Weekly Poker Roundup: August 7, 2018
Antonio Esfandiari to Fight Kevin Hart
Alright, so admittedly this is a stretch for poker news, but it involves a poker player and is weird as hell, so why not? Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari and comedian/actor Kevin Hart are going to duke it out in a boxing match in March. They are good friends, so the match is all in good fun, but still, I have no plans to trade face punches with any friends of mind.
Esfandiari told TMZ that Hart is a much better athlete than he is, so he is a huge underdog. In fact, Hart gave Esfandiari 35-to-1 odds on a bet whose amount has not been disclosed.
The match will go three 3-minute rounds, but Esfandiari doesn’t think there is any way that he will beat Hart in a decision. He will have to land a lucky punch and put Hart on the mat.
“But no matter how much I train, Kevin will always be stronger and faster,” Esfandiari told CardPlayer Magazine.
“The more I train the more of a chance I have to win. I know a ton of people will be watching this, so I don’t want to go in there and get my ass handed to me and get knocked out in five seconds. I don’t want to be that guy.”
Justin Bonomo, Fedor Holz Agreed to Chip-Chop Part of WSOP Big One Prize
Justin Bonomo has won about $25 million this year in live poker tournaments, $10 million of that coming with his victory in the 2018 World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop. He recently announced, however, that the prize he received was actually about $1.25 million less than the official number because he made a deal heads-up with Fedor Holz.
In a tweet, Bonomo revealed that the deal was made on $2 million of the $16 million in total prizes that were left when heads-up began. First place was due $10 million and the second place prize was $6 million, so each player was naturally guaranteed $6 million. Thus, there was $4 million still at stake. They split half of that based on the heads-up chip counts and competed for the other $2 million.
Holz had 62.44 percent of the chips in play, so the two men agreed that he would get $1,248,889 of the $2 million, while Bonomo got $751,111. Because Bonomo won the tournament, he ended up with $8,751,111.
Bonomo told ESPN that because of the high price of the buy-in ($1 million), he didn’t even own half of his own action. He didn’t give details, but he did sell a package on YouStake, where 235 people invested a total of nine percent of his buy-in, profiting nearly $700,000.
MGM Inks Major Online Gaming Deals
MGM Resorts International announced business deals that will allow it to greatly expand its online gaming footprint as various modes of gambling become legalized around the country. One was with GVC Holdings, which owns partypoker, bwin, Ladbrokes, and Sportingbet. The two companies will form a 50/50 joint venture to offer all sorts of gambling products: brick-and-mortar sports betting, online sports betting, online casino games, online poker, and more. This an extension of an existing business relationship, as MGM owns the Borgata in Atlantic City and partypoker powers the Borgata’s online poker site.
On the same day, MGM announced an agreement with Boyd Gaming in which they will share online gambling markets in which each has a land-based casino presence, as long as there are interactive gaming licenses available. MGM and Boyd both have casinos in Nevada and Mississippi, but there are thirteen other states in which only one of them has a presence. By letting each other piggy-back on their licenses, they will both greatly expand where they can offer online gaming and sports betting.
Speaking of sports betting, MGM also announced last week that it has been named the official sports betting partner of the NBA and WNBA. The deal is reportedly worth more than $25 million over three years.
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