Ultimate Poker ramps up promotions and marketing efforts

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  • October 26th, 2013 by

There is a lot going in the world of US Poker. Licenses are being approved in New Jersey (five in total at the time of writing); Delaware is prepping for their launch of real-money Internet poker on October 31st; and in Nevada Ultimate Poker is increasing their marketing and promotion presence now that they have some real competition in the form of the WSOP/com website.

20 Million Hands

As the site approaches the historic milestone of 20 million hands dealt Ultimate Poker has announced their 20 Million Hand promotion –which seems to be modeled on PokerStars Road to 100 Billion Hands promotion.

Every 100,000 hands, beginning with the dealing of their 19 millionth-hand, Ultimate poker will award the winner of the hand $250, with all other players at the table dealt into the hand receiving $25 –the prizes double at cash tables of $1/$2 or higher and Sit & Go tournaments above $20.

New Sunday Tournament Schedule

Ultimate Poker has also increased their Sunday tournament schedule adding new events and raising some guaranteed prize-pools in other events. You can see the new tournament lineup at www.ultimatepoker.com.

Ultimate Poker Championship II

After the success of their inaugural Ultimate Poker Championship the site is wasting little time in getting UPC II underway. According to Ultimate Poker the UPC II will begin on November 2nd, and once again will culminate with a $100,000 guaranteed Main Event.

Here is a look at the complete UPC II schedule:

Date Buy-in Tournament Type Guarantee
November 2nd 4:00PM $25 NLHE R&A $10,000
November 2nd 6:00PM $25 PLO R&A $5,000
November 3rd 2:00PM $25 NLHE R&A $10,000
November 3rd 5:00PM $200 NLHE Deepstack $25,000
November 4th 6:00PM $25 NLHE R&A $5,000
November 5th 6:00PM $50 NLHE R&A $10,000
November 6th 6:00PM $10 NLHE R&A $5,000
November 7th 6:00PM $20 NLHE R&A $5,000
November 8th 6:00PM $50 LHE R&A $5,000
November 9th 6:00PM $25 NLHE R&A $5,000
November 10th 2:00PM $25 NLHE R&A $10,000
November 10th 4:00PM $100 PLO R&A $5,000
November 10th 6:00PM $300 NLHE Megastack $100,000


Ultimate Poker and Poker Night in America

According to a press release on the Poker Night in America website, the fledgling poker tour/TV show will be teaming up with Ultimate Poker at their next stop at the Peppermill Resort-Spa Casino in Reno Nevada.

According to the press release Ultimate Poker will be running a number of satellite tournaments into the Poker Night in America Main Event:

“Ultimate Poker is giving players in Nevada at least three mega-satellites to win a freeroll into the biggest tournament – the $1,100 buy-in Main event. These mega-satellites will be be open to all online players at their site. Players will need to head to Ultimate Poker and log in or sign up for an account to get started. More information is available directly at the poker website (www.ulitmatepoker.com).”

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Strong international final table at the WSOPE Main Event

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  • October 24th, 2013 by

What started this past weekend with 375 of the best poker players in the world has now reached the final table, and it will likely be one of the most competitive final tables in recent history, with two of the best young German players in the game (which is saying quite a bit), Benny Spindler and Dominik Nitsche, and a French legend in Fabrice Soulier.

Spindler will be looking to add a third seven-figure score to his poker resume, and would love to add a WSOPE bracelet to his 2011 EPT London Main Event victory. Regardless of where he finishes in the WSOPE Main Event, Spindler’s lifetime tournament earnings will exceed $4 million.

Nitsche is WSOP bracelet winner (Nitsche won a $1k NLHE tournament in 2012) as well as having won an LAPT and WPT tournament. His lifetime live tournament earnings are already over $2.4 million.

Soulier is another WSOP bracelet winner, having won the prestigious $10k HORSE tournament at the 2011 WSOP. With over $4 million in career tournament earnings, ranking Soulier 4th on the Hendon Mob’s all-time money list for French players.

The WSOPE Main Event final table participants will have a well-deserved day-off on Thursday –so all eyes can be on the WSOPE High-Roller final table, which will have a major role in the WSOP Player of the Year race—before returning to the casino on Friday to determine the next WSOPE Main Event Champion.

Here is a look at the final table seating assignments and chip counts from the WSOP.com website:

  • Seat 1: Benny Spindler -Germany- 1,748,000 chips
  • Seat 2: Fabrice Soulier –France- 1,871,000 chips
  • Seat 3: Dominik Nitsche -Germany- 2,354,000 chips
  • Seat 4: Adrian Mateos –Spain- 3,781,000 chips
  • Seat 5: Ravi Raghavan -USA- 898,000 chips
  • Seat 6: Jerome Huge –France- 637,000 chips

And here is a look at the list of past WSOPE Champions one of these players will join (which is quite a list of names in its own right):

  • 2007 WSOPE Champion: Annette Obrestad
  • 2008 WSOPE Champion: John Juanda
  • 2009 WSOPE Champion: Barry Shulman
  • 2010 WSOPE Champion: James Bord
  • 2011WSOPE Champion: Elio Fox
  • 2012 WSOPE Champion: Phil Hellmuth

So what are the final six players for? Here is a look at the remaining payouts from the prize-pool:

  • 1st — €1,000,000
  • 2nd — €610,000
  • 3rd — €400,000
  • 4th — €251,000
  • 5th — €176,000
  • 6th — €126,000

*Resources: www.thehendonmob.com, www.wikipedia.org, www.wsop.com

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Source: Dwan lost over $4 million in Macau session

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  • October 23rd, 2013 by

Back in September Tom “durrrr” Dwan posted the following gloomy tweet, speaking generally about a recent session where he suffered his worst loss to date as a poker pro (which is serious coin when you consider we know Dwan has had sessions with seven-figure losses online):

In taiwan for the 1st time ever… Not leaving the airport tho. Maybe next trip. Had my biggest loss ever yesterday

After the tweet hit the Internet speculation was rampant as to what the actual number was, considering Dwan rarely tweets out results. Well, it turns out we may now have a ballpark figure for that loss, as Cardplayer Magazine, citing an unnamed source who was in the room, has said that Dwan lost $4 million during a 24-hour session at the StarWorld Casino in Macau.

Macau Poker

The biggest poker games in the world used to take place in Las Vegas, but for the past few years the real high-stakes action is happening in Macau, which has transformed into the Vegas of the East, and has in many ways supplanted Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world.

The StarWorld Casino plays host to most of the high-stakes poker action, with exclusive games for the richest businessman in Asia, and select poker pros that are allowed to participate (generally speaking, the policy is don’t talk about the game and NO NITS!) such as Dwan, Johnny Chan, John Juanda, Andrew Robl, and others.

Dwan vs. Cates

Dwan is also wrapped-up in an ugly dispute with Daniel “jungleman” Cates, as the two have some unfinished business from 2010, when they started a high-stakes challenge match.

Per the terms, should Cates be up at the end of 50,000 hands (the pair is about halfway through that number) Dwan would pay him an additional $1.5 million: If Dwan is ahead Cates owes him $500k.

Cates is currently up about $1.5 million in the match, and is upset that Dwan is not placing the same level of priority on finishing the match as he is.

Is Dwan still among the top players?

Another recent story that involved Tom Dwan was a couple of digs thrown his way by Daniel Negreanu, who questioned if Dwan was still at the top of his game, and whether he was putting in the work to be an elite player:

‘I don’t think Tom is one of the best [in the world] – I don’t know if he ever was. He got elevated after his appearances on High Stakes Poker because he ran well and played well, but realistically he doesn’t put in the time or practise playing now [to be one of the best in the world].’ Furthermore, Negreanu thinks the other top players ‘all lick their lips when they think about playing Dwan heads-up’.

In the interview above, Negreanu also questioned Dwan’s professionalism, stemming from the PokerStars vs. Full Tilt Poker Grudge Match at the EPT London back in March, where Dwan showed up late for his match and didn’t seem all that interested in the event.


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Ultimate Poker hosts online championship; loses 2 pros

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  • October 21st, 2013 by

It was quite a weekend at Ultimate Poker as the site hosted the Main Event of its inaugural online tournament series, the Ultimate Poker Championship, and on Monday we learned that two Team Ultimate Poker members have decided to leave the site after just a few months.

 Ultimate Poker Championship Main Event

The first major online tournament hosted by Ultimate Poker was a $300 buy-in NLHE tournament with a $100,000 guarantee, and while things were pretty close for a while, eventually the tournament surpassed its guarantee, with 358 entries and a total prize-pool of $100,240.

First place was worth nearly $25,000 and the player who will go down in Ultimate Poker history as the winner of the inaugural Ultimate Poker Championship Main Event goes by the screen-name “crush” –As a side note, you have to love the screen-names at new sites; they are like having a license plate with one or two digits.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:

  1. crush — $24,262
  2. JloBooty — $15,257
  3. zzpop63 — $11,505
  4. L0veS0sAA — $7,753
  5. YoudLike2Kno — $6,252
  6. Drows — $4,752
  7. Mikkie99 — $3,251
  8. Charmin — $2,500
  9. Kangolzzz — $1,750

Randy Dorfman and Tom Marchese end relationship with Ultimate Poker

According to Pokerfuse.com, Randy Dorfman, one of the most colorful and entertaining poker players around, announced he would be ending his relationship with Ultimate Poker on his Facebook page, and took a couple parting shots at the site [the post along with tweets that stated Tom Marchese had also left the site have since been deleted]:

“I have resigned from Ultimate Poker as their Team Pro. At this point in my life there are more important and creative things for me to be involved with. To have your ideas and experiences from the game I love fall on deaf ears while you bust your ass to build a game for a new Company just was extremely frustrating to me.” Dorfman posted to social media site Facebook. “I wish UP [Ultimate Poker] the best and I hope things do turn around for them. I met some great people there and hopefully the chemistry between all involved gets straighten out soon.”

One Tweet that did remain on Dorfman’s Twitter account was in regards to the Ultimate Poker Championship Main Event:

Amazin what Guarantees can do 4 tournaments w/decent structure? @UltimatePoker makes online history in USA w/ $100k Guarantee plus no rentry

Both Dorfman’s and Marchese’s pictures and bio have been deleted from the Team U page on Ultimate Poker. The Team U roster now boasts:

  • Antonio Esfandiari
  • Phil Collins
  • Jason Somerville
  • Jeremy Ausmus
  • William Reynolds
  • Brent Hanks
  • Dan O’Brien
  • Jeff Gross
  • Lauren Kling
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2013 WSOPE results Glazier, and Ausmus among early winners

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  • October 17th, 2013 by

We are now halfway through the 2013 World Series of poker Europe (WSOPE) tournament series and we’ve already seen two fairly big names claim WSOP gold in the first four events: Jackie Glazier and Jeremy Ausmus.

Event #1: €1,100 Ladies Championship – 65 entries

It was a small field, but the cream still rose to the top as poker pro Jackie Glazier picked-up her first career WSOP bracelet in the Ladies Championship. Glazier was denied a bracelet in 2012, when she finished second in a NLHE tournament, and made a super deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event before bowing out in 31st place as the Last Woman Standing.

  1. Jackie Glazier – €21,850
  2. Maryline Valente – €13,500
  3. Laurie Bismuth – €8,950
  4. Celine Bastian – €6,330
  5. Nathalie Odet – €4,770
  6. Sherry Lindsey – €3,800
  7. Gaelle Baumann – €3,200

Event #2: €1,100 NLHE Reentry – 659 entries

Of the first four events, Event #2 was the only final table that didn’t boast a handful of well-known names, but then again that is what the WSOP is all about: Creating Superstars! We’ll have to wait and see if that is the case with Henrick Johansson of Sweden.

  1. Henrik Johansson — €129,700
  2. Adriano Torregrossa — €80,250
  3. Yaniv Botbol — €58,860
  4. Daniel Weinman — €43,772
  5. Serge Ekert — €32,992
  6. Daniel Laidlaw — €25,190
  7. Jose Obadia — €19,498
  8. Jean-Philippe Tuffery — €15,285
  9. Andrei Konopelko — €12,134

Event #3: €5,300 Holdem Mix Max – 135 entries

In Event #3 it was little known Darko Stojanovich who triumphed over the pro-heavy final table that included Shannon Schorr, Noah Schwartz, Dan O’Brien, and Joe Kuether.  Stojanovich was on the ropes to Dan O’Brien in the heads-up battle, but overcame a 3-1 chip disadvantage to deny the poker pro his first bracelet, and collect France’s first WSOP bracelet of the year.

  1. Darko Stojanovic — €188,160
  2. Dan O’Brien — €116,280
  3. Jason Mann — €62,770
  4. Noah Schwartz — €62,770
  5. Shannon Shorr — €30,695
  6. Jeremy Joseph — €30,695
  7. Jake Schwartz — €30,695
  8. Joe Kuether — €30,695
  9. Ville Mattila — €14,905

Event #4: €1,650 PLO – 184 entries

Former October-Niner Jeremy Ausmus won his first World Series of Poker bracelet on Thursday, doing so in the €1,650 buy-in PLO tournament title against some very stiff competition that included a final table of Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier and Juha Helppi.

  1. Jeremy Ausmus – €70,324
  2. Juha Helppi – €43,441
  3. Jan-Peter Jachtmann – €31,367
  4. Jason Mercier –€23,036
  5. Martin Koslov –€17,210
  6. Michael Schwartz –€13,077

*Results from the www.wsop.com website

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Chris Moorman does it again; wins 17th career Triple Crown

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  • October 15th, 2013 by

2013 has been a big year for UK poker pro Chris Moorman and the past couple of weeks have been filled with incredible milestones and mind-boggling records, including his 16th and 17th career PocketFives.com Triple Crowns as well as becoming the first online poker tournament player to eclipse the $10 million mark in career tournament earnings.

The Triple Crown King

Not a week ago Chris “moorman1” Moorman added to his career accomplishments, winning his 16th career PocketFives.com Triple Crown (already a record) and this past weekend he increased his lead over the chase pack, picking up Triple Crown #17 after a six-figure haul over the past week.

The next player in terms of career Triple Crowns is Hungarian poker pro “belabacsi” with 11 Triple Crowns, followed by Mickey “Mement_Mori” Peterson who has nine career Triple Crowns.

The Pocket Fives Triple Crown is one of the top honors an online poker player can achieve, and while most players would be content with winning a single P5’s Triple Crown during a decade of online poker play, Moorman is on a pace that has him averaging over two per year.

Here is a look at what it takes to win the Pocket Fives Triple Crown:

  • A player must win three multi-table tournaments, each of which start within the same seven day period across three of any of the sites we track for P5er cashes.
  • Each tournament must have a prize pool of at least $10K.
  • Each tournament must have at least 100 players.

The $10 Million Man

Triple Crown’s aside, Moorman is also the all-time leader in what is considered by many –including myself—the most important category in poker: Money.

Last week Moorman was busy becoming the first player in the history of online poker to surpass $10 million in career online tournament earnings (he also has a couple million in live tournament earnings for good measure) a feat made all the more impressive when you consider his largest online cash is for $235k!

Moorman announced the career milestone on Twitter, and was soon bombarded with congratulations, with many players still trying to wrap their heads around that number:

Just hit the $10 million landmark with a win in the Party Poker $215 for $9500. Morale so high going into WCOOP Main Sunday #10million

Here is a look at Moorman’s career Triple Crown awards from PocketFives.com:

  • March 7th, 2007 (on FullTilt, Party, Paradise with 353.57 points)
  • August 17th, 2007 (on Party, Stars, FullTilt with 442.43 points)
  • August 16th, 2008 (on FullTilt, PokerRoom, Stars with 553.50 points)
  • October 31st, 2008 (on PartyPoker, FullTilt, PokerStars with 628.27 points)
  • January 2nd, 2009 (on FullTilt, Stars, PokerRoom with 1060.93 points)
  • February 12th, 2009 (on PokerStars, PokerRoom, FullTilt with 700.19 points)
  • March 11th, 2009 (on FullTilt, PokerStars, Absolute with 813.06 points)
  • March 24th, 2009 (on Titan, FullTilt, PokerRoom with 530.31 points)
  • November 9th, 2009 (on Titan, FullTilt, PokerStars with 637.00 points)
  • December 8th, 2009 (on Absolute, Titan, PokerStars with 664.13 points)
  • January 18th, 2011 (on FullTilt, PokerStars, UB with 764.61 points)
  • November 19th, 2012 (on Tilt, Stars, WillHill with 611.24 points)
  • February 12th, 2013 (on Tilt, Party, Stars with 560.24 points)
  • April 16th, 2013 (on Paddy, Tilt, bwin with 573.89 points)
  • September 10th, 2013 (on Stars, Paddy, bwin with 471.33 points)
  • October 5th, 2013 (on bwin, Stars, Stars.fr with 472.83 points)
  • October 13th, 2013 (on Winamax, Stars, bwin with 550.29 points)
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9th Annual eGR Operators Awards List announced

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  • October 13th, 2013 by

November 25, 2013 at The Roundhouse in Camden, London the 9th annual EGaming Review (eGR) awards ceremony will take place. The eGR Awards are among the most prestigious in online gaming, and this year the ceremony will see some 25 awards handed out in a variety of categories ranging from Operator of the Year to Rising Star to Marketing Campaign of the Year.

The Ceremony will be hosted by comedian Kevin Bridges.

Here is a look at the categories and the nominees from the egr website:


Affiliate programme of the year

  • Affiliates United
  • bet365
  • Gamesys
  • Mr Green
  • Paddy Power
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • Unibet

Bingo operator of the year

  • GalaBingo.com
  • Gamesys
  • Mecca Bingo
  • tombola
  • William Hill

Casino operator of the year

  • 32Red
  • 888casino.com
  • Mr Green
  • Paddy Power
  • William Hill

Customer services operator of the year

  • Gamesys
  • Jackpot Party Casino
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • Mr Green
  • Paddy Power
  • William Hill

Financial betting product of the year

  • Paddy Power
  • William Hill

In-play sports operator of the year

  • 12BET
  • bet365
  • Unibet
  • William Hill

Marketing campaign of the year

  • 888poker.com
  • GalaBingo.com
  • Mecca Bingo
  • Sportsbet
  • Unibet

Mobile bingo product of the year 

  • GalaBingo.com
  • Mecca Bingo
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • tombola
  • William Hill

Mobile casino product of the year

  • Jack Gold
  • LeoVegas
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • Probability
  • Roller Casino
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • William Hill

Mobile poker product of the year

  • 888poker.com
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • PKR Technologies

Mobile sports product of the year 

  • bet365
  • Betfred.com
  • Paddy Power
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • William Hill

Operator of the year

  • 888.com
  • bet365
  • Gamesys
  • Paddy Power
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • William Hill

Poker operator of the year

  • 888poker.com
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • Paf

Rising star

  • BingoGodz
  • Casumo
  • House of Fun
  • Intellectual Property and Software
  • LeoVegas
  • Metro Play
  • Plumbee

Slots operator of the year

  • Betfred.com
  • Gamesys
  • Paddy Power
  • William Hill
  • win2day.at

Social bingo product of the year 

  • Bingo Bash
  • Buffalo Studios
  • Gamesys

Social casino product of the year 

  • Akamon Entertainment
  • GSN Digital
  • House of Fun
  • Plumbee
  • Product Madness

Social marketing campaign of the year 

  • Coral
  • mFortune mobile phone casino
  • Paddy Power

Social operator of the year 

  • Akamon Entertainment
  • Gamesys
  • House of Fun
  • Plumbee
  • Product Madness

Socially responsible operator of the year

  • Betsson Group
  • Mr Green
  • Paf
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • tombola
  • Unibet

Sports betting operator of the year

  • bet365
  • Betfred.com
  • Paddy Power
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • Unibet
  • William Hill

Spread betting product of the year

  • Sporting Index
  • Spreadex


Affiliate of the year

  • Bettingpro.com
  • BingoPort.co.uk
  • CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com
  • Oddschecker
  • PokerNews
  • WhichBingo.co.uk

Gaming community site of the year

  • bettingexpert.com
  • BingoPort.co.uk
  • PokerStrategy.com
  • Rekatochklart.com
  • SportyTrader
  • WhichBingo.co.uk

Gaming comparison site of the year

  • BingoPort.co.uk
  • easyodds.com
  • Madaboutbingo.com
  • Oddschecker
  • SportyTrader
  • SuperFreeBingo.com
  • Posted in: Poker, Poker News
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WSOP.com to host first online tournament series

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  • October 11th, 2013 by

In two weeks the WSOP.com website will host their first online tournament series with $500k in added prize-money: The WSOP.com Online Championships.

The Online Championship will feature nine events, including a $100k Freeroll on October 25 that will kick-off the tournament series, with buy-ins ranging from $25 up to $200 for the Main Event. Each day of the series will see the tournaments’ buy-in increase as well as the added prize-money from WSOP.com.

Here is a look at the complete schedule for the WSOP.com Online Championship:




October 25th*


Limited to ticketed entrants only

October 26th*


$25 + $2.50 hyper turbo rebuy

October 27th*


$30 + $3

October 28th*


$25 + $2.5 with re-buy

October 29th*


6 Max $50 + $5

October 30th*


$75 + $7

October 31st*


$100 + $9

November 1st*


6 Max Championships $200 + $15

November 2nd*


Main Event – $200 + $15


The Online Nine

At the end of the series the nine champions will also participate in an online Sit & Go tournament with a further $100,000 in prize-money on the line (50k for 1st place, $30k for 2nd place, and $20k for 3rd place) at the Rio All Suites Hotel on November 4th with the final three returning on November 5th to battle it out right before the WSOP Main Event November Nine take their seats.

The WSOP.com’s Marketing

With the launch of their site Caesars made it very clear that they would forego signing professional poker players as brand ambassadors (the usual norm for online poker rooms) and instead use that money for promotions and direct giveaways to their players.

While it’s unreasonable to expect the site to shell out $500k in added prize-money for every promotion, the Online Championship is a good indication of the way the WSOP.com will use  the money usually set aside for sponsored players.

For more information on the WSOP.com Online Championships you can visit the WSOP.com website.

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NJ iGaming Creating Strange Bedfellows

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  • October 9th, 2013 by

According to an article in Bloomberg, Wynn Resorts will get around the requirement in New Jersey that all online gaming providers must have a physical casino in Atlantic City by housing their computers in a Caesars Entertainment property.

With the article quoting an unnamed source you might think the idea of a casino essentially leasing its space to house the servers of online competitors somewhat ridiculous and that it would never fly, but at the G2E Gaming Summit in Las Vegas the head of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, stated that this is indeed the case, and casinos in Atlantic can do precisely that:

“On one side of the room ABC company can have its server, next to it can be a server from another company,” Rebuck was quoted as saying in the Bloomberg article.

While New Jersey requires that the computer hardware used to run online gaming in the state be located in an Atlantic City casino [look up actual language of bill]

Wynn, 888, and Caesars

While Wynn and Caesars are considered rivals, the recent announcement that Wynn Resorts would partner with 888 Holdings in Nevada in a deal that also included language about a New Jersey partnership should have been somewhat of a tip-off that Wynn Resorts had already solved their “no casino in Atlantic City” problem, and now we know why.

But 888 isn’t the only member of the 888/Caesars iGaming marriage that is participating in extra-marital affairs. In addition to their partnership with 888, Caesars has signed a deal with Amaya Gaming that will see Amaya and not 888 provide the online poker client for at least one of Caesars’ four Atlantic City properties.

So we have partnerships that include Amaya and Caesars; Caesars and 888; 888 and Wynn; and Wynn and Caesars.

Is Atlantic City destined to be the new Gibraltar?                                        

This development changes things drastically for NJ iGaming, and would seem to make the partnerships forged between brick & mortar casinos and online operators wholly unnecessary, except for branding purposes.

It would also ostensibly allow struggling casinos like the Revel and the Atlantic Club to act as warehouses of sorts, hosting multiple online poker sites’ servers for a monthly stipend.

In all, 37 license applications were submitted in New Jersey, and with the capability of renting server space from an online casino it would seem that the early estimates of 10-12 online poker rooms in New Jersey could be way off.

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Is Allen Kessler going to be the POY on the Heartland Poker Tour?

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  • October 7th, 2013 by

He didn’t make the final table of the latest Heartland Poker Tour stop at the HPT Club One Casino Main Event, but with a 13th place showing, and yet another cash on the HPT, Allen Kessler is positioning himself for a shot at the HPT Player of the Year award.

Kessler’s 13th place showing is his fourth cash on of Season of the HPT, where he also has a pair of 9th place showings, and 3rd place finish. However, unlike Greg Raymer’s sheer domination of Season 8 (where Fossilman won an astounding four HPT tournaments, piling up 200 POY points with his next closest competitor having a mere 88 POY points) the Season 9 POY trophy is still up for grabs.

Kessler is now basically neck-and-neck with Cruz Baca for the HPT POY lead:

1. Cruz Baca Albuquerque, NM $38,826 96
2. Allen Kessler Las Vegas, NV $39,231 94
3. Mel Wiener Calabasas, CA $186,257 85
4. John Michalak Cleveland, OH $32,088 76
5. Roger Campbell Centralia, IL $143,763 70
6. David Gutfreund Chicago, IL $81,788 69
7. Roger Martin Grand Junction, CO $43,712 68
8. Stan Jablonski Bullhead City, AZ $59,427 63
9. Kris Wagner Albuquerque, NM $24,926 59
10. Craig Casino Winfield, IL $21,549 58


Kessler, known throughout the poker community as “Chainsaw” or the more-fitting moniker of “Complainsaw” is known for his ability to min-cash in tournaments, and his Season 9 HPT successes are the perfect example of this. Despite three final tables and four Top 13 finishes he has only amassed just under $40,000.

Previous HPT POY Winners

Here is a look at the previous winner of the Heartland Poker Tour Player of the Year award:

  • 2012: Greg Raymer
  • 2011: Scott Hastings
  • 2010: Brian Reisner
  • 2009: Jeremy Dresch
  • 2008: Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman
  • 2007: James Mutchler
  • 2006: Joel Casper
  • 2005: Clayton Lilleby

The HPT Club One Casino Main Event Final Table

The final table for the tournament is quite impressive in its own right, with 2007 WSOP Main Event champion Jerry Yang, Poker Hall of Famer Barbara Enright (the only woman to make the final table of the WSOP Main Event), not to mention that four out of the eight final table participants being women.

  1. James Jeff – 1,570,000
  2. Yotam Shmuelov – 1,266,000
  3. Triet Nguyen – 1,252,000
  4. Wendy Friedman – 688,000
  5. Barbara Enright – 673,000
  6. Jerry Yang – 668,000
  7. Mike Ball – 504,000
  8. Lisa Jacobs – 418,000
  9. Mimi Luu – 405,000
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