Jan 14 2012

Yatahay Poker Network rebrands itself

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

The Yatahay Poker Network first came to the public’s attention when the popular online poker room Doyles Room joined the small network late in 2010, switching from the far more prominent Cake Poker Network, and received their second round of mainstream attention in the aftermath of Black Friday when the Yatahay Poker Network underwent its own domain seizures by the DOJ in May of 2011.

Now the small US-friendly network has announced that it will be rebranding itself as the Winning Poker Network (which I must say is a much better brand name for a poker network than Yatahay!) and all of the networks skins now feature .eu and .ag domains.

In May it was revealed that the Maryland DOJ had setup a false payment processing company that had been processing Yatahay payments to US banks totaling millions of dollars. It’s unclear how the rebranding of the company will affect any potential charges that have been leveled against the Yatahay Poker Network by the DOJ.

The network also saw another rebranding a few months back when Doyles Room was purchased by Americas Cardroom. Americas Cardroom was one of the original online poker rooms during the heyday of the industry, and with the acquisition of Doyles Room the Americas Cardroom brand is now back after a lengthy hiatus.

The rebranding of poker sites is not exclusive to the Yatahay Network by any means, the Action Poker Network recently changed its name to the Chico Poker Network, Bodog became Bovada.lv in the US, and Victor Chandler recently announced it would be rebranding itself to BetVictor Poker.

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Jan 13 2012

Is the Epic Poker League for sale?

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

According to an article on the Wicked Chops Poker Insider section (which resides behind a $3.99/month pay-wall) the Epic Poker League is in talks with gaming giant Pinnacle Entertainment over the possible sale of the Epic Poker League and all of its assets.

According to the article, Epic Poker League co-founder Jeffrey Pollack and current Pinnacle Entertainment executive Ginny Shanks have known each other since working together at the WSOP, and the relationship may have been the genesis for the acquisition.

The Epic Poker League has been both praised and derided in its brief existence, with everything from Standards & Ethics Committee controversy (the number of controversies surrounding the S&E Committee is now up to three by my count) to a postponement of future tournaments which the Epic Poker League claims the players asked for –others in the industry point to lackluster attendance numbers and so-so TV ratings as the cause of the postponement.

Wicked Chops stated that the sale talks have been confirmed by multiple industry sources, and there may be a potential sale within the next 60 days if all goes to plan. Wicked Chops also reached out to the EPL comment but have yet to receive a response (which given the press-happy history of the EPL leads me to believe the story has some teeth). There is no telling what this would mean for the Epic Poker League as we currently know it, or what Pinnacle has planned for the EPL.

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Jan 12 2012

Online poker opponent donates $5 mil to Newt Gingrich Super-Pac

written by: Steve under News Comments: 2

Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson is one of the online poker world’s staunchest opponents and least-liked personalities; a strange place for a casino mogul to wind-up for sure. Now Adelson is throwing his political support and vast resources (Adelson is listed as the eighth richest person by Forbes Magazine) behind presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, reportedly donating $5 million to the candidate’s Super-Pac.

Adelson recently came out publicly against online poker after a number of his counterparts in the casino industry started moving from opponents to advocates after the seemingly inevitability of online poker becoming legalized in the US (in one form or another). Adelson was quoted by Global Gaming Business Magazine as saying, “…Unofficially, I am vehemently against it because I am convinced that the technology that would prevent kids from gambling isn’t enough,”

With the news that Adelson is throwing his support behind Gingrich, poker players and poker advocates should take a serious look at what the former Speaker of the House of Representatives stance on online gaming is, and precisely what influence Adelson’s $5 million donation (with a reported further $15 million being held in reserve) means.

While Adelson’s donation may very well buy him the ear of Gingrich on online poker, it would seem more likely that the two are politically aligned over Israel’s relationship with Palestine, which is admittedly a far more pressing topic than online poker! Still, Adelson’s influence and clout does not begin and end with Newt Gingrich, and he remains a major obstacle in the path of online poker legislation in the US.

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Jan 11 2012

Nanonoko adds another world record for PokerStars

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

In 2009 Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier set a world record by playing 62 Sit & Go tournaments in the span of an hour (while remaining in profit); late in 2011 PokerStars broke their own world record for the largest online poker tournament in the history of the game; just a week later PokerStars broke another one of its own records, this time for the largest prize-pool in online poker history; and this past Sunday Team PokerStars Online player Randy “nanonoko” Lew set another world record by playing over 24,000 hands of online poker in an 8-hour session.

Lew had to make a valiant comeback as he found himself down some $1,200 at one point of the session, but by the end of the 8-hours his PokerStars account was back in the black, but not by much. When all was said and done Lew had banked a small win of $7.65 –like ElkY’s record from 2009, remaining in profit was a stipulation of Lew’s record attempt.

When asked about the record Lew stated, “This is a great feeling. I finished it… I had a crowd. Everyone clapped for me. I was reading chat while I was playing. I probably shouldn’t have. But people were like ‘Go, Randy, go!’ So, it kept me pumped, and it is a good feeling when people want you to win.”

Here is a look at the stats from the historic session courtesy of the PokerStars blog:

  • Hands: 23,493
  • Hours: 8
  • Hands per hour: 2936.63
  • Hands per minute: 48.94
  • Seconds per hand: 1.23
  • Hours of live poker (at 30 hands per hour): 783.10
  • FPPs earned: 22,784
  • Profit: $7.65

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Jan 10 2012

Belgian poker pro Kevin Vandersmissen joins Lock Poker

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

This weekend Lock Poker continued their push to become a major player in the world of online poker as well as to carve out a niche in burgeoning European markets, by signing yet another big name European player, this time in the form of European Poker Tour (EPT) Snowfest runner-up Kevin Vandersmissen.

Vandersmissen, who resides in Belgium, joins an already stacked roster of Lock Poker Team Elite players that includes Chris Moorman, Leo Margets, Matt Stout, and Casey Jarzabek and Poker Room Manager for Lock Poker Eric Lynch amongst others.

The 23 year-old Vandersmissen has already tallied over $865k in live tournament winnings in his career, including his $368k score for finishing second at the 2011 EPT Snowfest. Playing under the online screen-name of “Civelus” Vandersmissen has also banked over $500k in online tournament winnings.

In a press release from Lock Poker, Vandersmissen stated, “I am really proud and happy to be welcomed to the Lock family; this is a new era for me as a player and I’m looking forward to representing Lock Poker all over the world,” while Poker Room Manager Eric Lynch seemed equally excited about the addition of “Civelus” to the Lock Poker Team, saying, “I’m super excited to have Kevin as a part of the team. Not only is Kevin an amazing player, but he brings us a unique perspective to poker and is truly one of the great ambassadors of the game. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with him further in the future”

It will be interesting to see if the signing of the Belgian is an indicator that Lock Poker (part of the Merge Gaming Network) is seeking an online poker license from the country. Thus far only Partouche, PokerStars, and 777 have garnered licenses from the Belgian Gaming Commission.


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