Weekly Poker Roundup: July 31, 2018
Ali Fazeli Pleads Guilty to Ticket Resale Scam
Poker pro Ali Fazeli has pleaded guilty to one charge of federal wire fraud for his role in scamming people out of more than $6 million in a ticket resale scheme. Fazeli was originally indicted on two charges in March.
The plan that investors bought into was simple: Fazeli promised to buy loads of 2017 Super Bowl and 2018 World Cup tickets and then resell them for a profit. The investors would share in the proceeds. In an unexpected twist, though, Fazeli never bought any tickets, instead using the money for personal expenses and poker tournament buy-ins. Of course, he never told investors he did this, but rather said that the NFL wouldn’t let him resell tickets and that he was working on a settlement with the league.
CardPlayer reported that three of the investors were poker players Erik Seidel, John Juanda, and Zachary Clark, who sent Fazeli a combined $1.3 million. Fazeli’s sentencing is set for January 28th; he could see up to 20 years in prison.
PokerStars Deletes Showtime Hold’em
PokerStars removed Showtime Hold’em from its lobby this past Monday, ending its two-month run. The cancellation was not because of a lack of popularity; Showtime Hold’em was simply a temporary offering like Split Hold’em before it.
In Showtime Hold’em, the game went along just like any other hold’em game, save for one significant difference: when a player folded, his hole cards were turned face-up. This, of course, could drastically change the course of the hand, as everyone remaining now had more information. They knew if their draws were less likely to hit, if their Kings were less likely to be beat, etc. It also meant that everyone had a better idea how their opponents played, as there was no more hiding how tight or loose someone was.
PokerStars has hinted that the next limited-edition game will be “Unfold” or something like that. No further details have been given, but people are speculating that the game will allow players to get back into the hand after folding. We’ll see!
MPN Releases New Poker Client
The Microgaming Poker Network has launched a new poker software client called “Prima,” dubbed as such because of the original name of the network, Prima Poker. Many networks update their software, but Prima is complete rework, built from the ground up.
Microgaming’ Head of Product, Alex Scott, said on the MPN blog earlier in July that the previous poker client was built with an old, complex programming language that made it difficult for developers to understand each other’s code when changes were needed (though that speaks, to some extent, to the coders’ ability to write clean code). Now, if any changes or additions are made to the Prima client, they can be made once for all platforms combined.
Prima was rolled out to six of Microgaming’s skins on July 26th. Right now, the skins can choose what they want to do with it and generally, players will be allowed to stick with the old software if they want. Alex Scott has said, though, that he would like to see everyone on it by the end of the year.
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