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Darren Woods, WSOP bracelet winner who plays online under the moniker Dooshcom, and his father have been found guilty of fraud, as a result of which they could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Woods, who is now 29 years old, could get ten years in prison as he has pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud with regard to 13 online gambling indictments. His father, 56-year-old Morteza Gharoon, has pleaded guilty to laundering £230,000.
The Humberside Police Economic Crime Unit has been investigating the activities of the father-son duo ever since 2011. Their investigative reports indicate that some gambling firms have assisted the duo in their fraudulent and money laundering activities. However, only a few of these firms are actually admitting to have been associated with the two. So far, Boylesports and Skrill have been named.
Woods is infamous in the online poker community as a cheat. Earlier, players posted threads at online poker forums, accusing Woods of creating multiple accounts at iPoker skins and 888 Poker. They also accused him of conspiracy. Woods has admitted that he used fake documents to create multiple accounts at online poker rooms.
Woods could have had a lucrative poker career as he had been a talented professional poker player. He also enjoyed a positive image in the online poker world. He had not only won a WSOP gold bracelet, but had also trained aspiring poker players at PokerStrategy, an online poker training site. He was also a sponsored poker pro at 888 Poker.
Woods is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec 17, 2014, but right now, both Woods and his father are out on bail. Fraud and money laundering are quite serious offenses. If convicted and sentenced, both father and son will find themselves behind bars for as many as ten years.
Revenue generated by online poker rooms licensed and regulated in Nevada has fallen to $693,000. In August, Nevada poker sites had generated $742,000. The month appears to be the worst one for Nevada’s online poker rooms.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board has released figures that show that the state’s three online poker rooms collected $693,000 in tournament fees and rake. The board began releasing online poker figures regularly from February.
In August, Nevada’s three online poker operators—Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com, and Real Gaming—had generated a total of $742,000. At that time, it was considered to be the lowest combined revenue figure for this year. These figures indicate that several operators that received a license to offer online poker services in Nevada haven’t yet launched real money online poker rooms.
Nevada Gaming Control Board figures also indicate that the state’s online poker industry generated $985,000 in July, $1,037,000 in June, $862,000 in May, $792,000 in April, $926,000 in March, and $824,000 in February.
According to certain predictions, US online gambling industry could be worth $5.2 billion in 2020, but this figure has been arrived at after taking into consideration previous estimates. If the industry continues to underperform, these predictions are likely to change.
Currently, Nevada is a poker-only state. Although some gambling companies offer mobile sports betting services, the state’s definition for online gambling doesn’t apply to it. In September 2014, the online gambling sites licensed in the state reported wins worth $901,697,989, which is 5.96% less than the figure of $958,894,854 reported in September 2013. Strip gaming wins have also declined by 12%.
Gambling operators say that the figure has reduced because of high-roller activities at high-stakes baccarat games.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported that gambling winnings have reduced by 1% in 2014 so far when compared to the figures of 2013.
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.
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.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.”
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.