Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for January 26, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 26, 2018

Austrian Poker Ace Wins Aussie Millions Opening Event

Six-figure win for Benedikt Eberle

The first event in this year’s Aussie Millions is in the record books as a A$315,295 win for Austrian poker pro Benedikt Eberle, who bested a field of 1,538 to claim victory in the A$1,150 buy in Opening Event, which generated a A$1,576,450 prize pool.

Australia’s Benjamin Jee held the chip lead at the start of final table action, with Eberle the only non-Australian player at the table. Jee was not able to maintain his lead, and ultimately went out at third for A$115,875, setting the scene for a heads up between Eberle and Michael Adamo.

The duo duelled for a while but Eberle proved to be too strong in chips, cards and talent for his Aussie opponent, who left with the runner up prize of A$194,690.

Other final table cashes were:

James Bills – A$83,715
Jeron Tan – A$56,755
Benjamin Richardson – A$40,990
Davor Derek – A$34,685

International Action Planned In 888poker’s Live Tour 2018

Online players will have plenty of satellite opportunities to travel and play in interesting locations

Online poker players will have plenty of satellite opportunities to win generous packages to foreign locations in the 2018 888Poker Live series this year, the company has announced.

The 2018 schedule covers eight international stops, including a start in the UK (London) Feruary 8 – 11, followed by Romania (Bucharest); back to the UK and London for an Easter event; then on to Spain (Barcelona).

The United States (Las Vegas) and 888-sponsored World Series of Poker is on the schedule for end-May to mid-July, and that will be followed by an event in Brazil (Sao Paulo) in September. It’s back to London in late November before the year winds up in Portugal (Lisbon).

Satellites for all of the Main Events will be available online at 888poker, and full details are available on 888Poker’s website.

Partypoker’s Big Game Scheduled For February

Poker operator announces first Pot Limit Omaha format

PartyPoker‘s Euro 12.5 million guaranteed Millions Germany series this year (it actually takes place at Kings Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic thanks to Germany’s confused gambling status) will include the company’s popular Euro 20,000 buy-in Big Game, which this year will for the first time have a Pot Limit Omaha format.

The eight-handed game will be televised and livestreamed as it runs for a marathion 36 hours without interruption, starting on the evening of February 10. Top players like Sam Trickett, Ron Yong, Jennifer Tilly, Viktor Blom, Phil Laak, TonyG and Philipp Gruissem are expected to be in action….and an online qualifier will be among them thanks to a $27,000 seat, travel and accommodation package currently on offer.

The livestream broadcast will reprise a popular public voting feature; every three hours viewers will have an opportunity to cast a vote for their favourite player, saving him or her from eviction, along with the most aggressive player. At the other end of the scale, the player who gets the least number of votes will be replaced.

Italian Progress On Shared Player Liquidity Project (Update)

Despite some political opposition Italian participation progresses

Positive news from Italy this week is that the authorities are pressing ahead on a verification process to support the nation’s involvement with France, Spain and Portugal in a shared player pool project.

This despite some political opposition which has slowed Italy’s involvement in recent months.

InfoPowa readers may recall that the four European nations agreed last year that it would be mutually beneficial to share a common player pool for greater liquidity; France and Spain have been the first to move forward on the project in practical terms, whilst Italy and Portugal have lagged.

The technical verification currently being undertaken in Italy was revealed to Gioco News by Pier Paolo Baretta, Undersecretary of State at the Finance Ministry, who could not give further details or a likely date on which Italy might join France and Spain.

Observers have noted that with a general election coming up in March, Italian politicians are currently preoccupied with that event and are unlikely to move on a variety of issues until after the election.

Pokerstars Releases Details On Costs For Shared French-Spanish Player Pools

Operator explains thinking behind new pricing, outlining tax problems

With France and Spain now fully committed to shared player pools, and PokerStars leading the operator charge into this new dispensation, The Stars Group’s director of poker operations, Severin Rasset explained the objectives and issues the company faces – chiefly as regards Southern European pricing.

The detailed rationale behind the pricing structure is explained in detail by Rasset here:

In summary, the PokerStars executive outlines the pricing structure thus:

– Ring games: We’ve taken a 5.75% midpoint between the pre-existing French and Spanish structures, moving from 6.5% for France and 5.25% for Spain and creating new caps for both.

– Zoom cash games: A structure much closer to Spain with 5.25% and revised caps. Full structure available on this page ( , for cash game and ZOOM

– Spin & Go: Besides the 8% rake at 0.25€, all Spin & Go’s will be raked at 7%, which represents a decrease for Spain, and is stable for France. Spin & Go pools will stay separate for a few days for technical reasons.

– Multi-table tournaments: Both countries will see an increase from about 9.5% to 10%.

– SNG: There will be an increase for Spain but fees will remain similar to before in France, especially for the hyper tournaments. A €3 buy-in SNG will have 5% rake for example, the lowest that we can reasonably offer due to the gaming duty.

Rasset says the situation will be closely monitored in this new field in which two markets are merging.

He also advises poker fans:

“I would like to take advantage of this note to mention that players from outside Spain will be able to join the French and Spanish liquidity through

“We think it is important to boost the liquidity at the start. As we did for France, this situation will be reviewed periodically and might be reversed if the benefits of liquidity are overweighed by the burden that it creates on recreational players.”

He concludes by opining that the combination of French and Spanish player pools will make it easier to “…quickly find a game, produce bigger tournament prize pools, and potentially award life-changing money more often.”

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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