Weekly Poker Roundup: December 24, 2018

2019 WSOP Schedule Previewed

The World Series of Poker has released the key dates for the 2019 WSOP. The 50th running of the poker festival will begin on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 and run through July 16th, 2019. To celebrate the anniversary, one of the first events will be the Big 50, a $500 buy-in, re-entry tournament in which everyone’s first entry is rake free. The prize pool is guaranteed to be at least $5 million, with $1 million minimum to the winner.

“We’re excited to commence our golden event,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.  “We expect our opening weekend Big 50 event to be one of the largest in our history, and certainly one of the best value tournaments ever offered.  This is part of our concerted plans to make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around.”

But who cares about that? You want to know about the Main Event. The $10,000 Main Event World Championship will begin July 3rd with the first of three starting flights and conclude on the final day of the WSOP, July 16th. Like in 2018, it will be broadcast by PokerGO and ESPN.

Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl

Isaac Haxton has won the Super High Roller Bowl Championship, earning $3.672 million. He entered the final table on Wednesday with a slight chip lead, holding 2.415 million chips to Stephen Chidwick’s 2.405 million. The final table consisted of seven players, a strange number for a final table, but those seven were the ones to cash out of the 36-entry field.

“This is my biggest score ever and easily the best accomplishment. This is the highlight of my tournament career,”

Haxton told Poker Central afterward.

Haxton had almost exactly $20 million in live tournament earnings before the Super High Roller Bowl. He obviously has loads of big scores, not the least of which was the one that put him on the poker map, a runner-up finish at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2007 for $861,789. Prior to the Super High Roller Bowl, Haxton’s largest cash was for more than $2.5 million when he finished second in the 2014 Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge.

Michigan Passes Online Gaming Bill

In a somewhat surprising development, the Michigan state legislature passed a bill to legalize online gambling late this past week. The Senate passed HB 4926 by a 33-5 vote, but the House didn’t pick it up until the next day. When it did, it passed, 71-35. It is now up to Governor Rick Snyder to sign the bill, which he is expected to do.

The bill legalizes online casino games and poker, but not sports betting. Sports betting is still a possibility for Michigan, but lawmakers wanted to make sure it received enough discussion instead of inserting it into the online gaming bill.

Revenues will be taxed at a rate of 8 percent plus a 1.25 percent tax from commercial operators which will go to Detroit. The licensing fee will be $200,000 for the first year and $100,000 per year after that; both tribal and commercial gaming operators can apply for licenses. If the governor does sign the bill into law, it will be at least 15 months before any internet gaming is up and running in Michigan.

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