Two new names now appear on the list of the world’s top poker pros. The Poker Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington have been picked to be recognized for their outstanding poker achievements.
An induction ceremony will be held on November 8 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The induction will coincide with the festivities surrounding the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, which is the richest tournament in the entire world of poker.
Erik Seidel is an eight-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner. He is considered to be one of the world’s best tournament poker players. His most notable achievement was his runner-up finish to poker pro Johnny Chan at the 1988 WSOP – a game that was reproduced in the movie “Rounders”. Over more than four decades of play, Seidel has amassed an impressive $10 million in career wins.
Dan Harrington, easily spotted at the tables in his trademark green Red Sox hat, is most famed for his 1995 WSOP main event win. He also made it to the Main Event table in 2003 and 2004, which in itself is a very impressive feat. Harrington has enjoyed more than $6 million in lifetime wins. His most recent achievements include a series of poker strategy books entitled “Harrington on Hold’em” which some consider to be among the best strategy guides available.
The Poker Hall of Fame was established in 1979. With the two 2010 inductees this exclusive club will contain a total of 40 members, only 18 of which are still alive.
Harrah’s Entertainment casinos run a special in their poker rooms called the Bad Beat Jackpot, which pays poker players who are unlucky enough lose with strong hands. The jackpot was introduced last August, and has paid out several times since then.
As of yesterday, the jackpot stands at over $402,663, making it one of the biggest poker jackpots available in a land casino. It is a progressive jackpot, taking $1 out of every pot to fund it. The jackpot is networked across all 4 of Harrah’s Atlantic City properties. It pays 40 percent to the bad beat loser, 20 percent to the player that wins the hand, and splits the remaining 50 percent among all players in cash games at all rooms.
To win, players must lose with a hand of four Queens or higher. Each week on Wednesday, this requirement is lowered by one rank until it reaches the lowest possible winning hand of four deuces. The current winning hand is quad fives.
Ladbrokes, known for their online sportsbook and their internet poker room, took their gaming activities offline to host the Ladbrokes Irish Poker Festival in Killarney, Ireland. 632 players came from both local Irish poker rooms and around the world to compete for the top prize. By the third day, all but ten were eliminated.
Of the ten men at the final table, almost all were Irish nationals, though two foreigners made it into the melee, Richard Connoly (from the Isle of Man) and Lars Torngren (a London-based Swedish expat). Bankrolls ranged from Richard Connoly’s 360k to John Kalmer’s 1.8 million, and as well as being the chip leader, “Skalie” was the early favourite. Unfortunately for him, his Ace-Jack couldn’t hold up against Lar’s Pocket Queens, as the Ace he hit on the flop couldn’t withstand the Queen on the turn.
In the end, it was Lars Torngren who carried off the €75,000 grand prize. Lars possessed pocket sixes which he managed to hold up in the three-way all-in against a pair of Irishmen, Paul Lucey, with his Jack and five, and Barry McGleenon, holding an Ace and a seven.
Lars has been playing poker for about 8 years and is “absolutely delighted” about his first big tournament win. He is already pleasantly anticipating competing in the Ladbrokes poker festival next year. Till then he is likely to be found practicing at online poker sites in Sweden.
American online poker champ Tyson Marks of Montana won the largest poker prize in online gambling history last week, scooping up an incredible $2.25 million win in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) main event.
Marks, who goes by the online handle POTTERPOKER, beat out more than two thousand other hopefuls who entered the two-day final event. This massive collection of players gave the tournament a $12,215,000 prize pool, making it the richest internet poker tournament in online gaming history.
By the time Marks hit the final table, he had an incredible 30 million chip lead over the competition, and he pushed through to take the win. Of course, the other two finalists didn’t walk away empty-handed. Both took home more than $1 million in prize money.
“Being able to say: “I’m online poker world champion” is something that still doesn’t feel real to say” Marks commented. “I don’t feel like it’s going to change who I am at all. I have an amazing girl and friends and family who are amazing….this money is really just gravy.”
The $2,278,097.50 poker prize makes a nice addition to Marks’ $1.3 million in career online poker tournament earnings.
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.
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.
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.
It’s shuffle up and deal time: The World Series of Poker has begun in Las Vegas with 7,319 entrants, the second-largest pool ever assembled for the world’s biggest poker event. Yesterday alone, 2,391 players entered, as Thursday marked the last day to buy in for $10,000.
Based on entrants, the total prize pool will be $68.8 million and the top prize is a huge $8.94 million; the top 747 finishers will win prizes. Last year, there were 6,494 total entrants for a prize pool of $61 million and a $8.55 prize for the winner Joe Cada, youngest ever to take this tournament.
As always, some celebrities were on hand to try their hand at a few poker hands, including Jason Alexander, Emmitt Smith, and Shannon Elizabeth, just to name a very few.
Though the peak number of participants set in 2006 was not reached, the numbers are up 12% on last year. Alexander was enthusiastic to an Associated Press reporter, to whom he said “I’m glad people are feeling like the economy’s back enough that they can do [play in the World Series of Poker]. It wasn’t because the interest in poker went away, so I have to assume people weren’t willing to speculate.”
Most observers also factor in an overall drop in attendance since 2006, as after the tournament the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, thereby discouraging many online poker rooms from accepted U.S. players – and getting them into the World Series of Poker.
An idea first proposed last year in California will take the next step toward realization on Tuesday, when State Senator Rod Wright issues his bill proposing the creation of an intranet poker network. Naturally this proposal has provoked much discussion in local media. The proposal seeks to limit the number of online casinos offering legal gambling in California and to collect a minimum of 20% of revenue from these websites to fill the state budget deficit. Some estimates say that Californians spent $300 million on poker websites alone in 2009.
The (Sacramento) Press-Enterprise: Online poker bill to emerge
A bill from state senator Rod Wright is expected within a few days that would provide players in California the opportunity to legally choose between multiple online poker websites, in hopes of generating billions of dollars in tax revenue for the treasury.
Competing with Wright’s proposal is a plan put forth by the Morongo Ban of Mission Indians, a group that would create a “tribal intrastate Internet poker consortium” to act as a monopoly over a California-wide poker network, but Wright seeks to introduce a system of natural competition with his bill.
Expected to be put out on Tuesday, Wright’s bill seems to be based on the standard European model. Wright proposes that the California Department of Justice award five-year contracts to between one and three online poker websites based within the state. A minimum of 20% of revenue generated would be paid to the state in taxes.
Wright estimates that after passage of the bill, it might take another three years to have such an online poker system running. Californians spent an estimated $300 million on Internet poker last year. The state of California will have a $19.1 billion deficit as of June 2011.
NBC Bay Area: Can Online Gambling Save California?
The taxation of online gambling may be a way to solve part of the state’s budget problems – even more so than marijuana legalization. Supporters of decriminalisation of Internet gambling have claimed that regulating and taxing Internet gaming could earn up to $42 billion in federal taxes.
In California, some politicians who are pro-online gambling push such taxation as potentially bringing money and jobs to the state. This includes firms in Silicon Valley such as CyberArts, which produces Internet casino architectural software known as Foundation.
Though online gambling remains controversial even in California, the time to make it legal may have come. One consult was quoted as saying “it’s generally easier to pass something like (online gambling regulations) in a recession.”
Tech Jackal: California close to being the first state to legalize online poker
California may be on the way to becoming the first U.S. state to legalize online poker, because of state senator Rod Wright’s proposed new bill. Wright heads up the California Senate committee which overseeing gambling among other areas.
The addition of further taxes and revenues created from state-based gambling websites would go to directly addressing the state budget deficit, though Wright emphasized he sought to avoid a single-company monopoly.
Wright said that online gambling taxation “is an asset that is underperforming and it belongs to the state. It should be nondiscriminatory in terms of the people who participate. It’ll go to the people who want it and show up and bid.”
In order to take advantage of any opportunity to establish online poker or casino gaming for California citizens, website operators will have to meet certain specified legal, technical and financial conditions.
Trevor Zinck, the Nova Scotia legislature, allegedly used the credit card of a 40 year old man with cerebral palsy to play poker online, racking up a bill of almost $10,000. Scott Marshall had once given Zinck his card to loan him $100 back when Zinck was acting as Marshall’s caregiver. It seems Zinck wrote down the card number to use later.
CBC News Canada: ‘Be a man’ on gambling debt, MLA urged
The mother of a Canadian disabled man is angry and frustrated that Independent MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Trevor Zinck has not yet responded to recent allegation that he used her son’s credit card to gamble online, still owing him $7,600.
“Own up to it and be a man,” Helena MacLeod said towards Zinck.
“It seems like he has disappeared and that’s it. We kind of thought that he would come across and say that he was going to pay Scott’s credit card, but we haven’t heard a word.”
Scott Marshall, 40, has cerebral palsy. He has known Zinck for 20 years. Zinck acted as Marshall’s caregiver prior to 2006, when he was leected an MLA for Dartmouth North.
Marshall says that in June 2007, he noticed $10,000 in charges on his credit card. Zinck had used the card to play online poker, without Marshall’s permission.
Zinck has paid some of the money back, but MacLeod said the bill is still$7,600, and Marshall cannot afford to pay it.
“He gets in a very, very big panic to think that his credit is going to be down the tubes,” MacLeod said.
Zinck was ousted from the New Democratic Party caucus in March because of problems with his constituency expenses. He also admitted to having problems with drinking and gambling.
The Chronicle Herald: Zinck accused of fraud
A man from Halifax, Canada, is accusing Dartmouth North MLA Trevor Zinck of fraudulently charging $9,000 on his credit card to play online poker.
Scott Marshall says his former caregiver and friend of 20 years hasn’t paid much of it back.
“He said that he’d never leave me hanging . . . but I’ve had to hound him,” Marshall said in a telephone interview.
Marshall suffers from cerebral palsy, and is confined to a wheelchair.
In the spring of 2007, Marshall let Zinck use his credit card when he asked to borrow $100. But when Marshall got his bill, Zinck had charged thousands of dollars to it.
Zinck promised to get a loan to pay his debit to Marshall, but later said that the bank denied his application.
The NDP removed Zinck from his caucus seat last week, citing irregularities with his handling of office expenses.
Toronto Sun: Man: N.S. politician used his credit card to gamble
A disabled man has accused a member of the Nova Scotia legislature of using his credit card to gamble online – without his permission.
Scott Marshall, who is wheelchair-bound because of cerebral palsy, says Trevor Zinck admitted to charging $10,000 from his credit card when Marshall’s caregiver.
Zinck apologized and agreed to pay him back, but the payments stopped after Zinck was no longer his caregiver. The credit card bill stands at $7,600.
According to Helena MacLeod, Marshall’s mother, Zinck always had an excuse not to pay.
When asked if Zinck admitted to online gambling, Marshall said, “Oh yea.”
Zinck was recently suspended from the NDP caucus last week. He had been late in paying constituency office bills for electricity, telephone and internet.
As if the European Poker Tour weren’t exciting enough of an event, last week’s was heavily intensified. Knowing that there was a lot of cash at stake, a group of thugs made a successful attempt at armed robbery in the ritzy Grand Hyatt Berlin.
The Star: Bandits play hand in poker tour
German police hunted for 4 bandits who stormed a poker tournament in Berlin and stole about $335,000 in cash in a brazen daylight heist on Monday. The armed men rushed into the European Poker Tour event at the Grand Hyatt Berlin. According to the Berlin police spokesman, Police are analyzing video footage of the crime, dusting for prints and talking to witnesses.
Surveillance footage outside the hotel caught one robber without his mask, but only from behind. At least 2 of the 4 men were armed, one with a machete and one with a revolver, he said.
Rainer Wendt, leader of a German police union, faulted organizers for not hiring enough guards.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Poker heist gang were stupid amateurs: police
An armed gang that staged a brazen heist on a $7 million Berlin poker championship can be regarded as amateurs and will be caught soon, according to the head of the German police. The masked gang of 4 burst into the Grand Hyatt hotel in central Berlin, wielding machetes and handguns and made off with 242,000 euro in cash, while leaving mountains of evidence.
Though there are still “no hot leads” on the robbers, a police spokeswoman said investigators are “confident” that the “relatively large amount of material” they are sifting through will soon result in hard evidence.
After five days, American online poker star Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee carried off the one million euro top prize. The competition’s total prize pool was 4.7 million euro, according to the European Poker Tour, which organised the event.
BBC News: Robbers raid Berlin hotel poker tournament
Armed robbers have stormed a luxury hotel in central Berlin where a poker tournament was taking place. One report said the gang – armed with assault rifles and hand grenades – made off with the tournament jackpot of $1.1 million. There were injuries due to the ensuing panic but no one was seriously injured.
Four robbers entered from Potsdamer Platz while two others allegedly kept watch, according to Tageszeitung. Images of the chaotic scenes were broadcast by the private n-tv television station. Officials said most of the injuries were caused by panic.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) tournament – resumed about 4 hours after the attack, according to German media sources.
US gambling laws do not allow betting across state borders, so Iowa lawmakers have hit on a brilliant idea – allow online gambling, but keep it local. In a new plan that is still being drafted, players would make deposits and manage their accounts at land-based casinos in Iowa, but would be able to gamble online. Naturally, the plan is drawing a lot of criticism.
KWQC News: Iowa May Legalize Online Gambling
Iowa lawmakers are looking to making legal online gambling a reality. While 50,000 Iowans already gamble online, the sites they play at are not licensed in the United States. Some say making online gambling legal would bring some extra revenue to the state.
State Representative Doug Struyk says, “Here’s an opportunity for $11.5 million a year for an activity that’s already going on in the state where Iowans have exposed themselves to significant risks.”
The plan is complex, and it needs to be to get around federal legislation. Players first enter a land-based casino in Iowa to make a deposit, then access online account from a computer in Iowa to play poker. Players would collect winnings back at the land-based casino. All the money would remain in the state.
Some worry that legalizing online gambling could be problematic for people who already have a gambling problem.
“I do know somebody who has developed an online gambling problem, doesn’t need to leave the house to go to the casino. It’s so easy to just click, click, click and then there’s a problem,” said Ellie Bonis.
If all goes as planned, the system could go online as early as next year.
Quad-City Times: Lawmaker: Iowa could be first to allow online gambling
An Iowa lawmaker said last week that the state could become the first in the US to allow online gambling. According to Representative Doug Struyk, around 50,000 people in Iowa already participate in online gaming, but it’s not exactly legitimate.
Struyk is part of a working group trying to work out a new system that would keep money in the state, instead of sending it offshore.
“People in our state lose thousands of dollars on this,” Struyk said.
The system would regulate online gambling through the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, and would place caps on wagers to help control problem gambling. Players would have to create and manage accounts at land-based casinos, but could place bets over the internet from home.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has doubts. “There never has been a state that has done it,” she says. “Allowing every home in the state to be licensed as a casino to gamble at home seems to me to be a fairly heavy lift.”
A proposal is currently being drafted, and Struyk gives it a one-in-four chance of passing this year.
Des Moines Register: Legislators consider online poker
Iowa may become be the first state in the nation to allow legal online poker. A plan is being drafted that allow people to deposit between $50 and $500 into a special account at one of Iowa’s land-based casinos. That account could then be used to play poker on the internet.
Federal gambling laws prohibit gambling between states, so the system would simply restrict the system to players in Iowa.
Online poker could provide $11.5 million a year in revenue into the state’s treasury, according to preliminary projections.
State Representative Mary Mascher is not convinced. “There are a lot of things in Iowa that are illegal, but it doesn’t mean we should legalize it,” she said, citing speeding as an example.
Advocates of the idea call it “account deposit wagering” instead of online gambling. Whatever it’s called, the chances of the plan being put into action are slim.
After years of weekly games, seniors at Idaho’s Twin Falls Senior Center were shocked to have their popular poker games broken up. The seniors thought that they were legal because they donated up to $500 to the senior center every month.
The Magic Valley Times-News: Law takes dim view of gambling at senior center
Above the average criminal age, a group of Twin Falls seniors saw little mercy for having played Poker. According to some of the elder poker enthusiasts, the weekly games made them happy and shouldn’t be illegal.
Police, on the other hand, say nothing permits Idahoans to gamble at any age. Authorities went to the Twin Falls Senior Center earlier this month and explained that the weekly poker games there were illegal and must come to an end.
Five of the seniors claim that about 20 seniors played at the center for more than 5 years despite failing vision, fading memory and limited mobility. They gave an estimated $400 to $500 to the center per month. Each player put in $20 to play, and the pot was split among the top chip holders. Many of the seniors said they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal.
Authorities got involved at the senior center after receiving an anonymous tip about the weekly games. The seniors don’t know who called police, though they’d like to.
State Legislature recently passed a bill to the governor which would give authorities discretion over which gambling reports to investigate and prosecute. Gambling is a misdemeanor. A top local authority believes that this incident, among others is “at best, a waste of law enforcement resources.”
The Idaho Press: No bluff: Police break up senior center poker game
Retirees had no chance when pitted against police at the Twin Falls Senior Center earlier this month when their long-running poker game was broken up due to an anonymous tip. Roughly 20 seniors play at the center since over 5 years ago but police say the law doesn’t permit gambling at any age. Police gave the seniors a warning and didn’t make any arrests.
Residents paid in $20 to play and split the pot among the top chip holders. They donated up to $500 to the senior center each month. Because the money was given to the center, “we thought we were legal,” said 73-year-old Ora Deahl.
The seniors said they don’t know who tipped off police, but they’d like to find out. They would also like a little slack when it comes to enforcing state gambling laws.
They might get just that.
Lawmakers sent a bill to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter last week that would give authorities discretion to not investigate or prosecute all gambling reports.
Fox TV Idaho: No bluff: Police break up senior center poker game
The odds were stacked against pensioners at the Twin Falls Senior Center this month when police officers arrived to break up a long-running poker game after getting an anonymous tip.
About 20 seniors had played at the center for more than five years but police say nothing in Idaho law permits gambling at any age.
Residents paid in $20 to play and the pot was split among the top chip holders. Seventy-3-year-old Ora Deahl says she thought it was legal because the players donated up to $500 to the senior center each month.
Eighty-year-old Doris Williams says they’ve been playing the legal way without money since the police visit but it isn’t as much fun.
Canadian gambling law continues to liberalize and as a result, online gambling will be made legal and offered most recently in the Province of Quebec. The lotto and internet poker rooms are the first to be offered. Loto-Quebec will team up with other companies to cover a larger part of Canada.
The Montreal Gazette: Loto-Québec goes online
Loto-Québec will offer Quebecers online poker and sports betting at a site that should be live this year in order control a new, beneficial stream of revenue. Plans received the blessing of the Quebec cabinet, which intends to “cannibalize illegal gambling sites” and see a common electronic platform created for Loto-Québec, B.C. Lottery Corp. and Atlantic Lottery Corp., which covers Canada’s 4 Atlantic Provinces.
A memorandum of understanding was signed by the 3 corporations providing rules governing the new games. Quebec and its partners will need high betting limits to compete with existing online operations. Even with high limits, it’s not sure that the new sites will succeed in luring players from older sites. The number of viable players is a big concern at the moment.
At a media conference in Montreal, the main focus was on legitimacy, regulation and protection that provincially run online gambling would offer consumers. Online games could generate as much as $50 million in new revenue for Quebec in 2012.
CBC News: Loto-Québec to offer online gambling
Quebec’s lottery corporation will launch its first online gambling service this September. Loto-Québec hopes it will add millions of dollars to its coffers by 2013. Allowing Loto-Québec to join the lucrative online market could earn the province $50 million over 3 years, according to Finance Minister Raymond Bachand.
Social costs regarding young adults are particularly grim, suggested Danielle Doyer, the Parti Québécois ’s social services critic. She accused the Liberal government of ignoring the costs in favor of financial gain. Loto-Québec, however, argues that Quebeckers already have access to more than 2,000 online gambling sites that are “illegal and unregulated.”
The site will require players to verify their age, limit their weekly account replenishments and allow players to “self-exclude at all times.”
He also cited a public health study that showed no increase in problematic gamblers in Quebec between 1996 and 2002, suggesting the proportion of the population addicted to gambling always remains the same, regardless of the number of gambling outlets.
The Canadian Press: Quebec loto commission to join B.C. and Atlantic Canada online gambling venture
Quebec’s lottery commission plans to offer online gambling by this fall. On Wednesday, the Quebec government announced that it is allowing Loto-Quebec to set up poker and sports betting sites online. Loto-Quebec will join lottery commissions from British Columbia and Atlantic Canada to provide a common platform for online gamblers.
According to Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, online gambling is already widespread and government coffers could benefit greatly from the continuously growing market. He says he expects the government to receive around $50 million in dividends from Loto-Quebec’s online venture after just three years.
The lottery commission promised to take steps to limit underage players from taking part.