Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for August 24, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Aug 24, 2018

Online Poker Companies To Invest $130 Million In Two Major Tournaments

PartyPoker and PokerStars vie for biggest and best competitions

The month of September will see a massive $130 million invested by Pokerstars and PartyPoker as they compete for players in two distinct major tournaments.

Pokerstars has announced that this year’s World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) set to run from September 2 to 17 will have $70 million in guaranteed prize pools, whilst PartyPoker has revealed that its Powerfest Online Poker Series scheduled for September 2 to 23 will sport prize pools covered by $60 million in guarantees.

With a wide range of buy-ins as usual, this year’s WCOOP competition will offer two main events, including a $55 buy-in tournament with a $1-million prize pool, and a second, $5,200 buy-in event with a $10-million guarantee.

The partypoker Powerfest Online Poker Series will offer a total of 670 events, again with a range of buy-ins to suit most players and going as high as $25,500.

PartyPoker is hoping that this ninth edition of Powerfest will be the largest and best attended competition yet. The provider has revealed that it will offer 20 championship events, with 15 of them sporting $1 million guaranteed prize pools, with the flagship a $25,500 buy-in Super High Roller competition carrying a $3 million guarantee.

Both companies has launched satellite entry programs enabling punters to win seats at major events for relatively small buy-ins.

Reports That Spanish Taxman Is Chasing International Poker Players

Demands for tax payments on Spanish tournament winnings four years ago being received by European players

German, French, Danish and Italian poker players who have in the past won rewards playing in Spanish-located tournaments have reportedly been receiving letters of demand from the Spanish tax authorities, who appear to be raking over wins as long ago as 2014 despite the players settling their reward taxes with their national tax offices.

Reporting on the issue, Poker News quoted German player and regular EPT competitor Hossein Ensan, who told the poker information site PokerFirma that he is among those who have received what is described as a “hefty” Spanish tax demand, years after he cashed for a large amount for a third placing at EPT Barcelona in 2014.

Ensan claims he declared and paid tax due to the German tax office after clarifying his position with the officials. The Spanish taxman, however, continues to insist on payment of Euro 235,000 plus interest and legal fees, and Ensan now has the worry and expense of having to hire tax lawyers to represent him.

Other German, French, Danish and Italian players have reported similar approaches from the Spanish authorities, triggering concerns in the international poker community.

PokerFirma has yet to receive a response from the Spanish authorities on the official rationale for what appears to be a retrospective tax drive against non-Spanish players who have competed and won rewards in Spanish-hosted tournaments.

Pokerstars Offers Freerolls Following Recent Ddos Attacks (Update)

Online poker provider offers five free rolls worth $650,000 this week

The recent Distributed Denial of Services assault which disrupted online tournaments at PokerStars is being addressed by the company, which by way of player compensation is running five free rolls worth $650,000 from today (Wednesday) to August 28.

The widespread attack impacted PokerStars’ dotcom pool, its shared liquidity European activity and Italian and Indian tournaments, for which the company profusely apologised.

PokerStars has announced that players who played on PokerStars between Aug. 12-14 are eligible for the series of freerolls, with the bulk of the $650,000 in prizes going to players on the dotcom client.

Each day over the period of the freeroll initiative, PokerStars will host a $100,000 freeroll on the dot-com client, a Euro 20,000 freeroll on PokerStars Europe, and a Euro 10,000 freeroll on the Italian client. All players who played in real money games Aug. 12-14 will receive three freeroll tickets to be used at the players’ discretion in the tournaments on their client.

Prizes will be doled out in the form of tournament tickets to World Championship of Online Poker (global), Galactic Series (Europe), and select tournaments (Italy). The top prize available is a $5,200 WCOOP Championship seat.

Portuguese and Czech players will unfortunately be excluded due to local regulations.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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