Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Time Running Out, Pennsylvania Doesn’t Tip Its Hand Regarding Online Gaming or Poker

 Time Running Out, Pennsylvania Doesn’t Tip Its Hand Regarding Online Gaming or Poker

With the time running out on its legislative session, the Pennsylvania state legislature has yet to act on funding their Fiscal Year 2017 budget, leaving in limbo the future of online gaming and/or poker in the state in limbo. As of yet, however, the members of the legislature haven’t exactly tipped their hands as to what will happen in the next few weeks.

If you’ll recall, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a $ 31.8 million budget in June, but didn’t include a way to pay for the said budget. The budget, which sat on Governor Tom Wolf’s desk for the maximum time allowed under Pennsylvania law, was missing one key component, however:  how to go about paying for everything. The discussion for that issue was tabled until the fall session of the General Assembly, which is coming up in the next few weeks.

According to the legislative calendar for the Keystone State, there are exactly three more sessions where legislative duties will be completed. Those are the following time frames:

September 26-28
October 17-19
October 24-26

At some point during the three sessions, the discussion for how the state will pay for the current Fiscal Year’s budget will come up, at which point the discussion of whether online gaming and poker – which was left in the last budget discussions before now – will have its greatest chances of being passed.

There are several options that face legislators regarding the proposed online gaming and poker regulation. They could pass the current spending package “as is,” which would automatically push through the bill and make Pennsylvania the fourth state to regulate online gaming and poker. There is some discussion, however, that some members of the Senate are not pleased with some of the caveats of the online gaming bill – which has in the past included discussion of slot machines in airports and video gaming – which could force renegotiation of the gaming bill.

Then there is the other potential facing the legislature. Pennsylvania legislators have already added to taxes on alcohol and have also started a tax on online spending, such as for Netflix, music downloads or books. But those taxes alone will not get the state to entirely fund their $ 31 billion budget. There are other methods that might get passed instead of online gaming, methods that, even in an unfriendly tax increase environment (as which exists in the General Assembly, a Republican-dominated body), may be considered before increasing the amount of gambling in the state.

The state could increase the sales tax by as little as a half a percent (from 6% to 6.5%) and find every bit of the money that is necessary for funding the shortfall that currently exists in the budget discussions, which is slightly more than $ 300 million. The state could also cut the budget (even though it has been signed into law by Wolf) or decide not to fund certain segments of the government as “non-essential” entities. There is also very little discussion as to who the supporters of online gaming and poker are in the State Senate.

On Tuesday, the state’s citizens (and those in the industry) will get some clue with a hearing being held by the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee and its chairman, Representative John Payne. Payne was integral to getting the House to pass online gaming regulations before the “summer break” and it is thought that the hearing will help the Senate be able to pass regulation. The hearing will focus on what has occurred in other states that have passed online gaming regulations and fantasy sports regulation and how it could be beneficial to the state of Pennsylvania. That hearing, which will start at 9AM on September 27, will be key to seeing what the current temperature is of online gaming and poker regulation for the state.

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888Poker Running Promos in Conjunction with BLAST Poker Launch

 888Poker Running Promos in Conjunction with BLAST Poker Launch

With the launch of BLAST Poker this week, 888Poker has also initiated some promotions to go along with its new Lottery Sit & Go variant. Through September 19th, 888Poker is running daily freeroll tournaments to celebrate BLAST, giving players a chance to win cash prizes and BLAST Poker tickets.

There are two types of daily freerolls during the promotional period:

$ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament – twice daily at 13:05 and 23:05 GMT – awards cash prizes
$ 5,000 Blast Off Tournament – once daily at 18:05 GM – awards BLAST tournament tickets

Every 888Poker players has been automatically given four free tickets for those tournaments (it is not exactly clear if it is two tickets for each type of freeroll or if all four tickets can be used in either), but players can win additional tickets. Any player who has made a real money deposit is eligible to complete 888Poker Club challenges; complete a challenge and win a $ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament ticket. Anyone who wins a BLAST Poker Sit & Go will receive a $ 5,000 Blast Off Tournament ticket.

With the latter, it sounds like someone could end up in an endless cycle of BLAST ticket winning. Picture this scenario: win a BLAST Poker game for a Blast Off Tourney ticket, do well enough in the Blast Off Tourney to win a BLAST Poker ticket, use that ticket to win a BLAST Poker Sit & Go which awards another Blast Off Tourney ticket, and so and so forth until the Earth is swallowed up by the sun.

There are also weekly $ 10,000 Lightning Bolt tournaments. Players can gain entry into these through a daily Lightning Spin. Said Lightning Spin gives players a chance to win any one of the following:

• $ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament ticket
• $ 5,000 Blast off Tournament ticket
• $ 10,000 Lightning Bolt Tournament ticket
• $ 1 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 5 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 0.10 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 3 Sports Free Bets
• $ 5 Casino FreePlay

As the handful of you who read my article yesterday may remember, BLAST Poker is 888Poker’s new Lottery Sit & Go. BLAST Poker games are four-handed, rather than the usual three-handed Lottery Sit & Go’s that most poker room’s offer, but the main difference between these games and others is that BLAST Poker games actually have a time limit. After a pre-determined amount of time, if the game has not ended, all remaining players will be put all-in pre-flop until there is a winner.

The time limit is determine by the value of the prize pool multiplier – the smaller the multiplier, the shorter the game. The blind levels are two minutes each and here is what the time limits will look like:

2x and 5x multipliers: three blind levels or six minutes max
10x multiplier: four blind levels or eight minutes max
100x multiplier: five blind levels or ten minutes max
1,000x and 10,000x multipliers: six blind levels or twelve minutes max

The conclusion with BLAST Poker is then, obviously, “2x multipliers? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Running EPT Barcelona Spin & Go Promo

 PokerStars Running EPT Barcelona Spin & Go Promo

Now that the World Series of Poker-proper is over and we’re just waiting for All Hallows’ Eve Eve and the start of the Main Event final table, other poker festivals can now start to try to turn the attention of poker players and fans back to them. As such, PokerStars is running a special Spin & Go promotion to give players a chance to win seats in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event.

From July 18th through July 31st, and its family of sites that share liquidity will host special €10 buy-in Spin & Go’s whose grand prize is a €9,000 prize package for the EPT Barcelona Main Event. That package includes the €5,300 tournament buy-in plus €3,700 for travel and expenses (the latter amount will actually be credited in U.S. dollars). PokerStars will not be making travel and accommodations arrangements for the winners; players must do that themselves.

The number of prize levels has been reduced for the EPT Barcelona Spin & Go’s. Rather than eight prize tiers, as the regular Spin & Go’s have, the EPT version has just four tiers. Here is the breakdown, listing the prize pool multiplier, first prize, and the frequency of that multiplier hitting:

900x – €9,000 EPT Barcelona Package – 25 in 100,000
6x – €60 – 2,500 in 100,000
4x – €40 – 24,775 in 100,000
2x – €20 – 72,700 in 100,000

Though the chances of hitting the EPT Barcelona package are very low, they are actually not too bad when compared to regular Spin & Go’s. There is no 900x multiplier normally – there is a huge gap between the 12,000x multiplier jackpot and the 240x jackpot – but the 900x multiplier still compares quite favorably. For example, in a regular Spin & Go, the 240x multiplier has a 50 in 1,000,000 chance of coming up, much worse odds than the 25 in 100,000 that we see on the EPT Barcelona chart. And the 900x multiplier obviously provides a better return than does the 240x multiplier. Heck, the chances of hitting the EPT Barcelona jackpot are still better than spinning the 120x multiplier normally.

Naturally, there are also differences in the probabilities when it comes to the 2x, 4x, and 6x multipliers, but people playing the EPT Barcelona Spin & Go’s likely don’t really care about those. The goal here is to the win the EPT prize package.

EPT Barcelona will be held at the Casino Barcelona in Spain from August 16th through August 28th, 2016. The first day is strictly for satellites, while the “real” tournaments begin on August 17th. Not counting satellites, there are close to 50 events at EPT Barcelona, highlighted by the €5,300 Main Event, which will run August 22nd through August 28th with two starting flights.

Poker News Daily