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Poker News | The Inside Shuffle

The Inside Shuffle – Lock Poker Leaves Merge Gaming, Bwin.Party Partners with California Tribe and More

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If you're wondering what the poker world has been up to in the last five days, you're in the right place – PokerWorks has everything covered. Lock Poker – the biggest site in the Merge Gaming Network announced the purchase of Cake Poker Network along with its plans of moving to a new platform before June 1st.

Bwin.Party keeps making arrangements in preparation to re-enter the U.S. online poker market once the business becomes legal and regulated. This time the online gaming giant has reached an agreement with California’s United Auburn Indian Community which owns the Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, California.

Tony G made an announcement claiming he found a new poker paradise in a highly unexpected location, and it appears he's not the only one who did. Don't stop here, we've got more.

Lock Poker Leaves Merge Gaming, Launches Own Network

On Monday, May 7th, Lock Poker announced the decision to leave the Merge Gaming Network and move to its own poker network as of June 1st. However, Lock Poker will not start from scratch as the poker site is going to purchase the Cake Poker Network and move its operations there. The network is also expected to be re-branded and start the summer of 2012 under the name of Revolution Gaming.

Lock Poker claims it's been the largest poker site in the Merge Gaming Network, generating 40 percent of the player traffic and therefore its departure should strike a huge loss for Merge Gaming. The divorce was mainly caused by the conflict between the two sides when Merge canceled the LockOps tournament series last month. Lock Poker was supposed to run the series of 33 tournaments with $2 million in guaranteed prizes, but on April 23rd Merge decided to call it off.

“We are very excited at the prospect of driving the product, marketing and overall vision of the network. It is a dream come true,” said Lock Poker CEO Jennifer Larson. “Merge was a great stepping stone for us but we have outgrown them. We really need to forge our own path to continued success. The only way to do this is to stay true to our of core philosophy: partnering with our players.”
PokerNews has the full story.

Bwin.Party Makes Steps Towards Californian Online Poker Market digital entertainment continues making grounds for its comeback to the American internet poker market once it’s re-established. The online betting and poker giant has recently partnered with California’s United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) which controls the Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, California. The 10-year agreement should help the company gain an online poker license in the state when the business becomes licensed and regulated.

“California is the largest state in the U.S. in terms of population and is known to have a significant number of poker players who like to play poker online,” said co-CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger in a press release. “Combining our own significant assets and resources with those of UAIC will create a strong partnership that is well-placed to seize the opportunities that will arise if appropriate online poker legislation is enacted in the Golden State.”

The joint venture has already applied for an internet poker license in Nevada under the partnership with MGM Resorts.

Go to for more on this.

Tony G's European Adventures

Antanas “Tony G” Guoga has recently visited Belarus to play some Pot Limit Omaha cash games in Minsk and came back completely inspired. The G says that Minsk currently hosts the biggest and the best cash games in the world and that anyone who wishes to play should get in touch with him. However, it seems that Tony G is not the only one who smelled the poker cash laying around in Minsk – while there Tony noticed Andy Beal’s Ferrari parked outside the hotel. While The G's over-excitement might make you think twice before making a trip to Belarus, there are two poker sharks in Minsk – that's a whole different story.

Meanwhile Tony packed his bags for another European trip to the Czech Republic for the $25,000 High Roller event in Kings Casino in Prague. He says the game may be streamed live so keep an eye on the internet for that live video.

Catch up with Tony G on

Negreanu Loses Big to rUaBot

On Saturday, May 5th, Daniel Negreanu played the first PokerStars Limit Hold'em Challenge event against “a young German genius” as Negreanu called his opponent on Twitter. The two players were supposed to play 1,250 hands of Heads-Up, Limit Hold'em across two $200/$400 tables with $75,000 in their bankrolls. The games started with both players buying-in for $8,000 and their auto-rebuy boxes checked.

However, the games didn't reach the 1,250 hand limit as after 937 hands, Negreanu's entire $75,000 stack was in the hands of his opponent. Kid Poker, whose two out of four WSOP bracelets were acquired in Limit Hold'em events, was obviously unsatisfied with his performance. In his last chat with rUaBot Negreanu said he will never play two Limit Hold'em heads-up tables again.

Read the full game report on the PokerStars Blog.

WSOP Joins Total Rewards Program

This year all those to play at the World Series of Poker will be rewarded with Caesars Entertainment loyalty program's Total Rewards credits. Every player to enter a bracelet event, a daily Deepstack tournament, or a Mega-Satellite, will receive credits which they will be able to exchange for tournament entry fees, travel, accommodation, and entertainment, etc. Starting next season the WSOP Circuit which runs throughout Caesars Entertainment venues across the United States will join the program as well.

“Caesars Entertainment is renewing our commitment to poker players,” said Ty Stewart, the World Series of Poker executive director. “We are thrilled the WSOP will help launch a company initiative to allow poker players to better unlock the power of the industry’s best loyalty program. With nearly 40 properties worldwide and the number one tournament series in the world, we hope to give more players more opportunities to earn, and redeem for whatever is important to them.”

Go to PokerNews for more.

Moneymaker Talks to PokerWorks

Last month PokerWorks brought you an exclusive interview with the director and producer of All In: The Poker Movie, Doug Tirola. PokerWorks editor-in-chief Linda R. Geenen continues the quest of interviewing those who took part in making of this poker documentary.

This time on the other side of the line is Chris Moneymaker – the first-ever World Series of Poker champion to win the Main Event seat in an online poker satellite. His success caused the so called “Moneymaker effect” – the online poker explosion in the United States. The interview covers many topics including Moneymaker's life as a gambler and a professional poker player, poker debts, his book “Moneymaker,” as well as his business and personal life.

You can find the entire interview with Chris Moneymaker by following these links:

All In: The Poker Movie – Q & A with Chris Moneymaker
All In: The Poker Movie – Q & A with Chris Moneymaker Part II

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom Wins SCOOP Event

Online poker nose-bleed cash game pro Viktor “Isildur1” Blom has recently added another big win to his collection – the SCOOP Event #2-M, $215 No-Limit Hold'em Freezeout title and a cash prize of almost $250K. Although Blom is not famous for his tournament performances, this was already his second big win this year. Back in January he scored the biggest tournament win in his career by collecting the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller 8-max event honors along with a $1,254,400 first-place cash prize.

Yesterday, May 7th, Blom emerged victorious in the two-day $215 buy-in NLHE event with a $1,648,000 prize pool after outplaying the field of 8,240 players. It seems that Blom has finally got a grip on tournaments and is running for more titles – he currently ranks third in chips in the SCOOP 3-H: $500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Max event.

Find the full tournament report by visiting the PokerStars Blog.

Let's Talk Poker

PokerWorks has launched a new poker strategy series called “Let's Talk Poker” to help you improve your poker-playing and bankroll management skills. The first article of the series gives you simple tips on how to set reasonable goals and not get carried away by your dreams. Not at least for a few months after you start playing. You will also find out how to tell if you're a real online grinder or just a recreational player, plus you will get to find the answer to the most important question of them all – are you a poker pro or not.

Find a number of simple tips to help you get started in the donkey filled world of online poker, learn how and where you can get free money for playing real money games on a number of online poker sites and even more in Let's Talk Poker - $50 a Week!

Follow PokerWorks on Twitter! And like us on Facebook to stay updated with poker news, events, and promotions.

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