Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for May 11, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated May 11, 2018

Online Grinder Wins Pokerstars And Montecarlo Casino EPT Main Event

Nicolas Dumont’s participation was almost accidental

A change of plans by Julien Perouse resulted in French driving instructor and online grinder Nicholas Dumont playing in his stead in the Euro 5,300 buy-in PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Main Event, and it turned out to be bonanza for both: Dumont won the Euro 712,000 main prize and a $30,000 PokerStars Platinum Pass to the Bahamas next year despite a star-studded 777-strong field of players… and he is taking Perouse with him.

Remarkably, the online player entered the competition with a track record of just $20,000 in live tournament cashes.

The six day marathon finally delivered a six-hour final table headed by Dumont that included top players like Ole Schemion, Patrick Antonius and David Peters.

Heads up, Dumont faced New Zealand player Honglin Jiang after the duo decided against a chop and squared up. Dumont immediately went on the attack with some aggressive moves that enabled him to put his final opponent away with the second placing prize of Euro 434,000.

Other final table cashes included:

  • Tomas Jozonis Euro 308,000
  • David Peters Euro 232,000
  • Krisztian Gyorgyi Euro 184,000
  • Patrik Antonius Euro 139,050
  • Javier Fernandez Euro 99,900
  • Ole Schemion Euro 68,300

Bonomo Does It Again

Poker ace makes his fourth six-figure cash in a week

Online and live tourney professional player Justin Bonomo is the talk of the town in Monte Carlo having scored a total of over $1.2 million in a week at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT pokerfest.

Over the week, Bonomo earned Euro 401,000 for a fifth place finish in the Euro 1,000 Super High Roller, following that with a fourth place, Euro 228,000 finish in the Euro 50,000 buy-in Single Day High Roller, and a first place finish for Euro 378,000 in the Euro 25,000 buy-in Single Day High Roller.

In his fourth major cash, Bonomo bested Azerbaijan’s Ramin Hajiyev in the heads up to win the Euro 25,000 buy-in Single Day High Roller event against a field of 29 to add a further Euro 259,700 to his spoils, making the understatement that it had been an “incredible run”.

Has Imminent Chinese Poker Ban Impacted Macau?

Speculation that upcoming ban on promotion and access to social poker has resulted in Macau closures and tournament cancellations

Last week’s confirmed news that the Chinese government plans to ban social poker apps and the promotion thereof on social channels on June 1 (see previous InfoPowa reports) has prompted media speculation that the forthcoming ban has impacted Macau operations.

The reports have conflated news of the ban with announcements that the City of Dreams and Galaxy poker rooms in Macau are to close, and that the International Poker Tour Macau sponsored by Alisports and scheduled for May 16-20 has been postponed.

Observers have pointed out that most poker marketing efforts in Macau depend on Chinese social media platforms, which the ban would effect in terms of prohibitions on promotions via social media.

PokerStars has confirmed that its 2013 partnership with City of Dreams Macau poker room has been dissolved, resulting in the end of a number of major poker events.

Without giving reasons, the Stars Group communications director, Eric Hollreiser, has simply confirmed that the partnership has come to an end and that PokerStars is considering other plans to “continue to bring high quality live events in Asia.”

Observers note that the Stars Group has become increasingly strict on international legal compliance in recent years, and may have been influenced in its partnership decision regarding Macau by the impending Chinese bans.

Not all poker operators are folding their cards in the face of the app ban; the Asian Poker Tour is underway at Macau Billionaire Club and other casinos like the Wynn and Venetian are still running cash games, according to media reports.

The conflation of the Chinese ban and the postponement of Alibaba subsidiary Alisports’ IPT Macau is more understandable; these are large Chinese internet companies making an initial foray into the Macau poker market via a live tournament spectacular scheduled for the Venetian and significantly dependent on social media promotion and qualifiers, along with Chinese government goodwill.

The project was also designed to promote the recently launched Alisports poker app, and the adoption of a wait-and-see posture makes sense.

In announcing the postponement, the IPT organising committee gave little indication of the motivation for the postponement, merely advising: “After careful consideration, the IPT Organizing Committee has decided to postpone their stop in Macao. IPT 2018 matches will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”

Greenberg Takes Inaugural WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship

Claims first-ever WPT title

Larry Greenberg has been crowned winner of the inaugural WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship after defeating Danny Qutami in heads up play.

Greenberg outplayed a field of 126 entries to claim his first WPT title and $378,879 in prize money which includes a $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

The win marks his second largest live tournament career win.

WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship Final Table Results were:

  1. Larry Greenberg – $378,879
  2. Danny Qutami – $223,663
  3. Jim Collopy – $146,644
  4. Adrian Garduno – $100,832
  5. Ryan Van Sanford – $78,221
  6. Cary Katz – $60,499

Vayo Sues Pokerstars For $700,000

Claims online poker operator is withholding winnings because of a breach in terms and conditions

Poker Pro Gordon Vayo filed a lawsuit against PokerStars parent company Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd late last week for allegedly retaining his 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker Tournament (SCOOP) winnings of $700,000.

The suit filed in the District Court for the Central District of California claims Vayo was denied the winnings as PokerStars claimed he violated U.S. law and their terms and conditions by playing from within the United States of America.

A press release distributed by Vayo’s legal counsel Gregory Fayer accuses PokerStars of “engaging in a pattern of fraudulent conduct” by encouraging US citizens to play on their site using a certified account while displaying indifference to their physical location, “while they spend their money on the site”.

The press release goes on to claim that only once a large sum of money is won, does the online poker operator launch an investigation, accuse the player of playing from within the US in violation of PokerStars terms and conditions, and refuse to pay their winnings.

EPT Monte Carlo a Successful Stop

PokerStars anticipates same in Barcelona and Prague later in the year

The Stars Group Inc. has lauded the successful results of the Monte Carlo stop on the European Poker Tour (EPT), sponsored by PokerStars, which delivered a total prize pool of $27.2 million, 1,915 unique players from 83 different countries, and a total of 8,170 entries across 42 tournaments.

The €5,300 buy-in EPT Main Event attracted a field of 777 players and paid out Euro 712,000 to the event winner, while the €100,000 buy-in Super High Roller event generated a total prize pool of Euro 4,462,920, with the winner taking home Euro 1,520,000.

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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