Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for October 06, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 6, 2017

World Championship Of Online Poker 2017 Another Success (Update)

PokerStars releases positive numbers on this year’s recently completed edition of the online poker festival

PokerStars reports that the recently completed 2017 World Championship of Online Poker has been another of its success stories.

WCOOP this year ran from September 3rd to September 27th and attracted over 107,000 players, awarding a total of over $90 million in pay-outs.

The lower buy-in events this year proved to be especially popular and successful, with punters receiving over $19 million in prizes and buy-ins easily overtaking the overall guarantees of $11 million laid out by PokerStars.

Spartan Poker Ruling Handed Down (Update)

Quadrific loses domain usurpation complaint in World Intellectual Property Organisation hearing

Another chapter in the long-running Indian online poker industry dispute between Quadrific Media Pvt. Ltd. and online entrepreneur and former Quadrific director Rajat Agarwal closed this week when the World Intellectual Property Organisation rejected Quadrific’s bid to stop Agarwal from using the Spartan Poker brand.

Earlier this year Agarwal filed litigation against Quadrific and four of its executives, who had formed a company titled Spartan Online Poker Limited to operate the website

Agarwal claimed that his company had a prior claim to the Spartan Poker domain and brand, which Quadrific had usurped.

Quadrific responded with a WIPO fling of its own, arguing that Agarwal “has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name” and “does not own the Spartan Poker trademark and is not known in the market as ‘Spartan Poker.'”

The Quadrific complaint averred: “The disputed domain name does not correspond to a company name or product of Agarwal, and the respondent has not used it in relation to his services.”

Piling on the pressure, Quadrific also alleged that attempts were made to remove Agarwal from the company’s board on grounds of fraud and embezzlement, but these were frustrated when Agarwal obtained a court injunction.

In addition, Agarwal had taken measures to block the Spartan Poker domain, which Quadrific alleged was intended to disrupt its business.

The WIPO decision found that Quadrific failed to prove that the Spartan Poker trademark had been registered and used in bad faith.

“The Complainant in no way makes any allegation of bad faith registration on the part of the Respondent. In fact, the Complainant admits in the Complaint that the Respondent had registered the Disputed Domain Name at the request of the Complainant,” the WIPO panel ruled. “On this basis, it is clear that the Respondent registered the Disputed Domain Name in good faith, as such was done at the request and with the consent of the Complainant for the purposes of the Spartan Poker business.”

The WIPO finding cuts across an earlier decision by the Calcutta High Court, which permitted Quadrific group to remain operational under the Spartan domain and brand because Agarwal was not identified with the Spartan Poker domain and had not invested in the development, registration and creative content of the website.

However, the court advised that Agarwal may claim damages from The Spartan Online Limited company if he succeeds in registering the trademark. Both Agarwal and Quadrific are currently in a race to do just that.

Gary McGinty Takes The Honours At Dublin Poker Festival Main Event

Nothing goat-ish about this victory

The Euro 1,100 buy-in PokerStars Festival Dublin main event has been won by 29-year-old local pro Gary McGinty, who held the chip lead for the final two days of the competition but played it safe with a 4-way chop anyway.

The event attracted a field of 544 players, creating a prize pool of Euro 681,720, and culminated in a final table that comprised an Englishman, two Italians and five locals, headed by McGintry.

Down to 4-handed play McGinty played it safe and agreed a chop that gave him the lion’s share of the pool and Euro 74,797 to Jim O’Calaghan; Euro 78,554 to Italy’s Antonio Merone; and Euro 71,161 to Sean Prendiville, leaving Euro 13,000 on the table for the winner.

By the time the heads up stage was reached McGinty had amassed a 5 to 1 lead over his remaining opponent Jim O’Calaghan, and it did not take long for him to dispatch his fellow Irishman and claim the victory and the Euro 91,808 first prize.

Other cashes following the four-way chop included:

5. Ivan Tononi Italy Euro 35,780
6. Declan Connolly Ireland Euro 28,110
7. Mick Graydon Ireland Euro 20,980
8. Alexander Bretherton UK Euro 14,530

Gotlieb Takes Down Wsop Circuit Main Event

Held at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood

Joe Gotlieb (52) earned his first WSOP Circuit ring, the title and $257,638 after defeating Asher Conniff in heads up play in the $1,675 Main Event at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood earlier this week.

Gotlieb, a small cell-phone parts business owner from Hollywood, Florida previously played poker on a part-time basis. He hopes his unique style will progress his ambitions to become a full-time grinder.

Final table results were:

1 Joe Gotlieb $257,638
2 Asher Conniff $159,357
3 Mauricio Ameller $117,619
4 Brian Hastings $88,004
5 Brett Bader $66,675
6 Chad Eveslage $51,148
7 Jack Shea $39,717
8 Daniel Genachte $31,229
9 Michael Amato $24,842

Papazyan Scores Second World Poker Tour Win

Second six-figure prize for US pro in just a month

Just a month ago US poker pro Art Papazyan bested Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win the sixteenth WPT Legends event for $669,000, and this week he was back in the news with another WPT victory, this one worth $389,405 in the WPT Maryland Live! main event.

The field of 561 generated a prize pool around $150,000 short of the $2 million guarantee set by World Poker Tour, but was big enough to necessitate multiple starting flights.

The dispatch of Kenny Nguyen and Joshua Gordon set up a final table where Tom Reynolds held the chip lead, with Papazyan at that point around the middle of the pack.

Reynolds was able to survive for most of the final table but ultimately succumbed at third place for $168,990 after a joust with Zachary Donovan that set up the heads up.

In the heads up Donovan faced Papazyan, with the latter holding a 2 to 1 chip advantage, beginning a two-hour confrontation between two equally skilled and determined players.

Donovan scored an early double up, which made the exchange more competitive, but Papazyan steadily ground his opponent down to eventually send him home with the runner up prize of $262,930.
Other final table cashes included:

Randal Heeb $120,165
Grigoriy Shvarts $92,015
Timothy Chang $76,620

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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