John McCain plays online poker, loses; iPoker skins go mobile; 888 ink JC Tran

TAGs: 888 poker, Bet365, JC Tran, john mccain, lynn gilmartin, Party Poker, vip poker, winner poker, Winning Poker Network, World Poker Tour, WPT Alpha8

mccain-vip-pokerTinyCo inc., the makers of the VIP Poker play-money app for iOS, got some major unexpected exposure on Tuesday as the Washington Post snapped a photo (at right) of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) playing the app on his iPhone. Post photographer Melina Mara took the snap during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on whether or not the United States intends to take military action against Syria over that country’s alleged use of sarin gas against the insurgents trying to bring down the Assad regime. McCain, a known craps player who favours military intervention in Syria, fessed up to his diversionary activities by tweeting the following: “Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!” would have loved this kind of viral exposure to promote their oft-delayed new Party Poker software, which is now set to arrive sometime within the next two weeks. For one thing, it would be cheaper than the TV ad campaign’s planning to accompany the release, and isn’t exactly flush right now. Is it too late to suggest they blame last week’s failure by Prime Minister David Cameron to get Parliament to authorize military intervention in Syria on Tory party whips playing Party Poker instead of rounding up the necessary votes? “Party Poker: So much fun you’ll forget to bomb Syria!”

Just last week, Playtech was eagerly talking up the imminent arrival of its new mobile apps for its iPoker network and now iPoker skins Bet365 and Winner Poker have each debuted new mobile poker options. The Stoke-based Bet365 soft-launched an iOS app on its domain, but although the release was done in conjunction with Playtech, Bet365 COO Gil Rotem told eGaming Review that the app encouraged players to remain “in-house” because “we don’t have as many sharks” as outside networks. Meanwhile, Antigua-based Winner’s new mobile product is available via in iOS, Android and HTML5 formats.

While other companies expand options, the Winning Poker Network (WPN) shut down its Bad Beat Jackpot on Sunday, Sept. 1. The network formerly known as Yatahay, which includes Americas Cardroom and the poker rooms of many Caribbean-based online sportsbooks, was the last US-facing network to offer a bad beat promotion, so perhaps John McCain could introduce a motion for someone at the Senate to blow Taps in between launching Tomahawk cruise missiles in Syria’s direction. While WPN has stopped collecting rake for the promotion, Bad Beats will continue paying out until the existing pool of collected cash is all gone.

Congratulations are in order for Lynn Gilmartin, who has been selected to replace Kimberly Lansing on the anchor desk for World Poker Tour broadcasts. Gilmartin, a familiar on-camera fixture at poker tournaments around the globe on behalf of PokerNews, will continue her role as anchor for the new WPT Alpha8 series broadcast team.

Speaking of, JC Tran might have come runner-up at the inaugural Alpha8 high roller event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Florida last week, but Tran is first in the hearts of 888 Poker, who have signed the 2013 November Niner to Team 888Poker. For the record, that makes three of the World Series of Poker main event final tablersJay Farber and Michiel Brummelhuis being the others – who’ll be sporting 888 insignia when play reconvenes in a couple months.


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