Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for March 30, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Mar 30, 2018

Bonomo’s Biggest Win Yet In Macau Poker Tournament

US poker pro scores $4.8 million pay day after besting a field of 75

US poker pro Justin Bonomo (32) is $4.8 million dollars wealthier this week after winning the inaugural $271,115 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl China in Macau – his biggest pay day yet, bringing his live career earnings to over $25 million..

Bonomo bested a field of 75 that included many of the world’s top players and generated a prize pool of $18,542,370.

The US pro dominated play, heading the chip stacks when the final table formed, with Finnish poker ace Patrik Antonius his closest rival…and that’s how things stood when the heads up stage was reached, with Antonius still chasing the American through to the final all-in on a massive 17 million-chip pot that Bonomo won, sending Antonius home with his biggest yet pay day of $3,152,434.

Other final table cashes included:

Rainer Kempe $2,039,806
Dominik Nitsche $1,668,932
Bryn Kenney $1,483,495
Stephen Chidwick $1,298,058
David Peters $1,112,621

The next Super High Roller Bowl takes place at the Aria in Las Vegas at the end of May this year and is already attracting competition for the limited number of entries envisaged. A lottery to draw players was well subscribed by a slew of international poker professional players this week interested in playing in the $300,000 buy-in event, with 61 players already depositing $30,000 each to enter the lottery for seats.

Spanish Tax Man Deals A Bad Hand To Poker-Playing Chess Grandmaster

Half-a-million Euros tax bill is no joke

Spanish chess Grandmaster and occasional poker player, Francisco Vallejo Pons is distraught after the Spanish tax authorities handed him a Euro 500,000 tax bill in respect of his deposits and winnings in poker games back in 2011.

You read that right – deposits and winnings, but with no rebate on his losses.

Pons it turns out was not as good at poker as he is at chess, and in 2011 he deposited and won around a million Euros in online poker games, but at the end of the day never withdrew any cash from his poker account.

In 2016 he received a nasty shock – a demand for Euro 500,000 in unpaid tax from the Spanish taxman. Pons then found that he was the victim of an old Spanish tax law that imposes 47 percent on winnings in gambling, but gives no relief for a player’s losses.

His timing was bad, because this tough piece of legislation was subsequently amended in 2012 to allow loss rebates…but that was too late for Pons and his 2011 action, and the Spanish tax authorities are apparently determined not to allow any leeway in the demand.

Explaining that the old law was changed a year after he had played, Pons warns: “If you had the bad luck to play in 2011, your life can be destroyed. In an incomprehensible way, they did not apply retroactivity in the new law.

“It seems a macabre joke, but it is not, from that moment begins a snowball that crushes you.

“They [the tax authorities] are perfectly aware, but they have never wanted to consider the losses. They have already seized most of my savings.”

Pons now faces a long and probably costly legal challenge if he hopes to get his Euro 500,000 back from the taxman.

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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