This week a former writer for Subject: Poker, Diamond Flush, published an email that Group Bernard Tapie (managing director Laurent Tapie), sent to Full Tilt Poker and Pocket Kings employees a couple of hours before the deal between PokerStars and the US Department of Justice was announced. In the email Tapie asked the recipients to join him in establishing a new poker site in order to maintain their jobs and start a new enterprise. In other news the World Series of Poker announced its second circuit outside the United States. On Monday the WSOP officially declared its plans to host five bracelet events in Melbourne, Australia next April. Meanwhile Daniel Negreanu is going to challenge one of the top online Limit Hold'em players this Saturday at the PokerStars tables – the battle begins at 2pm ET. For this and more keep reading the latest Inside Shuffle.
Full Tilt Poker – Groupe Bernard Tapie: Behind the Scenes
Last week the unexpected $750 million deal between the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and PokerStars hit the poker world – the world’s biggest online poker site reached an agreement with American legal authorities to purchase Full Tilt Poker (FTP). The outcome of an almost year-long saga seemed to come as a surprise to Group Bernard Tapie as well. The French investors were working on arranging the deal with the DoJ for seven months, however, the two sides could not reach a final agreement and called the whole thing off. And that's when PokerStars stepped in.
On Tuesday, May 1st, a former contributor to SubjectPoker.com, Diamond Flush, (who now continues Subject: Poker's practice of revealing poker's backstage stories on DiamondFlushPoker.com), published Laurent Tapie's email to FTP and its software development subsidiary Pocket Kings (PK) employees. The email was sent before the collapse of the deal between GBT and the DoJ was officially announced. In the email Tapie informed FTP and PK employees that the negotiations were off and asked them to join him in launching a new online poker site.
However, Tapie mentioned nothing about PokerStars purchasing FTP, which leaves the question: did Tapie know about the deal when he sent the email? It is also unknown if any of the FTP or PK staff actually joined Tapie.
Read more: Behind the Scenes with Groupe Bernard Tapie
WSOP to Host Five Asia-Pacific Bracelet Events
On Monday, April 30th, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced that as of 2013 the series will be going down under to host five bracelet events at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. The World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP APAC) will take place between April 4th and 15th at the same venue as the biggest poker event in the southern hemisphere – the Aussie Millions.
“It’s thrilling to think the World Series of Poker is coming to Australian soil,” said 2005 WSOP champ Joe Hachem. “I know first-hand what a life-changing moment winning the WSOP gold bracelet was and how it served as a catalyst for the growth of poker in Australia and Asia. It will be a dream come true to host a worldwide poker event such as this at Crown. I can’t wait.”
The WSOP first expanded overseas in 2007 with the World Series of Poker Europe hosting its first bracelet events outside Las Vegas. The European series has been running successfully for five years now with the first three tournaments taking place in London, England and then moving to Cannes, France.
Christophe Benzimra Wins EPT Champion of Champions Event
Last week saw many players collect their European Poker Tour Grand Final honors in Monte Carlo. First Justin Bonomo won the €100,000 Super High Roller event, then Mohsin Charania scored the Main Event title, and then Igor Kurganov outplayed Daniel Negreanu in a heads-up battle at the €25,000 High Roller event. All three winners took home cash prizes of more than €1 million. There was another winner who couldn't boast a seven-figure cash out, however, he outplayed more former EPT champions along the way than Bonomo, Charania, or Kurganov. Christophe Benzimra survived the field of 40 EPT champions in a €100,000 freeroll open only to those with an EPT title.
Benzimra won his only EPT trophy back in 2009 when he topped the EPT Warsaw Main Event. And although he hasn’t been too active on the EPT circuit ever since, Benzimra says that the Champion of Champions €35,000 prize of Season IX buy-ins will definitely change that.
“It feels fantastic! I'm very happy,” said Benzimra after the game. “I haven't been playing much this season but I will be next season.”
EPT Season VIII Champion of Champions results:
1st - Christophe Benzimra (EPT Warsaw champion) - €35,000
2nd - Zimnan Ziyard (EPT Loutraki champion)- €25,000
3rd - Jake Cody (EPT Deauville champion) - €17,500
4th - Arnaud Mattern (EPT Prague champion) - €10,000
5th - Frederik Jensen (EPT Madrid champion) - €7,500
6th - Mohsin Charania (EPT Grand Final champion) - €5,000
Go to the PokerStars Blog for more.
Will the Las Vegas Monorail Survive?
The Las Vegas Monorail Co., which suffered a huge decline due to the Vegas casino industry fall four years ago, is now on the edge of survival. The company operates the tram running the 3.9 mile track from near the Las Vegas Strip to the convention center and carries passengers from and to some of the biggest hotels and casinos in Vegas. The rail company underwent a huge blow when one of its destinations, the Sahara Hotel, was closed last year causing Monorail's income to drop by $800,000, the company claims.
Now Las Vegas Monorail Co. awaits U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Bruce A. Markell's decision in its bankruptcy case. Although the company has a plan to reorganize the driverless tram, it needs the judge's approval. It's the second time Monorail applied for another chance as the first attempt was denied by the court.
“To the extent I decide I would like to confirm the plan I will have my deputy call and ask for any updated findings of fact,” Markell said on Monday, April 30th.
Find the full story on Bloomberg Businessweek.
Borrowing and Trust in Poker
Borrowing is an inherent part of poker, most of the pros constantly borrow money from one another and most of them are always in someone's debt. That's just the way the poker world turns. Recently CalvinAyre.com's Tatjana Pasalic caught up with some of the big players to ask them which of their fellow players they entrust with their money and how they know if a player they're lending money to is trustworthy.
“The poker world is very small so if somebody screws you over, it gets back to everybody in the poker world really fast,” Jennifer Harman said. “When that happens, you’ll know not to loan that person any money.”
“There are some friends I trust with a lot of money,” said Joseph Cheong. “We always trade money, borrow money, lend money…it doesn’t even feel like real money anymore.”
Check out what other pros had to say about borrowing money in the video.
Negreanu vs rUaBot
This Saturday, May 5th, at 2 pm ET, one of the best No-Limit Hold'em players in the world, PokerStars team pro member Daniel Negreanu will meet one of the best Limit Hold'em online players, rUaBot, in a high-stakes heads-up challenge. The two will play 1,250 Limit Hold'em hands heads-up across two tables of $200/$400 both starting with $75,000 bankrolls. The action will take place at the PokerStars online poker tables.
“In my opinion, fixed limit is more strategic than no limit,” rUaBot sais. “In no-limit, you always have some guessing games like 'would he bluff here or wouldn't he?' Of course, such situations often happen in fixed-limit, too, but there is much more space for general strategic adaptions than in no-limit. I think, setting up your standard game is pure math, but exploiting your opponents patterns is an art...and will always be!”
You can catch all the high-stakes Limit Hold'em action between Negreanu and rUaBot by logging into PokerStars this Saturday at 2 pm ET.
Go to the PokerStars Blog for more on this.
Pocket Fives Introduces Local Communities
One of the biggest poker communities online, Pocket Fives (P5) has recently launched its new social feature called Local Communities. The P5 team created different pages for users from separate locations – countries and states (for US users) so that they could interact with the poker players from their region.
“Anytime a player in that location does something noteworthy, such as cash in a live or online tournament or win a new PocketFives badge, we'll automatically generate a post to this column,” said Cal Spears in a forum post dedicated to launching Local Communities. The new feature will provide users with the listings of the latest updates in the similar way as the most popular social networks – Facebook and G+ do.
In the post Spears also named all the features that the players will be able to access through the Local Communities: automated updates, filter options, ability to post one's own updates, Rankings Leaderboard specific to each Local Community, P5s Leaders - recognizing some top members in each location, detailed stats for each location, referrals section, PokerNearMe and others.
Go to Poket Fives to find out more about the Local Communities.
Digital Poker Kit
If you're tired of the traditional online poker sites and PokerStars Home Games just don't suit your needs, you can try setting up your own online poker site. DigitalPokerKit.com provides users with the opportunity to launch their own poker room and invite friends and other people to play. The program allows you to set up three poker tables and choose from 26 felt colors. You can invite up to 100 players per room with the ability to host 27 players through three tables at a time. The service costs $25 per year and gives you full control over your poker room.
Go to DigitalPokerKit.com to find out more.