Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Feb 17 2012

Everleaf Poker Network pulls out of US market

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After losing their #1 payment processor for US poker players, followed by the Department of Homeland Defense issuing a cease and desist order, the Everleaf Poker Network made the difficult decision to leave the US poker market.

According to a representative from one of the Everleaf Poker Network’s skins, Minted Poker, “Several weeks ago when the network lost one of the US processors, some of the processed funds were held back by what is now clear as the Department of Homeland Security. They have now also issued a letter to [cease] and desist operations in the USA, under threat of legal enforcement against the network.”

After consulting with their regulatory body, The Lottery and Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA) the Everleaf Network decided the appropriate, and best course of action, was to simply voluntarily leave the US market. According to the report, Everleaf will also be preemptively exiting the French Market, where they do not hold a license but have been operating nonetheless.

According to the Minted Poker Representative only 20% of the network’s traffic originated in the US, a number that seems fairly accurate giving the decrease noted by the online poker tracking site over the past week. has the Everleaf Poker Network down from a peak traffic number of around 800 to 700 since the network left the US market.

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Feb 16 2012

PokerStars launches .eu poker site

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If anyone was wondering why PokerStars recently went through the process of receiving an online gaming license from the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta (PokerStars already holds an online gaming license from the Isle of Mann) you received your answer on Monday when PokerStars announced they would now be offering online poker to Swedish and Finnish players.

While PokerStars was already available in these locales, because of the policies in these countries all online gaming conducted on a site outside of the EU was taxed 50%, while players participating in online poker games hosted by companies operating and licensed from an EU country were tax-free. PokerStars new license in Malta, a member of the European Union, allows the world’s largest online poker room to now offer access to their tables for players in Sweden and Finland without the fear of harsh tax penalties.

As PokerStars Head of Business Development Guy Templer put it, “Some markets treat European Union-licensed operators differently than other license-holders. Offering our online poker on with a Maltese license provides benefits to players in Sweden and Finland in particular and we are always striving to offer the best product possible to our players, wherever they are located.”

Current PokerStars customers from these two new markets will be able to re-register at the new site, at which point their balance, FPP’s and VPP’s will be automatically transferred.

PokerStars also plans on using their new Maltese license to open other EU markets as well.

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Feb 15 2012

EPT Grand Final heads back to its roots

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It took the European Poker Tour only a single year of having the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, Spain (with a noticeable decline in attendance) to decide to move the tour Championship back to its longtime home in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Last year’s shift to Madrid, and the subsequent move back to Monte Carlo this year, has gone without explanation by Pokerstars or the EPT.

Last week the EPT announced that the Grand Final Championship, ending the Season VIII tour, will be back in Monte Carlo, where it was held during the first six Seasons of the EPT Tour. This time around the Grand Final will take place at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Casino (as it always has) with the Championship tournament running from April 23rd through May 1st.

The EPT has undergone a number of changes over the past year, including the departure of tournament director Thomas Kremser and CEO and co-founder John Duthie, who parted with PokerStars earlier this year. With Black Friday having wreaked havoc on the online and live poker world, the EPT is looking to rebound from the attendance drop at the Grand Final from 848 players in 2010 to 646 players in 2011.

Current EPT President Edgar Stuchly stated, “This will be the biggest and best EPT festival ever held, and we’re putting together an incredible tournament,” according to the PokerStars blog. The PokerStars blog stated that the EPT will be releasing a complete schedule for the Grand Final, including preliminary events, in the near future.

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Feb 14 2012

Gus Hansen recounts massive pot in Macau

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On his blog,, Gus Hansen has been posting about some of the more interesting hands he has been playing, and none could be more interesting than a nearly $2 million pot he played in Macau recently. Here is the recap of the hand from the horse’s mouth:

“…a couple of players were stuck and steaming (I might have been one of them) a lot of raising and re-raising followed. Some of them turned out good for me, but the biggest hand of the nite was as ugly as could be! With blinds of 10K-20K I encouraged “Under the Gun” to make a straddle for 40K and then I would make it 80K. The ensuing action looked good for me for just about 17 seconds – 3 blinds up against each other with just over 1 Million HK$ in the pot pre-flop and I am holding the pretty 97 of Diamonds. Flop 9H 6D 2D and with the small blind checking and the 40K straddler betting 550K I felt my best play was to go All-In for 5.3Mill. I do not regret my All-In move, but when the small blind cold calls 3.7Mill and the bettor is counting his outs and figuring out his pot-odds, I have a BAD feeling of what’s in store for me – A set and the Nut-flush draw! And indeed it was, I am down to runner-runner straight or runner-runner full house – not a great spot to be in.

Whoever won the 14.7Mill pot is not my business to discuss, but what I will say is that my 4.3% didn’t hit and I was out another 5.3 Million Gus”

Don’t feel too bad for Gus, he allegedly cleaned-up in the game (up over $4 million by some accounts) prior to heading off to Australia for the Aussie Millions, where he also did quite well.

If you haven’t checked out Gus’ new blog it’s a pretty interesting read (most of the entries are fairly short and to the point) as he offers insights into everything from poker, to his current pursuits, to his political leanings.

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Feb 14 2012

Lock Poker adds Portuguese poker pro Pedro Maia to roster

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One of the flagship online poker rooms on the Merge Gaming Network, Lock Poker, has been very busy thus far in 2012, signing a slew of talented poker players to their already impressive roster of Team LockPRO Elite. The latest addition to the roster at Lock Poker is Pedro Maia, better known as “pls3betme” in online poker circles.

Maia is a Portuguese poker player who has been taking the Portuguese poker circuit by storm over the past two years –Maia managed to cash in every Main Event on the Portuguese Poker Tour, winning the Figueira Poker Tour Main Event. Maia also made a trip to the WSOP this past year and cashed in his first WSOP tournament, a $1,500 NLHE bracelet event.

Jennifer Larson, the CEO of Lock Poker had this to say about the site’s latest addition, “Pedro is an excellent addition to our incredible team of players!”

In a press release on Lock Poker Maia was quoted as saying, “I am delighted to join Lock Poker, a professional team of the highest level, with the Top international and Portuguese players, counting in its ranks with players of international reputation… Lock Poker is a room of the highest quality, to which I hope to bring my best contribution, at the same time as the exchange of experiences in this vast team will allow both personal development, and to Lock Poker itself as a poker room, continuing its growth and increasing brand awareness.”

Fellow Portuguese and Lock Poker pro Francisco “yuranpt” Santos called Maia a “pure young blood horse”. Adding, “He knows what he wants, he sets his goals and he goes after that with passion and determination… Pedro is a close friend of mine and I feel honored to have him with us. We have the same dream to be the 1st Portuguese to win a bracelet.”

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