PokerStars Is Finally Bringing Its Turbo Series To New Jersey

PokerStars NJ turbo copy

The season between winter and spring provides some of the best internet poker tournament options of the year.

PokerStars is right in the middle of its annual Turbo Series, formerly the Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP), on the dot-com platform.

For the first time, PokerStars NJ will expand that notion to gamers in New Jersey, too.

The inaugural New Jersey Turbo Series runs for 11 days starting on Thursday, Feb. 22.   It is going to be the NJ online poker site’s second large set of the young year.

NJ Turbo Series highlights

The NJ Turbo Series features Turbo and Hyper-Turbo events spread across a variety of game types and formats.

There are 28 events guaranteeing a total of $271,000 in prize money.   Buy-ins run from $15 to $250, with the majority of the events near the middle of that range.

The $100 Main Event headlines the program. It runs on Sunday with $25,000 guaranteed. The Main Event is a deep-stacked event with 50,000-chip starting stacks and levels. Daily satellites are already running on the website.

Points of intrigue on the calendar include:

Five non-hold’em occasions
Three Progressive Knockout occasions
Two events that are Zoom
One Win the Button event
One rebuy event

NJ Turbo Series events are open for enrollment in the PokerStars NJ client. They are accessible to account-holding players located within New Jersey’s borders.

Tons of choice to NJ poker players that are online

Add the Turbo Series.

NJSCOOP and NJCOOP events have been running since its launch, mirroring spring and winter championships on the platform that is dot-com. The NJ-only Winter Series of last month granted more than $.   The Turbo/TCOOP concept hadn’t been offered to NJ players until today, though.

Even though (or perhaps because) NJ online casino earnings is wobbling, operators seem to be shoring up their championship offerings this season.

WSOP NJ / 888 Poker NJ are currently hosting their premier event, the NJ Poker Classic. It is more than $ 800,000 in guarantees and a festival with 57 occasions. Last year’s program consisted of 38 occasions and roughly $500,000 in guarantees, so it’s a step forward for the state’s third-place operator.

The tail end is overlapped by the NJ Turbo Series and carries the activity.

The BorgataPartyPoker network typically holds its flagship Garden State Super Series in March, as well.

Come on, interstate player pooling…

These series are, of course, much smaller than their parent series on the international platforms.   For comparison, the primary PokerStars Turbo Series has more than $15 million guaranteed across its program.

Periodic tournament attempts in NJ have been successful, but there is only so operators can do with the size of the market. As long as other states and NJ remain ring-fenced, average guarantees will remain in the low five figures.

Fortunately, things might be looking up on that front.

Nevada and Delaware recently added New Jersey to their multi-state poker arrangement, which will allow the three states to discuss liquidity going forward. The player pool will grow when the markets unite, which should allow for tournament series. A timeline on a launch is elusive.

Pennsylvania holds a key to the future in that respect, too. The new PA online gambling law includes provisions for interstate agreements, which could effectively double the size of the participant pool.

Mike Englert Takes Down Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates for $200K, After Finishing Third the Year Before,

On Monday, the Heartland Poker Tour wrapped its latest stop at Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. The 1,650 Main Event watched Mike Englert, who had finished third in the exact same event this past year, claim $ 200,762 first-place prize and the name and attracted 607 entries.

Before hitting it big at the Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates Mike Englert had just $ 66,407 in lifetime earnings. 68th sit on Colorado’s all-time money list. (Picture: HPT)

From Third to First

Prior to the win, Englert had $66,407 in lifetime earnings, all which came at Golden Gates Casino. He finished third in a $ 1,100 buy Heartland Poker Tour event, good for a previous score of $ 53,550 in a field of 606 entries.

Englert remained on Day two and bagged the chip lead on Day 1A. He made the final table second in chips and had to contend Matt Bond in play.

When the match began, Englert was down 2/1 in processors, but over the course of the next hour, he fought back. Before things came to a head 3 hours in, the chip lead would exchange hands several times.

The final hand of the tournament, which took place with the blinds at 200,000/400,000/50,000, unfolded when Bond moved all in on an 8♣5♦4♣ flop holding the J♠8♦ and Englert called with the Q♣Q♠. The A♠ and 10♣ bricked on the river and turn, and Bond had to settle for second place and a $124,028 consolation prize.

It was the third-largest score of Bond’s career. Last summer, he finished 35th in the World Series of Poker Main Event. In April 2016, he placed second to Joe Cappello in the WSOP Circuit Baltimore $1,675 Main Event for $180,750.

WSOP Bracelet Winner Falls Short

Another player to make a deep run in the tournament was WSOP bracelet winner John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez. The Colorado native won the WSOP Event #4: $ for $324,764.

At Golden Gates, Beauprez made it to three-handed play, which is when he moved all in preflop holding the K♠9♠ and was called by Bond’s 10♥10♣. The 10♥4♠J♥ flop delivered Bond a set, but Beauprez was drawing live as a queen could give him a straight. Unfortunately for him, neither the 7♠ turn nor two♣ river was the woman he desired. Beauprez had to settle for an $ 81,288 prize pool and third place.

“Having two large piles on my guide left made the final table more difficult,” Beauprez informed CardsChat. “I could’ve made better alterations and regret not firing the next barrel on a bluff in a huge pot, but of course hindsight always 20/20 from the tourneys you do not win. Golden Gates Casino is one of my favourite stops so I’ll give it a shot again this fall.”

It was a good showing for Beauprez, but not his best in that particular tournament. Back in 2010, he finished runner-up to Mark Dunbar in the HPT Golden Gates for $90,900. For more on Beauprez, check out his exclusive CardsChat interview regarding Chip Leader Coaching.

Others to money the Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates Main Event were WSOP Colossus II champ Ben Keeline (12th for $13,741), HPT co-founder Todd Anderson (16th for $7,852), and WPT DeepStacks Season 4 finale champ Jeff Fielder (23rd for $5,885).

Final Table Results
1 Mike Englert (Windsor, CO) $200,762
two Matt Bond (Dallas, TX) $124,028
3 John Beauprez (Denver, CO) $81,288
4 Steve Klaus (Denver, CO) $56,482
5 Will Berry (Norman, OK) $41,045
6 Nick Pupillo (Gilbert, AZ) $31,855
7 Michael Hinde (Monument, CO) $26,769
8 Chris Denz (Wheat Ridge, CO) $22,307
9 Jacob Phillips (Ozark, MO) $17,846
10 Charisse Case (Sacramento, CA) $13,741

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Dominik Nitsche Defeats Marcel Luske to Win Partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany High Roller for $374K

The partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany wrapped up at King’s Casino Rozvadov. 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche defeated Marcel Luske in heads-up play to win the title for $300,000 ($374,392).

Dominik Nitsche has had a ton of success in King’s Casino Rozvadov. He can add his High Roller win in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany High Roller. (Image: partypoker)

Flying Dutchman Denied

The partypoker High Roller drew 72 entries. That helped surpass the advertised $1 million guarantee by creating a $1,140,000 ($1,422,688) prize pool.

Nitsche navigated a tough final table that included Germans Ole Schemion and Koray Aldemir to make it to play against the Netherlands’ Marcel Luske.

The “Flying Dutchman,” a partypoker pro, was searching for his first high roller triumph, but it was not to be this time. The silver lining was that Luske received a $180,000 ($224,635) prize for second, which was the fourth-largest score of his long and storied career.

The win was the most recent success for Nitsche in King’s Casino Rozvadov. A week before, he placed seventh at the $25K Super High Roller for $60,000 ($73,497). That tournament was won by Patrik Antonius for $425,000 ($520,610).

Last November, Nitsche took down the 2017 World Series of Poker $111,111 High Roller for One dip for a career-high $3,487,463 ($4,064,026) and his fourth gold bracelet.

The win also brought Nitsche up in lifetime earnings, which places him fifth on Germany’s all-time poker money list to $ 11,893,493. Just $ 30,000 behind Rainer Kempe sits.

Others to finish in the money were Winamax sponsored expert Mustapha Kanit (10th for $30,000/$37,439), Paul Newey (12th for $30,000/$37,439), and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (14th for $25,000/$31,199).

Final Table Results
1 Dominik Nitsche (Germany) $300,000 ($374,392)
2 Marcel Luske (Netherlands) $180,000 ($224,635)
3 Philipp Zukernik (Czech Republic) $130,000 ($162,236)
4 Koray Aldemir (Germany) $100,000 ($124,797)
5 Dan Cates (USA) $80,000 ($99,838)
6 Ashkan Fattahi (Iran) $65,000 ($81,118)
7 Ole Schemion (Germany) $50,000 ($62,399)
8 Bartlomiej Machon (Poland) $40,000 ($49,919)
9 Steve O’Dwyer (USA) $30,000 ($37,439)

Steven Morris Wins in UK

Steven Morris (Image: partypoker)

After his triumph in Rozvadov, Nitsche caught a private plane for the 2018 partypoker LIVE UK Poker Championship in Dusk Till Dawn Poker and Casino in Nottingham. It was there he hopped to the #5,300 Super High Roller, a tournament that attracted 40 entries and created a #200,000 ($280,000) prize pool

That title came down to Steven Morris and Nishid Hindocha, and on Hand #317 of this closing table, the latter got his short stack all in holding the J♣9♥ from the former’s A♥J♥. The board conducted out J♦3♥4♦Q♠4♥ and Morris claimed the title and #70,000 ($98,031) first-place prize.

The partypoker LIVE team will be in Spain in Casino Barcelona from April 7-15 for their season finale, which will offer up $23 million in guaranteed prize pools.

Final Table Results
1 Steven Morris (UK) #70,000 ($98,031)
Two Nishid Hindocha (UK) #45,000 ($63,020)
3 Xiaoyang Luo (China) #32,000 ($44,814)
4 Tom Middleton (UK) #22,000 ($30,809)
5 Chris Sly (UK) #15,000 ($21,006)
6 Nicholas Todd (UK) #10,000 ($14,004)

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Sports Radio Legend Dan Bernstein Mired in Controversy, to Host Chicago Charity Poker Event Benefitting Kids with Cancer

Long-time regional sports talk radio host Dan Bernstein, who is known as both a controversial and sympathetic social networking poster, will be helping children with cancer by emceeing the Charity Poker Championship at The Montgomery Club. The event will be on February 22 in Chicago, and one lucky winner will walk away with a chair in the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

Dan Bernstein

Chicago sports radio host Dan Bernstein will emcee a charity poker tournament at Chicago’s Montgomery Club . (Picture: chicagotribune.com)

For a Great Cause

The tournament will benefit Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services, a charity that produces “fun experiences” for children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Players can enter the 275 buy-in tournament, one of two individual championships or the $ 675 buy high roller, each of which include a buffet dinner. Spectators eat dinner for $ 75 and can watch the event from the railing.

Once the roller plays down to its final two players along with the regular tournament is down to eight, the remaining players paid travel expenses to Las Vegas and will be combined to compete for the Main Event seat. Prizes will be awarded to the others at the table, but will not be announced until the day of the event.

“We … had one of our winners make Day 3 of the principal Event … others are there simply having a fantastic time. The event typically raises $105,000-$110,000 per year for a fantastic cause,” said Jeff Infusino, president of Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services.  

Since players are expected to enter the tournament that is regular, the odds of winning are greater by going into the roller.

The structure is the same in both tournaments, and players begin with 10,000 chips. The two players from the roller will begin the table with chip stacks that match the fourth-biggest pile of the regular tournament’s final table players to make it more fair at the end.

Cards will be in the air at 6 pm CT.. Those interested in chasing a dream of becoming the next Chris Moneymaker, and supporting a wonderful cause, can register online at CampOneStep.org.

Tough and Tender

Bernstein was the co-host of one of Chicago’s most popular sports radio shows in history, “Boers and Bernstein,” on 670 “The Score” from 1999-2016. Following his co-host Terry Boers retired, he partnered up with Jason Goff on his new series, “Bernstein and Goff,” which airs from 1 to 6 pm weekdays.

When he isn’t getting into debates with callers or calling out sports figures he does not like, he serves as a board member for the Camp One Step charity.

Bernstein has a cult-like following in Chicago, but there are a few who don’t enjoy his brash style. He made a remark about female sports TV announcer the appearance of Aiyana Cristal. After facing backlash he continued to engage with Twitter trolls, which makes the situation worse.

The sports radio announcer later apologized, admitting he is an “idiot,” and stated his conversation was “childish and unnecessary.”

ESPN TV host Michelle Beadle then took a shot to his attack on Cristal at Bernstein’s looks in response. She posted his picture on Twitter with the caption: “Trolls always look like this.”

But there is another side to Bernstein outsiders might not know. As mentioned, he is a philanthropist and, although he can be cruel at times, he speaks out against social injustices like sexual assault.

A good example is when UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford prevented an alleged rape victim from filing charges against his star player, Pierre Pierce, in 2002, while Alford coached at the University of Iowa.

Bernstein’s beef with Alford for his actions in defending a native who was convicted of sexual assault three years later for a crime committed against a different girl, Pierce, may never finish.

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Portugal Publishes Shared Liquidity Framework, Player Pools to Combine with France and Spain Shortly

Just over a month because Spain and France merged their online poker player pools, Portugal is about to join them. On Friday, the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), the nation’s gaming regulatory body, released its technical criteria framework for shared participant liquidity. The next step is for players to join Spanish and French players in the tables.

At the identical virtual tables, PokerStars became the first online poker room in mid-January. Prior to that moment, both nations, together with Portugal and Italy, had ring fenced their players allowing them to play only on websites that are country-specific.

The four countries wanted to merge their participant pools from the end of the year and announced an agreement in July 2017 to share liquidity, but obviously were not able to do so. Portugal lagged behind Spain and France slightly, but is now expected to join them certainly on PokerStars.

Roughly translated using the handy-dandy Google Translate and smoothed out by yours truly, the framework says that the SRIJ will make games and bets available between:

1. Players registered on a “.pt” domain that’s licensed to provide online gambling in Portugal;
2. Players enrolled in the “.pt” domain and players whose access is established outside the Portuguese territory and which are registered in another domain under permits issued in compliance with jurisdictions where online gambling and betting and shared liquidity are admitted under the law and / or its regulator.

The gambling product that is key here is poker. While online casinos (those that offer games like slots and blackjack) obviously want a great deal of customers, the actual operation of their games isn’t dependent on player traffic. Clients can easily and happily play by themselves tables and have the same experience if there were other players present, they would. In fact, people might prefer to play as they don’t have to worry about somebody making a wrong play in blackjack or wasting time.

With poker, though, participant traffic is of extreme importance. Cash games only run if there is more than one person in the dining table tournaments have enrollment minimums, until they are complete and Sit-and-Go’s do not start. And though money games can operate with just two players, most people would play near-full or full ring game tables. If a site does not have player visitors, the tables will be empty, resulting in the tables remaining empty and potential new players.

Thus, shared bandwidth is important. The larger a player base a country has, the more visitors its poker websites will have. Portugal by itself has fought to provide players to online poker rooms, but with Spain and France to assist (and hopefully Italy later), the poker rooms should be more viable.

Why PA Must Follow NJ Online Casinos’ Model For ‘Skins’

PA online Gaming skins

The pieces are beginning to move into position in Pennsylvania, as the country inches closer to becoming the fourth in the country to provide legal online gambling.

Temporary regulations have been crafted. Partnerships between land-based casinos and internet gambling businesses are coming to light. And the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has begun the application process for certain online gaming permits.

Still, there are loads of wrinkles that will need to be ironed out before the market really takes shape, not least of which being the number of skins (or independently branded sites) the condition will allow each operator to possess.

To help make sense of the situation, Online Poker Report drew upon three sources:

IDEA development, a pro-online gaming lobbying group
Thomas Winter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Online Gambling at Golden Nugget
Ed Andrewes, CEO at EA Gambling Consultancy, handling Resorts Digital Gaming

 A closer look at skins

Most people believed the heavy lifting was after the state passed the gambling law that legalized online gaming in October. But the debate has not exactly subsided.

Skins have turned into the issue du jour for the nascent industry. October’s legislation did not specifically address the number of skins, nor did it set a definite number once the PGCB released the temporary regulations.

However, OPR spoke to some legislative source who said that the bill’s crafters never intended to severely restrict the number of skins.

This was highlighted by iDEA Growth in a letter to the PGCB:

“Lawmakers were conscious of the matter of skins and, if they had planned to restrict their usage, the legislature could have done so easily. Earlier drafts of the legislation did include limits on skins. The matter of skins was addressed at hearings and in discussions with industry participants.

Consequently, the lack of a limit indicates lawmakers reasoned that allowing multiple skins would be beneficial to Pennsylvania’s market. The legislature was aware of skins, considered a limitation, and then consciously chose to not insert one. Regulations should follow that cue.”

Nonetheless, the lack of clarity has resulted in the possibility of multiple versions.

At least two Pennsylvania casino operators (and likely at least three) are pushing for a strict limit on skins. Penn National and Parx Casino are actively calling the PGCB to restrict online gaming sites to only a single brand.

Others are calling for a system like New Jersey, with five skins allowed per permit. It’s not clear which model will win out.

In a statement to GamblingCompliance, the PGCB said it’s weighing this issue very carefully. The PGCB “has not made any decision at this juncture in this matter,” said Communications Director Doug Harbach.

What Penn and Parx National say they want

The firms opposing an open marketplace are publicly arguing that limiting skins is best for the market. They claim this strategy is best for the state’s existing casinos.

Eric Schippers, senior vice president of governmental relations at Penn National, recently told GamblingCompliance, “We would fully support the limit to a skin per operator.”

In 2016, Schippers told Gambling Compliance a New Jersey-style skins model would enable out-of-state online operators “to come in and poach Pennsylvania’s customers for the benefit of their out-of-state operation.”

Parx Casino echoed these sentiments in a Jan. 30 letter delivered to the PGCB.

In the letter Parx wrote:

“The Board must establish a limit on the number of interactive gambling skins an Interactive Gaming Certificate Holder (“Certificate Holder”) may operate, and that limit should be one skin per Certificate Holder, with the different classes of interactive games that the Certificate Holder is authorized to provide on that single skin restricted to the different sorts of interactive games approved in its Interactive Gaming Certification(s).”

Parx went on to state the brand should match or resemble the online casino brand of the certificate holder. If the PGCB listens to the arguments of Parx and Penn National such a limit would be disastrous for customers, for the state, and for the market.

What Penn and Parx National actually want

Unlike a land-based casino, online gaming is not constrained by its location. Every site in the state will be accessible to each person.

With smaller casinos casinos in major population centers are in the online gambling space.

But they’re not on equal footing when it comes to money and brand awareness. Small casinos will have a tough time competing with the better-known casino brands in the market.

Larger businesses not only enter this new market with better brand awareness but can outspend competitors in marketing. And that is assuming the casinos have the funds to get an internet gaming site.

1 way they could offset the startup and marketing cost would be to allow different organizations to launch a branded site under their permit.

Limiting the number of skins will result in several smaller casinos launching what amounts to a site that is bare-bones or passing on online gambling.

Limiting skins benefits…

A strict limitation on skins would benefit some of the casinos in the Pennsylvania market.

However, it not best for the market as a whole. It would make an unequal playing field that favored the larger casinos of the state. These casinos would get what amounts to a bigger piece of a pie.

Limiting skins is a bad idea

In a letter to the PGCB, iDEA Growth recorded three reasons that the state should ignore Penn and Parx National’s pleas.

The experience in New Jersey shows that maximized revenue and the market has grown.
The limitation of skins is anti-competitive and would provide a poor product and user experience to the consumer.
The allowance of skins leads to more competition and innovation among stakeholders.

Let’s have a closer look at each of those arguments.

If there was a model we can look at…

“Experience has proven that online gaming operators will self-regulate to an efficient market size which maximizes operator and state revenue,” the iDEA letter to the PGCB states. “To do so, however, requires licensees to have the flexibility to partner with other game providers and to operate under multiple skins.”

The group concedes there may be a limit to this growth, and the industry could reach a point where manufacturers are additive. But to date, whenever a new brand has established in New Jersey, the overall market was expanded by it.

And New Jersey operators agree.

“The New Jersey market has proved that numerous skins are essential to make a vibrant and competitive marketplace and to provide an incentive for operators to advertise their services,” said Ed Andrewes, who heads up Resorts Casino’s internet performance in New Jersey.

“The present incumbents may feel that by limiting the skins it conserves marketing expense, but experience from other jurisdictions shows a lack of marketing effort and initiative does not grow the market in any respect.”

“Such a limitation would be a step back on the nascent online gaming industry as a whole,” said Golden Nugget’s Thomas Winter. “The only reason to do it would be to protect land-based casino earnings.”

Protectionism doesn’t work

Winter went on to describe the flaws protectionist thinking.

“The New Jersey example has clearly shown that 80 percent of online players were new to casino, including for casinos with very large players database,” Winter told OPR.

“The reason is simple: Online gaming competes with other forms of entertainment such as casual games or streaming services over it cannibalizes brick-and-mortar entertainment. Playing your smartphone is a fun way to kill time when you’re on your own and on the go, while going to a live casino is a social form of entertainment that goes beyond gaming.”

IDEA did not mince words on what that would imply:

“Limiting skins would efficiently pick winners and losers in the Pennsylvania market and hand the market to the state’s biggest land-based casino operators (who are eager to enter the market). Because each permit is extremely expensive (around $10 million plus taxes), smaller operators may just be able to afford interactive gambling operations if they subsidize a number of the permit expense and high tax rates through revenue sharing skin arrangements.

“Even if they can justify the up-front licensing cost, smaller casinos will find themselves at a significant disadvantage when it comes to marketing budgets, which represents a far more significant cost for interactive gambling than it does for conventional, land-based casinos.”

It’s also bad for the consumer

A lack of competition will also cause a user experience that is second-rate as iDEA explains.

“By allowing several skins per permit, Pennsylvania will encourage robust competition among operators,” the team wrote to the PGCB. “That competition will result in increased content for customers and would incentivize operators to create and provide new and innovative games.”

Winter thinks allowing skins is a no-brainer.

“The benefits for patrons are obvious,” he said. “More skins means more choice, better products, better promotions, and more innovation.”

This has been borne out in New Jersey, where Golden Nugget and Betfair provide live dealer games, multiple operators have added virtual sports, and Resorts launched a DFS-sports betting hybrid game.

According to Winter, the ability to offset some costs Golden Nugget has Betfair, two skins and SugarHouse — enables operators to devote more money to innovation and marketing.

“For land-based casinos, it also allows to share the burden of regulatory costs while introducing a new stream of earnings, often in the shape a share of earnings from skin operators,” Winter said. “Brick and mortars licensees can reinvest these savings and additional revenues to boost their own offer and increase their marketing investments. It’s no wonder why all New Jersey licensees have elected to have multiple skins.”

With a $10 million upfront license fee and a 54 percent tax rate on slots, this burden that is shared is crucial in Pennsylvania.

And competition is good for the market

Skins will reduce the amount of revenue the state receives from online gambling in two ways:

A possible decrease in the number of overall licenses sold marketing and advertising dollars spent within the country, due to a lack of competition.

Andrewes considers limiting licensees could lead to several land-based casinos eschewing an internet gambling license.

“I think you can split the present incumbents into two groups in this respect,” Andrewes said. “There are some that will believe that they will need to buy a permit in any event as a defensive measure and would rather contest was restricted.   There’ll then be others who believe that the additional skins will provide other business and revenue opportunities and that these will be necessary if they are to justify the initial cost of a permit.”

Will casinos skip the liceneses?

Out of some online poker permits, Winter is convinced Pennsylvania casinos would forego an internet slot or table game permit.

He forecasts an buyer would finally scoops up any unclaimed licenses:

“Legislators have introduced a rule that restricts the number of permits to 12 but at exactly the same time, gives the chance to qualified gambling entities outside PA to apply for permits that PA casinos do not want.

“For that reason, all casinos may wish to secure their permit, an important long-term advantage. If they decide to sell their property down the line the ones who aren’t sure who have casinos can’t afford to let this kind of asset or they want to provide online gaming immediately go, for example.

“There may be a few poker certificates not sold in the first round of this auction but that is because there’s probably insufficient poker earnings for 12 operators to make a profit, irrespective of the number of skins. As far as slots and other table games go, I would be very surprised if not all licenses were sold to PA casinos and if one was not purchased by them, it would for sure find an outside buyer”

How to maximize revenues

“The country will optimize its upfront revenues from selling the licenses in any circumstance,” Winter said, but then added, “More skins will bring more tax revenues down the line.”

The impact on marketing spend from limiting the large tax rate that is online and skins could be disastrous as Winter explained:

“The effects of such a limitation would be important. Because of the tax rate on slots, several operators are likely to rely on existing database and their brand awareness before investing advertising dollars.

“As demonstrated not just in NJ but in any other online gaming jurisdiction outside the united states, online gaming revenues are  directly correlated to marketing spend. Even the operators in the world billions in earnings of dollar, keep spending in advertising.

“The more operators that you have, the more marketing dollars, the more earnings and tax dollars for the state. That is an universal rule and Pennsylvania will be no exception.

“A single-skin limit would probably reduce tax dollars by 30-40 percent. For instance, we estimate that 60 percent of New Jersey earnings come from the top grossing skin of five licensees. More competition also means more innovation and better promotions for players benefits.”

Andrewes concurs and considers a model very similar to New Jersey’s is the approach that is correct.

“I would not advocate unlimited skins and I believe the NJ DGE have set the perfect level at five,” Andrewes said. “This has created enough competition to incentivize the operators to invest in marketing and has grown the overall market yet it has not created a ‘free for all’ [which] would be impossible to control.”

Skins is a bad idea

There is no reason to restrict operators to a single skin other than as a favor to a small number of casino operators.

As iDEA said in its letter to the PGCB:

“Competition and innovation will result in higher revenue for the state and increased satisfaction for players … Online gaming operators can self-regulate to an efficient market size which maximizes operator and state revenue when they are permitted to partner with other game providers and to operate under multiple skins.

“The experience of New Jersey of allowing several skins has led to competition, innovation and growing revenue.

“Pennsylvania should emulate that model by clarifying its regulations so that there’s either no limitation on the number of skins which may be operated by each licensee, or by embracing New Jersey’s five skin limitation per permit.”

Kammar Andries Wins WSOPC Seminole Casino Coconut Creek Main Event for $241,898

827 entries were attracted by the World Series of Poker Circuit Seminole Casino Coconut Creek $ 1,675 Main Event to sunny Florida. After three days of play, therapist Kammar Andries walked away to the 2018 Global Casino Championship.

Kammar Andries works at a children’s hospital in Orlando, but now the father of two daughters finds himself as a World Series of Poker Circuit champion. (Picture: WSOP)

Third Final Table the Charm

The turnout helped the tournament surpass its1 million guarantee. Among those to cash the Main Event was Dominique Mosely (10th for $18,521), Joe Elpayaa (15th for $15,072), Chris Conrad (30th for $6,401), and “Big” Al Hedin (50th for $3,957).

As Andries, the WSOPC Seminole Casino Coconut Creek was his first tournament series in eight months, and he made it count by making three final tables, including $580 NLHE for $ 11,619 and $ 6,424 and finishes at the Dragon Stack respectively.

Unfortunately in a private Omaha cash game, he dropped a big chunk of that playing for Andries. Infuriated, he was going to skip the Main Event.

“I jumped in my car, and I’m like, ‘Screw this, I’m driving home,”’ he told WSOP officials. “First rest stop, I stopped and took a nap. I woke up, and it was like seven o’clock in the morning, and I just turned around and came back.”

As Andries wound up among the last 15 players returning on Day 3, it proved a wise choice. It was there he squared off against some tough competition including World Poker Tour champ Brian Altman, circuit grinder Joe Elpayaa, and WSOP November Niner Kevin Schaffel.

However, the name eventually came down to Andries and WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open champ Mike Linster. In the final hand of the tournament, which took place in Level 32 (60,000/120,000/20,000), Andries limped the button with the 10♣3♦ and then called when Linster exercised his choice with a increase to 400,000 with the 6♣6♠.

Linster then wager 275,000 on the K♣4♠3♥ flop, Andries called, and the dealer burned and turned the 10♥. Linster checked, Andries wager 500,000, and Linster check-raised all in for approximately 3.5 mllion. Andries called with two pair, along with the two♦ river wasn’t the six Linster needed to survive.

“I really have to go to work tomorrow,” Andries said after his win. “I have a clinic and I must do some evaluations. I must be there bright and early at nine o’clock.”

Final Table Results
1 Kammar Andries (Jamaica, NY) $241,898
two Mike Linster (Island Park, NY) $149,480
3 Brian Altman (Longmeadow, MA) $110,107
4 Jason Hill (Springfield, IL) $82,171
5 LaVann Williams (Helena, AL) $62,124
6 Dafney Adisson (N/A) $47,573
7 Michael Foley (Saline, MI) $36,892
8 Kevin Schaffel (Coral Springs, FL) $28,966
9 David Gunas (South Boston, MA) $23,024

Going Coconuts for Cashes

Andries was not the only player. In fact, there were a dozen golden ring winners such as Alfred Karlsson (Event #2: $365 NLHE Re-Entry for $86,067), Rodney Moret-Rojas (Event #7: $365 Monster Stack for $34,704), and Dominique Mosley (Event #9: $3,250 High Roller for $75,480).

Loni Harwood (Picture: WSOP)

Another player to do well was two-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood, who really caught her fourth ring when she bested a field of 120 runners in Event #5: $365 NLHE for $10,801.

“Your game evolves,” she clarified. “As you have gain expertise and perform higher buy-ins, you usually pick up more things that work, especially in lower-buy-in tournaments.”

Finally, Karthik Ramakrishnan made the WSOPC Seminole Casino Coconut Creek Casino Championship honors. He made three final tables and finished 14th at the Main Event. That gave him 110 points, which ended up being enough to get him the seat into the Global Casino Championship.

Actually, that honor would have gone to Andries, who needed to finish third or better to take the lead. But he took it down and since the winner of the tournament earns an automatic bid, the Casino Championship seat awarded and was reopened to Ramakrishnan.

The WSOPC stop is already underway at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

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Alec on ‘Live at the Bike’ Has Poker Fans Upset, Player Accused of Angle-Shooting

“Live at the Bike” declared an Alec Torelli week is scheduled for March 20-23, but many poker players won’t be exactly thrilled to see him play.

Alec Torelli

Alec Torelli will be featured on ‘Live at the Bike’ March 20-23, rather than to everyone’s delight. (Picture: YouTube)

Torelli, who formerly was an avid social media user boosting his poker training course, has been mostly absent from Twitter and YouTube lately after being accused of “angle-shooting” during a Poker Night in America episode.

The poker pro will compete on the show in Los Angeles in a series of money games, with limits$5 to $25/$50/$100 no-limit hold’em.

He hasn’t appeared on Live in over a year.

Chipped Reputation

Torelli is famous for his money game arts, but also has over $1.5 million in life live tournament winnings. He has obtained the Chris Ferguson treatment from the poker community ever since and appeared in a Poker Night.

In that session, as Doug Polk exposed on his YouTube station, Torelli was captured hiding his largest denomination chips, each valued at $5,000, behind his lesser chips in a hand against Daniel Wolf.

Assuming his opponent was playing with a stack, the A-Q of Torelli moved all-in with A-10 and called Wolf.

The issue at hand was that Wolf wouldn’t have bet so much had he known Torelli had more money behind his visual stack. Polk, along with many poker players, accused Alec of angle-shooting, the action of using sleazy tactics to get an edge. In most casinos, players need to maintain their chips out in front so that everybody else at the table knows they’re currently playing against.

Seconds later, Torelli admitted a mistake was made by him, but refused to acknowledge the act was intentional and reacted to Polk’s movie.

Fan Club AWOL

Torelli has long been considered one of the friendliest players in poker, but he must play with the villain’s role. When his apology was not accepted by many in the poker community, he was clearly absent but has resurfaced. Presumably he expected the angle-shooting accusations are abandoned or put to bed.

It doesn’t appear he lucky as evidenced by the responses to Live at the Bike’s announcement of Alec Torelli Week on Twitter.

“Ensure large chips out front.” — @nemo_99

“Def won’t be watching thanks for the warning.” — @Flopstarr

“Just unsubscribed in the station after reading this.” — @KnifeUrThroat

“Quit giving that douchebag a platform.” — @WillieMcFML

Just two Twitter users came to the defense of Torelli. One of those tweets was met with a, “hi Alex! Cool alternative account” response from another poker player.

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Kevin Hart 2018 NBA All-Star Player Intros Bomb

If Kevin Hart truly does want to “make poker fun again,” he had better fire his joke writer. Or, is it his joke of a writer?

Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart received harsh social media criticism on Sunday for his player introductions at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. (Image: USA Today)

The comedian and PokerStars ambassador cracked jokes while introducing the players before the beginning of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Sunday, but most of the audience was laughing at him, not with him.

The poker player wasn’t the only celebrity who bombed on All-Star Sunday. Grammy-award winning singer Fergie made some forget about the train wreck that was Kevin Hart’s player debut ceremony with her slow and sexed-up rendition of the National Anthem.

Both performers were trounced by Media outlets from the Hollywood Reporter to CBS Sports .

“At long last Sunday night, the NBA All-Star Game started. But not before Kevin Hart and Fergie dragged out the pregame proceedings in painful, interminable fashion, drawing almost nothing but howls from the world wide web,” the Washington Post wrote.

Jokes That Fall Flat

Hart took about 12 minutes to present players from Team LeBron James both teams and Team Steph Curry, largely because he felt the need to add comment, like This jab at Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic:

“First-time All-Star from the Miami Heat is the first player from Slovenia to make an All-Star honor and gain the nickname ‘The Dragon,’ because like a dragon, his breath will kill you.”

Groan.

Introducing Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, Hart quipped, “Not only does he think the world is flat, he thinks Elvis works at the Target down the street from his house.”

What that means, we are not sure, and neither did anybody.

Hart’s act on Sunday should come as no surprise to anyone who followed him during a current high-stakes cash game that is livestreamed or the 2017 Aria Super High Roller Bowl at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He cracks jokes, many of which appear forced when he is at the poker table when cameras are rolling.

Not Funny

Feedback on Hart’s pre-game introductions was largely negative. Twitter trolls were out in full swing, bashing the comedian. Just a sampling of the tweets that trounced the celebrity’s comedic skills

“damn this Kevin Hart intro might be the first L Philly has taken since the Super Bowl,” @tallmaurice joked about the Philadelphia-born comedian.

“Kevin Hart was so bad I believed he was tanking to get a lottery pick,” sports writer Peter Vecsey posted.

“the NBA Players laughed more at Fergie’s terrible attempt at the National Anthem more than Kevin Hart’s jokes,” @NickTheBullsFan wrote.

“Who gave Kevin Hart the okay to do all of this? This is dreadful,” asked @JKap415.

“Remember when Dave Chappelle said he didn’t wanna wind up like Kevin Hart? This is exactly what he meant,” @NotCleveland tweeted.

After his dreadful performance on All-Star Sunday PokerStars will be better off replacing Kevin Hart with Dave Chappelle. Or, just about anyone.

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WSOP to Give Away First-Ever Online Circuit Ring in Nevada Playerpools Hovers

Nevada’s WSOP.com is set to increase its appeal on February 27 when it hosts the first-ever online Circuit Ring occasion.

WSOP.com Circuit Ring event.

Ring ring: WSOP.com will host a ring event for the first time on February 27 as part of its Las Vegas Circuit festival. (Image: blog.wsop.com)

After the recent success of its online bracelet events, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has augmented its Circuit schedule with a $365 showdown.

Kicking off at 6:30 pm Pacific time, the championship be available exclusively to those inside the state borders of Nevada at the time of play and will be the first of its kind on the tour.

Action, Action

The new tournament has been added to the WSOP’s Rio Las Vegas Circuit program, which comprises 14 events. In an attempt to make it as accessible as possible, WSOP.com Nevada launched a series of satellites February 16, as well as a particular reload bonus.

The festival kicked off with a $ $365 No Limit Hold’em occasion that is re-entry. Also on the docket is a selection of non-Hold’em tournaments, and a Main Event with a $1 million guaranteed prizepool.

Adding an event is part of the WSOP’s ongoing mission to provide value and drive more visitors. Of integrating showdowns to its 10, the notion was first introduced in 2015.

During the first WSOP bracelet occasion that was online, 905 players paid $1,000 to join the activity. The last six players were brought to the Rio, where the winner was determined using a live shootout, after the tournament reached its latter stages.

In the end, Anthony Spinella clinched his bracelet and $197,743. The organizers saw even more gamers ante-up and stuck to the identical formula together with the event getting the largest-ever online MTT in US history.

Integrating Internet and Land Occasions

With the popularity of previous events that were online, the 2017 WSOP program saw three virtual tournaments added to the mixture. Known as the Summer Grind Tour 2017, the events offered full online action, although three different buy-ins.

The finale’s elimination was shown to be a hit and, in the summer of 2018, a MTT has been added to the program.

Although the logistics are currently being ironed out, Nevada will soon be sharing its playerpool with sites in New Jersey and Delaware. Across all three countries, this increases the amount of activity in the first case, and will boost future WSOP events.

WSOP.com now has a presence in Nevada and New Jersey, so cross-state ring and bracelet opportunities might not only be possible, but would potentially draw record numbers.

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