According to a recent PokerNews report (with information drawn from the Poker Fraud Alert forum), Borgata “Chipgate” criminal Christian Lusardi was released from federal prison on July 2016 after being sentenced to three to five years in late 2015. That report was apparently incorrect.
Poker journalist Jessica Welman did some research herself and found that Lusardi is still, in fact, residing in the Edgefield Federal Corrections Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina. That information can be corroborated by visiting the Bureau of Prisons website.
Lusardi is in prison for committing a bizarre crime in 2014. At a $500 Borgata Winter Poker Open tournament, Lusardi was amongst the chip leaders after Day 1, but it was because he introduced fake chips into the tournament. With the tournament was suspended, a seemingly separate incident took place at Harrah’s: a plumbing backup. As it turns out, it was related to the tournament, as it was caused by Lusardi attempting to flush 2.7 million in fake Borgata chips down the toilet of his hotel room. The cause was traced back to Lusardi, who was eventually tracked down and apprehended.
Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas has introduced a bill that would legalize poker in the Commonwealth by classifying it as a skill game. This would affect land-based poker games and does not have to do with online poker.
Currently, “illegal gambling” is defined by the Virginia Code as being “….dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance….”
Sen. Lucas’ bill, S 1400, would add a sentence separating poker from the chance crowd, reading, “Poker games shall be deemed games of skill, and nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to make any such game illegal gambling.”
Sen. Lucas has been a strong proponent of legalizing casino gambling in Virginia, as she is concerned that more and more people are spending their disposable income at out-of-state casinos. Of specific concern is the December opening of MGM National Harbor in Maryland, literally minutes from the Virginia border and Washington, D.C.
The Global Poker Index (GPI) announced that it has made some tweaks to its scoring formula in order to try to make its live tournament rankings more fair. The changes were previewed in June 2016, but finally took effect on January 10th, 2017.
The GPI didn’t give the absolute nitty-gritty on how the scoring formula will specifically change, but rather discussed it on a more general level. There were two main changes. The first is that the minimum field requirement was increased from 21 to 32. This is in response to the growing popularity of high roller events amongst pros; these tournaments naturally have very small fields, theoretically making it easier (despite the tougher competition) to cash. Many pros have used high rollers – purposely or not – to score many of their GPI points. The second change is that events with buy-ins under $1,500, what some might call the more “normal” tournaments, will see a boost in their scoring output, giving those who don’t participate in high roller events more of a shot to move up in the GPI rankings.
In a press release, GPI Head of Poker Content Eric Danis said, “With the ever-changing poker landscape, we recognized that a revamp was required, more than the standard adjustment we usually already make on a yearly basis. We listened to the players and are convinced that this is the way to go; the updated scoring process will see successful players at most buy-in levels rewarded in our rankings.”
The World Series of Poker has not released its full schedule yet – that is coming some time in February – but it did recently announce the schedule for its “flagship weekend anchor events.” The WSOP has tailored its schedule to put what it anticipates to be some of the most popular events on the weekends in order to encourage as strong of a turnout as possible. They are mostly lower buy-in events and will therefore be populated by many recreational players, so having them start on the weekend makes it easier for people to get time off from work in order to participate.
There are six weekends on the calendar during the 2017 WSOP, which runs from May 30th through July 17th. The weekend anchor events are as follows:
$565 Colossus III – Friday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 4th starting days
$1,500 Millionaire Maker – Saturday, June 10th through Sunday, June 11th starting days
$1,000 Seniors Championship – Friday, June 16th starting day (10:00am)
$1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship – Sunday, June 18th starting day (10:00am)
$1,500 Monster Stack – Saturday, June 24th and Sunday, June 25th starting days
And then, of course, there is the 2017 WSOP $10,000 Main Event, which will have three starting days: Saturday, July 8th through Monday, July 10th. It will run until July 17th, at which point the November Nine will be finalized.
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