Just a few days after Shaun Deeb scored his second Spring Championship of Online Poker title of the series, he won another SCOOP event - making it his third this year and fourth in his career. Boyd Gaming announced it has reached an agreement to purchase rival casino operator Peninsula Gaming LLC for $745 million along with its five Mid-West casinos. The deal also requires Boyd to repay Peninsula's $700 million debt to its creditors. Double Down, the operator of a popular online casino, introduced a new Texas Hold'em app which is available for free play on Facebook. Keep reading for more of the latest poker news.
Shaun Deeb Strikes Again
In just one week Shaun Deeb made PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) history twice. First he won the second SCOOP title of the series and third in his career to tie with cal42688 for the title record; then he did it again! On Tuesday, May 15th, Deeb outplayed the field of 74 players in Event #26-H $2,100 Stud Hi-Lo for the third title of the series and fourth overall.
On his way to the title Deeb bested a number of big name previous SCOOP champions and Sunday Million winners as well as Team PokerStars Pros Alex Kravchenko, Bertrand Grospellier, Ville Wahlbeck, George Danzer, George Lind III, and Anders Berg. Not only did Deeb win his third title of the series along with a $40,330 cash prize, he also rocketed into the lead of the SCOOP Player of the Series rankings leaving Victor “Isildur1” Blom with just two series' titles far behind.
Go to the PokerStars Blog for the full tournament report.
Boyd Acquires Peninsula Gaming
On Wednesday, May 16th, Boyd Gaming announced it has reached an agreement to purchase another casino operator Peninsula Gaming LLC for $745 million. By acquiring the company Boyd also takes on its $700 million debt as well as financial liabilities to its investors. To cover the expenses Boyd Gaming is taking out a $1.2 billion loan which will be used to repay Peninsula's debts as well as settle other transaction fees.
Once the deal is final, Boyd will gain control of five new casinos in Kansas, Louisiana, and Iowa, including Kansas Star, Diamond Jo, Diamond Jo Worth, Evangeline Downs, and Amelia Belle. Peninsula casinos will complement the 16 establishments Boyd already operates in the states of Nevada, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and New Jersey.
“Acquiring Peninsula Gaming is a transformative transaction that fits perfectly into our growth strategy by expanding our Company's scale, diversifying our platform, strengthening our financial profile, and generating meaningful value for our shareholders,” said Boyd Gaming president and CEO Keith Smith. “The Peninsula properties are a strong fit for us, as they are well-managed and operate in resilient markets in the Midwest and South. We anticipate this transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings and significantly increase our free cash flow.”
Read more in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Double Down Launches Texas Hold'em on Facebook
Double Down Interactive, an online software development company that runs the popular Facebook casino application, announced the launch of a new Texas Hold'em poker app. The new game allows players to enjoy free poker play in four different game speeds to suit the needs of both beginners and advanced players. The Texas Hold'em application also features a helpful hand-ranking tool as well as tutorials to help players improve their poker skills.
“Adding Texas Hold'em to the existing DoubleDown Casino portfolio allows us to bring one of the world's most popular games to Facebook's estimated 900 million users,” International Game Technology (IGT) executive vice president of emerging businesses Robert Melendres said. “In the coming year, we will be introducing many popular IGT titles to Double Down Casino to provide our social players with engaging slot play.”
MarketWatch.com has more on this.
Santa Monica Rant
Daniel Negreanu is back to the sunny side of the continent enjoying Santa Monica beaches. In the latest edition of the Weekly Rant Kid Poker talks about the recent changes in WSOP rules bringing back celebrations which were banned after Hevad Khan's BULLLLLLDOOOOZZZZZEERRRRRR!!! outbreak along with the permission for players to discuss their hands.
However, the WSOP has set very specific rules on when players can talk about their hands and when they can't and Negreanu completely agrees with it. He also shared his plans for the WSOP fantasy draft, revealed what book he's currently reading, and commented on his “ballerina flat epidemic” tweet. Of course, it wouldn't be a rant without ranting and this time Jeffrey Pollack is the one to receive a dose of Negreanu's rage.
Here's the video:
Image courtesy of PokerStars Blog.