Archive for December, 2010

Poker News in Brief: Dec. 27, 2010- Jan. 2, 2011

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This week, PokerListings’ front page was filled with our Top Five Stories of 2010 and a few high stakes pros last ditch efforts to make the year an even more memorable one.

That meant a few of poker’s smaller stories may have slipped through the cracks.

Fortunately, we caught them and compiled them in our weekly Poker News in Brief feature below.

This week, Poker After Dark returns, the World Cup captains are named, UB goes back to Montreal and more.

Poker After Dark Returns

The new season of POKER PROductions’ Poker After Dark returns to NBC this week.

POKER PROductions inked an agreement with NBC Universal extending the late-night poker show through 2014 in 2010 and the seventh season, filmed at the new Aria Resort and Casino at the City Center complex in Las Vegas, begins airing Jan. 3.

This season will feature more cash games than ever before. Most will be no-limit hold’em, but two weeks will also be devoted to Pot-Limit Omaha with a lineup that should impress fans.

Names like Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, Michael Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Eli Elezra, Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and David Oppenheim will all appear this season.

There will only be three weeks following the traditional Freezout format this season, including this week’s “Big Heat,” a $100,000 buy-in event featuring John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Huckleberry Seed, Ivey, Dwan, and Galfond.

Leeann Tweeden will once again serve as the show’s host with Ali Nejad providing commentary.

Fifty50 Sit & Go’s

PokerStars has launched a new online poker Sit & Go format called Fifty50.

Although the tournaments end when half of the entrants have been eliminated, Fifty50’s differ from the Double or Nothing format in that half of the prize pool gets split between the winning players equally and the other half is awarded based on chip counts.

Fifty50 events are currently running at the $10 level, but will soon be available at many different stakes.

World Cup of Poker Captains Named

The identities of the team captains for the seventh annual World Cup of Poker have been announced.

Last year, Chinese Taipei took the title. This year it will be Argentina, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, France, Ukraine and the United States battling it out for a $100,000 first prize at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Slovakia’s team will be led by Team PokerStars Pro’s newest member Dag Palovic. EPT San Remo winner Liv Boeree will lead the UK team while Argentina’s captain is back-to-back LAPT champ Nacho Barbero.

2009 APT champion Neil Arce will lead the team from the Philippines while the Spain squad will be headed up by Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor.

Luca Pagano leads Italy and Arnaud Mattern will captain the team from France.

And Finally, Vanessa Selbst will lead the USA while EPT Kiev runner-up Alexander Dovzhenko captains the Ukrainian side.

The action gets underway in the Bahamas Jan 14.

UB Returns to Poker Pro Canada Classic

For the second straight year, UB will be sending over twenty players to compete in the running of Montreal’s biggest poker event, the Poker Pro Canada Classic.

The $1500+150 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em event runs Jan. 27-30, 2011 at the Four Aces Poker Club.

UB is running a series of super satellites and freerolls Jan. 2-16 giving players a chance to win a $2500 prize package that includes a seat plus $850 for travel expenses.

300-plus players and prize pool of $500,000 is expected in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Categories: Online Poker

Hard Rock Casino settles with regulators in drug case

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

The Hard Rock really knows how to party! According to Nevada regulators, though, they are a little too eager to help customers party, even if it involves something illegal.

On Wednesday, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino agreed to pay the Nevada Gaming Control Board $650,000 to settle a casino involving the supplying of drugs to casino customers. The settlement includes a $500,000 fine and $150,000 to pay for the cost of the investigation.

According to the complaint raised by state regulators, who have the power to strip the Hard Rock of their casino license, VIP hosts and security staff supplied drugs to undercover agents at the Body English nightclub, which is now closed, and the Vanity nightclub, which is located in the Vegas casino’s HRH Tower.

According to the complaint, undercover police offers and regulators were able to buy cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy and use the drugs in their bathroom. The VIP hosts and security staff, perhaps a little too accommodating, also let guests have sex in the nightclub bathrooms, which, though not illegal, violates gaming regulations.

By agreeing to the settlement, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino avoided the case going to a regulatory hearing, where their license may have been in jeopardy. The casino did not admit guilt in the settlement, but says that they have fired all involved employees identified by regulators.

In addition, the casino stated that they have instituted a new program similar to secret shoppers, where people enter the premises like a normal customer to observe and report employee behavior. The casino ha also randomly drug tested all of their security personnel, nightlife personnel and vice presidents, with 97.5% passing.

Tags: Hard Rock Casino, Hard Rock drug settlement, Nevada Gaming Control Board

Categories: Casino, Gambling News

Nevada approves sports betting app

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Want to legally place a bet on a sporting event within the U.S. state of Nevada? There’s an app for that. The Nevada Caming Commission has approved a smartphone application that would allow players to engage in sports betting using their mobile phones.

The app, designed by the Leroy Group, lets Nevada residents place sports bets on their Blackberry phone. Only the Blackberry app has been approved so far, with the Android app pending approval. The key roadblock to approval was the need to convince the Gaming Commission that the app’s technology was sufficient to verify that the person using the phone was actually physically located within the state of Nevada when placing the bet. That is important because sports betting is illegal in most U.S. states.

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 makes it illegal to use a phone or “wire communication facility” to place an interstate or international bet on any sporting event or contest. That makes any online sports betting illegal if it crosses state lines, because that would make it subject to the federal “interstate” law. With the activity confined to Nevada’s borders, though, the federal Wire Act lacks jurisdiction in Nevada.

John English, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Public Affairs for American Wagering, who was involved with the project, is excited that the gambling app was approved. “The Nevada regulators placed significant challenges on American Wagering to provide a means of offering account wagering on a mobile device whereby we could verify that the bettor was in the state,” he said. He then triumphantly added that “we rose to the challenge and succeeded.”

Laws and regulations often build upon other laws and regulations. What starts as something small snowballs into something much larger, for better or worse. That being the case, allowing online gambling via a sports betting app may pave the way for Nevada to allow all forms of online sports betting and, eventually, all forms of online gambling. It may take some time, but government regulations rarely stay where they started. They tend to branch out and expand. Doing so in this case could help Nevada become the major online gambling hub for the United States.

Tags: gambling apps, Nevada gambling, Nevada Gaming Commission, sports betting

Categories: Casino, Gambling News

Top 5 of 2010: Michael Mizrachi’s World Series

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

It was another big year for the game of poker in 2010 and the PokerListings news team was there to document it all.

From highs like Jonathan Duhamel’s 2010 WSOP Main Event win to lows like Amir Vehadi’s untimely passing, the year was filled with stories big and small.

As has become tradition, PokerListings has spent the final week of 2010 counting down the top five stories of the year the way only we can – With the thoughts, words and opinions of the protagonists.

We conclude today with Michael Mizrachi’s World Series at Number 1:

Jonathan Duhamel may have won the Main Event and Frank Kassela took Player of the Year honors, but you’d have a tough time proving anyone had a better 2010 World Series of Poker than Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.

“To win the $50,000 Player’s Championship and have my brother make the final table, make two other final tables then have all my brother’s cash in the Main Event and me make the November Nine,” Mizrachi said. “Sure, I would have liked to have won it, but no one could really ask for a better World Series than I had. It was incredible.”

The South Florida based medical-student-turned-poker-pro was one of the original stars of the Chris Moneymaker induced poker boom, winning two World Poker Tour titles in 2005 and 2006, tying what was then the record with seven in-the-money finishes at the 2005 World Series of Poker and collecting more than $5 million in tournament earnings in just his first three years as a pro.

He even came close to winning his first WSOP bracelet in 2008 with two final tables and another five cashes.

But even though he earned more than $300k, including a runner-up finish to Justin Bonomo on the Las Vegas leg of the WSOP Circuit, 2009 marked his worst year as a pro and pundits began predicting Mizrachi’s best years were behind him.

The first half of 2010 seemed to confirm that, with Mizrachi recording just one single $7,465 cash in a prelim at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure before things went from bad to worse.

In May, just before the start of the 2010 WSOP, the Sun Sentinel newspaper in South Florida reported Mizrachi owed some $339,000 in back taxes and was facing foreclosure on a rental property he owned and his Miramar, Florida home.

Mizrachi has since set the record straight, saying that money he earned playing cash-games helped him avoid the kind of financial ruin many were predicting.

But the stage was still set for this year’s World Series to either make or break The Grinder.

The 2010 WSOP schedule kicked off with the new $50k Poker Player’s Championship and Mizrachi wasted little time proving it was his year, winning the $1,559,046 first-place prize at a final table that included his brother Robert.

With his first WSOP bracelet win now under his belt, Mizrachi went hunting for more, making the final table of both the $10k Stud and Limit Hold’em Championships.

A deep run in the $2,500 8-Game World Championship ended in 26th, but then came the Main Event.

With the ESPN cameras watching their every move, brothers Michael, Robert, Eric and Donny Mizrachi became the biggest story of the 2010 Main Event with all four making the money.

And although he was short stacked in the final days, Michael miraculously held on to make the November Nine.

The storybook ending looked like a possibility when The Grinder took the lead seven-handed at the final table, but his run ended with a fifth-place finish.

However, by winning his first bracelet in the game’s elite event, earning over $4 million and making a real run at poker’s biggest prize, Mizrachi had a most memorable World Series, certainly worthy of the top spot on PokerListings’ Top Five Stories of 2010.

“I hope I can, but I’m not sure anybody will ever have that kind of year again,” Mizrachi said. “I couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario.”

Categories: Online Poker

All Slots Online Casino Introduces Slot Machines Offering More Ways to Win

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

In a ‘Ways to Win’ online slot game, the player can win a jackpot anytime she gets the same symbol appearing on adjacent reels of the slot machine, starting with the first reel on the left.

The important distinction from Payline slots is that, in ‘Ways to Win’ slots, it does not matter where on the reel the symbol appears. For example, Diamond symbols appearing in the middle of Reel 1, at the bottom of Reel 2, and at the top of Reel 3 create a Way to Win even if it does not match any known slot machine payline.

It generally takes three of the same symbol on adjacent reels to create a Way to Win. If the player achieves four or five of the same symbol, that means a Way to Win an even bigger slots jackpot.

If one calculated all the possible ways of getting slot machine symbols on adjacent paylines, one would find that the ‘Burning Desire’ online slot game offers 243 Ways to Win, as does Alaskan Fishing, Voila, and Lord of the Rings, the immensely popular Thunderstruck II, and the brand new games Reel Gems and Robin Hood.

All Slots online casino also has released online slots games with bigger reels, which allow room for more slot machine symbols on each reel and therefore more Ways to Win. Arctic Fortune online slots has 1,024, while Dolphin Coast has 3,125 Ways to Win.

Categories: Casino, Gambling News

NAPT L.A.: Guinther Leads, Stars Threaten

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

They are into the money with just 81 remaining in the NAPT Los Angeles main event.

Jason Mercier is among the threats at NAPT Los Angeles.

Heading into Day 3 Monday it’s Jimmie Guinther who holds the lead with fellow American Travis Pearson closely in tow.

Team PokerStars Canada Pro Anh Van Nguyen, 2010 WSOP Main Event 28th place finisher Bryn Kenney, two-time WSOP final tablist Mike Sowers and 2006 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Michael Binger are all in the top ten.

Online pro Carter King was the bubble boy as they pushed into the money 10 minutes into the final level of the day Sunday.

Those who cashed but did not advance to Day 3 include Shannon Shorr, James Van Alstyne, Eric Baldwin, Adam Junglen, Kristy Gazes, and Dan Schreiber.

Triple crown winner Gavin Griffin, WSOPE bracelet winner Phil Laak and Team PokerStars Pro and PokerListings blogger Jason Mercier are among those still in contention.

NAPT L.A. drew 701 players to the Bicycle Casino, creating a $3.2 million prize pool with $725,000 reserved for first.
A winner will be crowned Nov. 17.

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Categories: Online Poker

Sloto’Cash Casino Launches New Slots and 3D Games – 12-26-12

December 26, 2010 Leave a comment

December 26 – Sloto’Cash Casino, powered by Rival Gaming, has launched four new games for the holidays. Most noteworthy are the unique new 3D slots from Rival Gaming.

Crazy Jewelry and Dr Magoo’s adventure us Rival’s unique 3D slots technology that’s a first in the industry.

The to new video slots are Japan-O-Rama and Reel Party Platinum.

Japan-O-Rama, an exclusive 20-line, 5 reel I-slot, inspired by the popular culture of the land of the rising sun, Japan-O-Rama captures the vibrant offbeat nature of the Japanese. The games has a bonus round and three Pachinko-style features.

Reel Party Platinum is a new 5 Reel, 15 line slot is the sequel to Reel Party, and is themed for the New Year. The game offers a Free Spin feature, Wild symbol and a Bonus Round.

Us players will be delighted to know that they can now use eChecks as a fast and easy deposit and withdrawal method at the casino. This method allows deposits to the casino directly from a bank account using Echeck state-of-the-art technology and security.

Visit Sloto’Cash Casino for more information. Take advantage of their generous $570 standard all-game deposit match bonus or our 300% match up to $1500 for slots only.

Categories: Casino, Gambling News