Weekly Poker Roundup: January 14, 2019

Ramon Colillas Enters PSPC for Free, Wins $5.1 Million

Ramon Colillas won the $25,000 PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) this past week, closing the book on a live event that was arguably promoted more than anything PokerStars has ever done. The coolest part of Colillas’s victory: he was in the event for free, having won a Platinum Pass for winning the Campeonato de España de Poker leader board, which tracked PokerStars-sponsored live tournaments in Spain. For doing well in some low buy-in tourneys in 2018, Colillas freerolled the PSPC and won $5.1 million. He had only won about $11,000 in live tournaments before that.

“We couldn’t have scripted a better outcome for the tournament and PokerStars congratulates Ramon and all of the competitors for making this an historic event,” said PokerStars’ Director of Poker Marketing, Eric Hollreiser. Ramon’s victory is a reminder that with a dream, some talent and a little luck, poker can change your life. We’re proud to have created a special experience for more than a thousand players, but especially for those like Ramon who had never previously dreamed of playing in such a tournament.”

Colillas was down more than 2-to-1 going into heads-up play against Julien Martini, but a dozen hands in, he hit a runner-runner full house after Martini had flopped a flush to himself take a 3-to-1 lead. It didn’t take much longer for him to finish off Martini and claim the title in the largest $25,000 buy-in tournament of all-time.

Online Poker Bill Introduced in New York Senate

After years of failure, another online poker bill has been introduced in New York. State Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced Senate Bill 18, which would legalize and regulate online poker, though it stays away from other forms of gambling, like sports betting and online casino games.

The bill would charge operators a one-time $10 million licensing fee and then a 15 percent annual tax on gross gaming revenue. Those eligible to apply for one of the eleven licenses would be those who already hold Class III gaming licenses or video lottery licenses.

Online poker bills have been introduced in the New York legislature since 2013. Bills did pass through the Senate by landslide votes in 2016 and 2017, but were unable to advance further. Another made it through the Senate Gaming Committee last year, but did not get to a full Senate vote. Clearly, legalized online poker in New York would be huge, as it is one of the most populous states in the U.S. A potential interstate network with New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, as well as Pennsylvania, which has yet to flip the switch on its poker sites, would be significant.

Thirteen More Events Announced for 2019 WSOP

The World Series of Poker has announced the structure and dates for thirteen more events, a few weeks after it released the key dates for the 2019 WSOP as a whole. A few of the events on this latest list are some of the closed events we see every year: Casino Employees Event, Ladies Event, and Super Seniors Event (though the Ladies Event technically allows everyone to enter, but charges men ten times more to play).

One new event introduced is the Mini Main Event, a $1,000 buy-in tournament that will span two days and start two days before the $10,000 Main Event. The idea behind this tourney is to mimic the Main Event as a warm-up for players. The one difference, aside from buy-in, is that the blind levels will only be 30 minutes, thus shortening the duration of the event.

The Colossus is also back in 2019, but the buy-in has been reduced from $500 to $400, making it the new cheapest tournament in WSOP history. It will now only have two starting flights, and has been moved to late June to make way for the Big 50 Event, the new opening weekend headliner.

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