Weekly Poker Roundup: May 1, 2016
PokerStars Releases Final NJSCOOP Schedule
I don’t think anyone doubted that PokerStars was going to dominate the New Jersey online poker market once it received the go-ahead to launch in the state, but the world’s largest online poker room isn’t messing around. This past week, Stars released the official schedule for the first-ever PokerStars New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), essentially telling its competitors, “Yup, we’re here. Best of luck.”
NJSCOOP will run Sunday, May 15th through Sunday, May 29th and will feature 27 dual-tournament events for a total of (carry the one…) 54 tournaments. Total guaranteed prize pools eclipse $1 million. Each pair of tournaments has a “high” and “low” buy-in so that players with different-sized bankrolls all have a chance to participate. In the first draft schedule that was published in early April, the low buy-ins were one-tenth the high buy-ins, but after receiving feedback, PokerStars changed many of those to one-fifth the high buy-in.
The NJSCOOP Main Event is Event #26, a No-Limit Hold’em event with a $500 buy-in at the high end and a $50 buy-in at the low end. Their guarantees are $200,000 and $30,000, respectively.
GPL Week 4: Moscow Makes Big Move
There was a lot of movement in the Global Poker League Standings in Week 4; not only did both conference leads change hands, but the Moscow Wolverines took over the Eurasia Conference lead for the first time, jumping all the way from third.
The standings became much tighter in the Americas Conference, with the Montreal Nationals regaining the top spot, just one point ahead of the New York Rounders. The LA Sunset moved into third, just three points behind New York, while the Las Vegas Moneymakers are just three points behind LA. All told, the point spread from top to bottom is just ten points.
As mentioned, Moscow leapt from third to first in the Eurasia Conference after a fantastic 18 point week. It was all Anatoly Filatov, as he earned a dozen points from first and second place finishes in the Sit-and-Go round and then another six after taking two of three games in the heads-up match against the London Royals’ Vanessa Selbst.
The Paris Aviators fell out of first after a “so-so” 11-point effort, though that was still good enough to make the team’s point total one of only two (along with Moscow) above 50 points on the season.
- Montreal Nationals – 47 points
- New York Rounders – 46 points
- LA Sunset – 43 points
- Las Vegas Moneymakers – 40 points
- Sao Paolo Mets – 39 points
- San Francisco Rush – 37 points
- Moscow Wolverines – 53 points
- Paris Aviators – 51 points
- Hong Kong Stars – 46 points
- Berlin Bears – 39 points
- London Royals – 35 points
- Rome Emperors – 28 points
WPN Million Dollar Sunday Hits Guarantee (FINALLY)
The Winning Poker Network’s (WPN) Million Dollar Sunday tournament dates back to late 2014, but it was not until a week ago that the network didn’t have to cover some part of that million dollar guaranteed prize pool. Pop the bubbly!
The first Million Dollar Sunday was held in December 2014, an ambitious tournament for the relatively small, U.S.-facing network. Unfortunately, the tournament never finished, as the network was victimized by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that ground the proceedings to a halt. Customer buy-ins and fees were refunded and the tourney was rescheduled for February. That one went smoothly.
Because of the success of the re-do, WPN schedule five additional events for the fall of 2015. The first two were also hit by DDoS attacks, but the network handled them, minimizing the problems. What became a problem was that the size of the field for each tournament was never close to big enough to hit the guarantee. The network reduced the guarantee for the final two fall events to $500,000, though it added two more to make the total guarantee equal to what it would have been.
Across all seven Million Dollar Sundays, WPN paid out $1 million in overlay.
On April 24th, though, magic happened. The Million Dollar Sunday drew 2,118 players, generating a $1,059,000 prize pool, the first time there was no overlay in eight tries. Player “OIDA!!!” won $211,800 for first place.
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein Opposes California Poker Bill
Though the online poker bill is a state issue, United States Senator Diane Feinstein (D – CA) decided she needed to weigh in because she hails from the Golden State. In a letter dated Thursday, April 28th, Sen. Feinstein addressed Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, urging them to oppose AB 2863, the bill that would legalize and regulate online poker in California.
The letter reads largely like it either came from someone who doesn’t really understand online poker or, perhaps more likely, from someone involved with Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. For example:
In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has concluded that “online casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes,” including money laundering and ventures by transnational organized crime groups.
The FBI has also noted that internet gamblers can “use a wide array of mechanisms to conceal their physical location, or give the appearance of operating in a different jurisdiction, when accessing a website.” Online gambling further gives minors and addicts access to gambling with just a few easy steps on their smartphones.
That sounds like it came from Sheldon Adelson’s talking point central.
Feinstein also tried to drop knowledge about Black Friday, sounding like an out-of-touch fogey in the process.
In the meantime, the California Assembly’s Governmental Organization (GO) Committee passed AB 2863 unanimously.
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