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PartyPoker’s reputation has suffered over the past few years as the brand went from being one of the top online poker providers in the world to a brand that no longer featured in the top three list of online poker websites in the world.
Competition from PokerStars, iPoker and Full Tilt Poker edged PartyPoker out and the brand lost a lot of market share and found it difficult to generate consistent online poker traffic. The company has made an effort over the past few months to focus on re-building its brand and capturing a bigger segment of the market.
Some of the initiatives being rolled out by PartyPoker include a project known as “Poker for the People” which is designed to create better communication PartyPoker players and management. The website also decided to no longer allow third party software from function on its websites and renamed its VIP loyalty program to VIP loyalty 2.0 which will provide better benefits to its VIP players.
PartyPoker has also decided to stop charging its players a withdrawal fee and informed players that they can use eWallets such as Skrill, Webmoney and Neteller without incurring any fees. The company has promised to continue to launch new promotions and adapt policies that will provide its poker players with the best experience possible.
Tom Waters, the head of PartyPoker recently spoke about the challenges faced by the brand and its future in the online poker industry. In a statement, Waters said “The biggest change has been regulation. Back in 2005 when I first worked with partypoker, you could pretty much just login anywhere in the world and play, including the US. Now it’s very different with individual licensing regimes in different countries and ring-fenced pools of players. Our player pool is not what it was, so we are constantly sweating over tournaments to make sure they have met guarantee!”
Phil Ivey is having a great start to 2016 having won the 2016 World Poker Tour National (WPTN) in the Philippines and taking home $656,500 in career prize money. In February, Ivey is scheduled to launch his latest project, PhilIveyDFS which is a new website focused on the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry.
The DFS industry has grown exponentially over the last couple of years and Ivey has been waiting for the right time to venture into the market. The poker pro stated that he had been approached by a number of companies to launch a DFS product but in the end he decided to team up with the iTEAM network to launch the new website.
Ivey stated that he choose the iTEAM Network after factoring the number of positives which included the leadership of CEO Gabe Hunterton, the core software technology and the fact that the company was diligent to focus on all compliance laws. Ivey will use his reputation in the poker community to promote the site as the DFS industry has started to attract a large number of poker players.
The biggest DFS prize in the country was recently awarded to poker pro Aaron “aejones” Jones who took out some of the top DFS gamers by using some of the skills and experience he acquired in the poker industry. While the DFS industry in the U.S. continues to be a subject of controversy, Ivey is confident that these issues will soon be sorted out.
Speaking of the iTEAM Network’s partnership with Ivey, CEO Hunterton said “We are always looking for quality brands and partners in the world of fantasy [and] there is no elite-level individual that fans want to follow and learn from more than Ivey. Ivey’s team engaged in extended due diligence, which we welcomed in light of our commitment to conservative regulatory practices and great user experiences”.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida is gearing up to host the popular Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (SHRP Showdown). This tournament is set to run from March 31 to Apr 24 and will host two Season XIV World Poker Tour (WPT) events.
The two WPT events are the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship and the $10,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, which will be the last event of the year-long tour. The new WPT Tournament of Champions, which is an invite-only tournament for Season XIV Champions and members of the WPT Champions Club will be the final event to feature in the Showdown series.
In a statement, Jason Newman, director of poker marketing for Seminole Gaming said, “We’re excited to run some of the highest profile events in the world here in South Florida. The addition of the $10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale allowed us to take the series one step further and offer a $25,500 High Roller with a $1 Million Guarantee catering to some of the game’s best pros and wealthiest amateurs.”
Apart from these WPT events, a high roller tournament has also been introduced. There will also be two preliminary events, a $1 million guarantee event that has a $570 buy-in and a $500,000 guarantee event that comes with a $350 buy-in. The SHRP Showdown series will start with these two events before moving on to the two special WPT events.
There will also be a charity poker tournament for the benefit of the Jason Taylor Foundation. Funds raised from this charity event will be donated to the pro footballer’s foundation to support programs for the betterment of South Florida’s children.
The final tables of three WPT events will be streamed live on the WPT’s website, while the Tournament of Champions final table will also be broadcast on the Fox Sports Network. Satellites for the series will be held at the venue starting from February 21 and registrations for these satellites are currently open.
TJ Shulman Named As One Of The Players Who Exposed Tournament Irregularities At Miami’s Hialeah Park
The Hialeah Park is one of the most popular card rooms in Miami in the state of Florida. The card room was found to be in violation of several gaming laws by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in January. The violations relate to a tournament held in August 2015 to celebrate the casino’s two-year anniversary. This is said to be first major card room misconduct that has been reported in the state since poker was legalized in Florida back in 1996.
The casino has been charged with 11 gaming violations comprising of a number of accounting improprieties as well breaches in reporting. These include discrepancies between jackpot funds and tournament numbers, allowing free entry to players, failure to issue receipts for winnings, seating players with design rather than at random and a lack of surveillance video coverage.
These deviations were highlighted by poker players who participated in the tournament and decided that it was in their best interests to bring these violations to the notice of the authorities.
Recent media reports have named TJ Shulman as one of those poker players who raised these allegations. Shulman is a professional poker player and an experienced tournament player with winnings of over $484,360 in live events. On joining Hialeah’s $200,000 guaranteed tournament with the $250 buy-in, he said that observed a number of irregularities in the tournament which included suspicious interactions between the management and players and issues with prize money.
After doing a check, he realised that the tournament pay-outs were too low for the prize pool and reported the matter to the tournament managers. They however ignored the complaint which caused him to collaborate with other players who were taking part in the tournament to make an official complaint to Florida gaming authorities.
The department’s investigations and the subsequent report have confirmed Shulman’s suspicions. According to local reports, the controversy has resulted in a number of casino’s employees either resigning or being terminated.
Wynn Las Vegas is looking to increase its revenue from its poker offerings on the Las Vegas strip. The company recently announced that it is in the process of revamping and opening out a new Poker Room that will include a number of new amenities and benefits for its patrons.
The company has also hired veteran Ryan Beauregard to be its new Director of Poker and one of his key tasks for 2016 will be to ensure that the new poker room at Wynn Las Vegas turns out to be a great success. The new poker room will have a gaming floor that is around 8,600 sq ft and will be situated adjacent to the Encore Players Club, Surrender and the Encore Beach Club.
The will be twenty eight new tables that will be fitted with special USB ports that players can use to charge their tables and smartphones without having to leave the table anymore. The new poker room will also have exclusive space dedicated to VIP gamblers who will be provided with world class benefits.
In a statement, Beauregard speaking of the new poker room said “We are excited to introduce an enhanced poker room and look to create the ultimate poker gaming experience at Wynn. The new room will incorporate carefully selected amenities specific to poker players that will set Wynn Las Vegas apart as a poker destination.”
Beauregard is a veteran in the casino industry and has spent most of his career working in some of the top casinos in Macau and Las Vegas. The new director of poker plans to have a grand opening for the new poker room and has promised to reveal more information in the weeks to come.
Daniel Negreanu made a reputation for himself by becoming one of the best poker players in history and winning over $32 million in prize money during the course of his career. The Poker hall of famer has been spending a lot of time playing Hearthstone, a game that is making a big impression on the poker community.
Negreanu recently played a game of Hearthstone against well known French poker player Bertrand “ElkY” Grosspellier at the 2015 BlizzCon and ended up winning 3-1. The legendary poker player stated that Heartstone is gaining popularity with the poker community because it requires a great deal of strategy for a player to be successful and forced players to outthink their opposition.
Negreanu stated that one of the features of Hearthstone is that the end result of the game still factored in an element of luck and that is what made the game all the more exciting. Unlike chess and poker which is based solely on skill, Hearthstone allows players with a weaker strategy to still have a chance of winning the game if they get lucky.
In a statement, Negreanu said “In poker, I’m going to obviously be doing some bluffing because psychology matters, but in Hearthstone, you can’t really do the same kind of bluffing. But you can bluff people with the cards you play early and create some uncertainty for the other player.”
Negreanu stated that while more poker players are bound to play Hearthstone in 2016, the game would not threaten the online poker community as it is currently very hard for Hearthstone players to make a living by solely playing Hearthstone.