Categories: Poker

Weekly Poker Roundup: December 25, 2016

PokerStars Introduces “The Deal” Mini-Game

In a continuing effort to appeal to casual gamblers, PokerStars has launched “The Deal” mini-game. For those excited to try out a new poker game, you will be sorely disappointed. “The Deal” is strictly a no-skill StarsCoin sink.

There are two buy-in levels for “The Deal”: 7 StarsCoin and 70 StarsCoin. The higher buy-in offers a chance for better prizes. The game itself is simple and requires no upper-level brain function at all. Seven cards are presented and the player chooses two to discard. The remaining five cards are flipped over and there it is: we have a poker hand! The strength of the hand determines the prize. Prizes range from a single StarsCoin up to three-figure sums of cash.

A Royal Flush (and a Straight Flush at the 70 StarsCoin buy-in level) gives the player a shot at the Jackpot Round. In the Jackpot Round, the player spins a wheel with eight spaces with prize values of $500, $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, and jackpot. The jackpot is of the progressive sort, increasing every time someone doesn’t win. When someone does hit it big, they win half the jackpot. The other half is split amongst all the players who tried their hand at the jackpot within the previous 12 hours.

Andrew Lichtenberger Starts Online Poker Room

Poker pro Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger has launched an online poker site, appropriately named Right now, it is only open for cash game play in the UK, but Lichtenberger has said that they are working on getting licensing for real money games. In an announcement on Twitter, Lichtenberger said:

Our team will continually be updating artwork, user interface and various system functionalities as we move forward. If anyone has any ideas or input they would like to share please do not hesitate to do so. Our vision is simple – a poker site by the players for the players with low rake and great rewards. We have been sharing our platform with the international gaming community and intend to create as large a player pool as international law’s allow for.

The poker site indicates that it has already gone through intensive review by the UK Gaming Commission, including a check of its random number generator and card shuffling algorithm.

Judge Rules Against Santa Ysabel Tribe in Online Bingo Case

Judge Anthony J. Battaglia of the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued an opinion last week, ruling that the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel was in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) by offering real money online bingo to people outside of tribal territory. As such, a temporary injunction against the tribe and its gaming partners was made permanent.

Santa Ysabel opened Desert Rose Bingo, a real money bingo site, in November 2014, claiming that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) permitted it to do so. IGRA allows tribes to offer Class II gaming, which includes bingo and poker. Thing is, the gaming has to be on the tribe’s land. To get around that and offer the games on the internet, the tribe used some real spin: it said that players participating via a “proxy” and that all bingo action actually took place on tribal lands, not on the user’s computer.

Lawsuits were quickly filed by the federal and state government and Santa Ysabel shut down the site quickly. The judge’s recent opinion was more of a formality than anything. He saw through the proxy argument and said that the gambling had to take place specifically on tribal grounds to be legal.

Judge Orders Phil Ivey to Pay Borgata over $10 Million

In more legal news, U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman ordered poker pro Phil Ivey and friend Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun to pay the Borgata $10.130 million in damages in conjunction with the summary judgment issued against them in November in the “edge sorting” case.

As readers may remember, Ivey and Sun took advantage of miscut cards in a mini-baccarat game to make loads of money over several days in 2012. They were granted several requests by the Borgata, which allowed them (without the Borgata realizing it) to know what cards were coming by reading the asymmetrical card backs. This gave them an overwhelming advantage and the ability to win a king’s ransom.

In the judge’s ruling against Ivey and Sun, he essentially said that the defendants changed the fundamental odds of the game, making the game illegal according to New Jersey gaming law.

Dan Katz

Dan Katz, one of our poker experts here at, is a man with many interests. While he spends the majority of his down time hanging out with his family, he is also a self-proclaimed world-class fisherman who owns several sea vessels. Dan once caught a 70-pound marlin while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Although he hooks sea creatures on the daily, Dan is a big teddy bear and aims to protect nature at all costs; letting all his catches go at the end of the day.

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