Virtua Casinos - NEWS Virtua Casinos en-us 266 105 Let's Meet The 2011 WSOP November Nine The 2011 WSOP November Nine who will play the final table of the most prestigious poker tournament in the world at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas were finally decided.

The nine players who will return to Las Vegas on November 5th are:
1st Martin Staszko- 40,100,000;
2nd Eoghan O’Dea – 33,900,000;
3rd Matt Gianetti – 24,700,000;
4th Phil Collins – 23,800,000;
5th Ben Lamb – 20,800,000;
6th Badih Bounahra – 19,700,000;
7th Pius Heinz – 16,400,000;
8th Anton Makiievskyi – 13,800,000;
9th Sam Holden – 12,300,000.

So let's meet these luckiest nine poker players:
Martin Staszko, 35 year-old, is a professional poker pro from Trinec, Czech Republic. He is the first player from the Czech Republic to ever make the WSOP Main Event final table. Staszko is a professional poker and chess player, with four cashes at the 2011 WSOP prior to the main event, and a 11th place finish at the 2010 EPT Deauville Main Event for $50,000. His playing style is smart and aggressive.

Eoghan O'Dea, 26 year-old, from Dublin Ireland, is the son of the famous poker player Donnacha 'The Don' O'Dea and it looks like he inherited his father's talent in poker. Donnacha finished sixth in the 1983 WSOP Main Event and 9th in the 1991 WSOP Main Event. The young O'Dea learned the game when he was only a teenager and won the 2008 iPoker ECOOP III, the first live tournament he ever entered, for $315,000. His poker achievements include two second place finishes at the WPT Marrakech, for $378,227 and at the Ladbrokes Million VII, for $260,000.

Matt Gianetti, 26 year-old, from Austin, Texas, is a professional player in both live and online tournaments. His poker achievements include eleven cashes at the 2006 WSOP events and a $65,000 win in the 2006 WPT Championship, where he finished in 35th place. Gianetti's live tournament career earnings exceed $500,000.

Phil Collins, 26 year-old, from South Carolina, also plays online and in live tournaments. His impressive career earnings count almost $3.5 million. The forth player in chips at the 2011 WSOP Main Event plays online as “USCphildo”.

Ben Lamb, 26 year-old, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has already won a WSOP bracelet this year, in addition to a 12th, an 8th, and a second place finish. Lamb is the “WSOP Player of the Year” who has already collected over $1.3 million in cashes at this year's WSOP alone. His impressive live tournament career include six first place finishes and over $2.5 million in 34 cashes.

Badih Bounahra, 49 year-old, from Belize, will be the oldest member of the November Nine. He is an amateur poker player with a single WSOP cash from a 51st place finish in a $2,000 buy-inNo-Limit Hold'em event in 2009. In 2008, he collected over $30,000 for finishing the first in Latin American Poker Tour.

Pius Heinz, 22 year-old from Germany, is one of the youngest contenders for the 2011 WSOP Main Event title. Heinz, who is known on the internet as MastaP89, became the first German player ever to make a WSOP main event final table. He has only one cash in a major live tournament, from making the final table of this year's WSOP and finishing in 7th place at the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. His biggest cash ever was the $61,000 first place prize at the 2010 Full Tilt Poker Sunday Mulligan event.

Anton Makievskyi, 21 year-old, from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, is the youngest player at the 2011 WSOP final table. Makievskyi is the only Ukrainian player ever to win a gold bracelet in a WSOP event. Makievskyi is the eight player on the chip leader-board.

Samuel Holden, 22 year-old from Sussex, UK, plays online and in live tournaments as well. He has achieved three cashes in the UKIPT events, and a 5th place finish in the PokerStars' Sunday Million for $54,390. His total online winnings exceed $285,000.

The 2011 November Nine players are from seven different countries. Four of them are the first players from Belize, Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine to ever make a WSOP final table. The final battle of the most prestigious poker event in the world will take place on November 5th at the Rio in Las Vegas - Penn and Teller Theatre. ]]>
ARJEL Suspends Full Tilt's French Licence The French gaming regulator ARJEL has decided to temporarily suspend the Full Tilt Poker's gambling licence. ARJEL's decision came as a result of Full Tilt's inability to provide players with the opportunity of reaching the website for real money play.

Since losing their licence from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Full Tilt Poker has been unavailable to players from all around the world, who were no longer able to deposit or withdraw money from their accounts.

In a statement released on its website, ARJEL said the Full Tilt's French licence holder, Rekop Limited, was suspended as a “precautionary measure”.
Meanwhile, Full Tilt Poker needs to seek additional financial guarantees to continue operating. Last week, a group of unnamed European investors had expressed their intention of purchasing Full Tilt Poker.

Financial analysts think a new investment would help the online poker operator to repay the American players and reopen the website, after the Black Friday events of April 15th. It seems like the company's financial resources are insufficient to pay them for the moment.

The French gaming regulatory authority ARJEL has requested Full Tilt Poker to cooperate with the authorities in order to restore access to the French website. ]]>
Poker Players To Sue Full Tilt Poker and FTP Pro Team Last week, Full Tilt Poker saw its licence suspended by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission.

After having its licence suspended, the online poker room is now facing a class-action lawsuit from a group of angry players affected by the Full Tilt crisis. Nick Hammer, Steve Segal, Tod Terry and Robin Hougdahl have sued the online poker website for failure to pay out funds to its US players. The plaintiffs mentioned they were acting “on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated” and that they want their funds back and Full Tilt Poker to compensate damages to US players.

The Plaintiffs “represent a nation-wide class of Full Tilt account holders residing in the United States . . . Plaintiffs bring suit to demand return of U.S. player funds and for damages . . . U.S. Players’ would never have suffered injury, but for the Defendants’ widespread scheme to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in order to pad their own pockets.”

The complaint was filled against the following names associated with Full Tilt online poker room: Raymond Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Gus Hansen and Patrick Antonius. Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick, who are the founders of Full Tilt Poker, were also indicted in the Black Friday crackdown, which took place in April.

Phil Ivey, one of the defendants, dropped his lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker last week. According to Ivey's lawyer David Chesnoff, the poker pro dropped his lawsuit because he believed that “Full Tilt is taking steps to see that players are paid”. The player's decision follows his recent trip to Ireland, where he met with FTP principals. ]]>
UK Mobile Gambling Market Hit £41 Million In 2010 The Californian media company IHS Screen Digest has released a new report on the UK mobile gambling market. According to the report, the market for mobile gaming in the UK has doubled in 2010, as the rising respectability of online wagering and the proliferation of smartphones attracted new users.

The net mobile gambling revenue in the United Kingdom has hit £41 million last year, up from £19 million in 2009.
The UK Gambling Commission showed that the percentage of the UK population participating in remote gambling defined as wagering via the telephone, television, Internet, tied a record high of 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 9.8% four years earlier in the first quarter of 2007.

Ronan De Renesse, senior analyst and head of mobile at IHS, said “The full implementation of the 2005 UK Gambling Act in 2007 helped change the public perception of mobile gambling by allowing online betting sites to advertise their services on television and radio for the first time. During the past 12 months, there has been a rapid increase in advertising spending from mobile gambling operators and other wagering operations to promote their services. Partly because of this, the opinion of gambling has changed in the country.”

“No longer does gambling conjure an image of a smoky betting shop hidden from the public. Instead, betting has crafted itself into a respectable enterprise by using ad campaigns featuring the endorsements of sports pundits.
Today, consumers want a quick, good-looking application that provides additional content and allows them to place bets, spin a roulette wheel or buy a bingo ticket with the same level of ease that they currently can find online. As a result, a new wave of speedy, glamorous mobile gambling applications is emerging, which can be promoted in the wider media with ease. IHS expects this trend to continue.” ]]>£41-Million-In-2010.htm
UK Gambling Act 2005 Under Review According to a recent report of the independent business services firm Ernst and Young on the British gambling market, the UK Gambling Act 2005 has limited the capacity of existing casinos to create new products.

Last month, the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt declared: "the Act hasn’t worked” and there had been a “whole series of problems with it”. The UK Gambling Act was created to support the expansion of the casino industry, to encourage new products and the development of the market. However, the legislation has only managed to slow down the growth of the industry.

The Ernst and Young report made several suggestions that could reanimate the land based casinos, generating an additional GBP 45 million in annual revenue for the Treasury.

Here are some of the recommendations:
- Gaming machines to be allowed inside the land-based casinos;
- A five-to-one machines to tables ratio should be extended across all casinos;
- Local authorities should be given greater power to decide the location of the casinos.

Michael Silberling, president of the National Casino Industry Forum told the newspaper: “It’s time to take some of these words and put them into action. I think the UK would be grateful for more jobs, more capital investment and more taxes. The time is now, not later.” ]]> Sponsors WSOP 2011 is the newest sponsor of the 2011 World Series of Poker. The world's largest web hosting provider and domain name registrar, will be the premier sponsor for the 42nd running of their tournament series. will be visible throughout the 2011 WSOP, both with on-site branding and televised advertising. Their logo will be prominently displayed on the table just below the community cards, making it clearly visible to every one of the event’s several million viewers.

“When you talk about, you are talking about some of the best marketers in the world, who are thoughtful about their platforms and selective in their promotional partnerships,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We know has a fun and edgy style and we welcome them into the greatest poker spectacle on the planet, which shares its personality.”

With this partnership, GoDaddy joins Jack Links and Dearfoam slippers as the 2011 sponsors of the 42nd Annual World Series of Poker.

The WSOP is the longest-running, richest and most prestigious poker event, that dates its origins back to 1970. The event award millions of dollars in prize money and prestigious gold bracelets, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Despite the events of Black Friday, the 2011 WSOP has seen a significant increase in attendance, with a 2.6% increase in overall attendance from last year. ]]>
Bwin.Party Extends Partnership Deal With FIBA Online gambling giant Bwin.Party digital entertainment has extended its deal with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the world governing body for basketball, until 2014.

The extended deal will see Bwin.Party promoting events such as EuroBasket 2011 and 2013, qualifying tournaments for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the 2014 FIBA World Championships for men and women.

“We are very happy to announce that Bwin.Party will continue to be a global partner of Fiba until 2014,” said Patrick Baumann, the Fiba secretary general. “This extension of the rights agreement proves that basketball offers a positive and growing platform for its sponsors. At the same time, Bwin.Party is a key ally in our efforts to fight illegal betting and to achieve a working relationship with the gaming industry.”

Norbert Teufelberger, co-chief executive of Bwin.Party digital entertainment, said: “The promotion of sports has always been an essential component of the Bwin sports brand philosophy. Basketball, along with football and motorcycle racing, is one of the three pillars of our sport sponsorship strategy.”

The extension of the FIBA sponsorship will come with live streaming rights for the FIBA tournaments in more than 30 European countries. ]]>
ASA Reveals Gambling Advertising Survey Results The UK's independent regulator of advertising across all media ASA has released the results of a new survey that established the compliance rate of advertisement in the gambling sector using the various media codes as reference.

The survey was conducted to determine whether gambling ads have continued to adhere to the tightened rules that are designed to ensure they are socially responsible and to protect young and vulnerable people from harm.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority's latest gambling advertising survey, the gambling brands achieved 96.1% compliance rate with the Advertising Codes.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority observed 796 adverts that appeared in a broad mix of media in the week starting 1st to 7th of July 2010 over the Football World Cup period. The ASA used its last Gambling Survey from 2007 as a comparison.

“We noted that the number of complaints about gambling product ads received by the ASA has been slowly decreasing. In 2008 the ASA received 262 complaints, in 2009 it received 211 and in 2010 it received 195, which, given the apparent increase in the volume of such ads, does suggest that advertisers are aware of the gambling rules and working hard to ensure compliance with those rules,” the ASA said.

Just 31 of the 796 adverts were found likely to violate the rules. After contacting the advertisers, the ASA Compliance team was assured the advertisers responsible will not place those ads again.

Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker said: “In the overwhelming majority of cases advertisers continue to promote their products responsibly. However, the sector should ensure that ‘free bet’ promotions are advertised fairly. If they do not, the ASA will not hesitate to take quick and effective action to remedy this problem.” ]]>
Phil Ivey Boycotts WSOP And Sues Full Tilt Poker Phil Ivey is an American professional poker player, regarded by most of the poker fans as the best all-around player in the world today, winner of eight WSOP bracelets and one World Poker Tour title. He plays exclusively on Full Tilt Poker, together with other big poker pros such as Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.

The poker legend has decided not to compete in the 2011 World Series of Poker and he announced he wants to boycott the WSOP as a sign of solidarity with the US Full Tilt customers who are still waiting to receive their money back.

Last Tuesday, Phil Ivey told his fans via Facebook that he was extremely embarrassed and disappointed by Full Tilt Poker. He said he was equally embarrassed that many players would not be able to compete in tournaments because Full Tilt Poker caused them economic harm.

“I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible,” he said.

Ivey thinks his name and reputation have been “dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others” and on behalf of all poker players, he refuses to remain silent any longer. “I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me,” he said.

Ivey's statement was further confirmed when he didn't make his appearance in the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship yesterday. The poker player confirmed he has filled suit against Tiltware, seeking damages in excess of $150 million. ]]>
Svenska Spel Hires New CEO Svenska Spel is a state-owned company launched in 1997 by the merger of the two state companies Penninglotteriet ("The money lottery") and Tipstjänst ("Tip service"). The company is operating in the regulated gambling market in Sweden.

Last week, a financial and banking executive has been named as the CEO of the Swedish gambling monopoly Svenska Spel. Lennart Kall will replace the temporary chief Anders Hagg, the company's CFO.

The new CEO of the Swedish Svenska Spel is the ex-chief of Wasa Kredit and a man who has built a career in banking and finance. Lennart Kall has held other senior posts in the Swedish banking and financial system as well, including management positions at TryggFinans, SEB Finans and ICA Banken.

Anitra Steen, chairman of the Svenska Spel, said the company was pleased to welcome Kall on the board. She thinks Kall has “solid and well documented experience in development and change management, as well as in sales and marketing from numerous companies,” proving he is a valuable leader that will be valuable for the future development of the company.

“Svenska Spel is an exciting company with a strong corporate brand and a number of popular gaming products,” said Kall of his new job. “Also, the connection to Swedish sports was very appealing to me. I am very honoured to be appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.”

“My gaming experience can be summarised in my weekly lottery numbers, but I also have 30 years business experience in a variety of trades and markets. The common denominator has been an interest in consumer markets and a strong customer focus. I will bring this experience to Svenska Spel.” ]]>
Swedish Player Becomes Youngest WPT Champion Lukas Berglund, the 18-year-old poker player from Sweden is the youngest WPT champion after topping a field of 216 players at the World Poker Tour Spanish Championship in Barcelona.

The young player, who has just left high school, entered the final table in fourth place, but it didn't take long before he won a 3-way all-in and eliminated two players. His final opponent was Frenchman Romain Matteoli and the head-up lasted just 15 minutes, with only three flops seen before the decisive hand.

Lukas Berglund was crowned the youngest WPT Champion in history. The player was also awarded a $25K seat to the upcoming WPT World Championship and we would probably hear more about him in the future.

The final table results and payouts were as follows:
1. Lukas Berglund - €260,000;
2. Romain Matteoli - €118,000;
3. Frederic Bussot - €64,000;
4. Jorge Duffour - €47,000;
5. Guillem Usero - €40,000;
6. Alexander Sidorin - €33,500;
7. Artur Koren - €27,000;
8. Markus Ristola - €20,200. ]]>
Microgaming Launches First 3D Online Slot Microgaming, the leading online casino software provider has announced the launch of its first 3D slot game.

In January 2011, Microgaming had announced that it would soon launch a line of 3D slot games through various Microgaming casinos. Jackpot City is the first online casino to announce the new 3D slot game set to “wow players with super-realistic graphics that will literally jump from the screen in incredible three dimensional detail”.

A spokesman of Microgaming comments: “We have been working on 3D gaming content for some time and launched The Great Galaxy Grab online slot in 2009, which was developed using 3D rendered graphics. This time we will be launching a 3D slot which truly brings the world of online gaming to life, and we look forward to unveiling this to operators at ICE.”

The Sterling Silver slot is a 5-reel 25-payline game that simulates the feeling of watching 3D blockbuster movie on the silver screen. The exciting game includes “wild” symbols, bonus games and free spins. ]]>
William Hill Launches Irish Betting Website William Hill, one of the world's leading bookmakers, has announced the launch of a new innovative Irish betting website. William Hill has decided to enter the online Irish market to compete with its rivals for a slice of the estimated €1 billion online betting and gaming business.

The new Irish betting website, which took a year to develop, will offer William Hill's customers a wide variety of global and local sporting events and many betting opportunities. The winner of the “betview award for best online site” this year is ready to offer the Irish players over 500,000 betting opportunities every week on a whole host of events such as GAA, football, rugby, horse racing, golf, motor sports, US sports.

The UK bookmaker, that is currently operating 52 retail betting shops in Ireland, will offer bingo, poker, casino, live casino, slot games and mobile betting as well. This year only, the mobile betting brought William Hill's a 800% increase in their mobile turnover, so the company has decided to offer their Irish players four different mobile applications: Mobile sports-book, Racing applications (Racing Post/WilliamHill), Shake-A-Bet and Match predictor.

“We're really excited about our new Irish venture and we're confident it will be a huge hit with Irish punters. The site itself took a year to design, develop and test, but all good things take time,” said Tony Kenny, Head of International Public Relations at William Hill.

“We already have around twenty Irish people working for William Hill Online and with further global expansions planned, we'll be looking for more top quality Irish staff to join our energetic team,” he added. ]]>
Ten More Poker Websites Seized In The US The US Attorney of Maryland has seized ten more domains, that are now facing fraud and money laundering accusations.,,,,,,,, and were the latest websites seized by the US Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. Seizure warrants have also been released for eleven bank accounts and three people were charged with conducting money laundering and illegal gambling business.

The bank accounts were registered in Guam, North Carolina, Malta, Panama, Portugal and the Netherlands, while the three individuals indicted so far are: David Parchomchuk, Ann Marie Puig and Darren Wright. If they are convicted, the defendants risk the maximum sentence of five years in prison on the illegal gambling business charge and a maximum of 20 years for the money laundering charge.

Here is what the US Attorney of Maryland, Rod J.Rosenstein said in a press release: “It is illegal for internet gambling enterprises to do business in Maryland, regardless of where the website operator is located. We cannot allow foreign website operators to flout the law simply because their headquarters are based outside the country.” is the biggest name out of the ten seized gambling websites. Last week, Doyle Brunson, has decided to quit the website, due to the potential legal ramifications in the wake of Black Friday. Despite the US online poker ban, the website has continued to accept US players.

The 10-time WSOP bracelet winner said that, although they have the right to market the name, and to use the player's name and likeliness for a period of time, he asked them not to.
Doyle Brunson said he would probably consider reentering the online poker industry again when the online poker becomes fully legal in the United States. ]]>
Erik Seidel Wins WPT Super High Roller Event Erik Seidel is an American professional poker player, winner of eight World Series of Poker bracelets, a World Poker tour title and member of the Poker Hall of Fame since 2010. In the past years, Erik Seidel has become one of the most glorious players worldwide.

At the Bellagio World Poker Tour $100k Event, the eight times WSOP bracelet winner has managed to overcome a field of 29 players and become the lucky winner of the $1,092,000 first place prize. With this new victory, the player has further consolidated his front position in the All Time Money List, with $15,945,180.

Now, the all-time money winner has four titles and nearly $5,6 million in tournament winnings in this year alone.
The $100,000 World Poker Tour Championship High Roller, the world's biggest buy-in event of the year, attracted 29 of the game's most famous poker pros, including Daniel Negreanu, Sam Trickett, Eric Lindgren, Justin Bonomo, Vivek Rajkumar and Ashton Griffin.

Here's what the winner of the first place title said after his stunning victory: “Don't even know wat to say. Thanks everyone for ur tweets. Toughest FT I've played. @edogpoker is a fantastic player.”

WPT Championship High Roller payouts were as follows:
1. Erik Seidel $1,092,780;
2. Erick Lindgren $700,500;
3. Daniel Negreanu $448,320;
4. Vivek Rajkumar $336,240;
5. Justin Bonomo $224,160. ]]>
Daniel Negreanu: 'Ultimate Bet Is A Joke' Daniel Negreanu has once again launched very harsh words for Ultimate Bet and for the way they are handling the situation after the Black Friday.

On April 15th, the US Department of Justice has charged PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet with bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and illegal gambling offenses. American poker players were prevented from playing at the three online poker websites that were shut down immediately.

Five days later Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars have reached an agreement with the United States Department of Justice and allowed poker players to recover their funds. The DOJ has also stated that the two members of the CEREUS Network (Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker) are allowed to enter the same agreement, but they didn't want to follow the PokerStars' and Full Tilt Poker's example. Moreover, the two members of the CEREUS Network continued to accept action from US players, but without allowing them to make any deposits, to transfer funds, or to cash out.

Daniel Negreanu stated he was proud of the way PokerStars has managed to handle the situation and expressed his disgust with the Ultimate Bet online poker room, commenting on his article:

“There is one thing that frustrates me to no end. It’s been a fight I’ve been fighting for a decade now, and I’m so very disappointed in how few top players would publicly join the fight with me. Privately, most are disgusted by UB, but publicly they’ve not said a word. As a poker community, we failed miserably when it comes to the AP/UB tragedy… We can cast blame on Paul Leggat and players representing the site, but there is plenty of blame to go around in our community. Plenty of media outlets took UB money and often sugar coated/glossed over the scandal(s). Very few people dodge blame here…

I mean that company is just an absolute joke! The owners (not past owners, same darn owners) cheated their customers, stole from their investors, and it looks like the last straw is that they will likely fold up like a cheap suit and run off with the rest of the customers money. Shame on them, but even more so, shame on us, the poker community, for allowing this to happen.” ]]>
Media Corporation Sells The online gaming and media group Media Corporation plc has announced the successful sale of the domain for £200,000 in cash.

The acquisition of the domain by an unidentified buyer is comprised of an upfront payment of £135,000 to Media Corp and a further payment of £65,000 over the next 12 months.

In 2010,, which generated revenues of £62,000 and losses of £170,000 was valued at £135,000.

“The sale of brings another boost to cash reserves and removes another loss making asset from our diverse online publishing business. The Group’s trading performance will continue to improve as we sell loss making assets and re-focus the Group on our profitable and fast growing businesses,” CEO of the Media Corporation Justin Drummond said.

In April 2011 the UK-based Media Corporation has sold, the most expensive domain name of this year so far, for $2.5 million in cash. was the third biggest public sale ever handled, behind, sold for $13 million and for $3 million. ]]>
Captain Brunson Abandons The Ship Doyle Brunson, the Godfather of Poker, will no longer be representing the online poker website The 77-year-old poker legend has been the head of the online poker room since the website's foundation in 2004.

The decision to quit the site is due to the uncertainty of the legal situation following the events of the Black Friday. Apparently, the has continued to accept US players even after the US online poker ban.

Here is what the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner said in a press release:
“Reluctantly, I have decided to terminate my endorsement contract with It pains me to leave at this time. I have aspirations of reentering the online poker business when the United States Government passes legislation, that officially legalize online poker sites. DoylesRoom management has decided to continue to serve U.S. customers. Although they believe they have the right to market the name DoylesRoom and to use my name and likeness for a period of time, I have asked them not to. Good luck-Shuffle up and deal.”

In the meantime, the online poker website will continue to use Brunson's image and his likeliness. The site has recently switched networks, moving from Cake Poker Network to Yatahay Poker Network.

"Doyle Brunson was a sponsored pro of DoylesRoom and he has left his endorsement contract. We have purchased his image and likeness and are allowed to continue to use those. Doyle will still continue to play in the Bounty tournament," a spokesperson of the website said.

The legendary poker pro is one of the best-known poker players in history. He has played professionally for over 50 years and he's the first two-time WSOP main event champion to win consecutively, in 1976 and 1977.

During his long poker career, Doyle Brunson has managed to win ten WSOP bracelets and a World Poker Tour championship. He is the author of several books on poker and member of the Poker Hall of Fame. ]]>
Freakonomics Author Says Poker Is A Game Of Skill Here is an old question in the poker industry: “Is poker a game of skill or luck?”
Professor Steven Levitt, author of the “Freakonomics” bestsellers and University of Chicago professor Thomas Miles, have published a paper entitled “ The Role of Skill Versus Luck in Poker: Evidence From the World Series of Poker”.

In his paper, the author has used data from the 2010 World Series of Poker and published it on the National Bureau of Economic Research website. The 2010 WSOP – which is the largest poker event of the year, involved 57 tournaments, 32,000 players and $185 million.
The Economics professor and his colleague claim that the world's top poker players are blessed with similar levels of skill as the Major League Baseball players.

The report came just a month after the FBI blocked the three largest online poker websites in America. PokerStars, FullTilt Poker and Absolute Poker faced bank fraud, violation of the gambling laws and money laundering accusations.

Steven Levitt used statistics from the 2010 WSOP and found out that “high skilled” players won an average of $350 per tournament and took home 30% more money than they bought in for, while the “unskilled” players lost an average of $400 per event, losing approximately 15% of their investment.
Also, the authors claim that high skilled players win 54.9% of their matches – much closer to that of professional baseball than Wall Street.

“Since the year 2007, [baseball] teams that made the playoffs the previous season win 55.7 percent of their games in Major League Baseball against teams that failed to make the playoffs in the previous year. Thus, in some crude sense, the predictability of outcomes for pairs of players in a poker tournament is similar to that between teams in Major League Baseball. To the extent that baseball would unquestionably be judged a game of skill, the same conclusion might reasonably be applied to poker in light of the data." ]]>
British Player Wins EPT San Remo British player Rupert Elder has become the champion of the fourth EPT event of the year. The player defeated German Max Heinzelmann in one of the most dramatic heads-up finals of the year, taking home the title and the €930,000 first place prize.

The 24 year-old man entered the final table as the chip leader and exploited this advantage until he became the star of the San Remo casino's poker room. The former Economics student, now a full time online cash game pro, is the second British player who wins the EPT San Remo, after Liv Boeree won it in 2010. So, the trophy will stay in the British Isles for at least another 12 months.

The €5,300 buy-in tournament was held in north-western Italy, and that explained the massive field of players, half of which was comprised of Italians. Unfortunately, they only managed to occupy the last four positions of the final table.

The final table payouts were:
1st: Rupert Elder, UK – €930,000;
2nd: Max Heinzelmann, Germany – €600,000;
3rd: Xuan Liu, Canada – €360,000;
4th: Max Lykov, Russia – €290,000;
5th: Francesco de Vivo, Italy – €220,000;
6th: Massimiliano Manigrasso, Italy – €170,000;
7th: Costantino Russo, Italy – €125,000;
8th: Roberto Spada, Italy – €81,950. ]]>
American Von Kriegenbergh Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock American Taylor Von Kriegenbergh has just won the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, collecting the fabulous first place prize of $1,122,340.

At the $10,000 buy-in tournament, the young player outlasted a field of 433 players to take down the trophy, a WPT bracelet, and a seat in the $25,000 WPT Championship, which will run later this month from 14th to 20th of May at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Kriegenbergh entered the final table as a chip leader with a 4.384 million stack, followed by Justin Zaki with 2.197 million and Abbey Daniels with a 2.192 million stack.

Before winning the WPT bracelet and the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown trophy, Kriegenbergh's previous life time tournament earnings were of only $200,000.

“My success is, clearly, 100 percent attributed to luck,” he said to the WPT after his victory. “That's how I got here this far. I'm just very lucky. I have good karma and I don't know, the cards just fell my way.”

The final table results were as follows:
1. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh - $1,122,340;
2. Curt Kohlberg - $586,109;
3. Justin Zaki - $415,680;
4. Abbey Daniels - $286,819;
5. Allen Bari - $211,997;
6. Tommy Vedes - $166,272. ]]>
William Hill Reveals Outstanding Growth For 2011's First Quarter The leading UK bookmaker, William Hill has released a remarkable Interim Management Statement for 2011's first quarter.

The company saw impressive results in all sectors, with group net revenue growth up by 11%, retail net revenue up to 8% and online net revenue increasing by 26%, compared with the same quarter last year. William Hill's Group Operating Profit has increased by 21% as well.

“We have seen excellent growth across our business in the first quarter, enabling us to remain confident in our expectations for the full year. It is particularly pleasing that, alongside a continuing strong performance from William Hill Online, we have seen growth in both net revenue and Operating profit in Retail. We have much to look forward to in the existing business and are also excited by the land-based opportunity in the US, where we recently made our first significant investment,” said Ralph Topping, Chief Executive Officer for William Hill.

Also, the company reported online sports-book operations generating net revenues up by 54% that was driven by a 62% increase in the amounts wagered by customers. The amounts wagered saw a fantastic 138% growth in in-play and, whilst the mobile betting registered a growth of 786% in amounts wagered.

Online gaming net revenue grew by 15%, bingo by 30%, followed by poker, which was up to 16% and casino – up by 13%. Overall, the online business registered an operating profit of £29.8 million, up by 28% compared with the previous year. ]]> Sold For £1.5 million Media Corp, the UK Seller of the domain name, has announced the sale of the domain for just $2.5 million.

According to the online domain specialist Sedo, which brokered the sale of, this was the highest price paid for a web address this year. The domain was sold to an unnamed UK company.

“The sale of brings a significant boost to the Group’s already substantial cash reserves; we have recently seen a number of exciting acquisition opportunities in the online gaming and online advertising space. The successful sale of has given the Group more than adequate financial resources to pursue these acquisition opportunities aggressively,” said Justin Drummond, CEO of Media Corporation plc.

Media Corporation did not reveal the identity of the acquirer, but mentioned that the transaction includes only the domain and the website. The transaction was completed on April 27th.

Justin Drummond, chief executive of Media Corp, said the company is pleased with the result of the sale. “The team at Sedo has made the negotiation process as straightforward as possible and have helped us secure a great price.”

The sale of the domain name, was the third biggest sale that Sedo, the leading domain marketplace and monetization provider handled, following, sold for £7.8 million and, sold for £1.8 million. ]]>£1.5-million.htm
Online Qualifier Wins The 2011 Irish Open The online qualifier Nial Smyth took down the 2011 Irish Open main event, this week at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. He outlasted a field of 615 players at the €3,200 + €300 buy in event, taking down the €550,000 first prize, from an impressive prize pool of €1,968,000.

Nial Smyth played amongst some of the top names in poker such as: Roberto Romanello, Sam Trickett, Jake Cody, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot or Andy Black.
The player qualified for the 2011 Irish Open after winning a Grand National bet at, transferring the winnings to his poker account and winning a satellite.

“Unbelievable. I just can't believe it. It started when I put €10 each way on the winner of the English Grand National, I won €200 euro and now I have €650,000. Surinder is such a great player, my support has been fantastic, and here I am,” the young Irishman said.

Here are the final table payouts:
1. Niall Smyth (Ireland) – €550,000;
2. Surinder Sunar (England) – €290,000;
3. Martin Petri (Denmark) – €180,000;
4. Seamus Cahill (Ireland) – €145,000;
5. Aleksi Savela (Finand) – €115,000;
6. Karl Rudwall (Sweden) – €85,000;
7. Rob Taylor (Ireland) – €63,000;
8. John Eames (UK) – €45,000;
9. Niall McCann (Ireland) – €30,000.

The Irish Open is Europe's oldest poker event, which has been running since the early 1980s. ]]>
Problem Gambling Clinic Receives Half A Million Sterling From RGF A problem gambling clinic based in the United Kingdom's Soho district has received a whopping GBP 500,000 from the Responsible Gambling Fund (RFG).

The money was donated to provide treatment and professional counselling – also called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, to players suffering from severe gambling problems.
The National Problem Gambling Clinic provides treatment and makes exclusive use of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, claiming a high success rate of 75%.

According to the British Gambling Prevalence Survey, which was conducted between 2007 and 2010, gambling amongst women has increased from 65% to 71%. For this reason, women will be able to receive online or on the phone counselling over the next year.
Moreover, women with children will soon be able to able to leave their kids with the clinic's childminder whilst they attend the counselling sessions.

The chairperson of the RGF, Baroness Julia Neuberger, said this week: “NPGC is one of the organisations at the forefront in the battle against problem gambling, especially in targeting groups of people who can’t easily get help or who have fallen outside the reach of other services. I am delighted that RGF’s grant will support this pioneering clinic’s work.” ]]>
William Hill Acquires The American Wagering <br/>And Enters The American Gaming Market The UK bookmaker William Hill has agreed to purchase the American Wagering Inc, as well as Club Cal Neva Satellite Race and Sportsbook Division and to enter the American gaming market.

The London-based William Hill, that operates around 2,350 shops throughout the United Kingdom (approximately 25% of the market), has agreed to purchase the company for $39 million, hoping to gain business in the US and called the acquisition “the start of our investment in the US market”.

“American Wagering Incorporated and Cal Neva are first-class operators and leaders in the US sportsbook industry,” said Ralph Topping, Chief Executive Officer for William Hill.

Topping said the company sees significant opportunities for growth by investing in Nevada and “by combining our substantial product range with their extensive Nevada footprint, strong relationships, proven operational capability and trusted service. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at both companies to grow a leadership position in the Nevada gaming industry and beyond.”

“We are excited about the potential for expansion of our company into the US betting market and, in particular, into Nevada, which sets the gold standard. This is a great development opportunity for William Hill, one of the world’s oldest and most trusted sportsbetting operators, and we look forward to serving the American casino market and reaching out to new customers.” ]]>
French Sports Betting Market Drops 26% According to the latest report of the French newspaper Le Figaro, the amount of money bet on the sports betting industry in France has dropped by 26.5% in the first quarter of 2011. Apparently one of the major reasons for the decline was the lack of any major sporting event this year.

The French newspaper Le Figaro, which analysed the statistics presented by the French regulator ARJEL, mentioned that the French market was only liberalized in May last year, so there is no point of comparison with the first quarter of 2010.

“This is a significant decrease, but this does not mean that sports betting will be down more than 20% this year,” said the ARJEL President Jean-Francois Vilotte.

However, while the sports betting industry suffered from dropping by 26.5%, the horse racing and online poker industry have grown to €241 million, and respectively €1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2011. co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger commented on the situation: “The French government… admitted that they went too far with the sports betting taxation, and they believe that about 75% of the volume in France is still in the black market.” ]]>
The Swedish Supreme Court of Justice Rules On Poker The Swedish Supreme Court of Justice has finally ruled on the fate of poker in the country. The Court decided that poker is both a game of skill and a game of chance, depending on the format of the game.

The Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the “skill versus luck” argument depends on the kind of the poker game and on the time spent playing.
“We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it,” the judge Göran Lamberth told the news agency TT on Wednesday.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that cash games which allow players to play the game and bet when they like, leaving the table at any time, were found to be games “of pure random chance”.
“The cash games constitute games that primarily depend on luck as in the meaning of chapter 16, article 14 of the Criminal Code, while the main tournament and the side tournament (sit and go) do not constitute games of luck,” the court concluded.

Judge Göran Lamberth ruled that tournament poker events require the skill element because of the length of time spent playing and the inability to leave the table whenever you like. On the other hand, the judge classified table games played in casinos as games of chance.

The Supreme Court's ruling represents the end of a long legal battle of six men who were convicted of running a poker tournament at Grebbestad back in 2007. ]]>
Phil “The Unabomber” Laak Enters Guinness Book of World Records The Guinness Book of Records has finally ratified the longest poker playing lesson that was achieved by Phil “The Unabomber” Laak at the Bellagio in Las Vegas last year.

He now holds the record for the “longest marathon playing poker by an individual” for 115 hours in a single sitting. Laak outlasted the previous official record held by Paul Zimbler in the fall of 2009, for 78 straight hours of playing poker.

It was not until recently that the Guinness Book of Records has officially verified and ratified Laak's record, after a half year wait. In order to prove his record, the player had to provide several documentations, witnesses, media coverage and drug tests.

“I was shooting for 80 hours all along and eventually it came. The obvious next step was to honor the moment by making the most of it. A gambling degenerate by trade this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what my inner vampire was really made of,” Laak said in a press release.

“It was loads of fun and of course impossible without my crew. This has been one of the most wonderful journeys I've ever taken, touchingly human and beautiful on so many levels. Thanks to everyone who shared in this amazing ride.”

Phil “The Unabomber” Laak is a professional poker player from Los Angeles, California, who holds a WPT title and a WSOP bracelet. At the end of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceeded $2.3 million. ]]>“The-Unabomber”-Laak-Enters-Guinness-Book-of-World-Records.htm
PartyGaming and Bwin Complete Merger PartyGaming announced it has successfully completed merger talks with Bwin Interactive Entertainment, forming the ' digital entertainment plc'. The new group has already began trading its shares on the London Stock Exchange, for £1.94 under the stock symbol BPTY.

The merger will see PartyGaming, one of the largest poker rooms worldwide, and Bwin, the world's largest sports-book, joining forces to become the world's largest publicly traded online gaming firm.

The new company, headquartered in Gibraltar, is 48.4% owned by the existing PartyGaming shareholders and 516% by Bwin shareholders.

“We are delighted that our merger is now complete so that we can start with the integration of our businesses and capturing the synergies we have already identified. As we make the transition from unregulated to regulated markets, we have an excellent opportunity to capitalize on our market-leading positions in sports betting, poker, casino, and games as well as bingo,” Norbert Teufelberger (bwin CEO since 2001) and Jim Ryan (Party Gaming’s CEO since 2008) said in a joint statement.

“This is a landmark day for the online gaming sector and is now in a position to leverage its combined resources to take maximum advantage of regulating markets and the exciting opportunities in the real money gaming and digital entertainment sectors,” the New Chairman of the Board Simon Duffy added. ]]>
British Designer Creates £4.4 Million Poker Set Max Parker, a 51 year-old British designer has created the most expensive poker chip set in the world. The extravagant jewellery set was valued at £4.4 million ($7 million).

The poker chip set features 384 white gold chips boasting precious stones and four platinum-plated decks. The poker set has around 22,364 stones, with 1,012 karats and 12.5 kilos of white gold. It also includes a dealer button made of 18 karats white gold and with two rows of diamonds as well.

The white chips are set with white diamonds, the red ones are lined with rubies, the green pieces have emeralds, the blue have sapphires and the black chips have black diamonds.

“This is not something your ordinary poker player will be able to afford and is aimed at the billionaire playboys,” Parker said in a press release. “Already we have a few people interested in making a purchase.”

“We're talking about the super rich who are on their yachts and wanting something to stun their guests with. Poker can sometimes be thought of as something quite seedy and I wanted to inject it with a bit of razzmatazz,” he added.

The British designer has also created other impressive versions of games such as Monopoly. Max Parker says his extravagant creations are made for entertaining the billionaire playboys of the world and their guests in luxury. ]]>£4.4-Million-Poker-Set.htm
eCOGRA Becomes Independent The eCOGRA (e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance), the London based player protection and standards body that was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by Microgaming, Bwin and, has recently undergone a change in ownership.

The three Founding Members had agreed to the change and allowed eCOGRA to make its own way in the gaming industry. eCOGRA's management buyout was led by Chief Executive Andrew Beveridge. The members of management of the organization will remain in place: Michael Hirst – the Chairman of the Board of Directors, while Bill Galston, Bill Henbrey, Frank Catania and Andrew Beveridge will be independent directors.

“We are very fortunate that these highly experienced and respected figures in the industry will continue to make their considerable knowledge and business expertise available to us,” said Beveridge in a press release.

“The industry is maturing, and eCOGRA must be part of that evolving process,” Beveridge added. “The trend toward national or state regulatory regimes around the world is just one of the areas in which our professional services are increasingly in demand by companies and jurisdictions committed to ensuring that they are well prepared in all respects to meet the highest international standards.”

The new ownership structure of eCOGRA will no longer include software and other service providers or operators. eCOGRA will be truly independent and it will continue to offer eCOGRA audits, advisory, compliance and other services that the company had always offered in the online gambling industry.

Beveridge noted that eCOGRA's commitment to responsible gaming will continue in the future, seeking to improve the security and integrity of online gaming by setting high industry standards in fair gaming, commercial conduct and customer respect. ]]>
Poker Europa Magazine To Cease Publication In April Poker Europa Magazine, the longest standing European poker magazine will be ceasing publication next month.

Poker Europa magazine was launched on January 1st 1999, the day that the Euro became the European official currency, as a free publication which provided information on world's poker related news and events.

“In this we succeeded. However, the increase of such information on the Internet, supplied as it happens, now makes print publications almost irrelevant. One thing I know about poker is when to quit the game and this is it.,” said Poker Europa founder Nic Szeremeta, honoured with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the European Poker Awards last month.

“Since the recession this [revenue] has declined by over 60 per cent. At the same time, our production and distribution costs have been rising…Mergers, acquisitions and closure of online card rooms have weakened our potential market… Operators of bricks and mortar poker rooms are also cutting their budgets.”

Poker Europa was a multi-lingual magazine and one of the first to publish European tournament listings and results. During the past 12 years, Europe's largest Poker Magazine brought to the poker fans from all around the globe, the latest updates and best deals of the Poker world. ]]>
Nevada Wants To Legalize Online Poker The state of Nevada is the last state to submit a new bill for online gaming on March 10th. The law bill, introduced by assemblyman William Horne, would allow online poker for Nevada's nearly three million residents.

The bill AB258 was introduced on Friday and it contained the following language: “The Commission shall not deny a license to an operator of internet poker… solely because the operator… before the effective date of this act, operates, operated, or was associated with interstate or foreign commerce… while licensed in another jurisdiction. The Commission may issue a license as an operator of internet poker to a person or an affiliate of a person who has been licensed to operate internet poker by a recognized body of another jurisdiction with licensing requirements that are similar to the licensing requirements of this state and who has successfully operated internet poker pursuant to such a license for at least two years before the date on which the application for the license is submitted.”

According to Jeff Ifrah, the Washington-based attorney who represents PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the bill would open up the possibility of partnerships between the established Nevada casinos and the offshore poker operators.

“If the state is serious about raising revenue for this endeavor, then it needs to be able to obtain the participation of the leading operators,” Jeff Ifrah said in an interview for the Associated Press.

Through this law, Nevada joins California, Florida, Iowa and a growing number of other states considering Internet gambling bills.

Last week, the Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill that would have legalized online gambling within New Jersey. ]]>
Negreanu Versus Blom On Two legends of poker will soon face each other in a SuperStar Showdown match at the online poker room over two Sundays March 20th and 27th.

Daniel 'KidPoker' Negreanu and Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom will both bring $150,000 to four tables of $50/$100 No-Limit Hold'em.

Will Negreanu's training and knowledge of the game be enough to beat Isildur1? Daniel Negreanu said he had been long practicing his four table multi-tabling heads-up games online last month and that he is ready to take on Isildur1 in the SuperStar Showdown.

“It’s all part of the learning process, and I’m a big believer in going all out against the fastest competition I can find, because then when I play others, the pace will seem comfortable. It’s no different than a baseball player swinging five bats before he goes up to the plate, or a golfer taking some practice swings with a heavy club,” said Negreanu, commenting on his training.

Daniel Negreanu is one of the most famous poker players in the world, who won four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles. He is now ranked the second in the All-Time Poker Money list, with $14,116,191 in career live tournament earnings.

Viktor Blom burst onto the poker world in 2009, as “Isildur1”. He took part in all ten of the largest pots in online poker history, winning and losing millions of dollars. In January 2011, he signed with PokerStars Pro and he has since taken on some of the most famous players in a series of SuperStar Showdown matches on the site.

I'm 100% sure you will not want to miss the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown between Isildur1 and Negreanu - the game of the month, starting 15:00 ET Sunday, March 20th and March 27th. ]]>
CEN's Responsible Remote Gambling Measures The independent online casino auditor eCOGRA congratulated the European Committee for Standardisation for the Workshop Agreement entitled “Responsible Remote Gambling Measures”.

The CEN Workshop Agreement implemented 134 measures in order to meet the following nine objectives:
The prevention of underage gambling;
The protection of vulnerable customers;
Combating fraudulent and criminal behaviour;
Protection of customer privacy and safeguarding of information;
Fair gaming;
Prompt and accurate customer payments;
Responsible marketing;
Commitment to customer support and satisfaction;
Secure, safe and reliable operating environment.

"Over the last 7 months, CEN has provided the platform for us to make this agreement to secure the high level of protection for consumers across Europe that is vital for the online gambling industry as it matures. eCOGRA intends to bring into line its own eGAP Requirements with these CWA control measures, thereby benefiting eCOGRA, its sealholders and players," Andrew Beveridge, Chief Executive Officer of eCOGRA and Chair of the CEN workshop agreement, said.

"This is self regulation at its best, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from across the world for the benefit of the consumer. This agreement can only complement existing industry standards and inform both national and EU regulation of online gambling. It has been an honour to be part of and chair this process," he added. ]]>
William Hill Stops Ladbrokes-Playtech Merger William Hill has recently secured an interim injunction against Playtech, to stop all merger talks between its software developer and its rival, Ladbrokes. Playtech and Ladbrokes were thought to be in talks over a £2.2 billion merger.

Although the two parties have never admitted the merger talks, William Hill said the injunction has stopped Playtech from selling its software to Ladbrokes, blocking it from changing the terms of their joint venture agreement. Playtech, valued at £846.68 million, also supplies software to Tote and Betfred.

“Playtech recently initiated discussions with William Hill seeking possible significant amendments to the current William Hill Online joint venture agreements. There has also been press speculation regarding discussions between Playtech and Ladbrokes plc,” said in a statement released last week.

In November 2008 William Hill and Playtech have signed a five-year agreement which doubled the UK bookmaker's online revenues. The software provider has a 29 percent stake in William Hill Online.
William Hill is one of the largest and safest bookmakers in the United Kingdom. ]]>
Swedish Court To Decide The Future Of Poker The Swedish Supreme Court of Justice has begun the hearing in a case that will decide whether poker is a game of skill or luck. The Court is reviewing a case in which four men were convicted of arranging an illegal tournament in 2007. The tournament took place in a town in western Sweden and it involved 700 entrants.

In 2008, two of the men who were convicted of arranging the tournament were sentenced to six and eight months of jail respectively, whilst two others were fined the equivalent of 80 days pay. A year later, the Court of Appeal reduced charges on the theory that poker is a game based on skill rather than luck and overturned the initial sentence. The final decision will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Justice this week.

It seems like the judges were given a briefing on poker playing by a poker expert who used audio and visual aids and showed skill and judgement have a significant role in the game. “Courage, patience, experience, mathematical and psychological knowledge are some important characteristics”.

Erik Broman, a doctor of mathematics from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg stated that the random chance only comes when the first card is being dealt. “After the first card, skill is what matters. It's about how one reacts in different situations, bets, and calls. A little advantage in the start of the game can lead to greater dividends in the end,” he said.

According to dr. Broman, the chances of winning money from poker are absolutely non-existent if the player doesn't know the game.
“A talented player has a greater chance of winning than a less talented player,” he added.

In June 2010 the Swiss Highest Court has ruled that poker was a game of chance and placed it in the same category as the state lottery and slot machines. ]]>
The 2011 European Poker Awards Ceremony The tenth edition of the European Poker Awards, held at the Queenie Club in Paris, has announced its winners. The British poker players dominated the awards, after a highly successful 2010 in the WSOP and EPT tournaments.

The young British player Jake Cody, who won the WPT London Poker Classic event and the EPT Deauville tournament in less than a year, grabbed two of the most prestigious prizes of the ceremony: The Player of the Year and The Rookie of the Year awards. Cody was the only double winner at the European Poker Awards. Other poker players nominated alongside Jake Cody for the The Player of the Year and The Rookie of the Year awards were:

- Theo Jorgensen (Denmark), who won WPT Paris and two episodes of the TV poker lounge in 2010;
- Sam Trickett (England), who won a fourth place in the EPT Vilamoura, the Party Poker World Open and several deep runs in the 2010 WSOP;
- Vladimir Schemelex (Russia), who made four final tables at the 2010 WSOP;
- David Vamplew (Scotland) and Toby Lewis (England), have both made their name by taking down an EPT title each;
- Julian Herold (Germany), number one in the European Rankings for one of the most consistent years of cashes;
- Fernando Brito (Portugal), who took down the EPRT Vienna and the Barcelona High Rollers tournament.

The winners of the tenth edition of the European Poker Awards were:
Player of the Year - Jake Cody (England);
Poker Staff Person of the Year - Gerard Serra Retamero, TK Events (Spain);
Internet Player of the Year - Andreas 'Skjervøy' Torbergsen (Norway);
Outstanding Tournament Performance - James Bord (England);
Europe's Leading Lady - Liv Boeree (England);
Rookie of the Year - Jake Cody (England);
Lifetime Achievement Award (decided by the votes of the nomination panel) - Nic Nzeremeta (England);
Rob Gardner Memorial Award for the Poker Personality of 2010 - Tony 'G' Guoga (Lithuania). ]]>
Isildur Richer By More Than Half A Million Dollars Viktor “Isildur” Blom has recently become richer by more than half a million dollars at

The controversial player, who joined PokerStars Team Pro on December 7th last year, has faced famous opponents such as Mike “gordo16” Gordon, Mitch “LooneyGerbil” Carle, Dan “jungleman12” Cates, Phil “Mr. Sweets28” Galfond and Kanu7, and won around $630k over the past couple of days.

Sunday, Viktor Blom will face Eugene Katchalov in the next installment of the SuperStar Showdown. The two players will play 2500 hands of $50/$100 No Limit Hold'em simultaneously on four table. PokerStars users will be able to watch the two players, “MyRabbiFoot” and “Isildur1”, in action and learn from their game.

Eugene Katchalov has just won the $100k buy-in Super High Roller event at the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, beating Daniel Negreanu in the heads-up game and cashing in the first place prize of $1.5 million. The American professional poker player has also had several cashes in World Series of Poker events, a European Poker Tour event in 2005, and a win in the 2007 Bellagio III's $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. His total live tournament winnings exceed $6 million.

The 2,500-hand match played over four tables of $50/$100 No-Limit Hold'em will be Isildur1's fourth SuperStar Showdown challenge. The match is set to take place on February 13th at 3 pm ET on the SuperStar Showdown event held at PokerStars.

Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu, who will be the next famous opponent for Viktor Blom, is training for a very special match. ]]>
Evolution Gaming Partners With Betsafe Evolution Gaming has signed with the Scandinavian online gaming operator Betsafe for a two-year partnership. Betsafe's estimated 500,000 customers will soon be able to enjoy online blackjack, baccarat and roulette games provided by one of the leading developers in the gambling industry.

Evolution Gaming's live games will be delivered to betsafe's users in real time, featuring real tables and real cards, live dealers and live interaction amongst players and dealers. The two-year agreement was signed at ICE in London.

“We expect Evolution’s offering to generate significant incremental revenues. At the same time, Evolution games will serve as a cost-efficient marketing tool and a way to further localise our offering.
We see Evolution’s Live Games as an important and strategic top-level offering. Of course, they will further enrich the Betsafe offer to existing customers. At the same time these games are proven to attract new demographics including, but not limited to, high rollers,” Betsafe CEO Henrik Persson said. was launched in January 2006 and it soon became one of the most trusted gaming companies in the world. It currently serves more than 500,000 customers, mainly in the Northern and Eastern Europe, providing its players with an entertaining and safe online betting experience and a wide selection of different betting and gaming choices.

Jens von Bahr, CEO of Evolution, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Betsafe; they have an impressive track record and an excellent understanding of marketing and execution in the online gaming world. I am confident we will see further innovative and localised live offerings emerging from our partnership over time.” ]]>
PartyPoker Launches Poker Trainer Application According to PartyPoker “a good poker player never stops learning”. That's why the company has decided to create their Poker Trainer application and help players to improve their game.

The Poker Trainer application is absolutely free and it allows players to practice against computer-generated players in a play money Texas Hold'em game.

Players can choose to compete against up to nine other players, they can select their poker level and follow the Poker Trainer advice. The application shows players the percentage chance of winning and the pot odds and it advises whether to fold, call or raise. At the end of the poker session, the application shows how the player performed and which were his winning hands. The player can even replay his last hand, so he can learn from his mistakes.

PartyPoker has also partnered with the poker training website Drag The Bar and they created a new "DTB4FREE" program in order to give players the chance to try a free poker training, or to improve their poker skills.

David Levy, a Party Poker marketing executive, said: “Drag The Bar is a cutting edge poker training site, and I know our players will benefit greatly from all its site has to offer. We want our players to not only have fun, but also perform well at our tables, so we are thrilled to make this free offer available.”

“We're very excited to be working with Party, and I know this will be the start of a long-term relationship for both companies.” said Drag The Bar CEO Hunter Bick.

“But more importantly, this is a big win for poker players. Everyone's goal is to make more money, and high quality poker training is the best the way to fast-track your progress and start crushing the games. By providing free training, Party is investing in their players' futures and offering them a tremendous value.”

The application is powered by the Poker Academy, one of the most advanced training softwares on the Internet. ]]>
Frenchman Wins PokerStars EPT Deauville Main Event Lucien Cohen was crowned the winner of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Deauville main event. The six-day event took place at the Casino Barrière in Paris and generated a record prize pool of €4,276,800.

The 47 year-old poker player from Paris, who uses a toy plastic rat as a card protector, has managed to defeat a strong field of 891 players and win the first EPT title of the season and the €880,000 first place prize. It was for the first time ever when the Deauville trophy went to a Frenchman.

Commenting on the luckiest moment of his life, Cohen said: “I’m very proud to be the first French EPT Deauville winner. It’s a very emotional moment. I want to say thank you to the organisers, the EPT and my opponents. This is one of the best days of my life after my wedding and the day my children were born. I’m happy, happy, happy.

The Final Table Results and Payouts were as follows:
1. Lucien Cohen, France - €880,000;
2. Martin Jacobson, Sweden - €560,000;
3. Alex Wice, Canada - €330,000;
4. Julien Claudepierre, France - €260,000;
5. Kaspars Renga, Latvia - €200,000;
6. Kenny Hallaert, Belgium - €155,000;
7. Anthony Hnatow, France - €110,000;
8. Ruslan Prydryk, Ukraine - €66,800.

Isildur1 Viktor Blom, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Rousso and Jonathan Duhamel also played in the EPT Deauville main event, but they failed to cash.

“We had a record-breaking turnout with 891 players and there were some incredible performances – especially from our winner Lucien Cohen as well as runner-up Martin Jacobson,” EPT spokeswoman Kirsty Thompson said. ]]>
Playtech Purchases Intelligent Gaming Solutions The online gaming software company Playtech, based in the Isle of Man, has announced the purchase of the UK software-based casino management systems company Intelligent Gaming Solutions Ltd (IGS) for ₤2.5 million and up to a possible additional ₤3 million in long-sterm payments from the company's cash resources.

The IGS is a rapidly growing provider of software based casino management systems to land-based casinos. The IGS installed systems in nine land-based casinos, including in the Aspers Group properties in the United Kingdom and the Regency Casinos in Greece.

The IGS has developed a system that delivers real-time analysis of the gaming floor, allowing casinos to monitor all gambling activities, covering all aspects of gaming operation.

Playtech's Chief Executive, Mor Weizer commented: "We continue to position Playtech as the independent software provider of choice with market leading integrated technology. We see this deal as increasing Playtech's unique competitive advantage and cross-platform capabilities.

"The IGS management team has a long track record in the development of such systems and we are delighted to welcome them into the Playtech family. They will enhance our capabilities in a product area which will further our attractiveness to land-based operators" he added. ]]>
Bodog Online Casino To Reach First Billionth Blackjack Hand Bodog's online casino has announced it is about to deal its one billionth Blackjack hand. The casino will celebrate the unique milestone by offering its players the chance to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes and one of two once-in-a-lifetime billionaire's experience grand prizes.

Starting from now and until the one billionth hand is dealt, the casino wants to award players who hit a perfect blackjack hand. There are nearly 21 million blackjack hands en route to the one billionth, and the casino promised to give away a prize of $1,000 to every player who wins one of the millionth milestone hands.

Players who hit a blackjack hand will automatically get entered into a draw. The player who will hit the billionth hand and the player whose name will be drawn from all entries, will have the opportunity to choose between an exciting trip to the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix and a trip to a private island in Fiji.

Bodog online casino is one of the three online gaming websites owned by Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, part of the billion dollar Bodog Entertainment family and one of the largest land-based sports books in the United States. The casino offers a high quality experience with excellent games and very innovative promotions.

Bodog online casino anticipates the magical blackjack hand will be dealt by the end of February, 2011. ]]>
Norwegian Wins European Masters Of Poker III Stefan Hansen is a Norwegian poker player who won the first European Masters of Poker season III title. The player outlasted a field of 213 players taking down the €34,160 first place prize.

The final hand saw Stefan Hansen moving all in with pocket sixes and Yohas Avidani from Israel calling with pocket threes. The board showed K-9-2-A-K and the Norwegian player was crowned the winner of the tournament. Hansen also scooped an additional €10,000 for taking the event down.

Last year's Gran Canaria winner was Marciej Lipny from Poland, who defeated a field of 287 competitors, taking home €66,240.

The final table results and payouts were as follows:
1. Stefan Hansen (Norway) - €34,160;
2. Yohas Avidani (Israel) - €34,580;
3. Andrei Demchenko (Russia) – €24,940;
4. Pim van Wieringen (Holland) - €28,130;
5. Johan Berg (Sweden) - €10,220;
6. Stephen Sammon (Ireland) - €8,300;
7. Öystein Sannes (Norway) - €7,240;
8. Matti Konttinen (Finland) - €6,170;
9. Ran Sahanes (Israel) - €5,110.

The €1,100 buy-in event, which took place at the Casino Las Palmas in the Canary Islands will be succeeded a second stop at the Casino Estoril, Lisbon, Portugal, from March 23rd to 26th, 2011.

You can qualify for the tournament via 32 daily satellites on all poker websites on the Entraction network, for as little as €2 or 200 VIP points. ]]>
William Hill Launches Android App One of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdom, William Hill has announced the launch of the new Android application for its mobile customers.

The new application will allow customers to place bets and manage their William Hill sports book account. The Android app contains new features and improved graphics and allows customers to access over 40,000 pre-match in-play and specialty markets from William Hill Online on a daily basis.

“Our new optimised Android app’s are big additions to our mobile offering,” said Michael Byrne, Head of Mobile at William Hill Online. “Some of our competitors have rushed to embrace iPhone, but have neglected the many customers who have embraced Android. This new app opens up our mobile sports-book to a growing customer base and gives them a experience as good as any.”

“Our recent product enhancements have driven strong growth over the last few months, and the response from our customer base has been very positive. In 2010, we experienced an 800% increase in bets, 828% increase in turnover, and a 900% rise in unique users.”

William Hill and the Racing Post have also announced the launch of the android version on their horse racing app, which was already downloaded by nearly 200,000 punters.
The William Hill's new Android application is quicker than the old version and it is free to download on their website. ]]>
UK Considers Advertising Ban On Foreign Operators The United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sports has expressed his concern regarding the explosion in the number of compulsive gamblers in the country.

The Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he intends to forbid foreign online casino companies to advertise in the UK. He also wants to ban the use of credit cards for online gambling, because he thinks players should not risk their money, loaned by the credit card companies, on gaming.

“Ministers are concerned about the explosion of internet gambling advertising since Labour relaxed the gambling laws. Changes the Government wants to make would help protect the public from gambling companies that don’t meet U.K. standards, but have been allowed to profit from Labour’s lax approach to internet gambling,” said the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Hunt's primary concern is the large number of children exposed to online gaming ads on a daily basis, and he thinks that nearly 1 million children are already addicted to gambling.
Hunt's new regulations would involve repealing large portions of The 2005 Gambling Act, which was designed to control all forms of gambling.

The Gambling Act's main objectives were:
- to prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder;
- to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way;
- to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
According to the 2005 Gambling Act, all online operators must have advanced security systems to prevent young people from accessing their website.

Anti-gambling experts claim that children were affected by the excessive TV advertising of the foreign based casinos, bookmarkers, betting websites and online sports-book operators, but the Labour MP's says: “Where do 1 million children get credit cards when it’s not easy for even an adult to receive one.”

“We are the only country to permit overseas operators to advertise whilst relying on an overseas licence on issues of playing protection,” a government source said. ]]>
Isildur1 Could Face Nearly $149 Million Tax Bill The Swedish high stakes player Isildur1, who recently unveiled his true identity, could face a hefty tax bill from the Swedish government. Viktor Blom won millions of dollars by taking part in all ten of the largest pots in online poker history.

Since he unveiled his identity, the Swedish authorities are now trying to catch up with all of his online poker activities.
According to the financial newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Blom played for around $4.5 billion on Full Tilt Poker and he could end up owing nearly $149 million in Swedish taxes.

Isildur1 began playing poker when he was only 14. He became famous for his aggressive style and for winning and losing millions in online tournaments. He confessed that by the age of 18, he was playing poker 15 hours a day and he made $2 million in only three weeks of game.

Swedish poker pros do not pay tax unless the games they play are outside the EU, in which case they face a 30% tax rate on each winning pot. A spokesperson from the Swedish Tax Authority told Dagens Industri that he believes Full Tilt Poker was considered to be outside the EU and commented on the matter:

“Internet poker is something we`re looking in to and I know this poker player, but I can`t comment on whether we`ve opened the case.”

Martin de Knijff and Daniel Larsson are two Swedish poker pros who received unexpected tax bills of $1,476,015 and $147,601 from Skatteverket. ]]>$149-Million-Tax-Bill.htm
2010 WSOP Champion Joins Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel, the 23-year-old Canadian poker player who won the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event, has joined the team PokerStars pro.

Thanks to this partnership, the player joins famous poker pros and five out of the last ten WSOP winners, such as: Chris Moneymaker (2003 WSOP Main Event winner), Greg Raymer (2004), Joe Hachem (2005), Peter Eastgate (2008) and Joe Cada (2009).

Although many assumed Duhamel was already a member of the Team PokerStars Pro since last year, the official announcement wasn't made until two days ago. Duhamel will also join famous players like Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier, Vanessa Rousso, Vanessa Selbst and the controversial player Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom.

Commenting on the new deal, Duhamel said: “I want to be playing the biggest tournaments in the world. I'm going to do my best to pull off another big score.”

The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event represents Duhamel's most significant achievement, failing to cash in other major poker events, but according to his statements, he has big aspirations for the nearest future.

As of 2010, Jonathan Duhamel's live tournament winnings exceed $9 million. ]]>