Online poker giant PokerStars launched its new sportsbook brand called BetStars.

However, the company for now is offering sportsbook to only specific number of separate online platform on,, and, Android and iOS applications.

Customers of PokerStars can gain access to BetStars from the online poker client itself.

Speaking about this new launch, national Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said: 

“We’re applying the same dedication and passion we have for poker to sports betting, and intend to create an authentic, world-class offering. The BetStars brand will build on this passion and provide a safe, trustworthy and, most importantly, exciting environment for sports fans.”

BetStars for now is operational for specific markets like sports, including soccer, tennis and basketball. Other popular sports including horse racing and will be added next year.

The senior management at PokerStars is looking to leverage its huge player base to promote BetStars. Going forward, they also intend to run marketing campaigns to acquire new players to site. 

“The brand will also feature a range of in-play betting options and exclusive offers and promotions that sports bettors expect from a world-class online sportsbook,” read a company statement.

Many experts believe the Amaya-owned company stands to benefit from this new launch, as their customers are likely to try their luck at the virtual tables as well.

As the new year dawns, it remains to be seen whether BetStars will further enhance brand PokerStars or will it not make much of a difference to an already established market leader.

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Online poker giant PokerStars announced has signed up Jaime Staples as a member of online pro team. Before joining the Team PokerStars Online Pro, the Canadian was a ‘Friend of PokerStars’.

The young gun has made $9,869 from live tournaments so far, but has turned out to be a sensation at online poker having accumulated $627,385. Most of his earnings online have come at PokerStars.

Having discovered his love for poker just five years ago, the 23-year-old wanted to pursue a career in golf to begin with.

In his short career as a poker pro, some of Staples' biggest wins includes a first place finish at the PokerStars Big $109 for $19,000 and a fifth place finish at the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $22,000. Both his best performances have arrived in 2015.

Following in the footsteps of Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples too has taken to Twitch like a fish takes to water.

His Twitch channel - PokerStaples - has 49,298 followers, and 2,755,677 views and is a certified hit amongst recreational players.

With the Amaya Gaming-owned site now shifting focus on younger audiences, Staples is being seen as the perfect choice by the company.

 “[Twitch Poker streaming] is simple to get off the ground. But to improve, you may need to outsource some of your work,” says the Alberta resident.

PokerStars announced their decision to sign Staples in Prague at the European Poker Tour. Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier, Randy Lew, and Maria Ho were some of the site's top pros that welcomed Staples to the PokerStars family.

Staples will be in action next on December 19. Fans can tune in to this Twitch stream on Sunday to keep a table on his exploits as he begins his new journey at PokerStars.

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In a development that could have widespread repercussions for online gaming in US, Nevada Gaming Commission is currently probing the illegal use of a HUD (Heads-Up Display) by a player while playing on

As per rules that govern Nevada’s regulated iPoker sites, use of such is banned. Violation of this state law can be prosecuted under category B felony, carrying a potential fine of up to $10,000, or between one and six years in prison.

The incident in question occurred when Tommy Chen (‘Tcblade’) was live streaming action at on Twitch. Playing under the screen “BTCBLADE” at the time, fellow pro Randy Dorfman spotted Chen's HUD.

Dorfman then sought an explanation from WSOP, as he took to Twitter to question the company's Head of Online Poker Bill Rini.

Randy Dorfman “@billrini @Kevmath point is players r accessing 3rd party software. If u can’t police HUDS then u hv to make them LEGAL until u can detect it.”

Bill Rini “@RandyDorfman @Kevmath The NV GCB made them illegal. We can’t just make them legal because 1 guy was caught using one… Randy, we decided to warn. Again, you’re free to disagree.”

Nevada gambling statute NRS 465.075 also applies to land-based casinos as well as online gaming.

Citing violation of terms of service, WSOP suspended the Twitch account of BTCBLADE and referred the incident to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC). Since November 22, Chen hasn't use his account.

This incident highlights how a trust deficit has led to a decline in number of recreational players at online poker sites.

“The image of a grinder using data analysis to make his decisions is not the experience we want to sell. We want to sell entertainment, and a recreational experience.. HUDs don’t provide that,” says Global Poker Index CEO Alexandre Dreyfus.

Published in Poker Gossip


Ben Winsor emerged victorious at the 2015 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Grand Final, as he beat a strong field of 321 players. Winsor earned a cool £178,600 ($269,597) for his efforts.

With solid participation, a prize pool worth £642,000 ($969,100) was created, which smashed the tournament’s guarantee of £400,000.

His latest win took the 27-year-old's career earnings to $557,626. Commenting on his victory, Winsor said:

"I thought I was going to have a big win this year and luckily it has come right at the end. I had been making final tables throughout the year but only really just ticking over. I had quite a downward patch in Las Vegas for a month over the summer but last weekend was great.”

With 30 paid money spots, notable names like Jason Wheeler in 29th (£4,500), Richard Ashby in 21st (£5,100), Sergio Aido in 19th (£5,800), and Adrian Mateos in 15th (£7,100) earned a return on their investment.

Nine players made it to the final table, with Winsor as chip leader with a stack of 1.8 million stack. After a series of eliminations, it boiled down to a face-off between Winsor and Alex Zervos. The former held a 3:1 chip lead over the latter.

The heads-up was a protracted battle and final hand of the game was played when Zervos moved all-in preflop holding 10-9. Winsor made the call with K-Q. The board ran A-6-Q-8-9 to condemn Alex Zervos to a runner-up finish for £118,100, while Ben Winsor was crowned champion.

“My Dad did not really get involved in the decision and has been supportive. My mum was more cautious. Until this win, I was probably going to have to start looking for a job. My family were really happy when I told them the news. They are already asking what presents I’m going to get them for Christmas,” Winsor further added.

Final Table Results:

1 Ben Winsor £178,600

Alex Zervos £118,100

3 James Akenhead £72,500

4 Patrick Frew £46,300

5 Ronaldo Amirahiri £31,400

6 Simon Deadman £23,100

7 Alex Zeligman £18,000

8 Mikhail Petrov £14,800

9 Will Davies £12,200 

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Michael Dentale beat a strong field of 557 players to win the $2,700 buy-in Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship $336,331. Playing solid poker through the course of four days, Dentale took his career earnings to $1,246,138.

His previous best was a runner-up finish at the 2013 Parx Casino Big Stax II for $101,800.

The 2015 Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship drew a decent crowd to create a prize pool of a cool $1.3 million. Some of the notable names that managed to earn a return on their investment included Will “The Thrill” Failla in 36th ($6,754), Vinny Pahuja in 30th ($6,754), Aaron Mermelstein in 19th ($7,429), Joe McKeehen in 15th ($13,507), and Orson Young in 12th ($17,559).

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left between Dentale and Jason Paster to fight it out for the title. However, in an anticlimax of sorts, Dentale ended his opponents challenge in the heads-up in matter of just two hands.

With that crushing win, Dentale was crowned Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship winner, while Paster had to settle for a second place finish for $189,102.

Final Table Results:

1 Mike Dentale $336,331

2 Jason Paster $189,102

3 Henry Lu $121,656

4 Scott Matte $96,577

5 Chris Tryba $75,641

6 Sang Kim $62,133

7 Taylor Von Kriegenberg $49,301

8 Richie Tenenbaum $38,496

9 Theo Nerantzinis $27,015

The Borgata Fall Poker Open, now in its 5th year, was conducted from November 10-25. The 16-day event comprised of 20 events with buy-ins ranging from $230 up to the $2,700. Residents of the state of New Jersey were also given a chance to win their seats via the website through online qualifiers as low as $5. 

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Poker legend Phil Ivey, playing under his  “RaiseOnce” screen name, dropped $417,602 this past week on PokerStars

The American logged 6,100 hands during that period, as per HighstakesDB’s data.

Ivey wasn’t that only big name to perform badly, as the likes of Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (-$282,040), “ClockWyze” (-$134,579) and Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (-$104,440) too didn’t have a good week.

However, “Crazy Elior” ($346,429), Ben “Ben86” Tollerene ($166,108), “BERRI SWEET” ($154,714), “CrownUpGuy” ($132,546) and “Colisea” ($122,436) were the big winners.

Even Patrik “Fake Love888” Antonius ($82,481), Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky ($66,206), Dan “w00ki3z” Cates ($52,130) and Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser ($50,744) posted profits this past week,

The 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, BERRI SWEET and PokerStars account “fjutekk” were on Monday involved in one of the biggest hands during the week.

It was a $158,000 pot at $200-$400 pot-limit Omaha. BERRI SWEET got things going with a raise to $1,700 that prompted Kaiser to fold on the button. Fjutekk three-bet to $5,900 from the small blind and that was followed by a call by Ivey from the big blind.

BERRI SWEET four-bet to $23,000 and the dup called without having much behind. The flop was Qs, 10s, 2d.

Fjutekk and Ivey went all in for $24,000 and $32,000 respectively. BERRI SWEET made the call.

The turn and river were 7d and 7c respectively.

Fjutekk flopped mid-set, while Ivey had a second-nut-flush draw and gut-shot straight draw. BERRI SWEET was drawing just one ace in the deck to give him a better set.

Ivey is now down $1,250,806 and $2,381,013 on Full Tilt and PokerStars respectively in 2015.

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With the imminent launch of its play money poker app, Full Tilt Poker is set to become the first major player to make its mark on the Steam market.

With Steam’s approximately 125 millions players, Full Tilt will be looking to make a big impact in this market.

It has been reported earlier that the company sought approval from authorities for its app to be launched on the gaming platform.

Steam makes use of a “Greenlight” process to ascertain which games are going to be disseminated via its services. In order to get the green signal, Full Tilt needed a vote of confidence from Steam users.

Speaking about this latest development, Dominic Mansour, Managing Director at Full Tilt said:

“The opportunity to introduce our game to the millions of players who make up the Steam gaming community is really important to us.

“We will be the first major online poker brand on the platform and the move underlines our strategic intentions to explore new avenues for our games,” he added, saying that the “Greenlight qualification process has been very interesting and has provided us with some excellent insights into the wider gaming community.”

The company is pretty certain of its app being distributed to Steam users come the end of 2015.

After being greenlit by Steam, one can understand that Full Tilt could be looking to diversify and make an attempt to reach out to a newer audience.

The alterations to its product as well as changes to the VIP program appear to be in line with a new direction that the company is set to take in the New Year.




Published in Poker Gossip