Weekly Poker Roundup: December 31, 2017 (Happy New Year’s Eve!)
Charities Can Sell Raffle Tickets Online with New NY Law
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill into law which will allow charitable organizations to accept credit and debit cards for raffle ticket sales, as well as sell raffle tickets online. As one might guess, charity raffle tickets have previously only been able to be purchased for cash and sales must be done in person. The bill was signed December 18th and goes into effect six months later.
While not a exactly a poker story, this seemingly minor adjustment to charitable gaming law does have some in the poker community optimistic that it may be a good sign for the future of online poker in the state. Daily fantasy sports were legalized in 2016 after DraftKings and FanDuel had a rough legal battle with the state and sports betting was authorized at the New York’s commercial casinos. And while poker obviously hasn’t made it that far, a bill did pass the Assembly in 2017 and more efforts are expected in 2018. It appears that lawmakers are softening to gambling expansion; perhaps it will become more difficult to keep denying online poker.
The charity raffle expansion was spearheaded by the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the charitable arm of the NHL team. The team, as well as many professional sports teams in the U.S., holds a 50/50 raffle at every home game in which the winner receives half the pot and the Foundation receives the offer to be used for its charitable efforts. Being able to do more than just accept cash at games should allow the Foundation to raise a lot more money.
Martin Jacobson Signs with 888poker
29-year old Martin Jacobson, the winner of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, has signed with 888poker as one of the site’s poker ambassadors. He joins other notable names such as Kara Scott, Chris Moorman, Dominik Nitsche, and Sofia Lövgren.
“They are a world leader when it comes to innovation within the game,” Jacobson told 888poker’s online magazine when explaining his decision to join up. “Implementing the ‘Action clock’ to all their Main Events and High Roller tournaments was the act of a market leader. Moreover, they have shown an intense interest in listening to the players and facilitate accordingly.”
He reiterated his appreciation for 888’s attention to its customers, saying:
“888poker has shown a rare willingness to listen to the players to improve their product and services,” says Jacobson. “With my years of experience and understanding of the poker landscape, I will be able to help them achieve their goals with much better accuracy.
“After a few years on the down low, poker is finally booming again. With this partnership, we will both be able to accomplish our shared mission of growing the game to its full capacity and making sure that everyone gets the best experience possible.”
888poker currently ranks fourth in the world in terms of cash game traffic, according to PokerScout.com, with a seven-day average of 1,200 players.
Betcoin.ag Closes Bitcoin Poker Room
It wasn’t the merriest of Christmases for those who enjoyed playing poker on the Bitcoin gambling site Betcoin.ag, as the site closed its online poker room on December 25th. Bitcoin and other cyber currencies have grown in popularity for U.S.-facing poker rooms because they are exchanged outside of the regulated banking system and therefore free of anti-online poker restrictions.
Betcoin’s explanation for the poker room closure is that it has been acquired by another company. Nobody really knows who owned Betcoin and who now owns Betcoin, but that is the reason.
“Betcoin.ag has been acquired and we regret to inform you that the new Betcoin will be discontinuing its poker service as of Monday, December 25, 2017,” the site said in a message to its poker players. “There are lots of fond memories to look back upon including the Betcoin Cage, the Daily Coin and hundreds of Bitcoin awarded in freerolls. We enjoyed posting about the achievements of our many players who hit it big with wins in major tournaments. But most of all, we have truly enjoyed providing a home to our great poker players these last 3+years.”
The site went on to say that while closing the poker room is disappointing, it hopes to maintain relationship with its customers through its sportsbook and online casino.
Adrian Mateos Makes Late Run to Grab POY Races
Adrian Mateos made a tremendous December live tournament run to end the year atop the major Player of the Year rankings, overtaking multiple players in the process, including year-long leader, Bryn Kenney.
Mateos made three final tables at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic and then cashed four times with three more final tables at the PokerStars Championship Prague. Heck, just before all of those, he ended November with a win in the $5,000 Eight Handed No-Limit Hold’em event at the Caribbean Poker Party.
Mateos needed about 2,000 points in CardPlayer’s rankings to overtake Kenney (as well as two others), and that’s assuming Kenney didn’t amass a bunch of points himself. The 2,118 points he earned look like they will be just enough to nab CardPlayer’s POY.
On the Global Poker Index, Mateos began December in fifth place. The GPI only counts a player’s 13 best scores and five of his seven December cashes found their way into Mateos’ GPI resume.
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