to Monaco, rather than, say, Las Vegas or Macau.

“People would fly here from all over the world. It would be very easy to organize good games here. We just have to get proper rake so it’s reasonable.”

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