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Poker News | The Inside Shuffle

The Inside Shuffle – Kurt Jewell WSOP-C Event, NV Online Poker – NO Credit, Drew Mcilvain Cheating Scandal, and More…

Kurt Jewell
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The World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event not only saw the winner Kurt Jewell put on his champion ring, but also encountered a cheating scandal. The winner of the Event #3 $555 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event which took place at Harrah’s Tunica less than a week ago, Drew Mcilvain was disqualified from the Main Event and had to leave the casino. Mcilvain then defended his honor on TwoPlusTwo saying that he had no intention of cheating and that he didn't even know the guy with whom he had been accused of cheating with. In other news is Nevada and the state's online poker regulations not allowing players to play for credit. PokerStars introduced its 100% European site allowing EU users to play tax-free online poker. Find all this and more in The Inside Shuffle.

Nevada Online Poker Regulation Forbids Player Credits

With the state of Nevada getting ready to legalize online poker, the question of whether or not online players should be allowed to play for credit was raised. Although the common brick and mortar casino practice is to allow their customers to sign markers, the current Nevada online poker regulations say this cannot be done when playing online. Gaming Control Board member A.G. Burnett explains that such prohibition was not intended because of some past incidents or losses, but rather because of the conservative approach towards the issue.

“We were taking a conservative approach on the issue, and assuming we start going forward with intrastate and someday maybe interstate, I think we always reserve the right to amend the regulations,” Burnett said.

Dr. David Schwartz
, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas agreed on the restriction for online players to borrow money from poker sites saying that the decision can always be revised, should there be a demand from players or the providers. “You want to let [the industry] evolve,” he said. “There’s already a lot of moving parts here, so eliminating the extra level of doing credit is probably a good thing for the start-up.”

Read more on Card

Cheating Scandal at WSOP-C

On Monday, February 13th, the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event crowned its new champion Kurt Jewell rewarding him with the champion's ring and the cash prize of almost $200,000. However, this wasn't the only reason why the event had drawn the poker media's attention. On Day 1 of the Main Event reported that Drew Mcilvain was sent out of the casino for cheating.

According to PokerNews live reporting team member Chad Holloway, Mcilvain had a conversation with a player sitting next to him at the table at some point in the game and then a couple of hands later the two left the rest of the table in shock. Mcilvain moved all-in from the Big Blind with a pair of eights and his neighbor called holding K-4. The board ran out empty and the loosing player rapidly left the table. The tournament officials performed a short investigation of the situation and at the end of the day Mcilvain was disqualified and all of his chips were taken out of play.

A while later Mcilvain posted his side of the story on TwoPlusTwo saying that he made no agreement with the guy sitting next to him, although he admitted there's been an odd conversation between them.

“He comes and taps me on the shoulder, and says I quote: "Next time I'm in the small blind I'm going to go all in, you call when your in the big blind." Im thinking to myself, WTF?! why would he want to give me his chips?, So then he says,"It doesn't make since for me to get a room for another night with such a short stack. I want you to have them,” Mcilvain explained.

Read the full story on PokerNews' “Five Thoughts: Online Poker's Riding Back into Town”.

Kurt Jewell Wins WSOP-C Harrah's Tunica

So you already know that Kurt Jewell became the Main Event champion at the World series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Harrah's Tunica and received the ring along with the $192,984 cash prize, but what you don't know is the full story, so here goes. The event took off with 647 players at the tables and after three days it all came down to the last nine. Chris Thompson in seat 9 was the chip leader at the time with 3.4 million in chips and in second place was Jacob Bazeley with 2.2 million. The soon-to-be champion Jewell had almost 1.3 million and was fourth at the line.

Thompson managed to stay on top through most of the final table until he was left with only one opponent to beat – Jewell. By the time the game hit heads-up Jewell was already in the lead with 7.2 million against Thompson's 5.6 million. They switched the lead back and forth for a while and eventually it all came down to one last hand. Jewell went all-in with {q-Spades}{j-Spades} after Thompson raised pre-flop holding {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. Thompson paused for a while and finally decided to make the call. {k-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{j-Hearts} on the flop gave Jewell a pair, but a {10-Diamonds} put Thompson in the lead with a set. However, it also gave Jewell a straight draw which was completed by the {9-Hearts} on the river. Jewell finished in first place and received a cash prize of almost $200K while Thompson's second place effort granted him $120K.

These are the final standings:

PlacePlayer Prize
1stKurt Jewell$192,984 
2ndChris Thompson$119,415 
3rdDan Blakeman$87,586 
4thJacob Bazeley$65,134 
5thDustin Gardner$49,093 
6thSteve McClusky$37,495 
7thMichael “Great MJ” Cooper$29,013 
8thTodd Chew$22,744 
9thRay Weaver$18,056 

PokerStars Launches

On Monday PokerStars announced it has launched a new online poker site for European users. will allow its players to access all of the same PokerStars games, tournaments, and the same software as the .com site as well as their already existing accounts – with the advantage of not having to pay taxes on their online winnings. PokerStars was able to do this due to their recently acquired online gambling license in Malta.

A member state of the European Union, Malta does not tax gambling winnings and therefore players from other European countries will be able to enjoy tax-free gaming on The new site has been launched first in Sweden and Finland and will continue to spread into other European markets in the near future.

“Some markets treat European Union-licensed operators differently than other license-holders,” said PokerStars Head of Business Development Guy Templer. “Offering our online poker on with a Maltese license provides benefits to players in Sweden and Finland in particular and we are always striving to offer the best product possible to our players, wherever they are located.”

Read PokerStars Goes European for more.

WPT CEO Steve Heller Talks about the Tour and the Future of Online Poker

PokerNews' interview series “The Insiders” recently talked to the World Poker Tour CEO Steve Heller on his thoughts about online poker legalization in the United States, the WPT's online poker site and its future, and the tour's expansion to Europe in season X. Heller said he is satisfied with the way the World Poker Tour's been developing in its 10 years of existence and is positive about the future.

“We see the WPT's role in the industry as very much of an ambassador to bring poker to people's lives. So we're going to continue to look for ways to expand geographically. We'll look for ways to expand poker to make it of greater interest to those who have been historically engaged in poker,” said Heller in the interview.

He also remained optimistic about the current ClubWPT online poker site's subscription format. Heller said that even if real money online poker is legalized in the United States, the WPT has no plan on changing the site's current format, and the only thing that might change under those circumstances is that the site would offer complementary real money gaming but not as the main feature.

“If there are other forms of poker that are legalized and of interest to the poker playing community, then of course we would look to offer that service using the WPT brand and applying the WPT assets. I'd say it would add to [the subscription site] rather than replace it,” he said.

Read the full interview on PokerNews.

The PPA Happy With the Indian Affairs Committee Hearing Results

According to the members of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) who attended last week's Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Internet gaming, it brought good news to the United States poker community. PPA Board Member and Litigation Support Network Director Patrick “Skallagrim” Fleming testified before the committee in online poker's favor with his arguments receiving positive feedback from the rest of those attending.

The PPA also gave merit to all those who take part in the Alliance’s social media campaigns helping lawmakers hear poker players' voices. The hearing only proved the benefits of such actions, as according to the PPA's official statement, “It was apparent throughout the hearing that they were well aware of the growing support for online poker across the nation.”

Read the PPA's newsletter for more.

Laak & Esfandiari Open Kicks off March 1st

Two buddies and pro poker players - Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari - joined forces to host the Playground Poker Club's Laak & Esfandiari Open. The event will run from March 1st to 4th featuring a number of tournaments including the battle between Team Laak and Team Esfandiari. The Laak & Esfandiari Open will take place at the top notch Canadian poker room, Playground Poker Club in Montreal and all poker heads are invited to play.

The Open will start with a $2,200 heads-up tournament in a best-of-three format capped at 32 players. Another event, the $550 Deepstack will be divided into two days with players from Day 1 representing Team Laak and those from Day 2 playing for Team Esfandiari. The winner of the team challenge will be determined at the end of the tournament – depending on which day the eventual champion advanced from, the losing team will be responsible for knowing their team leader is going to be humiliated in public.

Find out more about the Laak & Esfandiari Open by visiting Playground Poker.

Valentine's Day Poker Love Stories

Do you know that feeling when you're grinding at the online tables on Valentine's Day, thinking what it would be like to spend just this one day of the year away from your computer with the person you really love? But wait...then you remember you're are alone!

Even if you're not familiar with the feeling, think how much better your life would be if you had someone to love – just take a quick glance at the people at your table. Rumor has it that some people find the love of their lives there, could that be you? Just think about it, falling in love with another poker fan – how awesome would that be! Who would get the case $100 if you became a couple?

PokerStars Women says it's not just a dream and that these things really happen. PokerStars asked their players to send their online poker love stories for Valentine's Day and received a lot of responses. People were telling their 'feel good' stories of how they got involved in PokerStars chat with someone and then ended up marrying that person and how their passion for poker made them find each other and fall in love.

PokerStars Women posted many poker love stories on the PokerStars Blog.

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