Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for October 20, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 20, 2017

World Poker Tour Owner Has Big Plans For Poker And E-Sports

Ourgame International plans to raise HK$416 million for Chinese expansion of WPT and Allied Esports International

Ourgame International Holdings, the Hong Kong-based corporate that acquired World Poker Tour two years ago from Bwin for $35 million, has announced plans for a share subscription scheme to raise HK$416,000 (GBP 40.2 million).

The proceeds will be used to expand WPT operations along with those of eSports subsidiary Allied Esports International in the region, with particular focus on the Chinese market. Ourgame has reportedly earmarked 15 percent of the new funds for WPT online and live growth projects in Japan, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. These will involve new strategic partnerships with suitable but unspecified companies.

A larger slice – 30 percent – will be allocated to the expansion of eSports activity through Allied Esports International, which has ambitions to construct ten eSports arenas – up to six in North America and four in China.

The first of the North American projects is already under construction at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Two more “mobile” eSports facilities are destined for China, designed to emulate the success of the “Big Betty” project in Europe.

A further 45 percent of the new capital will be directed to improvements and expansion for Ourgame’s mobile products, and the remaining 10 percent will go to working capital.

German Poker Ace Wins Rozvadov Main Event

Hossain Ensan builds on his EPT 12 main event victory in Prague to score a further Euro 116,444

German poker pro Hossein Ensan (53) was in the news again this week, following his EPT 12 main event win in Prague with a victory in the main event of the World Series of Poker Circuit at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

672 players registered for the Euro 1,650 buy-in event, creating a big enough prize pool to enable 71 of them to cash. Big names in the field included Phil Hellmuth, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Brandon Cantu and Carlo Savinelli… none of whom made the final table

Four days into the event Ensan was dominating the opposition, eliminating six of the final table players on his way to the heads up with fellow German player Jan Timo Jobmann (28). Both qualified for the World Series of Poker Circuit Casino Championship in 2018 as part of the WSOP Circuit rankings.

After dismissing third placed German pro Rifat Gegic for Euro 83,407, Ensan went into heads up play with a massive chip advantage, and it took just two hands for him to eliminate Jobmann for Euro 116,444.

Other final table cashes included:

Davit Okropiridze Euro 65,691
Pavel Stolar Euro 51,615
Viktor Kovachev Euro 40,315
Michael Magalashvili Euro 30,356
Viliyan Petleshkov Euro 21,163

Bad Week For Indian Poker

Raj Kundra’s Match Indian Poker League challenged on two issues

Indian entrepreneur and joint founder of the Match Indian Poker League with Patrick Nally, Raj Kundra, has had a torrid week so far following two challenges to league promotional activity.

In the first challenge Global Poker League (GPL) founder Alex Dreyfus queried IPL promotional claims on the Poker Guru news site that Faraz Jaka and Mustapha Kanit would be taking part in the inaugural IPL tournament next month.

The upshot was a Twitter exchange in which Jaka denied any involvement with, or indeed any knowledge of the IPL, which was followed by an IPL response acknowledging that “certain” names had been “unintentionally used”, an error that was regretted, and had been addressed with a retraction.

It’s not the first time Kundra has been embarrassed by false claims of celebrity involvement; InfoPowa readers may recall that a year ago he faced similar criticism over claims that cricketing legend Shane Warne was the ambassador for his subsequently failed Celebrity Poker venture. Warne vigorously denied any involvement, forcing Kundra to admit that his claims of a business association with Warne were false.

Earlier this year Match Indian Poker League also found itself facing the wrath of cricket’s Indian Premier League.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India pointed out that the acronym IPL was theirs and should not be used by the Kundra and Nally companies in the promotion of the Match Indian Poker League.

The letter rather sternly advised Match IPL that the use of the acronym was a blatantly uinlicensed and illegal act against the BCCI and its protected acronym.

Kundra is contesting the BCCI claim, arguing that his use of the acronym is distinct, related to poker and therefore appropriate and legal, but he is facing a formidable and deep-pocketed opponent in the BBCI and the odds are probably against him.

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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