In this week’s Calling The Clock, PKR calls time due to financial difficulties, 888Poker launch a new promotion aimed at ‘taking back the game,’ and Alex Dreyfus decides it’s time to disrupt.
What a week!
We will begin with a little cry as the 3D online poker operator PKR advised their customers they were closing operations and heading to the Court for Administration orders.
The news comes six months after PKR migrated to the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) and so far the MPN has kept its powder dry on the situation only going so far as the state explicitly that they don’t have the PKR players money.
So where is that money?
Will the players ever see it again?
These are questions that hang in the balance as we have to play a wait and see game, although, this week, I spoke to former PKR pro-Dan O’Callaghan, and his feeling was the PKR players would get their money back.
The death of PKR was a shock but not exactly against industry trends according to the word of Alex Dreyfus this week. The Global Poker Index (GPI) & Hendon Mob (HM) owner unveiled his latest plans for poker domination, and it involves poker moving into a different arena altogether.
Dreyfus believes the video game industry is booming whereas the poker industry is declining. If we are to avoid any further PKRs, then Dreyfus believes the key is to align poker more closely to the video gaming industry.
And why not?
There is $108 billion in revenue to chew on as opposed to $2 billion in online poker. Dreyfus will create the Gaming Poker Index – a ranking and database for video games, similar to the HM and GPI. There was even a hint that Season 2 of the Global Poker League (GPL) may have a video game twist.
We shall wait and see.
It’s not only Dreyfus that sees a need to shake things up a bit. This week the second largest online poker room in this wilderness of ours revealed a new mission to Take Back the Game, focusing on removing the #Buzzkills and replacing them with something more attractive. A new 30-second TV ad is doing the rounds, and we will bring you further information as 888Poker dishes it out.
Calling The Clock Within Calling The Clock
One area of the business Dreyfus doesn’t seem that interested in is the live tournament industry, stating it will mainly stay stagnant-devoid of any disruptive innovation.
The live tournament circuit is like a cockroach. When artificial intelligence (AI) destroys online poker, live poker will creep out from beneath the radiation strewn rubble to don the crown they once held before the Internet came along and connected the world.
And the live tour operators have been busy this week.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP), probably the least disruptive of the lot, announced plans to change the rules concerning Calling The Clock in a bid to deal with excessive stalling.
The new rule allows players to Call The Clock when the hell they like, but the floor staff have the final say. It’s not that hard to foresee a situation where Daniel Negreanu gets two minutes to make his mind up, and Percy Pea from Pennsylvania gets 30-seconds such is the subjective nature of the new rule.
Just add a bloody shot clock to the tables!
That would be considered disruptive innovation. Alex, you were right.
Poker in India
India was the surprising hot topic of conversation this week after the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced plans to deepen their relationship with Adda52.com by creating a WPT DeepStacks India and WPT India Player of the Year.
Also, India’s Poker Sports League (PSL) surprised everyone when they held their first draft, and both Sam Razavi and partypoker’s Patrick Leonard were selected to feature in the league as wildcard entries.
But poker in India will always be hamstrung if they don’t make the laws surrounding poker more transparent. This week, the Indian Poker Association (IPA) filed a plea with the High Court in Gujarat after the local Bobbies closed down three live poker games in the state. The age old argument of poker is a game of skill v no it’s not its a lottery is at the heart of the squabble.
News From The Internet
PokerStars were in a giving mood this week. Not only did they create another millionaire after a German poker player won the seven-figure dream score playing a Spin & Go game. They also promised to donate the rake from the $25k Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) High Roller to Raising for Effective Giving (REG) on top of a $50k donation from the Red Spade’s charitable section.
And a man with a former affiliation to PokerStars was in the news for a donation of another kind this week. Amaya Gaming’s ex-CEO, David Baazov, hit a few headlines when it became apparent that the former King of Online Gaming made an illegal $25k donation to New York Gov Andrew Cuomo’s political campaign when in charge of the online gambling company.
And one last donation with a tie to PokerStars.
Poker Central has revealed that Kevin Hart is the celebrity that will take part in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB). Hart will get the perfect opportunity to put the fun back into poker with his televised appearance.
Bits and Bobs
The news story that received more hits than a 1950s child this week was a strange one. The WPT’s Matt Savage made a bet with Mike Noori that Noori wouldn’t be able to eat $1,000 worth of McDonald’s food in 36 hours. Noori took on the bet. Jimmy Fricke believes Noori would have to consume over 66,000 calories to win. We are now waiting to see if he dies.
The online training site, CardRunners, ceased distributing paid content this week. One only assumes they didn’t have many people paying for it. CardRunners were the first and foremost expert in this arena and earned millions of dollars during their time in the spotlight. They are the second online training site to close in a matter of weeks after The Ivey League also closed for business.
Here are this week’s chicken dinners:
Jean-Pascal Savard defeated a field of 1,168 entrants to win the CA$956,000 first prize in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North American Main Event. Savard cut a heads-up deal with Jonathan Bussieres. Ari Engel finished fifth, Niall Farrell was sixth, and Matt Waxman was seventh.
Jonathan Duhamel won CAD $57,000 for winning a side event at the Playground Poker Spring Classic. Duhamel chopped with Martin Finger before flipping for the title.
Mark Stokes won the £21,100 first prize in the Dusk till Dawn (DTD) DTD200 event this past week, and Mike Cordell took down the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event in Baltimore. Cordell earned $148,171 for topping a field of 449 entrants. The King of the WSOPC, Maurice Hawkins, finished seventh.
Time ladies and gentlemen, someone just called the clock.