Online poker players in Pennsylvania will have their fingers crossed for the next couple of days after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the online gambling bill with a 114-85 vote. The next step in the approval process is for the State Assembly to vote in favor of the bill.
The Assembly is expected to break for this year at the end of the month and legislators could end up making a decision on the online poker bill in the next two days. If the State Assembly approves the bill, then the final hurdle is to get Governor Tom Wolf to sign the bill and turn it into a state law.
Just a week ago, the State Assembly in New York voted against an online poker bill due to the fact that legislators viewed online poker as a game of chance. These views are not shared by Pennsylvania’s legislators and hence there is a strong possibility that online gambling could be legalized in 2016.
The House Of Representatives passed a bill that will allow online poker, slot machines in airports and off track betting clubs and daily fantasy sports. Should the bill be legalized, the combined revenues from these new industries are expected to generate around $266.5 million via online gambling licenses and taxes. Pennsylvania is looking for new revenue generation opportunities as the state government has a $31.5 billion budget that it needs to fund.
The Poker Players Alliance is calling on pro-online gambling individuals to contact Pennsylvania legislators and get them to push the online gambling bill through.
In a statement, John Pappas, executive director of the PPA said “It is about time — this legislation is long overdue! Pennsylvanians deserve robust consumer protections and today the Pennsylvania House delivered. Additionally, this legislation will create jobs and help the Commonwealth close its budget gap. This commonsense legislation is a win-win for Pennsylvania. The online poker community urges the Senate and Governor Wolf to act swiftly to approve this measure.”
The online poker industry in India has continued to grow in leap and bounds thanks to some innovative promotions by Adda52.com, the biggest online poker website in the country. Adda52.com had earlier announced that it had entered into an exclusive partnership with the World Poker Tour (WPT) one of the most prestigious online poker companies in the world and as a result would be able to offer exclusive deals, merchandise and opportunities to Indian poker players.
Adda52.com has announced a new promotion called the “Your Ticket to World Poker Tour” which gives Indian poker players the opportunity to win a package that includes a ticket to the WPTN Rozvadoz. This special event is scheduled to take place at the King’s Casino in the Czech Republic from the 28th of July till the 8th of August. Adda52.com had earlier launched “Your Ticket to World Poker Tour” editions to the Aria and the United Kingdom which turned out to be extremely successful.
Adda52 has launched a number of satellite events that will run from the 27th of June till 15th July and give Indian poker players the chance to win a package to the WPTN Rozvadoz Main Event. The buy-in for these satellite events are fixed at 250 Indian rupees.
In a statement, Anuj Gupta, Founder & CEO of Adda52.com said “With this revolutionary business association with the World Poker Tour, Adda52.com is looking forward to build a longstanding business relation by hosting more satellite promotions for Indian poker players giving them an opportunity to compete in hand-picked World Poker Tour events set to take place across the globe.”
The WPTN Rozvadoz package includes flight tickets valued at 45,000 rupees, hotel accommodation in Rozvadoz valued at 20,000 rupees and a seat at the Main Event where there is a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000.
The Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) is one of the most prestigious nominations that can be bestowed upon a poker player or an individual working in the poker industry. The PHOF was first founded in 1979 and during the founding year a total of seven members were inducted. The organization was taken over by Caesars Entertainment in 2004 and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) became responsible for the PHOF.
The PHOF has preferred to induct a maximum of two individuals in the PHOF on a yearly basis and has a number of strict criteria in place to ensure that only the best of the best are eligible. Some of the conditions for nominating an individual in the PHOF are:
Players should be over forty years of age, must have played high stake tournaments, must have performed well against the top poker pros in the industry and have a consistent and proven track record. Those individuals who are nominated in the non-player category must have made significant contributions to the poker industry that has stood the test of time.
The 2016 PHOF has now been opened to the public who are encouraged to send in their nominations by going to the WSOP website and choosing the PHOF link. Along with the nomination, users will need to send in a little note explaining the reason for their nomination.
The Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council will select the top 10 names based on the nominations received. The final voting process is performed by the existing members of the Poker Hall of Fame and a blue-ribbon panel.
The PHOF nomination process has received some flak during the past few years especially from European Poker players due to the fact that none of the PHOF inductees are Europeans.
The popular World Poker Tour National Rozvadov (WPTN) is scheduled to take place at the King’s Casino in the Czech Republic from July 28 and conclude on August 8. The King’s Casino is one of the most well known casinos in Europe and has the biggest poker room in all of Europe.
Partypoker is the official sponsors for the WPTN Rozvadov tournament and the main attracting will be the WPTN Rozvadov Main Event which has a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000 and a buy-in of €1,100. Tournament organizers expect some of the top poker pros in Europe to attend the event including poker players from Germany as the casino is situated close to the German border.
The 2015 edition was a massive success as the guaranteed prize pool nearly double due to a high number of player registrations. A total of €362,780 was guaranteed for the 2015 edition which was eventually won by Manig Loeser, a German poker player who received €76,000. The 2016 edition of the tournament is also expected to attract a large number of player and the €200,000 guaranteed prize pool is expected to grow significantly.
Tournament organizers have also scheduled a number of low buy-in events so that more players can participate in the tournament. A number of events have low-buy-ins starting at just €45 and partypoker is also running a number of satellite events on its website. These satellite events also offer players the chance to win a package that provides them a seat to the Main Event. These satellites start out at $0.01 and the eventual winners will receive a partypoker package that includes a free seat to the WPTN Rozvadov Main Event, a three night stay at a hotel in Rozvadov and $300 in spending money.
PokerStars decided to remove micro-stake games from its Belgian poker website from June 15 in what appears to be a trial run to see how the market responds. Due to current online poker legislation in Belgium, poker players play on a PokerStars dot-be domain which has shared player international liquidity with the dot-com domain and other online poker domains.
This move by PokerStars means Belgian poker players will no longer be able to play $0.01/$0.02 games. PokerStars did not communicate to its players that it was removing these low stake games and a number of players were surprised to find that they could no longer access these low stake games. Belgian online poker pro “kmeirlaen” posted an e-mail response from the PokerStars customer support team on the TwoPlusTwo poker forum confirming that the company had intentionally removed micro-stakes games.
The response from PokerStars read “We are indeed trialing the removal of $/€/£2.00 no-limit as well as $/€/£ 0.01/0.02 pot-limit and no-limit games in Belgium, since June 15. We frequently review the selection of ring games and tournaments within our lobby and monitor how that affects the overall playing experience, whether playing on smartphone, tablet or desktop. We experiment with all aspects of the game by trying out new challenges, promotions and types of poker; launching new online series, such as the MicroMillions; and sponsoring live poker festivals around the world.”
PokerStars has made a number of changes to its policies and procedures in 2016 and most of them have not gone down very well with its players. At the beginning of this year, the company made significant changes to its player loyalty and bonus program that left thousands of players disappointed. If the company decides that the removal of low stake games in the Belgium market has had a positive impact, PokerStars could very well decide to make similar changes across all of its domains.
Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Selbst put down $10,000 with 180:1 odds that Jason Mercier will not be able to win three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets at the 2016 WSOP. The bet was apparently made during a PokerStars team dinner and Mercier accepted the bet.
Winning three WSOP bracelets is a unique feat that has only been accomplished five times during the last four decades. The last poker pro to do it was Jeff Lisandro who won three WSOP bracelets in 2009. Selbst rolled out a similar bet to 21 year old polish poker pro Dzmitry Urbanovich who will receive $2 million if he wins three WSOP bracelets.
Jason Mercier is a seasoned poker pro who has had a fantastic start to his 2016 WSOP. Mercier has already won two bracelets by winning the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship and the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship. He just missed out on his third bracelet after finishing in second spot in the $10,000 Razz Championship. Mercier has another 30 WSOP bracelet events that he can enter and see if he can win one more to create history and win an additional $1.8 million from Selbst.
However Selbst has now called on Mercier to drop out of the bet and take a $100,000 in return. Selbst has stated that she was completely drunk when she made the bet and has approached Mercier to forget the whole thing. However Mercier has not been willing to back out of the bet and called Selbst out on Twitter and stated that she was not drunk when she made the bet.
Selbst released a couple of long tweets trying to explain her side of the story and convince members in the poker community that it is not a case of sour grapes. Selbst has received a lot of flak on Twitter for trying to back out of her $1.8 million bet.