Weekly Poker Roundup: July 10, 2016
Portugal’s Regulated Online Poker Market Still Delayed
Regulated online poker is still on its way for Portugal, but it would not be surprising if the patience of Portuguese poker players is wearing thin. The new gambling laws, which legalized online poker and the licensing of operators, were finalized in the spring of 2015, but now, in the summer of 2016, the industry still has yet to launch. And it likely won’t get off the ground for another few months.
Part of the delay was natural: the regulations had to be approved by the European Commission. But in what came as a surprise to the online gaming industry, Portugal’s gaming regulatory body, SRIJ [Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos], announced in December that the Portuguese online gaming market would be segregated from the rest of the world, just like France’s, Spain’s, and Italy’s.
Fortunately, thanks much in part to the Portuguese Player Association, ANAon, the SRIJ reversed its decision, changing the regulations this spring to allow shared player pools. The reason no poker providers have been licensed, though, is because according to ANAon, SRIJ hasn’t even sent the new regulations to the European Commission yet and once they do, it can take a few months for the approval process to be completed.
WSOP Player Has Words for Chris Ferguson
Much has been made of the return of former Full Tilt board members Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer to the World Series of Poker, five years after Black Friday turned the poker world upside down. Thousands of poker players were without millions of dollars for years and though most of had their money returned by now, it was a painful experience for many, especially those who relied on the money to support themselves.
There hasn’t been too much in the way of confrontations reported between players and the two former Full Tilt execs, but recently, poker pro and author of the “Thinking Poker” blog, Andrew Brokos, had a run-in with Ferguson. As reported by Brokos on his blog, Ferguson joined his table during Flight C of the Crazy 8’s event. Brokos had $60,000 in Full Tilt funds in limbo for two years because of Black Friday and when he saw Ferguson sit, his “hands were shaking and my mind was spinning.”
He bit his tongue until another player busted out, shook Ferguson’s hand and said, “It’s an honor. Glad to have you back.”
At that point, Brokos said, “I don’t agree with that, for what it’s worth. Anyone else here have money on Full Tilt Poker?”
Nobody responded. After telling everyone, including Ferguson, that he had $60,000 tied up for two years, Ferguson had the gall to ask him, “And did you get it back?”
As if it wasn’t PokerStars that got us back our money. After a bit more calm back and forth, the conversation ended, Brokos even more angry than he was before. Eventually, and hopefully this will be some consolation for Brokos, he busted a short-stacked Ferguson.
WSOP Circuit Schedule Released
The World Series of Poker released the schedule for the 2016-2017 WSOP Circuit Series, a season which is set to be the biggest ever, with 22 tour stops confirmed in the United States and six more internationally. Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina will kick off the season and is the only stop on the schedule three times. There are two new locations in this coming season: Potowatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (February 2017) and Hard Rock Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma (March 2017).
Two-thirds of the tour stops on the international slate are making their debuts on the WSOP Circuit: St. Maarten, Berlin, Paris, and Uruguay. The WSOP has said, though, that as many as eight more international tour stops could be added, so what is already a sizeable schedule could get even larger.
The season will end at a yet-to-be-determined date and location with the Global Casino Championship, a $10,000 buy-in event in which the Circuit Main Event winners, casino champions, and the top 50 cumulative points earners for the season all earn freerolls into the event.
The complete (as of now) WSOP Circuit schedule can be found at WSOP.com.
Shuffle Up and Deal: WSOP Main Event Begins
And one more thing about the World Series of Poker: the $10,000 MAIN EVENT began on Saturday! Saturday was the first of three starting flights spanning three consecutive days. Players begin with 50,000 starting chips and will face two-hour levels with a 20-minute break after each level. Late registration ends after the third level, at which point there will be a 90-minute dinner break. A total of five levels will be contested.
The players who remain from Saturday’s Day 1A and Sunday’s Day 1B will play again on Day 2A and Day 2B on Tuesday, July 12th. Though the two “days” are on the same calendar day, the fields will be kept separate from each other. The survivors from Day 1C will play on July 13th in Day 2C. Those who make it through the first two days will combine into a single field starting on Day 3. The tournament will then continue until only nine players remain on July 18th, at which point the tournament will break until October 30th.
Day 1A is still going on, but if the current numbers are correct, 764 entrants signed up for the first flight. The numbers for the second and third starting flights should be much greater, as is always the case. Day 1C is expected to easily be the largest, hence why Days 2A and 2B are on the same day and Day 2C is all by itself.
Last year’s field was 6,420 players strong. Joe McKeehen emerged as the champion, winning $7,683,346.
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