Weekly Poker Roundup: October 16, 2016
MGM Makes Second Casino Pitch in Atlanta
We all know there are plenty of casinos on the Gulf Coast of the United States, but generally, the southeast is not a place people tend to think of when it comes to gambling. And while Georgia is does not have any legalized gambling except for the lottery, there has been a push in the last year or so to change that. It’s not a huge push – let’s call it a nudge – but it’s more than nothing.
Recently, MGM president and CEO Jim Murren spoke to the Rotary Club of Atlanta, attempting to convince its members that his company’s proposal for a $1.4 billion resort-style casino in the city would be a good idea. One of the busiest air travel hubs in the world (by some measures, the busiest), a significant convention destination, and a large, untapped gambling metropolis, Atlanta is a “tremendously appealing market,” according to Murren.
Local business leaders aren’t quite sold. Some are concerned that a casino would cannibalize their entertainment businesses, as local residents may opt to not only gamble, but also dine, shop, and attend events such as concerts at the casino instead of at venues that already exists.
Equity Poker Network Doesn’t Look Like It’s Coming Back
It has been a couple weeks since the Equity Poker Network and its flagship site, Full Flush Poker, went down. If I were a betting man (and ironically, despite my industry, I’m not really much of one), I would put money on neither returning. Where I wouldn’t put my money is on any of the network’s member rooms, even if they are still available.
The message displayed to visitors of Full Flush is, “We are in the process of updating our gaming solutions to offer a new, more exciting platform to meet the needs of our players and an ever changing industry. We will have updates on this change each day for you, and we apologize for any inconveniences we have caused during this period.”
Those updates have not been forthcoming; this is pretty clearly more than just updating gaming solutions. Launched in November 2013, the Equity Poker Network began having payout issues in the middle of 2015. While players were, for the most part, getting paid, serious cashout delays were reported. Those delays got even worse early this year and only small withdrawals were being seen at all. As a result, many players sold off their Equity bankrolls for just fractions of what they were worth.
Trump Taj Mahal Shuttered
We’ll leave the parallels up to you, but Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal casino closed on October 10th after 26 years in existence. The closure comes after a three-month long labor strike that the casino’s owner, Carl Icahn, blamed for the Taj’s lack of profitability.
Over 1,000 members of the Unite Here Local 54 went on strike in early July, protesting the loss of health and pension benefits that were taken away during bankruptcy proceedings in late 2014. The union has said it has made offers to Icahn to try to come up with a feasible solution for both sides, but were rebuffed at every turn. During the strike, Bob McDevitt, president of Unite Here Local 54, said:
The great deal-maker would rather burn the Trump Taj Mahal down just so he can control the ashes. For a few million bucks he could have had labor peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike. There was no element of trying to reach an agreement here on Icahn’s part; it was always “my way or the highway” from the beginning with Icahn.
The Taj Mahal was once the heart of east coast poker, home of the United States Poker Championship from 1996 through 2010. It was featured in the popular poker film, Rounders.
partypoker Signs Jackie Glazier
Australian poker player Jackie Glazier has signed on to be an ambassador for partypoker. Glazier has two very sizable cashes in her live tournament career (poker is more than just live tournaments, but they are the poker contest for which the best records are kept): a 31st place finish in the 2013 WSOP Main Event for about $230,000 and a runner up finish in the 2012 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $459,000.
Glazier plans to join partypoker’s new stable of Twitch streamers, broadcasting her partypoker home games under her “JACKSTARPARTY” screen name.
Glazier has actually been taking some time off from poker, a mental health break, of sorts. In an interview with CalvinAyre.com in June, she said:
For the past 7 years I have placed far too much emphasis on my results on the table and how that has directly impacted my personal self-worth. I got so caught up in being a “poker player” that it consumed my entire identity. Every poker player will experience a downswing but as my results plummeted so did my self-worth.
I fought hard to stay positive, but after the Aussie Millions finished at the start of this year, I just felt so disappointed and disheartened. I decided to take a month off and try and shake off the negativity I was feeling, but I just ended up feeling more lost.
She ended up skipping this year’s WSOP, but plans on picking up her poker playing once again.
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