Weekly Poker Roundup: March 12, 2016
More Payments to U.S. Full Tilt Players
The eighth wave of payments to former U.S.-based Full Tilt Poker customers has been announced by the Garden City Group (GCG), the company assigned to be the claims administrator by the U.S. Department of Justice. In a notice on FullTiltPokerClaims.com, GCG said, in part:
Petitioners who have disputed their FTP Account Balances and Petitioners designated by Full Tilt as “Professionals.” In all, this distribution includes payments to approximately 1,180 Petitions totaling approximately $2.6 million.
GCG has completed its initial review of all filed Petitions and, with this round of payments, we will have paid approximately 94% of those filed. GCG continues to work with the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) to evaluate the remaining Petitions.
Nearly five years after Black Friday, over 44,000 U.S. Full Tilt players have been paid back nearly $112 million.
RAWA Close to Bird Cage Lining
Just like its creator and benefactor Sheldon Adelson, it sounds like the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) may be nearly dead. According to Gambling Compliance the Las Vegas Sands CEO has shifted his focus from shutting down online poker in the United States to stopping offshore gaming sites from gaining footholds in America.
Though the mere existence of RAWA in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives has been a bit scary, as if a bill exists, it could become law, it never really got much of any support. It has been widely seen, even by Republican politicians, as “crony capitalism.” The hearings held on it were total jokes, particularly the last one, which went so badly for bill sponsor Rep. Jason Chaffetz that he temporarily left the hearing over which he was presiding.
Of course, Adelson’s camp is trying to spin it like RAWA has been a success. Vice president of government relations & community development for Las Vegas Sands and Adelson’s personal lobbyist Andy Abboud said of online poker, “It is the Edsel of gaming. It’s a bust. It’s a lemon. Nevada doesn’t even report [Internet poker revenue] anymore as a line item. It’s just added into poker numbers.”
The Poker Players Alliance warns that even though it looks like Adelson might not be pushing RAWA anymore, it is still a danger as long as it exists and that poker player should not stop fighting.
Dutch Appeals Court Rules Poker Game of Chance, Overturns Skill Game Ruling
The Amsterdam Court of Appeal recently reversed a lower court ruling that determined that poker was a game of skill and therefore not illegal gambling. In a case had been ongoing for almost a decade, Richard Blaas and Rene Kurver had been charged with violating Dutch illegal gambling laws for running a €10 re-buy poker tournament at the Cafe de Viersprong Bussum, which they owned.
The two, along with their attorney, Peter Plasman, had argued in lower courts that poker was a game of skill and therefore they were not violating any gambling laws. And they won with that defense…twice. The Court of Appeal decided, though, that since players have no control of what cards are dealt that poker is a game of chance. Therefore, running those low-stakes tournaments was illegal.
The two men were fined €1,250, but those fines were canceled because of how long the case has gone on.
Stefan Schillhabel Wins WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star
Stefan Schillhabel won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Friday night, banking $1.3 million in the process. He entered the six-handed final table as the prohibitive chip leader; his 8.71 million chips were more than the next two players combined. One of those players, Maria Ho, was gunning to become the first female to win an open WPT Main Event, but that obviously did not happen.
Ho, the manager of the Global Poker League’s L.A. Sunset, was actually the first player eliminated, when her A-K fell to Adam Geyer’s pocket Aces about five orbits into the final table. Geyer went off from there, eliminating both Griffin Paul and Andjelko Andrejevic simultaneously ten hands later. It was a hell of a suckout by Geyer, his A-9 winning over A-Q and A-K.
Schillhabel knocked out Bryan Piccioli on Hand 48 to reach heads-up with Geyer. The two finalists were about even in chips when the one-on-one match started. Heads-up took more hands than the rest of the final table did altogether. Schillhabel soon took a 2-to-1 chip lead, but Geyer fought back, evening things up once again. When Schillhabel was able to distance himself again, working his lead up to 3-to-1, it was basically all over. Geyer was unable to make another comeback. Geyer went all-in with K-9 on the final hand, called by Schillhabel and his 8-7. Geyer hit a King on the turn to seemingly lock up the hand and double-up, but Schillhabel stunningly hit runner-runner Eights to sink Geyer and win the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.
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