This past week was rich in poker happenings – PartyPoker's Big Game VI was running non-stop for 48-hours straight, streamed online, gathering thousands of poker fans to their PC screens watching the biggest names in the poker world play live. At the same time, same place the World Poker Tour Vienna put Days 1A and 1B in the books with Darko Stojanovic leading the field of remaining players with a 1.5 chip advantage over his closest opponent. Unibet Poker bought Bet24 from Modern Times Group for €13.5 million, another eight players joined the event with the biggest buy-in in poker history, while Bovada suspended all of its players in the state of Washington. Read all this and more in the latest issue of the Inside Shuffle.
Phil Laak Owns Big Game IV
Phil Laak – the name says pretty much everything when talking about the PartyPoker Big Game IV. Laak was at the table throughout the entire game proving once again that the Guinness World record he set two years ago by playing for 78 and a half hours straight was still in him. Not only was he the only one playing for the entire 48-hour span, he also was the one with the biggest profit – almost €200,000.
Two days of non-stop high stakes cash game action saw many of the big poker names go up and down the chip ladder, however, none of them got even close to Laak's digits. Tony G, Dan 'Jungleman' Cates, Mike Sexton, Sam Tricket, Sorrel Mizzi, Jonathan Duhamel, and many more were there, joining and leaving the table and then coming back to buy-in again and waiting in line for their share of the Big Game action. And all they did was give their money to Laak.
Cates lost more than €80,000, with Sexton falling behind with €40K, with Trickett, Mizzi, Duhamel, Toderita Catalinm and Basil Yaiche all losing €30,000.
Phil Laak mucked the winning hand at showdown, watch his explanation, along with a few words from Tony G:
Go to the PartyPoker Blog for more on the Big Game IV.
WPT Vienna Underway
With Days 1A and 1B of the World Poker Tour Vienna already in the books, Darko Stojanovic is the name on the top of the rankings with a 320,000 chip stack. He took the #1 position from David Breitfuss who was ahead in the chip counts after Day 1A with 185,500, however, at the end of Day 1B that was only good for the number four spot. Just behind Stojanovic on the leaderboard were Carsten Jeppe (206,400) and Jan-Peter Jachtmann (190,600). The action continues in Vienna with the players coming back for Day 2.
WPT Vienna Chip Counts after Day 1B:
|4||Sam El Sayed||182,700|
Bovada Out of Washington
As of Tuesday, April 10th, Bovada (ex-Bodog) no longer accepts players residing in the state of Washington. Due to strict anti-gambling regulations, Bovada has decided to retreat from the state and emailed their players saying they should send their cash out requests by April, 30th. In March the site stopped accepting new players from the states of New York, Utah, Maryland, and Washington, and then banned all existing players in Maryland.
Here's the text from the email sent to Washington-based Bovada players:
“As a resident of Washington, your account has been closed to further activity. Your balance remains safe and in place – simply contact us prior to April 30th to arrange for a payout via the most suitable method. Past this date we cannot guarantee an immediate availability of options for payments to your state.
Please note that due to this decision we expect an increase in payout requests and this may delay receipt beyond our standard 15 days. We always honor our payouts so rest assured you will receive your funds.”
Go to the TwoPlusTwo forums to see what the players have to say on the topic.
Unibet Buys Bet24
This week Unibet Group Plc announced the acquisition of Nordic Betting Plc which is an entity running the Bet24 online sports betting, poker, and gaming site. Unibet bought Bet24 from the Modern Times Group for €13.5 million. The acquisition should be followed by re-branding with all Bet24 users being transferred to the Unibet platform. Bet24's poker pro team featuring some the best known Nordic poker players like Jesper Hougaard, Paul Foltyn, and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event winner Thomas "kalllle" Pedersen should also join the Unibet Poker team.
“The sale of Bet24 is in line with our focus on our core broadcasting operations,” said Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO of the Modern Times Group. “We have developed and expanded our online betting and gaming businesses over the past seven years as the industry has become more and more competitive.”
Read Modern Times Group Sells Bet24 to Unibet for more.
Eight More Join The Big One for One Drop
Thirty poker players have already joined the lineup of what's going to be the biggest poker event in history – The Big One for One Drop. This week eight more players made their first $50,000 deposits to prove their intentions of playing the $1 million buy-in tournament this July. The Big One for One Drop will take place in Vegas during the 2012 World Series of Poker and is expected to payout the biggest cash prize ever with an estimated amount of more than $12 million going to the winner. The event is capped at 48 players and the prize pool is expected to reach a mind blowing figure of $26 million.
Some of the best known poker celebrities have already confirmed their participation, including Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Tom Dwan, Tony Guoga. Jonathan Duhamel and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. The field will also feature some well known businessmen from around the world as well as a couple of qualifiers.
The most recent The Big One for One Drop additions are Erik Seidel, Justin “Boosted J” Smith, Richard Yong (Asian businessman), Paul Phua (Asian Businessman), Paul Newey (Co-founder, New Wave Ventures, LLP), Arnaud Mimran (French businessman), Cary Katz (CEO, College Loan Corporation) and Bob Bright (CEO, Bright Trading).
Find the full cast of the game and learn how you can qualify for the tournament with the biggest cash prize in poker history: Big One for One Drop - 30 Players Confirmed.
Antigua Continues to Fight the US
If you've been into poker for a while, you probably know about the quarrel between the United States of America and the two-island country of Antigua and Barbuda based down in the Caribbean Sea. The conflict began in 2006 when the States approved the UIGEA which caused many online gaming operators to abandon the American market. However, the U.S. still allowed their local companies to accept horse and dog racing bets online. Antigua claimed that by doing so the United States violated the international trade conventions and therefore addressed the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The WTO's ruling favored Antigua, however, the U.S. did not bother dealing with the small Caribbean nation and has been ignoring the decision for the past five years. According to Antigua's officials the 2011 December DoJ's ruling on the Wire Act proves that the American government was wrong all along and they will now seek new ways to make the United States honor their international commitments.
Read more on this here: Antigua vs. U.S.: The Battle Continues.
Negreanu's Latest Weekly Rant
In the latest edition of the Weekly Rant Daniel Negreanu shares his experiences from his trip to the Irish capital Dublin which started with him losing his luggage, but ended on a much more positive note. While there Daniel took time and visited the PokerStars headquarters in the Isle of Man and met many people he's going to tell you about if you watch the video. He also talked about what it was like playing the iPoker Series and then went on to discuss Epic Poker's financial documents disclosed by CardPlayer. Negreanu also shared his thoughts on the importance of putting all the bad things Full Tilt and Epic Poker executives did out in the open so they don't happen again. Those are just a few things that Negreanu ranted about this week – see the video for more.
Roy Bhasin – the New Team PokerStars Online Member
Team PokerStars Online was recently joined by a new member, Australian Roy Bhasin. Brett Collson from the PokerStars Blog sat down with Bhasin and talked to him about the beginning of his poker career, how he came across the game, and which poker variations he prefers best. In the interview Bhasin talked about his childhood and how gambling became an important part of his life at a very early age, about playing cards with the rest of his family, and how he ended up playing poker.
He also shared some of his goals and dreams and spoke of how being a PokerStars-sponsored player changes things. “Ever since becoming a member of team online I have felt a strong desire to do my position proud and spread the word of poker and PLO throughout the Australia and New Zealand region as well as the rest of the world, online and off,” Bhasin said. “Hopefully I can work with Stars, my blog, Twitter, forums and other avenues of communication to achieve this goal.”
Go to the PokerStars Blog for the full interview.
Article image courtesy of PartyPoker Blog.