In this week’s poker news roundup we bring you up to speed on changes from the Global Poker League, Marcel Luske taking PokerStars to court, and Poker Central signing three new ambassadors.
The Global Poker League (GPL) Playoffs will not take place in San Diego, and the Championships won’t be at Wembley. Alex Dreyfus has told PokerNews that the two events will switch to Las Vegas and that the dates of the third chapter of the inaugural GPL will also change.
There are many reasons for the changes. Amongst them must be the costs and logistics of heaving a giant Cube around the world and the availability of the GPL stars and audience. Dreyfus told PokerNews that the Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP) ‘smashed’ them during the spring resulting in a need to avoid future confrontations of a similar nature.
With all the major online poker sites hosting their biggest festivals in September, the European Poker Tour (EPT) festival in Barcelona, and the impending Burning Man festival, the GPL would have ended up woefully short of players.
The GPL season will now begin on Sep 20, and the Playoffs will take place Nov 29/30, with the Championships held on Dec 1. And it’s not all doom and gloom. Setbacks are an essential part of the process of creating something this magnificent and Dreyfus also leaked an enticing piece of the GPL’s future onto his Twitter page.
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) August 10, 2016
Three of the GPL’s hottest properties were also in the news this week after agreeing to slot into the role’s of ambassador’s of Poker Central. The 24/7 Poker TV channel hired LA Sunset’s manager Maria Ho, Berlin Bears Brian Rast, and New York Rounders Tom Marchese. And Poker Central also announced that their exclusive poker documentary series Pokerography would return for a second season starring the likes of Jennifer Tilly, Chris Moorman, and Liv Boeree.
The first player to feature on Season 1 of Pokerography was Phil Hellmuth and this week we learned that the most famous player in the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) was in New York filming for a cameo appearance in the Showtime TV show Billions. Wingman Brandon Cantu also joined him in the makeup room.
From people busy striking new deals to one person who is still dealing with the fallout of leaving one.
Marcel Luske is taking his former employer PokerStars to court over a legal wrangling involving poker rules. Luske, who once represented the Red Spade as a Team Pro, told CDCGamingReports that he shook hands on a $25k per annum licensing deal for PokerStars to use a set of poker rules he created for his company: The Federation International de Poker Association (FiDPA). The report alleges that PokerStars later backed out and used their version called PSLive, which Luske says are almost identical to his set.
“Every single PSLive rule is an exact copy and/or derivative of language from the International Poker Rules,” Luske told CDCGamingReports.
Huge September for Online Poker Fans
Sticking with the PokerStars theme and this week they announced their 2016 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) schedule. The final version emerged via five drafts and over 100 changes as PokerStars conversed with players to create a product that they wanted and valued. It’s the biggest WCOOP ever planned with 82 events and $1.5m guaranteed for the Main Event winner. Amongst the changes are the removal of 2nd Chance tournaments and no more gold bracelets for the winners. There will also be a massive $102,000 High Roller.
PokerStars are not alone when it comes to hosting blockbuster events in September. Partypoker have $7.8m up for grabs spread over 172 games as part of their Powerfest series, and 888Poker will roll out its successful Super XL Series in the same month.
One online poker room that won’t be holding a festival in September is Bovada. The US-facing operator has sold its poker business to the Costa Rica-based online casino operator Ignition Casino. The two sites were also sharing player liquidation and will continue to do so until Bovada closes its poker room on Sep 30. The online casino and sportsbook will continue to operate as normal.
As one online poker room closes, another one seeks to improve as Unibet announced plans to upgrade to version 2.0 of the software created in partnership with Relax Gaming. Unibet will showcase the new software at the Unibet Open in Copenhagen.
Talking about Unibet Open Copenhagen and Kenny Hallaert will be the Tournament Director (TD) for the event. Earlier this week, the November Niner signed as the online poker rooms new live TD, and will bust out his new suit in the Danish capital at the end of the month.
Individual Pats on the Back
Doug Polk announced plans to get stuck into a new bankroll challenge this week. The Upswing Poker co-founder will attempt to turn $100 into $10,000 playing mainly Sit n Go and small MTT events. Polk will stream the entire challenge on his ever improving Twitch stream.
The Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) created a new record this week when the 2016 Goliath became the largest live tournament held outside of Las Vegas. Vamshi Vandanpau beat out a field of 5,232 entrants in the record breaking event. He banked £62,750 for the win. The 2015 Goliath held the previous record of 4,210.
In other tournament news German player, Van Tran won the WPT National Main Event in Rozvadov for €68,081, and Francesco Elefante took the €40,000 first prize at the Italian Poker Tour (IPT) Main Event in Saint Vincent.
Former 2015 GPI Player of the Year (GPI), Byron Kaverman, was also in the news this week when he won back-to-back Aria $25,000 High Rollers for over half a million dollars, the second time in successive years that he has done so.
Time, ladies and gentlemen.
Someone has just called the clock.