Who are you gonna vote for in the 2012 Presidential Election? If you're an online poker player, Mitt Romney is not the right choice. The Republican candidate has made his views towards online poker legalization very clear in a recent interview and they're not in poker's favor. On the other hand, not all Republican candidates feel the same way – Ron Paul was always known as an online poker supporter with a libertarian approach towards online gaming and the internet in general, for that matter. Behnam Dayanim, Groupe Bernard Tapie's attorney made an announcement last week saying that Full Tilt's financial problems are very much caused by the site's former Team Pro members, some of the most prominent poker players in the world. Daniel Negreanu's PokerStars account's been hacked resulting in the loss of $61,000 from Kid Poker's stash. Read the rest of The Inside Shuffle for more!
Mitt Romney Opposes Online Poker
Before Saturday's presidential caucus in Nevada, leading Republican candidate Mitt Romney talked to the local press including 8 News Now and the Las Vegas Sun about many issues and his point of view on how the US government should solve its problems. The issue that millions of poker players all around the country are concerned about the most is, of course, the legalization of online poker. Unfortunately, Romney's opinion on online gaming is not the one the poker community should be happy about.
“No, I’m not (a supporter). Gaming has a social effect on a lot of people. I don’t want to increase access to gaming and feel that we have plenty of access to gaming right now through the various casinos and establishments that exist. In some states, there are lotteries that are used to fund their schools and budgets and so forth, and I don’t think online gambl … gaming would encourage or improve that setting,” said Romney in “Face to Face with Jon Ralston.”
However, the other Republican candidate Congressman Ron Paul took a completely different position regarding the online poker matter. Paul, who has been always supporting online gaming and internet freedom says it's people's choice whether to engage in online gaming and that the government should not intervene in their citizens' affairs.
“I think people should have legalized freedom. I think people should be free and make their own decisions and there should be no regulation of the Internet. Right now, we are winning our fight against the effort to regulate the Internet with the Stop Online Piracy Act; we won that one. That’s been removed, although they’re still trying to get around that thing. So people should have a right to their freedom. I don’t know why people should be so frightened about that,” said Paul in a interview with Las Vegas Sun.
Unfortunately, Paul's prospects on winning in Nevada are much worse than his opponent's with Romney currently leading the polls with 44.5 percent.
For more insights on Paul and Romney read Jennifer Newell's blog on Epic Poker.
Hacker Exploits Negreanu's PokerStars Account
On Saturday, February 4th, Daniel Negreanu published a post on his website Full Contact Poker called “Covering Lots of Things.” Among many things, including his recent poker losses and achievements, personal life issues, and his role as a poker ambassador, Negreanu also talked in detail about his PokerStars’ account being hacked.
Long story short, some guy hacked Daniel Negreanu's email and then gained access to his PokerStars account. The hacker ended up giving away Negreanu's $61,000 in various games just for fun. Apparently the hacker didn't steal any of Negreanu's cash, didn't try to transfer the funds to another account and then cash out, and he didn't even lose it to some particular player or a group of players at the tables. According to Negreanu, it seems that the person just enjoyed wasting his cash and then logged off when he got bored, or for some other reason.
Eventually Kid Poker got back into his PokerStars’ account with $61,000 gone, never to be returned. However, Negreanu still found comfort in the situation as the damage done by the hacker was nothing compared to his recent losses at the tables. “Since I'd essentially lost a million a few days earlier, the $61,000 didn't really sting all that much. I was just happy to recover my email account from the hacker.”
Read the full post on Full Contact Poker.
Negreanu Claims to have been misquoted on PokerPlayer Magazine
Another topic that Daniel Negreanu covered in his latest post on Full Contact Poker was the interview he gave to PokerPlayer Magazine UK. The article by Alun Bowden called “What’s Wrong With You?” caused quite a fuss on the internet and especially on the TwoPlusTwo Forums. When talking to Bowden, Negreanu made a few strong statements about the young poker players and the current poker situation in general which launched online debates among poker fans discussing whether Negreanu was right saying the things he said.
Negreanu and Bowden have joined the TwoPlusTwo thread on the interview issue themselves in order to clear things up. Negreanu claims he's been misquoted and that some things were not presented the way he meant them.
“The cover was a picture of me and it said, “How I conquered Online Poker.” I never said that and certainly don't believe it to be accurate. There were two other phrases I didn't like. The Title being “What's Wrong with You?” and then “Daniel Negreanu is asking what the hell is wrong with players today?” That seems rather combative and isn't accurate. I was referring mainly to the state of televised poker in the US at the moment, and how the lack of online poker funding for shows, coupled with a limited crop of younger players who combine a high skill set and a big personality, makes it a tough sell in the US at the moment and we are seeing a lull in coverage,” Negreanu commented in his blog.
However, Kid Poker admitted that the parts about Full Tilt Poker and the people running the site, Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson were true and continued on the subject by further expressing his opinion. “Ray is a buffoon, Howard is arrogant, condescending, and incompetent, and Chris is a liar and has the warmth of a snow pea.”
Read Negreanu's blog on Full Contact Poker.
Poker Pros Owe Full Tilt Millions
Last week Group Bernard Tapie's (GBT) attorney Behnam Dayanim announced that one of the reasons why the deal between the investment group and Full Tilt Poker is being held up is the debt by a number of the site's former poker pros and other poker players to FTP. According to Dayanim, after performing a detailed analysis of Full Tilt's financial situation, GBT found out that an estimated amount of $10 to $20 million is owed by a number of poker players associated with the site.
Among those in Full Tilt's debt are Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow, Layne Flack, and Barry Greenstein. “The diligence has revealed that the financial position is worse than we had anticipated. We do not want to litigate a whole bunch of individual cases against professionals post-acquisition so we are trying to negotiate but we have not been making a lot of progress,” said Dayanim in an interview with Gaming Intelligence.
Read Benyamine, Ivey, Other Pros Owe Millions to Full Tilt Poker for more.
Barry Greenstein Admits He is in Full Tilt's Debt
One of the players mentioned by Group Bernard Tapie's (GBT) attorney Behnam Dayanim in the list of players who owe Full Tilt Poker millions of dollars, Team PokerStars player Barry Greenstein gave an exclusive interview to PokerNews.com and commented on the situation. According to Greenstein, he borrowed $400,000 from Full Tilt Poker, but was never asked to return the money so he just paid other creditors instead. Greenstein said he had a debt of around $3 million at that time including various casinos so since Full Tilt was not eager to get their money back, he chose to fund those who were.
Another big question was how did PokerStars react to their pro playing on Full Tilt and owing the site money. “They're aware that there was an issue here. Obviously they're not happy that I owe money to Full Tilt, but I think they understand the position — that it's a bigger, poker community type of issue of when and how the money is going to get paid back to the players,” Greenstein said.
Zynga Launches Online Bingo
One of the leading online gaming providers, Zynga has recently launched a new online bingo game. Like other Zynga games, Zynga Bingo is available on Facebook and is expected to become one of the most popular social gaming applications in the near future. With millions of Zynga Texas Hold'em and other app users, the company will be able to market the new product to a huge audience of potential new users which should trigger the expected growth in player numbers.
The new Zynga Bingo app includes all the social gaming features that can be found in other Zynga games – Facebook chat with friends as well as other bingo players, the ability to use Zynga's virtual currency to buy bingo money, unlock new game levels, and purchase items.
Fertitta Interactive Seeks Nevada Online Poker License
Fertitta Interactive LLC joined the long list of entities seeking an online poker license in the state of Nevada. The company, which operates UFC and Station Casinos in Las Vegas, has made a big step toward enhancing their poker section by purchasing CyberArts Licensing LLC last year. “In CyberArts, we found a leader in the development and design of online gaming software with an exemplary track record of regulatory compliance,” said Lorenzo Fertitta, founder of Fertitta Interactive.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has already received Fertitta Interactive LLC's online poker application which complemented the line of online poker applications from many leading poker sites and companies including Cantor Gaming, International Game Technology, 888 Holdings, South Point and Ball Technologies Inc.
Find out more here: Nevada Online Gaming License Sought by Fertitta Interactive.
“Subject: Poker” Closed
Subject: Poker, a poker news website that started just after the events of Black Friday, announced it has closed the doors. According to one of the site owners and contributors, Noah Stephens-Davidowitz, he and Thomas Bakker have decided to start their own poker security consulting company and therefore he could no longer guarantee his independence as Subject: Poker‘s editor-in-chief. He also stated that it would be inappropriate for him to continue running the site and so he decided to stop the project.
Subject: Poker made a name for itself by providing in-depth news and investigations of online poker sites and their internal affairs following April 15th, 2011. Subject: Poker was the first to announce Full Tilt Poker's deal with Group Bernard Tapie; they also published the story correcting the AGCC’s false numbers. Last week Subject: Poker hit the headlines after publishing the news about Chris Ferguson’s secret bank accounts.
One of the people at Subject: Poker has, however, decided to continue his poker investigations. Diamond Flush started his own poker news website named Diamond Flush Poker, which should follow in the footsteps of Subject: Poker.