Weekly Poker Roundup: December 23, 2017

GVC Holdings to Buy Ladbrokes Coral Group

The Boards of GVC Holdings PLC and Ladbrokes Coral Group plc have agreed to a deal which would see GVC acquire Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes Coral shareholders will receive 32.7p cash and .141 GVC shares for each Ladbrokes share they own. That amounts to 164.6p per share with an additional contingent payment of 42.8p per share. The total deal could be worth as much as £4 billion.

That contingency has to do with a regulatory review of betting terminals in the United Kingdom. It is possibly that the maximum wager on such terminals could be slashed, putting a significant damper on potential revenues for gaming firms.

GVC has been on an acquisition tear over the last few years, most notably purchasing bwin.party and therefore owning the partypoker brand. The company also owns Sportingbet. Ladbrokes Coral operates online poker and gambling sites, as well, but is best known for its online sportsbook and 3,500 brick-and-mortar sports betting shops in the U.K.

Bernard Lee Helps Boston-Area Homeless Families

Continuing an annual tradition, poker pro Bernard Lee teamed up with FamilyAid Boston to host a gift-giving event last weekend for 40 homeless families. Sponsored by Lee’s Full House Charity Program and held at the Perkins Community Center in Dorcester, the event saw Lee and his children give personalized gifts to the families, including 58 children. Lee accepted wish lists prior to the event in order to give the families what they truly wanted and also gave each mother a winter coat and duffle bag.

“It’s a privilege to link up with a century-old organization like FamilyAid, which has long stood for helping Boston residents and kids,” Lee said in a press release. “My program has become a family tradition, especially for my own two children, who are a huge reason for the program’s success. Our goal has always been to bring joy to New England families during the holiday season. More than anything, I love seeing the children smile when they receive the specific gifts they wished for. My family and I always look forward to this event.”

Founded in February 2011, Lee’s Full House Charity Program has distributed more than $75,000 in cash and items to children-focused charitable organizations throughout New England.

PokerStars Ditches PokerStars Championship, Festival Names, Brings Back European Poker Tour

If you were one of the many people who thought PokerStars’ decision to get rid of the European Poker Tour name – along with the other regional tour names – and reorganize it into the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival was, well, dumb, then you will be happy to know that PokerStars has reversed course and reinstated the EPT name. The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) and Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) are also back, as the PokerStars Championship and Festival become footnotes in live poker tournament history.

It appeared that one of the primary reasons for the move away from the European Poker Tour name was to make it easier to justify having events outside of Europe. One of the most popular stops on the EPT was the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is in the Bahamas (read: NOT Europe). But while some may have occasionally snickered at the PCA being on the “European” Poker Tour, I don’t think anyone really cared. The PCA name was actually changed to the boring PokerStars Championship Bahamas, but PokerStars reinstated the PCA name this summer.

PokerStars will also launch the $25,000 buy-in Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) at the 2019 PCA. As part of the year-long build-up to the event, PokerStars will award 300 “Platinum Passes” to players at live tournaments and through online tournaments and cash games. The Platinum Passes include a seat in the PSPC, a hotel stay, and travel cash.

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