It's nice to see things moving higher up in the food chain of legislation with regards to online poker being legal. You'll note we said online POKER not casinos. We're not big fans of online casinos, but we do think online poker makes sense and is a true game of luck and skill.
From Mr. Waxman:
We have certainly hit a high water mark in our efforts to get Internet gambling regulation/legislation through Congress. The mark up of the bill in the House Financial Services Committee and overwhelming support for the legislation clearly shows that there is an appetite, a willingness and broad support for moving Chairman Frank's regulatory bill forward. What was especially encouraging is having representatives from both sides of the isle come together on this issue, which in this partisan climate is not often seen. I'm very optimistic that the momentum will continue in the coming months and through the end of the year. It's hard to predict whether the legislation will get past in this next year but I firmly believe it's just a matter of time before it does get through.
Looks like Full Tilt Poker is being investigated for money laundering, and many high profile players are being called to testify in a rather vague grand jury.
Full Tilt Poker, the world's second-largest online poker site, is under investigation by a federal grand jury. High-profile poker players and founding representatives Howard Lederer and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson were both named as quarries in the case.
"FBI agents or prosecutors have spoken to at least two people involved in disputes with Full Tilt, paying special attention to the possibility of money-laundering violations," reports the Financial Times of London.
Looks like poker is on the way in Florida - at least online poker. State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington) on Feb. 26 filed the Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010. The lawmaker's proposal makes Florida the first state to introduce a bill in its legislature that addresses the regulation of Internet gaming.
If enacted, Abruzzo's bill would legalize and regulate online video poker. Responsibility for ongoing regulation of the market would be assigned to the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering, a program of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation within the executive branch of the state government.
Forbes has a new article basically stating - the feds are out to get some piece of the more than 30 billion dollars in online gambling.
Now the bet is on whether or not Justice is gearing up to go directly after firms like DoylesRoom and the two biggest online poker sites still taking U.S. play: PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Together they account for maybe 70% of the $1.4 billion in revenue the U.S. industry brought in last year. Revenues here are known as the rake--the slice of the betting amount that online firms get for hosting games. Players also pay flat fees to enter tournaments.
Online poker room Full Tilt has released two new features in its latest software update - Run It Twice and Cashout Tournaments.
The Run It Twice feature allows ring game players the option of seeing two outcomes for one hand, providing both players consent to it. The feature can be enabled when one or both of the remaining two players are all in: the remaining community cards are dealt twice, meaning the winner of each of the two outcomes wins half of the prize pool.
Starting the third of September, the World Championship of Online Poker will kick off, offering millions in prizes to the top earners on PokerStars. Forty-five events are on the ballot, and satellites are already running to determine seating.
Two events or more will take place every day from September 3rd to September 30th. With Buy-ins ranging from $109 to just over $10,000, players of all financial standing will be able to participate. With satellite games as low as $2 dollars, players will find that cheap entrance is a possibility.
Come on people - it's poker and it's online and should be legal. People love to play, and we need the tax dollars that now live offshore. Imagine what 5.9 billion dollars would do here in the US, and what about having those developers and business here instead of abroad?
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) recently introduced a bill that would lift the federal ban on internet poker. The bill throws away an inappropriate ban on a game of skill, while keeping sensible regulations in place.
The ban on internet poker has not been effective in crippling the industry, but it has caused problems in the United States. According to the Financial Times, online poker revenue reached $5.9 billion last year, but the U.S. saw none of it. This regulation has pushed poker sites to operate out of other countries and has required players in the United States to make transactions through foreign banks.
Full Tilt Poker released another major software update early Thursday morning, just a few short weeks after a problem-plagued update that left many people unable to play on the site. We've gotten word this update contains a number of major changes that players have been requesting for some time now, and two new lobbies are also in the update. We play at Full Tilt because they offer a Macintosh client, and we really enjoy the free-foll tourneys.
Being a Boston native myself, it's nice to see Mr. Frank supporting the online poker cause.
This week Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank introduced a set of bills designed to freeze the UIGEA and allow US residents freedom to play poker on the Internet. Frank's bill establishes the Department of the Treasury as the licensing and regulating authority, and provides for the consumer protections the gambling ban does not offer, including age and identification verification, responsible gaming systems, and measures against money laundering and cheating.
The results are in. PokerStars -- the world's largest online poker site -- has shattered the Guinness World Record for the Largest Online Poker Tournament.
As part of PokerStars' 'World Record Week', 35,000 poker players -- enough to fill a professional football stadium -- took part in the special $11 buy-in tournament on Sunday, December 28, 2008, with PokerStars guaranteeing a $500,000 prize pool. PokerStars had set the previous record with a field of 20,000 players in the Sunday Hundred Grand on July 29, 2007.
The tournament, which sold out well in advance, played for over 9.5 hours with a record 8,750 players reaching the money. The winner Stan34powa from France, outlasted the world's biggest-ever field to win a $30,000 first prize.
Some clever fellow on YouTube has taken to doling out his poker advice by commentating over his online play sessions.
We don't think this guy is amazing, but the commentary is actually pretty entertaining, and he at least knows what hes talking about. Even if nes not the best player, his approach to commentating over the game is the first we've seen online, and we hope he starts some kind of trend.
Check them out.
In "Lesson 1", he shows how to use agressive betting to target a player, and set him off, though we're not sure if it was him who got set off.
Note the sidebar on YouTube to see the other "Lessons".
Newly acquired by the Austrian public company Bet and Win, the Ongame Network including poker sites such as Pokerroom.com has wasted no time in launching The Ongame Network Poker Classic, a tournament with a record-breaking guaranteed prize pool of $5 million and at least $1 million for the final winner.
Whilst the prize pool is dwarfed by events such as the WSOP (this year's prize pool will be $70 million) Ongame claims that it will be the largest-ever guaranteed prize for an event that starts online. The Ongame Classic is an exclusive event where the online poker players can only enter through qualifying rounds held on Ongame Network operators' websites, such as Pokerroom.com.
The new tournament will start as an online event and then pause when there are 45 players left. Those 45 will then receive airplane tickets to Barcelona, Spain, for the live final to battle it out on the green felt face to face - continuing with the same chip stacks they had when the online tournament paused.
I'm not sure what they would look like but I bet it's all 1's and 0's.
Poker Playing Robots?:
They don't wear eyeshades or smoke cigars, and their capacity to bluff is somewhat limited. But a new breed of robotic poker player is sending a shiver of fear through the world of the green baize table. It is a poker game being contested in cyberspace, with the ultimate prize being a share of the mega millions being gambled on online poker sites. After all, when you are sitting around a poker table, you've a pretty good chance of telling if your opponent is a robot; competing online is another matter entirely.
Online poker room Ultimate Bet (www.ultimatebet.com) recently announced their latest bonus code for new players. New players can qualify for a match bonus of 40 percent on their first deposit, simply by entering in the code, "Marley." Players looking to make millions off this bonus code may be disappointed; the maximum bonus is $200.Ultimate Bet has been around since 2000, but the growing popularity of online poker has intensified competition among the various online poker rooms. New player promotions, such as bonus codes have proved to be a useful way to attract the ever-growing number of new online poker players.