Online poker legislation is making its beginning in the United States with the Iowa Senate passing the bill which would allow casinos and race tracks to run their own online poker sites. The bill still has some obstacles to overcome but the first steps look promising. Rumors spread that Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) is almost finished with the Full Tilt Poker (FTP) purchase deal and that the final agreement should be reached in just a few weeks. Daniel Negreanu published his fifth and yet longest Vlog covering some of the hottest topics in the industry at the moment. Find all this and more in today's Inside Shuffle.
World Poker Tour Launches the WPT Foundation
Last weekend the World Poker Tour gave start to a new non-profit organization called the WPT Foundation. The ceremony took place at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and featured hundreds of honorable guests including poker pros and Hollywood celebrities. The WPT Foundation is dedicated to utilizing the World Poker Tour’s unmatched platform to influence positive change on a global scale. The organization aims to support nonprofit programs in the areas of environment, human rights, hunger, and poverty through its charitable partners Conservation International, Enough Project, We Advance, and World Central Kitchen.
A round-robin style poker event took place during the evening as well as a bountiful raffle and a silent auction. Private poker lessons by some of the most recognizable poker pros, a 6-night stay at the SLS Hotel South Beach, and private dining experiences with the evening's chef José Andrés were among the items rewarded throughout the event.
“As the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment, World Poker Tour is dedicated to using our extensive reach to affect positive change,” said Steve Heller, WPT CEO. “The launch of WPT Foundation at the beautiful SLS Hotel was a night to remember thanks to support of attending celebrities, the poker community and our fantastic charity partners and we look forward to many further fundraising events in the near future.”
Read the WPT Report for more about the WPT Foundation.
Iowa Senate Passes Online Poker Bill
On Tuesday, March 13th the Iowa State Senate voted in favor of the proposition to allow the state casinos and race tracks to operate online poker sites. The legislation passed with 29 senators voting for and 20 against internet poker. However, this doesn't mean that online gaming has already overcome the Iowan lawmakers as it still needs to be approved by the House. If the bill is passed there as well and then signed by Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa would become one of the pioneers in the intrastate online poker market.
“I don’t see this as an expansion of gambling,” said Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City said after the Senate State Government Committee passed the internet poker bill. “I see this as an expansion of freedom.” Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls agreed with Bertrand by saying: “We want to protect Iowa consumers and we want to protect the investment Iowa has made up to this point.”
Find the full story on PokerNews.
GBT and Full Tilt Poker Deal to Finish this Month?
This week various sources reported that the prolonged process of Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) acquiring Full Tilt Poker may finally be over in just a few weeks. Some industry insiders even say it could be done by the end of this week. According to a report by Gaming Intelligence Groupe Bernard Tapie lawyer Behnam Dayanim is “reasonably confident” that the French investment company will take over the online poker site in the next couple of weeks
Following the agreement reached between GBT and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) back in November, 2011, the investment group should be allowed to purchase Full Tilt assets from the DoJ for $80 million. The company would then have to return around $150 million to Full Tilt Poker's non-US players while the DoJ would pay back another $150 million to the American users.
When asked for comments on the ongoing process of the poker site acquisition, the GBT lawyer Behnam Dayanim refused to make any comments: “All I can say is that negotiations are ongoing. I can make no further comment.”
Go to PokerNews for more.
Illegal Online Gambling Business Raided in Georgia
On Tuesday, March 13th, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and local police have raided seven internet cafes throughout the state as a result of an investigation that helped uncover a huge internet gaming scam. It appears that a chain of internet cafes called Big Dawg, owned by 63-year old James Kokott who was found and arrested during one of the raids, was used to run illegal online gambling operations. The authorities said that Kokott had already been in trouble for doing the same in Florida, however he got away by paying $10,000 bail. The DeKalb County chief assistant district attorney, Nicole Marchand said it isn’t going to happen in Georgia.
“This individual was prosecuted in Florida for doing the exact same thing,” Marchand said. “The man paid a Florida county $10,000 to settle the allegation, and then moved the business to Georgia. We’re not going to stand for it here. There will be no pay-out to avoid prosecution.”
For the full story visit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Slyfox151 Wins PokerStars' $6M Sunday Million
Last Sunday, March 11th, PokerStars celebrated its sixth Sunday Million anniversary hosting a $6 million event instead of the regular $1 million. The huge prize pool attracted almost 34,000 players increasing the total payout to $6,746,400 with a first-place cash prize of $1,064,737.08 awaiting for the winner. PokerStars' sponsored players entered the tournament as well with over 50 members of Team Pro, Team Online, and Team Sports Stars taking a shot at the $1 million prize. However, none of the pros managed to make it into the top 100 - the best achievement came from Leo Fernandez who finished 789th.
After more than 13 hours of play the $6M Sunday Million final table was set with Finland, Netherlands, and Russia delegating two players each while the remaining three finalists represented New Zealand, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
At the very beginning of the play Paars_Wit, one of the short stacks proposed negotiating a deal, but blodders03 who was the chip leader at the time vetoed and the game went on. However, with one player gone and the game paused for a break, the idea of making a deal was brought up once again and this time none opposed. PokerStars support did the counting suggesting the biggest slice of the cake, $590,000 to be rewarded to the chip leader Toode. Everyone agreed on the deal leaving $120,000 from the prize pool to play down to the winner.
It was slyfox151 from the Netherlands who eventually won the Sunday Million anniversary event collecting a cash prize of $480,761.38. However, this wasn't the biggest cash out of the day. Check out the final standings below to know who won the most.
PokerStars Sunday Million 6th Anniversary Special results:
1. slyfox151 (Netherlands) $480,761.38*
2. blodders03 (United Kingdom) $481,724.56*
3. HesBluffingx (New Zealand) $552,972.89*
4. Paars_Wit (Netherlands) $254,827.49*
5. lalex-79 (Russia) $225,028.27*
6. SASHA 2908 (Russia) $187,355.63*
7. toode (Finland) $590,482.92*
8. baadger (Finland) $239,269.62*
9. orange6 (Israel) $53,296.56
*reflects the results of an eight-way deal that left $120,000 in play for first place.
Visit the PokerStars Blog for full event coverage.
Former Absolute Poker Owners Unaware of “Wrongful Conduct”
Almost a year after the events of Black Friday, former Absolute Poker owners still say they don't know anything about the illegal activities that the founders of the site have been accused of, PocketFives reports. “During the period of 2007 to the present, neither Avoine nor its management knew of the allegedly wrongful conduct upon which the plaintiff’s forfeiture claim is predicated,” said an executive of Avoine, a subsidiary of Madeira Fjord that purchased Absolute Poker somewhere between 2006 and 2007.
However, the events of April 15, 2011 were fatal for Absolute and its sister site Ultimate Bet after which both poker sites never went back up. The company currently owning Absolute Poker, Blanca Games, was in the news a few times last year, however it was never good. And although the players were brought a little hope they would get at least part of their money back in December, nothing has happened since.
Brent Beckley, a co-founder of Absolute Poker pleaded guilty to conspiracy in December, 2011, claiming he was aware of the company's wrongdoings and that he knew “that it was illegal to deceive the banks and that it was illegal to accept credit cards so that customers could gamble on the internet.”
Go to PocketFives for more.
Negreanu's Weekly Rant #5
So Daniel Negreanu's Weekly Rant is evolving every week with it becoming more of a one man show than just a Vlog. Last week he tried adding some more advanced graphics and San Jose background, but since it didn't go very well Daniel decided to just go with the bedroom curtain background this time. In this week's edition of the Weekly Rant Negreanu covers the latest stories from the poker world including, of course, Ray Bitar's apology, Epic Poker's fail, and Jeffrey Pollack not being a good poker company manager to say the least.
However, Negreanu filled-up most of his 20-minute Vlog with responding to the recent Phil Galfond's post about borrowing in poker. Daniel made his point of view towards the loaning issue very clear although he admitted that borrowing and loaning money is an inevitable part of the game.
Watch the show:
Are Poker Pros a Disease?
And while we're on the topic, last month the PokerWorks' editor-in-chief Linda R. Geenen published a piece on borrowing in poker being one of poker's systematic diseases. This week she took a closer look into another poker disease – the pros. Or, to be more precise, the pros who make the rest of the poker community look bad because of their selfish and arrogant behavior.
With many years of poker-dealer experience, Geenen met a decent amount of poker pros and watched them play. During that time she learned that many poker pros tend to abuse other players as well as the dealers for the sake of their own satisfaction. However, when it come to the high stakes pros with the media and fans looking for poker role models, bad behavior and abuse brings even more damage for the entire poker community.
Read more: Poker Pros - One of Poker's Systemic Diseases.
Timoshenko and Katchalov to Play in the Premier League
Two poker pros, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Eugene Katchalov, have joined the long list of poker celebrities to play the $125,000 buy-in PartyPoker Premier League V event. The tournament will take place April 4th through 10th at the Montesino Casino in Vienna, Austria and feature some of the biggest names on the poker circuit including Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Erik Seidel, Vanessa Selbst, Luke Schwartz, Sam Trickett, Andy Frankenberger, and Tom Dwan. The event will include $200,000 added to the final table prize pool and a $25,500 ticket to the 2012 WPT World Championship rewarded to the eventual winner.
“I’m very happy and excited to be able to play the PartyPoker Premier League Event this year,” Katchalov said. “From what I’ve heard and read, it’s a unique and fun structured event that will have some tough competition but I’m sure will be a great experience overall!”
Head to PokerNews.com for more.
Las Vegas Poker Homes
Planning your WSOP vacation in Vegas already? Looking for a nice place to stay? Want to enjoy a living style that is home oriented while not grinding at the tables instead of just lying in your hotel bed? OK, enough with the questions – check out Las Vegas Poker Homes. They are offering a number of great houses for your stay in Vegas. The prices vary with the size and amenities of the home – stay for one night or more. And is insignificant compared to what you're going to spend on buy-ins and nothing compared to the cash you're going bring to your rented home from the WSOP tables, right?
For more Vegas houses to rent on your WSOP vacation, go to LasVegasPokerHomes.com