In this week’s poker news round up we remind you of PokerStars battle with the bots, a beef with Jason Mo, an update on their first players meeting since the boycotts and much more.
As seems to be the norm these days, we will start our weekly coverage over at PokerStars Towers.
The entourage of Dani Stern, Isaac Haxton and Daniel Dvoress sat down with Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov and his senior management team at Amaya HQ in Montreal this week.
The players had to sign non-disclosure agreements, and told their social media followers that they needed time to gather their thoughts before responding, but we did manage to get some air time with Daniel Negreanu, who played piggy in the middle at the pow-wow.
Negreanu told us that Stars representatives showed the players confidential information that allowed them to understand why PokerStars had to make the changes when they did.
“I don’t think there is any question that anyone who saw the numbers would have disagreed that changes were necessary.” Said Negreanu before continuing, “these guys are part of the online poker fabric. It’s important they got an opportunity to speak directly to the people making these decisions.”
PokerStars Freezing Accounts
Negreanu confirmed player meetings would continue. He also suggested the attendees would change. One player who I don’t think will be getting an invite anytime soon is Jason Mo.
The high stakes cash game player recently had his PokerStars account frozen after threatening violence against Lee Jones, PokerStars Head of Poker Communications. Mo tweeted a suggestion that someone should give him a ‘swift kick in the nuts’ while he was doing a John Travolta on the dance floor at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Players Party.
Mo and PokerStars jostled back and forth over Twitter for several days before Mo had his account privileges returned.
Did Mo learn a lesson?
I’m not so sure?
with the risk of additional sanctions from poker stars, id pay for someone to do this: https://t.co/U7wRbc4axT
— Jason Mo (@cuntycakes123) January 20, 2016
The last Tweet prompted a friendly reminder from Alex Dreyfus to ‘learn the motto: don’t shit where you eat.’
Mo wasn’t the only PokerStars player who had his account frozen this week.
In a bid to weed out the bots, PokerStars approached some players to film themselves playing for a minimum of 70-minutes, with a broad range of caveats all aimed at proving that they are (a) human, and (b) playing when and where they say they are.
Players are up in arms.
I thought players were complaining that PokerStars weren’t taking enough action against the bot problem.
Let’s hope New York lawmakers don’t get to hear about bots, frozen accounts and poker players hoping that online poker room employees get kicked in the nuts.
This week, New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, submitted an online poker bill almost identical to the last one that failed. One assumes Pretlow will keep pecking away like a woodpecker while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on the progress of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the State.
None of the experts who know more about these things than I do believe New York will have a regulated online poker environment this side of Christmas.
One state that definitely won’t have a regulated online poker market anytime soon is Nebraska. Senator, Tyson Larson, failing miserably to get anybody to listen to his point of view that online poker could bring some much-needed revenue into the state. He suggested an amendment to the Liquor Control Act so that cards could be played in licensed venues, and they didn’t even vote on the idea.
Awards, Awards and More Awards
The Women in Poker Hall of Fame opened its nomination process this week. Anybody is legible to vote. The Board will have the final say.
The Global Poker Index (GPI) also unveiled the nominees for the American Poker Awards (APA) this week.
Anthony Zinno is up for two awards (Tournament Performance of The Year & Moment of The Year). Daniel Negreanu’s run in the WSOP Main Event is also up for two awards (Moment of The Year & Media Content of The Year). Kelly Minkin is guaranteed the GPI Female Poker Player of The Year Award and received a nomination for Breakout Performance of The Year.
It was also a big week for poker and TV.
Poker Central (who incidentally are nominated for an APA) inked a deal with Mediarex Sports & Entertainment. The 24/7 Poker TV channel will broadcast live and recorded episodes of the upcoming Global Poker League (GPL).
PokerStars also announced TV deals. PokerStars.tv is to be made available to Apple TV users, and the free to play social game Jackpot Poker will be available on Amazon Fire.
Individual Honours and a Touch of Sadness
We will end, as always, with a pat on the back of a personal note.
Aaron Jones switched allegiance and won the $5m first prize in the DraftKings 2015 Fantasy Football $15 Million World Championships; Ryan Dunn won the Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $140,000; Andy Philachack won the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event in Choctaw for $393,188; John Holley won the largest ever WSOPC event in that series when he beat out 4,249 entry field for $203,944; Salomon Ponte won the Seminole Lucky Hearts WPT Deepstacks Main Event for $341,420; and Daniel McNairney won the partypoker Grand Prix Poker Tour at Old Trafford for £35,000.
The PCA ended with Mike Watson winning the Main Event for $728,325, and Nick Maimone winning the $25k High Roller for $996,480. Players left the Bahamas and headed directly to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions. Early winners in the side events in Oz include James Obst, Stephen Chidwick, Nam Le and David Yan.
On a sad note, the poker community lost Rene Angelil. The husband and manager of Celine Dion lost his battle with cancer.
Time Ladies and Gentlemen.
Someone just called the clock.