Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for November 09, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Nov 9, 2018

U.K. Poker Pro Wins Main Event At World Series Of Poker Europe

Jack Sinclair pockets his biggest win yet… and a gold bracelet too

Having finished eighth in the World Series of Poker main event last year in Las Vegas, UK poker pro Jack Sinclair travelled to Rosvadov, Czech Republic this year determined to improve in the European version of WSOP at King’s Casino…and the trip proved to be well worth his time and trouble.

Sinclair bested a field of 534 that included some of the best players in the world in the WSOP Europe main event this week, claiming the top prize of Euro 1,122,239 and his first WSOP winner’s bracelet.

Former 2013 World Series of Poker main event champion Ryan Riess looked like the man to beat as the event progressed; he was confident and aggressive and looked likely to equal Phil Hellmuth’s feat of winning both the US and European WSOP main event competitions, but then he hit a bad run and had to be content with a fourth place finish worth Euro 337,778.

Sinclair them eliminated third-placed Krasimir Yankov for Euro 480,028, clearing the deck for a heads up against Hungarian pro Laszlo Bujtas, who had started the last day as final table chip leader.

Sinclair had the upper hand for much of the heads up, but his Hungarian opponent kept him on his toes with at least two major double ups. It was not enough to stop Sinclair, however, and in the end it was Bujtas who took home the runner up prize of Euro 693,573.

The tenth edition of the World Series of Poker Europe saw Shaun Deeb crowned as Player of the Year, finishing off 2018 with 20 cashes, two bracelets, four final tables, and over $2,530,000 in WSOP earnings.

This year’s WSOP Europe was also notably successful for Israeli players, who won three of the first five events: Tom Segal took down the Colossusfor a bracelet and Euro 203,820; Asi Moshe claimed his second bracelet and Euro 82,280 in the NLHE 6-handed Deepstack; and Timur Margolin took home Euro 134,407 and his second bracelet after winning the Monster Stack.

The biggest buy-in event of the series this year was the Euro 100,000 King’s Super High Roller, in which the main prize of Euro 2,624,340 – and a bracelet – went to Martin Kabrhel (see previous InfoPowa report).

Ggn Network Unveils Its First Online Poker Series

Network-wide Good Game Series will carry guarantees worth $3.5 million

GGN Network has announced its first network-wide online poker series titled Good Game Series and carrying guarantees of $3.5 million.

Starting November 18 and closing December 2, the network will host 129 events, including a $25,000 buy-in Super High Roller with a $500,000 guarantee. Poker variants on offer are No-Limit Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em Bounty, Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha Bounty, featured in events with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $25,000. Satellite competitions will also be offered to help players win seats.

The company has advised that it does not accept US players on its 16 network skins, however. GGN is more active in Russia and Asia, where it claims similar player numbers to 888poker.

Israeli Law Maker In Bid To Legalise Poker

Proposal depends on a recent Supreme Court finding that poker is a game predominantly of skill

Knesset lawmaker Sharren Haskel has introduced legislation which could lead to the legalisation of poker in Israel.

Haskel’s bill depends heavily on a recent finding by Supreme Court judge Neal Hendel that poker is a game predominately of skill rather than chance, a classification that would take the game out of the definition of illegal gambling.

The bill seeks to define poker as a game of skill and for the creation of regulations for the Israeli Poker Players Association, permitting the organising of both Israeli and international tournaments under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance.

Canadian Pro Victorious In World Poker Tour Montreal Competition

Patrick Serda bests fellow Canadian Ema Zajmovic heads up to win Cdn$ 855,000 and a $15,000 entry in the WPT Tournament of Champions

Canadian poker pro Patrick Serda (28) scored the second largest cash of his career Sunday in taking down the Cdn$ 5.300 buy-in World Poker Tour Montreal, a NLHE main event carrying a $5 million guarantee.

The competition attracted a field of 792, many of them respected names in the Canadian and US game, but Serda ploughed through them all to start final table play as the chip leader.

Nevertheless, he was faced by the formidable Sorel Mizzi and double WSOP bracelet holder Upeshka De Silva along with Ema Zajmovic, the first female winner of a WPT main event last year.

It was Zajmovic that Serda faced in the heads up with a slight chip advantage. The duo immediately got down to business and a dozen exciting hands later at Hand 125 Serda finally managed to eliminate Zajmovic, who took home the runner up prize of Cdn$ 556,000.

Other final table cashes included:

Sorel Mizzi Cdn$ 410,000
Kauvsegan Ehamparam Cdn$ 305,450
Upeshka De Silva Cdn$ 230,250
Jiachen Gong Cdn$ 175,500

Aconcagua And Connective Games Launch Poker In Spain

Aconcagua Poker Network enters Spanish market with poker platform provider Connective Games

Platform provider Connective Games has entered the Spanish market with operator partner Aconcagua Poker Network.

Connective Games has powered the Aconcagua Poker Network since it launched back in 2014, and has led the brand into the bustling Spanish market after it was awarded a licence by the Spanish regulator.

Aconcagua Poker Network will now offer its products to players in Spain, including a mobile poker proposition. This includes a variety of mobile-optimised games with multi-tabling abilities and the option to review hand histories in graphical form.

José María Rossi, CEO of Aconcagua Poker Network, said: “Our plan is to expand into regulated poker markets around the world, and we believe the Spanish market has plenty to offer in terms of potential, growth and excitement.

“Our success in other markets has come from offering the most advanced poker products in the world, and that would not be possible without Connective Games. We look forward to working with them on our Spanish offering, and to continuing our successful partnership.”

Pokerstars Introduces New Hybrid Poker Variant

Fusion is billed as a simple pot limit hybrid of Hold’em and Omaha

PokerStars has announced the debut of Fusion, which it describes as a new, simple yet fascinating pot-limit hybrid of Hold’em and Omaha.

In Fusion, players are dealt two hole cards before the flop, just like in Hold’em. The twist occurs post-flop when remaining players are also dealt a third hole card face-down, magnifying the potential for making bigger and better hands. On the turn, each player is again dealt another facedown hole card to complete their hand, finalising the transition from Hold’em to Omaha.

Just as in all Omaha variants, each player must use exactly two of their four hole cards, which they will receive regardless of whether they are all-in before all cards are dealt. This has a massive impact on strategy, with equities running much closer together.

“We want to give our players games that they have never played before and bring a unique offering to the table,” said Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations. “Fusion mixes two well-loved formats together, giving an exciting twist to the game. We eagerly await player feedback and look forward to seeing everyone joining the tables and giving Fusion a try.”

Fusion, a format which is a first for online poker, follows on from a variety of limited-time, cash game innovations released by PokerStars this year. The game is available now on .DK and will launch on .COM, .NET, .EU, .UK shortly.

See more details here:

Italian Ace Wins Malta Poker Festival Grand Event

Euro 150,000 prize for Emanuele Onnis

The Euro 550 buy-in Malta Poker Festival Grand Event has been won by Italian poker pro Emanuele Onnis, who claimed the Euro 150,000 main prize – his biggest live tourney cash yet – after besting a field of 1,366 this week.

The departure of Italian player Nicolaj D’Antoni at third place for Euro 50,000 set up a heads up confrontation between Onnis and German pro Fabian Gumz, with the German ace holding the chip lead after a doiuble up on Onnis.

That lead did not last long as Onnis returned the favour to take the lead back, and he was able to hold on to ultimately win the competition, sending Gumz to the exit and the Euro 85,000 runner up reward.

PokerStars VR Brings Poker Into Virtual Worlds With Oculus Rift And HTC Vive

Virtual poker experiences arrive just in time for the holiday season

PokerStars’ latest innovation, PokerStars VR, is now available to download and play for free in all of PokerStars’ global markets.

The much anticipated official launch of the game follows on from a closed beta test which saw more than 150 invitees play and test it using Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The product is available to download through the Oculus and Viveport stores, as well as through Steam.

PokerStars VR was developed in collaboration with virtual reality developer Lucky VR and provides a mix of serious gameplay, interactivity and social engagement, PokerStars revealed in a statement late Thursday.

Players have the chance to become fully immersed in a variety of social poker scenes, choosing their own environment to play in such as Macau 2050, The Macau Suite, The Showdown Saloon, Monte-Carlo Yacht, and The Void.

Using intuitive controls for easy gameplay, they can also handle chips and cards, and pick up on tells, talk and interact just as they would at a live table. The game also features a host of interactive props such as voice command, and integrated Twitch broadcasting and media streaming on Oculus Rift for those who wish to play and stream.

“When we showcased the product it was amazing to see people really enjoy and become engrossed in the game,” said Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars. “We wanted to venture into the world of virtual reality because we believe it is an exciting avenue of technology to explore and something that our players would appreciate.”

The new game simulates the live poker experience as closely as possible, bringing the same subtleties and interactions to an online environment. A lot of work has gone into recreating the atmosphere of a live poker game, including features such as chip stacking, card-peeking and the ability to try to get a genuine read on opponents, giving bluffing a whole new dimension.

Players can explore how tells work in PokerStars VR, as well as other lessons and insights, at PokerStars School and PokerStars Blog.

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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