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 Phil Hellmuth's late entry into the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, Delaware lawmakers approving legalized online poker, and more.
No Brat Left Behind
The field for the 48-player Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker was set Saturday night after the final two satellites played down to winners. Gus Hansen won the $25,000 Mega Satellite at the Rio late Saturday night, and sources are saying that Phil Hellmuth purchased his seat from the winner of the MGM Resorts International VIP Satellite. He also confirmed via Twitter Sunday morning.
Hellmuth was still trying to sell pieces of himself for the $1 million event as of Thursday but registration closed before he had a chance to buy in. According to WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky, Hellmuth didn't win the satellite at MGM but purchased the seat from the winner for an undisclosed amount. PokerNews will have more on the story as it develops.
For a look at the full 48-player Big One for One Drop field, read the story at PokerNews.com.
Phil Ivey Maintains GPI Player of the Year Lead
There were only a few small changes in the top ten of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year, but Phil Ivey maintained the top spot for the second consecutive week.
Ivey passed Jonathan Duhamel last week after a brilliant start to the 2012 World Series of Poker, making five final tables in 13 days. Duhamel, Dan Smith and Marvin Rettenmaier rounded out the top four in the rankings, respectively, and Jason Koon climbed back into the top five. Koon has six cashes at the WSOP, including a second-place finish in Event #3, a $3,000 No Limit Hold'em/Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up tournament.
The other change in the top 10 came from Justin Bonomo, who jumped two spots to land at No. 9 this week. Bonomo won the Super High Roller at the Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final and has since cashed five times at the WSOP.
Here's a look at the Top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings:
|Place||Player||Total Score||Change in Rank|
|6||Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier||514.31||-1|
The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has the strongest performance in live tournaments during the calendar year, according to the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.
For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to EpicPoker.com.
Delaware Authorizes Online Poker
On Thursday, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill authorizing online poker in the state. The move came one day after the state Senate approved it by a vote of 14-to-6.
House Bill 333 calls for a centralized online gambling platform to be regulated by the state Lottery Office. Delaware casinos have been struggling to compete against casinos on the East Coast, and the Department of Finance estimates HB 333 would generate $7.75 million in revenue for the state next fiscal year. The state is also attempting to partner with other states to create a multistate platform similar to Powerball and Mega Millions.
Casino games and lottery tickets will be available, as well, making Delaware the first state to legalize full-scale Internet gambling.
"It was the governor's bill," Delaware Rep. John Viola, who introduced the legislation, told PokerNews. "They produced the bill. I just pointed some things out that should be looked at. It's their bus and I was just the driver."
Viola expects it will take about six months for the Delaware lottery to formulate the rules and regulations for Internet gaming. The platform could be tested and ready by January 2013.
Read more at PokerNews.com.
Ongame, Shuffle Master Deal Fails
On Wednesday, gaming provider Shuffle Master announced it was pulling out of its deal to purchase bwin.party's Ongame Network Limited.
Shuffle Master signed a definitive agreement in February to buy Ongame for €19.5 million ($24.5 million), but the company says industry conditions have worsened since that time.
"We remain ardent believers in the growth opportunities for online gaming and continue to focus intensely on the space," said Shuffle Master CEO Gavin Isaacs. "Business conditions in Europe have deteriorated since February and as a result, it has become evident to us that Ongame's operations postacquisition will not achieve the near-term results we initially expected and will require a larger ongoing investment than anticipated.
"Although we believe in its eventuality, there is also uncertainty surrounding the timing of legalization and the rollout of online poker in the U.S. at both the state and federal levels."
Shuffle Master is best known for providing automatic card shufflers and roulette chip sorters to casinos throughout the world, but the company recently introduced iGaming, which features online versions of Shuffle Master's table games, social gaming, and mobile applications.
Earlier this month, Shuffle Master and Ongame announced a partnership with Bally Technologies to create a joint iGaming platform ahead of legalized online poker in Nevada. Bally was the first company to receive an online gaming license in Nevada last week, paving the way for the state to offer online poker. That partnership was not mentioned in Wednesday's announcement.
MarketWatch has more.
PokerStars Announces MicroMillions II
Next month, PokerStars.com will run the second edition of the massively popular MicroMillions tournament series, offering $5 million in guarantees across 100 events with buy-ins starting at just 11 cents.
The series will run from July 12 through 22, 2012, with events running around the clock. The series will end with a $22 MicroMillions Main Event with a $1 million prize pool on Sunday, July 22.
“It’s a fantastic series for players of all levels,” said Team PokerStars Pro Macin Horecki, who won the MicroMillions Player of the Series the first time around. “Last time I tried to play as many events as possible and it turned out to be a great move for me. The very affordable buy-in levels are perfect for micro-stakes players who dream of winning a huge prize but often don’t have the chance.”
For more on the MicroMillions II series, read the story here at PokerNews.com.
Hollywood Poker Folds
Ongame Network skin Hollywood Poker was shut down on Monday, much to the chagrin of players who were given no warning. All player accounts and balances were transferred to Red Kings, another Ongame-based poker room.
Reason for the closure wasn't given, but the following message can be found on the Hollywood Poker website:
HollywoodPoker has stopped offering online poker. So that you can continue playing on the Ongame Network we have arranged to transfer your account with your entire account Balance to RedKings.com, a leading Ongame Network gaming site offering superb casino and poker games in a secure environment. Please be informed that your HollywoodPoker account, along with your entire account balance, has been transferred over to RedKings.com. Your nickname and password will remain the same. Simply log into Redkings.com with your HollywoodPoker username and password.
Hollywood Poker opened in 2004 and has been endorsed by World Poker Tour commentator Vince Van Patten and actor James Woods, among others. However, the endorsements ended when Hollywood poker left the U.S. market in 2006 after the signing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
PocketFives has more.
Poker With a Playmate
Former Baywatch star and Playboy model Pamela Anderson is the new face of an online poker site.
Anderson will serve as the ambassador of BamPoker, a new virtual gambling site available through social media giant Facebook. According to a press release, Bam Poker will be "the only place online where member can play Texas Hold'em poker with Pamela Anderson herself."
The new site offers play-money no-limit Texas hold'em tournaments around the clock. Anderson will also be an active member of the BamPoker community, keeping up with a fan page, playing on the site and periodically chatting with members via the BamPoker App.
"There is nothing like BamPoker out there today, and I am excited to be a part of such an innovative platform!” said Anderson.
This isn't the first time Anderson has ventured into the realm of online poker. You may recall that Anderson's poker room, called Pamela Poker, was affiliated with Doyle's Room. However, Pamela Poker was shut down after President Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) into law in 2006.
Read more at BamPoker.com.
Denmark Blacklists Gambling Sites
The Danish Gambling Authority has blacklisted 12 websites that were offering services to residents in Denmark without an online gaming license.
Internet service provider Hi3G was ordered by a Danish court to block a dozen sites that had not complied with Denmark's law regarding local gaming licenses. Hi3G has 14 days to comply with the court order.
The following sites have been blacklisted:
The move by Denmark follows a similar decision by Belgium, which blacklisted 30 non-licensed sites including Bwin, Betsson, Betfair, William Hill and 888 last month. Under the Belgian Gambling Act, players are only allowed to play on licensed sites, and the nation’s four largest Internet service providers are in the process of barring unauthorized domains.
Denmark's new regulatory framework went into effect on Jan. 1. Among the 38 operators awarded licenses were PokerStars, Betfair, 888, bwin.party, PKR and Unibet.
For more, check out the official statement by the Danish Gambling Authority at skat.dk.
Just hours before finishing sixth in the $2,500 buy-in Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event at the WSOP on Sunday, Chad's latest Couch Slouch piece about poker was published by the Post. It was well-received by many high-profile poker pros who agree that it's time for the poker world to "join the real world."
"Poker is at a crossroads — the game is under siege, both from outside forces and from within," Chad wrote. "As a poker community, we either can step up and be more productive citizens or step back and lurk in the shadows of mainstream America."
Chad echoes the sentiments of fellow poker commentator Mike Sexton in saying that players should dress better and treat everyone at the poker table better. "Let’s interact with these other Homo sapiens in a more civilized fashion," he added.
Chad's column is always worth a read. Check it out at the Washington Post.
Matt Glantz the Ambassador
Poker pro Matt Glantz has been revealed as the new ambassador for Parx Casino, which is just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Glantz, a regular in some of the biggest cash games on the East Coast, boasts more than $4 million in live tournament cashes. His biggest score came at the 2009 European Poker Tour London High Roller for $862,837. He's currently grinding at the World Series of Poker where's he has already made a pair of final tables.
Glantz's roots are from the Philadelphia area. He grew up Lafayette Hill and went to college at Temple, making him a logical choice to represent the budding Parx poker room. Parx will host its first televised World Poker Tour event in August.
"I am very proud to have reached this milestone in my poker career and honored to be partnering with Parx Casino," Glantz said. "It will be my mission to support Parx in becoming the premiere poker room on the east coast. They have proven their commitment toward this goal since opening day, and I look forward to doing my part to make this vision a reality."
Read more at the Parx Poker Blog.
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