Weekly Poker Roundup: April 3, 2016
2015 WSOP Champ Has Some Unique Opinions
There was no doubt when watching the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event that the eventual champ, Joe McKeehen, played a fantastic game and deserved to win. As a result of his victory, he became, like it or not, an ambassador of poker. In that role, he seems to have some improvements to make. Exhibit 1: his recent Twitter tirade.
Events with “early” starting times at the WSOP have historically started at noon. This year, the schedule has been adjusted so that many, instead, start at 11:00am. This is a change that virtually nobody cared about; if they did, they approved, as it meant that events would likely end earlier. McKeehen, though, thinks the one-hour shift is a moral offense against humanity. Somehow, the earlier starting time – which again, nobody has any problems with – is the fault of the poker media. He actually compared poker players to slaves and went on to say:
“The fact that the media has ANY say or impact on the players and how the tournament is ran is a fucking joke. They (the media) have nothing to do with how the tournament is played, they just report it, and 90% of them clearly don’t even try. The players have been getting shit on because of media ever since I started playing live poker so I guess it’s not a surprise.”
So…yeah. That’s an opinion, I suppose.
Amaya CEO Taking Leave of Absence from Company
Last week, we reported that Amaya CEO David Baazov was in a bit of hot water, having been charged with multiple insider trader-related counts by Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”). While we don’t want to speculate on whether or not those charges will stick (though where there’s smoke, there is often fire), they are a big enough deal that Baazov has decided to take a leave of absence from the company.
In a press release, Amaya said, in part, “Mr. Baazov is taking this leave voluntarily to focus on preparing an offer to acquire Amaya and to avoid a distraction for the company while he responds to certain allegations made against him by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the securities regulatory authority in Quebec. Mr. Baazov will remain a member of Amaya’s board of directors.”
It is interesting that Amaya listed his pending offer to purchase the company as the first reason for the leave of absence, as it seems like that is simply an attempt to put positive spin on the situation. Baazov still maintains his innocence.
While Baazov is attending to legal matters, Divyesh (Dave) Gadhia is taking his place as interim Chairman and Rafi Ashkenazi as Interim CEO.
Investor Suing Amaya
In related news to the above, Amaya, Baazov , and Amaya CFO Daniel Sebag have been named as defendants in a class-action lawsuit filed in the US Southern District of New York. The lawsuit, titled “Mattie v. Amaya Inc., et. al.,” was filed by an Amaya investor named Jason Mattie, who purchased 471 shares of the company during the June 8th, 2015 through March 22, 2016 class period.
The lawsuit points to the insider charges levied by the AMF as essentially the reason for the legal action. Basically, the allegations that the defendants made “false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects” caused Amaya’s stock price to rise when it otherwise should not have and gave investors false confidence in the company’s prospects. Once the insider trading allegations were made public, Amaya’s share price dropped 20 percent, taking investors’ money along with it.
Sebag was not amongst those charged with securities violations by the AMF.
Partypoker Joins the Lottery Sit-and-Go Game
Partypoker has launched its version of the Lottery Sit-and-Go with “Sit & Go Hero.” It is similar to other variations of this Sit-and-Go format in that the total prize pool is not known to the players until everyone has been seated and that the winner takes the bulk of the money, but partypoker adds its own twists.
Unlike other Lottery Sit-and-Go variants, Sit & Go Hero is four-handed, whereas others are three-handed. The winner in most cases receives 75 percent of the prize pool. The other 25 percent is used as a bounty on one random player’s head.
Prize pool multipliers are 2x, 4x, 6x, 10x, 50, 100x, 1,000x, and 10,000x. 99 percent of the time, the prize pool multiplier will be 6x or lower, though the most common multiplier will actually be 4x, rather than the expected 2x (probably because it makes it easier to split up the prize pool the way partypoker wants it). For the 50x, 100x, and 1,000x multipliers, the second and third place finishers also win some money and when the 10,000x jackpot is hit, second through fourth place each receive 15 percent of the prize pool, while the winner gets the rest.
Buy-ins are $1, $3, $5, $10, and $20.
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