by Haley Hintze
NEW JERSEY ONLINE-POKER BILL NEW JERSEY ONLINE-POKER BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE
A reworked online-poker bill is back on the legislative agenda for New Jersey politicians, and the latest edition recently cleared New Jersey’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by a 12-0 vote. The bill joins numerous measures up for general budget debate, and will face votes before New Jersey’s full House and Senate before moving on to a possible signing by Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed an earlier measure. The latest bill is sponsored by state Senators Raymond Lesniak and James Whelan, who fronted earlier attempts to expand gambling in the state.
THIRTY CONFIRMED FOR WSOP’S BIG ONE FOR ONEDROP
With over two months’ lead time remaining, WSOP officials announced that 30 players had committed the $1,111,111 buy-in for this July’s special “Big One for OneDrop” charity event at the Rio. The tournament highlights billionaire poker-player Guy Laliberte’s clean-water philanthropic efforts. With thirty confirmed entrants, the event will now produce the richestever winner’s prize of at least $12.2 million, topping Jamie Gold’s 2006 WSOP $12.0 million payday. A first prize exceeding $18 million will be paid if the tournament’s 48-player cap is reached.
$7.8 MILLION IN EPIC POKER TOUR LIABILITIES
New court documents have revealed that Federated Sports & Gaming, parent company of the Epic Poker League, amassed more than $7.8 million in liabilities over 14 months of operations. FS&G filed for bankruptcy protection after a major investor pulled out, and indefinitely postponed its fourth event, along with a much-publicized million-dollar freeroll for member players. The filings also show that FS&G garnered only $37,000 in revenue on its own, not counting funds siphoned from the Heartland Poker Tour, which it acquired in 2011. Palms Casino parent Pinnacle heads a long list of creditors, and has a $2 million lien against FS&G.
VANDERSMISSEN TAKES IRISH POKER OPEN
An international field, 502 players strong, arrived in Dublin for the 2012 edition of the Irish Poker Open, with Belgium’s Kevin Vandersmissen notching a breakout €420,000 (about US $533,300) win. Vandersmissen topped Germany’s Thomas Beer in a brief heads-up duel after Britain’s David Dean was bounced in third. Beer collected about $296,400, and Dean $208,000. Jordan Lewis was the highest-finishing American, in sixth for $77,700, with Ireland’s own Andy Black, a 2005 WSOP main event finalist, finishing eighth for $43,100.
SEIVER WINS PREMIERE LEAGUE POKER V
April’s Party Poker Premiere League V drew 16 elite poker stars to London, England’s Playboy Club, with Scott Seiver working his way through four qualifying heats and an eightplayer finale, to win $500,000 and top honors. Seiver, and eventual runner-up Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates, dominated the finale, with Cates’ deep run worth $300,000. Phil Laak finished third for $175,000, while Patrik Antonius exited in fourth, winning $125,000.
ROCK GAMING PURCHASES PIECE OF CAESARS INTERACTIVE
Caesers Entertainment’s online subsidiary, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, sold a $61 million slice of its action to Detroitbased Rock Gaming LLC, a brick-and-mortar startup that’s gained a toehold in several urban Midwestern casinos. The move continues the pre-market jostling as Nevada prepares to open its regulated online-gaming market. Rock Gaming’s most visible face is former NBA star Brad Gilbert, who, with a small group of investors, has quickly assembled a consortium of nearly 40 companies, including interests as diverse as Quicken Loans and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers franchise. Rock and Caesars are already collaborating on a new $400 million Horseshoe casino in downtown Cincinnati.
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.