by Haley Hintze
DELAWARE APPROVES ONLINE POKER AMID GAMBLING EXPANSION
A broad-based expansion of gambling opportunities was signed into law by Delaware Governor Jack Markell one day after Delaware’s state Senate passed a House bill authorizing several forms of online gambling, including online poker. Online casino games and NFL parlay betting were also included in the bill, which will call for residents to purchase deposit vouchers from authorized state sales agents once various online network pieces are up and running.
THREE MONTHS FOR BLACK FRIDAY’S THREE MONTHS FOR BLACK FRIDAY’S CAMPOS CAMPOS
Utah banker John Campos was sentenced to three months in prison for his role in the banking scheme at the center of US authorities’ “Black Friday” indictments, aimed at the heart of online poker. Campos, the former board chairman of St. George, Utah’s SunFirst Bank, agreed to an investment scheme which brought money into his struggling bank while facilitating payment processing between US-based poker players and giant online sites, including PokerStars and Full Tilt. Six of the eleven Black Friday defendants have surrendered to US authorities, while the other five remain international fugitives in the eyes of American law. Campos also agreed to exit the banking industry for life.
SHUFFLEMASTER BACKS OUT OF ONGAME PURCHASE
ShuffleMaster’s possible plans to use Ongame Network software as its basic online poker platform for Nevada residents ended when the company backed out of its Ð29.5 million (about USD $36 million) purchase of the Ongame Poker Network from European owner bwin.party. Several factors doomed the 2011 deal, including the growing antiquity of the Ongame platform, which still houses a couple dozen Euro-facing poker skins, and possible complications from Ongame’s never having settled with US authorities concerning pre-UIGEA poker play.
WMS PARTNERS WITH 888
Slot-machine and equipment manufacturer WMS Gaming, Inc. has announced a strategic partnership deal with venerable online-poker network 888 Holdings, Inc., via 888’s new interactive business-tobusiness division, Dragonfish. Both companies have carved out exceptions for pre-existing deals in the agreement, such as 888’s ongoing contractual obligations with Caesars Entertainment. Both the Illinoisbased WMS gaming and 888 Holdings remain on the applications list for Nevada online-poker licenses and hope to be among the first generation of service providers when that state’s offerings debut in the coming months.
TRICKETT THUMPED IN BOTH ONE DROP FINALE, POST-EVENT CELEBRATION
Things were rolling Sam Trickett’s way, deep in the WSOP’s successful Big One for One Drop charity event, as Trickett and Antonio Esfandiari had each reached heads-up action and were guaranteed $10.1 million as the last survivors of a 48-player field that paid $1 million each to enter. Trickett, though, saw Esfandiari close the deal on the event’s $18.3 million winner’s prize, poker’s richest ever, then found his post-event party celebration gone sour when a Vegas nightclub trip turned into a mild beating by what he reported as six (presumably intoxicated) bar patrons. Trickett, a UK plumber turned poker pro, publicized a snapshot showing several facial abrasions, though no robbery of any of his winnings was reported.
SEEMS ‘BAMELA POKER’ DIDN’T MAKE THE LIST…
It turns out Baywatch starlet Pamela Anderson’s love for poker is enduring. The one-time face of Pamela Poker, a short-lived skin in the Doyle’s Room family, will try again with BamPoker, a new Facebookbased poker application. Anderson’s latest venture was trumpeted with much less fanfare than her previous effort, which included a faux wedding to Doyle Brunson amid the general craziness of the 2006 WSOP. BamPoker joins a rapidly growing lineup of Facebook and smartphone apps which offer play-money play for now, but have eyes toward realmoney action in the future.
Veteran poker-industry writer/editor Haley Hintze is the author of an upcoming book on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet online cheating scandals, to be released later this year.