Calling the Clock: China poker ban; $15m WSOP promo and more

Calling The Clock: China poker ban; $15m WSOP promo and more

In this week’s poker news round-up, we remind you that China plans to ban online poker; the World Series of Poker gives you $15m reasons to compete in the new tri-state online poker network and much more.

With plenty of poker organisations hoping China will be the home of the next big poker boom, it came as a shock to learn that lawmakers promised to ban all play money poker apps on June 1.

Calling The Clock: China poker ban; $15m WSOP promo and moreTo circumvent the law (gambling is illegal in China) people were using play money poker sites to set up real money games using play money in exchange for fiat currency transactions away from the tables. The move has been dubbed the ‘Chinese Black Friday’.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is owned by the Chinese gaming company Ourgame International and has run live tournaments in China in the past. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) recently entered into a long-term relationship with the Chinese giant, Tencent, and had a play money app in circulation within Chinese borders. Tencent has removed the WSOP game from app stores.

You can’t gamble in mainland China, but a hop, skip and a plane ride away, and you can bet all you like in Macau. Earlier in the week, PokerStars Live hosted the Macau Millions, and it was a resounding success. Two players won $30,000 Platinum Passes for the PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship in the Bahamas in January. Chen Lin defeated 2,499 entrants to win the $147,642 first prize and Platinum Pass in the Main Event, and Abao Shi beat 619 players to bank a Platinum Pass and $27,388 after winning the Warm Up.

Sticking with an Asian theme and the Triton Poker Series came out of hiding this week. The High Stakes poker series will return May 12-18. The Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro plays host. In addition to the usual games (HKD 250,000 6-Max and HKD 1m Main Event), there will also be the equivalent buy-in events for Short-Deck Ante-Only games.

Short-Deck plays with the 2s, 3s, 4s, and the 5s removed to create a 36-card deck meaning closer equities, more gamble and finer edges between the big time professional and the mega-rich whale. Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are expected to appear at the event. The pair has promoted this game in the past when it went under the guise of Six-Plus Hold’em.

Finally, the Global Player League (GPL) (Formerly Global Poker League) will partner with PokerStars for the forthcoming GPL India. Six teams will compete online between May and September with the top four teams going through to the GPL India Finals. PokerStars India (Sachiko Gaming) will host all the online games, and the winners each receive Platinum Passes.

World Poker Tour Amsterdam News; Honours Heroes

The WPT finished its tour of Amsterdam this week.

Rens Feenstra topped a field of 207 entrants, including Ema Zajmovic in heads-up action, to take the $192,769 first prize in the Main Event. Christos Economides beat 250 entrants to win the $93,494 first prize in the WPTDeepStacks Main Event. And Sam Greenwood scored another High Roller victory taking down the 65-entrant event, banking $155,699 in the process.

And the WPT also announced plans to honour Steve Lipscomb and Lyle Berman in a special WPT Honours ceremony as part of the WPT Tournament of Champions in May. Lipscomb created the WPT, and Berman was instrumental in helping him turn the idea into the King Kong of poker TV shows that it is today.

World Series of Poker: Rings for Cheong and Wilkerson; $15m Reasons to Play on

From the WPT to the WSOP and Joseph Cheong and Dylan Wilkerson each earned a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring at Harrah’s Cherokee this week. Cheong, who earlier this month admitted to physically losing his first gold ring, has now won two in a fortnight after taking down the 530-entrants $365 buy-in event for $34,188. Wilkerson was only in town to support Cheong as he searched for Global Casino Championship points. It was a wise decision. He took down the $1,675 Main Event, beating 1,060 entrants to bank the first prize of $294,152 after defeating Erick Lindgren in heads-up action.

And the WSOP will celebrate the official launch of the tri-state online poker network by offering $15m in guarantees in a promotion called The Pot Got Bigger. The promo contains $250,000 in Sunday Guarantees including a new $100,000 Guaranteed flagship event. Players have been advised to open up new tri-state poker accounts as soon as possible. expects to turnover record revenue this summer through the compact between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Bits and Bobs

The PokerStars Live team is currently in Monte Carlo for the resurrected European Poker Tour (EPT). The first significant event in the books is the opening €10k High Roller, and Juan Pardo beat Timothy Adams in heads-up action to bank the €201,500 first prize in that one. The Global Poker Index (GPI) #1, Stephen Chidwick, made the final table finishing in seventh place. The event attracted 71-entrants.

Moving from the live to the online realm and PokerStars Take 2 Sunday Million Anniversary Special was a success. The Dutch player Daenarys T beat the UK’s Richard “ThEcLaiMEer” Trigg in heads-up action to bank the $1m first prize (Trigg won more than $700,000). The event attracted 56,310 entrants to beat the $10m guarantee by $1.2m, the same amount it overlayed the first time it attempted this feat last month.

And Pierre Lewandowski is on his way to the Bahamas after winning a Platinum Pass as the top man in the PokerStars Dublin MEGASTACK event. Lewandowski defeated a field of 634-entrants. The top five players took an equal €9k cut of the prize money before playing on for the trip to the Bahamas.

partypoker LIVE is in Montreal for the MILLIONS North America festival. David Eldridge beat 80-entrants to win the $236,122 first prize in the $10k buy-in event. Chris Kruk beat 47-entrants to take the $293,590 first prize in the $25k event. And, Karim-Olivier Kamal beat 1,231 entrants to claim the $165,285 first prize in the $1,000 Open.

Last but not least the Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) organisers added a further 15 names to the lineup. That means 45 of the 48 places are locked down. One of the remaining spots will go to a live satellite winner. The ARIA and Poker Central will hand-select the final two. The glaring ommission has to be the Poker Masters champion Steffen Sontheimer.

Time ladies & gentlemen, please.

Someone has just called the clock.