In this week’s poker news round up the Global Poker League Draft is in the books, the World Series of Poker announce 69 events for their summer extravaganza and much more.
The Global Poker League (GPL) looks more like a league after the bulk of the jigsaw pieces merged during one hell of a night at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.
It was a stunning success for Dreyfus. Poker has a future; this is it. The panel of Joe Stapleton, Eric Danis, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth made it fun for everyone watching on twitch, and there are some incredibly strong teams with the London Royals and Montreal Nationals looking particularly impressive.
For a full report on the draw click here.
The GPL is racing towards the front of the pack. It’s an exciting tussle. The more ingenious the GPL become, the more mundane the rest of the pack start to look.
How do the rest react?
Well, if you are the World Series of Poker (WSOP), you announce a schedule containing 69 bracelets, a flattened pay structure, more opportunities to become a millionaire than ever before, and tell everyone that it’s ‘the most ambitious and diverse schedule in the 47-year history.’
The highlight reel of the new schedule includes eight new events, 50,000 starting stacks for $10k events, including the Main Event; a new team event, the return of Colossus II, and the omission of the Big One for One Drop.
“For those who don’t notice the Big One for ONE DROP, the WSOP’s $1 million buy-in charity poker tournament on the schedule, don’t worry. It will indeed take place in 2016 in grand fashion; however, it won’t be in Las Vegas as part of the summer schedule. More details on the Big One for ONE DROP will be announced soon.”
A Trio of Scandals
The WSOP will feature two events with ties to their online poker site WSOP.com. The site is available for people residing within the cyber boundaries of New Jersey and Nevada, and one of the companies that have been given the authority to manage those geolocation issues is Iovation.
Why is that scandalous?
Iovation’s co-founder is Greg Pierson, the former CEO of Ultimate Bet (UB) at the time of the Russ Hamilton ‘God Mode’ scandal that robbed players of $20m+ and change. Pierson was heard on audio recordings, at the time of the incident, trying his utmost to limit the damage to the company by any means necessary.
This week, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) handed Iovation a Class 2 Gaming License to operate within the state of Nevada.
Our second scandalous piece of news comes from the land of Ikea, hot tubs, and beautiful blonde weather girls. I am, of course, talking about Sweden, and this week the five players found guilty of fraud – when they created bots that stole $500,000+ from unsuspected players on the Svenska Spel network – saw their sentence reduced to rubble after falling on the right side of a Court of the Appeal.
And finally, when it comes to scandals the names don’t get much bigger than Lance Armstrong. The most famous and infamous cyclist in the history of the sport got embroiled in the Dan Bilzerian/Bill Perkins bike ride dare when he said he would train Bilzerian to make the 278-mile trip in the allotted 48 hr time frame. Perkins reacted by offering Armstrong $200,000 for doing the same distance in 15 hrs. The hand has not yet been bitten.
Online Poker Room News
Partypoker apologized to players this week after a system update caused the site to crash on the eve of the Powerfest series. The crash also affected the online Day 1 of the Grand Prix Poker Tour (GPPT) in Newcastle. Partypoker added $10,000 to the prize pool as a gesture of goodwill. The system update will be placed on hold until the end of the Powerfest series.
Former partypoker ambassador Kara Scott was also in the news this week. The ESPN and GPL Draft mic holder joined 888Poker as an ambassador for the site. The signing comes on the eve of Scott’s APA nomination for Poker Presenter of the Year.
888Poker also announced the return of 888Local Live. The low buy-in event will come back for a second season. Aspers, Stratford will host the first £220 Main Event.
Aspers also announced plans to host a five-day 120-hour non-stop cash game festival. It will be the first of its kind in the UK and promises to offer cash games for every derivative of poker you can think of. Aspers will team up with Poker Icons to organize the event.
American Poker News
California’s hopes for an online poker life were given another boost this week. Adam Gray and Reggie Jones-Sawyer pushed AB 2863 under the noses of those that make the decisions on such things.
This one is different.
The bill wants Californian racetrack owners to receive $60 million per year in revenue sharing from online poker operators, in exchange for the blinkers being pulled over the eyes of those particular gee-gees.
Only tribal casinos and casinos would be the bedrock of online poker operations within the state.
Rush Street Productions, the brainchild behind Poker Night in America (PNIA), announced plans to launch a new TV show called ‘The Final Table.’ Producers have been shooting footage for the past six months in low to mid stakes buy-in events around the US. The program will be assisted by the expert views of Phil Hellmuth, Maria Ho, David Tuchman and Jason Somerville.
Finally, Aaron Sorkin is keen to offer Jessica Chastain the role of Molly Bloom in his directorial debut of the Poker Princess’s poker memoir. Chastian is a two-time Academy Award nominee.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) in Dublin ended with victories for Samuel Panzica and Dzmitry Urbanovich. Panzica won the €10,000 High Roller for €375,770, and Urbanovich won the Main Event for €561,900. Other big wins around the world included Vinny Pahuja winning the Parx Big Stax XV 500 for $104,475.
One man who didn’t win anything was the GPI #1 Steve O’Dwyer. He reported on Twitter that he is human after all. He came away from EPT Dublin in the red, the first time he has done so since July. Both O’Dwyer and Urbanovich confirmed their intention to travel to Georgia to compete in the World Series of Poker Circuit event next month.
Time ladies & gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.