Calling the Clock brings you tons of charitable stories, great news for Pennsylvanian online gamblers and much more.
We will start this week’s poker round-up with news of a charitable nature.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) Foundation held their annual “All-In For Kids” charity poker tournament in New York City. The event raised $700,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, and there were some well-known names at the final table. WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin finished seventh; Annie Duke finished fourth and the charities co-founder Dan Shak lost out to Antonio Rodriguez in heads-up action. There was even a Hellmuth at the final table; Phil’s father finishing third.
The Rational Group was also in a charitable mood this week. They announced that their corporate giving program, Helping Hands, would be extending their partnership with the charity Right to Play. The relationship has seen 2,500 new volunteers trained to improve the lives of sick and impoverished children in third world countries, and hundreds of thousands of pounds injected into their communities.
Poker players also raised a ton of money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Daniel Negreanu and recent Poker of Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer Harman pulling the strings in those events.
There was also news of a darker shade this week.
Former 888Poker Team Pro and cricket legend Shane Warne‘s name was thrown into the spotlight after a consumer watchdog indicated that it was investigated accountancy practices at The Shane Warne Foundation. The non-profit was created to raise money for seriously ill and underprivileged children in Australia, but investigations revealed that of the $1.8m it had raised in the past three years only 16 cents per dollar was handed to the children.
Continuing with the theme of darkness and a two-time World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner, Travell Thomas, is facing either a large fine, time behind bars or both after he was one of the 15-people arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Thomas was the co-founder, president, and CEO of a debt collection agency that is alleged to have fraudulently extorted $31m from thousands of Americans over a four-year period.
One person affiliated with poker not too pleased with the law this week is Dan Bilzerian. The King of Instagram’s name popped up this in connection to a piece written in the Washington News where Bilzerian complained that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) removed eight weapons from his firearm collection after reacting to a failed burglary at the stars home. The LAPD later returned the guns but refused to return his ammo, much to the dismay of the man with more weapons than a small country.
Sticking with an American theme and the state of Pennsylvania moved a tad closer to becoming the fourth state to open up a legal and fully regulated online gambling network this week. John Payne’s HB 649 online gambling bill was approved by the House of Representatives Gaming Oversight Committee by a vote of 18-8 – next stop Full House membership vote.
Very soon that news will feature on the digital pages of USA TODAY Sports after they agreed on a multi-year content partnership with the Global Poker Index. You can expect to see a poker page opening up on the site at the beginning of 2016, more than likely to coincide with the launch of the Global Poker League (GPL).
One man who will no doubt be a part of the new GPL will be PokerStars Team Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Earlier this week the Frenchman became the first player to be sponsored simultaneously by both a poker company and an eSports company after he signed with Team Liquid as a Hearthstone player.
PokerStars sister company Full Tilt also hit the news for gaming reasons this week. Steam users finally gave their free-to-play software the thumbs up and very soon 125 million new gamers will gain access when it moves from the Steam Greenlight platform to the big daddy Steam platform.
Moving on to a more individual note and Chris Moorman’s Book of Poker is set to be released as a video book. D&B Publishing has announced plans to launch a series of eight videos, each containing 10-hands, with the books co-author Byron Jacobs providing the commentary.
Finally, we end by patting the following players on the back for adding some silverware to their trophy cabinets this week: Andy Andrejevic won the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Super High Roller for $1.125m; Jimmy Zhou won the ACOP Main Event for $760,000; Phanora Prom won the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event at Golden Gates for $123,180, and Jonny Gray won the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event in Blackpool for £69,000.
Time Ladies and Gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.