In this week’s Calling The Clock we remind you that Mike Leah upset a few people after cutting a deal during his World Poker Tour Main Event win in Fallsview, partypoker made more announcements than a sofa company during sale season, and much more.
Walk around with a baby’s head on a spike, and you’ll receive the same abuse Mike Leah got on social media this week. It should have been the best weeks of his life. It turned out to be one of the most challenging.
The Canadian pro topped a field of 517 entrants to make the heads-up phase of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event. Sitting in the way of him and the Championship was Ryan Yu and a 4:1 chip deficit.
Despite the lead, Leah’s opponent suggested a deal in which he would be happy to take an even ICM deal, including giving the title, Champions Club berth and $15k Tournament of Champions seat to Leah.
How can you turn that down?
As the WPT doesn’t allow dealmaking, Yu raise-folded the vast majority of his chips until Leah took the dominant chip lead, who moved all-in until the rest of Yu’s chips were in Leah’s stack.
The move caused an outcry in the public domain. A cross-section of poker players questioned Leah’s integrity and the potential damage to the WPT brand.
The Leah sting occurred in the same week the WPT struck a multi-year partnership with the social poker giant Zynga Poker. It’s an incredible deal for the WPT, who need to push their brand in front of other audiences as more youngsters choose non-TV platforms for their form of entertainment.
Other Live Tournament News
Switching from the World Poker Tour to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and a couple of results to catch up on this week on the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC).
Keven Stammen continued his impressive run of form after taking down the $1,675 WSOPC Main Event at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. The WSOP bracelet holder defeated a field of 604 entrants to capture the $190,265 first prize. Stammen also finished 5/106 in the $2,200 High Roller. It’s his third win in the past four months.
With that win, Stammen qualifies for the WSOP Global Championship, and the 2015 winner of that event picked up her fourth gold ring this week. Loni Harwood Beat 120 entrants to take the $10,801 first prize in a $365 No-Limit Hold’em event in the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek.
And he may not have a WSOP bracelet, but Stephen Chidwick does have a major title to his name after winning the US Poker Open this week. The UK-born pro bagged the title with a game to spare after making five of the eight final tables, securing four top-three finishes, and winning two for a combined haul of $1.2m. Keith Tilston finished runner-up after winning the $50k NLHE Main Event for $660,000 in addition to three more cashes.
Lastly, PokerListings owners Net Gaming Europe AB sold the Battle of Malta (BOM) to Casino Malta for €300,000, this week. The company said the BOM added very little to the company’s bottom line. As part of the deal, PokerListings remains the chief marketer of the event that won a European Poker Award in 2014 as the Best Live Tournament With a -€2k Buy-In.
America’s Cardroom Develops a Joey Ingram Problem
American-based online poker players searching for a game have fewer choices this week after Joey Ingram created and released videos #2 & #3 of the three-video series alleging widespread bot use, multi-accounting and collusion on Winning Poker Network’s (WPN) America’s Cardroom (ACR).
In the follow-up videos, Ingram directed his ire at the WPN CEO Philip Nagy for not doing enough to prevent the alleged cheating. Ingram confirmed that since video #1 hit the social media airwaves, ACR has banned 13 suspicious accounts, lending some legitimacy to Ingram’s claims.
Ingram’s content revealed a loophole in the MTT software allowing groups of accounts to sit together at the same table during the late registration period. Ingram also questioned whether the WPN and ACR even have a security team given the diabolically low level of interest from both since Ingram started shouting from his considerably lofty rooftop.
The Rest of the Online Poker News
It was a busy week for partypoker.
The gang is enjoying the atmos at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov where they are currently hosting MILLIONS Germany. Patrik Antonius and Johannes Becker were victorious in the €25k High Roller events, winning €425,000 & €320,050 respectively, and Chi Zhang took the €800,000 first prize in the €50k event. The MILLIONS Main Event is still ongoing at the time of writing.
In other partypoker news, they revealed the new destination of the Caribbean Poker Party (CPP) as the Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas; promised $10m in guarantees for the new KO Series and declared their intention to guarantee €23m for the MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona. And talking about European poker, it was also the week that partypoker revealed plans to merge their French and Spanish traffic as part of the new shared liquidity deal (Portugal and Italy are set to join at a later date).
partypoker won’t be operating alone in the shared European liquidity market. The French regulator ARJEL granted Winamax permission to begin merging their traffic sources in the four nations this week, and PokerStars has already started that work being the first online operator to be granted a shared licence from the French regulator.
Bits and Bobs
The Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) announced plans to host the second season this week. Details are scarce, but there will be ten teams competing in a single day event in Kolkatta. Overshadowing the announcement was the news that MILP founder, Raj Kundra had launched a defamation case against the former Goa Kings franchise owner, Sachiin Joshi for failing to pay his dues and alleging that Kundra fixed the first season.
The American Poker Awards (APA) revealed the shortlists for the 4th Annual Awards and Poker Central stole the pre-show with eight award nominations. Doug Polk looks likely to be the individual star with three nominations, including going head-to-head with Daniel Negreanu, a man Polk referred to as an ‘embarrassment to poker’ this week.
Last but not least, NYPD arrested poker player Micah Raskin for dealing drugs, and Doyle Brunson revealed he turned down a $230 million offer to buy his online poker room ‘Doyle’s Room’ and then watched as the American government introduced the UIGEA and turned the offer to dust.
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.