Weekly Poker Roundup: February 19, 2017
Super High Roller Bowl Field Determined by Lottery
Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl is set for May 28th through May 31st at the ARIA in Las Vegas. The maximum capacity of the $300,000 is 50 players, 35 of which can register and 15 of which will be chosen by ARIA). As soon as registration opened, 54 players tried to sign up, which was not only more than the 35 open seats, but more than 50 allowed for the tourney, period.
To solve the problem, it was decided that the 35 players would be determined via a lottery. Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu – who also promotes Poker Central, hosted the drawing, and was coincidentally the 36th player chosen and therefore left out of the field unless someone drops out.
We won’t post the list of all 35 in this short space, but poker luminaries who were excluded (and were ready to put the money down) include Dan Colman, defending World Series of Poker Player of the Year Jason Mercier, Mike Watson, Dan Shak, and Nick Petrangelo.
Ema Zajmovic Cements Spot in Poker History Books
Several women came close in the last couple years, but it wasn’t until this past week that Ema Zajmovic made history, becoming the first woman to win an open World Poker Tour Main Event. In winning the WPT Playground Main Event at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, she won CAD $241,500 (USD $183,789). Zajmovic was actually the last female to make a WPT final table before this, finishing fifth at WPT Montreal at the very same venue.
Zajmovic began the final day of the tournament as the chip leader of the ten remaining players and went into the official six-handed final table second in chips. She began heads-up against Jean-Francois Bouchard behind, but after trading the chip lead a couple times, she took over and raced to victory.
Afterward, she told WPT.com of her historic victory, “The funniest and nicest part of this experience was all the women who came and were so supportive of me. It was amazing. When I started playing poker, there was so much competition between girls. It was hard to be good and be supportive of each other. Now it has evolved so much and it is nice to see I had support from older women, younger women.”
Online Poker Bill Passes First Committee in NY Senate
Online poker is giving it another shot in the New York state legislature and so far, it’s going pretty well. State Senator John Bonacic introduced Senate Bill 3898 last month and last week, it cruised through its first committee. On Tuesday, the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering voted it through by a unanimous 11-0 vote.
The same bill by Bonacic (different number) passed an entire Senate floor vote easily last June – 53-5 – but it never even got that far in the state’s Assembly. Oddly, it was the bill’s biggest supporter and sponsor in the Assembly, Rep. Gary Pretlow, who killed it, saying it didn’t have enough support.
It is expected that S3898 will have a relatively easy time in the Senate Committee on Finance and should probably be approved by the entire Senate at some point. We’ll see if legalized, regulated gambling makes any headway in the Assembly this year.
partypoker Withdraws from Czech Republic
Because of the country’s new online gambling laws that took effect on January 1st, partypoker has decided to temporarily halt its services in the country until it can acquire a Czech gaming license. On Thursday, partypoker customers in the country were greeted with the following message when logging in:
“You are either registered in or logged in from a jurisdiction where we do not allow the use of our product. If you want more information, or want to access your account, please contact Customer Care.”
Online gambling had been a grey legal area in the Czech Republic, with sites operating just fine without online poker or other gambling being explicitly legal. It now is legal, but only if an operator has been granted a license. PokerStars just launched its Czech site this past week after becoming the first international operator to acquire a license. Rather than risking legal trouble and fines, operators like partypoker and William Hill have decided to lay low until they can be licensed.
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