Government Inquiry into Online Poker in Australia Offers Hope of Regulation

The legalization of online poker in Australia could hinge on research into is “relative benefits and harms” according to a report from the Environment and Communications References Committee.

Senator David Leyonhjelm online poker.

Senator David Leyonhjelm has provided testimony for a recent government inquiry into poker. (Image: skynews.com.au)

Following ban on online gambling and the acceptance of Australia’s Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016 from the Senate in August 2017, a report into the future of this industry was published.

Communications References Committee and the Environment has published its recommendations with poker urge Senator David Leyonhjelm compelling an inquiry into a possible exception for internet poker.

Inquiry Takes an Assortment of Opinions

Scheduled for release on September 14, Australians in Online Poker inquiry’s Engagement was ready on October 18. Designed to assess the pros and cons of regulating the market, submissions were received by the question from several sources.

Besides testimonies from Leyonhjelm, members of this committee reviewed evidence and opinions from the likes of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance who called the current ban “paternalistic” and “patronizing.”

Supporting this view, founder of the Australian Online Poker Alliance (AOPA) Joseph Del Duca argued that taxpaying citizens should have the right to play as they wish if it’s not harming anyone else.

Beyond the remarks the question took some of the differences between poker and casino games. Luck was mentioned as the main differential because of a study by the University of Rotterdam that suggested skill is a “highly predictable indicator of achievement” in poker.

A New System Could Prove Positive

In summary, the governmental committee made two initial recommendations based on its own query. The first called for a wait and see strategy following the implementation of the National Consumer Protection Framework.

The framework is expected to be implemented later this year and could offer a beginning point for a form of internet poker. Leyonhjelm himself has acknowledged that the current system is not adequate and has called for the creation of a regulatory body similar to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

The committee’s second recommendation was that research into the impact of no regulation and regulation needs to be carried out. Within the report, committee members noted the lack of evidence regarding the personal and social impact of problem gambling and poker.

The committee has suggested the Department of Social Services looks into the matter, although supporters of this game have argued that such issues do not exist. It’s a step in the right direction and one that should give players something, although the question is able to recommend a route to regulation.

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Abilene Armed Robbery Possible Retaliation Over Poker Game Dispute

Abilene, Texas police say Douglas Sims sought retaliation over a poker dispute when he, along with five others, allegedly helped in the robbery of a poker game at a local business in the town of about 117,000 which sits 180 miles west of Dallas.

Abilene, Texas poker home game armed robbery

Six people, including Jamar Sims (top left), Chazsman Small (top centre), and Douglas Sims (top right), were charged in connection to an armed robbery at an October 4 poker game in Abilene, Texas. (Picture: fox15abilene.com)

October 4 the incident occurred and the suspects got away with an estimated $8,000 in cash and items stolen from participants in the poker game, two of whom were senior citizens.

However, the perps reserved for their alleged crimes and been apprehended. Sims is charged with possession of a firearm, which is a felony.

Others, Jamar Sims (Douglas’ son), Michael Payne, and Chazsman Small, were slapped with aggravated robbery charges, also felonies.

Jamar Sims has posted bond and been released. The three other suspects remain in custody.

How it Went Down

Court documents indicate Douglas Sims was planning the prosecution for months. He told an unnamed person in September that he was “tired of being treated differently from the other players by DJ,” but it’s unclear who “DJ” actually is.

“If DJ didn’t begin showing him more respect that he was going to shut down the place,” he continued.

On October 4, police allege, Sims arrived at the poker match but was “acting erratic” during the semester. One witness told authorities that the accused was eyeing cash on the tables to get a feel for how much money was in the room.

Sims left the session earlier than usual, and 30 minutes later, Payne and Jamar Sims entered the room with weapons and demanded that match participants give them money. They left with approximately $8,000 worth of goods and stolen cash.

Mounting Evidence

Douglas Sims’ behavior may have helped police and the crime connect him. Video surveillance shows the poker player sending a text message after examining a cash drawer.

The robbers were unknown to police before the incident. But surveillance video at the business picked up the two accomplices who entered the room, and the getaway car driven by Small.

Jamar Sims was identified by one. He said he recognized him at another poker game from a prior incident. The dominos all fell into place and police were able to apprehend each person they thought was connected to the offense, once he had been identified.

Public records indicate Jamar Sims, 26, was arrested August 22, the birthday of his father, and released for possession of marijuana.

Jamar’s 45-year-old father and fellow co-conspirator has a criminal record in Abilene. Based on Taylor County Jail records, he’s been sent to the slammer times, when pulled over for a traffic violation, and now possession of a firearm, for offenses ranging from cocaine possession to evading police.

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Best PA Senator: ‘If All Of The Stars Align’ Gaming Bundle With Online Gambling Could Watch Vote

Stars align PA online gambling

A revised gaming bundle legalizing Pennsylvania online casinos and poker could be prepared to progress from the state Senate as soon as Monday, seeing a vote by midweek, according to that chamber’s majority leader.

That would occur in tandem with different pieces of an over-arching revenue package designed to plug a shortfall of more than $2 billion in the state budget, according to Sen. Jake Corman, speaking to the media this week.

“If all the stars align we’ll be ready to do all that and be done by Wednesday,” said of a bundle of revenue-creating bills, including one dealing with gaming. Gambling was not mentioned by him but it seems clear at this stage it’ll be a part of any gaming package moving.

As the Senate is going to amend a home package passed in June the gaming piece of the puzzle would need to return to the House and be accepted by that chamber. But negotiations on the gaming bundle have been going on for weeks behind the scenes.

And conventional wisdom says whatever emanates in the Senate will likely have the support of a majority in the House. However, that’s not a given, given the mercurial nature of discussions over just about anything.

The latest gaming, on the PA budget

Sen. Jake Corman held a press conference this week to update the media on his chamber’s position on the continuing state budget issues the legislature is dealing with.

Two weeks ago, hopes for a budget deal appeared to be on life support, when a deal in the House imploded. However, those hopes were revived when the House returned this week and appeared to break the legislative logjam. That chamber passed a revenue package that depends on borrowing against future tobacco settlement revenues.

When it returns to session now, it’s up to the Senate to act. Corman also talked broadly about the budget. He intimated that the Senate, if it were to act on the House revenue bill, wouldn’t be likely to amend it. The ability to get a vast majority of House agents to accept even a modified version of the bill of the week will be in doubt.

Regardless, Corman was speaking about things going into next week’s status.

The gaming Part of the puzzle

Corman also spoke about a few of the nuts and bolts of the gaming bundle. That discussion is noteworthy, because the majority of the chatter of late has been through back channels.

VGTs in PA

The biggest development? Corman said controversial video gaming terminals (VGTs) privately establishments were no longer in play.

“We passed a (gaming) bill earlier in the year that had a significant quantity of votes. I am not sure there are a whole lot of fresh ideas that have come into play,” Corman said. “There won’t be a VGT component to this proposal in any respect. I know that there was discussion of VGTs at truck stops, that won’t be a part of any bill that comes out of the Senate.”

Satellite casinos

Corman did indicate that so-called satellite casinos slot facilities not at taverns and bars — were very much in play.

“The only really new component is ancillary facilities that could be opened up round the commonwealth,” Corman said. “So we’re going to work through this to see what we get.”

Money from gaming?

Corman spoke about not counting cash from gaming. The latest House plan appears to account on $265 million in new revenue.

“There are some concerns on some of the competitive estimates on gaming,” Corman said. “So whether we could attain the number of dollars that this proposal may request, I think is competitive and may be tricky to do, particularly this late in the year.”

He stressed that adding things to the gaming bill only for the sake of earnings that was new wasn’t something.

“I wish to make sure in regards to gaming we do the best public policy and whatever that amount accumulates, good, but I am not going to keep setting policy to try and reach a high number,” Corman said.

“The recurring amount was particularly high in the next year in [the House’s] assumptions. Whether this can be achieved or not, I don’t understand. In the scale of a $33 billion revenue package that funds our state budget, you are only talking about a few hundred million here, so it is a fraction of what we will need to achieve.”

What’s in the gaming bill?

Online Poker Report understands that the bill that’s likely to be advanced will include online gambling, daily fantasy sports, tablet gaming at airports and satellite casinos.

IGaming and the satellite casinos will be relied on to generate the majority of the new earnings the legislature is looking to raise.

What is next for PA?

When the Senate returns, we’ll be on the lookout for action on several fronts, including the most important revenue package (H 542) and the gaming bill (H 271).

The gaming part is in the Senate Rules Committee. That body is not scheduled to meet. If this committee is convened and the bill surfaces there with an amendment and a vote, then things could occur.

But given how things have fallen apart in the past on the budget and gaming, reading horoscopes if the stars align to see could be in order.

Chris Ferguson, Other POY Nominees in Czech Republic for WSOP Europe 2017

Chris Ferguson made his way to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic for Day 1A of the first 2017 WSOP Europe event on Thursday, a $1,000 ($1178) buy-in Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a $500,000 guarantee. The man often known as “Jesus” is attempting to secure his WSOP Player of the Year (POY) lead, but some of his closest competitors also made the trip.

Chris Ferguson POY WSOPE 2017

Chris Ferguson, aka Jesus, is pursuing Player of the Year (POY) while in WSOPE 2017 from the Czech Republic this week. (Image: beatthefish.com)

Daniel Negreanu (717.76) set out a pre-summer goal of winning POY and is now in 8th place. But he announced he won’t make the trip to Europe and will concede another poker pro victory. Ditto for Monnette.

Can Jesus Be Stopped?

With a likelihood of catching Ferguson out, that leaves only a couple players with Monnette and Negreanu. And there are many in the poker community who want to see the man they feel is in charge of the Full Tilt Poker scam in 2011 fail.

Ferguson hasn’t spoken to the media since returning following a hiatus, so it was not a given he’d compete in WSOPE. He arrived at on Thursday at Event #1 but did not last long and was one of 75 players out of 90 on Day 1A .

In this tournament, players are eligible to reenter on Day 1B and/or 1C. Jesus didn’t enroll for Day 1B on Friday, leaving him only one more opportunity to money in this event, which would be his career WSOP 18th and money this year, a record.

John Racener, 4th on the POY leaderboard, also was removed on Day 1A, but reentered the 1B session. Ferguson was tied by the 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up in the summer series in Las Vegas with a record 17 cashes.

Hughes Advances to Day Two

Ryan Hughes made his way with 81,500 chips, a stack. He ranks 2nd in the POY standings, only 22 points behind Ferguson. It any money in Event # 1 would propel him but we will have to wait before knowing for certain, until registration closes.

Following this tournament concludes there will be 10 more opportunities for contenders to stand up Player of the Year points, including the November 4 $10,500 Main Event series finale.

Ferguson winning POY won’t sit well with many poker players, particularly those who had to wait to receive a payout. Without finishing in 1st place at a WSOPE event if he wins the award, he will become the first to win POY without scooping a bracelet.

None since winning a pair of tournaments in 2003, although Jesus has five career bracelets.

WSOP Player of the Year Standings Entering European Series

1 Chris Ferguson (United States) 898.46
2 Ryan Hughes (United States) 876.35
3 John Monnette (United States) 865.21
4 John Racener (United States) 853.16
5 Raymond Henson (United States) 768.49

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NJ Online Poker Check-In: PlayMGM Poker Launch And Player Pools Combining

PlayMGM poker

Here’s a look at what’s new in the world of NJ online poker websites, including the launch of PlayMGM Poker, the Garden State Super Series, along with the possibility of player pools joining with Nevada and Delaware.

WSOP / 888

Significant changes/announcements: Player pools will eventually be joining for New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware online poker, even though the timeline is not known yet. Last week, WSOP NJ held an internet Fall Poker Festival in Nevada with eight occasions and $90,000 guaranteed. No information was found regarding NJ was omitted from having an series also.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: None

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news: The, $ stays off the schedule. And WSOP NJ didn’t have an series. But player pools combining in the future is a fantastic thing to anticipate.

Players will enjoy prize pools, and players will be attracted to the possibility of a new and more healthy online poker landscape. The three states combining prize pools will hopefully also serve as inspiration for other states to follow suit.

There are lots of queries such as:

How will they handle displays not being permitted in Nevada but permitted in NJ?
What happens to players with accounts in states?
Will players in NJ have the ability to perform with the WSOP satellites which operate every summer online in Nevada?

I am also hoping that this will result in a better relationship between their partners that are land-based and websites, so that we’ll begin to see satellites that are online around the country in the WSOP Circuit events.

WSOP has a real edge when it comes to capturing the internet market since the Caesars / WSOP brand is visible in numerous states. The cohesiveness lacks, and so does the message, although there’s so much that could be done to attract players on the internet and in the casinos.

Borgata / PartyPoker / PlayMGM

Significant changes/announcements: PlayMGM Poker is starting this week and is running six weeks of satellites Oct. 22 through Dec. 3 to the $10,000 WPT Bellagio 5 Diamond Classic. That event will be held in Las Vegas, Dec. 5-10. The October promotion of a bonus 215 in championship bucks  if you play all five of the Sunday $40,000 guaranteed tourneys at   PartyPoker NJ / Borgata at the month is still running. You get 100 tournament bucks for playing four, and 50 championship dollars for playing three.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: The Tuesday $215 buy/$5,000 guaranteed is currently a $215/$7.5k. This Sunday’s $215/$40k is a $215/$50k in celebration of PlayMGM Poker.

Upcoming online series: The Garden State Super Series (GSSS) is running Oct. 15-22.

Good news/bad news: The GSSS schedule is jam-packed and culminates with an impressive Sunday offering of a $320/$100k in addition to (and not instead of) a $215/$50k to celebrate PlayMGM Poker. The $109/$10k is also a wonderful addition and would be wonderful to see in some form on a weekly basis.

The inclusion of PlayMGM Poker to the NJ market is intriguing because the software has more updates than PartyPoker clients and the Borgata and is newer. I spoke to Borgata ambassador Michael Gagliano, and he said that he liked the program’s “smooth texture and look.”

It’s also exciting they’re kicking things off10k event. Beginning and running for six weeks are nightly step tournaments from $10 to $55 to $535. This is a excellent example of Borgata/Party/PlayMGM listening to the players’ suggestions and doing what is helpful for the poker community, as well as efficiently bringing live and internet players together.

PokerStars

: The Sunday Warmup $50 buy/$ stayed off the schedule through the end of the NJ Championship of Online Poker. Also on Sunday in PokerStars, the $500 NJCOOP Main Event took the place of the $500 High Roller, there was no 2nd Chance $100/$4k. The $100/$12k was replaced by a $100/$15k Win the Button tournament. A $50/35k conducted alongside the main event.

New tournaments: None

Prize pool/Structure changes: None

Upcoming online series: TBA

Good news/bad news: The Sunday Special live tournament held at Resorts Oct. 6-8 was an enjoyable event and pleasant atmosphere. Some satellites that were terrific ran for this event and hosts events that were live well. I am hoping that we’ll see a lot of them here.

Poker as Olympic Sport No Longer Far-Fetched Idea, But Pole-Dancing Getting More Ink

Is poker only a game or is it a sport? That question has been debated for years, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is now giving poker consideration, along with other “non-sport sports” such as pole-dancing, to be included in future Olympic games.

Poker possible future Olympic sport

A version of poker is being contemplated for future Olympic games, but it has many hurdles to jump before it can get there. (See what we did there?) (Image: 888poker. com)

On poker, ESPN poker columnist Gary Wise asked 50 poker players their ideas in 2010 becoming an Olympic sport. The answers varied.

“No, it’s not a sport. Sports involve athleticism,” PokerStars pro Barry Greenstein opined.

“I don’t think poker is a sport. It’s the best game on earth, but it’s not a sport. The Olympics is the place for sports without leagues. Poker has its own place,” the now-far-less-visible Howard Lederer said.

“Yes, it should be at the Olympics. It’s a sport like any sport and every country can send players who represent that country,” argued Antonio Esfandiari.

What Does “Sport” Really Mean? What the Merriam-Webster Dictionary claims:

“An activity involving physical exertion and skill where an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Matching Up for Team Play

If poker is approved as an Olympic sport, the game played will be “Match Poker,” a version that adds a team element to Texas hold’em.

Each team or, in this case has one player at each table. The pre-flop betting structure is pot-limit and additional rounds of betting are no-limit. Rather than earning money, each team member accumulates points.

After every hand and points are allocated based on the amount of chips lost or won on the hand each team chips are compared. Chip stacks are reset to starting size.

Competitors will not invest their money, eliminating the gaming element. That means people of all ages will have an opportunity.

Also Under Consideration

The International Olympic Committee is also considering adding pole dancing (nope, that’s not satire), dodgeball, kettlebell, arm wrestling, foot golfing, and foosball.

The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) granted observer status to the International Federation of Match Poker, which permits poker to be considered for future Olympic games.

“We warmly welcome our first Observers,” Patrick Baumann, the president of GAISF, said in a statement regarding the potential new Olympic sports. “This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realize their full potential as International Federations within the worldwide game’s family and, one day, possibly eventually become part of the Olympic program.”

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic games are already all set, with softball, karate, surfing, sport climbing, and baseball’s return being added to the summer lineup. So, that means poker, if approved, will not be contained until at least 2024.

But that’s assuming sports that are current are removed. New Olympic sports are only added as a replacement.

Poker is now in a similar boat as chess. Both are considered “mind games,” which has prevented chess gaining Olympic status. The International Olympic Committee imposed a ban on “mind sports.”

Are the limited physical actions involved in playing poker to dissuade the committee from giving the game a place at the Olympic table? And what about the “ability” aspect as defined by the dictionary?These are the questions that must be answered by the decision makers before poker is approved as the next Olympic sport.

That is if they could take their eyes away from the pole dancers enough to give it some thought.

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EPT12 Prague Champ Hossein Ensan Wins WSOPC International Rozvadov Main Event

Leading up to This 2017 World Series of Poker Europe, which kicked off today, the WSOP International Circuit Rozvadov played out inside King’s Casino.

EPT12 Prague Champ Hossein Ensan earned his career in Rozvadov’s score together with a shiny gold WSOP ring. (Image: WSOP)

A dozen golden rings were awarded, including former EPT champ Hossein Ensan, who emerged victorious.

Hossein Ensan Wins Main Event

The $1,650 WSOP International Circuit Rozvadov Main Event drew at 672 entries, which generated a $ 957,600 / $ 1,134,933 prize pool. Given the tournament that meant there was a $42,400/$50,216 too available to players.

Hossein Ensan wound up taking an overwhelming chip lead into heads-up play against 28-year-old Jan Jobmann, and discharged his opponent. In what could be the final hand of the tournament, Ensan limped the button holding the 8♦7♦ and Jobmann assessed with his Q♦3♦.

The 10♦4♦two♣ flop gave both players a flush draw, and the chips went in. The 9♥ turn gave Ensan an open-ended straight draw, but it’d be the 8♠ on the river that would give him the win.

Before the victory, the 53-year-old Ensan had $2.1 million in championship win, of which $825,151 came from winning the EPT12 Prague Main Event back in 2015. For finishing third in the 2014 EPT11 Barcelona Main Event, in addition, he earned a 860,091.

“I am pleased to be here. That was four times with players that are terrific and it was tough. But now I am just very happy,” Ensan told tournament director   Jack Effel after the win.

Among the 71 players to cash but fall short of the final table were Brandon Cantu (14th for $10,342/$12,257), Jaroslaw Sikora (30th for $5,554/$6,538), Phil Hellmuth (56th for $3,639/$4,313), and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (69th for $3,639/$4,313).

It’s worth noting that Ben Bensimhon, who recently did an exclusive interview with CardsChat about his WSOPC International Holland win, captured his second ring. He did so by topping a field of entries, such as Brazilian ace Felipe Ramos in heads-up play2: Monster Stack to win $69,550/$81,629.

Final Table Results
1 Hossein Ensan (Germany) $184,812/$219,036
2 Jan Jobmann (Germany) $116,444/$138,008
3 Ritat Gegic (Germany) $83,407/$98,853
4 Davit Okropiridze (Georgia) $65,691/$77,856
5 Pavel Stolar (Czech Republic) $51,615/$61,173
6 Viktor Kovachev (Bulgaria) $40,315/$47,781
7 Michael Magalashvili (Israel) $30,356/$35,977
8 Viliyan Petleshkov (Bulgaria) $21,163/$25,082
9 Tomas Fara (France) $16,758/$19,861

2017 WOSPE Kicks Off

Now that the WSOP International Circuit Rozvadov is complete, King’s Casino will play host to the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe, which kicked off with Day 1A of the $1,100 Monster Stack. It marks the first of 11 bracelet occasions.

Other highlights on the 19-day festival program include Event #5: $550 The COLOSSUS (October 27-November two), Event #8: $1,100 Little One for One Drop (November 1-4), Event #9: $25,000 High Roller (November 1-2), Event #10: $111,111 High Roller for One Drop (November 3-5), and $10,300 buy-in, $5 million GTD Main Event (November 4-10).

In reference to the One Drop High Roller, 84 players have confirmed their participation including power couple Igor Kurganov, Bobby Baldwin, and Gus Hansen and Liv Boeree.

This marks the first time the WSOP Europe has been held at King’s Rozvadov after having previously been held Spielbank Berlin (2015), Casino Barriere (2013), and Casino in the Empire London (2010).

Earlier this year, the WSOP announced a partnership with King’s owner Leon Tsoukernik, who has come under fire as of late for not honoring his gaming debts. With a minimum of 10 bracelet events each stop, King’s Casino Rozvadov will sponsor the WSOP Europe in 2019 and 2017 included in the deal.

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This Year Illinois Online Gambling Legislation May Still Have Breath

According to Online Poker Report, it is extremely possible that a few online gambling bills may be looked at in some brief veto sessions in Illinois coming up next week and in November. These sessions, which will only be from October 24th to October 26th and November 7th through November 9th, are used mainly for state lawmakers to review bills vetoed by the Governor, but a few other bills that have not even gotten into the Governor’s desk are sometimes considered, also.

In June, the Illinois State Senate passed a piece of legislation that would have legalized and regulated online gaming — such as poker — and daily fantasy sports (DFS). The bill dominated, also, passing by a whopping 42-10 vote.

The bill approved race tracks and licensed casinos to apply for online gambling licenses. Taxes would have been 15 percent on gross gaming revenues, but for the first five decades, the first $100 million in revenues would have been taxed at only 10 percent. Unfortunately, there was also a “bad actor” clause in the bill, which disqualified any operator that “accepted wagers via the internet in contravention of this act or in contravention of any law of the USA.”

That’s PokerStars.

As fantasy sports, the tax portion would have been on a scale for. The taxes were listed at 5 percent on the first $1 million in gross gaming revenues, 7.5 percent on revenues up to $3 million, 10 percent for the portion up to $8 million, and 15 percent over 8 million. Licensing fees grow to a maximum of $ and would be only $ 500 for operators that make less than $ 100,000.

Though you probably guessed that by now the bill stalled out in the House. There was really a chance that Governor Bruce Rauner could have vetoed the bill, as when he ran for office in 2014, he said he didn’t want to expand gambling in Illinois. Illinois faced a nearly $10 billion deficit, so any tax income would have been welcomed.

Online Poker Report says that three bills could maybe be considered. H 479 was the one passed by the Senate sitting in the House. This week S 209 was known to the Gaming Subcommittee of the House Executive Committee. And there is S 1531, yet another bill moved to the House floor to the House, this one.

Since it is the most complete and furthest H 479 would logically have the opportunity to do something and could have the shortest path to law, but you never know with these types of things. There are times for anything to happen as stated, and there are topics on the minds of Illinois legislators as is generally the case. But the windows are available, so action on internet poker isn’t impossible.

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Video: Rick Salomon Takes $928K Monster Pot from Aaron Zang on ‘Poker’

A video of Rick Salomon got people talking, but this time it was not a sex tape involving Paris Hilton. The Hollywood producer and part-time poker player appeared on “Poker After Dark” Tuesday night, and the fireworks that ensued included a pot of almost $1 million against comparatively unknown high-stakes player Aaron Zang.

Rick Salomon on Poker After Dark

That look on your face when you are holding second nuts and your opponent responds to your raise by saying “all in,” starring Rick Salomon (centre).     (Image: YouTube/Poker Central)

Over at Poker Central, they are calling this week “Perks of the Trade.” The game was no-limit hold’em, using a $300,000 initial buy-in, the largest yet for its rebooted “Poker After Dark.” Not surprisingly, this episode generated one of the largest pots in the show’s history.

The game was playing with a great deal of double-straddles and straddles to $ 2,400 , $ 600 blinds.

The lineup for the week consisted of Bill Perkins, Brian Rast, Haralabos Voulgaris, Phil Galfond, Salomon, and Zang. The tag Poker Central Zang off to the side, and is currently giving the week is a nod to Perkins, who was seated front and center, with Salomon to his right.

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Big Hand Cash Game

In the hand everyone the pre-flop action is not exactly obvious. However, Perkins apparently blind-raised under the gun. Zang held 8♠8♥ and three-bet an unknown amount, as Salomon and Perkins called.

The flop came 3♥6♠8♦. Yahtzee. With set, Zang bet $15k, and this time Salomon called, with not much of anything. The former Mr. Pam Anderson was holding the 5♥9♥, which did not look too pretty until the 7♣ fell on the turn, giving him a well-disguised straight.

Zang fired a bet of $50,000 into a pot. Salomon came to life and raised to $175,000.

Salomon had revealed himself earlier in the session to be extremely aggressive, capable of three-barrel bluffing . After a minute or so of running calculations or maybe trying to both or feign weakness, Zang moved all-in with his competitor covered.

Salomon had quickly and $ 257,000 behind called. He said he had a straight, and asked if he wanted to run it which they did, Zang, but the board failed to pair both times, providing the 928,200 pot to the amateur pornography entrepreneur.

The movie clip Poker Central set up on YouTube cuts out just as Zang starts stacking chips to ship across the table to Salomon, but in that fraction of a second you get a glimpse of a man’s face who briefly believed he was about to win a million dollars, just to have the harsh reality of poker show things are actually going the other way.

Five Hours in Vegas

Salomon might have hit a fantasy turn card to gain more than $450k in a hand, but that type of luck can hold out for long.

At the end of this five-hour session, “Poker After Dark” commentator Ali Nejad announced that Salomon was cashing out for $955,000, but there was some dispute about how much he was into the game for, and so where his fortunes ultimately landed.

“If he is in for the $1 million that we think he is, he is down $50k,” Nejad said. “But he claims to be forward so, perhaps, he is in for only $900,000.”

Nejad’s math seems to be a little out of whack. Zang left with $ 321k, and was allegedly into the game for $ 700k. But the totals seem to add up more logically (in a game billed as one that cost $300,000 to play in) if Zang was just into the game for $600k, and Salomon was not lying about finishing up not down.

But a five-figure win either way or loss seems immaterial after a pot like this.

Four of the exact players will return Wednesday night at 5 pm PT for another round of $300,000 buy-in cash games for “Poker After Dark on the subscription-based PokerGO program. Doug Polk and Matt Berkey will replace Galfond and Rast.

$300,000 Poker After Dark Money Game Profits/Losses
*Approximate figures according to Ali Nejad

Bill Perkins +$270,000
Brian Rast +$145,000
Haralabos Voulgaris +$130,000
Rick Salomon -$45,000 or +$55,000*
Phil Galfond -$300,000
Aaron Zang -$280,000 or -$380,000

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German Domination Continues as Stefan Schillhabel Wins Triton Super High Roller for $752K

For the first time ever, the Triton Super High Roller Series Has Been held at the Galaxy Macau Hotel. But not unusual, the stop kicked off as so many do with a German win. Stefan Schillhabel came out on top in the two-day HK250,000 ($32,000) 6-Max occasion to acquire HK5,874,400 ($752,446).

Stefan Schillhabel is surrounded by some of Germany including Dietrich Quick, Manig Loeser, and Dominik Nitsche. (Image: Triton Super High Roller Series)

King of the Schillhabel

The win marked the third-largest score for Stefan Schillhabel, who now resides in Vienna, Austria, and brought his lifetime earnings up beyond $6.5 million. In May, he placed third in the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria in Las Vegas for $2.4 million, and in March 2016 he really made a name for himself by winning the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star primary event for $1.3 million.

Among those to play this event in China were recently-married Ben Lamb, Winamax’s Adrian Mateos and Mustapha Kanit, and Poker Masters champ Steffen Sontheimer. Unfortunately for all of them, by finishing in the top 12, none was able to make the money.

A few of those who did, but fell short of the final table, were Yat Cheng (7th for $94,402), David Peters (10th for $75,957), and 2017 Super High Roller Bowl champ Christoph Vogelsang (11th for $73,395).

Manig Loeser, who in July won the Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro, made it to three-handed play and collided with Schillhabel in Level 25 (25k/50k/5k), when Schillhabel increased to 100,000 and then called Loeser’s three-bet shoved for roughly 750,000.

Loeser held the K♥J♦ but was way behind the K♦Q♣ of Schillhabel. The board ran out A♥9♣5♥3♣8♠ and Loeser was denied his second Triton title, an honor held only by Fedor Holz.

Heads-Up Lasts One Hand

Schillhabel started play over Watson, and it took 1 hand to come to a head. In Level 26 (30k/60k/10k), Watson moved all-in holding 6♦6♣ and Schillhabel called with J♣10♣.

It was a flip, but not following a 7♣A♥J♥ flop paired Schillhabel. Neither a 3♥ on the turn nor a 8♣ on the river helped Watson, and he had to settle for second place and a $550,399 consolation prize. It brought his lifetime earnings around $ 10,658,564 and marked the fifth-largest score of his career.

With the win, Schillhabel joins the household of Triton Super High Roller winners which includes Dan Colman, Wai Kin Yong and Koray Aldemir. The Triton Super High Roller Series Galaxy Macau is currently holding its HK1,000,000 ($128,000) buy-in Main Event.

Final Table Results
1 Stefan Schillhabel (Germany) $752,446
two Mike Watson (Canada) $550,399
3 Manig Loeser (Germany) $340,717
4 Dan Smith (USA) $233,250
5 Steve O’Dwyer (USA) $154,603
6 Isaac Haxton (USA) $115,280

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