A press release was just issued from the department of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York advising that eleven principals representing the three largest online poker companies, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker, have been charged with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses and money laundering.
Rumors that representatives of the three companies might be indicted have been circulating for over a year, but with the unsealing today of the indictments the rumors have turned into reality. This is what we now know: named in the indictment are Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars, Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker and Scott Tom and Brent Beckley of Absolute Poker.
I’ve been writing about poker for three years now and fascinated with the game for too many years to mention. But aside from family home games in the breakfast nook, and the occasional microscopically low limit games at casinos, I’ve been hesitant to try my hand in the big leagues.
I’d leave the tournaments to my husband and sit off in a corner, working on the New York Times puzzle and cheering him from afar. Perhaps, I was taking the role women often take around poker—curious, interested, but reluctant to actually sit down with the boys.
While the race to see who would be the first state to legalize online poker continues, law makers in the District of Columbia did what their larger counterparts could not. On April 7, Washington, D.C. became the first American jurisdiction to enact a law allowing online poker wagering.
Passed back in December as part of a larger budget bill, the “Lottery Modernization Act of 2010” (named after the year it was introduced), was enacted last Thursday after the thirty-day window within which Congress could have struck down the bill closed. Without any objection from Congress, the D.C. bill became law.
How many times have you watched that famous bluff that amateur Chris Moneymaker pulled off against seasoned pro Sammy Farha on his way to winning the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event? How many times did you think to yourself, Farha would never fall for that again? Well, you’ll be able to find out if that’s true this summer during the World Series of Poker. In a first-of-its-kind event, the WSOP will stage rematches of three of the most famous heads-up battles in WSOP history.
After four days of play, Ali Eslami emerged as the winner of the World Series of Poker Circuit $10,000 Western Regional Championship held at Harrah’s Rincon. The Day 1 chip leader walked away with the top prize of $282,242, a ring, and a seat in the $1 million National Championship beginning on May 27 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas where he will play for a WSOP bracelet.
Tim West was the dominating chip leader going into the final table and was looking for a repeat, having just won the $5,000 Wynn Poker Classic. He had almost a third of the chips at the table and almost double the chips of his next closest competitor David Peter. But it was Eslami, who had started the final table in fourth place with fewer than half West’s chip stack, who came out of the gate fast matched only by Steven Brecher.
Eighteen players started Day 3 of the World Series of Poker Circuit $10,000 Western Regional Championship with two goals in mind: making it past the money bubble and making the final table. The final nine would compete for the top prize of $282,242 and each would earn a seat at the $1 million National Championship beginning on May 27 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. As Survivor host Jeff Probst might ask, “Worth playing for?”
Day 2 of the World Series of Poker-Circuit $10,000 Western Regional Championship began with 59 players who had survived Day 1, and was augmented by an additional seven who signed up during the first level of play. By the end of the day, just eighteen were left, led by chip leader Kwinsee Tran. Making it to the final table means guarateeing yourself a seat in the WSOP-C $1 million National Championship at Caesar's Palace this May, a nationally televised event where the winner will receive the first bracelet outside of a WSOP or WSOP-E event.
The World Series of Poker Circuit $10,000 Western Regional Championship got underway yesterday with 91 runners at Harrah’s Rincon near San Diego, CA. At the end of the day, 59 had survived including chip leader Ali Eslami, former Main Event champs Carlos Mortensen and Phil Hellmuth, and a number of well-known pros including David Williams, Victor Ramdin, Adam Levy and Jonathan Little. With registration for the event staying open through the first level of play today, the final number of entrants should be right around 100.
One poker pro taking advantage of the late registration is Daniel Negreanu who tweeted last night, “Packed a bag, booked a flight….and I’ll be in Rincon for WSOPC day 2 with 50bbs.” With the original starting stack of 30,000, that puts Negreanu ahead of Hellmuth, Williams and Ramdin as well as other pros such as David Baker, Allen Kessler and Jordan Morgan.
Last Thursday it was announced that PokerStars and Wynn Resorts were forming a strategic alliance joining the power of the brick and mortar casino with the largest online poker site in the world. One of the first goals of his merger is to seek passage of federal legislation that will regulate Internet gambling.
Today was Day 1 of the $10,000 WSOP Circuit Western Regional Championship at Harrah’s Rincon in Valley Center, California. It was already noteworthy for being the third nationally televised event of its kind, the last being the WSOP-C Championship in New Orleans this May, which will send players to the $1 million national championship at Caesars later this year. But tonight, as I was following the tweets from players at the event, I saw something quite unusual.