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Melbourne Court to Sentence Men Posing as Poker Players

A Melbourne court recently heard that three men entered the Crown Casino in Melbourne pretending to be poker players while their true intention was to establish a drug laboratory for a global syndicate.
The accused Brian Yan, Edward Estrada, and Robin Byun are Canadian citizens. According to a report in the Herald Sun, they will all get a life term in prison if the court finds them to be guilty.
All the three, however, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy. After their arrest in August 2012, they have confessed their intention of trying to manufacture drugs commercially.
It came to be known at the Melbourne County Court, where their case is being heard, that they abandoned their plans when they realized that they had been followed and their argument regarding the identity of those following them was captured on a listening device. The three men then made plans to leave the country, but were arrested before they could do so.
The police conducted a raid on a house they had rented as well as a storage unit they had in Port Melbourne and seized precursor chemicals and equipment used to manufacture drugs. The men had enough material to manufacture 2.5kg of methamphetamine ad 25kg of drug ice.
The court also learned that the men were not working alone. They had a senior leader, who had come to Melbourne on a two-week visit. This person had stayed at Crown Towers and had also tried to play poker, during which he had purchased chips worth $2 million.
Peter Faris, the legal representative for Yuan, argued that a certain drug syndicate has victimized his client while maintaining that Yuan had come to the Crown Casino only to get back money his wife had lost gambling.
The three men are scheduled to be sentenced soon.

PokerStars to Hold Biggest SCOOP Ever

PokerStars, the world’s biggest online poker room, has plans to organize its biggest-ever Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) this May. The upcoming event will comprise 135 events, which will be played over two weeks.
The online poker room has launched the official schedule for SCOOP. The top players of SCOOP 2014’s 135 events will win their share of a guaranteed prize pool of $40,000,000. The SCOOP of this year will emerge as the richest online poker event in the history of online poker.
In 2013, PokerStars distributed $75,585,435.05 among the top players. This year, it will distribute much more because it has introduced three more events in the SCOOP schedule.
PokerStars has designed SCOOP in such a manner that any poker player can take part, irrespective of the size of his/her bankroll. SCOOP’s 45 events will each have a Low, Medium, and High buy-in level and players can choose a level based on their bankroll size. As a result, the buy-ins range between $5.50 and $21,000. Players can also win seats to SCOOP events by taking part in satellites with buy-ins as low as $1.
This year, SCOOP will be held from May 8 to May 14. Players can choose from a wide range of tournament formats such as big ante, re-buy, knockouts, short-handed, and Zoom. The event embraces different variants of poker such as Five Card Omaha Hi/Lo, Five Card Draw, Single Draw 2 – 7, Badugi, and many others. The Main Events for each buy-in level will be held on the last day of the event, promising guaranteed prizes of $1 million, $2 million, and $3 million.
There is also a leader board divided into three categories—Low, Medium, and High. The winner of each SCOOP event will be awarded a Movada watch, something that happens every year.

Borgata Casino Introduces New Poker Chips

In January 2014, the Borgata Winter Poker Open, a lucrative live poker event with a guaranteed prize of $2 million, was first suspended and then cancelled after Borgata Casino authorities discovered that one of the participants had introduced fake poker chips into the tournament. A man called Christian Lusardi, aged 42, was found to be guilty of the incident.
Naturally, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa does not want a repeat of this incident. The land-based casino, which is currently preparing for the Borgata Spring Poker Open 2014, has introduced a set of high-quality, brand new poker chips, which will be used throughout the event.
The Borgata Spring Poker Open 2014, which will begin on April 8 and conclude on April 26, comprises 17 live poker tournaments. The grand finale of the series will be the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship, an event with a guaranteed prize of $5 million.
Recently, Tab Duchateau, the director of the Borgata Spring Poker Open 2014, posted a picture of the new poker chips on Twitter. These chips have been marked in a special way, and the markings become visible only when the chips are held under a blue light. The tournament staff is given the task of verifying the chips at every break.
Joe Lupo, the senior vice president at Borgata, said: “This was very expensive, but very necessary. In order to have the biggest tournaments in Atlantic City and as the market leader, we need to ensure the integrity of the games.”
According to an employee at the Borgata, other methods can also be used to verify the new chips, but the casino has not disclosed these methods. Lupo said, “We will be checking chips randomly throughout the day using a new process involving the UV lights.”
Recently, the European Poker Tour (EPT) used UV light technology during its Vienna leg.

Legendary Seven Card Stud Player Danny Robison is No More

Poker news sources have reported the death of Danny Robison, a legendary senior poker player, who had befriended the late Chip Reese when the duo shifted to Las Vegas in the seventies.
The popular poker legend says that the two poker players soon became successful in converting their tiny bankroll into a huge seven-figure amount. Reese and Robison worked as poker partners, because of which they were nicknamed “The Goldust Twins.” During the early days of their poker career, they could be spotted playing Seven Card Stud games at Stardust Casino. Reese died in 2007.
Robison, who was born at Dayton in Ohio in 1945, won the prestigious World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet when he was participating in the 1995 edition of the event. Players were not surprised to hear that Robison had won a $2,500 buy-in Seven Card Stud Tournament.
The poker community is also well aware of fact that Robison had to struggle against drug addiction through a major portion of his life. On hearing about the death of Robison, Doyle Brunson posted on Twitter that the legendary poker player had “a tough life.” He said: “I know all you atheists are gonna ha-ha but I saw Danny Robison so strung out on drugs he couldn’t walk. A preacher prayed with him and he was delivered immediately with no withdrawal symptoms.”
Phil Hellmuth, who has won 13 WSOP bracelets in the course of his career, posted an RIP tweet as soon as he heard the news. He remembered Robison as “an entertainer at the table.” Many other poker players also tweeted about Robison’s death.
Robison spent the last days of his life playing cash games in Los Angeles casinos. He even participated in Larry Flynt’s game, a Seven Card Stud game, a variant he remained devoted to till his last day.

UK’s Top Online Poker Players

Patrick Leonard, the 26-year-old UK poker player, is having a lot of fun playing poker tournaments and has no intention of ever stopping. A specialist in cash poker games, Leonard has been winning online poker tournaments ever since February 2014.
Here is a list of events Leonard has won. He finished second and won $84,802 in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up, first in the PokerStars $33 No Limit Hold’em event, second in the PokerStars.fr Sunday Six-Max tournament, ninth in the Ninth Anniversary Sunday Million event, first in the PokerStars $109 Re-buy event, second in the PokerStars.com $109 No Limit Hold’em event, first in the PokerStars.com $22 Re-buy tournament, first in $162 buy-in The Bigger tournament, third in the PokerStars.fr Six-Max Club, and first in the €250 Six-Max Club. This is quite an impressive list. Leonard now occupies the 17th place in the UK Top 20 Online Poker Rankings.
Another UK poker player who is having a lot of success playing online poker tournaments is Andrew Hulme. He won the $44 buy-in Hot Turbo at PokerStars.com and collected a prize of $11,431. He also finished 26th in the WCOOP Challenge Main Event, a $2,100 event and won the Winamax High Roller event as well as the $51 buy-in PokerStars Hold’em Hyper Turbo event.
The players in the UK online poker top 20 list are Chris Moorman, Charlie Combes, Rick Trigg, Jareth East, Toby Lewis, Christopher Brammer, Scott Margereson, Oscar Serradell, Ben Jones, Rhys Jones, Sebastian Saffari, Jon Spinks, Magnus Martin, Andrew Hulme, Phill Huxley, Niall Farrell, Patrick Leonard, Matas Cimbolas, Luke Reeves, and Marcin Milde.
Chris Moorman, the number one player in the list, has already made a mark although he has just returned to online poker. He has already finished third in the PokerStars.fr SCOOP event and the PokerStars.com $320 buy-in No Limit Hold’em.

APPT to Stop Twice at Macau in 2014

Macau, one of the most popular gambling destinations in the world, was the center of attraction around fifteen days back because of the Macau Millions 2014, a major live poker event that created a record by emerging as the largest live poker tournament to be ever held in Asia.
The gambling city, popularly known as Asia’s Las Vegas, is now gearing up for another opportunity to enter into the pages of poker history as the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) plans to stop at Macau twice in 2014.
The APPT Season 8 Macau, the first stop, will begin on May 14, 2014 and will last for 12 days. Poker players who flock to the live poker room of City of Dreams Casino will get the opportunity to become a part of this event even if they do not have a lot of money in their bankrolls. The event includes satellites with buy-ins starting from HK$170 to bounty tournaments with buy-ins starting from $190. The Main Event will be a HK$25,000 event. The APPT8 Macau will also include a HK$100,000 High Roller tournament.
The APPT8 will stop at Macau for a second time on August 1, and this time the festival will last till August 17, 2014. This stop will comprise 14 tournaments and will form part of the Macau Poker Cup, the 21st event of its kind. During the last part of the summer, the Red Dragon Main Event, with a buy-in of HK$11,000, will be held. Participants will get the opportunity to grab their share of a guaranteed prize pool as large as HK$5,000,000. On August 14 and August 15, high rollers can take part in the HK$80,000 MPC High Roller Tournament.
Buyanjargal Bold, a Mongolian poker player, had become the champion of the MPC event that was held in January 2014.