Bluff Europe and Calvin Ayre Strike Up Media Partnership for British Poker Awards

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Wednesday 5 September 2012 3:59 pm

Calvin Ayre will cover the top awards show in the British poker industry after a media agreement was signed between the tablog and British Poker Awards organizer Bluff Europe.

Under the terms of the agreement Calvin Ayre will bring the cameras and reporters along to cover an event that will honor the best the British poker circuit has to offer. The tablog will interview the winners, snoop around for any juicy gossip and of course provide warts and all coverage of any parties that take place.

New awards have been added this year including "Best Tournament Player", "Best Cash Player" and "Best Online Player". The special "Biggest Contribution to Growing and Promoting Poker" award has also been added and is likely to see someone take to the stage and leave in floods of tears.

Thousands have already cast their votes for the awards that take place aboard the HMS President on London’s River Thames on 17th September. Tickets are still available from www.thebritishpokerawards.eventbrite.co.uk and cost £20.

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Evolution Of Online Poker – Increasing Interest In This Game of "Skill"

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Thursday 30 August 2012 10:00 am

While there has never been a doubt that the online gambling industry has a massive interest in offering online poker games to the public; this game has also evolved to such a degree, that there is on-going growing interest from the public also. If there had not been so much interest from the paying public, this game would not have grown as it has.

There has been much ado about nothing happening, regarding playing online poker in the USA for a few years, where the department of Justice has insisted that playing this game was illegal. So much so, that they closed down the biggest online poker sites in the US last year in April 2011. In the process, the DoJ managed to put most of these sites out of business – the only survivor being PokerStars. But then again the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA enacted 2006), also put paid to plenty of poker potential.

What is so paradoxical about the online poker situation in the USA, is the fact that the game is as American as apple pie. However, that having been said, the Poker Players Alliance and many other protagonists for the game, have been trying to prove that it is okay to play online as it is a game of skill, not gambling.

Now all kinds of worms are coming out of the woodwork, the DoJ has had a change of heart, but are still prosecuting people who were indicted under UIGEA. They have also said that the only gambling game not allowed is online sports betting, so, we are in the dark about what’s real any more in the states.

A recent scientific research from the University of Rotterdam (Department of Economics), Holland, sees poker classified as a game of skill. And now a Judge in the USA – Federal District Court Judge Jack Weinstein – has agreed. Poker is a game of skill!

The fact of the matter is, that the lawyers defending a gentleman who was running a home poker game, put up such a good argument, that the judge simply had to agree. They argued that – "increased proficiency boosts a player’s chance of winning and affects the outcome of individual hands as well as a series of hands. Expert poker players draw on an array of talents, including facility with numbers, knowledge of human psychology, and powers of observation and deception." We already know this to be true.

John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance – said they have waited very patiently for the right opportunity to arise to take the game of poker to a Federal Court. This was the right opportunity, where this association of poker players, played a major role in securing the “not guilty” verdict. They believe this federal court ruling is a most important victory for the game.

The judge noted that "poker has a long history in the United States, has been embraced by many political and other public figures. " Finally… perhaps something has now got to give?!

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PokerStars/FTP Deal – Will 600 Irish Employees Get Their Jobs Back

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News,Poker News | Tuesday 21 August 2012 10:00 am

In the world of online poker – there has been so much drama taking place ever since April 15th last year. That is 15th April 2011 – now more infamously known as Black Friday. We have all heard of Black Friday, but the biggest impact this day probably had was for Full Tilt Poker (FTP). This brand unfortunately had made some huge mistakes in their management of the site, and despite the fact that they had grown into the second biggest online poker operator still doling out services to the USA marketplace; they also crashed the hardest. Sometimes it is true what they say – "the bigger they are, the harder they fall".

Anyway, not to harp on what was a huge misfortune for the FTP brand and thousands, and thousands of members who could not withdraw their funds from the site.PokerStars also took a knock on black Friday, and unsurprisingly bounced right back. This was chiefly because PokerStars was positioned properly to hit the European market hard after the loss of their USA fan-bases, and because they had their fiduciary responsibilities taken care of.

Now after eighteen months and a whole lot of heartache for FTP fans, and owners; their biggest rival in the online poker industry has taken the steps to save their collective bacon. What this also means is that 600 Irish employees, might not all lose their jobs completely.
How is this relevant to two online poker sites?

Well, despite what the rest of the world might think, the world of online poker is no longer a niche product. It has grown into a mainstream industry, together with most forms of online gambling over the past decade and a half. Today more people gamble online than (we would hazard a guess), than gamble in live casinos.

This knowledge tells us that because it is such a huge industry, there must be people employed to help run it. The World Wide Web might be clever, but at this point in time, people still need to be employed to make sure that the job gets done. The Company that provided IT handling and software development for FTP is situated in Cherrywood, Co Dublin, they are called Pocket Kings, and FTP was probably one of their biggest clients. With 600 Irish employees on the job, while we are not sure who will be re-hired, or fired, but at least these jobs are no longer so much at risk. Obviously some staff has already been let go.

The Irish Times, and other Irish-based newspapers have been spreading the news, so, we believe that it is good news.

In another aside, while criminal charges were filed against owners of both Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars which caused Black Friday, and it is PokerStars that have done the deal with the DoJ, we would love to be privy to what the deal entails. However, we believe that it is highly unlikely that we will ever know what truly went on behind closed doors. PokerStars took a huge gamble, it’s bound to pay off, because gamble is what they do best.

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Eight Main Events at Eight Different Card Rooms to Dominate London Poker Festival

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Friday 17 August 2012 1:22 pm

Over £1,000,0000 in prize money up for grabs during September’s poker festival

With over 50 events and over £1,000,000 in prize money, the London Poker Festival will position the UK capital at the centre of the poker universe this September. Bluff Europe Magazine has brought together eight different card rooms to create a special calendar of events that includes tournaments and cash games to suit all pockets, parties, comedy nights, a Black Belt Poker Academy and the British Poker Awards. The calendar will be dominated, however, by eight exciting main events.

First up is the LCI UK Poker Tour, which makes it’s first ever stop in London, at the Casino at the Empire from 12 to 16 September. This main event is a £200+£20 tournament with a whopping £50k guaranteed that kicks off on 14th.

On 13th, the Unibet Open flies into town and sets up camp at Aspers in Stratford, bringing with it all the parties and fun events that have become the signature of this unique tour. The main event is a €1,500+15 NLH freezeout.

That’s followed by the Big Bluff Club’s “Big Five-O” tournament, also a £200 freezeout with a massive £50,000 guaranteed. It’s a deepstack, too – with a 50k starting stack and a 50-minute clock.

On 17th, we have the British Poker Awards, a ceremony to honour the movers and shakers on the UK poker scene, at the HMS President on the Thames. Voting is now live at www.thebritishpokerawards.com and tickets are available at www.thebritishpokerawards.eventbrite.co.uk for £20 each.

Next, the GUKPT Main Event comes to the Vic on 20th for a £1,000 + £70 NLH Main Event freezeout with a 20,000 starting stack and a one-hour clock. It’s a three-day event supported by a host of mid-level side events and satellites to the main.

Then, after a year’s hiatus, the English Poker Open comes to the Fox Poker Club from the 18th to 21st September. This year, the English Poker Open is a £2,000+£180 entry event with a £250,000 guaranteed prize pool and is sponsored by RakeTheRake.

If that’s too rich for your blood, low stakes fun abounds at the Western September Festival in W3, with a £150 + 3 NLH tournament with a £17,500 guarantee. Finally, leg 12 of the Superstack Tour hits the Bluff @ The Mint card room. Low entries and good structures are what this series is all about, and this event is a pleasingly affordable £150 + £15.

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Deal Between PokerStars And FTP – Only Pie In the Sky – What a Bluff?!

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Poker News | Wednesday 1 August 2012 5:01 pm

Whether or not it was a huge bluff that PokerStars was buying out what was left of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) remains to be seen. There was massive excitement surrounding this topic just before the World Series Of Poker took place, but now the fuss seems to have died down. Popular opinion has it that the PokerStars/FTP Deal was only pie in the sky, and nothing much more. But of course, just as the possibility of the deal was conjecture, so, too is this opinion; but stranger things have been known to happen.

Discussions do however appear to have faded into the background. Rumour had it that PokerStars had been working with the U. S. DoJ to see if they could realize what Group Bernard Tapie could not. According to certain poker professionals who are in-the-know – these talks have ‘fizzled out’ – were "only hope and nothing more."(Matt Glantz).

Obviously it is wishful thinking for the online poker community to want this matter to be resolved. Any deal that any poker company might make with the US DoJ would have a vested interest for former poker players at FTP. It is no secret that the website was grossly mismanaged, and that millions of dollars worth of player funds were not been paid back to its members. The chances that these members will ever get their money back are indeed incredibly slim, despite the fact that there are half a dozen class action lawsuits still pending against FTP. We know that this deal would have brought some hope to FTP former-members, but there are huge problems involved for any online gambling or other company to attempt to rescue FTP from the morass.

First off we know that FTP’s Ray Bitar has faced the charges for Black Friday indictments, and plead not guilty; but PokerStars founder – Isai Scheinberg has not faced up to any charges, and does not intend to plead. This would probably be a pre-requisite for any DoJ deal, and PokerStars wants to avoid any leadership prosecutions. The Department of Justice (DoJ) is unlikely to decide not to pursue their criminal case against both Scheinberg and executive Paul Tate.

Even more telling with regards any discussion deal is the fact that there is no Federal landscape for online poker in the USA – so there is no ‘nationwide’ environment for PokerStars to get back into. Currently state-by-state individual changing of online poker laws is taking place, but the wheels of power are turning slowly, and there is not a great deal of incentive for PokerStars (a massive online poker offering in Europe) to offer ’íntrastate’ online gambling to the USA. Although to get a foot in the door; the efforts may be worthwhile. But then again, it would be smart business for big USA brands such as Caesars to keep this brand out of the USA, and Caesars as well as other big gambling brands have a lot of political influence.

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