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Poker News: Atlantic Club Casino Closes, Cancellation of Borgata Tourney and more

by Haley Hintze


The Borgata’s annual Winter Poker Open suffered a blow when New Jersey gaming regulators ordered the cancellation of the WPO’s opening event after a large quantity of counterfeit chips were discovered. Twenty-seven players remained in the event, a $560 buy-in tourney which drew a massive 4,814-player field, when the full extent of the cheating was uncovered. No arrests have been made in the matter, nor has a final resolution been made regarding a possible distribution of more than $1.4 million in prize money to the event’s remaining players.


Atlantic City’s Atlantic Club Casino closed permanently on January 13th after court approval of an asset purchase by two AC competitors, Caesars and Tropicana. The Atlantic Club entered bankruptcy proceedings last year, shortly after backing out of a deal with PokerStars that could have kept the casino, Atlantic City’s oldest, open—pending regulatory approval for PokerStars, which may have been unlikely. The Tropicana claimed the gaming equipment while Caesars assumed ownership of the hotel and land itself in the accepted deal; the closing of the Atlantic Club itself resulted in layoffs for the casino’s approximately 1,800 workers.


Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Borgata Shows Record Keeping Prowess: Keeping Men "The Master" On His Toes

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Four thousand + players journeyed to the Borgata Winter Open, for its first tournament -- a $560 buy-in, deep stack confection, with a two million dollar guaranteed prize pool. The numbers proved themselves; it was a “must play” event.  But with twenty-seven players remaining in the field, the tournament was suspended before the commencement of day three, last Friday. One day later Event 1 was canceled.

The Big Guns Get Involved

The tournament had been compromised, said Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of Operations at the Borgata.  He explained that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement made the decision to cancel the tournament  and place the remaining unpaid prize monies in a trust pending a further resolution.  Lupo has had his hands full since revealing the discovery of "significant counterfeit chips" in play at the tournament. He has been juggling his time among competing priorities.  He must cope concurrently with expectations of top management, availability to DGE and other investigative professionals, continued oversight and collaboration with his teams, and extensive attention to the plight of players whose dreams were smashed by a compromised tournament or its cancelation, and maybe both. 

Players Put Men "The Master" Nguyen  On Stage

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (8 votes)

Poker News Briefs: Counterfeit Chips Cause Cancellation of Borgata Tourney

by Haley Hintze

The Borgata’s annual Winter Poker Open suffered a blow when New Jersey gaming regulators ordered the cancellation of the WPO’s opening event after a large quantity of counterfeit chips were discovered.  Twenty-seven players remained in the event, a $560 buy-in tourney which drew a massive 4,814-player field, when the full extent of the cheating was uncovered.  No arrests have been made in the matter, nor has a final resolution been made regarding a possible distribution of more than $1.4 million in prize money to the event’s remaining players.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Poker News: Wynn’s Boston-Area Billion-Dollar Casino Project Moves Forward and more

by Haley Hintze


Wynn Resorts emerged as the clear favorite of the developers of a Boston-area casino after the company was deemed “suitable” by Massachusetts gaming regulator. Wynn plans a $1.2 billion casino complex in Everett, an inner Boston suburb, but will likely have to outlast legal challenges by rival Caesars Entertainment, which had competed for the same single Eastern Massachusetts license, but was forced out over questionable and modest business ties to a suspect New York hotelier. Caesars responded to its ouster by suing a prominent Massachusetts gaming official with alleged close ties to Wynn, meaning that despite the recent Wynn approval, matters aren’t quite settled.


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A Happy New Year to All!

The publisher and staff of Poker Player newspaper wish all of our readers a very HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR. 2013 has been a difficult year for most of us. Let’s hope that 2014 will bring everyone their greatest hopes and desires. Poker Player has several exciting projects coming up in the near future, including a new patented format for poker tournaments that will be more exciting and more satisfying for both players and management. We are in talks with several properties to arrange its implementation in 2014. Keep your eyes peeled for further details coming in this newspaper in the near future.

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Poker News: American Gaming Association Adds New Members and more


The Atlantic Club Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will close on January 13th after a bankruptcy auction failed to find a bidder willing to operate the casino. The only bid, which was duly accepted, was a $23.4 million joint offer by Tropicana and Caesars that will see the two NJ competitors divvy up the Atlantic Club’s equipment and physical assets, with Caesars holding the rights to the property and attached casino. Roughly 2,000 workers will be unemployed through the Atlantic Club’s closure. The Atlantic Club’s failure came after casino owners Crown Colony LLC backed out of a 2012 sale to PokerStars parent Rational Group, which sought a point of re-entry into the US market. The casino’s closing leaves 11 operating properties in the state.


Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

Shari Geller Reviews the Year in Poker: 2013

by Shari Geller

As 2013 draws to a close it is time for our annual reflection on the stories that made news, whether for good or bad, in the world of poker over the past twelve months. From a new WSOP locale to the continued scrambling over the future of online poker, the return of some notorious names and the introduction of some new ones, 2013 was another eventful year.

The return of online poker in the US was both the biggest story of 2013 as well as the source of great disappointment to poker players. By year’s end, three states have managed to get regulated online poker sites operating to serve their residents, leaving 47 states where poker players cannot enjoy their favorite game in the privacy of their own homes.

 Nevada became the first state to license and regulate online poker and had sites up and running by mid-year. Two sites, UltimatePoker. com and WSOP.com, are servicing local Nevada players, but the number of participants is a mere fraction of what Pre-Black Friday websites handled. Delaware followed Nevada as the second state in the country with statewide real-money online poker. Delaware had a soft launch on Halloween and by November, players physically located within the state were able to log on to one of three state-sanctioned sites; Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. New Jersey governor Chris Christie made a few friends for his expected future presidential run by finally signing legislation allowing New Jersey to allow online poker, and New Jersey has now outpaced Nevada and Delaware in the number of players who have signed up. But while those states overcame the many hurdles to bringing online poker to their residences, other states do not seem to be in any hurry to join them.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

PokerStars Battle in America: Truths, Consequences, and Options

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Last week the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement finally announced that PokerStars' application for a gaming license has been suspended for two years—with one pointed equivocation. If the Company seeks relief from this suspension, based on appropriately “changed conditions” within the Company, the DGE says its license application may be reassessed sooner.

The DGE cites the unresolved indictment of PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg as the "primary" cause for the decision. Insiders close to the regulator say there are  various other management concerns  in the mix, notably including questions as to Isai Scheinberg’s current involvement in Poker Stars. A settlement agreement between the Company and the U.S. Department of Justice, (arising from the Government’s prosecution, U.S. v Scheinberg et al April 15, 2011) presently prohibits Isai Scheinberg from assuming any leadership role in the Company.

Truths and Consequences

It is hard to imagine  separating the Scheinberg name from PokerStars; it stands for immense technical know-how in the world of online poker security, an uncanny understanding of the poker business, exceptional responsiveness to customers' wants and needs, and impeccable financial integrity with its patrons. These are the hallmarks of Isai Scheinberg’s PokerStars and they continue to be at the heart of the Company’s operating philosophy with its customers, under his son Mark Scheinberg, say their legions of fans. The younger Scheinberg now holds the reins as CEO,

The Company’s detractors, however, debate PokerStars' business principles beyond the glow of customer satisfaction. Reports of uneven relationships and questions of fairness on the part of the Company in their arrangements with various corporate business partners and a large force of independent contractors surface periodically.   So do  complaints of a corporate strategy that  promotes and endorses "uninformed accusations"  of character deficiencies of successful competitors and others not in favor with the Scheinbergs. The chief gripe noted by several competitors and former service providers is  "bad-mouthing  that emanates  from the top of the pyramid,”

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Poker News: Thirteen Sites Approved as New Jersey Online Poker Debuts and more

by Haley Hintze


 A late rush in approvals by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement saw seven of the state’s 12 casinos and a total of 13 online sites approved for the state’s soft launch of real-money online gaming, which began as scheduled on November 21st. The sites approved included www.Borgatacasino.com, www.Borgatapoker.com, www.NJ.Partypoker.com, www.HarrahsCasino.com, www.WSOP.com, us.888.com, us.888poker.com, us.888casino.com, www.CaesarsCasino.com, www.tropicanacasino.com, www.virgincasino.com, www.betfaircasino.com and www.ucasino.com. The late additions included six Caesars affiliated sites, with Caesars owning four of the state’s 12 land-based casinos.


Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

PokerStars iGaming license at launch in New Jersey is a no go

by Wendeen H. Eolis


As exclusively reported at pokerplayernewswpaper.com, on November 7th, PokerStars will not be part of the iGaming fraternity operating in New Jersey on its historic scheduled launch date of November 26th.

Look for statements from PokerStars and/or DGE pledging that the dance continues—but for more on the back story to this state of affairs, stay tuned to pokerplayernewspaper.com.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)


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