Weekly Poker Roundup: August 6, 2017
888poker Launches Flopomania…But Nah
Twice in two weeks, 888poker accidentally introduced a new game in the low stakes cash game lobby before yanking it back out. The sudden appearance of Flopomania, most notably on Wednesday, confused players, particularly those who were seated at the tables when it was shut down (though 888 allowed the hands to finish).
Flopomania is a game almost exactly like standard Hold’em, with one big catch: there is no pre-flop betting. Instead, everyone posts and ante the action skips to the flop. Since Flopomania hasn’t been officially released, we haven’t heard why 888 has created this game, but one would guess it is to make hands faster (no pre-flop action) and create larger pots (more players will connect with the flop).
“888poker recently experienced a technical incident, which resulted in the accidental release of our new game called “Flopomania,” 888 posted on Twitter this past week. “It took us all by surprise as the game is in final testing. This highly anticipated game will be ready to launch in the upcoming weeks. We will make sure to take all measures needed to prevent any reoccurrence of such incidents in the future.”
MGM Opens NJ Online Poker Site
MGM Resorts International has launched an online poker room, PlayMGMpoker.com, in New Jersey. As MGM has partnered with GVC Holdings on the endeavor, the new poker site will use the partypoker software.
MGM owns the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, having purchased Boyd Gaming’s 50 percent share last year, so playMGMpoker will be on the Party Borgata network. This is one reason why the launch of the site is so interesting: MGM is essentially competing against itself. With the very recognizable MGM brand, though (and the likelihood that most people probably don’t realize that MGM and Borgata are related), it is possible that more poker players could come off the sidelines and start playing online, thus growing the New Jersey market.
MGM also simultaneously launched an online casino games site, aptly called playMGMcasino.com.
Amaya Changes Name to The Stars Group
Amaya Gaming, which owns Pokerstars, has changed its name to The Stars Group, reflecting how deeply the company is tied to its important brand. The company’s headquarters has also moved from Montreal to Toronto.
Amaya acquired PokerStars’ former parent company, Rational Group, in June 2014 for a whopping $4.9 billion. The purchase shocked the gambling world at the time, as the world’s largest online poker room, one of the giants of the entire gaming industry, was acquiring by a much smaller, relative unknown company who was better known for buying brands and flipping them than actually developing core gaming businesses.
The corporate name change will not affect shareholders. The stock ticker will change from AYA on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ to TSG on NASDAQ and TSGI on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but other than knowing that fact, shareholders won’t need to do anything.
World Poker Tour Announces WPT Japan
On Wednesday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced that Tokyo will be the location for its new tour stop, WPT Japan. This is the first time in its history that the WPT will visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
There will be four events from November 23rd through November 26th and it seems like none of them have a buy-in as none were mentioned in the press release. Additionally – and this might be the key clue – the press release states, “Prizes for all WPT Japan events will consist of packages to future WPT events. The WPT Japan Main Event winner will receive a package to both the Season XVII WPT Main Tour event in Beijing, plus another WPT event of their choice in the Asia-Pacific region.”
If there were buy-ins, prizes would be cash like in any other tournament. Specifically saying that the prizes are tournament packages probably indicates that there is no real prize pool and therefore no buy-ins.
“Japan is a truly spectacular place, and the Japanese poker market is a flourishing one that deserves to be showcased on a global stage such as the World Poker Tour,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “Having spent a considerable amount of time in Japan, I strongly encourage poker players of all levels from around the world to come to Japan and experience first hand everything this beautiful region has to offer.”
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