Weekly Poker Roundup: December 18, 2017

Michigan House Committee Passes Online Gambling Bill

A bill which would legalize and regulate online gambling in Michigan recently passed the state’s House Committee on Regulatory Reform. HB 4926 was introduced in September by Rep. Brandt Iden, who wanted it to pass the House by Thanksgiving. That was a cute wish, but hey, at least it has made progress.

Operators would have to pay $100,000 to apply for an online gaming license. The licenses would be good for five years; the first year’s licensing fee would be $200,000 and then $100,000 per year after that.

Two amendments were made to the bill in committee. The tax rate on gross gaming revenue was lowered from 15 percent to 10 percent and gaming servers would be required to be located on the premises of a casino. The latter, according to Gambling Compliance’s Chris Krafcik, may be an effort to make sure online gambling is constitutional (Michigan constitution, that is), as online gambling could be interpreted as taking place in a casino and therefore not an expansion of gambling, but rather just a new gaming offering by casinos.

Grand Poker Network Down Since Early November

In early November, players on the U.S.-facing Grand Poker Network – comprised of 5Dimes.eu (5Dimes founded the network), Island Casino, VietBet.eu, SportBet, and GrandPoker.eu – reported the inability to connect to the network’s servers. A month-and-a-half later, the network is still down.

The site ProfessionalRakeback.com reached out to Grand Poker’s customer service early on and received a variety of excuses: the network was moving servers, the network was down for maintenance, and rep even said the network was actually closing. In the meantime, players are left wondering what is going on and whether or not their money is safe (the answers are “I don’t know” to each, but considering the sites also have casinos and sports books, we’re guessing their money is still there).

A few days ago, ProfessionalRakeback.com got another answer from one of the site’s poker department contacts, who said, “We are experiencing technical issues and improving security for all players – we expect to have poker back online within a month.”

So a two to two-and-a-half month outage because of a technical issue? That’s one hell of a bug.

Ryan Tosoc Wins WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Ryan Tosoc won the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event, triumphing over a tournament record field of 812 entries. For his victory, Tosoc received a first prize of $1,958,065.

Other than the achievement of winning a WPT title, the amazing thing about Tosoc’s championship was that he finished second in this very same event last year. It’s hard enough to cash in a major tournament two years in a row, but Tosoc came in first and second? That’s insane.

“It feels unreal,” Tosoc told WPT.com. “I kind of feel like I’m in a dream right now.”

On the final hand, Tosoc had a prohibitive chip lead, 21.450 million chips to 2.925 million for Alex Foxen. Tosoc raised pre-flop and Foxen moved all-in with A-T. Tosoc called with Q-T, way behind in the hand and looking like he was going to double-up his opponent. The flop of 9-3-K gave Tosoc an inside straight draw and sure enough, he hit that Jack on the turn. Foxen himself then had a straight draw, but the straight never manifested itself and Tosoc had his WPT title.

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