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Online Poker Black Friday

December 6, 2012 - 8:00am
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Haley Hintze

Poker News: Tapie Out, Stars In as Full Tilt Assets Buyer and More

by Haley Hintze

FRENCH GROUP EXITS NEGOTIATIONS TO PURCHASE FULL TILT ASSETS...

 The on-again, off-again courtship by Groupe Bernard Tapie to purchase the assets of Full Tilt Poker is off again—this time for good. Citing an “eleventh hour” demand from the United States’ Department of Justice that all affected players would be able to withdraw suspended balances immediately upon reopening of a new Full Tilt site serving the rest of the world, Tapie pulled the plug on the deal.

...AS POKERSTARS STEPS IN

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Poker News: WSOP, NJ Online Poker, Epic $7.8M Liabilities and More

by Haley Hintze

NEW JERSEY ONLINE-POKER BILL  NEW JERSEY ONLINE-POKER BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE

 A reworked online-poker bill is back on the legislative agenda for New Jersey politicians, and the latest edition recently cleared New Jersey’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by a 12-0 vote. The bill joins numerous measures up for general budget debate, and will face votes before New Jersey’s full House and Senate before moving on to a possible signing by Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed an earlier measure. The latest bill is sponsored by state Senators Raymond Lesniak and James Whelan, who fronted earlier attempts to expand gambling in the state.

 THIRTY CONFIRMED FOR WSOP’S BIG ONE FOR ONEDROP

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Poker News: Two More 'Black Friday' Defendants Reach Tentative Agreements and More

by Haley Hintze

SPORTINGBET MAKES FINAL PAYMENT TO US AND NEGOTIATES WITH FOXWOODS

 With an eye toward partnering with Connecticut’s Foxwoods Casino and reentering any future US online poker markets, the UK-based online gambling firm made the last of three installment payments to American prosecutors. SportingBet agreed to this deal in 2011 to avoid prosecution for its pre-UIGEA business with US customers. SportingBet’s final $6 million payment brought the total paid to the US government to $33 million. This leaves the company free to work with American casinos on future projects. The talks with Foxwoods come as that major East Coast casino faces a $2 billion debt, along with increased competition from neighboring states and an increasing possibility of casino gaming coming to neighboring Massachusetts.

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Poker News: 2012 WSOP Europe Schedule Announced and more

By Haley Hintze
 
WSOP Europe Announces Seven- Bracelet 2012 Slate

 The 2012 World Series of Poker Europe is slated for September 21 October 4 in Cannes, France. The events include no-limit hold’em and pot-limit hold’em, with a variety of formats: short-handed, shootout, and a special “mixed-max” tourney, debuting this year. The WSOPE’s main event begins on September 29, with returning champion, Elio Fox.

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Poker News: Epic Poker League Files Bankruptcy and more

by Haley Hintze

 EPL PARENT ANNOUNCES BANKRUPTCY PLANS
 Epic Poker League’s parent company, Federated Sports & Gaming’s plans for a lengthy run suffered a severe setback when executive director Jeffrey Pollack announced they would be seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after lavish expenditures left the new operation awash in red ink. With only three events under its belt and its fourth tourney and season-ending freeroll already delayed, prospects for EPL’s survival appear dim, though not impossible. One known EPL investor, Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., allegedly entered buyout talks, while the semi-autonomous Heartland Poker Tour, a new part of the FS&G family, was expected to continue with no change in plans.

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Poker News: Poker Bill’s 2012 Prospects Wane

By Haley Hintze

 ONLINE POKER MEASURE DROPPED FROM TAX-BILL TALKS

 An effort by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to attach an online-poker bill to a “must pass” payroll-tax bill under discussion in late February failed, leaving any such legislation less likely for 2012. The tax bill, briefly eyed by Reid, was designed to extend unemployment benefits and tax cuts. Despite its controversial nature, the bill was eyed by some as an omnibus measure to which some special-interest measures could be attached. The short-circuited move mirrored Congress’s 2006 passage of the UIGEA, which sailed through without opposition after being added to a needed port-security measure.

 EVERLEAF DEPARTS US MARKET

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Poker News: Full Tilt Deal Awash in Legal, Business Maneuvers

FTP MADE PRIVATE LOANS TO HIGHSTAKES PROS

Private loans,funded directly from FTP coffers, were made to a group of high-stakes pros, including Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, Mike Matusow and PokerStars-sponsored Barry Greenstein. They collectively owe nearly $20 million. Greenstein quickly acknowledged a debt of less than $400,000 and explained the circumstances, while the others remained silent on the matter.

 FULL TILT RICO ACTION DISMISSED

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Poker News: Black Friday Guilty Plea; Freddy Deeb Wins at Bicycle; The $3 Billion Casino Project and more

by Haley Hintze
 
NORWEGIAN TAX AUTHORITIES SEEK ABSOLUTE POKER MONEY
Norwegian tax authorities filed a lien with American authorities for accounts frozen on Black Friday, hoping to recover $30 million. Since Absolute’s operating profits were channeled through Madeira Fjord AS, a Norwegian holding company, the revenue is taxable in what has been called by Norwegian business outlets “the largest tax fraud in Norway’s history.”

GUILTY PLEA FOR “BLACK FRIDAY” DEFENDANT RUBIN

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Poker News: Duhamel’s Former Girlfriend Jailed in WSOP Bracelet Robbery Arrest and more

by Haley Hintze

DUHAMEL HOME INVASION

 The saga of the late-night home invasion robbery of WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel turned ever stranger with the arrest of former Duhamel girlfriend Bianca Rojas-Latraverse and three Montreal-area men in connection with the case. According to evidence presented at the arraignment, Rojas-Latraverse, 20, orchestrated the break-in in which Duhamel was beaten and briefly hospitalized, which was physically carried out by two of the three others since arrested. Taken in the robbery were over $100,000 worth of euros and Canadian currency, a special PokerStars Rolex watch commemorating Duhamel’s WSOP win—which has since been recovered—and the platinum-and-diamonds WSOP winner’s bracelet, which remains missing. This is proof positive that, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”  

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Poker News: WSOP Champ Attacked; Doyle Brunson Honored; Beckley Pleads Guilty; Ivey Ex Sues and more

by Haley Hintze

 

DUHAMEL BEATEN IN HOME INVASION

2010 WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel suffered minor injuries after being assaulted in a home invasion robbery. Duhamel, a Canadian who lives in the Montreal borough of Boucherville, answered a late-night doorbell only to be pushed back inside his home by his attackers. Among the items taken were his prized championship bracelet from his 2010 World Series poker victory and a Rolex Submariner watch given to him by his sponsor PokerStars to mark his feat. Both items were engraved with his name and the date of his triumph. Duhamel, who was hospitalized briefly for treatment of his injuries before being released, said: “I won’t deny that these two items have a value much larger than money to me, and I hope with all my heart that we will be able to recover them in the near future.” Duhamel won $8.9 million for his 2010 title and isn’t the only WSOP winner to face a later assault, as 2004 winner Greg Raymer once fended off a pair of armed robbers who attacked him outside a hotel room at the Bellagio.

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