Jan 19 2012

Poker payment processor Ira Rubin pleads guilty to Conspiracy

written by: Steve under News Comments: Comments Off

Poker payment processor Ira Rubin plead guilty to three separate charges on Tuesday, and  became the second person indicted on Black Friday to plead guilty. Rubin plead guilty to Conspiracy charges for his role in processing online poker payments from PokerStars, Full Tilt poker, and Absolute Poker. The 53 year-old was arrested in Guatemala last year after hiding from Canadian authorities in Latin America since 2008, over a Telemarketing Fraud conviction.

Rubin allegedly was the mastermind behind setting up payment processors to handle online poker transactions and disguising them as online merchant sales. He will face sentencing on May 17, 2012. By pleading guilty to the Conspiracy charge and two other charges, Rubin avoids going to trial where he faced a total of nine counts and a potential sentence of up to 55 years in prison –his plea-bargain will see Rubin sentenced to anywhere from 18-24 months in prison; there is no word on whether the Canadians are interested in extraditing him on the previous charges.

After being detained in Guatemala soon after being indicted last April –allegedly attempting to flee to Thailand in the wake of the Black Friday indictments– Rubin has been in custody ever since, as an obvious flight risk. Rubin’s guilty plea comes on the heels of Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Beckley pleading guilty back in December, and could be the death knell for the other indicted individuals if both a site’s founder and the payment processor are working with the authorities.

 

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Jan 18 2012

Players split $1 million Bad-Beat Jackpot on Merge Gaming Network

written by: Steve under News Comments: 2

According to a report on PokerFuse.com the Bad Beat Jackpot has been triggered on the Merge Gaming Network after two players met all of the qualifications the site specifies. The Jackpot had grown to eclipse the $1 million mark, making this one of the largest payouts Bad-Beat payouts in poker history.

The players responsible for the Bad-Beat Jackpot were playing in a $1/$2 Limit Holdem Game where one player saw his Quad 7’s cracked by another player’s Quad Queen’s. The loss netted the player with Quad 7’s the bulk of the jackpot money, collecting $335,000, while the winning player in the hand received a six-figure payout of his own, $177,000. Each of the other players dealt cards at the beginning of the hand received a little over $25,000 simply for being in the right place at the right time.

Only 70% of the jackpot goes to the players: Merge Gaming keeps 10% of the total jackpot for “Administration Costs” and the remaining 20% is used to start the new Bad Beat Jackpot.

Here is a look at the stipulations that must be met in order to trigger the Bad Beat Jackpot at the Merge Gaming Network:

  • The game must be on a specified “Bad Beat Jackpot” table
  • At least four players must be dealt in at the start of the hand
  • The hand must go to showdown
  • A minimum rake of $.50 must be collected
  • The losing hand must be four 7’s or better
  • Both the Winner and Loser must use both hole-cards in their hand

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Jan 17 2012

Lock Poker signs former Red Pro Melanie Weisner

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Melanie Weisner has been on my “Players to Watch” list for the past few years, and apparently I’m not the only person who thinks Weisner is one of the top up-and-coming talents in the poker world considering she has already been signed as a Red Pro by Full Tilt Poker, and the Texas native is now the newest member of Lock Poker’s Team LockPRO ELITE roster.

Just how big does Lock Poker think Weisner can be in the poker world? Well, she now graces the home page of the Lock Poker site!

Weisner joins a growing contingent of sponsored players at the Merge Gaming Network poker site, including European poker stars like Chris Moorman, Kevin Vandersmissen, Leo Margets, Nicky Evans, Stevie Devlin, and Michael Drummond. Lock Poker also has a large stable of US poker pros like Matt Stout, Eric Lynch, Jason Young, Brett Jungblut, Casey Jarzabek, Greg Tiller, Jared Hubbard, and now Weisner.

In a press release, Lock Poker CEO Jennifer Larson heaped high praise on the newest member of Team ELITE, “Melanie is a perfect fit for Lock. Passionate, relentless in her dedication to the game and incredibly intelligent… Players like Melanie give us the true insight into the product and player experience that we need to become the best. Partnering with our players is the true path to greatness.”

It seems the feeling is mutual as the press release quoted Melanie as saying, “I am thrilled to join a team of world-class players and talented peers such as Chris Moorman, Matt Stout and Leo Margets… I feel very honoured to be a part of this exciting and growing brand, and look forward to representing Lock around the world.”

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Jan 16 2012

Freddy Deeb wins WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino

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Freddy Deeb was a last minute entrant in the inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit Series Main Event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California; registering on Day 2 of the tournament and being handed a 20 Big Blind stack of chips, Deeb scratched and clawed his way through Day 2, and squeaked into the final table on Day 3 as the chip-leader!

The long-time high-stakes poker pro can now add a WSOP Circuit Series ring to his long list of career accomplishments which includes the $50k Players Championship in 2007 at the WSOP, the 2005 WPT Ultimate Poker Classic, and the 2010 WPT Paris High-Roller tournament. Deeb also won a bracelet in 1997 at the WSOP and has nine other Top 5 finishes in WSOP tournaments.

The $1,500 buy-in Main Event attracted 549 poker players; a very lofty number considering the slew of poker pros that headed to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), or playing in the inaugural World Poker Tour (WPT) Ireland, and of course those that have been making travel plans for the Aussie Millions.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the WSOP Circuit Series Bicycle Casino Championship:

  1. Freddy Deeb — $171,810
  2. Alex Masek — $106,185
  3. Leroy Spires — $77,570
  4. David Singontiko — $57,505
  5. Tong Le — $43,245
  6. Brandon Crawford — $32,900
  7. Tsung Lu — $25,520
  8. Julie Franks — $20,025
  9. Vince Cardella — $15,935

 

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Jan 15 2012

Controversy on opening Day of 2012 Aussie Millions

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Apparently two of the 257 players that participated on Day 1a of the opening tournament of the 2012 Aussie Millions (a  $1,000 buy-in No Limit Holdem event with three starting flights) thought they were playing online, which is the only conclusion I can come to for their attempt to pull the “old switcheroo” on their fellow players and the Aussie Millions staff.

Sometime during a table break, a player who had been eliminated switched places with another player in the tournament who would be unable to participate on Day 2 of the tournament. The scheme has all the hallmarks of an account buy from an online poker site when a less experienced player makes a deep run in a big tournament, only this time around the players were hoping on the large field size and the general upheaval associated with table breaks to hide their ruse.

The scheme was discovered by an alert member of the floor staff and was later verified by the Crown Casino’s security cameras. Both players (who remain unnamed) were eliminated from the tournament and will be looking at a lengthy suspension from the Crown Casino according to Card Player Magazine.

Interestingly, the tournament utilizes a repechage format (which is just another name for a re-entry event where players who have been eliminated on Day 1a can enter again on Day 1b or Day 1c, or players eliminated on Day 1b re-entering on Day 1c) so the eliminated player could have simply taken another shot the next day, assuming they had a spare $1,000 of course!

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