Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Feb 13 2012

PokerStars receives online poker license in Belgium

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Belgium is the latest country cracking down on illegally operating online poker sites, calling on Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to block all online poker rooms not licensed under the Belgian Gaming Commission, and given the Casino de Namur’s A+ license. While this was good news for a couple of online poker rooms, many feel it was a terrible blow to the industry as a whole, and to Belgian poker players.

Currently two online poker sites have been granted the coveted license, and, while the Belgian Gaming Commission has asked that a number of sites be blocked, including European staples like Titan Poker, Everest Poker, and 888 Poker.

The chairman of the Belgian Gaming Commission, Etienne Marique, had this to say about the country’s decision to tighten the reins on the online poker industry, “This is an important step forward for the regulation of online gambling. Not only is the legal framework offering the possibility for operators to offer their online games of chance, but from an economical point of view gambling operators are given opportunities in Belgium.

“And all this in an environment that protects players more than illegal websites do – for example, excluded players cannot play at licensed websites and an average hourly loss is applicable to each player.”

It’s unclear at this time what being “blacklisted” in Belgium means for a site’s future in the country, not to mention that ISP’s have been very reluctant to take such steps as outright prohibiting online poker sites in the past.

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Feb 12 2012

Cezanne’s Card Players sells for whopping sum

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One of the most famous paintings in the world, an 1890’s oil-painting by Paul Cezanne titled “the Card Players” sold for a record $250 million recently according to a Vanity Fair column. The painting is one in a series of five depicting French peasants’ playing cards, created by the French post-impressionist painter, and is considered one of the most recognizable works of art in the world.

The winning bidder on the painting was allegedly the Royal Family of Qatar, having previously been owned by the now deceased Greek shipping tycoon George Embiricos who refused to part with the work until very late in his life. The $250 million price-tag more than doubled the previous auction record for a painting, Jackson Pollock’s painting, No 5, 1948 that sold for £89 million in 2006.

The other paintings in the “Card Players” series are housed in some of the finest museums around the world including the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the Barnes Foundation museum in Merion, Pennsylvania, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

According to the Vanity Fair report the painting will be shown at the Qatar National Museum; as one art appraiser, Victor Weiner, told Vanity Fair: “You take any art history course and Card Players is likely [to be] in it. It’s a major, major image.”

The Curator of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gary Tinterow, was quoted as saying: “Created in the 1890s while the artist was living at his family’s estate outside Aix-en-Provence, these images capture the character Cezanne admired in the people of the region.

‘”Together the works chart the development of the series as Cezanne strove to achieve the most powerful expression of his motif.”


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Feb 11 2012

Police recover money in Duhamel robbery case

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There was some more good news for Jonathan Duhamel this past week as authorities announced they had recovered about half of the money stolen from the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champion during a mid-morning home invasion orchestrated by an ex-girlfriend of the young Canadian.

According to the report, officers acting on anonymous tip and found some $80,000 in a mailbox in Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal. The original reports at the time of the crime put the total amount of money stolen at about $160,000 in a mixture of Canadian and Euro bills (some of the money recovered was in British Sterling as well).

When police apprehended the three alleged suspects in the case –Anthony Borque (20), Bianca Rojas-Latraverse (20), and John-Stephen Clark-Lemay (22)—they also recovered a Black Rolex Submariner watch that was also stolen during the robbery; Duhamel’s coveted 2010 World Series of Poker Championship Bracelet was also taken, and has yet to be recovered.

With all three suspects in custody it is still a mystery where the 2010 WSOP Championship Bracelet is, or what the trio decided to do with the one-of-a-kind item. Two of the three defendants were denied bail by the judge in the case, while Borque was allowed bail, with a number of stipulations set forth by the judge.

While not seriously injured during the robbery, Duhamel was beaten and tied-up while the thieves methodically ransacked his home. Duhamel has seemingly put the robbery and beating behind him, having already pocketed over $1 million in tournament winnings in 2012, most coming at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) tournament series.

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Feb 9 2012

Brazilian Sports Ministry calls poker “Game of Skill”

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Two organizations fighting to gain poker respectability among the general population (and in laws), one in Brazil and one across the globe, were thrilled with the recent decision by the Brazilian Sports Ministry to include poker in their list of sports, thus making it a game of skill in the country. This ruling is yet another step on the path for poker to be fully recognized as a game of skill around the world, which will hopefully lead to a fully legalized and regulated poker community.

The Brazilian group who led the charge, The Confederação Brasileira de Texas Hold’em (CBTH), was formed in 2009 with the explicit goal of gaining poker respectability in the country of Brazil. The group was instrumental in the ruling, and issued the following statement on the Brazilian Sports Ministry website:

Poker is a competitive discipline, which requires the participant to have intelligence, ability, and intellectual and behavioural skills in order to succeed. The CBTH represents the most extended definition of poker, Texas Hold’em and all the other variants of this game including but not exclusively Omaha, Omaha High / Low, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud High / Low, Razz and Mixed Games.”

Another group, The International Federation of Poker (IFP) has similar goals, but on a more global scale. The IFP was formed in 2009 as well, and boasts 40 separate member countries, and has gained poker “Mind Sport” status by the International Mind Sport Association (IMSA); a very exclusive club that contains only a handful of games, including Chess, Bridge, and Go.

Brazil is set to host the 2016 World Mind Sport Games in 2016 –which will take place after the country hosts the Summer Olympics the same year.

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Feb 8 2012

2012 WSOP schedule features 61 bracelet events

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Last week we told you about some changes that would be taking place at the 2012 World Series of Poker, but it appears the good people running the WSOP Twitter feed may have been having some fun with poker players and the poker media when they announced there would be no November Nine at the 2012 WSOP.

Now that the full schedule has been released we know that there will in fact no longer be a November Nine, but the WSOP is not doing away with the long hiatus between the final table and the crowning of a champion, instead they are moving the date up to late October, so as not to interfere with the 2012 elections.

The WSOP did offer up a number of other changes, and some new tournaments, but unfortunately there is nothing earth-shattering like the doing away with the November Nine would have been. Here is a look at the major additions and changes to the WSOP schedule for 2012 from the official WSOP E-Mail sent to media members:

  • 61 gold bracelet events over 50 days.
  • Superb Structures & Starting Chips – All gold bracelet events in 2012 will feature triple the buy-in in starting chips and deep structures, providing plenty of room for play.
  • New Event — $560 Bracelet Bounty No-Limit Hold’em – To reward the fraternity of players with a WSOP gold bracelet, all are welcome to enter this one-day non-bracelet event which will feature bounties placed on any WSOP bracelet winners in the field. It will occur on Tuesday, May 29 at noon.
  • New Event — $3,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha – To inject this year’s WSOP with some early excitement, this event (Event #3) combines the two most popular games played today in a Heads Up format (512 player cap) and should be a thrilling rollercoaster ride for the game’s young guns. Players will alternate between games each 20-minute level. The new event debuts Tuesday, May 29 at noon.
  • New Event — $5,000 Mix-Max No-Limit Hold’em – Playing in this event will require players to have the skills to play 9-handed (on Day 1), 6-handed (on Day 2) and in a heads-up format if they can make it to the final 16 players in the event. Players will carry over their chips throughout play and be re-seeded when 16 players remain, with the highest chip total facing the lowest and so on. The event (Event #6) is structured as a four-day event and begins on Thursday, May 31 at noon. Michael “The Grinder”Mizrachi won an event at WSOP Europe with a similar structure.
  • New Event — $2,500 Four-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – It’s not heads-up poker, nor is it a six-max; this new variation of four-handed No-Limit Hold’em will feature a maximum of four players. For action junkies who excel at No-Limit Hold’em, this is a game where aggression over patience is definitely required. This is Event #28 on the schedule and will debut Thursday, June 14 at noon.
  • New Event — $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em – In a twist on traditional No-Limit Hold’em poker, this event will be played without the small and big blind bets. All players at the table will ante to begin every hand, with the person to the left of the button starting the action from there with a choice of either folding or bringing in the minimum chip amount in play. The event will create a lot of action and multiple-player pots. This is Event #49 and will start on Wednesday, June 27 at noon.
  • New Event — $1,000,000 buy-in, Big One for ONE DROP – Never before has a player had to pony up $1,000,000 just to enter a poker tournament. This is what players are accustomed to winning, but for the first time, the WSOP will put on a $1,000,000 buy-in bracelet event. The event (Event #55) will begin at 1:11 p.m. on Sunday, July 1 and play out as a three-day event, most likely leading to the largest first place prize in poker history. The event will be televised by ESPN and provide a donation of 11.1% from each player’s buy-in to support
  • New Event — $560 Doubles No-Limit Hold’em – Find a partner and Dosey Doe. In this special one-day, non-bracelet event, players pair up and work together to win. Players will alternate playing each level, using one stack to guide their team to victory. The tournament is scheduled on Saturday, June 30 at 10 a.m.
  • $50K Poker Players Championship The Chip Reese Memorial Trophy is up for grabs at the $50,000 buy-in eight-game mixed event, also dubbed the “Poker Players Championship.” This eight-game format will serve as the true test of the game’s greatest all-around player. Event #45 starts on Sunday, June 24 at 5 p.m.
  • The Seniors-Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – Event #29 featuring a $1,000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older will begin on Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. In 2011, this event set a record when 3,752 players entered – the most ever on one day– and the winner walked away with $557,435 for his $1,000 investment. In addition, a Seniors Second Chance $560 non-bracelet event will be offered at 7 p.m. for those looking for redemption.
  • The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship –The $1,000 buy-in Ladies World Championship (Event #51) will start on Friday, June 29 at noon.
  • Daily Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments – Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will host three different daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments from May 27-July 16. Daily $235 buy-in events begin at 2 p.m., $185 buy-in tournaments at 6 p.m. and $135 tournament at 10 p.m. All daily one-day tournaments and non-bracelet events and will take place in the Pavilion Ballroom.
  • Satellites Every Day! A complete array of satellites, from single-table to mega, will be offered from May 27-July 9. Mega satellites require buy-ins of $330 for the daily 4 p.m. and $550 for the daily 8 p.m.


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