Calling the Clock: RAWA Hearing; TDA Jeering and PokerStars Sports Betting Premiering

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

Lee Davy takes you back in time with a look at the week’s biggest poker news including the Restoration of the Wire Act hearing, the Tournament Directors Association upsetting the poker community, PokerStars giving their new Sportsbook an airing, the Devilfish fighting cancer, Byron Kaverman taking apart the Aria, and a round-up from the European Poker Tour.

Calling the Clock: RAWA Hearing; TDA Jeering and PokerStars Sports Betting PremieringThis week saw a lot of people, who know nothing about the nitty gritty of operating an online gambling site; give their reasons why they believe it is the worse thing to happen to the human race since the formation of One Direction.

The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) was pored over on Capitol Hill; people likened online gambling to crack cocaine, told tales of clicking phones and losing homes, and even the terrorists got their five minutes of fame.

It was more Mad Hatters Tea Party than a paragon of political posturing. Great news if you want to be driven slightly mad, not so great if you were hoping that anyone with any online gambling experience had a voice.

Feast your eyes on a detailed account of the witch-hunt by clicking here.

Financial services organization, Morgan Stanley, has been keeping an eye on the madness. They have watched the RAWA shenanigans with great interest and have decided that online gambling revenue forecasts, in the US, might not be as high as previously thought.

The new forecast has cut profits by around 50%. The money masters believe online gambling will bring in $2.7bn by 2020, with 15 states contributing towards that pot.

At least they think we have one to piss in.

The TDA Get Their Knickers in a Twist

It doesn’t matter which way you carve up the RAWA debate, it’s a piece of literature hell bent on inserting control over humanity. Sheldon Adelson wants that control. He is leading the charge from behind his jet-powered Zimmer frame.

To win this war, we need to cut the head off the snake. An old battle stratagem that seems to have fallen on deaf ears in the poker world. We don’t have an axe in our hand. We have a mouse. We are feeding it, and at the same time, we might lose our house.

Players continue to play in The Venetian card room. We are feeding the mouth that wants to bite our heads off and shit down our necks. It’s not a surprise. Poker players don’t make good musketeers. But the Tournament Directors Association (TDA)? You would think they would know better.

Apparently not.

The TDA recently announced plans to host their biennial summit at The Venetian. Adelson dropped his white fluffy cat, and started gleefully rubbing his hands.

Cue a Twitter outrage.

Players vented their anger in 140 characters; Ryan Riess offered to host the event at his home, Alex Dreyfus offered to the foot the bill to host it anywhere else, and Eric Hollreiser even chimed in to help divert what was fast becoming a poker PR disaster for the men and women who run our events.

The net result?

Board member Linda Johnson promised to make a fresh announcement in the coming weeks.

PokerStars Pile Up

Amaya Gaming is a different beast since acquiring PokerStars and Full Tilt. Revenue from the Canadian gaming giant came in at C$368.6m, for the first three months ending Dec 31 – a tad more than the $37m it earned 12-months prior.

The acquisition has super charged PokerStars evolution. Casino games have already forced the likes of Victoria Coren to abandon her post, and this week saw their first sports bet following a beta launch of their new book.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) may soon follow. On their post-earnings call, this week, super CEO, David Baazov, intimated that their first foray into the DFS market should be expected in line with the new NFL season.

Amaya insisted that they will remain a ‘poker-first’ business, but you can see the benefits of allowing an individual to keep all of their gambling money in one single wallet. Love it or hate it, PokerStars is going through a major make over, and they are going to look mighty fine when the lipstick top is screwed back on.

All of that Wonga is being created without real money online gambling being offered in the United States. Imagine how much bigger they are going to get? The first signs of that growth could be arriving in the fall. On the same post-earnings call Baazov indicated that PokerStars would arrive in New Jersey as the leaves turn a brutish brown. It’s the first time that anyone from Amaya, or PokerStars, has murmured a date, and from the CEO no less.

Brunson Wants Devilfish in the Poker Hall of Fame; Kaverman Smashes the Aria and EPT Malta Round Up

Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott is facing an uphill battle against cancer. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, and World Poker Tour (WPT) Champions Club member, has been diagnosed with a terminal form of the disease, and has been spending precious time at home with his family.

The news led to a tidal wave of impassioned comments from all over the world; most notably from Doyle Brunson, who posed the question of placing the Devilfish into the Poker Hall of Fame with immediate effect. There wasn’t a single voice of dissent.

In brighter news, Byron Kaverman once again proved that taking your time at the poker table aint a bad thing. The thinker won back-to-back $25k buy-in High Roller events, at The Aria, picking up over $360,000 in the space of two days. Tony Gregg cashed in them both, and Jason Koon continued his impressive form by also taking a six-figure sum away from the first event, after a chip-chop that also involved Kyle Julius.

Whilst Kaverman was smashing things up stateside, the European Poker Tour (EPT) was hosting their largest event ever. EPT Malta was home to 69 events, and Dzmitry Urbanovich won four of them. It was a little piece of history. Nobody had ever won four side events before. The Pole is now the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year front-runner.

Urbanovich wasn’t the only star to shine brightly in Malta. Frenchman, Jean Montury, defeated fellow countryman Valentin Messina to take the €687,400 first prize, in the €5,300 Main Event. David Peters won €597,000 after beating the Uruguayan Ivan Luca in heads-up action in the €10,300 High Roller event.

Time, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Someone has just called the clock.


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