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.
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.”
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
Formula One legend Mika Hakkinen has become the latest high-profile name to join the popular online poker website Unibet.
Unibet chose Hakkinen to promote the Finnish-facing site and to help develop Formula 1 content. At the moment it is not clear whether Hakkinen will represent the company in any upcoming Unibet Open tournaments.
Hakkinen, with two F1 titles to his name, is widely regarded as one of the best drivers in the sport.
Unibet has been trying to attract recreational players recently and has roped in non-poker players like eSports streamers to compete in its Battle Royale format Sit & Go's.
It must be noted that Hakkinen does not have any prior experience in the business.
The Unibet brand has been active on this front and has signed Ian Simpson, Dara O’Kearney and Dave Lappin as brand ambassadors earlier in the year. Sam Grafton and Charlotte van Brabander were already on the roster.
There are also reports that Unibet might recruit Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
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
PokerStars parent company Amaya Gaming was fined in New Jersey for allowing wagers from out-of-state players.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) said a “flaw” in geolocation software allowed customers outside the state to gamble at PokerStarsNJ.com, thereby violating the DGE’s strict intrastate gambling rules.
Amaya was fined $25,000 (€23,500) by the regulator in a decision taken on January 20. However, the decision was made public only this week.
The NJDGE said its investigation proved that “a limited number” of out-of-state patrons were allowed to wager “for a short period of time before a subsequent geolocation check detected such patrons and blocked them”.
The NJDGE added that PokerStars has now updated its software to ensure course correction.
The DGE said it found “sufficient legal and factual support” to explain the imposition of a $25k fine on Amaya US Services Ltd., which executed a stipulation of settlement with the DGE.
Last year, gaming technology supplier GAN too was dealt with in a similar manner by New Jersey for having “inadvertently activated software" that enabled six out-of-state gamblers to wager via Betfair Interactive.
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
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
Back in November 2016, Dan Smith announced that he was aiming to raise $350,000 for noble causes that were close to his heart. Basically, Smith would match any total donations up to $175,000. However, in just two months, the poker pro has already raised a cool $1.7 million.
Interestingly, just 134 participants raised this big amount. Also, thanks to some generous donors, an additional $125,000 was contributed to the drive after it reached $175,000. The extra funds were handed to three charities - 350.org, Against Malaria and Give Directly.
Big sums were also contributed by DFS pros Martin and Tom Crowley, helping Dan Smith’s second annual charity drive raise close to $1.7 million.
Commenting on the same, Smith stated:
“The limited details I know of their story are amazing: two guys who plan on making a huge difference in the world by doing the thing they are the best at: fantasy sports. I can’t say enough great things about these two guys who really epitomize the effective altruism movement.”
This year’s hugely successful charity drive follows last year’s effort which witnessed a donation $140,000 for Smith’s favorite cases. He also put half that amount himself.
It is indeed wonderful to see such good work done by poker players. Giving back to the community is extremely essential and more players need to take up such endeavors.