Lara Brown


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.

Online poker giant partypoker has added Netherlands’ highest money earner, Marcel Luske, to its team of sponsored pros. Luske joins the likes of England’s Sam Trickett, Wales’ Robert Romanello, Australia’s Jackie Glazier, and Brazil’s Joao Simao on the brand’s roster.

Speaking about the new development, Managing Director of partypoker Tom Waters stated:

“Adding someone with as much experience as Marcel to the partypoker team is very exciting. He has been in the poker world for a long time and is a respected name so it is a pleasure to see him join and support partypoker. I look forward to seeing Marcel turn back the years on the partypoker LIVE circuit!”

Marcel Luske, nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” has earned many accolades over the years and has registered two deep runs at back-to-back WSOP Main Events.

Between 2001 and 2014, Luske accumulated six-figure annual sums in all but three years.

Commenting on his latest move, Luske said:

“I have been following the journey of partypoker for many years and have been playing in all the partypoker LIVE events recently. I look forward to being part of this new era with partypoker.”


Christoph Vogelsang took down Super High Roller Bowl event, beating 56 players for a first place prize of $6 million. $300,000 buy-in event was held at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. After five days of pulsating action, Germany’s Vogelsang beat USA’s Jake Schindler in the heads-up to claim the title.

The win helped stretch Vogelsang’s career earnings to $13,739,813 and placed him at number two on Germany’s All Time Money List.

Speaking after the win, the German pro said:

“It’s great, I feel good. It’s such a great tournament – it’s got the best structure ever and the Aria is doing such an amazing job and I hope I can play here again.”

Seven players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations Vogelsang had to fight it out with Schindler for the title.

The two battle for almost two hours in the heads-up. The final hand was played with Schindler (Jh-8h) bluffing all-in on a 10c-3h-2d-7h-2c board. 

Vogelsang (10s-7c) made the call with two pair to condemn Schindler to a runner-up for $3,600,000. Vogelsang not only captured the title but also walked home with a $13,500 package through to the WSOP Main Event on July 8th.

Final Table Results:

1: Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000

2: Jake Schindler $3,600,000

3: Stefan Schillhabel $2,400,000

4: Leon Tsoukernik $1,800,000

5: Byron Kaverman $1,400,000

6: Pratyush Buddiga $1,000,000

7: Justin Bonomo $600,000


Online poker giant PokerStars held the ‘biggest day in online poker history’, giving players more than $28 million (€25 million) in guaranteed prizes.

The Amaya-owned operator, on Sunday, hosted 1,275 tournaments, with players across the globe able to take part.

The initiative was held in tandem with the PokerStars Spring Championship of Poker Main Event.

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

“This is a really special day for us and our players, which will go down in online poker history as a record-breaking moment.

“The huge prize pools on offer further cement our position as the biggest and the best and on Sunday when players compete for $28 million we will be delivering millions of winning moments too.”

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

Raffaele Sorrentino won the €5,300 PokerStars Championship Monte-Carlo event, beating 727 to take home the PSC title, and its €466,714 ($508,281) first place prize. This win helped him take his career earnings to $928,135.

Speaking about his latest triumph, Sorrentino commented:

“Last week, I felt that I could win. And then when I was here, it was day after day, getting nearer and nearer. And finally, I’ve won.. I’m really happy. It’s just a dream come true.”

The €5,300 PSC Main Event, conducted at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, saw Daniel Negreanu in 51st (€12,080), Dan Smith in 34th (€15,420), Manig Loeser in 28th (€19,840), Paul Tedeschi in 18th (€25,700), Sergio Aido in 14th (€33,600), Bertrand Grospellier in 12th (€33,600), and Davidi Kitai in 7th (€79,750) earn a return on their investment.

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Sorrentino and Klatt were left to fight it out for the main prize. The former held a 3:1 chip lead over Klatt into heads-up play. 

Before starting their battle, the duo locked up €451,714 and €402,786 respectively, leaving €15,000 and the title for the winner.

After a brief tussle, all the chips were in the middle preflop with Sorrentino’s pocket rockets holding up against pocket queens of his opponent.

Final Table Results:

1: Raffaele Sorrentino (It) €466,714

2: Andreas Klatt (Ger) €402,786

3: Andrey Bondar (Rus) €271,500

4: Maxim Panyak (Rus) €199,900

5: Michael Kolkowicz (Fr) €147,120

6: Diego Zeiter (Arg) €108,300


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

Maria Lampropulos won the £5,300 partypoker Millions Live Main Event, beating over 8,500 players to take home £1 million ($1,255,004). The win took her live earnings to $1,606,426. Speaking about the win, Lampropulos commented:

“It really feels like a magic moment I’m in right now. I’m a little tired after such a difficult final table, but tomorrow I’ll realize what I did.. I trusted in my game, I just thought ‘let’s play.’”

The Main Event, held at the Dusk Till Dawn casino in Nottingham, offered a prize pool worth £6,017,395 ($7,551,857).  Eight players made it to the final table.

And after a series of eliminations, Lampropulos and Jacob Mulhern made it to the final table. Both players were fairly even in chips, and after an intense battle, pocket kings of Lampropulos beat Mulhern’s A-Q. 

Mulhern took home £650,000 plus another £100,000 for being the last player with a Golden Chip standing. Speaking about his performance, Mulhern said:

“My life has changed. It’s a massive amount of money for anybody to win, but for a lad like me of 24, it’s huge! I’m not disappointed at all, I thought I gave a really good account of myself.”

Final Table Results:

1: Maria Lampropulos (Arg) £1,000,000

2: Jacob Mulhern (UK) £650,000

3: Jeremy Pantin (Trd) £450,000

4: Mateusz Rypulak (Pol) £320,000

5: Jon Spinks (UK) £220,000

6: Stephen Chidwick (UK) £150,000

7: Katie Swift (UK) £100,000 

8: Neel Murthy (US) £72,395


Online poker giant PokerStars has made its next move in its expansion strategy by launching a new range of Spin & Go services for Omaha.

Pot Limit Omaha games will comprise of buy-in levels of $1, $3, $7 and $15 and operate under the lottery-style Sit-and-Go format.

Players will begin the game with 500 chips and be part of a randomly drawn prize pool worth between two and 10,000 times their buy-in.

“Omaha is a highly enjoyable poker variant and was quite high up on our players' request list to deliver it as a Spin & Go,” PokerStars’ director of poker operations and innovation, Severin Rasset, said.

Lex Veldhuis, a Pro member of Team PokerStars, added: “Omaha is just perfect for Spin & Go; there will be a lot of action because you can play so many hands, but it's also really hard to knock people out in PLO.

“This will make for some very intense situations when the multipliers get high.”

On paper, this appears like a smart move by PokerStars. However, one has to wait and watch as to what dividends this new move fetches the company in the long run.

Quan Zhou took down the Single-Day High Roller event at the PokerStars Championship Macau, beating 50 players. The HK$206,000 (US$26,514) Single-Day High Roller, with 12 subsequent rebuys offered a prize pool of HK$12,152,000 ($1,563,622). Local boy Zhou took home a cool HK$3,645,000 ($469,090) for a first place prize.

The PSC Single-Day High Roller witnessed the likes of Steve O’Dwyer, Fedor Holz, Mustapha Kanit, Dario Sammartino, and Isaac Haxton falling just short of the money spots.

Quan Zhou made it to the final table in pole position and seized the initiative against his seven remaining opponents. After a series of eliminations, Zhou and Nick Petrangelo were left to fight it out for the title.

The heads-up duel lasted just one hand as Zhou made a straight to end the hopes of his opponents. Thanks to his latest win, Zhou took his live tournament earnings to $1,404,477.

Final Table Results:

1: Quan Zhou (China) $469,090

2: Nick Petrangelo (US) $339,602

3: Jack Salter (UK) $218,766

4: Davidi Kitai (Belgium) $166,000

5: Zuo Wang (China) $128,050

6: David Peters (US) $100,124

7: Shuo Li (China) $79,790

8: Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus) $62,407