Weekly Poker Roundup: January 22, 2018
Betcoin Re-Opening Online Poker Room
On Christmas, Bitcoin online gambling site, Betcoin.ag, closed its online poker room. While the reasons for the closure were murky, Betcoin said it was because the site had been acquired by another company (the ownership situation is also murky).
Well, now Betcoin’s online poker room is coming back. And like the reason for closing, the reason for re-opening it is a little strange. In a post on its website, Betcoin said that it tried to calculate the amount everyone had contributed to the old bad beat jackpot so that those contributions could be refunded, but it was unable to do so with “100% accuracy.”
Therefore, the poker room is re-opening and the bad beat jackpot will pick up from where it left off. This time, though, the requirements for hitting the jackpot will decrease over time until it is hit. It sounds like once it is hit, the bad beat jackpot will no longer be run. The poker room will open “the week of 26, January 2018,” whatever that means.
$1 Million Bad Beat Jackpot Hit at Motor City Casino
In other bad beat jackpot news, a BBJ of more than $1 million was hit at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino on January 16th, making it the largest such jackpot in United States history. The largest in North American history was hit last August at Montreal’s Playground Poker Club for $1.2 million.
One reason the BBJ got so high at Motor City was because the requirement for activation was very strict: quads over quads. It had to be four-of-a-kind beating four-of-a-kind. Not a straight flush beating a four-of-a-kind or Royal flush beating four-of-a-kind, but just quads beating quads, which narrows the possible hands greatly.
In the hand, with a BBJ of $1,068,590.80, a man named Scott saw his pocket Threes turn into quad Threes, while Kenneth started with pocket Queens and ended up with quad Queens. As the loser of the hand, Scott won 40 percent of the jackpot: $427,452.52. Kenneth won $213,712.76 as the winner of the hand (in addition to the regular pot he won). The other four players at the table each received an equal share of the rest of the jackpot, $106,856.28.
Spain, France Begin Shared Poker Liquidity Era
Last year, Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal signed an agreement to share online poker player liquidity. Previously, all four countries had “ring fenced” their poker players, restricting them to online poker tables populated only by players from the same country. On January 16th, Spain and France became the first of the quartet to officially merge their player pools.
That unification began with PokerStars, which was the first online poker room to combine players from the two countries onto one site. In a press release, PokerStars said, in part:
Having a strong, competitive regulated offering – which comes from combining player pools – has proven to be attractive to consumers who might otherwise be choosing to play on un-licensed and potentially un-safe sites. We’re looking forward to extending this to Italian and Portuguese players, and offer our full support to the relevant authorities in those countries to do so. In particular, we would encourage Italy to resume their drive toward shared liquidity which after a good start has recently slowed considerably.
Portugal is expected to join Spain and France in the near future, though it is unclear when, exactly, that might be. As for Italy, reports are that it is lagging way behind, to the point that there is a question as to whether or not it will ever join its neighbors. As of late 2017, word was that Italy hadn’t even started the bidding process for the new online poker licenses.
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