This week’s poker news round-up arrives a little earlier than scheduled thanks to a rather rude interruption from Santa, Rudolph and a hoard of Elves. PokerStars, World Series of Poker and Fedor Holz feature.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) broke out an early Christmas present after announcing plans for the Colossus to return for the 47th iteration of the most celebrated poker festival in the world.
The $5m guarantee rises to $7m, there will be three starting flights, and the winner will walk away with a guaranteed first prize of $1m. The other significant change introduced is the certainty that players making it through Day 1 will be in the money. As it’s a re-entry event, this enables players to cash multiple times.
By introducing the new Day 1 cashing rule, the WSOP hope to reduce the horrendous lines they had at the cash desks earlier in the summer. It’s high time the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) moved out of the cave and into the light. They know 22k+ people will arrive. They know the current system doesn’t work. Automate it.
Moving swiftly on from an organisation who seems to be listening to their customers to one roundly criticised for the complete opposite.
PokerStars were in the news for three reasons this week, and not one of them had anything to do with the feud that has developed between players and senior management in previous weeks.
The biggest news story was PokerStars launching their new sports betting product. Stars purchased the BetStars domain name in November and had been taking some cheeky sports betting bets since then. However, this is a significant foray into the sports betting market with BetStars offering wagers on 25 sports available on .com, .eu., .uk and mobile devices.
The news is further evidence of Amaya Gaming’s wish to widen PokerStars scope of gambling options. The other part of that triumvirate is table games, and PokerStars recently announced plans to sponsor their first Blackjack tournament as part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) this January. The Atlantis Casino & Resort will host the event. It will carry a $500 buy-in, a $100k guarantee and be capped at 216 players. Part of the winners package will be a seat in the PCA Main Event.
We end our PokerStars round up in Kentucky where Amaya Gaming have indicated that should they lose their illegal gambling 2010 Kentucky court case they will look to PokerStars former owners to foot the bill. That bill currently stands at an estimated $290m, although the state’s legal team are trying to push for three times that payout. That same legal team also suggested that the Poker Player Alliance’s (PPA) late involvement in the lawsuit is a ruse, and they were being paid by Amaya/PokerStars to ensure the treble damages claim dies before it breathes.
We stop off at the front door of the World Poker Tour (WPT) next and news of two new millionaires.
Kevin Eyster became a two-time WPT Main Event champion when he defeated 639 entrants in the $10,000 buy-in Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas. Eyster earned $1.5m for the win, the same amount that Fedor Holz won when he defeated 45 entrants in the $100,000 buy-in WPT Alpha8 event. Holz will next appear in the WPT’s $200,000 buy-in Super High Roller as part of the WPT National Festival in the Philippines. The Poker King Club has declared that 21 players have already confirmed attendance in the largest buy-in event ever held by the WPT.
Our weekly round-up ends in the Philippines after one of their residents created history this week. British poker pro, Sam Razavi, won the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Player of the Year (POY) title for the fourth consecutive occasion. He told the APT.com website that he has to keep on going until he eventually loses one. I have the feeling that could be some time yet.
Time Ladies & Gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.