by Haley Hintze
SPORTINGBET MAKES FINAL PAYMENT TO US AND NEGOTIATES WITH FOXWOODS
With an eye toward partnering with Connecticut’s Foxwoods Casino and reentering any future US online poker markets, the UK-based online gambling firm made the last of three installment payments to American prosecutors. SportingBet agreed to this deal in 2011 to avoid prosecution for its pre-UIGEA business with US customers. SportingBet’s final $6 million payment brought the total paid to the US government to $33 million. This leaves the company free to work with American casinos on future projects. The talks with Foxwoods come as that major East Coast casino faces a $2 billion debt, along with increased competition from neighboring states and an increasing possibility of casino gaming coming to neighboring Massachusetts.
REPORT DECLARES AGCC’S OVERSIGHT IN FULL TILT MATTER ‘APPROPRIATE, TIMELY AND FAIR’
A report commissioned by the UK-based Alderney Gambling Control Commission produced few surprises in absolving the commission of regulatory failures regarding Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt’s operations were disrupted following last April’s “Black Friday” indictments. The AGCC faced heat after allowing Full Tilt to continue serving non-US players for roughly three months after Black Friday, during which time the site continued to accept deposits from rest-of-world players that have never been repaid. The site’s owners continue to negotiate “rescue packages” with third-party investors. One interesting side note was the acknowledgment that the AGCC accepted anonymous ownership certificates on behalf of Full Tilt’s American investors after being told the identities orally by Full Tilt’s lawyers.
NELSON TAKES TRI-STATE TITLE
Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino, outside Cincinnati, wrapped its Tri-State Poker Championship in March with a $1,600 buy-in, 299-player main event. Ohio’s John Curtis, from the greater Toledo area, ventured crossstate to win $81,353 in the largest cash of his career. Second went to Cosby Daniels, who took home $50,307, while Christopher McFarlane finished third, which was good for $33,372.
GRINDER HEADS WSOP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
World Series of Poker officials have announced their list of 100 qualifiers for the WSOP National Championship, a special event to be held in conjunction with the WSOP this summer. Qualifications were based on a combination of WSOP, WSOP Europe, and WSOP circuit event finishes over the past two years, with the $10,000 buy-in event slated to run July 6-7, 2012. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi led all players in qualifying points, narrowly edging reigning WSOP Player of the Year Ben Lamb. The rest of the top ten qualifiers include: Shawn Buchanan, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, Chris Moorman, Jonathan Duhamel, John Racener, David “Bakes” Baker, and Frank Kassela.
KUETHER BEST AT WSOPC RINCON
The World Series of Poker Circuit series’ annual trip to Harrah’s Rincon, just outside San Diego, drew 336 entrants to its main event, where Wisconsin native Joe Kuether emerged as the winner. Kuether overcame a late Day 1 arrival and an early final-table chip lead for Freddy Deeb on his way to a $111,104 payday. Kuether reeled in Arizona’s Chris Cronin, who won $66,686 for second place during heads-up play. Ryan Gentry finished third, which was good for $50,108, while Deeb settled for fourth place and $37,167
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.