POKER

HPT Nevada; UKIPT Nottingham; Russia rethinking gambling stance?

TAGs: Eureka Poker Tour, Heartland poker tour, Russia, UKIPT

russia-gambling-eureka-heartland-ukipt-pokerPhil Collins has won the 2012 Heartland Poker Tour Nevada, overcoming a 195-strong field to earn $71k. That’s barely the interest on the $2.27m Collins earned for his fifth-place finish at the 2011 World Series of Poker, but maybe Collins needs new wiper blades for his limo or something. Uncharacteristically for the HPT, the six-handed final table featured just one amateur, Terry Presley, who succumbed early to leave it an all-pro affair. Canadian pro Matt Marafioti finished second, earning $41k.

Across the pond, 60-year-old Robert Baguley has taken the UKIPT Nottingham main event title and the handsome £210k prize that goes with it. Baguley qualified for the event at the last live super satellite for the big show, realizing a tidy profit on his £224 outlay. Iqbal Ahmed, who started final table play with an almost 2:1 chip lead over his closest opponent, enjoyed a similar numerical advantage when it came down to heads-up action. But Baguley made short work of his opponent, relegating Ahmed to runner-up status and a £125k payday.

On the continent, local boy Alija Filipovic took top honors at the PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour Croatia main event, earning €42.7k for outlasting 177 other players at Zagreb’s Golden Sun Casino. Hungarian Mate Mecs took second place and €32k, while Dragan Galic earned €16.4k for his third place finish. Next up for Eureka crowd is a trip to the Golden Sands Casino, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria beginning June 4.

Could live poker be making a state-sanctioned comeback in Russia? Years ago, officials infamously banned casino gambling throughout the country save for four far-flung special administrative zones and have been diligently cracking down on anyone who dares attempt to run a gaming establishment outside those areas. But the areas have neither lived up to their economic promise nor curbed Russian appetites for gambling. Now, InterGame reports that plans are quietly being discussed in the State Duma of the Russian Federation that would relocate those four zones to more populated areas where every other player isn’t a polar bear. Gaming company Alsart suggested the four new gambling zones would be situated in St. Petersburg, Sochi, Krasnodar and Moscow. Don’t tease us, tovarich

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