Zynga, the games developer best known around these parts for their wildly popular social media Texas Hold-Em game, is reportedly looking to raise $250m in investment capital. The move would place a valuation on Zynga close to $10b, which (if accurate) would rank it well above noted game publisher Electronic Arts. Zynga is also taking another ‘little bit pregnant’ step towards real money play by hosting its first ever PokerCon, a live poker tournament with $100k up for grabs March 18-19 at the Palms in Las Vegas. For $125, Zynga fans get entry into the tourney, the chance to learn from ‘renowned poker pros’ at the Zynga Poker School and the chance to take some real money off the dweebs you’ve been schooling online ‘for fun’ all these years.
The World Poker Tour National Series Paris Euro Finals of Poker Diamond Championship takes almost as long to say as it did for Natalia Nikitina to win it. The €5K buy-in attracted 188 players to the Aviation Club de France, where Russian pro Nikitina eventually took out Alexandre Brivot heads-up to claim the €243k first prize and her first major poker title. On a side note, Antanas Guoga (Tony G to you and me) engineered a six-person sit ‘n’ go against five French players, which the irrepressible Australian dubbed Tony G v. France. For the record, France won.
Sam Banhart has won the World Series of Poker Circuit main event in Tunica, Mississippi. Banhart earned $148K, a shiny WSOP-C gold ring and a free pass into the National Championship $1m Freeroll in Las Vegas in May. In taking the title, Banhart bested a 480-strong field, including Jesse White in heads-up play.
The PokerStars United Kingdom Ireland Poker Tour Nottingham attracted 1,058 players to the Dusk Till Dawn poker club, making it the largest poker tournament ever held on UK soil. Newcastle’s Gareth Walker, who finished eighth at the same event last year, took the title. Sadly, because the buy-in was only £500, Walker collected a relatively small £109k, but he also got the hand of the fair Liv Boeree in marriage, so he’s not complaining. Okay, he didn’t really get Liv in the deal, but organizers, if you really want to set a record for largest poker field…