Weekly Poker Roundup: April 16, 2017
Poker Central Links Up With NBC
Poker Central, once billing itself as the only 24/7 poker television network, has inked a deal with NBCUniversal Sports that will see Poker Central’s content distributed on NBC’s networks. According to Todd Spangler of Variety, the first program broadcast will be the Super High Roller Bowl, which will be held at ARIA in Las Vegas at the end of May.
Poker Central launched in October 2015 and though it was promoted as being some revolutionary all-poker television network, it has barely even been actually broadcast on television. For the most part, it has been relegated to online streaming through devices like Roku (which isn’t necessarily bad in this day and age, but that certainly isn’t traditional television).
In February 2016, Poker Central was finally able to get on “actual” television, signing a distribution deal with the regional Buckeye Cable Systems, but that was it. In December 2016, Poker Central announced that starting in 2017, it would be back to the internet streaming format.
Daniel Weinman Wins WPT Tournament of Champions
The fifteenth season of the World Poker Tour wrapped up last weekend with Daniel Weinman taking the big title, the WPT Tournament of Champions. This was the second season in which the season-ender took the Tournament of Champions format, an invite-only event open only to players who have previously won a WPT crown. As such, the last two ToC’s have been much smaller than the previous WPT Championships. There were only 66 players in the Tournament of Champions; ten years ago, there were nearly ten times as many.
“It feels incredible,” Weinman told WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage after the tournament. “I think I played some awesome poker today and I came out on top so I can’t really ask for anything more. It was a long three days, I was very sick the first day, I was kind of lucky to get through. But then I feel like I was able to focus on the last two days.”
Weinman won $381,500 for the tournament victory, PLUS (here we go) a 2018 Audi S5 Coupe, Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones from Monster, a Hublot King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch, a BBO Poker Tables custom poker table, a seat in Tiger’s Poker Night Presented by World Poker Tour, and a one-week stay with Wyndham Extra Holidays.
Ivey League to Halt New Video Publication
Ivey League, poker legend Phil Ivey’s poker training site, announced that it will stop posting new video lessons as of May. The notice came in a rather cryptic message on the Ivey League forum this past week:
With the current state of online poker as of May 1st we will no longer be posting new video content. The video library will remain online as we process prorated refunds for everyone who paid for yearly subscriptions. Month to month subscriptions can be cancelled anytime.
The “current state of online poker” is the odd thing about the announcement. What in the world does that mean? What is the problem with online poker currently that would make posting more videos a bad idea? One guess could be that the increased efforts by poker rooms to weed out professional grinders in favor of recreational players has hurt Ivey League’s customer base. Naturally, those who would pay for a subscription are unlikely to be just casual players, so maybe the site just wasn’t getting enough subscribers compared to what it cost to make the videos.
Bicycle Hotel Reopens After Law Enforcement Raid
The Bicycle Hotel and Casino reopened at 3:00am Pacific Time Wednesday after a raid by the Los Angeles High Intensity Financial Crime Area Task Force in which the law enforcement group was looking for evidence of money laundering. The Task Force is comprised of agents from ICE, the IRS, the California Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
No findings of the raid have been made public. No real details of the investigation have been made public, either, but it is believed that one area that agents are investigating is whether or not the casino allowed high rollers to exchange dirty money for casino chips, thus hiding their source.
Confirming the reopening of the casino 20 hours after the raid, the Bike said on its website, “The Bicycle Hotel & Casino is open and in full operation. We are serving our customers and have resumed normal operations. Our priority is to provide a safe and fun environment for our guests.”
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