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Las Vegas Bellagio Resort Robbed

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Details are sketchy concerning an apparent robbery at the Bellagio Resort located on the Las Vegas strip.  Las Vegas Metro police are not releasing any details about the incident but a Bellagio spokesperson did confirm that a robbery did occur.

Bellagio employees are reporting that rumors around the property concerning the robbery say a man with what appeared to be a weapon was seen at the cashier cage early Friday evening.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

James Garner Dead at 86

by Joseph Smith Sr.

Los Angeles Police reported today that actor James Garner was found dead from natural causes in his  Los Angeles home Saturday evening. 

When I was growing up I knew one for-sure fact about poker, 'Don't play with Maverick because you  would not win'. Years later when I first saw the remake of the “Maverick” movie with James Garner as  the father of the next poker playing Maverick I thought it was a parody of the early WSOP. 

Poker greats from all over the globe gathered to trade chips,lies and bluffs while determining who  could do it the best. While photographing the 2006 WSOP Main Event at the Rio Resort in Las Vegas  I was thrilled to see Maverick himself sitting at one of the tables with a few stacks of chips playing in  the greatest poker game of them all. 

James Garner was no longer the dashing young man but he was definitely the older version. He was  most kind and easy going that day. No, he didn't win and was eliminated that day. I did win and I  wasn't even playing. Getting to meet James “Maverick” Garner sitting at a poker table was quite a  thrill and for a few moments I was again a kid in Texas watching the great Maverick take them all. 

Thanks for the entertaining memories Mr. Garner. R.I.P.

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Download and Read the Poker Player Digital Edition for July 14th, 2014 (Vol. 18 Number 2)

June 2nd, 2014 Issue of Poker Player NewspaperDownload the July 14th Digital edition PDF of Poker Player Newspaper.

Featured Articles:
Calling Out Sexism in Poker — Beyond Maguire, Molly’s Game, and “The Mouth” - by Wendeen H. Eolis

Featured Strategy - Mike Caro: Today's Word is Revenge

Tournament Results:
World Series of Poker Events 53 to the Main Event (#65)

AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!

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WSOP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF ESPN TV COVERAGE ON TUESDAY, JULY 15 FROM 8-10 PM ET

Photo By: Joe Giron

LAS VEGAS (July 11, 2014) – While the final card of the 45th Annual World Series of Poker is likely to fall in the wee hours on Tuesday, July 15, it will be just a few short hours from then when television viewers will be able to get their first glimpse of the expansive television coverage from this year’s tournament.
 
On Tuesday, July 15 from 8-10 pm ET, ESPN begins their TV coverage of the 2014 World Series of Poker, with the first two of what will be 24 original episodes from the record-breaking event. 
 
The WSOP National Championship took place over Memorial Day Weekend on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey and featured 126 players, all of whom qualified based on performance.  ESPN cameras captured all the final table action, as notable WSOP gold bracelet winners Dominik Nitsche, Matthew Ashton and Athanasios Polychronopoulos faced off against the best of the best from the WSOP Circuit qualifiers. 
 
In a WSOP television first, the venue was outdoors, with the opening weekend of the Jersey Shore in full effect on the famed Atlantic City boardwalk.  In Tuesday’s back-to-back one-hour episodes, ESPN covers the finale where more than $1.2 million is up for grabs.
 
Following a one-week hiatus, ESPN coverage of the 2014 World Series of Poker returns with action from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday, July 29 with coverage of the $1 million buy-in Big One for ONE DROP charity tournament.  For three consecutive weeks (July 29, August 5 & August 12), the WSOP on ESPN airs on Tuesday nights from 8-10 PM ET and provides Big One coverage.
 
Then, the WSOP on ESPN returns on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 9 PM ET, and airs for seven consecutive Sunday night’s providing WSOP Main Event coverage where this year’s winner will walk away with $10 million. The WSOP Main Event coverage will air consistently on Sunday nights in two-hour blocks from 9:00 PM ET to 11:00 PM ET.
Norman Chad and Lon McEachern call all the action. Dan Ochs and Steve Flower are the executives in charge of poker coverage on ESPN. 
The following page details all of ESPN’s World Series of Poker television plans for the 45th Annual World Series of Poker.
 
2014 WSOP on ESPN TELEVISION SCHEDULE
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A Sad Day for Poker - Well known Poker Player Chad Brown Passes

by Joseph Smith Sr.

A sad day for the world of poker.  Well known poker player Chad Brown lost his battle with cancer on July 2, 2014 and moved on to the big game.  He was a multitalented individual that had an ability to master most anything he attempted.

He was known throughout the entertainment world and he also made a name for himself in sports.  Poker became his primary pursuit during his final years.  He won a big event during the 2006 World Championship of Online Poker and finished second in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship invitational event.  In 2014 he was awarded a WSOP gold bracelet for his contributions to poker.

Over the years I have photographed Chad in numerous poker events and circumstances.  He always exhibited class and was a true gentleman without regard to the moment.  He always had time to meet and greet fans.

Chad Brown was truly a class act and will be sorely missed.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

2014 WSOP Event #57 $1,000,000 The Big One for One Drop

by Joseph C. Smith Sr.

A poker tournament with a prize pool totaling $37,333,338.  And that's after $111,111 from each of the 42 entrants $1 million buy-in which totals $4,666,662 is set aside for the One Drop Foundation.  Arithmetically inclined readers will be quick to note when you add the prize pool and the One Drop donation you get exactly $42 million.  So how much goes to the house?  None!  Harrah's WSOP is not taking any of the money.

This 3 Day event offered plenty of exciting and often humorous moments.  Amazing how at this level of poker  the players can be so casual about anything considering the amount of money at stake.  The top eight finishers received at least $1,306,667 in cash.  Even after deducting the original $1 million buy-in some serious money remains.

Day 3 saw the field of 42 cut to just 2 players with chips.  A 23-year-old Daniel Colman from Holden, MA  faced 5 WSOP bracelet veteran Daniel Negreanu.  Going into the heads-up play Colman held the chip lead with 68 and a half million to Negreanu's 57 and a half million.  Five hands later Negreanu had the chip lead with 73 and a half million to Colman's 52 and a half million.  Nrgreanu continued to stretch his lead and was holding a 2 to 1 advantage then the momentum reversed and quickly colman was ahead.

Negreanu pulled ahead one more time then Colman pulled ahead and continue to pad his lead.  He never looked back after that and finally Negreanu shoved his remaining chips into the pot holding Ace-4o and was called and covered by Colman tableing a K-Qo.  The flop showed J-A-4 giving Negreanu two pair and the lead and Colman needing a 10 for a straight.  The turn was a 10 giving Colman the lead and a straight and leaving Negreanu in desperate need of an Ace or 4.  The river was a 7 and Colman was the owner of a very special WSOP bracelet and $15,306.668 in cash.  He's also in the poker history book as the winner of the second largest cash prize in a poker tournament.

Daniel Negreanu received $8,288,001 for second.   

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

WSOP Branding Machine - Part Two : Changing of the Guard

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Until moments after the 2009 WSOP final table proceedings in the fall, Jeffrey Pollack was the public face of the WSOP.  And then, suddenly, he announced his resignation and rushed off to take interviews that controlled the immediate spin on his departure.  He said he was ready to survey opportunities in new pastures and pleased  to have contributed  to the growth of the WSOP brand.  

Despite the happy state of affairs effectuated by the Pollack-Stewart collaboration, the collegiality between the two men had begun to wane at least a year earlier. A corporate reorganization of CIE was also afoot. Although Pollack had recommended a strong initiative in the online gaming market, and sought to add this responsibility to his portfolio, Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman was zooming in on Mitch Garber, the recently departed CEO of Party Gaming, to lead such an effort.

Mitch Garber Steps up to Bat

Pollack’s unveiled opposition to Garber as his potential boss made for an awkward situation once Garber was plainly in line to take the reins of CIE (initially Harrahs Interactive Entertainment), including Pollack's most treasured domain, the WSOP.  

In the spring of 2009, Garber became CEO of CIE. With Garber's blessings, Pollack assumed the title of President of CIE, briefly. But, Garber was running the show and relying on others as he built his team. In the fall of 2009, Pollack resigned. Garber tapped Stewart as his replacement.

Stewart Shines Brighter under Garber

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Download and Read the Poker Player Digital Edition for June 30th, 2014 (Vol. 18 Number 1)

June 2nd, 2014 Issue of Poker Player NewspaperDownload the June 30th Digital edition PDF of Poker Player Newspaper.

Featured Articles:
WSOP Branding Machine: The Players are the Stars - by Wendeen H. Eolis

The World Series of Poker: It's Our Woodstock! - by Shari Geller

Tournament Results:
World Series of Poker Events up to 52

AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Amaya Agrees to Acquire Rational Group, Owner of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 Billion

Acquisition Creates World’s Largest Publicly-Traded Online Gaming Company

(MONTREAL, CANADA & ONCHAN, ISLE OF MAN – June 12, 2014) – Amaya Gaming Group Inc. (TSX: AYA) (“Amaya” or the “Corporation”) and privately held Oldford Group Limited (“Oldford Group”), the parent company of Rational Group Ltd. (“Rational Group”), the world’s largest poker business and owner and operator of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) for the Corporation to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Oldford Group in an all-cash transaction for an aggregate purchase price of $4.9 billion (the “Purchase Price”), including certain deferred payments and subject to certain other customary adjustments (the “Transaction”). All $ figures are in US dollars unless noted otherwise.

KEY TRANSACTION HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Transaction will result in Amaya becoming the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming company. The online poker platforms PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are collectively the world’s most popular and profitable online poker brands with more than 85 million registered players on desktop and mobile devices.

  • For calendar year 2013, pro forma combined revenue, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of Amaya and Oldford Group were $1.3 billion, $474.8 million and $473.8 million, respectively. For 2014, the Corporation is projecting pro forma adjusted EBITDA, assuming the Transaction had been completed as of January 1, 2014, of between $600 and $640 million.

  • The Transaction combines complementary businesses with minimal overlap: Isle of Man-headquartered Rational Group’s B2C poker business including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, live poker tours and events, and online and TV poker programming; and Montreal-headquartered Amaya’s B2B interactive and physical casino and lottery gaming solutions.

  • Under the terms of the Transaction, Oldford Group shareholders led by Mark Scheinberg, founder and Chief Executive Officer, will dispose of their shares to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amaya.  Mr. Scheinberg and other principals of OIdford Group will resign from all positions with Oldford Group and its subsidiaries on completion of the Transaction.

  • Rational Group’s executive management team will be retained and online poker services provided by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be unaffected by the Transaction, with players continuing to enjoy uninterrupted access to their gaming experience.  

  • The boards of directors of both Amaya and Oldford Group unanimously approved the Agreement.

  • The Transaction will be financed through a combination of cash on hand, new debt, a private placement of subscription receipts, a private placement of common shares and a private placement of non-voting convertible preferred shares.

  • Affiliates of GSO Capital Partners LP (“GSO”), the credit division of The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), have agreed to participate in the debt financing, to subscribe for $600 million in convertible preferred shares, and to purchase $55 million of common shares of the Corporation with each common share priced at C$20 upon closing of the Transaction.

  • An investment manager (the “Investment Manager”), on behalf of its clients, has agreed to participate in the debt financing, to subscribe for approximately $270 million in convertible preferred shares, and to purchase approximately $55 million of subscription receipts.

  • No change related to this Transaction is contemplated for Amaya’s Board of Directors.

“This is a transformative acquisition for Amaya, strengthening our core B2B operations with a consumer online powerhouse that creates a scalable global platform for growth,” said David Baazov, CEO of Amaya.  “Mark Scheinberg pioneered the online poker industry, building a remarkable business and earning the trust of millions of poker players by delivering the industry’s best game experiences, customer service and online security. Working with the experienced executive team at Rational Group, Amaya will continue that tradition of excellence and accelerate growth into new markets and verticals.”

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Download and Read the Poker Player Digital Edition for June 16th, 2014 (Vol. 17 Number 26)

June 2nd, 2014 Issue of Poker Player NewspaperDownload the June 16th Digital edition PDF of Poker Player Newspaper.

Feature Story 
WSOP Grand Pooh Bah: Ty Stewart From Las Vegas To Macau With Love Always In Mind by Wendeen H. Eolis

Featured Strategy:
Mike Caro - Today's Word is PUMPKIN by Mike Caro

Tournament Results:
World Series of Poker Events 1 thru 7

Erik Velie Wins Bike’s Deepstacks Poker Tour Main Event

AND MUCH MORE, Download the new Issue PDF now!

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

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