POKER

Spain taxman targets poker stars; PokerStars inks Barausova; Duhamel’s ex guilty

TAGs: Groupe Partouche, Jonathan Duhamel, PokerStars, spain, tatiana barausova, texas

texas-duhamel-tatiana-barausova-pokerstarsTax authorities in Spain are using tournament data gleaned from The Hendon Mob website to assess the tax liabilities of top Spanish players. On Tuesday, Poker-Red.com reported that the live tournament earnings of least three of the nation’s top players were being compared with their recent tax returns to determine if there were any discrepancies. Those found to have fudged their taxable income will be stripped naked, painted fire engine red and dumped into a bullfighting arena. Well, not really, but it would make for an entertaining interlude at the next EPT Madrid.

Russian poker pro Tatiana Barausova is the latest player to join Team PokerStars Online. The blonde beauty who plays online under the screen name ‘Mysters_Y’ first earned Supernova Elite status in 2011 and made the grade again this year. PokerStars claims that when Tatiana’s away from the computer, she enjoys snowboarding and working out. We like to imagine that her turn-ons include Smirnoff vodka, autocratic governments and those hats with the furry earflaps, while her turn-offs include weak American beer, democracy and the comedy stylings of Yakov Smirnoff.

Speaking of icy blondes, Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, the ex-girlfriend of PokerStars pro Jonathan Duhamel, pleaded guilty a couple weeks ago to charges stemming from her role in organizing the December 2011 home invasion/robbery/assault of the World Series of Poker 2010 champ. The Quebec judge presiding over the case was supposed to hear sentencing arguments this week, but the date has been pushed back to Feb. 12. Andres Valderrama, the inept gang’s getaway driver, also pleaded guilty and will have his own sentence hearing in March. The two men who actually beat Duhamel, Anthony Borque and Stephan Clark-Lemay, have yet to resolve their charges.

French casino outfit Groupe Partouche reported a 2.9% decline in overall revenues to €451m in its fiscal year 2012, which ended Oct. 31. The group’s online division, Partouche Interactive, saw revenues fall 10.5% on the year and 14% in Q4, reflecting the company’s somewhat petulant decision in September to shut down its Partouche Poker Tour following the non-guaranteed guaranteed prize pool debacle in Cannes. At the time, the company stated that the partouche.fr site would see reduced activity as a result of the closure of its live tournament product, and this time at least, the company was as good as its word.

Finally, a bill has been introduced in the Texas House of Representatives that would legalize poker. Not the online variety, mind you, but live card games at the state’s approved gaming joints, which include tribal casinos, racetracks and bingo halls. The Poker Gaming Act of 1813, er, 2013, can be read in its prehistoric entirety here.

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