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Firekeepers’ $200,000 Prize Pool!

By Barbara Rogers

FireKeepers keeps it coming and Kelley Bailey keeps it HOT! The Mid- States Poker Tour, with a guaranteed payout of $200K, is scheduled for play May 9-18th. Qualifiers start on May 2nd. FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan is bringing it to you. This is the poker room where the manager, Kelley Bailey also brings 7 on 7. That is, seven tournaments a week. You can qualify for the main event by playing in one of the satellites: Fridays at 6:30 pm. Kelley offers $60 multi-table Super Satellites every Saturday at 10 am from now until April 26.

And $250 main event qualifiers every Friday at 6:30 pm from now all the way up to May 2nd. The main event has three starting dates, Thursday May 15 at 4:00 pm, Friday May 16 at 12 pm, and Saturday May 17 at 12 pm. The final day of play is Sunday 10 am.

If you enjoy the deep stacks go to FireKeepers on the second and fourth Sunday of every month 12 pm. You can qualify for the Player Of The Year Tournament Of Champions now - January 31, 2015.

Staying overnight is easy in “Cereal City,” home to Kellogg & Post; you can stay where you play, in an award winning room in FireKeepers Hotel. Visit FireKeepersCasinoHotel. com/poker or phone the poker room directly at 269- 660-5631. For a hotel room reservation call 877-FKC- 8777.

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Decision on Borgata Counterfeit Chip Investigation is Here! DGE Ends Waiting Game

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Minutes ago, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported  at its website its  final order arising from its investigation of the Borgata counterfeit chip debacle in January of this year. Last Friday  PPN  provided an overview of the outcome of the order which was in place. then and has  been disclosed to the public, today.  To summarize: counterfeit chips were introduced into the Borgata Winter Open tournament's first event. The DGE canceled the event upon determining it had been compromised and has scrutinized the entire matter coming up with the terse order that can be seen here: The terse order can be seen here:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/2014news/BorgataWinterPokerOpenFinalOrder.pdf

The Borgata has issued a statement that fleshes out the order, providing details concerning disbursement of monies.  It clarifies that players who did not cash, but may have been affected by the introduction of counterfeit chips will be refunded  their relevant  buy-ins; players who did not cash and were never exposed to the introduction of the counterfeit chips will not receive any refunds, whatsoever.  Players who were awarded prize monies but didn't pick up  their pay will also get their monies. The full Borgata statement can be seen here:

http://blog.theborgata.com/

Borgata Senior VP,  Joe Lupo,  is quoted as explaining  that the Company is distributing all of the unpaid prize pool money and also voluntarily disbursing to players the revenues earned from buy-in fees. While the DGE order includes the latter, a reading of the order confirms that the revenues earned by Borgata  that were included in the disbrsements came about from consultation with Borgata and not from an independent order on the part of the DGE.

Predictions:This means some 2100+ of the 2800+ players (for the 4800+ buy-ins)  in the tournament will probably be pretty happy,  presumably as  will those who cashed down through 28th place who have been or will be paid per the advertised allocation of prize monies. They all earned their awards prior to a determination of a compromised tournament.   Additionally, those in the second and third tier of the top 27, will probably  find the payout livable as the disbursement is equal or greater than  the original allocation for those spots.  As to the top nine, sparks are sure to fly, but as to whether it will be sound and fury signifying nothing or a colossal headache for DGE and Borgata remains to be seen.

It should be noted  DGE's delay in getting out its report after it allowed  many people to learn that it had been completed resulted in massive leakage, and significant misinformation that circulated for days. This state of affairs did  not help to soothe ruffled feathers of those who are unhappy.

Last Friday all eyes were on the DGE after the regulators sent up white smoke signals that resulted in alerting  executives at multiple casinos of an imminent decision.   By late afternoon the smoke turned gray—without explanation. No announcement materialized until today.   DGE’s further delay was almost inevitable, given its history in this matter; over the past weeks there have been several false alarms of an imminent announcement sounded by  DGE to many parties with close ties to the regulators.

No matter how well reasoned by DGE  the last bit of delay left Borgata personnel with their hands full--not only with new procedures but also with an onlslaught of queries  by frustrated tournament players--the entire weekend. 

Was the DGE miffed by news of their deliberations leaking out to the public (against their preference) slightly before they were to take the stage?  

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Poker News Brief: Borgata Sues Phil Ivey for $9.6 Million Over Alleged “Edge Sorting”

by Haley Hintze

The “edge sorting” technique used by Phil Ivey in conjunction with his ongoing suit against London’s Crockfords Casino has again surfaced, this time in the form of an action filed by New Jersey’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ivey and companion Cheng Yin Sun.  The lawsuit alleges that Ivey and Sun conspired against the Borgata by exploiting minor printing variations on the casino’s cards, with Ivey winning over $9.6 million during four 2012 high-stakes sessions.  The Borgata also named as a defendant the cards’ manufacturer, Gemaco, for the same amount, alleging defective cards that failed to meet the terms of the company’s card-supplying contract.  The nearly 60-page legal document accuses Ivey and Sun of an elaborate series of manipulations and requests, many of which were described as “superstitions,” but which the Borgata alleges were intentional ruses designed to tip the odds in Ivey’s favor.

Mike Caro: Today’s word is... STOP

Mastering poker means learning new things. Sometimes. But, you can also increase your profit or even jump from losing to winning simply by stopping. Stopping what? Well, stopping lots of stuff you may be doing that’s costing money at poker. Today’s words is “Stop.” And that’s all you need to do.

I’m going to give you a list of poker things you should stop doing, if they apply to you. My explanations will be brief. Ready? Good.

1. Stop complaining.
When you complain about poker misfortune, opponents aren’t sympathetic. They’re inspired. They think, “Hey, there’s someone unluckier than I am — someone I can beat.” And then they grow hopeful and play better against you.

So, keep your misery to yourself. Act lucky, even if you aren’t right now. Your good luck is what opponents fear most.

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Breaking News: Borgata Chip Investigation Complete - Stunning DGE Report on the Way

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By: Wendeen H. Eolis

After nearly 3 months of silence, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is poised to announce its decisions regarding distribution of the remaining prize pool that has been left in limbo following the cancelation of Event #1 in the Borgata Winter Poker Open last January.

Shortly before day 3 was to commence, the DGE suspended the event, ultimately canceling it altogether due to the introduction of counterfeit chips into the tournament.

The remaining unpaid prize pool was put into a trust pending the outcome of the DGE investigation of the matter. According to lawyers surrounding the DGE and others familiar with the DGE's recent deliberations, the investigation has concluded.  All that  seems left is public disclosure of  its report and related rulings.

All eyes are on the DGE as the first weekend  of the Borgata Spring Open gets under way. Changes in tournament procedures are obvious, with far more personnel engaged in the coordination and supervision of the proceedings then ever before. And, bagging and tagging of chips at the end of play each day is taking considerably longer. It is apparently Borgata's obligation to verify each players chip count.  Previously, Borgata allowed independent chip counts annotated by players. 

The DGE's findings result in other specific procedural changes, as well, reportedly being implemented as part of  a studious effort to enhance the security of poker tournaments in all of the casinos they regulate in New Jersey, according to casino executives in multiple AC poker rooms.  The Borgata has also invested in high tech superior quality chips  for tournaments ; would be cheaters  beware!  

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Lumiere: Robert ‘Uncle Kruck’ Panitch Wins WSOP-C Main Event

Robert ‘Uncle Krunk’ Panitch earned his second WSOP Circuit ring the hard way—after a record-setting heads-up match that lasted nearly ten and a half hours. The win was good for $137,283.

The 62-year-old from Northbrook, IL, came out on top of a field of 416 entries to lock up a repeat appearance in the National Championship. “I’m not even tired...this woke me up!” he commented shortly after the win. “I want to be mentioned in the same breath as Stan Musial”. “I started out winning every hand,” he said referring to his quick dispatching of the 4th and 3rd place finishers about ten hours earlier.

The heads-up match lasted so long, it gave Panitch “enough opportunities to catch a card” he said. “I’ve blown so many big stacks lately”. On Friday, the first starting flight of the Main Event, Panitch was at the final table of Event 8, practically tied for the chip lead with three players remaining. An ill-timed bluff cost him his stack and he busted out of that event in 3rd place. He went straight to the cage and entered the Main Event and the rest is history.

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Canterbury Park: Scott Carolan Wins Minnesota State Trophy

Largest Field in Five Years!

Canterbury Park hosted the annual Minnesota State Poker Championship. The tournament had 217 entrants with a total prize pool of $210,490.00. After two Day 1’s, Scott Carolan of Farmington MN took home the trophy, $54,728.00, and the title of Minnesota State Poker Champion. Scott was undoubtedly assisted by his lucky “Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame” T- shirt.

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Poker News Brief: New York State Online Poker Bill Introduced

by Haley Hintze

New York State Senator John Bonacic (R-42) has introduced a measure seeking to authorize intrastate online poker. The new proposal isn’t the first time online poker has been considered in Albany, after being considered in conjunction with a controversial casino-expansion effort that finally passed in 2013. Bonacic’s new bill would define poker as a game of skill and would create as many as ten online poker licenses, and would open the door to player-pooling compacts with other states also offering regulated internet poker, including neighbor states New Jersey and Delaware. The original draft language of Bonacic’s bill does include bad-actor language designed to block any online sites that serviced New York residents following the passage of the 2006 UIGEA.

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Tournament Tips: Playing From Early Position

by David “The Maven” Chicotsky

Many poker players approach tournaments the wrong way—not realizing that they will be essentially forced to “make plays” in order to keep up with the blind increases. Even if you are very successful and get away with murder at the table, you’re still going to get naturally shallowed out by the basic structure of the tournament. Tournaments, quite simply, revolve around stealing the blinds and antes. If you’re coming from a cash game background where you can sit around all night long peddling the nuts, this hard truth can work against you.

Some of the easiest and most obvious spots to steal from are on or around the button. Make sure you’re also going out of your way to re-steal from people raising in stealing position. It’s not enough to simply call from the big blind and hope you hit your hand. We’re forced to take an active role in defending the blinds by re-raising pre-flop as well as making moves against positional raisers and bettors postflop. The key is applying controlled aggression from many different positions with many types of pre-flop hands. Getting value out of marginal cards is critical—as we are only dealt premium and semi-premium hands very rarely.

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Poker News Brief: Illinois Legislators to Reconsider iPoker

by Haley Hintze

State regulated online poker will again be on the agenda of topics as Illinois legislators return to the topic of expanded gambling within the state.  Several different forms of expanded gambling have been proposed for the revenue-strapped state, including a proposed downtown-Chicago casino, the large, new Rivers Casino near O’Hare, the online sale of lottery tickets… and, of course, state-regulated internet poker.  Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton has indicated only tepid support, stating that the controversial downtown-Chicago casino question must be answered before plans for Illinois online poker can move forward.

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