Feb 28 2012

PKR Poker receives Italian license launches PKR.it

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This week the #1 3-D online poker room in the world, PKR Poker, announced that they had received a license from the Italian Government, and will now be offering their award-winning software and online poker platform to players in Italy.

The website will go under the name PKR.it, where Italian poker players can register and compete against other Italian residents on the network. In a press release issued on Thursday, Malcolm Graham, CEO at PKR said, “We’re delighted to be able to welcome Italian players to PKR.it. The Italian poker market represents an exciting opportunity for PKR and we hope that players from all over Italy enjoy the unique PKR experience.”

Italy recently expanded their online poker legislation to include cash-games (previously only tournament poker was available at licensed online poker sites in Italy), a move that Italian’s have been pining for ever since legislation was enacted in 2010 –many Italian cash-game players had to move out of the country in order to keep plying their chosen trade.

PKR Poker is currently the 24th ranked online poker room in the world (not bad for an independent online poker site) but with little competition in the Italian market, PKR.it could easily eclipse the main site’s numbers.

The new Italian license will also likely see the site sign a few Italian poker players to their roster of Team PKR Poker Pros, which includes WSOP Bracelet winner Scott Shelley, EPT Snowfest Champion Vladimir Geshkenbein, and of course Triple Crown winner Jake Cody who signed with PKR Poker just a few months ago.

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Feb 27 2012

Daniel Negreanu launches his own YouTube Channel

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For the second straight week Daniel Negreanu posted a Video Blog on YouTube, and amid defending his remarks about the Full Tilt Poker owners, and recapping his recent travels and experiences in Brazil (which included a slideshow of pictures he took at Carnival complete with gratuitous butt shots) he patted himself on the back for his newfound computer literacy; evidenced by the Video Blog and slideshows.

Negreanu also announced that he would have his own YouTube channel, where fans could watch a weekly video blog/rant, as well as other videos uploaded by the Team PokerStars Pro. Thus far Negreanu’s YouTube has 11 uploaded videos, an amazing 1,851 subscribers, and an even more amazing 134,173 views to date.

Negreanu announced the creation of the YouTube Channel through Social Media (how else would you do it in 2012!) telling his fans and followers:

“So I am learning how to edit and created a YouTube channel and plan on doing a weekly video blog. You can subscribe here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DNegreanu/videos

So far the video blogs have been delivered in true Daniel Negreanu fashion: hard-hitting, opinionated, and polarizing to the poker world as a whole. His first video blog was strong enough to get a response from Doyle Brunson himself, who countered Daniel’s assertions about Full Tilt Poker owners Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson.

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Feb 27 2012

Everleaf Poker Network latest victim of US crackdown

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On February 9th the Everleaf Poker Network announced it would be leaving the US market, and since that time the network that comprises over 100 small poker sites has been eerily quiet on precisely what occurred and what the status of US player deposits and withdrawals currently is. Well, on Friday the site issued their first statement regarding the matter, stating that US funds were in fact seized, but the network will refund all players in full.

Here is a look at the statement from the Everleaf Poker Network that was issued on Friday:

As has been reported, certain funds maintained by one of our payment processors to be distributed to U.S. customers were seized by U.S. authorities. To our knowledge, the U.S. authorities seized these funds and blocked the transactions based on purported violations of certain U.S. laws, including operating an illegal money transmitting business, the Wire Act, and money laundering. Evidence relative to the subject can be reviewed from the attached papers.

Please be advised that this seizure occurred in the United States and only affects U.S. players.

In view of the above, Everleaf will no longer accept U.S. players. Nonetheless, Everleaf reiterates and wants to reassure all the effected players that all the funds will be refunded in full and the effected parties will be contacted in a short while accordingly.

For the other markets we operate in and with regards to all our other players we want to reassure you that nothing has changed and thank you for the continued business with our Company.

We sincerely apologize for the lack of communication to date, but as a Company we were still trying to find our feet and assessing the situation at hand and how to best protect the interest of all the effected parties.”

According to court records, the payment processor in question, Causash Establishment, had 14 days worth of transactions seized by the government, and after this time the Everleaf Poker Network received a Cease and Desist order from the US Department of Homeland Security. The poker world, US Everleaf Poker players in particular, are crossing their fingers that Everleaf is more in line with PokerStars than Full Tilt Poker.

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Feb 26 2012

Iowa moves forward on online poker bill

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This week Iowa took another step forward in its efforts to potentially legalize and regulate online poker throughout the state. On Monday the Iowa State Senate sub-committee approved a bill that would legalize online poker in the state, despite a mountain of blowback from different groups opposing the measure.

Iowa has a large evangelical Christian population, a group that vehemently opposes gambling in any form, but despite this Iowa State Senators are confident the bill can not only pass, but be a boon for the state’s coffers. One such Senator is Jeff Danielson (D-Waterloo) who told the Sioux City Journal that “prohibition has failed in other areas and the preferred approach is to bring an illegal wagering activity estimated at between $30 million and $100 million annually under state regulation to protect Iowans and attempt to curb underage players.” Danielson called the current policy “doing nothing by default” and likened the current online gaming climate to that of the Wild West.

Under the proposed legislation online gaming operators would have the ability to partner with casinos already licensed in Iowa, and would be regulated by the state Racing and Gaming Commission. Online poker sites would be restricted from offering their services to anyone under the age of 21, or anyone located outside of Iowa’s borders. Danielson told the Sioux City Journal that “out-of-state residents would be able to come to an Iowa casino, establish an account and play during the time they were residing in Iowa.”

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Feb 24 2012

Jamie Gold Poker Room opens at Tropicana

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The Jamie Gold Poker Room at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, Nevada is now officially open after a weekend of parties and tournaments.

The official opening starts with a party at the RPM Nightclub on February 17, 2012 with Gold and “celebrity friends” in attendance. The following day the poker room opened with its first tournament, a $500 Deepstack event with one rebuy and one add-on available –the event was limited to the 75 entrants, giving potential Tropicana poker room players a good idea of the size of the space.

So how did the opening weekend go? According to the website athlebrities.com, there were a number of VIP’s in attendance including, “UFC fighter Randy Couture, actress IIena Oliver, Soprano’s star Robert Iler, Ricki Lake (above), Boys II Men’s Nathan Morris, Twilight actor Billy Burke, actor Joe Reitman, professional snowboarder Adam Reynolds, and many more,” according to the website. It also seems that a number of the celebrities were in attendance for the Deepstacks Tournament including Ricki Lake, who is known to be a poker enthusiast.

The Tropicana first announced that they would be opening the Jamie Gold Poker Room back in December, trying to capitalize on the 2006 WSOP Champions name recognition: “This deal with Tropicana covers everything I could have ever wanted in a relationship with a major Las Vegas Strip resort and it will serve as my anchor and the conduit to all of my future poker and philanthropic endeavors,” Gold said in December. “I really couldn’t be more excited!”

Only time will tell if Jamie Gold can make the Tropicana Poker Room successful or not.

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