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Billy Chattaway is once again one of the top 10 poker players on PocketFives.com’s online poker rankings for UK. He is currently occupying the seventh rank and aiming at one of the top five positions.
Chattaway is doing extraordinarily well at online poker rooms. He began by winning the Sunday Second Chance tournaments held at PokerStars and continued to win. He recently won $20,878 in the $27 buy-in Omaha 6-Max 2RIA, finished second in Betfair Poker’s €30,000 Guaranteed Sunday Masters and won $5,162, won $5,000 in the $55 buy-in No-limit Hold’em 6-Max Turbo, and finished second in the $55 buy-in Hold’em Rebuy Turbo Big Antes. As a result, he now occupies the 68th position in the world.
Stephen Woodhead, who plays under the moniker “woody1234321,” is also doing well. He finished third in PokerStars’ $51 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Hyper-turbo and in the $11 buy-in NL Hold’em 1RIA. He also won the $55 buy-in NL Hold’em Turbo Re-entry and the $215 buy-in NL Hold’em Progressive Super Knockout, winning $6,448 in the former and $77,689 in the latter. Since he has finished deep in several more events, he is now one of the UK top 20 players.
Other players who have done very well and deserve a mention are Andy Holman, who won four PokerStars online poker tournaments during the last week; Sebastian Saffari, who won $32,710 in the Bigger $55; Oscar Serradell, who won $27,216 in the Big $162 at PokerStars; and Jareth East, who won three 888poker.com tournaments in one night.
The UK top 20 players, from first to twentieth, are Patrick Leonard, Oscar Serradell, Vicente Delgado, Chris Moorman, Rick Trigg, Rhys Jones, William Chattaway, Christopher Brammer, Scott Margereson, Jareth East, “carpediem200,” Stephen Woodhead, Andy Holman, Tom Middleton, Christopher Johnson, Stefano Terziani, Daryl Green, Conor Beresford, Charlie Combes, and Sebastian Saffari.
A new bill introduced in Nevada, called SB40, has gotten the state’s poker players worried as it threatens to stop poker tournament betting in the state. Organizers and players of poker tournaments feel that tournament poker will suffer if the state outlaws betting on live poker tournaments. Players of high-stakes tournaments, who can afford to take part only by requesting friends and fellow players to bet on their action, are the most worried lot.
SB40 contains language that makes it illegal for any individual or company “to accept third-party bets on future contingent event.”
Recently, A. G. Burnett, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said that the poker community has nothing to worry about. He told PokerFuse.com that SB40 is totally unrelated to poker as it deals only with sports betting. He said: “The reason for the ‘future contingent event’ is that our sports books don’t always take strictly sports-related bets; we have allowed them to take non sports bets in the past and the possibility exists that they might be allowed in the future. [SB 40] is centered on bets occurring in sports books only.”
Shortly before Burnett clarified the issue, users of Two Plus Two Forums said that SB40 is a huge blow to high-stakes World Series of Poker (WSOP) events, especially the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop and the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event. None of the users were sure why the bill should be passed if it threatened the WSOP, which attracts thousands of poker players from all over the world to Nevada, generating plenty of revenue for the state.
However, Burnett has mentioned in an email that he had spotted a few articles about some varieties of bets, leading him to clarify that SB40 is definitely not a poker bill, but “solely related to sports betting only.”
WSOP.com and 888poker.com in NJ began sharing liquidity for low-limit and micro-limit cash games and certain tournaments with effect from January 12, 2015. Players have reacted positively for this merger of player pools on the part of the two NJ online poker rooms.
Patrick Shelly, an NJ online poker player who plays under the username my2chis, said that he considers the merger “as a good thing,” adding that tournament quality and prize pool sizes at the few tournaments that the two online poker rooms host have increased. He said that he feels that this is an excellent development for professional as well as recreational poker players.
Several NJ poker players have expressed their opinions at Pocketfives.com and Two Plus Two forums. Posting on Two Plus Two, poker player Turbolicious said that he is happy for tournament players. He posted: “Great news for MTT players, like how they already upped the Sunday $25k to $35k.”
NJ players are so much in favor of liquidity sharing that they want to know what liquidity is being shared only for low-limit and micro-limit cash poker games. Some players want more tournaments to be included in the liquidity sharing. FrickenWacko, posting on PocketFives.com, said that “shared liquidity is awesome,” and that prize pools have greatly increased because of it. He posted: “Now, how about sharing liquidity on all of the other tournaments with guarantees on 888poker and WSOP.com?”
Many posters are confident that the two online poker rooms will expand liquidity sharing to other tournaments too. Starpoker said on Two Plus Two that he believes that it takes time for online poker rooms “to fully integrate” and that they are doing it in steps. He is of the opinion that there will be more changes by March 2015 and that one has to focus on the good things at present.
The Lincoln Journal Star has reported that lawmakers in Nebraska will finally decide whether to legalize online poker as a game of skill on Tuesday.
Reportedly, Senator Tyson Larson will propose an online poker bill to legalize Draw Poker and Texas Hold’em as games of skill, thus lifting the ban imposed by the state on gambling.
Currently, the laws of Nebraska ban gambling on all games of chance, but it does not ban betting on skill-based games such as video games, chess, and others. Larson plans to propose a bill, which points that poker is legal as it is a game of skill, not of chance.
Lawson said: “You can be a professional poker player; you cannot be a professional coin flipper. You can lose a poker game on purpose; you can’t lose a coin flip on purpose. You can have the worst hand in poker but be the best player. The math is there; the statistics are there. Poker is a game of skill; it is not a game of chance.”
If Larson’s bill is passed into law, bars will have to purchase an endorsement on their existing licenses so that they can host poker games. Non-profit organizations can also secure short-term licenses to offer real money poker games. The bill proposes a tax rate of 5 percent on poker tournaments as well as cash poker games. Half of the poker profits would be diverted to the property tax credit fund of the state. One percent of the remaining half will be used to deal with issues related to problem gambling and the rest will be taken by the government of the locality in which the games are played.
The poker bill is just one of the many bills Larson has introduced into the legislature, one of which aims to cancel breaks between games of keno.
A federal court has declined Paul Phua’s request to continue playing poker at brick-and-mortar casinos. Phua, who was arrested last summer for allegedly running an illegal sports betting business from a luxury villa at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, is now waiting for his trial.
Phua had requested the court to cancel a condition that does not allow him to gamble or enter “any establishment whose primary business involves gambling activities.” His legal representatives argued that Phua was not arrested playing poker illegally, owing to which he should be allowed to continue playing poker.
Prosecutors counter argued that the defendants’ request is based on the premise that he needs “freedom to shop, eat, and attend shows” at land-based casinos, but that there are plenty of restaurants, shows, and stores that the defendant can access without having to visit a casino.
Unfortunately for Phua, the court agreed and said, “Because defendants present nothing new or material apart from the notion that they require more places to shop, eat, attend shows, and play poker, this court finds no basis to grant defendants’ request.” The court further said that it agreed with the prosecution when it said that there is no dearth of restaurants, shows, and stores for Phua to access without even having to visit a casino.
The judge then stated the court’s main reason for declining Phua’s request, that Phua being allowed to play poker at casinos would be a “danger to the community, particularly casinos” as he stands accused of operating an illegal sportsbook on the premises of a casino.
Last year, Phua was seen playing a hand worth $1 million. Although considered to be a good poker player, he is not yet considered one of the world’s best. He is a wealthy entrepreneur who lost around $4.6 million playing online poker between May 2013 and May 2014.
Unibet has temporarily appointed Andrew West as its poker head as it searches for someone to take on the post on a permanent basis.
eGaming Review has reported that Martin Stalros, who was Unibet’s former poker head, vacated the post early in January to take over as the chief operating officer of Relax Gaming, the provider of poker software for Unibet.
Unibet’s next move was to leave the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) to launch its own online poker network. Ever since Unibet launched its own online poker software platform, its revenue figures have shot up, but its overall poker revenue is lower than what it was when the online poker room was on MPN.
In Q3 of 2014, the operator reported revenues of $3.2 million, representing a rise of 17.6 percent from the $2.7 million it reported in Q2 of the same year. At the same time, these figures show a revenue decline of 31 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Andrew West began his career in the online gambling world at PokerStars, where he served in various positions such as the CRM manager for the Nordic & Baltic and EMEA poker operations manager for nearly eight years. Then he became the poker head for customer development at Ladbrokes. In September 2013, he became the poker business development manager for Unibet.
West has shown an interesting ability to interact with the poker crowd through over 16,000 posts made under the user name “Sciolist” and over 750 posts made under the user name “UnibetAndrew” at Two Plus Two Forum. Since he continuously interacts with poker players, he ought to know exactly what recreational players want from online poker rooms in general and Unibet Poker in particular.
The task of finding a permanent poker head has been given to Daniel Eskola, the head of gaming at Unibet.