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Archive for September, 2010

 

After arrests, Ottawa Lottery looking for true 2003 jackpot winner

Sep 30, 2010
Super 7 lotto

After charging three members of an Ottawa family with claiming a lottery win that wasn’t theirs, authorities are searching for the rightful winner of a $12.5 million jackpot … from 2003.

As Ontario Provincial Police announced Tuesday that they had arrested and charged Kathleen Chung, 29, Kenneth Chung, 28, and Jun-Chul Chung, 60, for illegally claiming the $12.5 million, Ottawa Lottery and Gaming (OLG) stated its confidence in a system which may help it find the heretofore anonymous actual winner.

Said winner validated a winning “Super 7” ticket at a Burlington store where father Jun-Chul and Kenneth worked. This ticket resulted in a free ticket which was the lucky winner of the draw. The Super 7 winner never receiving the free ticket that was rightfully theirs and Kenneth’s wife Kathleen claimed the win in 2004.

The case has actually been under investigation since 2006, and Ottawa police are now in process of seizing $10 million in property and cash, including the Chungs’ purchase of two homes, five luxury vehicles, and three properties. The three were released on $700,000 bail.

OLG chairman Paul Godfrey told Canadian media that “if someone can come in and tell us everything we already know about the ticket, down to the last detail, there’s a good chance we’re looking at the rightful owner.”

Police have stated that they know the original ticket was purchased in St. Catharines and that the number of tickets purchased along with the fateful winner may indicate that the purchase was a group play.

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Wild Heart video poker pays big at Slotland Casino

Sep 29, 2010
Wild Heart at Slotland

Slotland Casino just finished overhauling the whole site with a whole new look. Their designers gave the casino’s graphics a big boost, and adding some wonderful animations and special effects, making the online much more pleasing to the eye.

The casino has been around for years, and is unique on the net. It uses its own proprietary software and games, offering dozens of no-download slots and other games for players to enjoy.

All the casino’s games are connected to a single progressive jackpot. The Slotland Casino progressive jackpot is hit about every six or eight weeks, and yesterday the jackpot struck again, paying out an impressive €79,542.

This latest winner comes from Canada, hitting the big jackpot on a video poker game called Wild Heart. This three line poker machine features a unique jungle theme, and helps players win big with wild cards.

The winner, who wanted to remain anonymous, commented: “Many times I dreamed about how I would spend a huge cash prize. Now that I have won a massive jackpot, I don’t have a clue what I will do with the jackpot money. It’s likely that I will donate to charity and I plan to invest some of the money. In addition, I will fulfill some long-desired wishes for my princess and myself.”

The previous Slotland winner was player ‘SouthBelle’ who won €109.212 on the Lucky Stars slot machine just last month.

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William Hill players hit £100,000 slot jackpot two straight days

Sep 28, 2010
Clover Rollover slot

Sometimes, it appears, the house does lose: William Hill Vegas, the casino branch of the top online sports betting site offering video slots and live-dealer games, reports that for two consecutive days, players have taken over £100,000 on slot jackpots.

Just one day after an unnamed player took just over £100,000 on Clover Rollover (though not the progressive jackpot on that particular machine, which is now at £4 million and climbing), a Liverpool resident known as “Gill” took exactly £132,252.27 ($208,090.69) from the Leprechaun’s Luck slot game when she found the virtual pot of gold during the bonus round feature.

“When I saw that I had won £130k jackpot, I stared at the screen for a few minutes just reading it over and over again,” Gill said, “I could not believe it. I just kept thinking [that] things like this don’t happen to me.” Gill told William Hill Vegas representatives that she wants “to buy a new car, and buy my family and friends presents to share my good fortune.”

The Leprechaun’s Luck progressive jackpot has been reset but, as another reminder, that Clover Rollover jackpot total is over £4 million ($6.3 million) and counting; William Hill VIP manager Sharon Young reminds that the casino has “had an exceptional amount of winners in the last few weeks and most have been over £100,000.”

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Poker pro Serge Didisheim wins €108,894 at Divonne-les-Bains

Sep 27, 2010
PokerStars French Poker Series

This past weekend, 400 poker champs dropped €1,200 each to buy-in to a two-day battle in order to determine who was is best player among them. The game was a part of the PokerStars France Poker Series, and it took place at the Casino Partouche in Divonne-les-Bains. This is just the second stop in the tour, but already the stakes are high and the excitement runs deep.

The player who came out ahead was Serge Didisheim of Switzerland, who beat 399 other poker pros and walked away with €108,894. The final hand saw him beat Yann Pelletier, who took second place for €69,500. Didisheim went all in with an ace of hearts and king of diamonds, beating Pelletier’s pair of 5’s when Didisheim picked up a second pair from the board.

The PokerStars France Poker Series will continue October 16/17 in Saint-Amand. Satellite qualifiers are running now at the PokerStars website. There are still three more big events to go, plus the Grand Final in Paris coming up in February, so the action has only just begun.

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Halo may rule now, but next Call of Duty has gambling

Sep 24, 2010
Halo: Reach

Microsoft may be setting new records with its “Halo: Reach” and “Halo 3,” but competitor Activision will be launching its “Call of Duty: Black Ops” on November 9 with a feature that no Halo game can touch: Gambling against other players to improve your character’s potential.

Halo: Reach pulled in a ridiculous $200 million in sales on its first day of release and vaulted to the upper reaches of Xbox Live activity stats as well. Though “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” stayed in the #1 most popular spot last week, “Halo: Reach” will surely be this week’s top game, as numbers show that it has been the most popular game on the network for seven days running. Incidentally, the three-year-old Halo 3 was third-favorite on the Xbox Live chart.

However, while the “Halo” series is getting a bit chastised among games for a continued lack of originality, Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to innovative perhaps the whole genre with its “gamble” feature.

In Black Ops’ “wager matches,” players will be able to compete against one another in four unique arenas. The players agree upon the stakes and the winner earns “Call of Duty Points,” which may be used to upgrade your character for use in other games.

Though not actually employing real money, one can easily imagine other games incorporating cash bets into their software. Madden for money, anyone…?

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$56,140 won on microstakes with PokerStars’ 50 billionth hand

Sep 23, 2010
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PokerStars created a lot of hype in the online poker world these last few days as they approached the 50 billionth hand of poker played at the site. Nobody quite new what that hand would entail, but as things turned out, it was a poker hand for the history books.

There were 220,000 people on PokerStars yesterday playing on 33,000 tables, each one of them hoping to win the milestone hand and the big cash bonus that PokerStars promised would go along with it. In the end, the 50 billionth hand was played by a member from Germany named tbvle, who walked away with an impressive $56,140 though the PokerStars 50 Billion Hand promotion.

But here’s the really incredible part: tbvle was playing microstakes at a $0.02/$0.05 NL Hold’em cash table! The actual pot for the hand was only $26, but is very good for a microstakes table. Apparently the players at the table were so excited to win that the five billionth hand that everyone went all-in before the flop!

Hundreds of railbirds sat on the sidelines watching the historic hand. When tbvle won with a pair of queens, he made PokerStars history, and won a lot of cash too.

The other 5 players at the table were reward too, each grabbing about $3,000 just for being there. Everyone got a $5,200 WCOOP Main Event ticket too, just because PokerStars was feeling generous.

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Two lottery draws, two huge winners, two mysteries

Sep 22, 2010
Mega Millions

A pair of huge draws on the weekend resulted in the proverbial “life-changing wins,” as the Powerball and Mega Millions lottery jackpots were each hit by a single player – though neither has stepped forward to claim the prize.

On Friday night, the Mega Millions numbers were drawn on a $54 million jackpot. Numbers 3, 4, 14, 18, 27 and 13 came up to make one lucky citizen of New York City very happy – if he/she is even aware of the win. The jackpot was reset and, with no winner in yesterday’s draw, the September 24 jackpot is estimated to be at $16 million.

Over the weekend, the turgid Powerball jackpot stood at a big $116 million before a customer of Heby’s Shell gas station in Mableton, Georgia, chose the winning numbers 1, 18, 37, 39, 44 and 13 – making the key final numbers in both draws a lucky 13, incidentally – but he/she, too, has yet to come forward and claim the prize as of Wednesday morning.

Heby’s Shell will be receiving a $25,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket and, should the player claim his/her winnings as a cash option, the ticket will be worth a tidy $63 million before taxes. The winner has 180 days to claim the big prize.

The last occasion on which a Georgia player won the Mega Millions jackpot was just over a year ago, with a $12 million payout going to a Sharpsburg man on September 1st of 2009.

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$7.5 million for Dubai golf champs

Sep 21, 2010
Dubai World Championship

The largest prize in European golf history is being offered at the upcoming Dubai World Championship. This golf event is being held at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates in November, and the top 15 ranked players will share a very impressive prize pool of $7.5 million.

The prize was meant to be $10 million, but last year it was reduced 25% because of the current economic environment. Despite this huge drop in the prize pool, this is still considered Europe’s richest golf event.

The championship game will be played at the Jumeirah Golf Estates’s famous par 72 Earth Course. The top 60 players from the season-long European Tour Race to Dubai will be invited to compete.

The Dubai World Championship is new, with the inaugural event happening just last year. The winner was Englishman Lee Westwood who won with a score of 265 (-23) by a margin of 6 strokes.

Westwood was a favorite at top online sportsbooks like BetUS. This US-friendly sports betting site has yet to set odds for this year’s event, but they are sure to appear as we get closer to the late-November Dubai World Championship golf event.

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Accused of money-laundering, high-roller says “$29,000 nothing to me”

Sep 20, 2010
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When do you lose $500,000 yet still come out a winner? When your freedom is an issue in a court case in Australia, it seems.

In last week’s top gambling news story from Down Under, Wollstonecraft citizen Zheng Tan was facing trial for money laundering in an Australian district court. The specific incident involved a stolen check for AU $500,000 (about US $472,000) which Tan said was the repayment of an informal loan he’d made to a fellow high-roller in the Crown Casino’s VIP room.

Tan first lent the man AU $120,000, to which the thankful loanee offered his $300,000 Philippe Patek watch. When Tan later topped up his new friend with another AU $350,000, the man offered an IOU based on real estate in China.

A short time later, Tan’s friend made good on his promise and wrote Tan a check for the AU $500,000 – about AU $29,000 (US $27,400) more than what had been leant; the outstanding amount was argued by prosecuting attorneys to have been a fee for laundering the money. He then cashed the check and took the money to play with in Canberra – unfortunately, that money was reportedly stolen from his car.

Tan argued in court that he didn’t know the check was stolen and that he’d gambled away some $10 million at the Crown Casino alone. “$29,000 is nothing to me,” he said.

Tan was exonerated of the charges.

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Mr C afraid to collect his unlucky WowPot winnings

Sep 17, 2010
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An online gambler of Chinese origin who is known only as Mr C recently won a $4,444 while playing on the WowPot video slot at Jackpot City Casino.

The winner, however, is afraid to collect his winnings because he considers the amount to be unlucky.

In Chinese culture, the number 4 is pronounced a lot like the Chinese word for death, making it a very unlucky number. The $4,444 jackpot appears as a bad omen, and Mr C feels that if he accepts the money, no good could possibly come of it.

“We’re still talking to the player and working out the best approach to handle this, which is sensitive to the player’s beliefs and concerns, but ensures that he does not lose out on his winnings,” said Jackpot City Casino spokesperson Terry Maverick.

“The player contacted our customer services department, quite concerned about the winning amount. He was obviously keen not to lose out on the money, but at the same time wary of bringing bad luck on himself or his family.”

Maverick added that this is the first time a player has ever refused to collect their winnings.

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Looking for the big jackpot winner in Australia (again)

Sep 16, 2010
Oz Lotto

For the third time in five months, an Australian has hit an eight-figure jackpot in the national Oz Lotto and hasn’t come forward to collect the winnings. NSW Lotteries is therefore once again appealing through media channels for players to check their tickets again, for they could easily be sitting on about $20 million ($18.73 million).

What is known is that the winning ticket was bought in Sydney somewhere in the northwest of the city. Further details were not to be released so that, as NSW Lotteries spokeswoman Una O’Neill explained, “the winner [may] check their entry without the glare of publicity.”

Though the deadline for collecting on this ticket would be December 1, 2016, multi-million winners rarely wait for longer than a day or two – except, of course, in Australia lately, where folks’ overlooking winning lottery tickets has become a bit endemic.

In July, another Sydney resident took $40 million ($37.46 million) in the Oz Lottery, but only after a similar public call by NSW Lotteries. And in April, several days passed before a middle-aged couple in Ashfield rechecked their ticket to find they’d bagged $30 million ($28 million).
So, again, if you’re in Sydney, check those tickets!

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Taiwan oracle octopus predicts $30 million lottery winner

Sep 15, 2010
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A mystery man has just won a $30 million dollar jackpot in Taiwan’s national lottery, just hours after one lotto stand’s oracle octopus predicted that the next big winner would be a male.

The Taiwan Lottery Company has so far revealed that the winner is a man from eastern Taitung county, but they won’t say much else. The man collected his winnings quietly, and is trying to keep out of the spotlight.

As for the oracle octopus, it might have just been a lucky guess, but according to the Taiwan Lottery Company, most winners in the country have in fact been men. Based on a sample study of 1,400 pst winners, the lotto group has put together a very detailed picture of the average Taiwanese lottery winner, all the way down to details such as “large earlobes”.

“The latest winner also has an oval face, double-eyelids and a high nose,” predicted Huang Chi Yi, General Manager of Taiwan Lottery Company. These features describe the majority of the company’s big winners, who tend to be between 40 and 59 with generous souls who were born in the Chinese year of the Goat.

This $30 million lottery prize is the largest jackpots every paid out to a single winner in Taiwan. The store that sold the winning ticket has been buzzing with activity ever since the win was announced, with many visitors having their picture taken in front of the store in hopes of catching some ambient luck.

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First exclusive progressive jackpot hit at Table Mountain Casino

Sep 14, 2010
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With the current economic situation in the United States sending casinos looking for ways to entice customers in, many original promotions and perks are getting a test run in some gambling houses on Native American lands. Case in point in the Table Mountain Casino located nearby Fresno, California. At that casino, every one of the 2,000 slot machines on the gaming floor is tied in to an exclusive progressive jackpot available only to the casino’s “Player’s Club” members. The jackpot starts at $50,000 and can hit a max of $150,000.

The first winner of the “Mega Mountain Jackpot” was reported this weekend after about three weeks with the big prize installed: A player known as Richard from Auberry, California, took home a nice $100,633.33 in cash on a $3.75 spin on his favorite machine.

Another feature Table Mountain introduced was its “Rapid Bonus Rewards,” a way of hourly awarding random players with free spins.

It sounds to us like Table Mountain Casino is learning a few tricks about promoting one’s brand from online casinos…

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The XX beat Paul Weller to the £20,000 Mercury Prize

Sep 13, 2010
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The Mercury Prize winner for 2010 is London trio The XX, whose self-titled debut has been echoing across national radio stations for months. The band had quite a few backers, but for a while, nobody was quite sure how things would turn out.

Veteran rocker Paul Weller was a favorite for many, with his 2010 album ‘Wake Up the Nation’ proving to be quite popular in the few months since its release. In fact, so many bettors thought Weller was a shoo-in for the prize that top online sportsbook William Hill was forced to reduce the odds on the rock star after they became swamped with big bets.

Just days before judges would decide the winner of this year’s Mercury Prize, Willaim Hill was promising 20/1 for Weller. After receiving more than 100 £100 wagers on Weller to win, they found themselves suddenly liable for over £20,000 in bets, all riding on a single music album. The solution was simple: the sportsbook shamelessly dropped their odds to a mere 1/10!

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said the company suspected something was up. “It’s so co-ordinated that maybe it’s a syndicate of people who have got together and thought this is a good idea,” explained Adams.

Whatever the case, William Hill’s choice to cut the odds on Weller ended up being good for punters who put their money on the rocker to grab the prestigious Mercury Prize and the £20,000 award that comes along with it.

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Revisiting the ultimate rags-to-riches lottery winner’s story

Sep 10, 2010
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In reportage on lotteries and gambling, we often use the expression “life-changing” to describe the huge wins of which all players dream – but when you’re low enough to be living without running water in your broken down home, those words are at their truest.

FOX News in Chicago last night revisited the story of Jim Gatze for its television audience; Gatze hit the Illinois State Lottery jackpot back in 2003 for $5.5 milllion but became famously lucky as the guy who almost did get paid his jackpot. Gatze bought a ticket at a Calumet Park gas station, but when he went to cash in the winning ticket at a state lottery commission office, he was refused.

First he was mistaken for a homeless man and was not believed when he presented his driver’s license to officials. Apparently, Gatze hadn’t bathed in nine months at that point. He told FOX, “I didn’t have water in the house for about a year and a half. No heat for six months. No phone for a year and a half.”

Enlisting the help of a friend who hired legal assistance and brought a suit against the state for refusal to pay, Gatze ended up collecting his millions in 26 installments of $151,920 each after taxes – but he still doesn’t have a phone.

Gatze today lives in a hotel for $250 a week and uses pay telephones. He has bought three new cars since winning the lottery, his latest a Mazda 3. He keeps his money in a savings account which earns 3% interest at the local bank and is devoted to feeding a dozen or so cats which live in a nearby junkyard.

When he was down on his luck, says Gatze, the cats “were compassionate and all like that, but people always looked down on me. That’s what’s wrong with this world today. People are not as compassionate as animals.”

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Online scratch card pays €1,000,000 at Hopa Casino

Sep 09, 2010
Super 3 WOW at Hopa Casino

When people think of online gambling, they usually imagine video slots, blackjack tournaments, or internet poker games. Virtual scratch cards are definitely not the first things that come to mind! These simple games, however, are quite popular with a certain crowd. As news of this big win spreads across the internet, scratch tickets are going to get a lot more attention.

The €1,000,000 jackpot was won on a scratch card game called Super 3 WOW by a player named Lydie A. She was enjoying the game at an online gambling site called Hopa, which specializes in online scratch tickets and other instant-win titles.

When Lydie scratched off the winning ticket to reveal three clovers on a single card, she was actually watching her account balance instead of the card. She saw her balance jump by €250,000, she just about fell out of her chair! She was still staring at the numbers in disbelief when a Hopa team member contacted her on chat, congratulating her on her €1,000,000 win, explaining that not all the money had been added to her account yet. It was only then that she realized just how much money she had just won.

This wasn’t Lydie’s first big win at Hopa. This time last year, she was playing a slot game called Super Slot 7 when she won €100,000. Lydie is a regular at Hopa, which offers not only online slots and scratch card games but a great range of mobile phone games too through the unique Hopa Mobile Casino.

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Jackpot Joy player breaks U.K. record with £1.96 million progressive slot win

Sep 08, 2010
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A player known as Matthew G. got his name into the record books this week by winning the Deal Or No Deal progressive jackpot – but better yet, he also took home nearly £2 million!

Bristol resident Matthew G. won the exact figure of £1,963,088 (over $3.03 million) at Jackpot Joy online bingo hall. This marks the third time the Deal Or No Deal progressive slot has paid out over £1.3 million in the past 18 months. The former record for a progressive jackpot slots win by a U.K. resident was sent about a year ago, when Paul M. of Kent won £1.438 million on the machine; in May 2009, Keith R. won £1.365 on the slot game.

Jackpot Joy is today reporting a humorous story about Matthew G., namely that he’d semi-jokingly promised to pay a friend £250,000 ($386,000) if he won the big jackpot … and he followed through on the promise!

Not only is Matthew G.’s win the largest-ever progressive jackpot won by a British citizen, the prize is also the biggest ever won at an online bingo site. However, a much huger winner is somewhere out there, as Jackpot Joy’s Clover Rollover progressive slot jackpot is currently at over £3,200,000 ($4.95 million).

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Australian elections are over. Who did you bet on?

Sep 07, 2010
Betting on elections

Australia’s national election ended yesterday with Labor Party leader Julia Gillard emerging as the country’s new Prime Minister. While millions of Australians used votes to back their pick for the new PM, many others chose to use money instead, placing bets on their favorite candidate at some of the top online sportsbooks in Australia.

Betting on political candidates in Australia has been something of a controversy lately. Back in July, MP Michael Johnson tried very hard to ban online betting on elections, arguing that important political decisions are inappropriate things to be wagering on. Johnson was also concerned that betting on political elections could influence the outcome if unscrupulous political parties used betting as leverage to twist elections in their favor.

Despite Johnson’s efforts, no ban has been placed on election betting. Internet sports betting websites across Australia as well as in other parts of the world offered lines on all candidates.

Interestingly, one of Julia Gillard’s primary campaign efforts focused on the issue of gambling. She has expressed a strong desire to reform Australian gambling laws, implementing stricter regulations on pokies as well as offering tighter regulation of online gambling in the country. Most gambling licenses are not up for renewal until 2012, however, so few changes are likely to be made until then.

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Mega Moolah jackpot won at Spin Palace, not Blackjack Ballroom

Sep 06, 2010
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Here’s the kind of jackpot story that could only happen in an online casino situation. Several news outlets – including GamblingResults – reported late last week that the big Mega Moolah progressive jackpot of $4.1 million had been hit at the Blackjack Ballroom internet casino; some outlets were even informed that another casino had doled out the win.

While the fact of the big jackpot win was indeed true and lucky player “Mrs. P” will indeed be recipient of this proverbial life-changing sum, it turns out that the Mega Moolah jackpot was in truth won at Palace Group casino Spin Palace.

The controversy apparently became great enough to elicit a comment from Microgaming casino group CEO Roger Raategver, who said, “We are delighted that [the] Mega Moolah progressive jackpot was won on Aug. 29th, 2010, and we will confirm that even though this win was claimed by many other casinos, the truth is that the winning player was gambling at Spin Palace Casino.”

Though such jackpots represent substantial payouts by the casino which hosts the winning progressive slot, most online casinos turn the newsworthy event into years’ worth of PR opportunities.

No comment has appeared on the matter from any other involved party, but a Spin Palace representative did say that “Mrs. P is quite overwhelmed by what will undoubtedly be a life-changing windfall. We are currently in discussions with her, and will hopefully be able to make further announcements shortly.”

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Harrah’s announces 2010 Poker Hall of Fame finalists

Sep 03, 2010
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Public voting for the 2010 nominees to the Poker Hall of Fame has now ended, leaving Harrah’s with a list of 10 finalists. Judges will now look over the list of names and make sure each nominee qualifies for induction before giving out the awards.

Induction to the Poker Hall of Fame requires the following:

A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition; played for high stakes; played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers; stood the test of time; or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

The ten finalists are:

• Chris Ferguson
• Scotty Nguyen
• Dan Harrington
• Tom McEvoy
• Jennifer Harman
• Linda Johnson
• Daniel Negreanu
• Phil Ivey
• Erik Seidel
• Barry Greenstein

This year’s Poker Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place this November at the Rio Las Vegas during WSOP Main Event Nine celebrations. As of 2009, 38 people have been inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame, but only 15 are still living.

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