Starting the final week of winter 2012, once again it is news from the Full Tilt front line and again it's not good. Matt Glantz had some private conversations with FT bosses and found out that the deal between the site, U.S. Department of Justice and Group Bernard Tapie is most likely nothing but a hoax and that the investment group has no real intention of buying Full Tilt. Better news came from the state of Mississippi which recently introduced the online poker bill which should allow state residents to play online poker as well as engage in other internet gaming activities. Vanessa Selbst has won yet another tournament, this time at the L.A. Poker Classic last week beating Jonathan Duhamel heads-up, while the very next day Phil Ivey made his come back to the U.S. tournament circuit by entering the Main Event.
Matt Glantz Says Full Tilt is over
A poker player, blogger, and industry insider, Matt Glantz published a blog post last week revealing some of his thoughts about the current Full Tilt situation. However, this wasn't just another hate post addressed to Full Tilt shareholders blaming them for the lack of communication and for driving the site to bankruptcy. Glantz took the effort to talk to a couple of Full Tilt owners about what's going on with the site at the moment and where the pending deal with Group Bernard Tapie is going. Although he could not lay down all the cards or mention the names of the people he talked to or say who said what exactly, Glantz made the picture pretty clear – Full Tilt Poker is going down. However, Glantz insists that this should only be perceived as his personal opinion on the matter based on what he has heard and seen.
The most important news brought by Glantz is that the deal between FTP and Tapie has very little chance of happening: “Unfortunately I feel based on their recent actions, I believe it is inevitable that Tapie will be backing out,” said Glantz in his blog. “It looks to me that for whatever reasons they have no real interest in acquiring FTP. The reasons why they are hanging around giving the illusion that they are still interested are unclear. One can assume that Tapie has some ulterior motives for staying involved and they are just using the vulnerability of FTP to serve other purposes.”
For more of Glatz's thoughts on Full Tilt, read his blog.
Mississippi Introduces Online Gaming Bill
The online gaming legalization virus is spreading across the country with more and more states introducing new legislation or at least considering doing so. The latest news comes from Mississippi where last Wednesday, February 22nd, Rep. Bobby Moak filed Mississippi House Bill 1373 also known as the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012. The bill is set to legalize and regulate all kinds of online gambling, including online poker, and has already been approved by the Mississippi Gambling Commission (MGC). The new legislation claims that it has supremacy over the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) and follows the recent ruling of the United States Department of Justice which states that the Wire Act only applies to online betting.
The Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act will allow all state residents over 21 to engage in online gaming provided that they sign the Internet Wagering Account Agreement and a “penalty of perjury” statement, provide two forms of ID to prove their age, as well as their residential and email addresses. However, before any of Mississippians are able to play poker and other casino games online, the gaming providers should first acquire their licenses issued by the MGC. The Mississippi government expects the license fees to be one of the main sources of income caused by the new legislation as each entity that wishes to operate an online gambling business will need to pay a minimum of $200,000 for the permit.
Read the full story on LegalPokerSites.com.
Duhamel and Selbst Score Big at the L.A. Poker Classic
The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel continues to thrive in 2012. Last Friday, February 24th, he finished second at the prestigious L.A. Poker Classic $5,100 No-Limit Hold'em event surrendering only to his fellow Team PokerStars Pro member Vanessa Selbst. Back-to-back NAPT Mohegan Sun winner, Selbst is also running wild as she just recently scored a $338,351 third-place finish at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,000 Championship Event.
The two big shots were not the only stars at the final table as they were joined by the 2010 WPT Player of the Year Faraz Jaka. However, Jaka left the party in fifth place collecting a cash prize of $33,270. The heads-up match wasn't unexpected as both Selbst and Duhamel started the final table leading the chip counts and continued to dictate their rules throughout the game. When it all came down to just the two of them, Duhamel and Selbst agreed to split the prize pool with $130,295 going to Selbst's pocket and Duhamel receiving $121,115. However, there was still $10,000 left at the table which eventually went to Selbst's account therefore increasing her first place prize.
These are the final L.A. Poker Classic $5,100 No-Limit Hold'em standings and payouts:
*Denotes a deal.
Visit PokerNews.com for more.
Ivey Comes Back to US Tournament Circuit
And talking about the L.A. Poker Classic, just one day after Selbst's win, the Main Event kicked off and Phil Ivey appeared among the 523 players. This was Ivey's first live appearance in a U.S. live tournament after almost a year of absence when he boycotted the 2011 WSOP in a protest of Full Tilt Poker not paying back their players. Even after the World Series, Ivey stayed off the tables for a while until he made his big come back winning the 2012 Aussie Millions $250,000 Super High Roller.
Now Ivey has made another big step by returning to the US tournament circuit and entering the L.A. Poker Classic Main Event. Things looked promising for Ivey as he ended Day 1 in 5th place, however, he didn't manage to hold on to his lead and busted out in 55th place at the very end of Day 3. Ivey put his last 65,000 on the table with pocket sixes, but wasn't able to double up as he got called by Dave Baker holding a pair of Kings.
Check out WPT Live Reporting for more.
Enjoy the video:
Wynn and Adelson Settle in Macao
The two Vegas tycoons have been very busy in their new playground for the past couple of years and according to the Forbes correspondent Donald Frazier, both Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson have big plans regarding Asia's biggest gambling resort. In his recent article analyzing the invasion of two of the biggest gambling corporations into the Chinese market, Frazier provides their revenue stats: “Wynn Resorts made 72% of its $5.2 billion in revenue for 2011 from Macao. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands made 82% of its $9.4 billion revenue from Asia in the same period.” No wonder that with Vegas taking a steady course, Wynn and Adelson switched their efforts to a more promising market.
However, as Frazier outlines, Macao is just a halfway point towards the actual target – the world's second largest economy: “All of this, however, is merely positioning for the big prize: mainland China. Right now, in all of China, it’s legal to gamble only in Macao, 11 square miles of densely packed humanity. It’s not even legal to collect a gambling debt on the mainland. But most observers expect that the Chinese government, recognizing Macao’s logistical limitations and drawn to the twin lures of – dvelopment and taxes, will inevitably bring gambling onto the mainland.”
Read the full article on Forbes.com.
Plattsburgh Considers Putting Slots in the Airport
It only takes attending your county meeting to make a difference. The rule was proved by Mr. John Farley last week who brought up the idea of installing slots machines at the Plattsburgh International Airport should gambling be legalized in the state of New York. The suggestion was very well received by the lawmakers who believe that this might be a decent revenue source for the county as well as an attraction for the passengers. Farley claims that according to his calculations, if approximately half of last year's Plattsburgh International passengers played and lost $20 on airport slots, they would have brought $1.4 million in revenue. “They would be automated machines, so you wouldn't have to have a lot of people working there,” Farley said.
Lawmakers welcomed the initiative saying that this just might be what the county needs. “I think that would be a very creative way to generate more revenue,” said the chairman of the county's Finance Committee, Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh). “I wouldn't rule anything out right now.” She was also glad that the suggestion came from a caring citizen. “I like the fact that we heard from a resident about an idea that is very interesting.”
For more read PressRepublican.com.
Bryan Berg Sets a World Record Card Stacking feat building Big Ben and Parliament
Last week the world-famous cardstacker Bryan Berg scored another Guinness World Record by building the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben out of playing cards without using any glue, tape, folding or any kind of other support material, just the freestanding cards. Berg, who is a full-time cardstacker, known all over the world for his amazing card building skills, accepted the Sky Poker challenge to build the structure in just seven days and he did, achieving yet another World Record. However, the amount of cards used for building the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben is kept secret since there's a special prize waiting for one person to guess the number of cards used in the building process. So if you're in London, visit the Aspers Casino to see the amazing card structure yourself, but hurry up as today's the last day before the whole thing goes down. It's also your last chance to make a guess on the number of cards used to build the UK Parliament and take home that special prize.
Here's a picture of the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament made out of playing cards, including the master himself.
Cyndy Violette Opens a Vegan Restaurant
One of the best-known female poker pros, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Cyndy Violette decided to take on a new business path by opening her own restaurant. The place called Violette's Vegan Express should open in the near future on Flamingo and Decatur in Las Vegas. Violette brought the news via her Facebook page last week and seemed to be really excited about it.
Here's the full message: “NOW I CAN TELL YOU MY EXCITING NEWS !!!!! I have been working on my dream come true ..... ( this has been a vision and dream of mine since early 90s ). I didn't want to say anything until the lease was signed ... I signed it yesterday .... YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Now I can say ...... I'm opening a Vegan Fast Food Restaurant in Las Vegas ! It will be called VIOLETTE'S VEGAN express. Located on Flamingo and Decatur ~ formerly the Greek American Grill. It has a drive up window ! :)))) PERFECT SPOT !!”