Lee Davy sips a smoothie whilst bringing you a round up of all the week’s poker news, including another meeting that achieved nothing on the future of online poker in California, news of a second RAWA bill, Bwin sell WPT to Ourgame, and much more.
The California State Assembly’s Governmental Organization Committee held another hearing this week. The coven was branded with the title: The Legality of Internet Poker: How Prepared is California to Regulate It? Our very own Steven Stradbrooke wasted four and a half hours of his life. I think the answer is ‘not very.’
Lock Poker played an unexpected starring role, as evidence of the havoc that can ensue if online poker isn’t regulated. PokerStars were also dragged around the room, as is standard when the words ‘Bad Actor’ are uttered in the same sentence as ‘Online Poker in America’. Californian Gambling Control Commission member Richard Schuetz offered the only useful sentence when he said the only bad actor he knew was former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. At least it made Stradbrooke laugh, thus stopping him from falling to sleep.
Sticking with the battle to regulate online poker in America, Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, introduced a Senate version of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) this week. The only differences noted from the RAWA bill put forward by Republican Jason Chaffetz, were special carve outs to appease the state lotteries, and support land based casinos rights to offer mobile gaming.
House of Cards this isn’t.
Bwin Sell the WPT to Asia’s Ourgame; PKR Withdraw From French Market
The whispers can finally be put to bed after bwin.party digital entertainment announced the sale of the World Poker Tour (WPT) to the Hong Kong listed online games operator Ourgame International Holdings. The price was $35m, nearly a threefold increase on the $12.3m Partygaming paid for those particular assets back in 2009.
The sale is expected to close June 25, and all of the WPT assets will transfer to the Asian gaming operator. So far, the news emanating from WPT towers, and everyone connected with the company, is good. Global Poker Index (GPI) owner, Alex Dreyfus, wrote a blog post declaring his love for the deal, and how promising it is for the future of poker.
Talking about interest of poker in China, Dreyfus said: “That’s where the next poker wave could come from; from East to West, not the other way around.”
Another poker company in the news this week was PKR. The only place in the world where you can choose how to dress your avatar, twirl chips, and plenty of other stuff nobody cares about decided to pack their parachute tight and jump out of the French online poker market. The news was announced at the same time they hired a new CEO. Former LottoNetwork Managing Director, Neil Alexander, replacing Malcolm Graham, who left the 3D poker outfit earlier in the year.
World Series of Poker Round Up
We finish with a full round up of the most interesting news stories from the 46th World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Firstly, on the interview front, and experienced poker writer, and commentator, Marc Convey, said poker players should put their hands in their pockets and pay for live reporting otherwise stop complaining about the quality of the product; Patrick Leonard gave yours truly some wonderful advice on how not to punch someone in the face when they three-bet you repeatedly; Steve Watts squeezed me in between interviews with SWV’s management team, as he continues his part time role as manager of the British pop sensation Louisa Johnson; Stuart Rutter tried to explain how a complete noob can win a 2-7 bracelet, and Daniel Negreanu talked about his broken heart, being blackmailed, and why he believes in aliens.
Another person I interviewed this week was Simon Trumper. Fortunately, I interviewed him before I knocked him out of the Extended Levels competition. Trumper talked about his campaign to get Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot into the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame, and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) opened up the nomination process to the public this week. Head to the website and vote for the Devilfish, if you feel he deserves to be enshrined in poker’s history.
What else happened this week?
I wrote about the unfair edge that I believe the live stream gives to professional poker players who face off against recreational players at final tables. Then a ton of recreational players won bracelets, just to prove my theory wrong. I also wrote several opinion pieces conveying my disgust at the way dealers have been treated at the WSOP. Let’s hope people read them, and attitudes change.
On the bracelet front Brian Hastings and Max Pescatori became the first players to win multiple bracelets this year. Pescatori’s victory confirmed him as the most successful Italian poker player of all time, unfortunately the same cannot be said for Mr. Hastings. A 2+2 thread alleging that he played on false PokerStars and Full Tilt accounts, as well as using a VPN to play illegally from the States, taking the shine off his victory.
Daniel Idema won his third bracelet, and then admitted owning a hot air balloon, Byron Kaverman continued his ascent towards the higher echelons of poker power with his first bracelet win, 72-year old Andre Boyer became the oldest winner this year with victory in the Mixed Format event, Travis Barker won the Seniors Event, and Jon Andlovec made his fourth WSOP cash of his life, all final tables, and won the Super Seniors event.
Time, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.