Gordon Vayo Will Not Have to Pay PokerStars $280k as Both Sides Drop VPN Lawsuits

The simmering dispute between the world’s largest poker site and professional player Gordon Vayo appears to be nearing a resolution.

gordon vayo

Gordon Vayo is likely breathing a bit easier this week, after a $280,000 claim against him dropped. (Image: Twitter.com)

PokerStars has apparently retracted its countersuit demanding that he pay $280,000 in legal fees incurred while fighting Vayo in court.

Both parties are embroiled in a legal beef since Stars refused to pay out most of his $692,460 prize from a Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event in 2017.

The business accused him of illegally employing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from the limited region of New Jersey. Vayo sued the site, insisting that he had played with the tournament from his home in Canada.

According to a court filing the attorneys for the two sides have jointly decided to drop the matter.

“This action his hereby dismissed with prejudice by Plaintiff Gordon Vayo,” reads the record filed on Dec. 4, including,”The pending Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs by (REEL) is hereby withdrawn.”

The countersuit by Stars came after it leveled shocking charges against Vayo month.

Vayo’s VPN Fakeout?

He said he could prove that he indeed played from Canada when the California resident, who finished second in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, originally sued Stars.

It turns out he may have fabricated that proof.

His suit suddenly dropped . Nobody knew why at the time, but a couple of weeks later, REEL’s attorneys accused Vayo of forging the banking and mobile phone records he had submitted to the court an in apparent attempt to make it seem like he had been living in Canada.

REEL blasted it as an attempt to defraud the court and filed a claim against Vayo for $280,000 in legal costs.

Eyes on Bigger Prize

It is possible that set the ordeal to bed and the Stars Group just wants to end the blood that is bad. In the end, PokerStars has a busy 2019 in the US market that is quickly changing ahead of it.

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania gaming regulators granted PokerStars a gaming license to deliver online poker to the Keystone State. It is unclear when the Pennsylvania public will be able to hit on the virtual felt on Stars, but 2019 is a real chance.

Stars is expected to combine the shared player pool with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.

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History Of Online Gambling Expansion Raises Questions For Sports Betting In 2019

online gambling legislationonline gambling legislation

Following the May decision by the US Supreme Court that found PASPA unconstitutional, the sports betting floodgates are officially open.

This season has seen its share of action at the country level, with early adopters passing legislation and launch regulated industries.

Within six months, the number of sports gambling states grew from one (Nevada) to eight:

NevadaDelawareNew JerseyWest VirginiaMississippiNew MexicoPennsylvaniaRhode Island

A ninth state, Arkansas, is in the early stages of launching its legal industry.

Building on that momentum, sports gambling is expected to be a topic of conversation in statehouses across the US in 2019. But as anyone who supports legal internet poker understands, legislative interest doesn’t necessarily lead to legislative action.

The spigot which has given us nine states with sports gambling could well remain open. But don’t be surprised if it turns into a slow trickle or is closed off.

Every expansion of gambling has first mover(s)

Throughout history, expansions of gambling tend to follow a pattern that is similar:

One or more first-movers gets the ball rolling;other states show some interest but wait to see that the first movers’ results;a second wave eventually manifests, but it’s similar to a ripple lapping the shoreline; and,the growth is normalized and continues to spread across the nation.

First movers’ number is usually modest. The one exception to this was daily fantasy sports (DFS).

The uncommon legislative momentum of DFS

After being thrust into the public eye in the fall of 2015, DFS came from the gate in a sprint and never slowed down.

In total, 19 says have passed legislation legalizing and regulating DFS. Most of that legislation (16 laws) arrived in 2016 and 2017, with two”fantasy sports” legislation predating the 2016-17 legislative dash, and one coming in 2018.

So how did DFS achieve in a short time?

DFS didn’t have to deal with a diverse group of stakeholders. It was basically the two DFS firms along with a contingent of DFS operators whose disagreement was in taxation and licensing. Sports betting legislation is going to have far more hamburgers — commercial casinos, tribal casinos, horse racing, the lottery — get the best deal on sports and Each looking to protect their business.

AGs that DFS was a game of skill and DFS managed to convince state legislatures. As I will explain further down this column, that classification eliminated a number of legislative headaches.

DFS was never explicitly prohibited in most states. As such, lawmakers avoided of legalizing something which was 16, the process. Instead, they were able to market it as regulation of an existing business.

Noticeand a DFS law, however, that only one state have passed since the 2016-17 wave. Things have slowed to a crawl, even though it had a large group of movers.

Less urgency for Internet gambling expansion

By comparison:

Online poker and casino

Online gambling had a wave that is smaller than DFS. Three states — Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey — comprised the first group to pass online gambling laws in 2013.

The next wave was small and slower than DFS. A condition, Pennsylvania, legalized online gambling.

The lack of progress has not been for a lack of trying. Bills were introduced in a dozen or so states from 2014-18.

Online lottery

Lottery falls between DFS and internet poker/casino.

Lottery legislation began appearing around the same time as the latter, and like gambling, there were few early adopters in the first couple of years:

Illinois (March 2012)Georgia (November 2012)Minnesota (February 2014; sales were repealed 2015)Michigan (August 2014)

But like the other kinds of expansion, the next wave saw momentum slow. In the four years lottery legislation has been passed in just three other locales:

Kentucky — KY online lottery went live April 2016Pennsylvania — PA online lottery went live June 2018New Hampshire — NH online lottery went live September 2018

In both cases — lottery and online gambling — there were a couple of first movers followed by a period of little action.

Will sports betting be more like DFS or gambling?

DFS proved to be something of an outlier in regards to the first wave, but even it followed the S.O.P. of gambling expansion as it reached its next wave.

The major question for sports betting is this: will the calendar tick over into the start of a second wave, or Will its wave spill over into 2019?

At this time, it looks like sports gambling will match or even exceed the rapid legalization of DFS

Having said that, it might also run into a few obstacles than DFS. States that passed on sports gambling in 2018 did so for a reason, and those reasons remain for 2019.

Questions like:

What are the stakeholder dynamics?Does the leagues are cut on by the country in with a royalty/integrity/data rights fee?Should sports gambling be retail-only or online?Should the country consider online gambling and/or DFS with sports betting?Is sports gambling an expansion of gambling which requires a constitutional amendment?

These are questions that came up during DFS debates, any one of which is capable of derailing sports gambling legislation.

Phil Hellmuth, daniel Negreanu Announced

Poker legends Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth are, unsurprisingly, among the earliest 34 players signed up for the upcoming $ Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas, according to tournament host Poker Central.

Daniel Negreanu SHRB

Phil Hellmuth and daniel Negreanu are among the participants at the upcoming Super High Roller Bowl. (Picture: YouTube)

A total of 49 entries make up the high-roller event, which takes place at the PokerGo Studio, creating a $14.4 million prize pool. The winner will receive $5 million.

Justin Bonomo, could make it a clean sweep of SHRB decorations in 2018 and wrapping up the season in poker history, will pursue another title.

Bonomo won the first SHRB Vegas in May for $5 million and also scooped the SHRB China in March for $4.8 million. As insane as this may seem, those were not even close to his win of the year. Where he took home an 10 million prize, that came in the $ 1 million buy-in WSOP Big One for One Drop.

In total, Bonomo has $25 million in cashes this season. As a result, with $43.4 million, he surpassed Negreanu as the all-time winningest tournament player. Once he is eligible in eight years and, barring a Full Tilt Poker-like scandal, he is almost assured a spot.

Winning SHRB V, which runs from December 17-19, would be icing on the cake.

Negreanu Seeks Revenge

Negreanu lost a game against Bonomo for the SHRB IV title. He’d like nothing more than to get a rematch and prove he could compete against arguably the best no-limit hold’em player on earth.

DNegs is one of a handful of players who has participated in all five SHRB’s since it launched in 2015. But he has one cash which is for $3 million.

Bonomo, along with Christoph Vogelsang and Erik Seidel, is just one of three players to cash in the Super High Roller Bowl. “ZeeJustin” also finished seventh in 2017 ($600,000).

Vogelsang has been in this prestigious event that is high-roller on a heater. The German sensation shipped it in 2017 for $6 million and then cashed in 2018 (fifth for $1.2 million).

Big Name Longshots?

The SHRB has room for 49 players and Poker Central has announced the first 34. Names we haven’t discussed include Phil Hellmuth, Dan”Jungleman” Cates, and present GPI Player of the Year leader Alex Foxen.

All four previous winners — Bonomo (2018), Vogelsang (2017), Rainer Kempe (2016), Brian Rast (2015) — are confirmed participants.

Hellmuth attempts to avenge his epic flameout in the SHRB of last year. He made some plays that were questionable after showing up for this $300,000 buy-in tournament fashionably late and was immediately removed. Poker Twitter was critical of his decision to arrive and questioned his ability to compete with the very best in the world anymore.

By winning his bracelet the Poker Brat briefly silenced the haters. But a title in a event such as the SHRB might shut them up for good.

Other notable entries: Fedor Holz, Isaac Haxton, Dan Smith, Cary Katz, and one of poker’s brightest young stars Nikita Badziakouski.

They are all likely playing for second to Bonomo, while these are all talented players, given how this season has gone.

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Michigan State Rep Hoping for Online Poker

We’re a half-decade into legalized online poker in america and just three measly states have launched their online gaming industries with a fourth — Pennsylvania — close to joining. That’s it. With all the hubbub about sports betting in the past several months, it seems like online poker is on the back burner. But as it happens, Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden is still working hard on getting online gaming going in his nation and still thinks there is a chance it could happen before the end of the year.

Iden Working Hard

Iden has been pushing House Bill 4926 for a couple years now, having first introduced it in September 2017. It obtained through committee and he had wanted to see it pass through the House by Thanksgiving of that year, but unfortunately, that did not happen. On the bright side, the bill carried over for this season, so he didn’t have to start all over again.

2018 has been more successful. Iden obtained his bill through the House in June, but of course still needs to get the full Senate pass it and then get the Governor’s signature. All in around three weeks. This is vital, as unlike this past year, the bill won’t roll over to 2019, as bills not to carry over to odd-numbered years in Michigan. Bills are efficiently alive for a couple of decades, so if it goes no further, Iden might need to start over next year. It is not like there would be no opportunity for internet gambling, but needing to restart the procedure from the very beginning is obviously much more difficult.

“We’re close to the finish line,” Rep. Iden told Online Poker Report,”and it is a top priority of mine to see it come through to the end.”

It’s Up to the Senate

The thing with the bill having passed the House is that Iden’s job is basically over and now he has to wait to see what the Senate does with it. I would assume he is talking to various Michigan state , but finally, he does not have a lot to do with the procedure any more.

Iden told Online Poker Report that Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is the key player, as he is the Chair of the Committee on Government Operations, which is where the bill is at the moment. The committee is not scheduled to meet, but Meekhof could make it happen if that’s what he needs.

“Being in front of his committee is a positive,” Iden told OPR. “Having the Senate majority leader oversee how these bills are handled is very important to the legislation because getting his blessing is crucial to get passage.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall is also significant, as he is a supporter of the bill in the Senate. Problem is, he is not returning to the Senate in 2019, therefore if the bill does not progress this season, Iden will need to hope he finds another Republican champion in the Senate.

One of the challenges for the bill is that while it is not absolutely necessary, it’s generally wise to have the nation’s stakeholders’ — especially the three commercial casinos and the Native American tribes — support. In late 2017, it seemed that the casinos were onboard, though at the middle of this season, tribes weren’t completely in favor yet.

Super High Roller Bowl, WPT Five Diamond Wrap Up Major Events for 2018

The season is coming to a close but two major tournaments stay before the ball falls: the Super High Roller Bowl and WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Both high-roller events happen in Las Vegas at MGM Resorts properties, and both have implications for GPI Player of the Year.

super high roller bowl

The Super High Roller Bowl and WPT Five Diamond round out the 2018 Key poker tournament schedule. (Image: Poker Central)

POY Implications at Stake

Much is at stake, other than money, in these final two events for specific high rollers. The 2018 GPI Player of the Year race is tight with seven players still in contention.

2018 GPI Player of the Year Contenders

Alex Foxen (USA) 3,836.72 pointsDavid Peters (USA) 3,776.97Justin Bonomo (USA) 3,763.02Stephen Chidwick (UK) 3,691.67Jake Schindler (USA) 3,625.15Steve O’Dwyer (USA) 3,531.55Adrian Mateos (Spain) 3,412.43

Expect most, if not all, to compete in both of the aforementioned tournaments. That means the race will probably come down to the wire.

Wait, did not we already see a Super High Roller Bowl this year?

No, you weren’t hallucinating. The 2018 Super High Roller Bowl did take place in May. Justin Bonomo, as he’s done in what seems like every high roller this year, won it for about $ 5 million.

But Poker Central decided the $300,000 buy-in championship is better suited for the winter. (You can watch the action live on the PokerGo program Dec. 17-19.) This will be the fifth SHRB, a championship that surfaced as a $500,000 buy-in event in 2015 (Brian Rast won it for $7.5 million).

Bonomo, whose $25 million in cashes in 2018 is a single-year record, has a chance to win three SHRB’s in 1 year. He took down SHRB China in March ($4.82 million) and the Vegas version two weeks later.

SHRB V will have 49 entries, generating a prize pool of $14.4 million with the champion again taking home $5 million. It’s a excellent opportunity for any high roller who’s in the red for the year to finish in the black.

Also in Las Vegas… a large Bellagio WPT $10k

A block away from the PokerGo Studio where the SHRB takes place, the Bellagio will sponsor the $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, among the most popular annual events on the tour.

We don’t typically give away poker information in our news stories, but if you opt to play with this event, it may be a great idea to avoid playing a big pot against Ryan Tosoc. The Illinois native won it in 2017, a year after completing runner-up.

In his past two WPT Five Diamond performances, he has won over $3 million combined, which accounts for 75 percent of his career live tournament winnings.

The event runs from Dec. 11-15. You can watch the final table livestream at WPT.com.

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Essential NY Lawmaker:’I Can Give Up Online Poker For Sports Betting’

NY sports bettingNY sports betting

New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow told Online Poker Report that he would give up his three-year pursuit of internet poker legislation if it meant New York could get sports gambling done.

This is not an either-or situation; Pretlow was just making a point regarding where online poker stands in comparison to sports gambling among his priorities entering 2019.

“I’d give up online poker for sports gambling,” Pretlow said. “If I had to make a choice, I’d choose this over online poker simply because the revenue flow is so much better doing this than online poker.”

A complicated history with online poker

As chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee, Pretlow has been introducing an internet poker bill since 2016. One might say he’s online poker’s champion in the New York Assembly, though it hasn’t always seemed that way.

The New York Senate passed online poker laws in 2016 and 2017, with Pretlow’s Senate counterpart, the retiring John Bonacic, passing him the ball to put through the hoop.

In 2016, Pretlow was unable to convince his colleagues that online poker was a game of skill because he wasn’t yet convinced himself. The next year, he had concerns over geolocation and anti-cheating technology.

From the end of 2017, Pretlow seemed ready to fully commit to pushing for internet poker. This season, with the aid of Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, he made a major push to get 51 Assembly members (47 Democrats, 4 Republicans) signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

At the close of the session in June, in a year that the Senate didn’t even pass its internet poker bill, Pretlow claimed that online poker was just eight votes from passing from the Assembly.

The cash is on sports

Apparently, all it would have taken to acquire online poker passed was a much better showing in neighboring New Jersey, where sports gambling revenue has grown fast.

“Online poker, I think that the revenue for the country is projected at $20-25 million, while this is $150 million minimum,” Pretlow said. “I have a much better argument for sports gambling.”

Sports betting can’t carry online poker

Early this season, there was thought to joining online poker with the sports gambling bill, with the US Supreme Court decision online sports gambling giving both the momentum to get through. Now, the thought is that sports gambling is too important to foul up with online poker.

“I’m going to introduce an internet poker bill, but I have to prioritize things and do one at a time,” Pretlow said. “I’m not going to tie them together.”

Pretlow contended that sports gambling”probably could help” online poker gain some momentum. It couldn’t hurt. But it doesn’t seem like a piggyback situation next year. The New York legislature is prioritizing sports betting, and online poker won’t be along for the ride.

Patrik Antonius Making Headway into Emergent India Poker Scene

Poker ace Patrik Antonius was among the celebrities invited to the 10th anniversary celebrations of Indian internet poker and gambling firm, Delta Corp Ltd..

Patrik Antonius

Patrik Antonius, seen here in a Partypoker Live occasion, was among the stars at Indian business Delta Corp’s 10th anniversary celebration aboard the Deltin Royale. (Picture: steemit.com)

Taking place on the Deltin Royale casino cruise boat in water from Goa, the event featured a mix of Bollywood performances and gambling action. Being India’s only recorded casino and poker company, Delta Corp. encouraged a number of the country’s top high stakes players for three days of revelry between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

Patrik Antonius Star Power

Topping the bill concerning poker ability was Antonius. The long-time pro from Finland could be used to nosebleed games in Las Vegas and Macau, but he found there was no lack of action on board the floating Indian casino.

For those in attendance, blackjack, baccarat, and local game teenpatti were on offer along with a choice of poker tournaments. Hosted by the poker website Adda52, the matches were an opportunity for people to find out how online gaming has changed since Delta Corp launched its first games on Casino Royale back in 2008.

“I am very humbled to celebrate this moment with Delta Corp.. I remember playing the first game hosted by Casino Royale back in 2008, and since then poker has aggressively been promoted by Delta Corp Ltd and is growing at a quick pace in the sub-continent,” said Delta Corp Head of Poker Manish Adnani.

Online Poker at India Advances

In hosting a lavish birthday celebration, the Indian poker and gambling company has shown once again that the local industry is growing. From a fledging market in the late noughties, India is now home to a host of homegrown and international poker brands.

As well as famous faces like cricketer Chris Gayle supporting Adda52, PokerStars entered the marketplace April. More recently, in the tail-end of November, Hippo52 and PokerHigh announced a merger.

Describing the changing condition of the industry, PokerHigh founder Mithun Rebello said that mergers and acquisitions will become more prevalent as India’s internet poker market evolves.

“Having been at the game from the early days, we’ve always believed that consolidation could be a natural next step for the industry in the years to come, and we saw this as a great opportunity to further cement our place in the market,” Rebello said.

Though poker in India is far from mature, it’s on its way to fulfilling the potential insiders have talked about for the best part of a decade. With a population of 1.3 billion and the seventh largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, India has the ability to become one of the top gaming markets in the world.

With Patrik Antonius helping to shine more light on Delta Corp’s achievements and the industry as a whole, further growth in 2019 is nearly inevitable.

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New York, Illinois One Of Prime Candidates For Online Gambling Legislation In 2019

2019 online gambling candidates2019 online gambling candidates

Sports gambling has been legalized in a handful of countries in 2018, and the District of Columbia is working on its own bill in the 11th hour.

In general, however, the year has largely been a dud for online gaming expansion.  Michigan is still flirting with legalization, but the calendar isn’t promising for online gambling in the Wolverine State this year.

As we’ve said many times previously, there is always next year.

We are on to 2019

With states ramping up toward 2019 legislative acts, gambling is expected to be one of the hotter topics. Much of the appetite originates from the May 2018 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for legalized sports gambling in the usa.

Sports betting will consume most of the oxygen in 2019, but online poker and casinos will stay on some countries’ agendas — just as they have for many years.

We got a little carried away after Pennsylvania passed a bill in 2017 and optimistically named 15 candidate says , albeit with the word”candidate” as judiciously as possible. While the subject did surface in at least a half dozen of these, not a single one passed online gambling laws  in 2018.

This year, the list of candidates we’ve compiled is more concentrated, as we attempt to separate the contenders from the pretenders.

Where’s online gambling likely to be discussed?

Once again, you can expect to see online gambling bills pop up around the nation in 2019. Legislation has previously been introduced in some of the most-populous US countries, and several of these are likely to take another swing at online casino and/or poker.

What’s more, with sports gambling (and online sports gambling ) a possible topic of discussion in dozens of others, there is a good chance online gambling is going to be thrown into the mix in some new locales.

At this moment, though, only a handful of countries can be considered decent contenders. That announcement is loosely bounded by the caveat that we’ve seen states come out of nowhere and introduce legislation before.

Which countries are real contenders?

In no particular order, here are the five leading candidates for online gambling in 2019:

OPR will take a deeper dive into each of those states in future articles.  Use this momentum tracker to keep up with the dialogue.

In the meantime, here is an overall barometer of where each state stands going into 2019.

Connecticut: Trying not to mix sports betting and online gambling

When Connecticut jumped into the sports gambling conversation in the summer of 2018, the state’s two gambling tribes endorsed the idea. They also endorsed the legalization of online gaming . That lead to some discussions about an omnibus approach to growth .

At the end of the day, however, the state chose to punt the issue into 2019.

Unfortunately, it does not look like the two issues will remain entangled. Back-channel chatter indicates the two will be decoupled going forward. It’s sports betting which has the momentum, regardless of the tribes telling the country that online gambling presents the greater opportunity for all involved.

With both tribes on board, however, the two issues may still coalesce if sports gambling legislation runs into any hurdles.

Illinois: Ongoing efforts for omnibus bill

Illinois has taken a stab at legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) and online gambling for many years running. Lawmakers have made some recent inroads by combining the two, along with sports gambling in 2018.

But these efforts ultimately fell short every time.

Sports gambling headwinds should drive the conversation forward in 2019, provided the country keeps online gambling and DFS tied to legislation. In that case, Illinois would be a good candidate in 2019.

Michigan: The new California?

Earlier this year, the Michigan House passed an internet gambling and sports betting bill. If the Michigan Senate does the same during the upcoming lame-duck session, then the remainder of this section will probably be moot.

The smart money is on the country falling short, however, just as it has since 2016.  It is not in California territory yet, but Michigan does resemble the Golden State when it comes to online gambling.

The likeness isn’t only because of its fondness of introducing but never passing legislation, but also the tribal-commercial casino dynamics that produce a key sticking point. And like their counterparts in California, lawmakers in Michigan may be growing tired over the lack of compromise so far.

There are also several other complicating factors that Michigan will need to address going into 2019:

The requirement for a new bill, and apparently starting the process over from scratchLegislative turnover and a new governor that will require getting new members up to speed on the issueThe loss of online gambling’s winner, Sen. Mike Kowall, in the Senate.New York: Let’s give this another shot

New York’s inability to pass an internet poker bill has been vexing.

Legislation has breezed through the NY Senate on multiple occasions, only to run into an invisible brick wall in the lower chamber. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the key lawmaker on gambling issues, has provided a carousel of explanations to explain the Assembly’s inaction.

Together with the state poised to take on sports gambling in 2019, online poker will most likely get another look. Just don’t expect the two issues to commingle. That is something Pretlow is not a fan of performing ; he prefers clean bills.

And like Michigan, New York is losing an internet poker winner , Sen. John Bonacic, to retirement.

West Virginia: Sleeper select that could come through

Whenever someone mentions West Virginia, the words”innovative on online gambling” don’t immediately come to mind. However, it is in fact one of the more progressive states on front. It had been the first to legalize sports gambling in 2018, remember, now poised to take its own industry online in the near future.

Furthermore, West Virginia has taken a look at online lottery and online gaming in the past, such as a relevant bill in both 2017 and 2018.

With the state continually searching for new streams of revenue and job creation, and with its own casinos facing stiff competition from neighboring countries, online gambling could be a good fit. As it has been to date, a fairly conservative legislature will continue to be the principal hangup.

The reticence to”enlarge” gambling could change, however, if lawmakers get a flavor of online sports betting’s consumer protections and earnings.

Phil Hellmuth is Teaching NBA Star Draymond Green How to Play Poker (AUDIO)

If he heeds his mentor’s advice, NBA winner Draymond Green might one day become a poker champion like Phil Hellmuth. On the Domenick Nati Show, which airs on the iHeartRadio app, the Poker Brat said he has been helping the Golden State Warriors ahead learn how to play poker.

Draymond Green Phil Hellmuth

NBA star Draymond Green is learning how to play poker from 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. (Image: USA Today Sports)

You may listen to the full interview on YouTube, which we have pasted below. But be warned, it is rather cringeworthy in parts, hearing a non-poker interviewer give Hellmuth multiple opportunities to boast about himself and namedrop.

It would be tricky to find a more competent poker trainer compared to the WSOP bracelet record-holder. Hellmuth, the 1989 world champion, has 15 World Series titles to his belt. Nobody else has more than 10.

Green has a similar demeanor on the court as Hellmuth does on the felt. Both pros are, possibly to a fault among the most competitive in their respective games.

Draymond has a history of becoming physical and verbal altercations on the court. Likewise, he has been suspended or fined a lot of times. Last month, he spent a match on the sidelines for feuding with teammate Kevin Durant.

Hellmuth, as you know, has quite an extensive history of being bratty at the poker table. It seems like these two might be the perfect match.

‘Helping with His Poker Game’

Nati, a celebrity publicist whose show covers news and celebrity interviews, asked the Poker Brat about his relationship with the NBA star.

“Draymond’s my boy,” the poker winner said. “I love him. If people knew who he really was, they’d love him.”

Hellmuth, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, is an avid Warriors fan. Being a wealthy poker celebrity has its perks. He not only sits court-side for home games, but also has a close relationship with the owners and a few players.

Hellmuth’s list of celebrity friends includes Green whom he is teaching how to become the next Phil Hellmuth.

“If you look at Draymond on the court for those that see the NBA and the way he gets very tilted when the ref makes a bad call,” Hellmuth said in the interview. “That’s kind of just like me in poker.”

Hellmuth referred to the Warriors forwards as a”great man,” and said he has been”helping him with his poker game.”

Phil did not mention specifics, but it is safe to assume the poker training does not include a course on game theory optimal strategy (GTO). That style of play surely contradicts his”white magic” philosophy which is based on emotion and informs more than math.

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Two Brats in a Pod?

Hellmuth did not mention in the interview how experienced Green is at poker. However, these two competitors certainly have a lot in common.

First off, they have”bratty” tendencies. Hellmuth often flips out over a bad beat like Green does if a ref makes a poor call. Actually, he gets angry any time the ref calls a foul on him, even if it’s the right call.

They also share a similar competitive fire and desire to win. Green does not give his team 20 points a night. He averages just nine points per game in his career. But he provides value in different ways, such as hustling after loose balls, grabbing offensive rebounds, and playing stellar defense.

Hellmuth is also an unconventional poker player, at least nowadays. While many are learning GTO strategies, Phil continues to believe in his”white magic” philosophy that has won him millions of dollars since the 1980s.

And it seems like despite constant criticism from the poker community for refusing to adapt to modern poker strategy, Hellmuth’s old-school mindset still works, at least on some level.

He proved that this past summer by extending his record to 15 WSOP bracelets, winning a $5,000 no-limit hold’em turbo event for $485,082.

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PokerStars Approved to Offer Online Poker in Pennsylvania

It’s official. PokerStars has been granted permission to operate in Pennsylvania once the nation’s poker sites go live, probably in 2019.

PokerStars Pennsylvania

PokerStars was given the green light by state lawmakers to operate in Pennsylvania. (Picture: pokerstars.com)

A date hasn’t yet been set for an internet gambling launch in the Keystone State. Last year, lawmakers finally passed legislation to legalize internet casinos after coming close the past couple of years.

However, Pennsylvania residents are still waiting to play. Many anticipated a summer or fall launch, but the licensing process has taken longer than anticipated.

PokerStars in Pennsylvania

Currently, New Jersey is the only state PokerStars works in. However, the world’s biggest and most popular internet poker site might soon have a larger presence in the US.

And that’s good news for the online poker industry in America. But some lawmakers in certain states have fought to keep the poker website out. That includes California, a state that will not likely pass internet gambling laws in the near future. Some politicians in the Golden State oppose approving a license for any poker website that operated in the US before Black Friday, which would remove PokerStars.

Pennsylvania lawmakers took a different stance. On Wednesday, the Keystone State approved a license for the internet poker giant. The Stars Group, together with Mohegan Sun Pocono, were granted permission to launch gambling websites. No launch date was set but many speculate early to mid 2019.

The new PA law requires that only land-based are eligible for iGaming licenses. But that will not stop PokerStars because the poker website is partnering with Mount Airy Casino, which is located in Mt. Pocono.

The Stars Group also recently announced a partnership deal with Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts, which could bring the poker website to more states in the future.

Name Recognition

When PokerStars entered the struggling New Jersey online poker market in 2016, many expected it would lead to a revival. Some even felt the other poker sites in the state would require a hit given the new competition.

But that hasn’t been the case on each front. Not only is PokerStars failing to dominate the New Jersey market, the world’s biggest poker site hasn’t done much, if anything, to assist the nation increase internet poker revenue.

So, it’s hard to predict the impact PokerStars will have on Pennsylvania’s poker industry. In May, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada agreed to some WSOP.com participant pool merger expecting to spike revenue for each state. Thus far, revenues have remained stagnant.

PokerStars has not yet been approved for a license in Nevada, which is nearing five years of supplying legal online poker in a state previously dominated by their own unregulated rival.

Online poker is a difficult industry to predict.

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