Calling the Clock: GVC Bid a Billion in bwin Deal, Ivey Countersues Borgata and MicroMillions 11 Champ Crowned

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

Lee Davy rounds up all of the weekly poker news including a revised bwin bid by GVC Holdings; Phil Ivey countersuing The Borgata in baccarat case, and much more.

Put the kettle on, huddle together like group therapy, it’s time to trawl through the nets of the world poker scene to see what tidbits of news we have captured this week.

We will start with the bwin sale soap opera. The last time we reported on this pow-wow 888 Holdings had agreed to acquire the online gambling giant for £898m. Heads of both outfits went public with their delight on the deal and most people thought that was the end of that – except GVC Holdings that is.

After their initial £900m bid was rejected they divorced their former lover Amaya Gaming Inc. and jumped straight into bed with Cerberus Capital Management with the newlyweds offering a fresh new bid of £1 billion.

“Higher!” Shouted bwin investor Jason Ader, who believes if GVC/Cerberus have any chance of gazumping 888 then they need to increase their per share price offer from 122.5p to 140p.

Calling the Clock: GVC Bid a Billion in bwin Deal, Ivey Countersues Borgata and MicroMillions 11 Champ CrownedThe gloves are on and the bell is about to be rung for Round Three.

Just before the bell rings you often see a beautiful young woman, wearing hardly any clothes, parading around the ring with the round number held aloft.

Is that misogynistic?

Is the woman being exploited, or is she exploiting her looks in order to advance her career/earn money/love what she does?

These are the sorts of questions that get thrown about the poker community with a rate matched only when Bruce Lee used to get his nunchucks out for a game of ping-pong.

Well this week the feminists and anti-feminists have been at it again after Jeff Timms suggested that the only reason Samantha Abernathy was able to progress within the poker industry was because of her looks – cue World War III.

Insults, defensive statements, and hand grenades designed just to titillate were traded on both sides of the divide, a 2+2 thread was created, and Shane Schleger even wrote a nicely balanced op-ed over the whole affair. The upshot of which was an apology from Timms and a few months rest until the next wave of punches are no doubt thrown. Talking about misogyny – Playboy Poker closed this week, but I am a little scared to talk about it to be honest.

Poker isn’t all abuse and isms. We are the mighty when it comes to our ability to give to others, and what a week it was for the tag team of poker and charity.

Brazilian football star, and newest member of PokerStars, Neymar Jr competed in a specially organized charity event at the Brazilian Series of Poker Millions (BSOP). The event raised $100,000 for the Neymar Jr. Institute: a charity designed to help the underprivileged living in Sao Paolo.

Then PokerStars teamed up with Prostate Cancer UK to get involved with their ‘Men United’ campaign. PokerStars will reach out to their vast database of male players to encourage them to organize a home game and hand proceedings to Prostate Cancer UK. The campaign is called “Lads Night In” and Team Pro Jake Cody is running a little competition where winners can earn a seat in his home game played somewhere in London.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) also got into the act by teaming up with Pala Casino to raise money for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) Charity. The pair will host a $1,100 buy-in $100k Guaranteed NLHE event with $100 from each buy-in going towards that particular cause.

And last, but certainly not least, we caught up with Liv Boeree to ask her how she was preparing for her starring role at the Effective Altruism Global Summit. Like she has anything to worry about? She is only sharing the stage with Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom.


Liv wasn’t the only poker player we sat down with this week. We also caught up with the UK pro Ben Warrington who showed his vulnerability by coming clean over the overselling of action that he got embroiled in during a Venetian Deepstack event at the end of the WSOP. Make sure to check that out.

Phil Ivey was also busy trying to ensure his reputation wasn’t stomped into the mud this week. You may remember that Ivey was facing two lawsuits over alleged ‘edge sorting’ tactics netted him millions of dollars at the Baccarat tables in both London and New Jersey.

Ivey lost his London fight – although he does have an appeal in Dec – and this week he came out punching by counter-suing The Borgata after highlighting that it was impossible to create a defense because the casino had destroyed the cards they are alleging were used by Ivey to gain an unfair advantage.

There was a time when Ivey once sued Full Tilt, and they were also in the news this week after they made a series of changes to their online poker product that set the cat amongst the pigeons. Full Tilt has decided to roll out their recreational player model and the first few changes they have made is to remove heads-up tables, severely reduce the types of ring games offered, and remove the ability for regs to seat select. We spoke to Player Ambassador Marc Kennedy, and he told us that there are plenty more changes to come.

We will end with some personal triumphs.

Bart Lybaert defeated 745 entrants to capture the first prize of €122,000 in the France Series of Poker (FPS) €1,100 Main Event in Lille, Blake Bohn defeated 410 entrants to win his second Mid States Poker Tour (MSPT) title, and $101,229, in Meskwaki, and a Canadian known only as ‘Nolet20’ defeated 55,524 players to capture the first prize of $89,854 in the $22 MicroMillions 11 Main Event.

Time ladies & gentlemen please.

Someone has just called the clock.


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