Calling the Clock: Australians screwed; 888Poker harsh line; and more

TAGs: Calling the Clock, Editorial

In this week’s poker news round up, we remind you that online poker is dead in Australia, 888Poker has begun banning players who use artificial intelligence leaving players confused and angry, and so much more.

We’ll begin in the land of the duck-billed platypus, kookaburra, and politicians who want to play Mummy and Daddy.

I am, of course, talking about Australia.

This week, the hearts and hopes of Australian poker players were squeezed through that old washing device of the 20s, hung out to dry, and then carried off into the sky by a seagull before being dropped face first into a car park.

At the beginning of the week The Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA), a swathe of top online poker players, and some experts from the field of gambling addiction, attended an inquiry, hoping to ward off those pesky politicians looking to take a bite out of the industry.

The post-inquiry vibe was positive.

The panel said they would provide their response on September 21.


Calling the Clock: Australians screwed; 888Poker harsh line; and moreOn Wednesday morning, CardsChat and GamblingSites ran stories revealing the Australian Senate had passed the Interactive Gaming Amendment Bill 2016 into law, meaning the goody two shoes of the online gambling industry will now leave Australia, and those not wearing any shoes at all will try and lure online poker players into less regulated playing fields.

According to the articles, the new law comes into effect Sep 9, making the Sep 21 inquiry results about as useful as a vegan attending a Barbie.

So if Australians can’t play online poker, then live poker will have to do.

Earlier this week, the Crown Casino in Melbourne, released the 2018 Aussie Millions schedule promising that it will be the biggest ever. The only event missing from the schedule is the AUD$250,000 Challenge. Dwindling numbers have seen that one fall away from the ice like Jack in Titanic.

And the Sydney Poker Championships reached a climax this week with Henry Tran taking down the Main Event. Tran defeated a field of 496 entrants to take down the $238,131 first prize. The former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion, Joe Hachem, bubbled the final table.

From Australia to India 

Moving swiftly on from Australia to India, and this week Viaan Industries and the International Federation of Poker (IFP) were proud to announce the sale of the eight franchises that will comprise Season 1 of the Match Indian Poker League (IPL).

Teams from eight different cities cost entrepreneurs, poker players, and businessmen, $75,000 for the first season, with the top prize of $225,000 up for grabs. Players are selected to compete in the league after they have signed up with the IFP, and played against the Match Poker AI, with the very best players taking up the spots. The finals take place in October in Mumbai. It’s the second Indian team poker event in recent months after Pranav Bagai successfully organised Season 1 of the Poker Sports League. The Delhi Panthers won the $225,000 first prize.

Indian poker is experiencing a boom like none other recently. Indian players won WSOP bracelets for the first time this summer, and the man who won two of them was once again dismantling large fields with ease this week. Nipun Java finished at the top of a 3,173 pile-up in the $570 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack event at the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, earning $230,848.

More Live Poker 

And it wasn’t only Java who was picking up some tasty cash prizes this week. Jay Lee, a Chinese takeaway delivery driver from Austin, Texas, is half a million dollars the richer after winning the World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event.

And the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Goliath smashed the attendance record for a live tournament outside of Las Vegas when 6,385 entrants took part in the £120 buy-in event at the Grosvenor Casino Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Elliot Marais picked up the $111,665 first prize.

888Poker News 

888Poker has had a week it would rather forget.

It began with a headache after a technical fault led to a new game ending up in the lobby without any promotions or marketing, prompting me to believe that the leak was the marketing. Flopomania – a game without any flops – was released, and then quickly shut down again, with 888Poker apologising to their customers for the mistake.

And then all hell broke loose in the poker forums when 888Poker began closing accounts, banning players, and confiscating funds after learning players were using artificial intelligence to gain an edge at the tables, only the players, believe the claims were hocus pocus.

888Poker hit players across a broad range of bankrolls with red cards, with players confused as to which third party software tools are causing the problems.

888Poker is keeping their powder dry, and I think that’s a bad idea.

In more upbeat 888Poker news, Kenny Hallaert used the site to rubber stamp an Online Poker Triple Crown triumph. The Belgian star added a victory in The Whale, to his Super Tuesday win on PokerStars, and his Eliminator victory on partypoker, making it an all-around great 10-days of work.

And finally, 888Poker ambassador Parker “TonkaaaP” Talbot has passed the bollock cough test to become the latest member of the Upswing Poker Coaching roster. Talbot has already begun posting training videos on the site.

PokerStars & partypoker News 

We will end things this week with a short round up from the two online poker rooms with a punch up waiting for them around the corner.

Sam Grafton won the PokerStars Festival Main Event in Bucharest after qualifying for the event in a last minute online satellite. Grafton picked up €117,707 for the win, after a cutting a heads-up deal. Uday Bansal won the equivalent event in Manila, banking $92,793 in the process.

And Spin & Go has gone under the surgeon’s knife.

Spin & Go Max robs a few ideas from Deal or No Deal, and 888Poker’s BLAST Poker, introducing five new features in a bid to attract even more recreational punters to the site. The main changes include more players, more prize choices, a guaranteed cash out option, and an all-in free-for-all once the game has reached a particular number of hands.

And last, but not least, partypoker announced Phase 1 of a two phase lobby remodelling project. The main guts of the change is a move away from a grey and orange lobby to black and orange, prompting a reminder from yours truly that black is the colour of death and misery.

Time, ladies and gentlemen.

Someone has just called the clock.


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