(6) US LAW ENFORCEMENT ECOM CRACKDOWN
This was the year that the 2006 UIGEA regulations were supposed to be actually enforced, and sure enough, payment processors were dropping like flies. But the US crackdown had been going on for the past couple years, aimed primarily at the eCom underpinning pure poker operations. In this aim, the Feds have undoubtedly been aided by former payment processing execs (like Daniel Tzvetkoff) that received suspiciously light-handed treatment by otherwise unsympathetic courts.
(7) SLOTS.COM DOMAIN SELLS FOR $5.5m
In late May, Bodog Brand founder Calvin Ayre purchased the Slots.com domain at auction for £3.8m ($5.5m). The price is the highest ever paid for a gaming-related domain, the second-highest of any domain sale in 2010 (after Sex.com) and the fifth-highest of all time. While Calvin would have loved to have been able to claim 2010’s #1 ranking, he understands that Sex.com had something of an edge. After all, man had to invent slot machines, but he was born with a penis, so in this case, being #2 is perfectly understandable.
(8) LAND-BASED GAMING TILTS EASTWARD
(Okay, we gotta have one land-based story in here.) As casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City struggled to emerge from the economic downturn, Macau couldn’t print money fast enough. Singapore’s two casinos opened and set all manner of records. Small wonder that MGM walked away from its investment in AC to party with Pansy Ho in Macau and Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson claimed that the Asian market won’t be satisfied in our lifetimes.
(9) RUSH POKER REWRITES THE RULES
Full Tilt exploded out of the gates in 2010 with the introduction of Rush Poker. The ‘poker with the dull bits cut out’ innovation had tongues wagging across the poker world, with many industry veterans calling it the single biggest development the online game had seen since the game went online. Full Tilt upped the ante in October with the introduction of Rush Poker Mobile for Android smartphones.
(10) JONATHAN DUHAMEL FIRST CANADIAN TO WIN WSOP
Finally, a shout-out to Jonathan Duhamel for his $8.94m triumph at the 2010 World Series of Poker. Duhamel’s run was made all the more entertaining by the small army of supporters clad in Montreal Canadiens bleu, blanc et rouge cheering him on to victory. Realizing the karmic debt he owed to the team, Duhamel handed $100k of his winnings to the NHL team’s charitable arm. And he still has enough left over to buy them a power forward at the NHL trade deadline!
Okay, that was the year that was. Be sure to stay tuned in the coming days to read Calvin Ayre’s predictions for the year to come!