Weekly Poker Roundup: November 6, 2015
SealsWithClubs Founder Bryan Micon Gets Two Years’ Probation
Bryan Micon was handed a sentence of two years’ probation this week for his role in running the former Bitcoin online poker room, SealsWithClubs. Micon will also relinquish a number of things that were taken from his home by law enforcement officials in February, including $900 cash, electronics, and 3.0996 Bitcoins.
SealsWithClubs shut down in February 2015, following a raid of Micon’s home by armed law enforcement and agents of the Nevada Gaming Commission. In a video, Micon told the story of how he was led out of his house in handcuffs, wearing only his underwear, while his house was searched for eight hours. He was not charged with anything or arrested at the time. Shortly thereafter, he moved his family to Antigua and launched SwCPoker.eu.
The Nevada Attorney General’s office did finally charge him with a felony count of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system in April. Micon was going to fight the charge, but eventually returned to Nevada in June to plead guilty to a misdemeanor version of the crime, which allowed him to avoid jail time. He must remain in the U.S. until his probation is over.
GPI World Cup Coming Together
The Global Poker Index (GPI) held the first Global Poker Masters this past March and with its success, plans to give it another go at the end of 2016. This week, the GPI revealed some of the changes to the team poker competition, not the least of which is a new name: the GPI World Cup.
The number of teams will be increased from eight to twelve and will be split into three equal divisions. Teams will play each team in its own division once, with the division winner advancing to the final four. The remaining nine teams will face off in a playoff round to determine the last final four qualifier.
The GPI World Cup Rankings will be used to determine which countries are represented in the event. The top ranked team from four regions – North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific – will earn a bid into the GPI World Cup, along with the defending champ, Italy. The seven highest ranking teams remaining will fill out the lineup.
A country’s score in the GPI World Cup Rankings will be composed of that nation’s top seven individual players in the GPI World Poker Rankings plus its top three players in the national Player of the Year standings.
WSOP Finds No Cheating in Valeriu Coca Case, Awards Prize Money
Valeriu Coca, a Moldovan poker player who was accused of cheating following a fifth place finish in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event at the 2015 World Series of Poker, has been cleared of the charges by the WSOP and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The little-known player drew the ire of his opponents, which included successful players such as Connor Drinan, Pratyush Buddiga, and Aaron Mermelstein and Matt Marafioti. Drinan went on Two Plus Two calling Coca out, saying that the way he constantly checked his cards from different angles looked suspicious and then when Coca wouldn’t make any incorrect moves, it seemed like Coca had been marking the cards.
Because of the seriousness of the accusations from a multiple players, the WSOP withheld Coca’s $54,545 in winnings in order to launch an investigation, which included forensic analysis of some of the cards. In a statement released last week, WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky said:
“Once issues were brought to our attention, we immediately commenced an investigation and worked cooperatively with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The investigation that was performed has now been completed by all parties. At this time, the matter is considered closed and the 5th place finisher in Event #10 will now have his funds released for payment.”
WSOP November Nine Begins Sunday
After a four-month hiatus, the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event will wrap up in a few days. On Sunday, November 8th, the “November Nine” will meet in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas to begin the final table. The proceedings will begin at 5:00pm local time and will be broadcast on ESPN with a 30 minute delay. The plan for Sunday is to play until just four players remain and then come back Monday to play down to two, but things could change depending on how long it takes to get to those points. The heads-up match for the coveted bracelet and about $7.7 million will be on Tuesday.
Joe McKeehen is the odds-on favorite, as his mountain of chips dwarfs all others. With 63.1 million chips, McKeehen has nearly as many chips as the next three players combined. A bit of history will be made at the final table, as well, as both Pierre Neuville and Neil Blumenfield broke Steve Gee’s record as the oldest member of the November Nine. Gee was 57 when he reached the final table in 2012; Neuville is 72 and Blumenfield is 61-years old.
Here is a look at the seating arrangements and chip counts:
- Seat 1: Zvi Stern — 29,800,000
- Seat 2: Pierre Neuville — 21,075,000
- Seat 3: Joshua Beckley — 11,800,000
- Seat 4: Max Steinberg — 20,200,000
- Seat 5: Thomas Cannuli — 12,250,000
- Seat 6: Joe McKeehen — 63,100,000
- Seat 7: Patrick Chan — 6,225,000
- Seat 8: Federico Butteroni — 6,200,000
- Seat 9: Neil Blumenfield — 22,000,000
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