Lee Davy brings you a quick recap of all the weeks poker news including Isaac Haxton owning up to knowledge that Brian Hastings was using the NoelHayes account, a million bucks lands in the bank account of Omar Zazay, and much more.
The NoelHayes saga continues to motor along like Little House on the Prairie. Three plot twists to speak of, the first involving one of the most respected people in poker.
PokerStars Team Online sponsored pro, Isaac Haxton, has been revealed as the PokerStars pro who was aware that Brian Hastings had been playing on PokerStars, from the U.S., using the NoelHayes account.
David ‘Bakes’ Baker was the player who spread the news that a PokerStars player was involved before directly naming Haxton as the culprit. Haxton returned fire with a statement on 2+2 where he said that he only became aware that Hastings was using the account after the three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holder reached out to him via Skype on the last Sunday of SCOOP.
Haxton made it very clear that it was the first time he had communicated with Hastings in ‘several years’, that the pair weren’t friends, and had ‘never had any sort of financial relationship.’ Haxton apologized to the poker community for not advising his employer as soon as Hastings reached out to him. I am sure his minor transgression will be forgotten.
One person who won’t be forgetting this sorry mess is Noel Hayes. Detective work by the 2+2 community revealed that the man likely to be behind the account is actually the Sports Book Director at Betbright. And whilst the poker community were busy casting judgment on Hayes and Haxton, PAC gaming CEO Tim Frazin decided that the timing would be perfect to hire Hastings as a spokesperson for Multi Action Poker.
Last week we told you that Phil Ivey was countersuing the Borgata in their ‘edge sorting’ argument. His legal team weren’t happy that the decks of cards used at the time had been destroyed. This week the Borgata responded by stating that it’s normal for cards to be destroyed, claimed that the tactics Ivey used violated New Jersey gaming law, and said they can’t be sued by Ivey and his associate because any injury they suffered is of their own volition. Let’s hope the lawmakers see sense in that one.
One doubts you will see Phil Ivey in Atlantic City anytime soon, but that’s not the case for PokerStars. During an interview with Card Player senator Ray Lesniak said the PokerStars license will be completed in ‘short order.’ In the meantime Stars have launched €0.25 Spin & Go games in both France and Spain. The French project will end at the end of Sep, with no planned end date in sight for the Spaniards. I expect them to become a permanent fixture wherever Spin & Go games are offered under the PokerStars umbrella.
PokerStars sister site Full Tilt were also in the news this week. As promised, Dominic Mansour released further changes in his bid to create a more recreational player friendly model. They have worked like a charm. The new ‘Players Club’ format saw a ‘surge in the number of unique players’ on the site, and 483,203 hands of the new mini-game called ‘The Deal’ were played, meaning the new progressive jackpot now stands at $110,000.
Moving down the online poker pecking order and Unibet declared their intent on obtaining a fresh new fully regulated online poker license in Romania, and also inked deals to sponsor the Australian Poker League and 888PL. Partypoker also had some time in the headlines announcing plans to turn their 2015 Pokerfest into a mix of live and online play. Dusk Till Dawn will be utilized to host 10-events, with 80-being played online.
I will end with a run down of the week’s most prolific winners.
Omar Zazay won the biggest prize of the week when he took home a cool million dollars for winning the $5m Guaranteed $5,250 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. Dan Colman finished an impressive third in his defense of that title.
Jason Mercier moved further away from Anthony Zinno at the top of the Global Poker Index (GPI) charts after taking down the $25,400 SHRPO High Roller for close to $700,000. It was his third live victory of the year. Alan Curl captured the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event in Grand Falls for $64,655, Samuel Taylor won the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event in Foxwoods for $149,020, and Miikka Toikka earned £70,800 for topping a field of 4,120 entrants in the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Goliath in Coventry. It was the largest field ever held outside of Las Vegas.
Time ladies & gentlemen please.
Someone has just called the clock.