In this week’s Calling The Clock we bring you news of a potential merger between William Hill and Amaya Gaming, a trio of tales from partypoker including the opening of their new Twitch channel, and lots more.
The major story of the week is the talk surrounding a proposed reverse takeover with William Hill taking over Amaya Gaming. Both Hills and Amaya have seemingly been in the shop window for a Betfair/PaddyPower type deal for some time now. Hills recently turned their back on a three-way deal with Rank & 888, while former Amaya God, David Baazov, pulled out of his plan to take the company private, GVC has gone quiet, and rumours of Isaia Scheinberg taking the company back under his wings are yet to fruit.
The deal, if it went ahead, would expose PokerStars online poker players to William Hills sportsbook, and Hills punters to the largest online poker room in the world.
The deal could hinge on two major issues. The first would be Hills exposure to the unregulated waters that Amaya likes to swim in, and the second is a yet unresolved legal dispute ongoing in Kentucky that could cost Amaya $870m in damages. Hills won’t want any part of that bill.
Global Poker League News
The PokerStars sponsored Global Poker League (GPL) is entering the twilight of the league phase and the Montreal Nationals and Los Angeles Sunset became the first two sides to qualify for the Playoffs this week. Both teams qualify via the Americas Conference. The Eurasia Conference is tighter than a duck’s ass.
PartyPoker & 888Poker News
Partypoker has been a little busy this week. They launched their long-awaited Twitch channel on Tuesday with Patrick Leonard taking on the responsibility of the host. Leonard is part of the partypoker stable, and it got a little cosier this week after Jackie Glazier and Beata ‘Wild Hungarian’ Jambrik joined the team.
888Poker was also busy hiring instead of firing. Former European Poker Tour (EPT) German TV Presenter, Natalie Hof, has joined the online poker room as am an ambassador and will be making her first live appearance at the 888Live Festival in London next week. The likes of Antonio Esfandiari and Michael Mizrachi will be joining Hof.
It was also a week where poker players put their hands in their pockets for good causes. Former World Poker Tour (WPT) National Champion, Alex Goulder, got a little drunk and challenged Rob Yong to a table tennis contest with the winner taking a £20k winner takes all purse. It transpires that the Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) owner is a dab hand at ping pong winning his home county championship five times. Yong will give Goulder a 10-point headstart. The money will go to charity.
St. Jude Children’s Hospital released plans to host their third annual Against All Odds Celebrity Poker Event. Daniel Negreanu will host. A $600 fee will earn you a seat and a chance to win a WSOP Main Event seat or a trip to a fancy resort on the island of Fiji.
And Raising For Effective Giving (REG) blogged about Roman Romanovsky’s charity marathon. The Ukrainian star is aiming to earn $600,000 in profit with two-thirds of that cash heading to the coffers of effective charities. Romanovsky’s marketing has been sound – 20 more players have joined his mission vowing to earn half a million for charity.
The Aria High Rollers were in full swing this week, Brian Rast, Jake Schindler, and Brandon Steven picking up the winners checks over the weekend. Steven’s was worth a whopping $648,000 when he beat Bill Klein heads-up. Both Steven and Klein will now head to the €1m buy-in One Drop that takes place in Monte Carlo over the weekend.
Robert ‘Skinny’ Hankins is the newest World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event winner after outlasting a field of 432 entrants in Southern Indiana. Hankins is no stranger to WSOPC jewellery. It was his second gold ring of the Indiana Festival, and his sixth overall. Nate Bandy will join Hankins at the end of season Global Casino Championships after he earned the Casino Champion honours with two gold ring victories during the festival.
And finally, Zachary Smiley overcame a final table with some familiar faces at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event at Maryland Live!. Smiley earned $356,536 for the win. Last year’s fifth place finisher, Cate Hall, finished sixth, WPT Player of the Year leader, Benjamin Zamani, finished fifth in his third WPT Main Event final table of the season, and multiple WPT Main Event winner, Darren Elias, finished fourth.
Time, Ladies and Gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.