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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Online Gambling – The World In A Week

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Friday 17 August 2012 1:27 pm

There has plenty of interest been happening again in the world of the online gambling industry. First off, after reading that a Full Tilt\PokerStars deal was complete speculation and was not going to happen; rumour is rife again in the news that PokerStars is going to pull the beleaguered brand out of the dung-heap they have found themselves in. It seems that for Full Tilt Poker; they are still deep in the you know what, but it’s only the depth that varies. I think we need to stop speculating and let’s wait to see what happens in real time. Only when PokerStars confirms that the rumours are true, will we be prepared to believe it. In recent reports from Gaming Intelligence, this deal is now for real.

More rumours were rife last year over whether Zynga poker were going to monetize their poker game, and get into gambling online. This seems to have now been confirmed and Mark Pincus says they will foray into real-money gambling online in 2013. As CEO of this billion dollar company, he has recently also lost Billionaire status when the stocks of Zynga took a nose-dive and dropped 40% in value. It looks like he is going to have to do something drastic to get share prices up again. Interestingly enough, purely online gambling concerns are looking at getting into social gambling now too.

Brent Buckley from Absolute poker was in the news again. He is part of the “Black Friday Eleven” who were indicted for conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud. Buckley is the former payment processor for Absolute Poker. Sentence was passed for fourteen months in prison, but then he did admit guilt in December. Ira Rubin got a three year sentence and was labelled a “con man and fraudster.” Rubin was also accused of illegally processing payments for Absolute Poker, PokerStars and FullTilt.

There has been some good news in online gambling too, as a couple of Playtech jackpots were landed. One – the ‘Holy Grail Jackpot’ from the Spamalot slot which is based on the Monty Python series. This lucky winner landed a mahoosive £692,209.05 prize. The other big winner was playing the Iron Man video slot and landed an impressive £558,306.01. Playtech is understandably proud to have been able to deliver these wins.

Look out for some great Olympic-themed promotions now that the summer games have started, and we are not only referring to sports-betting online. Online Bingo clubs are gamely going along with the flow, and British-based bingo sites are the place to look out for these offers.

We checked out William Hill where the Olympics aren’t really mentioned, but they are celebrating Glorious Goodwood, and we also checked out Costa Bingo where they are running a Track and Field event. Wink, Posh, Red Bus, Bingo Street, 88 Ladies and Tasty Bingo have a £10K Bingo for Gold event running as well as a £10K free summer Joy Pot, so, if you get tired of watching equestrian events, gymnastics, football and swimming, you can always get active too and play online bingo.

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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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Cash Prizes for Casual Players Now Available at Titan Poker

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Wednesday 2 May 2012 12:11 pm

Titan poker, the leading online poker site in Europe, has upgraded its VIP Program and introduced loyalty rewards that will benefit all players, including casual visitors to the poker tables.

The revised Titan Poker VIP Club groups players in five VIP levels based on their activity at Titan Poker’s cash games and tournaments. Veteran enthusiasts and newly signed-up players who meet the requirements of a higher VIP level are recognized immediately with daily VIP level upgrades, speeding up their process of achieving extra benefits.

Players receive Club Points according to their VIP levels’ real time multiplier, enabling them to cash out at any time in the exclusive VIP Store at their convenience. A Titan Annual Diamond VIP level has been added to provide year-long benefits to top-achieving players.

Poker players will be pleased to receive the benefits of Monthly Cash, an exchange of hard-earned Titan Points into cash conducted on a monthly basis. This new program automatically rewards casual players and new players who have not yet achieved VIP status with a return on their game play at a great redemption rate.

Titan poker will soon launch additional innovative features which will further enhance the fun element of the game of poker for all of its players.

New players are invited to try out the free poker download available at Titan Poker and start receiving the benefits offered in the upgraded Titan Rewards program.

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Titan Poker Launches Satellites to $1,000,000 iPOPS Series and Live Event

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News,Poker News | Friday 6 April 2012 12:04 am

Satellite tournaments at the popular online poker room will award seats at five guaranteed prize tournaments and at a live event in Barcelona.

Titan Online Poker, the leading online poker room in Europe, has launched satellite qualifiers awarding seats at five online poker tournaments with $1,000,000 in total guaranteed prizes, and at a live event that will be staged in Barcelona.

IPOPS, the iPoker Online Poker Series, will consist of five online events between April 29th and May 6th, 2012. Each of the tournaments carries a large guaranteed prize and offers affordable direct entries. Titan Poker is staging satellite qualifiers around the clock to these tournaments with buy-ins starting as low as $0.10+$0.01.

iPOPS will conclude with a $500,000 guaranteed prize freezeout on May 6th. The online tournament action will pause when only 27 players remain, and the tournament will resume as a live event at the Gran Casino De Barcelona on June 1st.

In addition to the online poker tournaments, Titan Online Poker is staging satellites leading to the IPOPS Live Main Event, which will take place in Barcelona on June 2nd-3rd, 2012.

Three weekly Super Satellites will award winning players with €2,200 packages, which include the €700+€70 buy-in to the IPOPS Live Main Event; €1,000 for 3 nights’ accommodation at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona, June 1st-4th, 2012; €30 for handling fees; and €400 for flights and spending. Participating players will be invited to a special Welcome Party.

The inaugural iPOPS Live tournament, staged in Prague in December, was a huge success and attracted top poker players from across Europe. Poker novices and veteran poker players alike are invited to try out the free poker download at Titan Poker in order to participate in the exciting IPOPS tournaments.

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