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Wendeen H. Eolis

East Coast Casino Licenses: Inside Pandora's Box

by Wendeen H. Eolis

The New Jersey gaming license application of Poker Stars has been a bruiser after a series of battles instigated and propelled by indignant opponents united under the umbrella of the American Gaming Association (AGA). But the fallout from the warring parties’ activities is far from over—regardless of the outcome on the PokerStars application this week.

 The time worn precept that a zealous foe who seeks to bury his target had best to build two graves may apply here. The AGA has succeeded, beyond a shadow of a doubt, in spotlighting PokerStars as a company that poses serious suitability issues in the context of New Jersey’s traditional casino licensing standards.

 At the same time, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s disorganized and dragged out proceedings, have provided regulators in other jurisdictions quite the primer on potential pitfalls in licensing deliberations. Perhaps as important, regulators have been motivated to take a harder look at the suitability of potential licensees, even if already licensed elsewhere. This food for thought was not likely anticipated by other gaming companies now being held accountable to more stringent standards than ever before.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

PokerStars Competitors Gain Momentum

by Wendeen H. Eolis

This past week has seen a frenzy of activity over the license application submitted by PokerStars to New Jersey regulators.

 This morning previously proven sources with direct knowledge of current affairs reconfirm PokerStars remains shut out of the starting line up for online gaming in the Garden State.

 "No approval tomorrow," say law firms with direct knowledge of late breaking developments.  Insiders closely associated with PokerStars say founders Isai and Mark Scheinberg are actively preparing for worse news on the near horizon.

 More news coming shortly on the pressure brought to bear by competitors outraged by "unfair competition." One lawyer peripherally involved says current "mess" is made by New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement making promises to PokerStars that we're not in concert with New Jersey regulatory tradition of stringent suitability requirements. 

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

PokerStars DGE Licensing Dance Continues

 Wendeen Reports Further Update here

Communications arms of both PokerStars and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement have come forward to insist PokerStars' licensing application remains active without disputing reports in Poker Player Newspaper that regulators have determined  to keep PokerStars off the list as of this time as part of the starting line up of Internet gaming companies that will begin full operations in New Jersey beginning November 26.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Poker Stars Snubbed by NJ Regulators: Announcements Scheduled for Today

by Wendeen H. Eolis

Update Bulletin: PokerStars Faces Red Lights in NJ 

After months of investigation by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the regulators have made their determinations and are  expected to step up to the plate today with announcements of the companies licensed for Internet gambling in NJ, on the opening date of November 26.  

 The lead up to the announcement has been accompanied by plenty of turmoil among warring parties.  Throughout this period, however, PokerStars and its boosters including various state officials, PS private lobbyists, and high placed friends, have exuded confidence without interruption, only to hear of their failure to secure a license at this time.

 Regulators are said to have railed against pressure to turn a blind eye on the outstanding criminal case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, arising from his indictment dating back to 2011. Word has also leaked out through sources close to officials in Atlantic City and in the Statehouse of growing concern as to the role of PokerStars founder in the Company's current activities.

While Isai Scheinberg is described by the Company as a "Fellow" and not part of management various opponents to PS licensing are continuing to argue that Scheinberg still operates within the Company as if he is in charge, with respect to matters that interest him. If true, this would violate the Company's settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice in connection with its legal troubles arising from the indictment and companion civil case U.S. v Scheinberg et al. 

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

PokerStars Thwarted in First Round of New Jersey Gaming Licenses

by Wendeen H. Eolis


PokerStars has failed to secure  a gaming license this week for opening date of online gaming in New Jersey according to three insiders with direct knowledge--on both sides of the pond.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is said to have become increasingly concerned about the open criminal case against PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg who has yet to face charges arising from his indictment of April 15, 2011, brought by the U. S. Department of Justice.  More details tomorrow.


Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (8 votes)

Poker Hall of Fame Inductions: McEvoy and Nguyen: Among the Worthiest

By Wendeen H. Eolis

The World Series of Poker did itself proud, deciding to host a full on celebration of the elected inductees in the 2013 class of the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame. Tears of pride and joy trickled down the faces of poker professionals Tom McEvoy and Scotty Nguyen as each accepted the highest honors conferred by a grateful poker world at a dinner in their honor, last night.  

A Cool Wine Cellar

 The WSOP executive team chose the sophisticated wine cellar at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino for the cocktail reception. Impressive wines were uncorked. The drinks flowed freely and the hors d’oeuvres were elegant. An hour later the doors to an inner sanctum were opened for the sit-down dinner and organized celebration of two good men.

 Filet mignon was served, but the sizzle in the steak was the poignant and gracious words that were spoken in the course of the induction ceremony.

WSOP Executive Director Moves the Needle

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Poker Documentary Beats Up on Ultimate Bet: Digging Deeper on Cheating Scam

by Wendeen H. Eolis

In the spring of 2000 Russ Hamilton coached Wayne Newton to a “tie” in a heads-up No Limit Hold’em duel that became part of GQ reporter Elizabeth Gilbert’s published story, “Chicks with Decks”— later that year. James McManus, the author of the poker classic Positively Fifth Street adopted the title as the heading for his chapter on women in poker. The catchy title fit the gutsy ladies profiled in Positively Fifth Street and Liz, far better than it fit me, as her poker coach  and Hamilton’s opposite in the  heads-up match.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (8 votes)

Runner Runner Appeals to Affleck and AGA;The Public Not So Much

by Wendeen H. Eolis

Last month at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, the American Gaming Association (AGA) upped the ante in its bid to promote progressive federal legislation to regulate online poker while pushing for a strengthened crackdown on illegal online poker operators.

AGA Uses Runner Runner to Campaign for Legislative Reform

AGA president, Geoff Freeman (since July 1, 2013) held a media conference during the GGE gathering to let it be known that the AGA intended to capitalize on the new movie, Runner Runner, by highlighting perils of online poker in an unregulated environment.

 Freeman demonstrates a savvy understanding of the two-edged sword of this movie, noting, also, the need to mitigate against opponent cries to eliminate online gambling altogether based on the ills of the industry depicted in the movie.

Runner Runner Movie Eludes Box Office Kudos

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

WSOP Europe— Pushing the Envelope

by Wendeen H. Eolis

This year the World Series of Poker Europe pays special tribute to women with its first ever Ladies Event. It will also cater to world travelers and romantics alike with a change of venue from the French Riviera to the suburbs of Paris. The accommodations are expected to delight all who love the City of Light and adore its energy in the fall.

The WSOPE Changes

Port of Call For the first four years, the tournament lived in London, centered at Harrahs’ Leicester Square Casino at the Empire. It outgrew its space before the first main event!

 In 2011, Mitch Garber, CEO of Caesars Interactive—the Caesars company responsible for the WSOP brand—spearheaded the exploration of a change of venue from England to France. Garber picked up the phone and went straight to the top source for intelligence- -Lucy Denos. She is the seasoned poker room director at Casino Barriere de Deauville where the EPT has held Court for years. Talking with Garber from her perch on the French Coast of Normandy, Denos explained the lay of the land.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Poker at Larrigata With Professor Larry Lindsey

By Wendeen H. Eolis

A nine hour drive from New York City, six and a half hours from Atlantic City, and four hours from Washington D.C., Larry Lindsey welcomed his “Poker Week” guests at his spectacular ocean side house in Virginia Beach.  The former associate professor of economics at Harvard University, who served as special assistant to the president in the first Bush administration, has a wide circle of friends—notably including an eclectic group of poker players he wanted to know better.

The Cast

The parade of guests begins with the arrival of Will, a professional dealer from a Charlestown, West Virginia public card room. He worked well for long hours and played well in the sandbox when he was off-duty.  Billy, a quiet and intense competitor, showed up with his wife and baby in tow. Then there were John and Sam, friends from college. They work out hard in the gym and diligently at the poker table. Sumit, is a patent lawyer. He paid close attention to details at the game. Brandon brings smarts and wicked wit to the table. Finally Tom makes his entrance with a lovely at his side.  He came here more to socialize than in search of big winnings; he takes down more than his fair share of profits from the poker economy, according to his staunchest rivals.

 Mother Jean, and Lovely Tammy tenderized the proceedings throughout the week. Larry added yours truly to the guest list, believing we could splice together our respective worlds of politics and poker  in early morning chats before the young guns shuttled over to Larrigata in golf carts from their own private group share residence—another of Larry’s houses situated just a mile down the beach road.

 The common denominators that bind this spirited group are the playground of the Charlestown poker room and the high limit area of the Borgata poker room. up the coast a piece in Atlantic City.  Larry’s digs were dubbed Larrigata by his poker guests to honor him and his affection for the consummate poker room for customer service—the Borgata.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)


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Wendeen H. Eolis

World Series of Poker

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