Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for November 3, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Nov 3, 2017

Partypoker Confirms Collusion In MTT Tournaments

Online poker provides bans certain players after complaints from a punter

Online poker provider PartyPoker has confirmed that it has acted against a group on players accused of colluding in MTT tournaments by an experienced punter. The punter – nom de plume DukeofSuffolk – has also exposed the scam on the popular 2plus2 poker forum in addition to reporting the issue to the PartyPoker security team.

PartyPoker md Tom Waters has confirmed that the DukeofSuffolk allegations have been investigated and confirmed, leading to bans on the players concerned and new arrangements to make reporting such incidents easier through a direct email channel to a dedicated PartyPoker security team that will immediately interrogate such reports.

The address is

Waters emphasised that PartyPoker has “…sophisticated fraud control mechanisms in place that are continually being updated to counter new and more advanced fraudulent techniques.”

He said that in addition the company has assembled a group of experienced players in order to review hand histories in difficult cases and make fair and impartial decisions.

Interestingly, Waters revealed that the vast majority of collusion accusations turn out to be false after investigation, but he indicated that the next few months will see the company implementing some new “highly advanced detection techniques” that have been designed and built in consultation with expert players.

Poker Ace Claims His 26th Online Triple Crown

Now Moorman focuses on repeating his success in the live tournament sector

UK poker ace Chris Moorman has set a new record for PocketFive Triple Crown awards, achieving his 26th such accolade this week following a qualifying win in the $10,000 Guaranteed Monsoon on the 888Poker Network.

Online Triple Crown accolades are awarded to players who are victorious in three different tournaments on three different poker networks during a seven-day window. Each tournament must have at least a $10,000 Guarantee, and register a minimum of 100 players.

The only other player to even remotely rival Moorman’s record since the inception of Triple Crown in 2005 is Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro, who has secured the accolade on twenty one occasions.

Earlier this week Moorman revealed that he has been easing up on his online activity in order to focus on adding a live tournament Triple Crown to his cv. He’s already well on the way with two qualifying wins under his belt: a 2014 win of over a million dollars in a WPT event, and a half-million dollar victory this year in a World Series of Poker event.

There are only seven live tournament Triple Crown awardees at present.

Asian Championship Of Poker Dishes Out Big Bucks

Pokerstars invests millions in Macau tournament

Pokerstars’ big investment in this year’s Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) continued to pay off handsomely this week in several events where buy-ins topped the guarantees. Hosted at the Pokerstars Live poker room at the City of Dreams in Macau, several tournament events paid well for many of the game’s top names..

The HK$100,000 buy-in ACOP Main Event was an example, with players like Dominik Nitsche, Stephen Chidwick and Brian Altman among the 309 registrations and making it through to the final table.

Nitsche fell at third for US$347,795; Chidwick at fourth for US$274,596 and Altman at fifth for US$201,411.

Pros Daniel Dvoress and Dan Smith were also in the field but failed to make the final nine.

In the heads up Alan Lau faced Aaron Been, with the two immediately negotiating a chop that gave Been the biggest prize money at US$704,881 despite Lau actually winning the event.

Lau took home US$692,066…his second big win this year following a prize of US$420,802 in February at a Red Dragon event.

In the HK$80,000 Mini High Roller event Spanish ace and Winamax ambassador Adrian Mateos emerged victorious, winning US$297,927 after besting 123 opponents, adding to a string of deep runs in several events at this year’s ACOP that has seen him bank around US$1.2 million.

The field included formidable professional players like Nick Petrangelo, David Peters, Timothy Adams and Jason Koon, none of whom made the final table.

Mateos and Yan Tsang confronted each other in the heads up, with Tsang finishing at second for US$201,181.

Russian poker pro Dmitry Yurasov added to his list of triumphs at ACOP’s HK$250,000 buy-in High Roller event, which attracted 48 registrations (including 8 re-entries) and offered a prize pool worth US$11.29 million.

Big names in the field included John Juanda, Dario Sammartino, Simon Burns, Manig Loeser and John Andres, who were all on the final table.

Yurasov started the heads up against Hong Kong pro Devan Tang with a slight lead, rejecting any suggestion of a chop, but the finale was strongly contested and exciting despite only lasting for five hands as Tang pushed every hand to the limit and very large pots featured.

Yurasov prevailed in the end to claim the US$456,270 main prize, sending Tang home with a well-deserved runner-up cash of US$329,386.

Jesus Ferguson Claims His Sixth World Series Of Poker Bracelet

Controversial poker pro proves he definitely still has it

Whether you approve or not of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson’s role in the historic Full Tilt debacle, there is little doubt that he remains a formidable player despite the distractions of the past, public opprobrium and a five year break from major live tournament play.

Returning this year to the public game he has won or run deep in a string of big competitions, culminating this week in the award of his sixth World Series of Poker winner’s bracelet at WSOPE in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

In the Euro 1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better competition 54-year-old Ferguson bested a small field (for a bracelet event) of 92 to face Stanislav Wright in the heads up, which he won.

The main prize of Euro 39,289 was eclipsed in importance by the fact that it was accompanied by one of those prestigious WSOP bracelets.

Amateur Player Takes Down The World Series Of Poker Europe Colossus Event

Matous Skorepa improves his live tourney career earnings by an order of magnitude

Matous Skorepa, an amateur player from the Czech Republic, just scored the biggest win – by a factor of 10 – in his short career as a live tourney player.

The young Czech bested a field of 4,115 entries to win the Euro 550 buy-in World Series of Poker Europe Colossus event at Kings Casino in Rozvadov and claim the main prize of Euro 270,000 and his first WSOP winner’s bracelet.

In his non-poker life Skorepa is a restaurant manager who started playing poker five years ago and has learned to remain cool and collected when the pressure is on.

That capability, along with his obvious talent for the game, served him well as he powered through the field and the final table to ultimately beat Florian Fuchs in the heads up, sending him home with a runner upprize worth Euro 166,855.

Other final table cashes included:

Jonathan Khalifa – Euro 123,241
Ivaylo Sivinov – Euro 91,711
Makarios Avramidis – Euro 68,771
Roman Motovsky – Euro 51,968
Pascal Pflicks – Euro 39,576
Nebojsa Ankucic – Euro 30,386
Gaetan Cauchy – Euro 23,499

Expensive Week For Phil Ivey (Update)

Losing the GBP 7.7 million Crockfords litigation just part of poker ace’s troubles

International poker ace Phil Ivey’s GBP 7.7 million defeat by Crockfords in the UK Supreme Court edge sorting issue this week is just part of a run of bad legal fortune he faced this week.

Following separate US litigation over a similar edge sorting dispute in 2012 with the Borgata in Atlantic City he now also faces the prospect of having to pay back $10.1 million to the casino operator.

InfoPowa readers may recall that a federal judge in the case ruled that Ivey and companion player Cheng Yin Sun did not fairly comply with gambling regulations on four occasions by having a dealer at the Borgata arrange Baccarat cards so they could tell what kind of card was coming next.

Last week U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman followed his finding with a ruling that the duo must to return $10.1 million to the casino, returning both casino and Ivey-Sun to where they were before the transactions took place.

The sum includes money that Ivey won playing craps with some of the money he won at the baccarat table.

The skill vs. chance argument apparently holds little water with the judge, who opined:

“This case involves the whims of Lady Luck, who casts uncertainty on every hand, despite the house odds. Indeed, Lady Luck is like nectar to gamblers, because no one would otherwise play a game he knows he will always lose.”

He added that deciding the case involved “voiding a contract that was tainted from the beginning and breached as soon as it was executed.”

Ed Jacobs, the attorney representing Ivey, emphasised that the judge affirmed that Ivey had followed every rule of Baccarat and did not commit fraud.

“What this ruling says is a player is prohibited from combining his skill and intellect and visual acuity to beat the casino at its own game,” Jacobs said, adding Ivey will appeal the ruling.

The casino did not score as highly as it desired; Judge Hillman rejected its request that the court use a formula for calculating damages that could have seen the restitution go as high as $15.5 million.

That method, assessing how much the casino could have won had Ivey and Chen not engaged in a style of play known as edge-sorting, was deemed too speculative.

The judge also rejected a request by the Borgata that Ivey repay nearly $250,000 in comps given to him by the casino.

Partypoker Release 2018 Millions Schedule

Boosts guaranteed prize pools

Partypoker has released its schedule for the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS series with events in North America, Russia, the Caribbean and Europe as well as online.

The series will offer a total guaranteed prize pool of over $100,000,000 until December 2018.

In 2018, all events will offer guaranteed prize pools of at least $5,000,000 – with five events each guaranteeing a minimum of $10,000,000 in total guaranteed prize money.

At the $10,000,000 guarantee stops, at least three players will become instant millionaires with the winner banking $1.4 million. The runner-up and third-place finisher will take home $1.2 million and $1 million respectively, and at least 250 players will be paid, with a minimum payout of Euro 10,000.

Access the full schedule here:

Rumours Confirmed; Pokerstars Is A Major Shareholder In Publication ‘Poker News’

Owner iBus Media confirms founder sold equity to Pokerstars but claim relationship is at arm’s length

Rumours circulating for some time that Pokerstars has a significant investment in the poker news firm iBus Media, which owns Poker News, were confirmed late Monday when the company posted an explanation on its website.

Emphasising that the relationship with Pokerstars is very much an arm’s length arrangement, iBusMedia revealed that things are going well for the company in a business sense, with increases in revenue and head count.

Consequently, and in support of a new acquisition strategy, the company feels it is right that it clarifies its relationship with Pokerstars, and advises that over the past seven years founder Antanas ‘Tony G’ Guoga has sold his equity to Pokerstars-The Stars Group and is no longer involved.

Pokerstars now owns an unspecified but majority shareholding in the company, the advisory reveals.

Jon Squires, a director of iBus Media, is quoted in the advisory, saying:

“iBus has always maintained its independence and will continue to do so. PokerNews will continue to be the voice of players and a promoter of online poker.

“This is an exciting time at iBus as we are growing the range and quality of the services that we offer our igaming partners. Several recent hires have brought increased depth to our management team and we are extremely optimistic about the group’s ability to continue its growth trajectory.

“We shall continue to work as hard as we always have to provide both players and clients with the best experience, as we shall continue to grow high value services for the igaming sector.”

Guoga founded Poker News 15 years ago, having bought the domain for $6,000.

More On The Stars Group And Poker News Relationship (Update)

Forum post earlier this year alleged that purchase price was $30 million

In an interesting sequel to this week’s revelations that the Stars Group (formerly Amaya) is a major shareholder in poker information site Poker News, the independent publication Flush Draw has revealed that the change of ownership was agreed in 2011 and followed the Black Friday debacle in which US Department of Justice enforcers effectively shut down the major online poker operators.

Flushdraw quotes a post early this year on the PFA forum by Australian poker pro Gary “OzGary” Benson, who claimed:

“Tony G (Antanas Guoga) was at the Aussie Millions so I took the opportunity to ask him about this. He confirmed that he made the deal to sell PokerNews to the Rational Group (now Amaya) with Isai [Scheinberg] personally in the 2nd half of 2011 for $30m although the handover was done progressively over a period of time.”

Flushdraw notes that no-one has contradicted this allegation, and that because The Rational Group was not at that time listed it had no obligation to report the deal.

The full story appears here:

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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