Kick back, put your feet up, grab your favorite beverage, and relax for a few while you catch up with the latest happenings of poker tournaments, Black Friday news, and read PokerWorks’ Editor Linda Geenen as she shares a view on gambling addictions.
New Jersey Sports Betting Bill Signed by Christie
On Tuesday, January 17th, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that had already passed both houses of the state legislature. The bill legalizes sports betting in the state and must wait for a federal ban to be overturned for it to be in force. Federal Law makes it illegal to bet on sports in all states except four.
"This is the beginning of the end for the unfair, discriminatory and unwise federal ban on sports betting," said Sen. Raymond Lesniak, an Elizabeth Democrat who has been the measure's most vocal proponent. "It has failed to curb the public's desire to bet on sporting events. Indeed, betting on sports has increased exponentially since the ban passed Congress."
New Jersey voters want sports wagering. The next step is a court fight to overturn the federal law. Read the full story here.
Are You Addicted?
Is poker gambling? Are people playing poker in the same risk of loosing their money as those betting on roulette? People have been arguing in this matter for many years, although the final consensus hasn't been reached yet. In fact, the perception of whether or not poker is gambling has caused a lot of issues including the events of April 15th, 2011 also known as the Black Friday.
People who know how to play poker, study strategy, know when it's time to raise, and when to fold, and work at improving their knowledge and skill know that poker is all one long game. Some people just put their money in and hope for good cards to come their way, or in other words – they gamble. If you're one of them, read the latest PokerWorks’ article on gambling addictions.
Online Poker Payment Processor Pleads Guilty
And speaking of Black Friday – one of the 11 people indicted by the US Department of Justice on April 15th, Ira Rubin, has pled guilty to conspiracy. Rubin was accused of “'tricking' banks by disguising payments as transactions with phony internet merchants in his dealings with the three major online poker sites.”
If Rubin had not acknowledged his crimes, he might have been facing a 55 year sentence. However, due to his cooperation with the court Rubin now faces only 18 to 24 months in prison. Find the full story here: Ira Rubin Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy.
Campos Leaves PokerStars
Since Black Friday the PokerStars managerial staff has undergone some big changes; one of those changes is parting ways with a number of executives. However, the most recent change appears to be the biggest one so far – Gabi Campos, the CEO of PokerStars has left the company. The news was confirmed on Monday, January 16th in an official statement issued by the PokerStars officials.
In the statement PokerStars announced the fact that Campos has actually decided to leave the company “to pursue other opportunities.” The statement also informed that “a search for Gabi’s replacement is under way.”
Campos joined PokerStars in July 2010 after three years of service at 888 Poker in the gaming technology, marketing, and ePayments sub-division, Dragonfish. Read more about it and the full PokerStars statement in PokerStars Part Ways with CEO Gabi Campos.
Duhamel Owns PCA
Campos' resignation from PokerStars was big news at the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but one man sent his name around the poker world with the feats he accomplished. The 2010 WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel proved that the big title was no accident and that he is indeed right at the top of the class in Poker Playing 101.
PokerNews' Rich Ryan took a closer look at Duhamel's run in the PCA which came just after the whole home invasion and robbery stress that Jonathan was under. And it seemed like bad luck was going to follow Duhamel at the PCA as well when he hit the rail in the $100,000 Super High Roller. However, this didn't bring him down – Duhamel re-entered the tournament and went all the way to the final table where he was busted by the future winner Viktor Blom. Still, the fourth place finish brought Duhamel more than $300,000 which covered the buy-ins and even gave him a profit.
He then went out early from the Main Event only to enter a $ 5,000 No Limit Hold'em - 8 Max side event which he eventually won taking home another $240,00. Still, this was not the last of Duhamel in 2012 PCA. He entered the $25,000 High-Roller event and went all the way through and finished in the #2 spot for $630,000.
Over the two PCA weeks Duhamel made a total of $1.2 million in four tournaments. And although they say that money doesn't buy you happiness, it might at least buy Duhamel some comfort for his holiday experiences.
Kathy Saraf Wins PCA Ladies Event
Apart from the big High Rollers and the Main Event, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure also hosted the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Ladies Event. Kathy Saraf bested a field of 75 players that entered the tournament in hopes of making it to the top, but only one of them did – Kathy Saraf. It was her first major tournament win in four years of PCA experience.
However, this wasn't Saraf's biggest payout in a live poker tournament. Last year she collected over $37,000 at the LA Poker Classic. In 2011 Saraf also played the PCA PokerStars Women Live event and was just one step short of the title as she finished in second place.
The final standings for PCA PokerStars Women Live:
Sen. Jeff Danielson to Draft Online Poker Bill in Iowa
The recent US Department of Justice ruling that the Wire act of 1961 only applies to online sports betting keeps pushing lawmakers in different states towards online gaming legalization. The latest news comes from Iowa where the local Senator Jeff Danielson announced plans of introducing multistate legislation that would allow small states that don't have liquidity to link together to operate in one platform.
“We believe that because of the Department of Justice ruling, we can now have a multi-state compact,” Danielson said. The online poker model could run the same way as the multistate lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions. According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's calculations online poker could generate from $3 million to $13 million in tax revenue for the state annually.
Read PokerNews.com for more.
Companies Behind Ultimate Bet Face Pro Player Lawsuit
A number of former Ultimate Bet online poker high-stakes players filed a complaint against two entities – the 6356095 Canada, Inc. (formerly Excapsa Software, Inc. or 'Excapsa') and John Does 1-10 who developed software for and operated UltimateBet. Eight plaintiffs among whom are Brad Booth, Dustin Woolf, Tom Koral, and Daniel Smith claim that the Ultimate Bet employees who were playing under a number of different usernames used their ability to access other players' hole cards which resulted in plaintiffs loosing at least $2 million.
The lead plaintiff in the case Daniel Ashman claims that the cheating scandal has “been the subject of intense public interest and scrutiny.” The complaint is nothing new in Ultimate Bet world as the players have been constantly accusing the site of cheating all along until the actions taken by the US Department of Justice on April 15th, 2011, stopped operation.
Get the full story here: RICO Complaint against Excapsa Software Filed by Poker Pros.