Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for October 12, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 12, 2018

Online World Series Of Poker Circuit Hailed A Success

Many events doubled or tripled guarantees, say organisers

The inaugural online World Series of Poker Circuit this week exceeded the organisers’ expectations, with many of the events easily outpacing the guarantees, say the organisers.

Bill Rini, head of online poker at, said the 13 events were successful from player appeal, technology and business perspectives, with many of the events doubling or tripling guarantees that were aggressive to begin with.

He said that September is a traditionally slow month for poker, but the competition nevertheless exceeded the organisers’ expectations.

Asked whether the success could lead to further editions, Rini commented: “No hard decisions have been made, but when you put together a $700,000 schedule and it does almost $1.7 million in prize pools, it’s hard not to take that as a sign in terms of what you should be doing more of.”

French Online Poker Operator Faces Class Action

16 players are suing Winamax in aftermath of bot allegations

The lack of transparency with which French online poker operator Winamax is alleged to have treated players in the aftermath of bot accusations has resulted in a class action being filed in the French courts by 16 players.

The players’ filing claims that the operator “failed to protect the integrity and transparency of its gaming operations” by disclosing how it calculated the compensation due to other players prejudiced by the alleged bot activity. The players are claiming damages of between Euro 10,000 and Euro 50,000 each

The case reportedly has its roots in accusations of bot play laid against two Winamax account holders – VictoriaMo and Twopandas – in June this year by Maxime ‘Batmax’ Lemaitre, who produced evidence on a player forum purporting to show that the bot activity occurred in the Winamax Expresso jackpot sit ‘n go tournaments.

Winamax immediately suspended the two accounts allegedly involved, and then invited the account holders to visit the company’s offices in Paris to play in front of experienced company experts in order to prove their innocence.

Whilst VictoriaMo agreed to the test in July and complied with its conditions, Twopandas did not.

Winamax cleared VictoriaMo of wrongdoing and allowed the player to withdraw his account balance, and closed the account of Twopandas, confiscating the balance.

In both cases the accounts were closed permanently due to the “climate of suspicion and distrust” created by the incident.

Winamax then set about addressing the question of compensation to those players prejudiced by the alleged bot activity, and over the following days “dozens” of players received reparation.

However, Winamax did not reveal how it calculated the compensation, and some players felt they had not been treated fairly. When asked for clarification regarding the calculation, Winamax allegedly refused to provide this on grounds of privacy, triggering the player legal action, initially by Lemaitre and five others, who were later joined by 10 other aggrieved players.

Another High Roller Win For O’Dwyer

Poker pro demolishes most of the final table to wn GBP 314,000

Steve O’Dwyer continued to wreak havoc in the High Roller sector this week with his second big victory in the GBP 10,000 buy-in High Roller competition at the PartyPoker Live Millions in the UK.

His victory follows an earlier GBP 25,500 buy-in HR win at the same festival for GBP 450,000, bringing his haul from this festival alone to GBP 764,000.

In his latest victory at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, O’Dwyer bested a field of 105 which allowed 11 places to cash.

O’Dwyer dominated the final table action and eliminated most of the players to face Italian pro Gianluca Speranza in the heads up, with O’Dwyer holding a 2 to 1 chip advantage at the start.

Speranza delivered a spirited performance to catch up and at one stage even the chip stacks at 50 million-all, but O’Dwyer kicked the action up a gear to regain control and eventually eliminate a respected opponent, sending Speranza home with the second placing prize of GBP 193,000.

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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