by Haley Hintze
FULL TILT CLAIMS PROCESS GOES LIVE
Garden City Group, the DOJ-appointed administrator for refunds to former US-based players on Full Tilt, announced detailed remission instructions on September 16th, with e-mails sent out on that date. Beginning on September 18th, GCG began accepting applications from players who have filed a formal petition for a refund (remission) of their online balances, which were frozen as of “Black Friday,” April 15, 2011. Affected players will have until November 16th to file for refunds, and GCG has announced that some categories of players, such as all former player/owners of FTP, known as “Team Full Tilt,” will be ineligible for refunds. All remission applications will be reviewed sometime after the process closes in November, with the actual payment date for refunds as yet undetermined.
IVEY REPORTEDLY CONFIRMS EDGE-SORTING IN CASINO FLAP
British tabloid outlet Daily Mail has reported that according to court documents, prominent American pro Phil Ivey has admitted that he and a female companion used a card-identifying technique called “edge sorting” to gain an advantage in a long session of a baccarat variation called punto banco at London’s Crockfords Casino in August of 2012. The casino refused to pay Ivey his £7.8 million win (about USD $12 million), alleging unfair play by Ivey and his companion, an Asian woman identified as “Kelly” in the Daily Mail piece. In return, according to the latest report, Ivey has alleged that the casino knowingly used decks with known design flaws that allowed key punto banco cards—7’s, 8’s and 9’s—to be identified.
NEW JERSEY PROJECTS NOVEMBER 23RD LIVE DATE
Fully-regulated US online poker will take another step forward on November 23rd, 2013, the date that several authorized New Jersey casino sites are expected to debut their real-money online poker sites. The state continues to finalize its regulations for online offerings and privately vet the 37 corporate applications received from the state’s 12 casinos and 25 software and hardware partners and related services. New Jersey remains in a race with neighboring Delaware to become the second state with live online poker offerings.
NGC APPROVES GOLDEN GAMING / TREASURE ISLAND / 888 BUSINESS DEAL
A three-way partnership between Las Vegas casino Treasure Island, outlying casino operation Golden Gaming (which operates three casinos in Pahrump) and software provider 888 Holdings has been okayed by Nevada regulators. The Nevada Gaming Commission recently gave the thumbs-up to the deal, in which Golden Gaming will allow its own customers to sign up to play online poker at the under-construction Treasure Island site, which will use 888’s software. All three corporate entities are among those approved by Nevada to offer online poker. 888 also has a separate software deal in place with Caesars Entertainment, including Caesars’ flagship poker brand, the World Series of Poker.
MCCAIN’S POKER MOMENT
Poker never looked more trivial than in early September, when prominent US Senator was photographed playing an iPad play-money poker game instead of paying attention to an important Senate hearing discussing possible US military intervention in Syria. McCain was more flippant than apologetic when confirming that he sometimes “gets bored” during hearings, admitting on Twitter that it was “Scandal!” ... and that he lost his play chips as well. The photo was first published in the Washington Post, and McCain quickly became the butt of widespread media jokes both in America and around the globe for his inattentive turn at the e-table.
CIRCUS CIRCUS CLOSES POKER ROOM
Circus Circus became the latest Las Vegas poker room to be mothballed in the face of lessened demand amid a busy Nevada poker scene. A small handful of Vegas-area rooms have closed in recent months, most notably the semi-private 14-table poker lounge at the upscale M south of the Strip, which was converted into a tournament-slots area. As for Circus Circus, the small five-table room failed to leave a distinctive impression in Vegas’ crowded mid-Strip poker scene.
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.