We're trying to get you caught up on the week's top poker news stories. In this edition of the Weekly Turbo, you'll get a look at Full Tilt Poker's latest statement, the newest member of Team PokerStars Online, and more.
Full Tilt Poker Statement
On Wednesday, Full Tilt Poker released its latest statement to PokerStrategy.com. The statement touches on the the financial issues the company is facing and how it is positioning itself to deal with them. According to the press release, approximately 250 positions at Pocket Kings Ltd. could be affected by the new cost optimization program.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
"On April 15th 2011 the United States Department of Justice unsealed a federal indictment against a number of individuals employed by major online poker operators. After the issuance of that indictment and a related civil case brought by the United States government, Full Tilt Poker withdrew from the US market. Then in a related action, on June 29th, 2011, Full Tilt Poker had its operating licenses suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission."
"As a result, Pocket Kings Ltd. (provider of marketing and technology services to Full Tilt Poker) has adopted a cost optimization program and estimates that they need to reduce their costs by approximately €12m. This program is intended to streamline the company’s operations in order to better position itself for future growth and profitability in Full Tilt Poker’s markets outside of the U.S."
"If all of the required cost savings were to be achieved through redundancies, approximately 250 positions could be affected; however the exact number cannot be confirmed until the conclusion of a consultation process with its workforce."
"Notwithstanding the foregoing, Pocket Kings firmly believes it has a very strong future in Full Tilt Poker’s Non-US Markets, and is fully committed to ensuring Full Tilt Poker restores the site and repay players in full. To this end, Full Tilt Poker has retained Sea Port Group Securities, LLC as its financial advisor with regard to raising capital and/or assisting in securing a strategic partner in order to fund continued operations of Full Tilt Poker's non-U.S. business. The Company is in active discussions with several parties and will provide a further statement in due course."
Sporting the Red Spade
Even though the Team PokerStars Pro roster may be getting lighter, the Team PokerStars Online roster just added a heavy hitter. Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen is the newest member of Team PokerStars Online.
Petersen, much like David Williams and Justin Bonomo, got into poker after playing Magic: The Gathering. Can someone get us one of those decks? Maybe we'll get better at poker if we start playing MTG.
"I see signing with world's biggest online site as the next logical step in my career and hopefully I'll be able to build on my resume live as well as online and promote both PokerStars and the game in a positive light," Petersen said .
It didn't take long to add to his resume. The newly minted member of Team PokerStars Online final tabled WCOOP Event #24 on Monday night, and finished in third place, good for $10,868.25.
The PokerStars Blog has more.
Behind Closed Doors
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission will hold its hearing regarding Full Tilt Poker on Sept. 19 — four days after its "deadline." The public may have been allowed at the first hearing in July, but there will be no such luck this time around. The AGCC released a statement today announcing that the hearing will take place "in camera," which we guess is a fancy way to say "behind closed doors." We're pretty sure the public is a little fired up about this, but there's also someone else who doesn't agree with this decision, executive director of the AGCC, Andre Wilsenach.
“I am pleased that the FTP hearing will continue as scheduled, as was argued on my behalf. However, I am disappointed with the tribunal’s decision that, notwithstanding my arguments to the contrary, the hearing will be held in private. I believe the public has a right to know the reasoning behind the decisions to suspend FTP’s licences and call a hearing, and to hear the evidence that will be put forward on my behalf," Wilsenach said in the press release.
"It is my understanding that the tribunal conducted a difficult balancing exercise of the interests of the various parties, taking into account the legal arguments for and against further postponing the hearing, and for and against allowing the public to attend the proceedings.”
GamblingControl.org has more.
World Poker Tour Paris High Roller
On Friday, the €15,000 buy-in high roller kicked off at the 2011 World Poker Tour Rendez-Vous à Paris. Among the 36 players who entered was last year's winner, Freddy Deeb, and last year's runner-up, Sorel Mizzi. Would history repeat itself? A €521,100 prize pool was created and €234,495 was reserved for first place.
Mizzi moved into the second day of play as the chip leader, and when five players were left on Sunday, Mizzi tweeted:
Chip leader w/ 740k of 1.8 Million in play in high roller... 5 left! Also big congrats to @matthew_waxman for shipping WPT, kid was due!!!Follow @sorelmizzi
Sure enough, it was déjà vu for Mizzi and Deeb, but this time, there was a twist. On a flop of Deeb shipped his remaining stack in the middle holding . Mizzi snap-called, tabling . The turn and river blanked for Deeb, giving Mizzi the title and the €234,495 first-place prize.
Winner winner chicken dinner ship the 234,495 euros n the trophy! Revenge is sweet! Freddy plyed gr8 http://t.co/DsUSHffFollow @sorelmizzi
WPT Paris High Roller Results
Read more at FR.PokerNews.com.
South Point Going Online
According to GamingToday.com, South Point Casino owner Michael Gaughan is launching an online poker site in the "next couple of weeks." The site will be a free-play poker site on the ZEN Entertainment network.
"This is an experiment for me," Gaughan told GamingToday. "I’m just getting my feet wet but I expect that down the line I am going to be applying for an intrastate license."
Las Vegas-based ZEN Entertainment has also partnered with Jamie Gold for his new online poker site, the UFC's online poker site. If you recall, the UFC is owned by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who also own Station Casinos. See the connection?
Will these free-for-play online poker sites be popping up more frequently? With land-based casinos attached to them? Only time will tell.
Read more at GamingToday.com.
Saab Gets Booked
In January, we told you that David Saab was busted in Australia for attempting to import 21 kilograms (~46 pounds) of cocaine. Saab, along with Francis Hughes and Robert Reemus tried to smuggle the cocaine in a shipment of steel machine parts that were boated in from Vancouver.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the three men were given a combined 30-year jail sentence after pleading guilty. Reemus and Hughes were given eight-year jail sentences with a minimum of five years. Judge Liz Gaynor sentenced Saab to a 10-year minimum sentence and pointed him out as the "chief organizer of the operation," noting that he stood to gain $110,000 for the shipment.
According to the Herald Sun, Gaynor told Saab "the 'illusory world you have constructed for yourself' had been shattered by his arrest, as had his 'delusions of wealth.'"
Find out more about the sentencing at HeraldSun.com.au.
German State Legalizes Online Poker
Germany has 16 states, or Länder. One of them, Schleswig-Holstein, recently passed legislation that will legalize and regulate online poker.
The new legislation allows for betting exchange, sports books, poker and all casino games except roulette, blackjack, and baccarat, according to eGaming Review. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012, and licenses will be valid beginning March 1. The state will also impose a 20 percent tax on gross profits.
After the news, Befair released a statement saying, “Schleswig-Holstein’s new online gambling treaty is a welcome piece of legislation geared towards creating a genuinely open, transparent and responsible online gambling market in Germany. We are pleased that it has today passed through the state parliament and we look forward to applying for a license to operate there."
"We are now hopeful that the other 15 German states will make the required amendments to their proposed State Treaty, in order to bring it into line with EU law and with the law passed in S-H today," it continued. “Betfair is committed to participating in the online gambling market in Germany, ready and willing to pay taxes there and offer German consumers competitive, innovative and safe products."
Read more at EGRMagazine.com.
Let's Get Ready to Ruuummmbbblllleeeee!
Manny Pacquiao and the Asian Poker Tour are joining forces. From Dec. 7 through 12, the APT is holding Manny Pacquiao World Poker Event at the Pan Pacific Hotel's Asia Poker Sports Club in Malate, Philippines. The deal was signed last week, and will become an official APT Accredited Event given the approval from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
“The APT is obviously proud to be ensuring its popular and trusted protocol is followed at the Manny Pacquiao World Poker Event. I’m sure it will be a pleasure working with such a respected personality as Manny and we’re looking forward to seeing a large turnout come December 7," said APT tournament director Lloyd Fontillas.
Pacquiao, who is a ten-time world boxing title holder, is a supporter of poker in the region. The event will feature a PHP 500,000 High Roller, PHP 11,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event, and PHP 50,000 buy-in Main Event.
If you want to find out more, check out TheAsianPokerTour.com.
LGA on LockPoker.eu
Last month, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta announced that LockPoker.eu had "no connection whatsoever with the Authority" and the LGA logo on LockPoker's website was "false and misleading."
The LGA issued another announcement regarding LockPoker on Thursday, clarifying some things.
"Lockpoker.eu is a website which has now been notified to the Authority as an intermediary of Alfard Malta Ltd (holder of a Maltese Remote Gaming Licence LGA/CL3/694/2010) which is to be operated on the Merge Gaming Malta platform (holder of Licence LGA/CL4/693/2010). Although duly licensed in Malta Alfard Gaming Ltd does not yet have the authorization to go live from Malta as currently Merge Malta Limited is in the process of finalising its technical setup in accordance with the Maltese Regulations, a process to be concluded shortly."
"The Authority, however, denies spins by certain sections of the media. This was a case of having failed to notify the Authority of an intermediary arrangement in a timely fashion. The Authority, ever vigilant in the public interest, took immediate action as it does in all similar cases, irrespective of the nature of the infringement."
It seems as though it was all a misunderstanding.
Read more at LGA.org.mt.
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