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Cheryl Hines, the 49-year-old celebrity, enjoys partying. Last weekend, when she visited Las Vegas, she played some poker. However, instead of wagering huge amounts of money at the tables, the actress decided to raise funds for a worthy cause by hosting a charity poker tournament called “All-in for Cerebral Palsy Celebrity Poker Tournament.” Hines, who was nominated for the Emmy Award twice, has a nephew with cerebral palsy.
Hines co-hosted the charity poker tournament at the Bally Hotel Casino. A large number of celebrities attended the event and helped raised funds for the cause.
The actress wore a shiny silver blouse beneath a white jacket, exhibiting her flair for fashion. She also wore black boots and a pair of well-fitted black jeans. She let her long blonde hair fall gracefully around her shoulders while tear-drop earrings made of diamonds twinkled at her ears.
Her husband Robert F. Kennedy was not at the event. The two had tied the knot in early 2014. However, a number of celebrity poker players such as Dean Cain, Mekhi Phifrer, Coolio, and Montel Williams were present at the venue. They all played a game of NL Texas Hold’em, the first-place prize of which was $25,000.
The One Step Closer Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, aims to help not only those suffering from cerebral palsy, but also their families.
Cheryl Hines posted a selfie on Twitter along with the caption: “Just me & #coolio playing poker. My usual Saturday.”
The actress has been using her status as a celebrity to create awareness on cerebral palsy and to raise funds for the assistance of those diagnosed with the disorder for the past several years. She has been working with an organization called United Cerebral Palsy and is even a member of its board of trustees ever since the doctors said that her nephew had cerebral palsy.
Stephen Graner, the 26-year-old US professional poker player, has won the European Poker Tour (EPT) 2014 Prague €5,300 buy-in NL Hold’em main event. He has not only earned the first EPT title of his career, but also added an impressive amount of US$1,191,870 to his bankroll.
The main event, which lasted seven days, had a field of 1,107 players. When Graner reached the final table, he held 12,405,000 of the total number of 33,210,000 chips on the table. This helped him gain an advantage over his six opponents and win the championship title in just five hours. The heads-up play between Anton Bertilsson and Graner lasted just 22 hands, after which Graner emerged as the winner.
When the final hand was being played, Graner bet all-in and Bertilsson responded with a call. While Bertilsson held the King of Spades and a Five of Clubs, Graner had a Four of Hearts and a Four of Diamonds. But the cards were in favor of Graner, owing to which Bertilsson had to finish as the runner-up.
For winning the event, Graner collected 1,920 Card Player Player of the Year (POY) points. Graner has reached four final tables this year. He has finished sixth in the $1,300 buy-in World Series of Poker (WSOP) NL Hold’em Millionaire Maker tournament, winning 440 POY points and $273,854. His latest poker achievements have put Graner in the 21st place on the POY leader board.
The final table results are as follows. The champion Stephen Graner won $1,191,870 and 1920 POY points and the runner-up Anton Bertilsson won $716,747 and 1600 POY points. The players who finished third, fourth, fifth, and sixth were Jonathan Wong ($504,534), Fabio Sperling ($379,061), Simon Mattsson ($289,911), and Bjorn Wiesler ($211,978), respectively. The players who finished seventh, eighth, and ninth were Remi Castaignon ($159,150), Miltiadis Kyriakides ($113,910), and Jakub Slemr ($88,818), respectively.
InsideCostaRica.com, a news website based in Costa Rica, reports that the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security and police force are unhappy about “Runner Runner,” a poker movie released last October. The jurisdiction feels that the film has insulted the country and its police force.
In “Runner Runner,” Justin Timberlake plays the role of online poker player Richie who loses most of his profits in a high-stakes online poker game and finds out that he has been cheated. He therefore travels all the way to Costa Rica to settle the issue with the owner of the online poker room, Ivan. However, Ivan is impressed with Richie’s poker talent and asks him to become his partner. Later, the FBI gets involved, making the movie more of a thriller and less of a poker movie.
“Runner Runner” was not received well. According to a review by Grantland.com’s Wesley Morris: “This is a sleazy-sexy ‘80s thriller that has no idea what sleazy-sexy is – or is too scared of what it takes to go there. The movie needs to go off the rails. But it’s greedy and lazy. It only wants to go to the bank.”
However, the Costa Ricans are least bothered about the quality of the movie. They are only offended that it presents a poor picture of their country. According to the InsideCostaRica.com report, one of the scenes in the movie depicts police officers in Costa Rica behaving in an unprofessional manner. They are shown smoking and drinking with prostitutes.
Celso Gamboa, the minister of public security of Costa Rica, is of the opinion that the movie ought to have focused on the “flora and fauna” of Costa Rica, but has tarnished the image of its police force instead. He complains that the movie has indirectly conveyed the message that the country is perfect for drug addicts and criminals.
The Main Event of the TonyBet Open Face Chinese (OFC) Poker World Championship, the first live OFC event of its kind, also turned out to be the biggest OFC event of its kind as it attracted a field of 135 players who generated a prize pool as large as €117,855.
The high roller event, which was played on December 9, turned out to be the most lucrative OFC live poker event as it generated a €218,500 prize pool. A spokesperson for TonyBet told PokerNews.com that, although they had high expectations, the actual figures surprised them. The operator broke the previous record two times, proving that OFC is very popular and has a great potential.
The field included talented poker players such as Konstantin Puchkov, winner of two WSOP gold bracelets; George Danzer, WSOP Player of the Year; Alex Bilokur, champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) high roller tournament; and others. Others who took part in the main event were Jennifer Shahade, the champion of the OFC high roller tournament, and Alexander Kostritsyn. The player field of 135 broke the previous record of 64 players who took part in the $230 buy-in MasterMinds OFC Tournament held in March 2013 at Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Expressing his delight at breaking two records, the spokesperson for TonyBet said: “I mean we beat such big names as WSOP and EPT in the first attempt, so the only way to go now is up.”
Fourteen of the 135-strong player field survived into Day 2 of the Main Event. These players are Nikita Nikolaev, Alexander Lakhov, Iakov Onuchin, and Maxim Panyak of Russia, Mikal Blomlie of Norway, Oleg Udovenko, Andrii Nodieliaev, and Igor Belakovskiy of Ukraine, Amir Mozafforian, Jurgen Hellen, and Jan Hendrik Tapken of Germany, Gary Stone of Great Britain, Mikalai Davidovich of Belarus, and Ron Oomen of Netherlands.
Yahoo will shut down its online Texas Hold’em site from December 31. The search engine says that it may launch an online poker room in the future, but has revealed no more details. It may be recalled that Yahoo began advertising its online poker site heavily just a month back.
The Yahoo webpage says that its Texas Hold’em game will no longer be available because it is no longer functioning well and is incompatible and insecure with certain “changes in supporting technologies and increased security requirements for our Yahoo web pages.”
The online poker community is rather surprised that Yahoo is shutting down its Texas Hold’em game just a month after it launched a powerful advertising campaign for it on its fantasy football page. If Yahoo had any plans to shut down the game, it could have sold precious ad space to companies such as Toyota or any regular fantasy football advertiser.
Interestingly, Yahoo mentions on its Games Help page that it plans to develop new online casino games with enhanced security and that one of these new games may be a variant of Texas Hold’em. Yahoo has also indicated that its new variant of Texas Hold’em will eliminate the need for players to buy chips as it would be entirely “free to play,” but may give players certain incentives to make in-game purchases. In other words, the game would be somewhat similar to an existing game called Candy Crush.
The Yahoo Games Help page, however, does not say a word about offering prizes for Yahoo! Poker if and when it is brought back. Even is Yahoo is planning to bring back the game, upgrading its web security is of great importance to the search engine. Despite this, the shutdown will never cease to bewilder players, considering the way Yahoo marketed its product.
Betfair shut down its online poker site in New Jersey on December 1 after the site failed to capture the expected market share. Betfair’s online casino, however, continues to operate in New Jersey.
Betfair’s exit has no impact whatsoever on the market as it posted a revenue figure of $0 in October and generated revenues of only $1 in September according to the company’s tax reports submitted to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). In 2014, Betfair generated just $50 in online poker revenues, and in 2013, it generated only $90.
Although Betfair’s online poker room in New Jersey failed to perform as expected, its online casino is thriving. In October, it generated revenues of $855,869, and during the first 10 months of this year, it generated $6,677,288 in revenue.
Betfair launched an online poker site in New Jersey in partnership with Trump Plaza. When the Trump Plaza stopped operating on September 16, Betfair got into a temporary partnership deal with Caesars Interactive. On November 21, it was allowed to operate on the license granted to Golden Nugget. Since both sites focused on online casino gaming, they successfully claimed a market share of 25 percent.
Betfair isn’t the only operator to shut down its online poker business in New Jersey. In September, Ultimate Poker withdrew from New Jersey after its partner, the Trump Taj Mahal Associates LLC, went bankrupt.
The withdrawal of Betfair plunges the New Jersey online poker industry into darkness. The NJDGE states that the industry’s October revenues were just $1,967,904, representing a fall of 5.64 percent. At the same time, it is worth noting that things are going on very well at Party Poker NJ and BorgaraPoker.com, which together organized a tournament with a guaranteed prize of $100,000.
In 2015, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are expected to step into New Jersey.