New York moved closer to legalising online poker after the US state’s Senate passed a bill that would regulate such activities.

Bill S3898 went through by a vote of 54-8 and will now move on to the Assembly for further deliberation.

The bill moved in a similar direction to that of a measure that was also passed by the Senate last year by a vote of 53-5. However, it never went to the Assembly.

Put forward by State Senator John Bonacic, the latest bill would permit the New York State Gaming Commission to reward up to 11 online poker licenses and to enter interstate arrangements with other structured states.

S3898 also comprises a suggested tax rate of 15% and an item where players must be at least 21 years old to play online poker.

Earlier this month, it was also revealed that the bill would include a so-called 'bad actor' clause, relating to operators that were illegally active in the US after the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Also, if accepted, the bill would permit licensed operators of video lottery gaming in New York or from states “with similar licensing requirements” to apply for an online poker license.

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Cassidy Battikha emerged victorious at the LIVE Grand Prix Canada, beating 2,570 players to take home a cool $84,050. With a CAD$14,000 entrance fee, a prize pool which exceeded the events CAD$500,000 guarantee was on offer.

The 100 online qualifiers for the event got a Golden Chip, with CAD$20,000 allocated for the player who could last the longest. 

By the time the final table was reached on Day 3, two players were still in the race, namely Kevin Zeidler and top Canadian pro Mike Leah.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Battikha and Karim Abdelhamid remained to fight it out for the title.

But before that, the final three players agreed to deal. Battikha and Karim Abdelhamid locked up at least CAD$62,500 apiece, and Kevin Zeidler CAD$53,450, not counting his CAD$20,000 award, with an additional CAD$20,000 left for the winner.

After Zeidler’s exit, the heads-up duel ended in a jiffy. Battikha’s J-8 beat his opponent’s Q-9 for the victory, and the biggest poker score of his career.

Final Table Results:

1: Cassidy Battikha $84,050

2: Karim Abdelhamid $62,500

3: Kevin Zeidler $53,450 (+$20k)

4: Mike Leah $25,000

5: Leandre St-Laurent $14,580

6: Shahar Ohaion $10,000

7: Emmanuel Kyrkinis $7,500

8: Dilovan Hussein $6,000 

9: Kyle Chang $5,000

Published in Poker Gossip


Philipp Gruissem took down the PokerStars Championship's €25,500 Single-Day High Roller event, beating 58 players and 27 re-entries to walk home with a cool first place prize worth €485,135.

Some notable names that failed to earn a return on their investment included Dan Colman, Mike Watson, David Yan and Erik Seidel.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Gruissem and Steve O'Dwyer were left to fight it out for the title.

The duo struck a deal that made sure O’Dwyer pocketed €494,665 and Gruissem collected €465,135. The remaining €20,000 was up for grabs. After two hands of going all-in blind, Gruissem earned the win for €485,135.

Final Table Results:

1: Philipp Gruissem €485,135
2: Steve O’Dwyer €494,665
3: John Juanda €266,550
4: Justin Bonomo €205,100
5: Oliver Weis €162,450
6: Mikita Badziakouski €127,030
7: Daniel Dvoress €100,000
8: Jason Mercier €78,100
9: Nick Petrangelo €59,350

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Ryan Jone became a two-time WSOP circuit main event winner after beating 945 players to clinch the WSOPC Rio for $269,327. The North Carolina pro's win helped take his career earnings to $842,303.

The $1,675 WSOPC Rio main event, hosted at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, offered a prize pool worth $1,417,500. Among the big names who walked away with a return on their investment included Steve Gross in 85th ($3,161), Erick Lindgren in 49th ($4,451), Ravi Raghavan in 32nd ($6,308), Michael Tureniec in 17th ($14,047), Ari Engel in 14th ($17,038), and Dylan Wilkerson in 11th ($20,908).

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Jones and Muruz Yohannes were left to fight it out for the title. The final hand of the heads-up battle was played when Yohannes (8s-7s) reraised all-in on a Js-7c-5c flop. Jones (Qs-Qh) made the call, and a Qc and Kc on turn and river, respectively, meant Muruz Yohannes had to be happy with a second place prize for $166,585.

Final Table Results:

1: Ryan Jones $269,327
2: Muruz Yohannes $166,585
3: Jeremy Joseph $122,954
4: Nikolai Sears $91,996
5: Tony Utnage $69,698
6: Martin Zamani $53,468
7: Jett Schencker $41,519
8: Daniel Engels $32,645
9: Cody Pack $25,969

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Online poker giant PokerStars has announced that it has started testing a new poker game called ‘PokerStars Power Up’.

According to a blog post on the website, PokerStars described it as a traditional No Limit Hold'em game, with the addition of power cards that allow the player to influence hands and alter gameplay.

Power cards include ‘Clone’, wherein the player is given a copy of the last power played in the hand; ‘Engineer’, which allows the player to select the deck’s next card from three options; and ‘X-Ray’, which makes it mandatory for players to reveal one hole card.

Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars, said:

“Power Up is currently in closed Alpha, meaning that we still have a lot of adjustments to make and many more features to add.

“For these reasons, it’s only available to a limited number of people and real money games are still a long way off.

“We’ll periodically expand the pool of players, while tweaking and adding features, while constantly taking feedback from the participants.”

Rasset further added:

“More projects are in development with one common objective - to bring sustainable growth to PokerStars through exciting new products that people will discover and re-engage with.

“And this will mean that more people will continue to enjoy the great game of poker.”

On the face of it, this looks an exciting new idea from the PokerStars stable. It remains to be seen how the players receive this concept and whether it delivers benefits to the company in the long run.


Published in Poker Gossip

Some of the biggest names in the poker circuit were honored for their performances in 2016 at the recently held 8th Annual Swedish Poker Awards took place recently. Sweden’s Player of the Year (POY), a title that has been won by high-stakes online cash player Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson, too was handed out at the ceremony.

This year that honor belonged to Simon “C Darwin2” Mattsson who also won a separate award for Achievement of the Year. Mattsson has amassed $4,988,194 playing online tournaments, including $3,007,385 on PokerStars under the screen name C Darwin2. He has accumulated another $693,128 at live poker events.

Last year, Mattsson won $3.5 million online and $102,237 from live tournaments. Commenting on his solid show, he said:

“It is very rewarding to receive awards when so many others have also accomplished great achievements and results during the year. The most important thing for me right now is to try to be humble and to realize that every year might not be like 2016. It is a matter of not becoming content, to keep my feet on the ground and to not think I am better than I really am."

With this award, Mattsson joins the likes of the 2-times WSOP winner Chris Björin (2010), WSOP champion Alexander Anter (2011), and the 2013 EPT London winner Robin Ylitalo (2013).

Other players to receive awards at the Annual Swedish Poker Awards included Simon “Dybban” Lindell for Ambassador of the Year; “DeathByQuads” for Breakthrough of the Year; and amateur player Bo “Tommy” Alm for Regarding Player of the Year.

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Michael Hahn emerged victorious at Heartland Poker Tour’s Ameristar Casino East Chicago leg’s main event, beating 590 players to take home the first place prize of $190,417.  The $1,650 buy-in event had a pool worth $849,866 on offer. 

Hahn has now taken his career earnings to $1,029,818 thanks to the biggest payday till date.

Some of the notable names to have earned a return on their investment included Ravi Raghavan in 56th ($3,047), Eddie Ochana in 50th ($3,300), Shiva Dudani in 43rd ($3,893), Dash Dudley in 22nd ($5,585), Fadi Hamad in 14th ($9,732), and Nadya Magnus in 11th ($13,032).

After few days of intense poker, nine players made it to the final table. Post a series of eliminations, Michael Hahn and Nikola Budrakoski remained to battle it out in the heads-up round.

The final hand of the game was played when Budrakoski shoved his remaining 13bbs pre-flop with pocket fives. Hahn made the call with Ad-6d, and hit a flush to condemn Budrakoski to a second place finish for $117,631.

Final Table Results:

1: Michael Hahn $190,417

2: Nikola Budrakoski $117,631

3: Daniel Loizzo $77,095

4: Jacob Baumgartner $53,569

5: Vihn Tran $38,928

6: Joseph Elpayaa $30,212

7: Brekstyn Schutten $25,388

8: Jerry Siemienas $21,157


9: Stan Jablonski $16,925

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Rehman Kassam emerged victorious at the first edition of the PokerStars Festival London Main Event, beating 944 players to take home 89,320 ($111,638). The win helped the 23-year-old to take his career earnings to  $239,498. Commenting on the win, Kassam said “it was great to play at such a big tournament.”

The event, held at the Hippodrome casino in London, had a prize pool of £824,112 ($1,030,037) on offer. 183 players earned a return on their £990 investment. This list included the likes of Luca Pagano in 104th (£1,690), James Akenhead in 89th (£2,105), Liv Boeree in 76th (£2,105), and Diego Gomez in 50th (£2,640).

Eight players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Kassam, Daniel Harwood Eric Cech were left to fight it out for the coveted title. The trio then cracked a deal that saw Harwood take £95,000, Kassam £81,320, and Cech £70,000. This left £8,000 on the table for the final winner. Cech was the first to exit, leaving Kassam and Daniel to battle it out in the heads-up round.

The final hand of the match was played when Kassam (K-10) and Harwood (10-7) went all-in on a 10-6-5 flop. The 4 and Q dealt on turn and river meant Kassam was crowned champion for the inaugural edition.

Final Table Results: 

1: Rehman Kassam (UK) £89,320*
2: Daniel Harwood (UK) £95,000*
3: Eric Cech (Au) £70,000*
4: Yuriy Boyko (Ire) £43,370
5: Clement Tripodi (Fra) £31,510
6: Ludovic Geilich (UK) £22,950
7: Alexis Fleur (Fra) £16,702
8: Lam Van Trinh (UK) £12,150

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Online poker giant Partypoker has expanded its service offering from online and mobile gaming after the company announced a new live event series for 2017.

The ‘PartyPoker Live’ tour for 2017 will be headlined by the ‘PartyPoker Million’, with every even multi-million dollar prize pools.

The series will also comprise ‘PartyPoker Million Nationals’, where players will vie for guaranteed prize pools over $500,000 (€474,000).

The inaugural series will kick off with the Playground Poker Club in Canada this May.

Tom Waters, group head of PartyPoker, commented:

“With the 2017 PartyPoker Live events schedule, there will be something for everyone.

 “Online qualifiers start from $0.01 on PartyPoker, giving players the opportunity to travel all over the world to take part in some amazing events.”

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Bryn Kenney emerged victorious at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (PCB) $50K High Roller for $969,075, taking his career earnings to $13,153,881.

Speaking about his big win, the WSOP bracelet holder said:

“I was in ninth position with seven big blinds but I got my rush. Sometimes you just have to wait it out and fortunately good cards came. The right people busted, I got fortunate spots and was able to win it!”

The $50K High Roller, hosted by the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas, drew 49 entries and 20 rebuys to create a prize pool worth $3,313,035.

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations it was left for Kenney and Mustapha Kanit

As the duo went into the heads-up round, Kenney held a 2 to 1 chip lead over Kanit. After a tough duel, the final hand of the match was played when Kenney moved (A-J) all-in preflop. Kanit (9-9) made the call and the dealer laid out a Q-J-2-7-3 board. That was it then and Kanit had to be happy with a second place finish for $695,740, while Bryn Kenney bagged the title. 

“It was a close heads-up match. First I had a nice lead and then he took the lead. Then I showed him a bluff where he could’ve closed the game if he would’ve called there on the river. Fortunately, he didn’t,” Kenney further added.

Final Table Results:

1: Bryn Kenney $969,075
2: Mustapha Kanit $695,740
3: Byron Kaverman $452,220
4: Daniel Colman $341,240
5: Stephen Chidwick $265,040
6: Benjamin Tollerene $205,400
7: Sergi Reixach $162,340
8: Daniel Dvoress $125,900
9: Cary Katz $96,080

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