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Victoria Coren Mitchell Wins Three British Poker Awards

The names of those who bagged the British Poker Awards, an event sponsored by Unibet, were announced at the Hippodrome Casino on February 23 at a glittering awards ceremony.
Victoria Coren Mitchell, who had parted ways from PokerStars.com after the operator began offering online casino games, had bagged three awards—the Best Social Media User Award, the Best Poker Personality of the Year, and the Performance of the Year Award.
She succeeded in bagging the last mentioned because she became the first player in poker history to win not one, but two European Poker Tour (EPT) championship titles. Eight years after winning the Main Event of EPT London in 2006, she won the Main Event of the EPT Sanremo in April 2014.
Poker player Simon Deadman has also won multiple awards. He not only bagged the Breakout Player of the Year, but also the Best Live Tournament Player Award. He won the latter for earning as much as $1.1 million by ending up as the runner-up six times and winning the Hollywood Poker Open, which was held in Las Vegas.
While the Best Live Cardroom Award went to Dusk Till Dawn (DTD), Rob Yong, its owner, was given the Best Contribution to Growing and Promoting Poker Award. Rob Yong and DTD may win these awards again the following year because the DTD has recently signed a multi-year deal with partypoker. DTD also announced a mega Grand Prix Millions tournament with 18 starting flights, nine of which will be held online and the other nine will be held at DTD.
In addition, Toby Stone won the Best TD Award, Daniel Negreanu won the Best International Player Award, Run It Once won the Best Training Site Award, Jake Cody won the Best Blogger Award, and Red Tooth Poker won the Best Poker League Award.

Maryland to Legalize Home Poker Soon

Maryland may legalize home poker games soon. The US state is now facing two separate bills that propose to legalize hosting and taking part in home poker bills. These bills are the Senate Bill 184, proposed by Senator Nancy King, and the House Bill 59, proposed by Delegate Kirill Reznik. Both belong to the Democratic Party.
The bills propose to make it legal for individuals to organize skill-based or chance-based games for real money in the privacy of their homes. If passed into law, they will prevent individuals organizing home games that involve use of electronic devices that can access the Internet for the purpose of placing bets.
If the bills are passed into law, individuals who organize home poker games will no longer be punished with prison time and up to $1,000 in fines. However, this law is not enforced strictly and many professional poker players have openly spoken about taking part in home poker games within the borders of Maryland.
The bill also says that legal home poker games will not benefit anybody in a financial way “other than winnings accrued by participating as a player in a game.”
The proposed bills have over 24 sponsors, and both were heard this month. If passed into law, the bills will be brought into effect as early as October 2015.
Speaking at the House Ways and Means Committee hearing held on Thursday, Rezniak said: “What makes a casino a casino is that a cut of the winnings is saved for the house. The laws are so restrictive now that a person’s home is deemed a casino.” The Capital News Services carried a report regarding this hearing.
Recently, Maryland authorized live dealer games at casinos within its jurisdiction. None of the casino operators in Maryland have opposed these home poker bills.

Trump Taj Mahal Closes Down Poker Room for Renovation

New Jersey’s Trump Taj Mahal has closed down its live poker room for renovation. If all goes well, the casino resort will be able to re-open its poker room at the start of July.
The Trump Taj Mahal poker room, a facility with 48 poker tables, was one of the most popular live poker rooms in New Jersey. The poker room also features in Rounders, a popular poker movie. However, Atlantic City casinos, including the Trump Taj Mahal, were unable to retain their fortune. Their revenue declined, as a result of which Trump Taj Mahal decided to renovate its poker room.
Robert Griffin, the CEO for Trump Entertainment, said: “Poker is a money loser for us at this point. With all the starts and stops in this process, we’ve lost enough business that we need to do something to make it profitable again.”
Before shutting down, the poker room is required to pay out its bad beat jackpot. In order to do this at the earliest possible, the poker room has announced that it will give the jackpot to any player who creates a Full House of Jacks or better.
When the Trump Taj Mahal announced that it will shut down its poker room, there were rumors that the poker room might never be re-opened, especially as the Trump Taj Mahal now forms part of the list of Atlantic City’s defunct casinos, such as Revel, Atlantic Club, Trump Plaza, and Showboat.
But Carl Ichan, one of the major shareholders of Trump Entertainment, has decided to invest $20 million in the live poker room. Many players feel that, when the poker room re-opens, it will offer much more than just poker.
Steve Ruddock says on njpokeronline.net: “I wouldn’t be surprised if when the renovations are unveiled in July, the space boasts slots and table games, and not poker tables.”

Former Rugby Player who Attacked Poker Player Escapes Prison Time

A rugby player who attacked his opponent while playing poker may have lost his rugby contract, but has avoided prison time by agreeing to pay his victim €10,000.
Neilus Keogh, the 27-year-old rugby player, who hails from Dublin, pleaded guilty to assaulting 57-year-old Michael Frisby while playing poker at The Sporting Emporium on April 5, 2012.
When Keogh appeared in court in February 2014, Patrick McCartan, the judge, ordered the rugby player to get counseling for his anger issues and show his remorse by giving €10,000 to the victim.
In June 2013, Keogh had signed a contract worth £1,700 per month with Nottingham. The contract contained a clause that it would be considered null if a court ever convicts him. Ronan Kennedy BL, his lawyer, said that the contract has not been renewed although he has not been convicted. Since the team refused to renew the contract last year because of the “adverse publicity” generated by the case, Keogh had to get a laborer’s job.
Keogh regularly plays poker at The Sporting Emporium Casino. However, when Frisby won the game, he lost his temper and knocked his opponent down before flinging a chair at his face. As a result, Frisby got three facial bone fractures and damaged the nerves surrounding his mouth. He had to undergo a surgical procedure, in which two metal plates were inserted in his face.
Frisby said that he could not even defend himself as the chair was flung at him when he lay unconscious on the floor.
According to Kennedy, Keogh has paid heavily for his hot temper and is currently taking counseling for anger issues. He now earns a weekly salary of £350 by working at construction sites.
The judge said that his wrecked career is “a very regrettable but nonetheless an almost inevitable consequence of his wrong doing.”

Kara Scott Becomes Brand Ambassador for Tilt Events

When professional poker player Kara Scott parted ways with partypoker at the end of 2014, the poker community was sure they would see her back in the industry soon. Accordingly, early this week, Scott announced her plans to travel to Italy as a poker ambassador.
Scott, along with her husband Giovanni Rizzo, also a professional poker player, are now brand ambassadors and consultants for Tilt Events, an Italian company that has been organizing major live poker tourneys in Italy for several years, including the regular tournaments at the internationally acclaimed World Poker Tour (WPT) Venice and the Ca’Noghera.
Scott said on her blog at Cardrunners: “Giovanni and I will be joining their team, being involved all the way from the early dreaming stages to the fine detail execution of the Tilt Cup events.” She also revealed that they would play a major role in the return of the Venice Poker Festival at the end of this year. She says that the husband and wife team are “both energized to work hard, listen and help create tournaments” of the type that players would want to take part in. Scott concluded by saying that she is more than excited.
Though more popular for the work she does in TV poker shows, Scott is a good poker player. Although she does not have a lot of time to play poker, she has won over $630,000 in live poker tournaments. Her biggest achievement was finishing in the 104th position in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2008 Main Event and winning a prize of $41,816. She also finished second in the Paddy Power Irish Open of 2009 and won $413,612.
Her husband Rizzo is a talented player who specializes in mixed poker games. Well-known as “gioriz” in Italian online poker circles, he takes parts in several Italian online poker tournaments.

WPT Season XIII Events to Be Broadcast on FSN

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker will be presented on FSN this Sunday from the Los Angeles based Bicycle Casino.
The WPT, which is now in its thirteenth season, will also broadcast tournaments from Las Vegas, Montreal, Hollywood, San Jose, Niagara Falls, and Jacksonville, concluding with the broadcast of the WPT World Championship, which will be held in Atlantic City. The WPT is to present a total of 35 original episodes this season.
Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton, the commentators, will return this season along with Lynn Gilmartin, who will be functioning as the anchor for her second WPT season. This season will also include The Raw Deal, which features Tony Dunst and was very popular last season.
The champion will not only receive the enormous first place prize and the championship title, but also a customized watch from Hublot, the Swiss watchmaker, and a pair of 24k Monster Headphones.
The broadcasts will be repeated all through the week on FSN as well as FSN2.
Adam Pliska, the president of the WPT, said that the twelfth season was a roaring success and that “the World Poker Tour has upped the ante for Season XIII with an upgraded set.” This is the first time televised winners will receive customized watches from Hublot along with return trips to Fallsview Casino Resort and Bestbet Jacksonville. In addition, there will be “an unprecedented four events from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, including the WPT Monster Invitational.
Pliska further said that the WPT is “proud to introduce all of these new changes” while simultaneously maintaining the WPT’s rich legacy with “high production standards and the return of legendary co-commentators Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten for a 13th consecutive season.”
Those interested can view the WPT’s premier episode on FSN at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.