In this week’s poker news round-up we remind you that Annette Obrestad angered the poker community by signing with the Venetian Poker Room; Steve O’Dwyer took another huge score down under, and much more.
Sheldon Adelson and the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) pulled off a masterstroke last week when they hired Norwegian poker star Annette Obrestad as an ambassador of the Venetian Poker Room.
When you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV ads creating awareness on the dangers that online gambling has upon impressionable children and teenagers, what better way to prove your story by hiring a prominent member of the online gambling community who has admitted to gambling online underage.
The evidence is written in her name.
The depths to which people will stoop for money.
From a billionaire’s pawn to a multi-millionaire slowly becoming a king.
Steve O’Dwyer is the world’s greatest proponent of the art of multi-table tournament poker. He is the Global Poker Index (GPI) ranked #1 player. He is winning chunks. And I mean chunks.
The American took the top prize of $744,829 in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge after beating his compatriot David Peters in heads-up action. O’Dwyer is now ranked #10 in the all-time money list with close to $15 million in live tournament cashes. He has earned just shy of $3m in January alone. I am in the wrong job.
O’Dwyer wasn’t the only American flying out of Melbourne with a memory of a lifetime stored in their grey matter. Ari Engel won $1.6m after beating Tony Dunst in the heads-up phase of Aussie Millions Main Event. It’s the biggest score of his life by a country mile, and thoroughly deserved. The runner-up, Dunst, very nearly missed the competition when he lost a $5k chip he was going to use to buy-in; fortunately he changed his mind. He now has $1m chips. Let’s hope he doesn’t lose them also.
Weekly PokerStars Round Up
Once upon a time, PokerStars were a privately owned company adored by millions of poker players throughout the world. Then they became part of a public company – Amaya Gaming to be exact – and the love turned to hate. News emanating from PokerStars towers this weeks points to a return to the good old private days after Amaya Gaming CEO, David Baazov, revealed plans to buy PokerStars for a couple of billion dollars. Only time will tell if his attempts will prove successful. There will be others coming in with bids. Who knows, perhaps Sheldon Adelson and Annette Obrestad will buy the joint and burn it to the ground?
Three more PokerStars related news stories.
They won the Online Poker Operator of The Year award, at the International Gaming Awards (IGA), for the fourth consecutive year. The Turbo Championships of Online Poker (TCOOP) Main Event produced the largest first prize payout in their history when the Swiss player NastyMinder cut a deal with Sweden’s KungKroon to take the $396,691.43 first prize. Finally, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier is the new king of social media. He has replaced Daniel Negreanu in PokerStars Social Media Ranking after accruing an astonishing 13,600 Twitter followers and 26,800 Facebook likes since July 2014. Negreanu slips to third with Liv Boeree moving up to second.
Poker and Video Games
Alexandre Dreyfus launched the Alpha version of his new game HoldemX last week.
The Frenchman told the press that he was ‘investing millions’ into the bastard child of Hearthstone and poker. The game will begin life as a money free zone as Dreyfus tries to tap into the play money market.
The Alpha version will be web-based only. A native mobile app version will be out by the summer. A spin off from the Global Poker League (GPL) called GPL X will see poker players and eSports professionals battling it out in a HoldemX GPL.
One more news story connecting the dots between poker and eSports to catch up with. Full Tilt’s free-to-play version is now available online to video game enthusiasts using Valve’s Steam platform. There are currently 250 million eyeballs in that sphere. Full Tilt is hoping to pull a few of them away from video games, and into their real money stores.
The Best of British
Annette Obrestad wasn’t the only poker player signing pro forms this week. Getting it much more quietly were Kelly Saxby and Chris Gordon. The British-based duo signed up as the first two representatives of The Hippodrome, the Leicester Square based casino that houses the PokerStars LIVE cardroom. Both Saxby and Gordon will be wearing the patch during the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) and Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT).
Talking about Grosvenor, the online poker room has signed a deal with the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN). The move means Grosvenor Casinos can now offer their punters the full quota of online poker options under one roof for the first time.
Time ladies & gentlemen please.
Someone has just called the clock.