Weekly Poker Roundup: January 15, 2017
Might U.S. Attorney General-To Be Make Online Poker Illegal?
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus may be coming to an end in a few months, but the circus in Washington, D.C. is just beginning. Last week, the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees began; one of the first to emerge from the clown car was Senator Jeff Sessions, who is the nominee for U.S. Attorney General, despite being considering too racist for a federal judge position in 1986 (that’s an impressive amount of racism).
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the biggest enemies to online poker in the country and the man who has introduced RAWA in the Senate in the past, asked Sessions what he thought about the Wire Act clarification issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in late 2011. Sessions said the clarification, which opened the door for states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada to legalize and regulate online poker, “shocked” him and that he would “revisit” the decision if he becomes AG.
That statement has put the poker community on edge, is it certainly sounds like Sessions is anti-online poker. That said, he also doesn’t seem to know much about the Wire Act or poker, as he said, “Apparently, there is some justification or argument that can be made to support the Department of Justice’s position,” and that he has yet to carefully study the clarification.
Christian Harder Wins PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event
It is the start of the new year, so it is a time for new beginnings (I may have used that line before in another article, but whatever, I’m not looking it up – I’ll risk being unoriginal). The PokerStars Championship, which is effectively a re-branded European Poker Tour, had its first tour stop this month at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Emerging as the first Championship…uh…champion was Christian Harder, who won the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event and $429,664 after a heads-up deal.
Harder has been a mainstay on the live tournament circuit, frequently going deep into big events. Even now with $4.2 million in earnings, though, this was his first major tournament win. He has also been a big-time player online, with over $3.2 million in internet winnings, according to PocketFives.com.
This was Harder’s tenth straight visit to the annual festival in the Bahamas, which had been called the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure until now. Interestingly, when he finished seventh in 2008, he was financially backed by 2016 November Niner Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, the very same man he just defeated heads-up for the PokerStars Championship Bahamas title. Prior to heads-up play, the men worked out a deal in which Harder would receive $419,664 and Josephy would get $403,448, leaving $10,000 to play for.
Carl Icahn Willing to Sell Taj Mahal to AC Mayor
We reported a couple weeks ago (well, the New York Post did – we just repackaged that information for you) that billionaire investor Carl Icahn was reportedly in talks with casino operators to sell Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal casino. Either that report was incorrect or everybody is talking in code and not revealing their true plans, which very well might be the case.
Icahn recently told the Associated press that the Taj Mahal, which closed on October 10th, was not for sale. Shortly thereafter, when speaking to the press after his State of the City address, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian lamented what was going on with the Taj and how so many people were out of work because of its closure. He said that he hopes Icahn will sell it and “….and lets someone else come in and do it [rehab it and operate it again].”
To that Icahn, edited his previous comments, saying that he would be willing to sell the Taj to Guardian for $300 million, the amount of money he has allegedly lost on the property.
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