WSOP Betting Online
December 2nd Poker news ... WSOP Betting Online at wsopbettingonline.com
POKERSTARS AND CAESARS TOGETHER IN FIGHT FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
The news earlier this week of a more reasonable approach by tribal groups and Caesars Entertainment to bad actor clauses in online gambling legalisation initiatives (see previous InfoPowa reports) has been followed by encouraging reports that major online gambling firm Pokerstars and Caesars have put aside their traditional rivalry and will work together to fight attempts to ban US online gambling by land casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his political minions.
Spokespersons from both Pokerstars parent group Amaya Gaming and Caesars have reportedly confirmed the new lobbying collaboration to oppose the main thrust of the Adelson campaign, the Restoration of the American Wire Act recently re-introduced to Congress by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz after failing last year.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Adelson political ally, has hinted that he plans to launch a companion bill in the US Senate to that introduced last week by Chaffetz.
It is widely believed that the RAWA was originally drafted by Adelson lobbyists, and is backed by his generous political donations, mainly to Republican politicians..
The publication Gambling Compliance quoted Caesars Entertainment executive Jan Jones Blackhurst this week, who said that there was a need for legalised online gambling supporters to concentrate their efforts on what she referred to as "the real opposition."
She added that such opposition was clearly not Amaya and Pokerstars, who were a strong potential ally in the fight for legalised online gambling in America.
Her words were echoed by Eric Hollreiser, the communications chief for Amaya Gaming and Pokerstars, who commented in a statement that his company intends to work closely with Caesars and others to "...promote the U.S. online gaming industry and support responsible regulation at the state and federal levels.
Given the changes in attitude among Californian Indian tribes (see previous InfoPowa reports), where only the Pechanga and Agua Caliente groups remain fully supportive of the corporate bad actor blocking which has so far been used to exclude Pokerstars, California could be a key battle ground for the new alliance, augmenting the more obvious Congressional fight.
The Pechanga appear to be dismayed at Rincon, Auburn and Pala tribes' statement last week that a more compromising approach to bad actor clauses was needed in California, and its suggestion that the emphasis could be on post-UIGEA personal rather than corporate culpability in establishing who is a bad actor.
Referring to the change in attitude, Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro characterised it as "an ambush" and was clearly disappointed. He appears to believe that the Rincon proposals for a practical consensus on Californian online poker legalisation could prejudice tribal rights in the future.
Pokerstars spokesman Hollreiser also commented to Online Poker Report on the changing landscape in California, noting:
We are encouraged by the recent comments from Caesars, California tribes including Pala, Rincon and United Auburn and several dozen card rooms who believe that working together is the best way to promote the industry, protect individual freedom and counter the misleading, negative campaign of self-interested, anti-competitive groups.
ONLINE POKER TOURNEY ENDS IN STYLE
The main event of the NFL Lines 23rd edition of the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) generated plenty of excitement and a three way chop as it ended another successful tourney this week, with German player "Itahaschi" besting a field of 3,326 competitors in the $635 buy-in event...but not taking home the most money.
"Itahaschi" banked $270,828, but runner up "DiaperSniper14" playing from Canada logged off $301,118 richer than he started, thanks to a three way chop approaching the heads up stage of the game.
The $1.5 million prize pool guarantee on the event was easily surpassed by the high turnout, with the pool ultimately worthy $1.9 million.
The FTOPS XXIII main event easily eclipsed the $1.5 million guarantee by offering a $1.9 million prize pool.
It was a fitting end to a successful tournament, in which 38 events took place over two weeks, with the two biggest events of the festival wrapping up on Sunday.
The other big event Sunday was the FTOPS $2,100 buy-in NLHE Re-Entry, which took two days to decide and attracted a large entry field of 599 top online players.
Toby "sexystuff1989" Lewis and Clark "Snake8484" Hamagami duked it out in the heads up, with Hamagami trying to repeat his week-old victory in the Pokerstars Sunday Million, but it was Lewis who took the honours after an exciting confrontation that included a two-way chop.
Lewis took home $253,063 - his best online career win yet - leaving runner-up Hamagami with a $223,141 second placing prize.
The winner was actually on holiday when he decided to enter the event, playing from Croatia on an internet connection that wasn't the best he had ever used, according to his tweets.
ULTIMATE POKER GROWING IN FIRST WEEK OF OPERATIONS IN NEVADA
Following a week of excitement and mainstream media headlines, the first legalised online poker site to launch in the United States - Ultimate Poker - appears to be settling down and building good business.
The site, owned the Fertitta brothers of Station Casinos fame under their online gambling brand Ultimate Gaming, was given a 30-day permit to practically test the newly implemented online poker regulations in Nevada last week, and independent monitor Pokerscout reported on the first week of operations Monday.
Ultimate Poker has achieved full online licensing status from the Nevada regulators and was the first-to-market despite competition from many big land and online industry names.
Pokerscout concludes that the new site outperformed expectations, with traffic increasing every day, from 136 peak cash game players on launch day (last Tuesday) to 287 players on Sunday.
"The site dealt its 100,000th hand of poker on just its third day, and we estimate that well over 10,000 individual accounts have played for real money in the first week," Pokerscout reports.
Teething problems have included hassles with the registration process, including Verizon mobile phone customers being unable to register; difficulty downloading the software with Internet Explorer, and the lack of a mobile or Mac-friendly app. Ultimate is addressing these areas as a matter of urgency.
The company was given plenty of feedback at the influential twoplustwo poker forum in a thread here:
Poker offerings at Ultimate are divided into three different categories: Ring Games, Sit And Gos and Tournaments, and players can sort the available tables by stakes, table name, buy-in, number of players and more detailed information such as the average size of the pot, number of hands per hour and percentage of players who see the flop.
Managed by industry veterans Joe Versaci, Tobin Prior, Chris Derossi and Tom Breitling, the operation is powered by Cyberarts software, a long-established industry company that Ultimate acquired lock, stock and barrel in 2011.
We feel our technology is a major advantage. Ultimate Pokers proprietary software is completely owned and operated by parent company Ultimate Gaming, allowing for continuous investment and product development, Ultimate chief exec Tobin Prior said recently.
Turning to the more general online poker sector over the past week, Pokerscout reports a welcome reversal - albeit a small one - of the declining traffic trend that has been evident over the past eight consecutive weeks.
Online poker traffic climbed 0.5 percent last week, with gainers outnumbered losers 6-4.
Overall, the market is down 18 percent from the same period in 2012.
Notable occurrences flagged by Pokerscout included Merge Gaming Network player counts tumbling after the network apparently split in two on May 1.
"Although network ring-fences are subject to change without notice, at the time of writing it appears that Carbon Poker and Aced are running on a completely separate network from PlayersOnly and Sportsbook," reports Pokerscout. "There is no overlap between the two segments in the cash game tables at any stakes.
"Carbon Poker and Aced appear to have kept at least two-thirds of the players. After the split, Carbon player counts dropped by not quite 20 percent. The decline may be purely a result of losing the other network segment from the player pool, although a simultaneous rake increase may also be impacting player counts."
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