We're starting the new week with the poker community's reaction to Epic Poker's mother company Federated Sports + Gaming filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, National Conference of State Legislatures addressing Senate and Congress with requests not to pass federal online poker legislation and let the states decide on this on their own. Don Hellinger, a famous magazine publisher is charged with illegal online poker payment processing and faces jail time and huge fines while a pro poker player is accused of murdering his wife. More news from the courts – TwoPlusTwo owner Mason Malmuth won the case against Russell “Dutch” Boyd for the TwoPlusTwoPoker.com domain name. Smappsoft launches a new iPhone video poker app bringing a whole new experience to the popular casino game.
FS+G's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: What's Next?
Federated Sports + Gaming filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy caused a big fuss inside the poker community last week triggering debates around whether it's a good thing for poker and should the company go down or should it recharge and continue with the Epic Poker League (EPL). Matt Glantz wrote a blog post about this saying that the situation with Epic Poker cannot be compared to what's happening with Full Tilt and that even if Federated Sports + Gaming is going under, it will have no effect on the players, except that fact that there will be no more EPL events.
PokerNews' Rich Ryan shared his thoughts about the matter as well with his major concern being that if Federated Sports + Gaming's Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure doesn't go as planned and they need to switch to Chapter 7 – meaning the end of the company, it would become another huge stain on poker's reputation. Ryan uses an example of Delta, General Motors, and the Los Angeles Dodgers all of which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and carried on with their business after the reorganization to bring out the positive side in the whole mess.
Head to PokerNews for more on this.
NCSL Opposes Federal Poker Legislation
It appears that not everyone in favor of legalizing online poker in the United States approves of the legislation being released on the federal level. Last week two members of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) sent a letter to the members of Congress and Senate asking them to not let any federal internet poker legislation pass. Hawaii State Sen. Carol Fukunaga and Alabama Rep. Greg Wren, the co-chairs of the NCSL Communications, Financial Services & Interstate Commerce Committee, who signed the letter claim that the House and the Senate should respect the states' right to choose whether to legalize the activity or not and to regulate internet poker as each state sees best for their residents.
“The NCSL believes the federal government should respect the Justice Department ruling [on the Federal Wire Act of 1961] and would oppose any efforts by Congress to preempt state authority over Internet gaming,” wrote Mr. Fukunaga and Mr. Wren. “States have long been able to choose whether or not other forms of gambling should be legal and have been very successful in its regulation. We also ask that the federal government respect the rights of states that choose to prohibit Internet gaming.”
Read the full story on the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Don Hellinger Charged for Processing Illegal Poker Payments
The U.S. legal authorities continue to persecute those involved in online gambling. Running illegal internet gambling businesses, money laundering, and payment processing for online gambling companies are among the most common charges and Don Hellinger is the latest in the defendants' list. A famous businessman and president of Nylon Holding Inc, a company which publishes a pop culture and fashion magazine Nylon as well as a number of other magazines including Inked, Surface and Tokion has been accused of illegally transferring $44 million to US internet gamblers.
Hellinger and five of his associates, Ronald Hellinger, Michael Weisberg, Randy Trost, Jami Pearlman, and Michele Quigley have been charged for illegally processing international payments to US-based online bettors, international money laundering and operating an illegal money transmission business. According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the company through which Hellinger and his partners processed the payments, Payment Processing Center, LLC (PPC) had processed more than $40 million between January 2005 and February 2006. Hellinger faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 with the sentence being delivered on May 29.
Read more on Casino Choice.
TwoPlusTwo Wins Against TwoPlusTwoPoker
On Saturday, March 3rd, Mason Malmuth, the owner of Two Plus Two Publishing, a mother company for the biggest poker forum online, announced he had won the case against Russell “Dutch” Boyd for the twoplustwopoker.com domain name. Malmuth filed a lawsuit against Boyd three years ago claiming that the domain name he purchased was “confusingly similar” to the TwoPlusTwo.com trademark and requested Boyd give up the domain. Boyd then filed a counter claim for “defamation, defamation per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and abuse of process.” However, it never reached the court while Malmuth's case was allowed to continue. On Thursday, March 1st, U.S. District Judge Kent J. Johnson awarded Two Plus Two Publishing LLC $25,000 in statutory damages and $33,985.45 in attorney’s fees.
Read more on PartTimePoker.com.
Marcus Bebb-Jones Accused of Murdering Wife
Fourteen years after Marcus Bebb-Jones' wife Sabrina had gone missing, her husband, a well-known poker player, has been officially charged with his wife's murder by the Garfield County District Court. Sabrina Bebb-Jones disappeared back in September, 1997, after a fight with her husband at the Dinosaur National Monument. Her corpse was found just seven years later 50 miles south of the Monument. During the investigation the police had found Sabrina's blood in her husband's van as well as remains of the flowers from the place her body was found. However, they only managed to arrest Marcus Bebb-Jones in 2009 and extradite him from London, UK, (where he had been residing for a couple of years) back to Colorado.
According to the reports, Marcus Bebb-Jones was a rather successful poker player winning hundreds of thousands in cash prizes in various live tournaments with his biggest achievement being a victory at the £100 Pot-Limit Hold'em Grosvenor Grand Prix Walsall Event in 2007 when he cashed £90,000 for his first-place finish.
Read more on Denver Post.
The Five Poker Player Protectors
Which of the five is doing the best job looking after the poker players' interests in the United States: Ron Paul and Barney Frank, Joe Barton, the Poker Players Alliance, poker writers, or players themselves? This is the question raised by Jason Kirk at CalvinAyre.com in his latest piece called Five on Friday: Who’s Looking Out For America’s Online Poker Players? Kirk discusses the issue in the background of great opposition that the poker community is facing in America from “social conservatives who oppose gambling for opposition’s sake, big-government types who hate the idea of anyone not paying for the privilege of being free, and casino corporations whose mission of padding the bottom line can many times run directly counter to what’s best for players.”
Read the entire article on CalvinAyre.com.
Smappsoft Releases Pokertini: Video Poker With A Twist
A company responsible for bringing the 13 Card Chinese Poker app to your iPhone, Smappsoft, has recently released a new poker application called Pokertini: Video Poker With A Twist. The new game is already available for free download on iTunes App Store and developers say that it’s a whole new way of playing one of the most popular casino games. The company had changed the game in a way that the players would be able to apply their poker strategy skills when playing the game. Pokertini lets you play three video poker hands at the same time instead of just one and you can rearrange your coins between the hands and bet the most on the hand that has the best odds of winning.
“Video poker is classic game played in every casino,” chief engineer at Smappsoft, Mark Rubin said. “With Pokertini: Video Poker With A Twist, we have taken the game in an exciting new direction that should make it both fun for new players, and challenging for experts.”
PokerNews' Chad Holloway talked to Rubin about the new app, you can read the full interview on PokerNews.com.
Betty White's Been Playing a Fifty-Year Poker Game
Last week Betty White appeared on Conan to promote the new animated motion picture, Dr. Seuss' Lorax where she voiced one of the characters. During the show Betty also shared some of her life stories including her being attracted to older men, like George Clooney, and playing in a regular $5 buy-in poker game run by game-show creator Bob Stewart for 50 years.
Check out the video:
PokerStars Women Event Celebrates 1st Birthday
The world's largest online poker site PokerStars is celebrating its Women's Sunday Event's first birthday by hosting a photo competition. All PokerStars' female players are encouraged to join the site's flicker account, upload their celebration photo wearing a party hat and share it with PokerStars and their friends. The 10 best pictures will be rewarded with $55 Women's Sunday tickets, while one user to send the best hat celebration photo will receive a $215 ticket to the PokerStars' biggest event of the week, the Sunday Million. The competition runs only until March 18th so if you want to be the one to get that free Women's Sunday token or the Sunday Million ticket, you should hurry up!
And if you're not a PokerStars player yet, you can join the world's largest poker site via PokerWorks – download PokerStars, use the marketing code POKERWORKS when signing up and enjoy all the bonuses, promotions and freerolls running on PokerStars available for PokerWorks’ players only.
To find out more about the PokerStars Women's Sunday one year anniversary picture contest visit the PokerStars Blog.