A Glimpse At The Future Of The Pennsylvania Online Poker Market

PA online poker futurePA online poker future

The Pennsylvania online gambling market is starting to come into focus, and from the looks of it, The Keystone State will have a robust online poker industry.

Nine Pennsylvania casinos applied for the three-category license that includes online poker, and another online poker license has already been scooped up in the next round of licensing.

So applicants are:

Parx CasinoHarrah’s PhiladelphiaMount Airy CasinoHollywood Casino in Penn NationalSands Bethlehem (on behalf of Wind Creek)Rivers CasinoSugarHouse CasinoValley Forge CasinoThe unbuilt”stadium casino”

The tenth casino to apply for an online poker license is Mohegan Sun.

But will every licensee launch an online poker site?

The amount of online poker applicants provides a glimpse into the amount of future operators.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulations, license holders cannot sit on their permits for an extended period of time:

“All interactive gaming certificate holders and interactive gaming operator licensees shall commence operations on the date established by the Board unless granted an extension by the Board, upon a showing of good cause by the interactive gaming certificate holder or interactive gaming operator licensee, up to 12 months from that date. Failure to commence interactive gaming operations within the time directed by the Board may result in administrative sanctions up to and including revocation of the certificate or license to operate interactive gaming in this Commonwealth.”

Having said that, it’s unlikely Pennsylvanians will have nine different online poker options when the business goes live.

The more likely scenario is a choice between three or four intra-state poker networks. All these networks would contain at least one of the state’s licensed operators. In layman’s terms, there will be a branded site for every licensee, but there will likely be less than a handful of operating platforms powering these websites.

Who will be operational in the state?

That begs the question, what online poker companies will jump in the Pennsylvania pool?

That will depend on a number of factors, such as:

Current presence in Internet Poker statesHow well positioned they’re in future online poker statesExisting relationships with casinos inside and outside of PA

Right now the anticipated choices are:

A couple of other possible players include:

Sizing up the competitionRush Street

Both of Rush Street’s Pennsylvania casinos (SugarHouse in Philadelphia and Rivers in Pittsburgh) applied for the three-category license. As such, the company will be launching multiple online poker websites. Those sites will almost certainly be powered by the same software and linked together.

Rush Street Interactive is thought to have created an in-house online poker platform. Up to now, no one has officially seen the finished product, but if its anywhere near the quality of RSI’s proprietary online casino platform used by PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey, it will be well received.

If, as is anticipated, Pennsylvania joins the existing New Jersey-Delaware-Nevada compact for multistate poker, an RSI online poker launch in New Jersey might also be in the cards. A New Jersey launch likely depends on how well-received the online poker platform is in Pennsylvania.

As mentioned above, Rush Street is currently an active player in New Jersey. It also has casinos in two other countries that are considered online poker contenders, New York and Illinois. That gives Rush Street plenty of opportunity to leverage interstate trades and become a formidable online poker operator as more markets open down the road.


888 has links to both Mount Airy and Harrah’s in PA, and because of its reach (888 is active in each state with legal online poker) it’s an attractive solution for any casino looking for an online poker partner.

The Mount Airy connection is officially official, and also one of the more intriguing, as the casino also has a formal partnership in place with PokerStars.

Today @MountAiryCasino confirmed both @pokerstars and @888casino will have online casino and online poker websites under the property’s license

— PlayPennsylvania (@PlayPANews) August 15, 2018

Our best guess at this time would see Mount Airy with an independently branded PokerStars site, as well as a Mount Airy branded site powered by 888.

The 888 site could also link up with Harrah’s (likely to be a WSOP.com branded site powered by 888) and some other 888 platforms in Pennsylvania.

And then there is 888’s current interstate online poker network that currently encompasses online poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.


PokerStars is officially coming to Pennsylvania (pending regulatory approval) through a partnership with Mount Airy Casino.

With one Pennsylvania casino partner already penciled in, coupled with its reputation as the top online poker operator in the world and the capacity to link up with its New Jersey site down the road, PokerStars is every bit as attractive an online poker partner as 888.

A Mohegan Sun-PokerStars venture would make all of the sense in the world. Mohegan Sun already has history working with Stars, as it runs Resorts Casino in New Jersey; PokerStars spouse in the market.

GVC / PartyPoker

Because of its deal with MGM, and as a result of MGM’s deal with Boyd Gaming, GVC is expected to launch in Pennsylvania through Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino (when the purchase is officially completed).

And like PokerStars and 888, GVC’s growing presence in US online gaming (largely due to its partnerships with MGM and Boyd) makes the company a very attractive partner.


IGT has submitted applications to function as an online gambling operator, and while the company isn’t known for its poker merchandise, it does have one, and it’s a pretty good one at that.

The platform is a revamped version of the BOSS Media online poker applications, and has some interesting features, especially the mobile client.

If it’s likely to become a player in the US online poker market, IGT has a lot of catching up to do, and getting its product into Pennsylvania would be a fantastic place to start.


Pala is another in-house online poker platform that could make an appearance in Pennsylvania.

The California tribe has spent years building a proprietary casino and poker platform, and has been shopping itself around as a B2B online poker platform provider ever since it established in New Jersey.

Despite the fact that Pala’s NJ online poker site hasn’t gained any traction in the highly competitive NJ online poker market, it could be a reasonable alternative for one or more of the Pennsylvania casinos that have online casino partners that enjoy a viable online poker platform.

Joe Ingram Music Video Prop Bet: 100K YouTube Views to Win $10,000

It is going to be a terrific summer for Joe Ingram if he can get 100,000 views by Sept. 6 on a YouTube music video he made for prop gaming functions.

Joe Ingram poker

Gus Hansen was the star of the first music video ever made by poker personality Joey Ingram, who hasn’t decided yet about what he’ll be wearing on the red carpet for the Grammys or MTV Music Awards. (Image: YouTube/JoeIngram1)

The poker podcaster and pot-limit Omaha enthusiast will win $10,000 when he hits 100,000 views on the video. Unfortunately,”Papi” does not flaunt his rap skills as the music is nothing more than Gus Hansen repeating the phrase,”it is going to be an excellent summer.”

Is it Going to Be a Great Summer?

We’ll allow you to judge Ingram’s music video creation abilities.

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Ingram received some criticism for his video on Twitter, but he admitted that putting together a Grammy Award-winning song wasn’t among his priorities.

“It is not supposed to be good. I did what I could myself,” he wrote in response to a critical fan.

I do not think the lyrics sound good but they’re there

— DJ Joey Ingram (@Joeingram1) August 15, 2018

Not everyone was negative towards the PLO specialist. Some seemed to appreciate his efforts and wished him good luck, including Scott Seiver.

Wonderful use of For the Damaged Coda at the end. GL!

— Scott Seiver (@scott_seiver) August 15, 2018

Trio Of Pennsylvania Casinos Get Online Gambling Approval: Parx, Harrah’s And Mount Airy

Three PA casinosThree PA casinos

Last month ended with nine of Pennsylvania’s casinos applying for interactive gambling licenses. At this morning’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board three of them were approved to provide interactive gaming.

All three will have the ability to give online poker. Most significant of these has become the Mount Airy Resort Casino which announced a partnership with PokerStars this week. Mt Airy also has a deal with 888 which dates back to 2015.

Mount Airy is relatively small compared to its peers, but it has big ambitions to stake out its place in Pennsylvania online gambling.

Pennsylvania’s new gambling laws make it possible for casinos to partner with numerous online operators and vice versa; operators can partner with numerous casinos. Mount Airy seems to have bagged two of the biggest names in US online poker and can anticipate a huge share of the online poker industry.

The regulations insist that Mount Airy’s title must be featured prominently on the poker rooms provided by 888 and PokerStars, so any internet traffic that they generate should also feed through to increased traffic in the live casino.

We also learned on Wednesday that Presque Isle Downs petitioned for online table and slots games only with the PGCB.

Harrah’s and Parx are also early starters

The other two approvals went to Chester Downs and Marina, LLC, operator of Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., operator of the Parx Casino.

All the three casinos will be allowed to provide:

Online slot machines;Online table games; and,Online poker

The other six permit applicants, together with any late applicants will be considered in the PGCB’s meetings in September and October.

PokerStars Pennsylvania to start in Q1 2019

Throughout The Stars Group Q2 earnings call on Monday, CEO Rafi Ashkenazi expressed his view that online poker would go live sometime in the first quarter of 2019, but couldn’t confirm the program, partly because the PGCB had not yet issued their approval.

Now that approval is confirmed, PokerStars might have the ability to launch at the first end of that time bracket.

Ashkenazi also told investors that the team also planned to provide sports betting in Pennsylvania. However, to date there have been no alarms that any of the casinos have applied for the $10 million sports betting licenses. News can be expected soon.

Harrah’s should bring WSOP online poker to Pennsylvania

As a subsidiary of Caesars, Harrah’s Casino is partnered with 888, and so we might have to wait to learn what 888’s plans are for launch its poker brand.

Theoretically, it could launch a Harrah’s 888 online poker room and a Mount Airy 888 online poker room, but more probable is that it will launch its own brand with one casino and launch a casino branded poker room using the 888 platform.

888’s close relationship with WSOP.com in both New Jersey and Nevada strongly implies that WSOP.com poker will even come to Pennsylvania. Again no specific announcements are made, but this forecast is near 100 percent certain.

Parx Might Not Be in the online poker business

The Parx Casino has partnered with GAN for online casino and sports betting, but doesn’t seem to have a natural poker companion yet.

PartyPoker‘s strategies for Pennsylvania remain undefined, but following its deal with MGM and Boyd Gaming it will partner with the Valley Forge Casino which Boyd is in the process of buying.

That leaves Parx short of a global online poker brand to provide. Maybe they’ve missed a trick, or just maybe they will pull a rabbit from the hat and declare a poker venture with someone unexpected.

The rollout process proceeds, but the next 3 months should see the shape of Pennsylvania’s online gaming environment become clear.

Brandon Eisen Outlasts Tough Final Table to Scoop SHRPO Championship for $771,444

A former November Niner, a life $5 million winner, and a WSOP bracelet holder all made the final table for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship event. But no one was able to outlast Brandon Eisen, an accomplished but relatively unknown grinder who left with $771,444, almost doubling his life tournament winnings.

 Brandon Eisen SHRPO

Brandon Eisen is the champion of the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and won $771,444. (Picture: SHRPO)

The $5,250 buy-in series finale event capped off a successful post-WSOP poker show in South Florida that saw top pros like Jake Schindler, Alex Foxen, and Ryan Riess leave with hardware.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, considered by many one of the best poker rooms east of Las Vegas, will host another major series, the Rockn’ Roll Poker Open, beginning Nov. 14.

Pros Flock to Florida

The 2018 SHRPO Championship event had 914 entries, generating a $4.4 million prize pool. Many top pros, including local legend Jason Mercier, were among the 115 players who cashed.

Notable Players in the Money

Cliff Josephy (114th) $7,758
Matt Berkey (105th) $8,733
Jeff Madsen (80th) $11,747
Mike Leah (63rd) $13,919
Jason Mercier (37th) $17,333
Shannon Shorr (28th) $20,037
John Racener (23rd) $28,637
Loni Harwood (19th) $34,045
Joseph Cheong (8th) $102,843
Jeremy Ausmus (2nd) $540,459

Tough competition continued when the final table began. Just about everyone there had an impressive poker record. Joe Cheong, 3rd place finisher in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, was quick to exit in 8th place after dropping a tough hand to Jeremy Ausmus, and he had less than kind words for his fellow November Niner. 

A10o < KJo aipf into the douche @jeremyausmus 8th. First 6fig score of the year at least

— Joseph Cheong (@subiime) August 14, 2018

New Jersey Sports Betting Revenues Outstrip Online Poker in July

New Jersey casinos and racetracks earned more than $3.8 million in revenue from sports gambling in July, a figure that is more than double the amount generated from online poker in exactly the same month.

New Jersey sports betting

Employees manage cash at the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack on July 14, the opening day for the place. (Image: AP/Julio Cortez)

The five sportsbooks that were active in the state during July took a total handle of almost $40.7 million over the course of the month. That amounts to about $1.3 million in gambling daily, up from $965,000 daily in June.

Quiet Sports Calendar Doesn’t Stop Growth

State and industry officials will likely be pleased with this level of growth, particularly in a month that’s traditionally slow for sportsbooks. With the World Cup ending in mid-July, and baseball All-Star break providing the quietest week of the entire year, a mid-summer lull makes it difficult to put these numbers in context or estimate how much larger they could grow in football season.

The month of July saw two new sportsbooks — the FanDuel Sportsbook in the Meadowlands, and one at Bally’s in Atlantic City — added to the three that were already in operation at Monmouth Park, the Borgata, and Ocean Resort Casino.

While Bally’s only begun taking bets on July 30, which makes it too late to significantly contribute to the revenue total, the Meadowlands sportsbooks has been an immediate success. Regardless of not opening until July 14, it surpassed its competition throughout the state, earning an industry-leading $1.36 million in revenue for the month.

That was great news for Meadowlands operator Jeff Gural, who said he considers the FanDuel-operated sportsbook should”dominate the market.” But he cautioned that the evolving New Jersey betting landscape could change the picture going forward.

“The true test will come when companies receive their sportsbook online, because that’s where most of the customers are expected to come from,” he told the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the two sites that launched the first sportsbooks in the state on June 14 — the Borgata and Monmouth Park — both saw their earnings decline in July despite having a full month to use. Monmouth Park saw a particularly large decline, as they took in $856,280 in July, compared to $2.28 million in June.

Monmouth Park chairman and CEO Dennis Drazin said that he expected a drop due to the MLB All-Star break, and that the William Hill-operated sportsbook was gearing up for the lucrative NFL season.

“We are pressing forward and spending more money to prepare for football season, including a big screen TV board that’s almost 75 feet long,” Drazin told the Asbury Park Press.

Online Poker Still Struggles

The numbers coming out of the nascent New Jersey sports gambling market show that despite downplaying expectations, sportsbooks could generate a lot more revenue than online poker from the state.

Internet poker brought in about $1.85 million during July. That is up about five percent from June, but still represents a worrisome eight percent year-over-year drop for the online poker industry in the state — especially considering online casino revenue grew nearly 30 percent compared to the previous July.

Meanwhile, sports gambling is poised to grow further. DraftKings recently launched the first online sportsbook program from the nation , while Harrah’s and Resorts AC will both show up on the brick-and-mortar sports betting revenue report for August.

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Arizona State Poker Championship Cancelled After Monsoon Knocks Out Power

The 2018 Arizona State Poker Championship was called off after a monsoon storm knocked out power and caused and significant flooding at the Talking Stick Resort.

Arizona State Poker Championship

An empty poker room was all that remained after a flooding forced the evacuation of the Talking Stick Resort, site of the Arizona State Poker Championship. (Image: Talking Stick Resort)

Officials had no choice but to cancel the state’s flagship poker event, despite the fact that the first flight had already been completed.

Day 1a of the 14th annual event got underway on Friday with 553 entrants, 90 of whom lived and were set to move on to Day 2. A total of three Day 1 flights were scheduled, but they failed to launch after a storm slammed the area, knocking out  electricity to the facility.

Last year’s $1,100 purchase event brought nearly 1,700 entrants, generating a prize pool of $1.7 million. Rellie Siga took down the top prize for $265,706 and a $30,000 Rolex watch.

It turns out he’ll be the defending champion for yet another year. Officials initially suspended the tournament in the hopes that it could be resumed at a later date, but the decision was ultimately made to cancel it outright.

Desert Storm

It was not only the poker players affected by Friday’s storm. The monsoon knocked out power to some 1,600 houses in the area and forced the evacuation of about 800 people from the Talking Stick Casino.

Heavy rain led to significant flooding in the 240,000-square-foot casino, and all that water not only knocked out the main power, but also killed the centre’s primary and backup generators.

“The lights were out and the power was out,” said Detective Joseph Orozco of the Salt River Police Department, according to AZ Central. “You don’t want to play with that in a building like that with so many men and women. We just wanted to be sure everybody is safe.”

Talking stick officials say they’re footing the bill to place the affected guests at other nearby hotels.   

Prize Pool Disbursement

The reimbursement routine isn’t quite as easy for the tournament directors. With the poker championship being called off entirely, officials need to determine what to do with the prize pool.

PokerStars faced some criticism from the way that it handled the cancellation of several online tournaments this past weekend. However, handling the identical scenario in regards to live events is a bit more complex, given that individuals come from all over the area to play.

On a post on their Facebook page, the resort announced that the 90 players that survived Day 1a will divide the $553,000 prize pool according to an ICM chip count which”will be announced at a later date.”

Players set to take part on the other two flights can find a complete refund by bringing their reception to the local Arizona Casino. Out of town players are asked to mail in their tournament ticket, and their refund will be sent by mail.

The casino is scheduled to reopen on August 19.

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NJ Online Casinos Post Record-Setting $25.9 Million In July Revenue

NJ Online Casino RevenuesNJ Online Casino Revenues

Editor’s note: New Jersey releases the gross revenue numbers for its regulated online poker sites and NJ online casinos each month, generally about two months after the end of the month.

The New Jersey online gambling market is scorching hot, reaching another all-time peak in July.  Operators combined to earn just shy of $26 million in total revenue across poker and casino platforms.

The figures continue an impressive bull run in 2018, rising past the previous record established in March.

New monthly records for complete online and casino-specific revenue.Total online gambling revenue exceeded $20 million for its 17th consecutive month.Online casino revenue alone exceeded $20 million for its seventh consecutive month.Total year-over-year revenue was up more than 25 percent from last July ($20.6 million).Cumulative online gambling revenue since launch is approaching $875 million, on pace to reach $1 billion this year.Other July 2018 highlightsGolden Nugget submitted the first-ever $9 million month in July. The market leader’s revenue came to $9,328,814 — a new record for any month.No other operator has ever cleared $5 million in a single month, but Borgata came awfully close in July. It generated $4.93 million in revenue, good enough to retain the silver medal.Another new kid combined the block last month. Ocean Resort Casino launched its online/mobile platform on July 10 and generated $250,000 in revenue for the partial month.The new guys are starting from the bottom. Hard Rock AC launched its platform at the tail end of June, so July represents its first full month of operation. Its online revenue came to $330,000. Caesars continues to reap the benefits of multi-state poker. The WSOP/ 888 Poker network moved to the market lead following expansion in May, and July online poker revenue of $728,000 was the most of any operator.Top line numbers

Revenue / month-over-month change (normalized for Additional day in June) / year-over-year Shift

Overall:  $25.9 million / +14.2% / +25.8%Casino: $24 million / +14.9% / +29.5%Poker: $1.85 million / +5.2% / -8.0%

Look at all those plus signs.

Internet poker revenue was up marginally from last month, though the year-over-year trend remains downward. Caesars was the only operator who posted a YOY profit in poker revenue once more, while the vertical was down close to eight per cent as a whole.

Internet casino revenue, on the other hand, is on an unstoppable upswing. Revenue inched across the 24 million mark in July, a new monthly record and a YOY growth of almost 15 percent. The market has quadrupled in size since the beginning of 2014.

The overall numbers are wildly impressive, generating a record-setting $25,897,517 in July revenue. Considering the trends, don’t be surprised if that mark only stands as the record for a single month.

Winners and losers

In alphabetical order, by license holder:

Borgata (Borgata, PartyPoker, Pala, MGM): Borgata had a slow June report, but actions have returned to normal in July. Network revenue is up almost across the board, save the YOY decline of more than 27 percent for online poker. Monthly revenue was up close to 20 precent across all verticals.Caesars (888, Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP): Caesars is once again the only online operator which showed YOY growth from the fighting poker vertical. Unlike casino games, the complete market for NJ online poker is barely half of what it was in 2014. WSOP/888 currently control about 40 percent of it.Golden Nugget (Golden Nugget, Betfair, SugarHouse): Golden Nugget established another new high-water mark for the business. After posting a streak of 8 million weeks beginning in March, it broke through the $9 million milestone. When will the Nugget reach eight characters in revenue?Resorts AC (Resorts, Mohegan Sun, PokerStars NJ): The Resorts group is the bronze medalist from the market. Its July revenue came to $3.9 million, with casino numbers up significantly in both monthly and annual comparisons. YOY online poker revenue is down, of course, unsurprisingly. Tropicana (Tropicana, Virgin): Tropicana was the only operator that revealed both MOM and YOY declines in revenue. That being said, $3.35 million in July revenue keeps it within reach of Caesars and Resorts.Detailed amounts by operator / merchandise Jul 2018June (-1 times )Difference month (NORMALIZED)July (2017)Difference year over yearBorgata poker$467,604$390,62019.71%$642,289-27.20%Borgata casino$4,463,799$3,774,01918.28%$3,143,53742.00%Borgata overall$4,931,403$4,164,63818.41%$3,785,82630.26%Caesars poker$727,842$842,093-13.57%$549,60832.43%Caesars casino$3,039,236$2,580,65017.77%$2,663,58614.10%Caesars overall$3,767,078$3,422,74310.06%$3,213,19417.24%Golden Nugget casino$9,328,814$8,648,7387.86%$6,249,75249.27%Hard Rock casino$329,650$5,755N/A$0N/AOcean Resort casino$249,805$0N/A$0N/AResorts poker$653,107$583,72111.89%$816,227-19.98%Resorts casino$3,287,300$2,885,18113.94%$2,934,30212.03%Resorts overall$3,940,407$3,468,90213.59%$3,750,5295.06%Trop casino$3,350,360$3,729,455-10.16%$3,586,241-6.58%Complete poker$1,848,553$1,816,4341.77%$2,008,124-7.95%Total casino$24,048,964$21,623,79711.22%$18,577,41829.45%Total overall$25,897,517$23,440,23010.48%$20,585,54225.80percent Eric RamseyEric Ramsey Eric Ramsey
Eric is a freelance reporter and writer covering poker, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports. He comes from a poker history, previously on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.

CardsChat Forum Members Jacki Burkhart, Kirsten Olieberg Book Wins on ‘Poker Night in America’ Ladies Night

The CardsChat community was well represented on poker livestreams lately. Last weekend, two of our forum members — Jacki Burkhart and Kirsten Olieberg — showed off their skills on”Poker Night in America,” and both were winners.

Jacki Burkhart CardsChat PNIA

CardsChat member Jacki Burkhart won big on her recent appearance on ‘Poker Night in America.’ (Picture: YouTube/Poker Night in America)

The favorite livestreamed poker show that airs in an edited version on CBS Sports Network featured two”Ladies Night” no-limit hold’em cash game sessions with $25/$25 blinds and a $2,500 minimal purchase.

Here is the forum thread where the CardsChat agents got ready to perform.

Tough Start, Big Finish

Burkhart, who is no stranger to playing in front of a camera using final tabled the 2018 WSOP Ladies Event (5th spot for $28,167), appeared on Friday’s session while Olieberg, a new CardsChat member, competed on Saturday evening in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.

Wearing a CardsChat patch, Jacki (aka”missjacki” from the discussion ) faced a difficult table on Friday night, competing against a lineup that included Danielle Andersen, Jamie Kerstetter, and 2018 WSOP Main Event 50th place finisher Kelly Minkin.

The session did not start well for Burkhart, a CardsChat forum member since 2013. At one point, she was almost felted. However, the poker player from Oregon persevered and not just acquired un-stuck, she turned an impressive $6,925 profit. Just Minkin, who won $14,700, conducted better.

Burkhart’s rebound began when a lucky river card hit in a $10,000 pot against Lily Kiletto. Holding K-4 on a 8-7-2 flop, Jacki unsuccessfully attempted to take the pot down with a wager as her opponent had top-two-pair.

However a K on the turn gave the CardsChat member some expect, so she called a wager from Kiletto. When the 4 hit on the river, giving Burkhart a better two-pair, she predicted a sizeable wager and took down a enormous pot.

Man in the Table?

On Saturday’s session, the women wore animal onesie costumes to the table.  CardsChat member Olieberg, dressed as a panda, while also sporting a CardsChat patch.

She played for more than six hours, mixing it up in many hands while turning a $2,300 profit.  Olieberg’s lucky runout that helped her out came in a hand against Lexy Gavin.  Olieberg flopped a poor flush draw but ended up hitting a straight on the river to win a $3,150 pot.

1 surprise happened when Randall Emmett, a movie producer and poker enthusiast who loves to pop in on different livestreamed poker shows and also wearing a onesie, joined the Ladies Night table.

Emmett is a likable, funny rich guy who is somewhat loose with the calls, however, so maybe it wasn’t a complete surprise when they let him buy in late in the session. However he ran rather well and finished the night turning a $7,375 profit. 

But the big winner of the PNIA two-session Ladies Night episodes was Danielle Andersen, who turned a small profit the first night, and finished up $10,250 the second.

More Rake is Better: PokerStars Scoops $217M in Online Poker Earnings for 2018 Q2

Maybe Daniel Negreanu is onto something when he indicates that”more rake is better.”  PokerStars reported $217 million in rake throughout 2018 Q2, a nearly 7 percent increase compared to last year.

PokerStars revenue 2018

PokerStars reported over $217 million in revenue from online poker throughout 2018 Q2. (Picture: androidpoker.co.uk)

Still Crushing the Online Poker World

PokerStars published a financial report that exhibited earnings generated during the second quarter of the current fiscal year. And by all accounts, the world’s largest internet poker site is continuing to flourish.

The financial report launch comes at a time once the poker site has taken some heat for a recent Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack that caused players to get locked out of their accounts during tournaments that were subsequently cancelled consequently.

Many poker players whined on social media concerning the technical issues that cost them money. But PokerStars answered the telephone by ensuring those affected by the DDoS attack would be given a tournament buy-in refund.

That form of customer service is to be anticipated from online poker’s leading brand. And it might be part of the reason the poker site is still making money years after the 2011 Black Friday scandal, despite the existence of American players.

During Q2, PokerStars reported $217 million in revenue from poker games, more than $14 million better than its performance over the same period in 2017.

Profitable Strategic Shift?

In recent decades, PokerStars has ventured into other forms of online gambling (sports gambling, for instance ) And unlike in company’s early days, poker today only represents some of total revenue — nearly 52 percent to be more exact.

The Stars Group reported that 48 percent of its general revenue came from non-poker gambling games. As the business model gears more towards the all round gamblers and recreational poker players, the company may rely less heavily on poker than in year’s past.

However, Stars Group continues to generate more money from poker than any other poker site on earth. PokerStars hasn’t seen much competition in the online poker market since Full Tilt Poker imploded following Black Friday.

Sites like Partypoker and 888 are trying to supply some competition but with more than a reported 2 million active, real-money gamblers playing on the Stars Group’s brand of sites, it is obvious there isn’t any true competition.

Despite losing many high profile ambassadors like Jason Mercier and Vanessa Selbst within the past year, and getting some bad publicity for shunning the loyal experts in favor of the amateur players,

Convicted Thief Wins GUKPT Manchester Main Event, Tax Authorities Want His Entire $95,000 Payout

A 26-year old poker player from England ran fairly good in March, winning the 2018 Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour Manchester primary event for more than $95,000. But last week, his variance arrived.

Adam Lulat

Adam Lulat had his best tournament performance of his life when he won a UKGPT occasion for nearly TK. (Image: TK)

Adam Lulat outlasted a field of 241 entrants in the #1,000 + 110 primary event at the 2018 GUKPT Manchester, which ran from March 1-4 at the Grosvenor Casino.

He entered the final table with the chip lead and proceeded to beat fellow Brit Gary Whitehead in heads-up play to take home the trophy and a #68,930 payout (about $95,000 in the time).

But then talk about a slow roll, nearly six months later, he would learn of a UK court’s order for Lulat to refund all the money he won to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the British tax collector, who say that he owes money to his victims, nevertheless, from a crime committed in 2010 and 2011. 

Taxman Cometh

Lulat had pleaded guilty in September 2015 to money laundering, and obtained a 28-month prison sentence for his involvement in laundering #40 million ($51.2 million). He and his co-defendants were ordered to refund 590,000 they admittedly stole, but Lulat, deemed to have no money or resources worthy of seizure, had to cover just #1, according to the BBC.

Upon learning of his good fortune at the poker table, the court raised that amount to #71,770 — to account for his tournament winnings and #2,840 he had in a bank.  If he fails to settle the complete evaluation within three months, he faces an additional 15 months in prison.

“Lulat thought he’d aced the championship but we had the better hand in the long run,” HMRC Assistant Director of Fraud Investigations Debbie Porter said. “We will not permit tax fraudsters like Lulat to enjoy their winnings until they have repaid what they have stolen from the taxpayer.”

Criminal Past

The scheme Lulat was found guilty for being part of conducted from September 2010 to November 2011. According to HMRC, he and a group of cohorts”fabricated businesses to make fraudulent VAT repayment claims against multiple EU member states using a complex web of transactions.”

Lulat was found to have made over #237,000 because of his involvement. 

The Lancashire Post reported that Lulat was detained for 28 months in September 2015, but his Hendon Mob page reveals two live cashes — in November and December 2016 — during the time he would have been in prison.

CardsChat was unable to confirm any conditions of furlough or parole which might have allowed him to perform the event and found no record of any prison escapes in England during this time.

Lulat’s nearly $100,000 score in the GUKPT Main this season is far and away his biggest recorded tournament money, and his first in nearly two years, based on Hendon Mob.

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