Poker Blog and Poker Gossip

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Norway Relaxes Gambling Rules to Permit Poker Championships, Home Games

Thorhild Widwey, the culture minister of Norway, said that holding poker championships is now legal in Norway. The Norwegian government has also shown a bill that legalizes home poker games provided they “do not have an organized and professional purpose.”
In the past, the Norwegian Association for Gambling Problems had warned the Norwegian government against liberalizing the ban on gambling. The association argued that legalizing gambling gives vulnerable groups easy access to it, putting them at a greater risk of getting addicted to the activity. Poker tournaments can also feed problem gambling by getting more people interested in the game. Ingjerd Meen Lorvik, psychologist and head of the Norsk Forening for Spillproblematikk, said that “all the advertising that comes with new regulation is a challenge and pressure.”
In Norway, gambling is largely illegal. Only two companies—Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping—have the permit to offer gambling services. Norsk Tipping, which is entirely owned by the state and governed by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, offers games such as sports betting, lotteries, keno, and others. The ministry sets down the rules regarding how large the bets should be and how long Norsk Tipping can offer gambling services per day.
Individuals can legally organize gambling parties in private premises; but these parties should not be organized with the intention of making profits. All forms of Internet gambling, excluding the games that Norsk Tipping is permitted to offer, are illegal in Norway. In addition, the Norwegian government is taking steps to prevent offshore operators from offering their services to Norwegian citizens.
A Norwegian law of June 2010 instructed Norwegian banks not to permit their customers to use credit and debit cards at online and land casinos worldwide. This law also requires the citizens of Norway to submit reports of any money won at casinos in other countries.

Blom, Hansen Leave Full Tilt’s Roster of Sponsored Pros

Full Tilt Poker recently confirmed that Viktor Blom and Gus Hansen are not sponsored pros at Full Tilt Poker anymore. A few days before, the site had taken down their pictures.
In a press statement, Full Tilt Poker said that its sponsorship of Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom has expired, after reviewing the brand for an entire year and making the decision to withdraw from pro-centric advertising and to focus instead on the stories and experiences of its recreational player base. The operator further stated that it will celebrate the fun, excitement, and intrinsic enjoyment of playing slots, roulette, blackjack, and poker games and launch a new television campaign soon, which will represent its new approach. Promising more news in the near future, Full Tilt Poker wished Gus and Viktor “all the best in their future endeavors.”
Hansen, Tom Dwan, and Blom were a small team of poker pros, called “The Professionals,” recruited to represent the newly launched Full Tilt Poker brand in October 2012. Hansen was even named as the ambassador for Full Tilt Poker. Since Dwan had left the site in December 2013, the only sponsored pros at Full Tilt Poker are the Black Card Pros, who do nothing but get the highest rank on the Black Card Leaderboard at the end of each qualifying period.
It is quite obvious that Full Tilt Poker is now focusing on its recreational players. It stopped being a poker-only site and began offering online casino games too. It also re-branded itself as Full Tilt Gaming. The site no longer needs “Professionals” or sponsored pros to attract casual players.
Full Tilt Poker also no longer needs any pro to attract players to its high-stakes poker tables. A number of people love playing high-stakes games and will continue to do even if Dwan, Hansen, or Blom are absent at the tables.

PKR Launches New PKR 3.0 Software

PKR.com announced on October 14, Tuesday that PKR 3.0, an upgraded version of its software, is now available. Players were instructed to update their existing software to PKR 3.0.
In a post related to the launch of its new software, PKR Poker said that it aimed “to make this quite complicated piece of poker software easier to use.” In the creation of PKR 3.0, the online poker room followed a couple of simple guiding principles—“improved game flow” and ease of use.
PKR 3.0 comprises a re-designed games lobby that is very easy to navigate, a new feature called “My PKR” with important information regarding player accounts, and a completely upgraded Avatar Shop, which allows players to design their own three-dimensional avatars.
PKR says that the upgraded software alters the poker gaming action considerably by eliminating several pauses that come between animations, shortening certain sequences, and optimizing the logic associated with the other sequences to ensure an uninterrupted and smooth game flow. As a result, every hand played is now slicker and quicker.
The online poker room took a long time to develop PKR 3.0, which effectively combines its innovative drive with its long experience in the world of video gaming. The online poker site says that it has introduced functionalities that may remind players of traditional poker sites while simultaneously staying loyalty to its social gambling values and video gaming heritage.
Dan Grant, the head of PB for PKR, defines the launch as “the beginning of an exciting new chapter.” In fact, the launch forms part of PKR’s larger plan of growing its player base and strengthening its industry position.
As part of the above-mentioned plans, PKR announced on October 7 that it will withdraw from the Italian market so that it can concentrate on markets “which can more efficiently drive our business forward.”

German Poker Pro George Danzer Wins WSOP 2014 Player of the Year Title

George Danzer, German poker pro and Team PokerStars Pro member, has won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2014 Player of the Year title. His WSOP 2014 performance was spectacular. He finished in the cash at ten events, reached the final tables of five events, and collected cash prizes of $867,649 along with three WSOP gold bracelets.
Danzer was declared as the WSOP 2014 Player of the Year on the fifteenth day of the WSOP Asia Pacific event, chiefly because of his game against Brandon Shack-Harris. Danzer won his third WSOP 2014 gold bracelet in the Event #8 of the WSOP 2014 Asia-Pacific. When opponent Shack-Harris was making his final efforts for the Player of the Year title, Danzer was eliminated from the AU$25,000 buy-in high roller tournament, which was the last event of the WSOP Asia-Pacific. Shack-Harris required to finish at least as the runner-up of the Main Event, but was eliminated in the 17th place.
Since the registration for the high roller tournament was still open, Shack-Harris decided to try his luck there. He needed to finish at least in the fourth place, but busted earlier than expected. With the flop showing Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, and Eight of Hearts, Shack-Harris bet all in with King of Spades and Queen of Clubs. Initially, it looked as if things could get better for Shack-Harris, but the Ace of Spades that appeared on the river finished his WSOP 2014.
Having won the WSOP Player of the Year title, Danzer will get an entry worth $10,000 into the WSOP 2015 Main Event. A photograph of Danzer will also be displayed on a huge banner inside the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, which hosts the WSOP every summer. This will serve as a reminder of his excellent performance at the WSOP 2014.

Poker Player Robbed at Erbo Greyhound Park

The two men who robbed a poker player of a great deal of money at Ebro Greyhound Park are yet to be nabbed. According to the office of the Washington County Sheriff, the robbery is confirmed to have taken place in the parking lot of Ebro Greyhound Park between 5:30 a.m. and 5:40 a.m. on Saturday.
The victim complained that he was going home after playing poker games all night and the two robbers approached him in the parking lot. They pointed a gun at him, robbed him of his money, and then ran away. The exact amount of cash taken away from the victim has not been disclosed.
The parking lot of the Erbo Greyhound Park does not have any surveillance cameras, but according to the sheriff’s office, one of the suspects has been captured on a surveillance camera outside the parking lot just before the robbery took place. Reportedly, the two men were watching the gambling facility with the intent of spotting potential victims.
The Erbo Greyhound Park is very popular, but a number of winners have been robbed at the facility. In October 2012, armed robbers injured a security guard and escaped with a lot of cash. Later, investigators found out that the suspect had overpowered the security guard before gaining access to the room where the money was stored.
Some patrons are worried about the lack of security at the Erbo Greyhound Park, but some have stated that the number of robberies at the facility will not stop them from returning. Michael Conway, a resident of Panama City, who is a regular at the facility, said that players need “use common sense” and “take precautions” when they take part in any gambling activity, including sports betting and playing poker.
The Erbo Greyhound Park has not yet issued a public statement.

New Poker Themed Puzzle Game Poker Play Released

WildTangent has launched a brand new game for iOS devices, called Poker Play, a puzzle game based on the theme of poker, the world’s favorite card game, which challenges players to create strong poker hands by swiping their fingers across the board.
While the game tracks each move players make, the task of the players is to collect the specific number of points required to continue playing. As they play, they will get free moves.
Poker Play enables players to swipe their fingers diagonally, vertically, or horizontally to connect five cards and create a strong poker hand. The number of points players will earn depends on the strength of the hand created. Players have to earn the required number of points, but the number of moves they can make to earn those points is limited. Whenever players achieve this goal, they will receive bonus moves and another point goal is set for them so that they can continue to play.
The gaming action gets more exciting with the random appearance of wild cards on the board. These wilds can substitute for other cards to help players create good poker hands. In addition, multiplier values also appear at random on certain cards, giving players the chance to earn more points for hands created using those cards.
Whenever players reach the end of a game, they can share their scores with their Facebook friends. WildTangent Studios chief Matt Shea said, “If you love puzzle games and poker, you’re ready for Poker Play. Even If you don’t play poker, after a few minutes you’ll easily begin to spot the best hands. My personal best score is 28,115, and I look forward to people posting their top scores or using Poker Play to prep for their next poker night.”
Players can download the game for free at iTunes.