Weekly Poker Roundup: August 27, 2017
New Jersey Poker-Theme Lottery Game Cancelled After Three Days
A New Jersey man who thought he won $150,000 in a poker-themed lottery game earlier this month had to be told he didn’t because the game’s rules did not jive with the actual rules of poker.
The scratch-card game, “High Card Poker,” launched on August 7th in New Jersey. Robert Chalet bought one of the $5 cards, which requires you to beat the dealers hand with any of your eight five-card hands. The dealer’s hand was Q-T-7-6-4 and Chalet’s hand was Q-J-9-6-5, which is obviously better because of the Jack kicker. The prize: $150,000, of which there were only three amongst the nearly 4.4 million tickets that were printed.
Unfortunately, because of the rules of the lottery game, Chalet didn’t win. The rules state that in the event that both hands are playing a high card, the player’s highest card has to beat all of the dealer’s cards. Thus, Chalet technically tied with the dealer because kickers don’t count.
The New Jersey lottery cancelled the game on August 10th so as to avoid any more rules confusion. All unsold tickets were pulled from stores and any winning tickets that had been purchased were honored.
Bovada Re-Opens Online Poker Room
About a year after closing its online poker room, Bovada has brought it back. Last August Bovada sold its player base and poker business to Ignition Casino, a relatively unknown site.
Bovada will be available to players in the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. While the site obviously isn’t overly concerned with operating in a legal gray area, it is staying out of New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, likely because those three states have explicitly regulated online poker. Maryland residents are also out of luck.
Bovada will be on the PaiWangLuo Poker Network (formerly Bodog), along with Ignition and cousins Bodog.eu and Bodog88.com. It is unknown exactly why Bovada is re-opening its online poker room just a year after getting rid of it (along with all of its poker customers), but it is likely to get its sports bettors on the tables.
PokerGO to Stream North America-Based WPT Final Tables
Poker Central has announced that it has signed an agreement with the World Poker Tour to live stream the final tables of North America-based WPT Main Events on its young subscription service, PokerGO. PokerGO was introduced in May, debuting with live coverage of the Super High Roller Bowl.
Poker Central then got the poker world’s attention when it made a deal with the World Series of Poker and ESPN to stream dozens of hours of the WSOP Main Event. ESPN broadcast a few hours of the Main Event each day plus the entire final table, but PokerGO essentially took control of the rest of the Main Event. The broadcast/streaming agreement also came part and parcel with the elimination of the November Nine.
In addition to the WSOP and now the WPT, PokerGO streams new live episodes of “High Stakes Poker,” a number of original series and programs, and re-runs of classic poker television.
GVC Holdings, Ladbrokes Coral Were Talking Merger, But are No Longer
The Financial Times reported this past week that talks between GVC Holdings PLC and Ladbrokes Coral about a possible combination have broken down. The discussions, which were largely held out of the public eye, would have had GVC, the parent company of partypoker, buy Ladbrokes Coral, one of the UK’s largest bookmakers.
Two sources close to the talks told the Financial Times that GVC was ready to offer Ladbrokes Coral 140p per share – which it saw as the company’s value – plus an extra 50p per share premium, putting the value of the total deal at £3.6 billion.
One of the reasons the deal never happened, the Financial Times speculates, is “….the UK government’s review into the gambling sector that is expected to be released this autumn.”
The fear here is that the government will get tough with fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), basically video gambling machines found in betting shops around the country. It is possible that the maximum bet on such machines will be cut drastically, which could cost Ladbrokes Coral hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
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