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Paul Phua, a high-stakes poker player, has been arrested for involvement in an illegal World Cup betting ring that operated from three luxury suites at Caesars Palace, a hotel casino based in Las Vegas. A gang of eight, including a woman, was accepting bets through computers connected to many other offshore computers.
Fifty-year-old Phua occupies the first rank on the Macau All-time Money List of Hendon Mob. Three months back, he finished in the sixth place in the EPT Grand Final High Roller Tournament, which was held at Monte Carlo. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that Paul Phua is actually Wei Seng Phua, the member of an organized group of criminals called 14k Triad.
In the middle of June, Phua was arrested in Macau for operating an illegal betting outfit, but was later bailed out. Apparently, he rushed to Las Vegas to continue operating his illegal betting ring. However, Caesars Palace got suspicious when Phua demanded high-tech equipment in the luxury suites. The hotel casino’s employees reported that Phua had installed computers connected to a sportsbook along with three huge TVs showing World Cup games.
On July 9, FBI agents raided the luxury suites, seized high-tech equipment, and gambling-related equipment. The eight defendants were charged with illegally using electronic devices to transmit gambling-related information and running a sportsbook.
Phua’s bail has been set for $2 million and his private jet worth $48 million has been set as collateral. Many poker players are now trying to bail Phua out of jail, and poker player Andrew Robl is prepared to raise $1.5 million of it.
Among the eight arrested was 56-year-old Seng Chen Yong, a Malaysian poker player, who had finished fourth in the Manila leg of the Asian Poker Tour in April 2012.
The FBI, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Homeland Security Investigations are currently investigating.
The sixth PokerNews Cup will be played from October 2 to October 5, 2014 in the Montesino Casino at Vienna in Austria. The PokerNews Cup has been an extremely successful event so far, giving recreational and professional poker players from countries all over the world the chance to play with one another and win large prizes.
The PokerNews Cup 2014 includes a main event with a buy-in of €250 and a guaranteed prize of €75,000 followed by a second chance tournament with a buy-in of €60 and a guaranteed prize of €20,000.
The good news is that interested poker players do not have to spend a lot of money to take part in this event. They only have to part with $3 as Full Tilt Poker is giving them a rare opportunity to qualify for the event for only $3.30. Full Tilt Poker is running two qualifier satellites to the event, each rewarding nine winners with a PokerNews Cup prize package worth $1,150, which includes the buy-in to the main event.
The prize package includes the buy-in to the main event, a 3-night stay at Vienna’s Hotel Roomz, and $350 for spending and travelling. Those interested only have to sign up at Full Tilt Poker through PokerNews and make a deposit. The satellites will be held on August 13 and September 10, giving players two chances to win a PokerNews Cup prize package. These satellites are meant only for readers of PokerNews.com and are available only to those who sign up through a link provided by PokerNews.
The 18 winners will get the opportunity to travel all the way to one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, meet other PokerNews.com readers, interact with them, and win incredibly large prizes. And to make all this possible, players only have to part with $3.30.
Channel 5, which ran advertisements for an online casino and a mobile poker app while showing a documentary titled “My Spiral into Debt Hell” featuring a man who incurred gambling debts of £70,000, was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The documentary could also be viewed on Channel 5’s official website along with a text message: “We meet four people who have suffered shocking financial disaster.” Thirteen viewers who felt that Channel 5 ought not to have shown such ads while presenting a documentary on the dangers of gambling had complained about the same.
“My Spiral into Debt Hell” revolves around the story of Justyn, who appeared to be having “the perfect life,” but had to pay off £70,000 in gambling debts. Ultimately, Justyn loses his family as well as his career.
The ASA, which had investigated the issue, did not take any action as it felt that the channel had not violated any code of conduct. The ASA felt that, although the documentary told the tale of a man who was ruined because of his habit of gambling, it did not contain any “practical advice to vulnerable indebted viewers.” Since the documentary just told a story, the advertisements that were run alongside it were neither unsuitable nor irresponsible. The judges therefore did not consider the ads to be offensive or distressful to viewers.
In a statement, Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd said that “My Spiral into Debt Hell” was an attempt to show how people can get into gambling debts and to convey the message that they cannot use gambling as a solution to their financial problems. The show also intended to show how attempts to use gambling as a solution to financial problems usually lead to more financial problems. The company also clarified that the show was for an adult audience.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) of 2014, which included 65 bracelet events, attracted a field of 82,360 players from all over the world, which is more than that of last year’s by 3.6%. This year the WSOP will distribute a record prize pool of $225,584,873 among its winners.
This year, the WSOP had included three more bracelet events as WSOP 2013 had only 62 bracelet years. The WSOP has come a long way, considering the fact that it awarded only 33 bracelets ten years back.
Since the WSOP intends to continue growing and developing, the player field and prize pool can be expected to grow too. Players can look forward to many more bracelet events during the next few years.
Declaring that “there is only one WSOP,” Ty Stewart, the executive director for the WSOP, said that the organizers are “humbled” at the response to the WSOP 2014 and have “embraced the challenge” to deliver something to everybody who likes playing poker. He also said that they cannot wait to start planning the next year’s WSOP.
This summer’s record turnout is because of two major tournaments—the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, which drew as many as 7,977 participants, and the $1,500 Monster Stack Tournament, which attracted a field of 7,862 players. The $1000 PL Omaha tournament also drew a field of 1,128 players, the biggest field that a non-Hold’em tournament has ever attracted.
Poker players flocked to Las Vegas from 107 countries all over the world to take part in this prestigious live poker tournament series. US poker players, however, won 52 bracelets before the Main Event began. While the average age of the participants was 38.93, the average first-place payout was $792,507. This year, 94.72 percent of the field comprised male poker players while 5.28 percent of it comprised female poker players.
Daniel Colman won $15.3 million in the World Series of Poker’s (WSOP) charity tournament Big One for One Drop. The 23-year-old professional poker player defeated Daniel Negreanu in a heads-up match to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career.
Two months back, Colman had earned a total of $350,000 playing live poker tournaments, but today, he occupies the sixth rank in the list of top-earning poker players as his total winnings have touched the $17,988,859 mark.
The Big One for One Drop tournament had a field of 42 players, each eager to win the second biggest payout to be given away in the game’s history. Over a period of 8 weeks, Colman has finished in the cash five times. His other big poker achievement was a $2.1 million win in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final €100k Super High Roller tournament.
When he started playing heads-up against Daniel Negreanu, winner of six WSOP gold bracelets and two Card Player Player of the Year titles, he was the chip leader. The heads-up match lasted 46 hands, but Colman continuously retained his chip lead and finally won the tournament.
Although he refused a post-game interview, Negreanu spoke to poker journalists and expressed his opinion about the young poker player. He said: “Really he’s a class act, a good kid and I really like the way he plays. He plays a lot different than a lot of other young kids, because he’s a lot more careful.”
As the runner-up of the tournament, Negreanu won the biggest prize of his career—$8,288,001. He is now far ahead of Antonio Esfandiari in the top earners list.
Before his Big One for One Drop win, Colman had established a reputation as a formidable SnG player. Colman began his poker career by playing online poker games.
Chad Brown, the winner of the Bluff Player of the Year title for 2006, is no more. He died at a hospice in New York at the age of 52 after battling with a rare cancer for several years.
Brown began playing poker in cafes and moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to build a career in acting. As a struggling young actor, Brown played a lot of poker at card rooms all over the city. Late in 2004, he was asked to be the host of Ultimate Poker Challenge at the Las Vegas based Plaza Casino.
In 2006, Brown not only won the Bluff Player of the Year title, but also finished in the cash ten times. As he reached the finals of five major events, including a European Poker Tour event, a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit tournament, and two World Poker Tour (WPT) tournaments, his total poker winnings touched the $605,000 mark.
Throughout his poker career, he finished in the cash 102 times, winning a total of $3,518,854. He became the champion of six major poker tournaments and finished as the runner-up several times. A few days before he died, he received a honorary gold bracelet from the WSOP.
In 2008, Brown became a member of Team PokerStars Pro, after which he dated and married Vanessa Rousso, who was also a Team PokerStars Pro member. The marriage ended in a divorce, even after which the couple remained close friends.
Brown was diagnosed with a rare cancer called iposarcoma in Feb 2011. In spite of his serious illness, he took part in a Wynn Classic event and won $73,088.
Besides being a great poker player, Brown was an excellent basketball player. He played with a national men’s team till 2013. This team was even shown in Faded Glory, a documentary produced in 2009.