Weekly Poker Roundup: July 16, 2017
Criminal Charges Against Bodog, Calvin Ayre Dropped
It looks like Bodog founder Calvin Ayre can finally step foot in the United States if he so wishes, as federal prosecutors have dropped illegal gambling and money laundering conspiracy charges against Ayre, his company, and three other Bodog officials, this according to CalvinAyre.com. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland original indicted Ayre in February 2012 on charges relating to Bodog’s offering of gambling services to U.S. customers from June 2006 through January 2012.
According to the site, “On July 14th, Chief Judge Catherine Blake of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland accepted a resolution that dismissed all of the felony charges against Calvin Ayre and Bodog. All of the charges against the other individuals were dismissed separately a short time ago.”
In the settlement, the U.S. government keeps $67 million it seized from the accounts of payment processors (this money was on its way to Bodog customers and Bodog made sure everyone still got paid) and Bodog has also been returned its Bodog.com domain in exchange for $100,000.
Ayre is a Canadian national with dual citizenship in Antigua and has stayed out of the U.S. because of this legal trouble. “I don’t see this settlement changing anything, as I’m happy with my life the way it is,” he said. “I’ll continue to focus on being an online gaming industry analyst, a tech investor and a philanthropist. But most importantly, I’m just going to continue enjoying life to the fullest.”
Absolute Poker Co-Founder Agrees to $300,000 Plea Deal
In other online poker legal news, also reported originally by CalvinAyre.com, Absolute Poker co-founder Scott Tom, will pay $300,000 to the U.S. government has part of his Black Friday plea deal. After staying out of the country to avoid prosecution, Tom finally returned to the U.S. in February to plead guilty to just a single misdemeanor charge of being an “accessory after the fact in the transmission of gambling information.”
The $300,000 he will pay in the plea deal represents “the amount of proceeds traceable to the offense,” an offense which covers a period of time from October 2007 to sometime in 2009.
Tom will be sentenced in late September. He can still be hit with prison time, but the plea deal will serve to decrease his punishment, provided he behaves in the interim. According to CalvinAyre.com, the potential prison time is now zero to six months with a fine range of only $250 to $5,000. Word is, according to the site, that Tom won’t have to serve any time behind bars.
The plea agreement and punishment has nothing to do with Scott Tom’s role in the Absolute Poker superuser scandal.
“Poker After Dark” to Find Second Life on Poker Central
Aside from actually playing online poker here in the United States, one of the things I miss about the poker boom is the array of poker programming that was on television. Fortunately, one of those shows will be returning in less than a month, though you will have to pay to watch it. Poker Central has announced that it is reviving the old favorite, “Poker After Dark,” and will begin airing it August 7th on its PokerGO subscription service.
“PokerGO’s vast content library will now include the return of one of the most beloved poker shows in the world as we continue our commitment to delivering premium live content our subscribers want to see,” said Poker Central president Joe Kakaty in a press release. “We plan to announce additional high stakes tournaments and original programming in the near future as we continue to build on the PokerGO offering.”
“Poker After Dark” was a Full Tilt Poker-sponsored show (most poker shows other than the WSOP and WPT were paid for by online poker rooms, specifically Full Tilt and PokerStars) which featured six pros paying a $20,000 buy-in to play in a winner-take-all Sit-and-Go. It aired in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday through Sunday; the first five days were episodes that showed us the competition, while the sixth day was a wrap-up.
Ali Nejad will return was the show’s commentator, joined by Nick Schulman.
Phil Ivey Highlights Ten Poker Hall of Fame Finalists
The Poker Hall of Fame has released the names of the ten finalists for this year’s Hall enshrinement after a public nomination process. Two will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
The finalists are, in alphabetical order: David Chiu, Mori Eskandani, Ted Forrest, Thor Hansen, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage, Huckleberry Seed, and David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
Ivey and Eskandani are first-time nominees; Ivey is considered a virtual lock to be one of the men elected to the Hall. The other eight have all been finalists at one time or another, with Pescatori, Savage, and Ulliott named as finalists last year.
It is now up to the voting panel to determine who makes it. The panel is comprised of the 27 living Hall of Fame members and 18 members of the poker media. Each person is given 10 votes to distribute as they wish. All 10 can go to one nominee, one can go to each, or they can be split up any which way.
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