Chad Elie and John Campos avoid trial, reverend James B. Butler says legalized online poker will summon hell on earth, Kentucky court seizes 132 online gaming domains and Norwegians occupy Ireland – these are the headlines of the latest Inside Shuffle edition. Also in the news is WPT Championship winner Scott Seiver will be joining a poker star crowd at the PartyPoker Premier League V in Vienna next month, University at Buffalo students establishing their own poker federation, and ESPN Poker's Bernard Lee playing with poker pro dolls in his own mock 2012 National Heads-Up Championship.
Online Poker Payment Processors Plead Guilty
Two Black Friday indictees, online payment processor Chad Elie and former vice-chairman of Utah's SunFirst Bank, John Campos both pleaded guilty avoiding trial which was set to take place in New York on April 9th. Elie and Campos were arrested along with the other 9 defendants after April 15th, 2011, and charged with aiding offshore online poker companies in accepting and making payments to the United States customers and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). By pleading guilty Elie accepted a sentence of six to twelve months in jail, gave up his interests in a number of payment processing accounts worth over $25,000,000 and will have to pay a fine of $500,000 to the American government.
Elie and Campos were charged along with a number of other payment processors and founders of the three biggest online poker sites operating in the United States – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. Campos has also pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge.
Kentucky Court Seizes Gambling Domains
Last week the Kentucky domain case heard another verdict from the Franklin Circuit Court which issued a forfeiture order on 132 domain names to be turned over to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. However, unlike the previous orders, the new one also applies to the domain name registry VeriSign. The case began back in 2008 when the Commonwealth of Kentucky seized 141 online gambling and gaming domains and the court ordered all the registrars to give up their domain names, however only a few did.
Since then nine of those domains including all the most popular online poker sites – FullTiltPoker.com, PokerStars.com, AbsolutePoker.com, UltimateBet.com, DoylesRoom.com, Bodog.com, TruePoker.com, and Bookmaker.com were seized by the Federal prosecutors. Now, according to the latest court ruling regarding the rest of the 132 domains, “VeriSign and each registrar shall immediately transfer ownership of each domain defendant to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
The order was issued by the Franklin Circuit Court which denied the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling that the domain names could not be seized as they were not “gambling Devices.” The Franklin Circuit Court judge claimed that “the court believes that those definitions are only a broad definition and determines that the intent can and does include a domain name.”
Find out more on TheDomains.com.
Seiver Rounds Up Premier League V
Last year's World Poker Tour Championship winner Scott Seiver became the last pro to announce his participation in PartyPoker Premier League V $125,000 buy-in event. Seiver, who is just one title short of poker's Triple Crown, will be joining the other 15 pros at the Montesino Casino in Vienna, Austria, on April 4th to play this huge live event. He will play alongside such poker celebrities as Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Erik Seidel, Phil Laak, Vanessa Selbst, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, and others.
“I cannot wait to play the PartyPoker.com Premier League — I love the format and I am looking to go in and stir it up. Table talk is an important part of my game,” Seiver said.
Seiver who has over $4,000,000 in career tournament winnings had scored both WPT and WSOP titles winning the World Poker Tour Championship main Event in 2011 for a cash prize of more than $1,600,000 and a WSOP $5,000 No-Limit Holdem event back in 2008 for $755,000.
Read more on PokerNews.
California Reverend Preaches Against Online Poker
Surprising as it may sound, not everyone in the United States supports the legalization of online poker. Just the other day reverend James B. Butler who is an executive director of the California Council on Alcohol Problems and the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion published his thoughts about online poker in The San Diego Union-Tribune. According to Mr. Butler the California Senate Bill 1463 which aims to legalize online poker “would increase the rate of crime, unemployment, welfare, homelessness, bankruptcies, and suicide.”
Butler also says that the argument that online poker legislation would bring much needed revenue to the state budget is false as according to his sources “newly authorized gambling would account for less than one quarter of 1 percent of the state’s yearly budget.” Moreover, all the state profit from the activity “would be used to supervise and regulate what would become a multi billion-dollar annual business for the gambling interests.”
Wanna read some more anti-poker preaching? Go to UTSanDiego.com.
Norwegians Gather in Ireland for their Own Championship
The Irish Times reports that Norwegian anti-gambling laws caused more than a thousand Norwegian poker players to migrate to the land of leprechauns for a week-long poker championship. Due to the strict laws prohibiting any activity that might be perceived as gambling, Norwegian poker players are forced to travel to other European countries in order to play among themselves and determine who's best at what.
“Under gaming laws in Norway if you pay to participate and there are prizes and a degree of luck or chance involved, it is a lottery,” said Frode Fagerli, the main organizer of the Norwegian Championships. “You’re only really allowed to bet on the national games like the lottery, and then horse races, soccer games and things like that.”
Therefore over the past years the Norwegian Championships were hosted by their neighboring countries – Sweden, England, Latvia and in 2012 the northerners have gathered in Dublin, Ireland, to play a series of tournaments with the buy-ins ranging from €300 to €2,000.
The Irish Times notes that Ireland's own laws do not exactly allow poker as well, due to the legal flaws players are able to gather at the private member's clubs where they can play poker with no restrictions.
Find out more by visiting the Irish Times.
Students Establish Poker Federation
The UB Poker Federation is the students at University at Buffalo (UB), New York, initiative allowing them to play poker and run tournaments both on and off the campus. The Spectrum, university students' news website reports that the federation already contains 50 active members and is preparing for its first $5 buy-in fundraising tournament which will take place this Thursday, March 29th. However, the founder of the club, Dominic Baranyi says that recruiting new members and encouraging students to expose their poker-playing habits is not an easy task.
“There’s kind of maybe a secretive nature to people playing,” Baranyi said. “You know, we don’t wear a shirt that says ‘I play poker, come find me to play games,’ [but] I knew there were people out there like this.”
Still, there are some good examples of both current and former UB students' success at the poker tables which just might help the UB Poker Federation attract more new members. One such example is Ryan D’Angelo, a former UB student who won the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) back in 2009 collecting $120,000 in cash. His total live tournament revenue goes over $700,000 allowing D’Angelo to make a living of the game.
Check out more of this on UBSpectrum.com.
Mock NHUPC: Clubs Bracket
So two weeks ago Bernard Lee from ESPN Poker, saddened by the absence of the National Heads-Up Poker Championships (NHUPC) in this year's tournament circuit decided to use his imagination and make up his own championship – mock NHUPC. At first he divided the field of 64 players into five different categories: automatic qualifiers, poker superstars, young guns, celebrities, sports star (a one-player category) and at-large bids. He then randomly put them into four brackets: Clubs, Spades, Hearts, and Diamonds. This week Lee gave start to the mock NHUPC by determining which players in all of the four brackets are better than their opponents
We took a closer look at the Clubs Bracket where after four rounds of imaginary heads-up battles the final featured Barry Greenstein and Phil Ivey. Despite Greenstein's knowledge of Ivey's game, he had to leave the table after just 25 minutes of play allowing Ivey to advance to the imaginary final four where he would play against the winner of the Spades Bracket, Daniel Negreanu in the semis.
Actually Lee is not as crazy as he may appear in imagining all the heads-up matches. Find out who won the rest of the brackets on ESPN Poker.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com