Episode 11: Morning of Seven We aren’t wasting any time getting to Norman’s bets anymore; he promises to remarry his first wife and divorce her again after Mark Newhouse inevitably proves how wrong he has been all season. Even if I didn’t already know the future I would be certain Newhouse would make it based on how pompous Norman has been. Let’s start with assuming that this episode will be about half the remaining July eliminations, which is the $287K payout range: Dan Smith starts with pocket Queens, but Scott Palmer goes all-in for 685K with A-3 of diamonds. Billy Pappas has some huge towers of chips that justify calling with J-J.
98K of clubs flop. The turn is a 6, Smith bets and Pappas drops out. Palmer is rescued with a river Ace and stays afloat for a while longer. Starting out slow Lon takes a look at Brian Roberts with the lowest stack (1.3 million), but focus shifts to Kyle Keranen who is in a bit of danger himself with 4.4M. Keranen tests the waters with K-Q. Felix Stephensen in the big blind and his 7-7 is the only taker. 47QJT completes Stephensen’s set and gives Keranen top pair. Stephensen nurtures the pot enough to drop Keranen to about three million chips. Newhouse will pit 9-8 suited against Shawn Dempsey’s pocket Kings.
64Q5J, Newhouse hits the flush on the river. Dempsey bets a half million, Newhouse raises him all-in. Dempsey is our first elimination of the night. Tom Sarra, Jr. loses a modicum of chips to Oscar Kemps when Kemps catches river trips, which sounds like a disease you get from swimming in dirty water. Gradual climb Brian Roberts will go all-in with K-J off-suit. Eddy Sabat will call him with A-Q. Bruno Politano teases us with wired Tens but won’t go for it. 7AT7A, Roberts is also knocked out. Sarra has A-T and wants to recoup his small loss against Andoni Larrabe and his 8-8. Larrabe isn’t in the mood to play around and raises 4.4M, which would put Sarra all-in. Sarra goes for it, the odds are nearly even. QTT46, Sarra and Larrabe trade chip positions. Dan Sindelar’s 9-9 becomes a set on a 749 flop, disappointing Leif Force and his pocket Aces. Force bets anyway, and again after the Jack on the turn, and again with the 6 on the river. Sindelar just lets Force hand over money to him card after card, but scares his opponent off when he tries to push Force all-in. I feel I’m missing the opportunity for a Star Wars joke here. Amateur versus Amateur First timer Scott Mahin has K-J, first timer Billy Pappas has A-K. The flop is T8Q, Pappas has the advantage but Mahin can’t afford to back off so goes all-in. Pappas relents, so Mahin survives for now. But Pappas will show more courage with J-J against William Tonking with A-A. After the 28T flop, Pappas puts Tonking all-in. A 6 and a 4 later, Tonking doubles up to over ten million chips. Pappas declines to just under ten million himself. Bryan Devonshire goes all-in with pocket Tens, Max Senft thinks A-J suited is enough to call him. K2AQ6 and Devo heads home. Senft is in 11th place with 7.76M. Keranen departs Politano bets on wired Kings, and Keranen tries to find an opening with K-Q. Keranen will go all-in, the Brazilian calls. It’s a 9 million chip pot. 6T73, Kyle Keranen will be leaving us. With one of their most favored players exiting, ESPN will have to adjust coverage now. Reeling from this fact, they for some reason decide the eliminations of Yorane Kerignard and Iaron Lightbourne are not dramatic enough to show onscreen. Still no Force puns They do show us Leif Force going all-in with K-Q against the A-T of Chris “The Bassmaster” Greaves. It’s 9TT58, Force is gone. We are two eliminations from the next payout increase. Stephensen will bet with A-T of diamonds. Sabat calls with J-J. Unexpectedly, big blind Martin Jacobson also stays in with 7-5 of hearts. We see 239. Stephensen bets, Sabat calls and Jacobson folds. The turn is a 7 and both check. Stephensen gets his Ace and ekes some more chips from Sabat, climbing to 10.8 for Gentleman Jack’s “Right Move” of the episode. Dan Smith bets his A-K suited. Jorryt van Hoof raises with a pair of Fours. Smith re-raises up to 1.8 million. Van Hoof goes all-in for 6.45M. Smith calls. 238Q3, Dan Smith is suddenly out, to van Hoof’s benefit. That’s it for the tonight’s first episode. Episode 12: The Home Stretch begins Sarra is losing to Sindelar with nothing in his hand, but is willing to bluff for five million chips. Sindelar folds a superior hand but remains chip leader. One more elimination and we’ll reshuffle to the final two tables. Andrey Zaichenko feels like betting on A-5 of clubs. Newhouse with K-Q and Jacobson with 8-7 will both call. KQ8, Newhouse makes both pairs. Zaichenko bets exploratorily, Jacobson folds his low pair. Newhouse just patiently calls. Zaichenko bets another million after the 7 turn, Newhouse stays the course. With a 9 on the river Zaichenko finally checks. Newhouse bets big, Zaichenko scurries away. More Norman bluster Norman insists that Newhouse will not reach the final table in the next three thousand years. Lon takes the opportunity to start listing the stupid bets Norman has made so far, but Norman interrupts him to add one more: climbing the Eiffel Tower in a plaid toga while noshing on greasy fries. Norman goes further than his previous statements, now saying it has nothing to do with Newhouse: no one will succeed in back-to-back November Nine runs with more than six thousand players in the Main Event, it’s just too difficult. Scott Palmer shoves with 2-2 and gets called by Greaves with Aces.
93433, one full house loses to a better full house. Palmer is the final player to make 287K, and we’ll redraw the tables just as soon as Luis Velador finishes his hand with Billy Pappas. Pappas: 6-6. Velador: A-K of diamonds. The flop: 5J5. Velador bets. Turn: 3. River: 3. Pappas bets 700K, Velador calls despite having nothing. Pappas reaches 7th place. Redraw: Good for Newhouse Let’s see some new tables. Half of these players are going to make it now. Half will be going home today. Velador betting again, K-Q. This time he faces Newhouse, who bets with 8-6 suited.
84JT3. Newhouse takes a relatively small pot with his pair. Newhouse is in 5th place, Norman refuses to think about paying up. Newhouse will also call with A-Q against Stephensen with K-Q. The flop is 5Q2. Stephensen bets, Newhouse calls. Jack. Stephensen checks, Newhouse gets aggressive. River is a 6. Newhouse bets more, Stephensen calls and loses to a better kicker. Newhouse is now in 4th with 17 million. With two fairly satisfying hands in a row, Newhouse decides to bet with Q-3 of clubs. Velador with K-Q will call from the big blind. J9Q, once again two players have a pair of Queens on the flop but this time it’s Newhouse with the inferior kicker. Another King for Velador. After a river 9 Velador bets modestly, Newhouse senses he’s lost but the final bet is small enough it’s worth seeing. Of course they’re doing the hat Event #7 in the Side Action Championship is the inevitable “throw cards into a hat.” Hellmuth wins, I again fail to feign enthusiasm. Zaichenko goes all-in with A-J unsuited with 2.6 million against Sindelar’s 8-8.
23Q of spades. Zaichenko is one spade short of a flush. Turn King, now there is also a possible straight. The 9 of spades saves Zaichenko, it’s only a minor injury to Daniel Sindelar. Mahin bluffs a small pot away from Larrabe. He’s still the short stack at his table, so next hand he’ll bet on A-K. Newhouse throws his weight around, raising him to a million chips pre-flop. Mahin goes all-in, Newhouse rewards him with a fold. Newhouse bets with A-9 suited. Stephensen re-raises his A-K. Newhouse four-bets 5M, Stephensen goes all-in for seven million. Newhouse calls, no one knows why.
KQJ, very bad news for Newhouse. An 8 on the turn means his only hope is to both tie with broadway straights. But the final card is a 2, and the two players trade positions. A painful loss for Newhouse. A graceful exit Larrabe is in, he likes A-K of diamonds. The only taker is Mahin, and his T-8 is not confident. He shows no reaction to the 6T8 that appears and checks. Larrabe smells a flush draw and bets 550K; Mahin re-raises to 1.5. Larrabe puts Mahin all-in for 5M.
Larrabe is not pleased to see his Ace against two pair. That Ace becomes a pair on the turn, but the odds are still weak. But the 9 of diamonds completes Larrabe’s flush, and Scott Mahin is gone. Some people would remember this as a bad beat, but the third of a million dollars clearly softens the blow. Kara Scott interviews Mahin on the way out, with tears in his eyes he just looks grateful at the opportunities that have opened for his family as a result of making it this far in his first tournament. One last big hand Zaichenko sits pretty happy with wired Aces, but for some reason Jorryt van Hoof calls with T-6. Amazingly he flops a straight, 987. Zaichenko has no reason to suspect, he calls van Hoof’s 550K bet. A 4 of diamonds means Zaichenko has no chance, Jorryt placidly calls to lure Zaichenko into betting a million chips. After a brief leading hesitation van Hoof raises 5.86 million, putting Zaichenko all-in. Zaichenko takes the bait. We see the pointless King, Zaichenko is knocked out in 17th place. Van Hoof is now in second place with almost 21 million chips, only a tiny bit behind chip leader Daniel Sindelar. Amazing hand there, but the DraftKings.com “King of the Night” will be awarded to newcomer Scott Mahin for an amazing first-time run and for going out with class. There are sixteen players left, we’ll get rid of seven more next week when we finally wrap up July and catch up to the present. Previous Post Next Post episodes|espn|wsop About Ryan Ocello

I was recently talking with a friend about which card rooms that I frequently visit out west and it led into a discussion about what amenities we would like in a live card room. Thinking further on the matter, my ideal card room would really be a hodgepodge of rooms that I have played in around the country with a couple added amenities. Below are some of the features from my perfect live card room. Games You want to guarantee that I will seldom come to your casino? Spread only Texas Hold’em. I refuse to frequent casinos that only spread Hold’em. As a mixed games player, a casino has to have variety in order for me to be a regular. By variety, that means you must spread at least the following: • Limit AND No-Limit Texas Hold’em
• Seven Card Stud
• Omaha Hi-Lo
• Pot-Limit Omaha My ideal casino would spread the above games as well as Stud 8 or Better, and other varieties of games such as Badugi and 2-7 Lowball. H.O.R.S.E., 8-Game or mixed variants such as Mixed Hold’em or Triple Stud would be great as well. Furthermore, I prefer casinos that regularly offer tournaments in variants other than Hold’em. Tournament Director Johnny Groomes had a great philosophy for events he used to run at the Gold Strike in Tunica, MS. He said that he was going to always spread at least five variants of poker regardless of how well they drew. There is a market for mixed games and casinos that spread more than Texas Hold’em can tap that market. Dealers When it comes to dealers, I’m actually fairly lax on my requirements. In most cases, if a dealer is nice and works hard, I can look over mistakes. With that said, there are a few things that I like to see in dealers. First, I believe that dealers should have a solid command on the English language. I’m not saying they have to understand all our idiosyncrasies or our slang, but we should be able to have a basic conversation with a dealer. There’s nothing more frustrating that having a problem with a game and having to get a floor man to come to the table to handle the problem because the dealer doesn’t understand what you’re saying. Next, dealers should be able to deal all of the games that are spread in the casino competently. It doesn’t matter if it is spread or played regularly. If it is on the board, dealers should be able to deal it. Omaha Hi-Lo players understand the frustration of this, especially in tournaments. You get a dealer that has seldom, if ever, dealt a game and they slow down the game because of their lack of experience. Otherwise, I have few preferences on dealers. Male or female, it doesn’t matter to me. Just be fast and act like you like dealing to my table a bit. Food / Drinks / Service One benefit that every live poker room should offer is food and drink service beyond your typical cocktail server. The Bicycle Casino was one of my favorite places to play because of their table service. In addition to your typical cocktail servers, you regularly had food service that came around with a solid menu that you could order from. Whether you wanted greasy or healthy, they had options. However, my favorite option was actually the porters. The porters are the equivalent of your old school gophers. You want some food that isn’t on the food service menu? Get the porter to go order your meal and bring it. Want some candy or sodas from the gift shop? Porter! My ideal poker room would be similar to the bike with cocktail, food service and porters. To add icing on the cake, let’s have an option like what the Trump Taj’s room has in Atlantic City: go to the back of the poker room and take an elevator straight to the second floor snack shop. This would allow you to get away from the poker room while taking a break away from the restlessness of the casino. Tables / Chairs My ideal poker room would have upgrades over your standard room. First, auto-shufflers on all tables regardless of the limits. Everyone deserves to have the maximum number of hands possible. Next, I would prefer to have some extra large tables to allow for some of us players that belong to the Association of Broad Bottom Architects. You put three or four of us at one end of the table and that’s like stuffing sardines into a snuffbox. Also, how about we look at the poker room layout. Many poker rooms decide to put the table so close together that it can be difficult to get in and out without hitting players at other tables. Poker tables should have enough space between them for an old person to drive a motorized scooter between tables and not touch anyone. That would be proper table spacing. Let’s next look at chairs… Why must many poker rooms use these horrible stacking chairs with cushions that go flat when a cat sits on them? Let’s get some nice padded executive style office chairs with nice padding on them and wheels. Give your players some comfort at the tables. After all, most will walk away with nothing but a memory. At least make them comfortable while doing so. Rake Finally, let’s talk a bit about rake. First, my ideal card room would not take a dead drop in any form. Rake would also only start if a pot gets to the flop (or second round of betting in other games.) Next, if a room chooses a rake structure, I prefer a 5% rake structure. While this is considered a bit low compared to many live card rooms, it is better for players. However, if I have my true preference, I would prefer to pay a time charge to a rake. Essentially, each player posts the equivalent of the big blind as a time charge each half hour. In a $3-$6 game, you pay $3 every half hour. This would be a drop to the casino in lieu of per hand rake. For many games, this will be cheaper than standard rake. Higher limit games could offer a discounted drop to keep players happy or draw new blood. Previous Post Next Post About James Guill Originally a semi-professional player, James transitioned to the media side in 2008. Since then he has made a name for himself reporting for some of the top names in the industry. When not covering the poker world, James travels around central Virginia hunting for antique treasure.

When Amaya closed its blockbuster $4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars in early-August, it was widely assumed that the online poker behemoth would gain entry into New Jersey sooner rather than later – sooner meaning sometime before the end of October. Yet here we are, a mere two weeks away from the other Black Friday, and there’s been no word regarding when, or even if, PokerStars will make its triumphant return to the United States. Online poker players previously set on the idea that PokerStars would already be a force in New Jersey are left wondering “what’s the holdup?” as they watch the state’s stagnant online poker industry struggle through another week. So what is the holdup? The answer may lie in a multitude of factors. A little history In the days following Amaya’s announcement that it had entered into an agreement to purchase the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, David Rebuck of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) told Pokerfuse that he was “encouraged by this development and the expanded opportunities it might provide for New Jersey’s Internet gaming industry.” Later that month, it was announced that PokerStars’ application was up for review by the agency, effectively ending a two-year license application suspension forced by the DGE. Having more than satisfied the DGE’s demands that key personnel operating within PokerStars’ infrastructure be removed, PokerStars’ reentry into the U.S. market suddenly appeared imminent. Shortly after, rumors began circulating that PokerStars would launch in New Jersey sometime in October. These speculations reached a fever pitch when New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak indicated that an announcement from the DGE regarding Stars was only “weeks, not months” away. Optimism was at all-time high. But as October turned into November the Senator’s tone began to change, and since, credible news sources such as Pokerfuse have reported that PokerStars will not launch in New Jersey until 2015. Granted, delays in the U.S’s regulated iGaming sphere aren’t exactly uncommon – one needn’t look further than California’s six-year plight to legalize online poker to realize that – but given that New Jersey’s other poker rooms all launched within four months of receiving licenses, combined with the fact that PokerStars’ application had already been at least partially reviewed prior to the Amaya acquisition, it seemed quite reasonable to assume that PokerStars would be a presence in NJ by October. What caused the delay? Politics Based on Senator Lesniak’s recent Twitter exchanges, it can be concluded that politics are at least one of the underlying forces driving the PokerStars delay. On October 28th, Lesniak engaged in a rather frank interaction with another user indicating that it’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie causing the hold up:
But doesn’t the DGE have the final word on whether a license is approved? Technically yes, but based on Lesniak’s statement, it appears that the Division will not act without the Governor’s approval. This raises the question as to why Gov. Christie, who in the past has vocalized his commitment to revitalizing Atlantic City, would want to push off PokerStars’ entry. Clues were revealed on Tuesday, as part of a second Twitter exchange between the Senator, NJ poker players and members of the poker media, including OnlinePokerReport.com’s Chris Grove. The Senator went on to state that the aforementioned is his “opinion based on 37 years of political insight.” Based on the myriad of anti-PokerStars rhetoric that has filtered its way into major NJ-based publications over the past few months, it’s quite apparent that online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson is vehemently against PokerStars returning to the United States. Not only will PokerStars’ launch in New Jersey likely inspire a revitalization of Atlantic City’s fledgling gaming economy, it could set off a domino effect where other states on the proverbial iGaming fence let down their guard and cash in on a suddenly prosperous new market. Should that happen, Adelson’s plight to institute a federal iGaming ban will invariably suffer, and as a result he may feel less inclined to support Governor Christie in his 2016 Presidential election bid. Considering that Adelson spent $92 million on losing candidates in 2012, it would behoove Gov. Christie to give the go-ahead to a company that was A) indicted by the DOJ in 2011, and B) has the ability to alter the face of the Garden State’s brick & mortar casino industry – at least not until Adelson has had ample time to systematically deconstruct all the progress iGaming champions have made during the past three years. Software Or maybe the New Jersey version of PokerStars’ software simply isn’t ready for prime time. PokerStars is all too familiar with the problems that plagued New Jersey’s other poker sites at launch, some of which continue to dissuade grinders from playing on regulated sites to this very day. For PokerStars to release a product riddled with bugs and server issues would be nothing short of a disaster. And while PokerStars does have experience operating in segregated markets such as Spain and Italy, New Jersey’s regulatory environment presents hurdles that the company doesn’t often encounter such as the Garden State’s geolocation model and the nonacceptance of features like peer-to-peer transfers. Then there’s the fact that the PokerStars client is in the midst of a transition. PokerStars 7, an extensive upgrade to the company’s already pioneering online poker software, has been available in Beta form in most markets for only the past several months. It’s conceivable that PokerStars originally planned to submit PokerStars 6 for review, but has since opted to launch PokerStars 7 in New Jersey, thereby extending the testing process. It’s for one or a combination of the aforementioned reasons that PokerStars may have opted to push back its launch date. Timing PokerStars has experienced its fair share of controversy in the past month, and in the entire Amaya era for that matter. Unpopular changes to the site’s rake policies have prompted resistance from players, most notably in the form of semi-organized sit-outs and forum rants. PokerStars has withdrawn from dozens of gray markets. Further changes to the site’s VIP program are expected in the newly regulated UK market in 2015. And players are becoming increasingly paranoid that Amaya will bring about Stars’ ruin. Maybe PokerStars is waiting until players regain confidence before embarking on a new journey. Either that, or PokerStars is holding back until traffic in New Jersey completely bottoms out, so that the company comes off as a sort of grand savior when it finally does launch its poker product. Admittedly, that’s a bit far-fetched, but given the company’s history, I wouldn’t entirely put it past them. Closing remarks In the case that PokerStars’ entry into New Jersey is being held up by the DGE’s testing process, or by PokerStars itself, then I’d fully expect to hear an announcement within the next several weeks. But in lieu of the Senator’s recent statements, I have to believe that the path towards reentry is more complicated than originally anticipated. If Gov. Christie views PokerStars as an impediment to his 2016 Presidential bid, it’s conceivable that PokerStars will not launch until the Republican presidential candidate is decided – although in my estimation, that’s a worst case scenario. Whenever politics are involved in a matter such as this, it’s the individuals who have their ability to choose stricken from them that invariability suffer. Delaying PokerStars’ entry because Sheldon Adelson wants to lead an ill-fated campaign against online gambling, and subsequently bring the United States one rung closer to becoming a police state, only hurts the players who have been unable to earn a living playing a skill-based game for the past 3.5 years. It’s shameful. Let’s hope, that at the very latest, we’ll be greeted by an announcement by the New Year. Otherwise, there is cause for concern. Previous Post Next Post amaya|online poker regulation|pokerstars|sheldon adelson About Robert DellaFave Robert DellaFave writes for a variety of online gaming sites and is also working on programming a poker simulation creative enough to beat the best. Follow Robert on Twitter @DivergentGames and on Google+

It’s an argument that makes sense: Increased access to gambling should lead to an increase in the percentage of problem gamblers. However, a new study conducted by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) with the help of SUNY at Buffalo State painted a different picture. What gives this particular study so much weight is who performed the study, and how it was funded. The University of Buffalo received a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to conduct the study into the rate of problem gambling over the past decade. One of the researchers, Dr. John Welte, PhD, is certainly not a shill for the gambling industry. In a previous study Dr. Welte concluded that people living within 10 miles of a casino are twice as likely to show signs of problem gambling. Therefore, the current study is in direct contradiction with his previous research, which makes the study difficult to simply dismiss by opponents of online gambling on the grounds of bias. What they found The study is over a decade in the making as the researchers, John W. Welte, PhD and Grace M. Barnes, PhD from the University of Buffalo along with William F. Wieczorek, PhD of SUNY conducted a telephone survey from 2011-2013 and compared the results to an identical survey conducted back in 1999-2000. What they discovered was that problem and pathological gambling rates remained consistent despite the rise of Internet gambling in the 2000’s and the proliferation of casinos across the country. Furthermore, the study found participation rates had decreased over that time period. “Our results show it is clear that U.S. residents are gambling less often,” Welte stated in a press release. This creates a juxtaposition with his prior research. If proximity increases the likelihood of problem gambling why haven’t the rates increased with the addition of online gambling? Welte speculated on two potential reasons: Other possible reasons Conjecture Alert! My argument against the theory that access leads to increased problem gambling has always been the same: The people who are likely to be problem gamblers are not deterred by a lack of access to gambling. These are the people that will seek out underground casinos and go to great lengths to gamble online even where it is prohibited. Let’s also not overlook that it’s far easier (both in terms of access and convenience) to burn through a couple hundred dollars playing keno or buying scratch tickets than it is to gamble online. So, as long as these basic gambling options are present in society, problem gamblers will always have an outlet, with or without Internet gambling. Another explanation for why problem gambling rates have not increased with the onset and rise of online gambling likely has to do with the logistics of gambling online. Gamblers cannot simply cash their paycheck and deposit that money to an online casino. It requires setting up an account, using some form of payment processing (be it credit card, eCheck, or online eWallet), and of course withdrawals are from immediate, and can take up to several weeks to process. This might also help explain why problem gambling rates increase when people live in close proximity to a land-based casino, but not when they have access to online gambling. Quite frankly, the logistical constraints of online gambling are not ideal for someone simply looking for the rush of gambling, especially if your winnings are going to be tied up for 7-10 days. Finally, online gambling is just different. Every bit of data we have indicates that the crossover between land-based gamblers and online gamblers is much smaller than anyone anticipated. Gambling at a casino, going to the racetrack or an off-track betting parlor, or even playing keno at a bar, are social activities, while online gambling is for all intents and purposes a solitary pursuit. Part of the allure for problem gamblers could be the ability to drown your sorrows with other people or have somebody to celebrate when you hit big. Previous Post Next Post igaming|online gambling|problem gambling About Steve Ruddock Steve Ruddock is a longtime member of the online gambling industry. He covers the regulated US online casino and poker industries for variety of publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

2014 may not have produced any movement on the legislative front, but it was a year of iGaming conference and hearing proliferation. From a forum in Massachusetts, to hearings in Pennsylvania, to hearings and conferences in California, iGaming was finally being discussed out in the open. Building on the success of 2014, the first major iGaming conference of 2015 has already been announced, the iGaming Legislative Symposium (IGLS), and it will take place in what is widely considered to be the linchpin state when it comes to online gaming expansion in the U.S., California. This is the second annual IGLS conference. IGLS 2014: Recap As California’s online poker train hurtled toward what looked to be passage in the state legislature this year (before the inevitable derailment), a number of hearings and conferences were held to discuss all things California and online poker. One of those conferences, the iGaming Legislative Symposium was a huge success, and attracted the biggest names in online gaming in California and across the globe. IGLS 2014 saw lawmakers, analysts, tribal leaders, and pundits come together and discuss the major issues in California. Even though many issues weren’t hashed out, and California eventually shelved online poker in 2014, IGLS 2014 was a productive conference, and hopefully IGLS 2015 will push the envelope even farther. For a look back at the highlights from the inaugural IGLS you can take a look at John Brennan’s excellent column for NorthJersey.com which is essentially a sample of OnlinePokerReport.com’s Chris Grove‘s live tweets (Chris being the best live tweeter in the business). Or you can watch this short YouTube highlights clip: While these conferences might not reach the eyes and ears of the general public, but they do allow industry experts the opportunity to debate one another and more importantly, to present valuable information to lawmakers, who for the most part only possess a cursory understanding of the industry. IGLS 2015: What to expect IGLS 2014 was successful enough that the organizers, Pechanga.net and Spectrum Gaming Group, have decided to bring it back in 2015, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento, California will once again play host to the iGaming world on February 26, 2015. IGLS 2015 will be a one-day conference featuring two keynote addresses and six separate panel discussions:
Opening Keynote Address
Panel 1: 2014: The Year in Review
Panel 2: The Future of iGaming in California
Panel 3: Critical Issues for a Successful iGaming Rollout
Panel 4: Is iGaming More Addictive Than Land-based Gaming?
Luncheon Keynote Address
Panel 5: iGaming Regulation in California
Panel 6: Legislative Initiatives All of the panels will be highly informative, but perhaps the most interesting panel will be the discussion on addiction, as this will mark the first time (to my knowledge) this topic will be explored at such a conference. Addressing this key issue (which we now have ample research to fall back on) will be an important part of assuaging any lingering fears from legislators, and help preemptively debunk the likely attacks from Sheldon Adelson and the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. This panel will likely also address the many ways online gaming can identify problem gamblers and assist in treatment. Another must-see discussion will be Panel 6: Legislative Initiatives. This panel could provide the most fireworks depending on who the speakers are, as it will almost certainly delve into the highly contentious issues of racetracks, Bad Actor clauses, and the criteria for licensing in the state, which will affect smaller tribes and smaller card rooms. California still has a number of issues to work out, and hopefully some of them can be resolved (or at least addressed) at IGLS 2015. Keynote speakers and speakers for the individual panels have yet to be announced. Previous Post Next Post California|online poker legalization|online poker regulation About Steve Ruddock Steve Ruddock is a longtime member of the online gambling industry. He covers the regulated US online casino and poker industries for variety of publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

Over the weekend, Phil Ivey announced via his Twitter that the Ivey Poker app would be shut down effective immediately. Furthermore, the website connected to the app as well as the Ivey Poker Facebook page now reroute to Ivey League. Following the closure, there has been a lot of speculation as to why the site closed and the future of the site. I’m here to debunk a little bit of that speculation and share what I can about the situation. From July 2013 until the end of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, I served as the webmaster for IveyPoker.com. If it was on the site, I put it there. I’ve actually known about the shutdown of the app since July but could not share until now. Crockfords Had No Impact on Shutting Down the App One point of speculation that I have seen floated on multiple sites is that the Crockfords case against Phil in some way influenced the shutdown of the app. That is an inaccurate assumption on multiple levels. First, I can confirm one bit of speculation in that some pros were told around the end of the WSOP that the app was going away. I was officially informed of the company’s decision on July 14 and that’s when my contract with the company was terminated. You may notice that all updates to the site stopped at that time. The assumption that Ivey losing the case to Crockfords put him in a tenuous financial position regarding the app was a bit amusing. How quickly many have forgotten that he won the $250,000 Challenge at Aussie Millions on a single bullet. That netted him $3 million. Also, people treat the Crockfords case as if he lost the $12 million out of pocket. Rather, he simply was not paid “winnings” from the casino. Big difference. Shutdown Not Surprising While I enjoyed my time working with Ivey Poker, the shutdown of the app was not a surprise to me whatsoever. The app simply did not draw the amount of traffic that anyone had hoped. Quite often, you would go to the lobby and at peak hours, we might have 50 players. While that might be acceptable for a fledgling real-money site, it just doesn’t work for a free to play site. The “play with the pros” concept was solid and when the pros were on the site, there was usually a waiting list to play them. Everyone has probably played with Gillian Epp at least once as she practically lived on the site. Unfortunately, the concept didn’t draw the players in mass. For me, the writing was on the wall when the site started offering tournaments awarding free Gold and free chips and we had a hard time pulling over 50 entries, including rebuys. What happened? Simply, I think market saturation killed us. There were just too many free to play sites out there and Ivey Poker couldn’t get enough traction during the first run. Ivey League is Not Going Away If you notice, everything with the company is now focused exclusively on Ivey League. From my time with the company, this is not surprising in the least. While I cannot go into full disclosure, the Ivey League training site is doing well and is not going anywhere. Part of Ivey League’s success is the fact that they do not rely too heavily on the “celebrity status” pros for content. While there is content from Ivey, Antonius and the other, the meat of the site is driven by the everyday pros, trainers and grinders that helped make LeggoPoker, and now Ivey Poker, a success. I’m not privy to current membership numbers but back a couple months prior to the start of the WSOP, the number of members with a Master’s tier subscription was impressive. Also, you don’t see a lot of turnover with the coaches. The team is dedicated to growing the site. What Does Evolution Look Like? Here is where I will speculate a bit because I am no longer officially tied to the company. My personal opinion is that if the app returns, it becomes an extension of Ivey League and not a separate entity as before. Ivey League is proving to be a solid product and using the app as a lead-in to poker training with Ivey League makes more sense. If you remember, Ivey Poker had a training section when they started. That was updated periodically until Ivey League came out. What I see happening with the next release of what I will dub the Ivey League App is a training section that is just the basics and then further training going to Ivey League and their three-tier subscription plan. Ivey Poker as you know it is history. Ivey’s statement revealed as much. Ivey League is the focus for the company now and that’s where the focus will be in the future. Previous Post Next Post Ivey About James Guill Originally a semi-professional player, James transitioned to the media side in 2008. Since then he has made a name for himself reporting for some of the top names in the industry. When not covering the poker world, James travels around central Virginia hunting for antique treasure.

On Monday morning, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel owned PrivateTable.com announced that its real-money bingo site, DesertRoseBingo.com, is now live and accepting registrants from the state of California.
Desert Rose Bingo is a joint venture between the Santa Ysabel and iGaming company Great Luck, and will utilize the latter’s browser-based VPN Aided Play System (VPNAPS) technology. Using this tech, players will engage a proxy of their web enabled device, be it a desktop, smartphone or tablet, ensuring that all play takes place on the Santa Ysabel’s reservation. Whether or not this safeguard will be enough to satiate the long arm of the law remains largely in doubt. Read the Santa Ysabel’s full press release here. Desert Rose Bingo: The basics Desert Rose Bingo is available to California residents 18 years and older. At the present time bingo cards are available in four denominations: $.01, $.05, $.25 and $1. Live bingo play is not performed in any capacity by the end user, instead, all real-money wagering is handled via proxy. As per Santa Ysabel: Players who reside outside of California, and who are interested in receiving Desert Rose Bingo updates, are encouraged to opt in to the site’s mailing list. Desert Rose’s history dates back to 2013 Apparently, Desert Rose was to initially launch as a joint venture between Great Luck and the Alturas Band of Indians back in January. In a December 2013 piece written for Global Gaming Business, Great Luck chief exec. Joe Valandra outlines the company’s plans to launch the product, indicating that Desert Rose complies fully with “both the IGRA and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).” Desert Rose attorney Kevin Quigley concurs, citing: Online poker next? Santa Ysabel Interactive Director of Marketing Chris Wrieden has confirmed to CaliforniaOnlinePoker.com that PrivateTable.com plans to launch real-money online poker on the site within the “next couple of weeks,” pending any setbacks. Granted, it’s difficult to place too much stock in any projected release window, as PrivateTable.com has indicated on multiple occasions since launching the play-money version of its site in July that a real-money equivalent was coming “very soon.” If anything, the launch of Desert Rose Bingo may present legal hurdles that would delay the release of PrivateTable’s real-money poker room further. Irony abounds. In either case, via today’s announcement, the Santa Ysabel have all but dispelled the notion that its plans were nothing more than an elaborate ruse designed to force California lawmakers to acknowledge small tribes as part of any iGaming bill. As per Wrieden: Early signup figures fail to impress As of the time of this writing, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of activity on Desert Rose Bingo. The “Newest Members” tab is currently showing that a mere 10 residents have signed up since October 31. That’s about an average of 2.5 new players per day. More laughable, is that the site’s top winner to date has raked in a paltry $2.22. Based on these figures, it appears that Desert Rose may be remembered more for the legal debate it prompts than its success within the iGaming sphere. Time will tell. Previous Post Next Post About Robert DellaFave Robert DellaFave writes for a variety of online gaming sites and is also working on programming a poker simulation creative enough to beat the best. Follow Robert on Twitter @DivergentGames and on Google+