Did you miss any of the top poker news stories this week? Well you've come to the right place to get caught up. We're covering the latest confirmations for the Big One for One Drop, Brad Booth coming clean about his debts to the poker community, and more.
The Big One Nears Cap
The World Series of Poker has announced 12 more entrants for the highly anticipated Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in tournament taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from July 1 through 3.
Among the latest to throw their hats in the ring are poker pros Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchlov, David "Viffer" Peat, Vivek Rakjumar, Andrew Robl, Nick Schulman, Sam Trickett and Noah Schwartz, as well as Winmark Corporation CEO John Morgan. The prize pool for the Big One for One Drop is projected to now exceed $35,000,000, with the winner to walk away with an eight-figure payday.
The 12 addition brings the total to 42, just six shy of the 48-player cap. Poker pros Jean-Robert Bellande and Ben Lamb have announced they will be participating in the event, but it seems their $50,000 deposits hadn't been processed by the time the list was revealed on Thursday.
Read more right here at PokerNews.com.
PokerStars Macau Event Cancelled
On Wednesday, PokerStars announced that the PokerStars Macau Cup scheduled for August 11 through 20 has been cancelled. The news comes less than a month after the same event was rescheduled by tournament organizers.
“Due to events beyond our reasonable control, the Macau Poker Cup scheduled for August is, regrettably, being cancelled," said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars’ director of live poker operations for the Asia-Pacific. "We cannot yet confirm the scheduling of PokerStars Macau special events for the rest of 2012, but hope to do so as soon as possible. However, what I can promise is an amazing Macau Poker Cup from June 9-18 which is going ahead as planned.”
“I assure all our loyal players and partners that PokerStars Macau is still deeply committed to creating the best poker experience in the world and my team is focused on showing that commitment this upcoming week at the Macau Poker Cup.”
The first Red Dragon series will kick off on June 9 at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex. The series is highlighted by an HDK$11,000 Red Dragon Main Event.
For more information, check out PokerStarsMacau.com.
Kool as Ice
French rap star Bruno “Kool Shen” Lopes is becoming a dominating presence on the European poker circuit in 2012.
Lopes won his second title of the year at the World Poker Tour National Cannes Main Event last weekend. The $2,045 buy-in event attracted 338 players to generate a prize pool of $604,165, and after three days Lopes took it down for €100,500.
2011 WSOP bracelet winner Antonin Teisseire was the other notable joining Lopes at the six-handed final table, but Teisseire made an early exit in sixth place. He was followed to the rail by Thomas Fara, Robert Giordano and Yannick Massa, respectively, leaving Lopes heads up with Louis Gorostis for the title. Gorostis finished runner-up for €70,500.
Lopes' win in Cannes follows up a win at the Euro Finals of Poker Diamond Championship for $127,514 in January. He also took fourth place at the European Poker Tour Madrid Main Event for $183,660 in March. Lopes was 26th in last week's Global Poker Index Player of the Year Rankings, but he's in line for a big jump after the win in France.
Here's a look at the results from Saturday's final table:
Spain Opens its Gates
After months of delays, Spain has launched a new regulated online gambling market, which allows residents to play online with licensed operators.
A number of industry leaders have migrated to the new space, including PokerStars, 888, bwin.party, Ongame, Poker770 and bet365, all of which will offer online poker to customers in Spain under a "dot-es" domain name. The space will initially be segregated, meaning players in Spain may only play against other residents of the country.
As the world's leading online poker room, PokerStars figures to be the frontrunner in Spain when the dust settles. PokerStars.es has already announced the schedule of flagship tournaments that players can find each Sunday. The biggest event will be the €100 buy-in Sunday Special, which starts every Sunday at 20:00 CET and has guaranteed prize pool of €25,000.
“Spain is home to some of the best poker players in the world,” said Team PokerStars Spain Pro Juan Manuel Pastor. “I’m looking forward to playing on www.PokerStars.es and competing against players from across the country.”
For a closer look at Day 1 of the new Spanish market, check out the running blog at es.PokerNews.com.
Welcome to the Party, North Carolina
North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has approved a bill that would sanction the Harrah's Cherokee Casino to offer Vegas-style card games like poker and blackjack. Perdue signed the bill into law about an hour after the measure was given final approval by the Senate on Wednesday, according to CBS News.
Live-dealer games are illegal everywhere in North Carolina, but Harrah's Cherokee Casino has been seeking permission to offer live card games since the casino opened in 1997. The new legislation will bring up to 400 additional jobs to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. A percentage of the revenues from the casino will be sent to the North Carolina education department.
"It's a deal that I think puts money in the classroom of North Carolina for our kids," Perdue said, according to CBS News. "It helps us get 400 new jobs in the west. And the derivatives from the economic development activities from the tribe will be remarkable to us. I'm happy with the deal."
Many of the video machines offered by Harrah's Cherokee Casino will be replaced by live dealers. Chief Mitchell Hicks says he hopes the live games to be up and running by July 4.
CBS News has more.
Bally, William Hill, IGT Recommended for Nevada Licenses
On Thursday, slot machine company International Game Technology (IGT) and online bookmaker William Hill were recommended for licensing ahead of the Nevada's intrastate online gambling market.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Gaming Control Board in Carson City gave a unanimous ruling in favor of both companies to receive a license. On Wednesday, Bally Technologies was the first operator to be recommended for a license by the control board. All three companies will next meet with the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 21 for final license approval.
William Hill made headlines this week when it pulled its sportsbook out of Australia. Online gambling is illegal in Australia per the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, but no offshore operators have been charged with any crimes since the bill was enforced. It's believed William Hill exited Australia in order to gain favor with the NGCB.
Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Online Poker Hearing in California
A California bill that would allow online gambling within state lines has been amended ahead of a Senate committee hearing on June 12.
The Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012, also known as SB 1463, was introduced in February by California Sens. Darrell Steinberg and Roderick Wright. Under the original framework, operators could apply for a 10-year license to offer authorized games to players within the state. The measure initially only applied to the offering of poker and any violation was deemed a misdemeanor by law.
New revisions to the bill call for a five-year license period instead of the original 10 years. The bill will also require the Bureau of State Audits, four years after the issue date of any license by the state, but no later than five years after that date, to issue a report to the Legislature detailing the implementation of the measure.
SB 1463 seeks to generate "hundreds of millions of dollars" for the state in the fiscal year 2012-13. The state has been split on the issue, from tribes fearing competition from industry giants, to residents concerned about problem gamblers setting a bad example for young people.
Read the full amendment of SB 1463 at aroundthecapitol.com.
Half-Price Sunday at PokerStars
Attention, discount shoppers. On June 17, PokerStars is offering a chance to play each of its Sunday Major tournaments for half the price.
For one Sunday only, all of your favorite Sunday tournaments will be 50 percent of their normal buy-in. That includes the Sunday Million, Sunday Warm-Up, and the Sunday Storm. And all of the guarantees will remain the same.
Here's a look at the schedule on June 17:
|08:00 ET||Sunday Kickoff||$54.50||$100,000|
|11:00 ET||Sunday Warm-Up||$107.50||$500,000|
|13:30 ET||Sunday Storm||$5.50||$300,000|
|14:30 ET||Sunday Million||$107.50||$1,000,000|
|14:30 ET||Women's Sunday||$27.50||$10,000|
Find out more at PokerStars.com.
Online Poker Traffic
PokerScout.com released its weekly online poker traffic rankings on Monday. The tracking site reported an overall drop of 1.1 percent, marking the fourth straight week of declines worldwide.
While PokerStars continued its reign over the rest of the competition, Party Poker jumped past the iPoker Network for No. 2 in the rankings for the first time in eight weeks. According to PokerScout, PartyPoker's recent surge is likely due to the Championship Challenge promotion. Party Poker's traffic climbed 5 percent last week.
One interesting development to keep an eye on is Lock Poker's recent exit from the Merge Gaming Network. Lock rebranded the Cake Network to form Revolution Gaming last week, and early numbers show that Merge has lost around 25 percent of its traffic, while Revolution Gaming has nearly doubled in size.
As for year-over-year traffic numbers, online poker has seen a worldwide decline of 18 percent since this time last year, much of that caused falloff by the Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network. Some of the biggest gainers during the past year were 888poker (up 37 percent), Revolution Gaming (up 16 percent) and PokerStars (up 10 percent).
The International Poker Network (down 51 percent) and the Merge Network (down 13 percent) were among the notable decliners since this time last year. Merge's drop is reflected by the absence of Lock Poker, which claimed to account for 40 percent of Merge's traffic before departing.
Read the full report at PokerScout.com.
On Tuesday, we covered the latest scandal involving Brad Booth and the $28,000 he allegedly stole from poker pro Douglas “WCGrider” Polk.
One day later, Booth came clean about his inability to repay Polk and several others he's borrowed money from. Sitting in front of a webcam, an emotional Booth took full responsibility for the money he took from Polk and makes a promise that he will make good with himself, his debtors, and the entire poker community. The video was recorded on June 4 and uploaded to YouTube on June 6.
Said Booth, "The only way I know how to make right out of this is to publicly make a promise to myself, to the people I owe money to, to the poker community that I will not gamble in the pit, I will not drink alcohol, I will not play online until I get back on my feet and get control of my life."
"The last four years have been so super difficult and I've had many chances to get my life back together after the UB scandal. And I've seemed to fail in every opportunity."
Booth's life was turned upside down four years ago when he was a victim of the infamous Ultimate Bet super-user scandal, during which Booth claims to have lost more than $2 million. Booth says he had recently rebuilt his bankroll to around $55,000, but he blew all of it during a one-night gambling binge.
Watch the complete apology right here:
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