Weekly Poker Roundup: October 9, 2015
WSOP Europe Underway
Thursday marked the first day of the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe, already the eighth running of the young offshoot of the traditional, Las Vegas-based WSOP. After four years in England and three more in France, this is the first time the WSOP Europe has been held in Germany, hosted by the Spielbank Casino in Berlin.
WSOP Europe is also no longer an annual event, but rather a biennial festival, as it now alternates years with the WSOP Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC). WSOP APAC began in April 2013, followed by the U.S. WSOP during the summer, then WSOP Europe in October, and finally the November Nine, well, November. WSOP officials decided that was too much for players, especially considering the travel (U.S., Europe, and Australia) on top of all the other major events like the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour, so WSOP Europe and WSOP APAC were split up, with WSOP Europe taking place in odd numbered years and WSOP APAC taking place in even numbered years. This is the first WSOP Europe since 2013.
The WSOP Europe will run through October 24th, highlighted by the €10,450 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, whose first of two starting flights begins October 18th.
One new event is The Oktoberfest No-Limit Hold’em (note the German touch there), which is an inexpensive €550 tournament with four starting flights because of the anticipated large field. Two flights are being held Friday, with two more Saturday before the survivors merge on Sunday.
Global Poker League Picture Developing
We have been hearing about the Global Poker League (GPL), the Global Poker Index’s (GPI) project which GPI CEO Alexandre Dreyfus says will “sportify” poker, for a while now, but we have never really been told much about it. Sportify poker, they say. Ok. So what? Fortunately, the GPI gave the public at least a small look at what is in store with a press release this week.
The GPL will feature two conferences of six teams each, with each team representing a different city. The Americas conference will (likely) be made up of teams from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Sao Paolo, and Toronto. The Eurasia conference will be composed of Paris, London, Prague, Barcelona, Moscow, and Hong Kong. Five players will populate each team; three will be drafted from amongst the top 1,000 in the GPI rankings, while the other two will be “Wild Cards.”
The teams will compete in matches across at least fourteen weeks, starting in the first quarter of 2016 and culminating with the GPL World Championships in the summer of 2016. Locations will vary from studios to online to “iconic venues across the globe.”
At those larger venues, presumably stadiums and arenas, the poker players will compete inside something called “The Cube.” The Cube is a large 20-foot structure that provides audience members a view of the action, but the players can neither see nor hear anything from the outside. Microphones and cameras will be placed in The Cube and the action will be displayed on large screens so that everyone can hear and see everything that is going on. Scoreboards will show pertinent hand and contest information.
All of the GPL competitions will be streamed live and some will be televised. Participants will not be required to put up any money – prize money will come from GPL revenue streams.
Winning Poker Network Just Can’t Win
The Winning Poker Network (WPN) was hit by yet another Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Sunday, as cyber bullies targeted the network’s high-profile Million Dollar Sunday tournament again.
The network’s first encounter with a serious DDoS attack (at least that we all know about) was in December, when it hosted its first million dollar guaranteed tournament. The tourney was quite ambitious, considering WPN is not the largest of networks; it was easily the largest guaranteed prize pool for a U.S.-facing network or site in the post-Black Friday poker world. The DDoS attack began when the tournament did, causing slowdowns, freeze-ups, and disconnections. The network tried to remedy the situation, but eventually WPN CEO Phil Nagy called it off, refunding buy-ins and fees. The tournament was held successfully in February.
In September, WPN gave it another shot, hosting the first of five scheduled Million Dollar Sundays. Again, though, the DDoS attack started up, but despite familiar problems, the network’s staff was able to remedy things enough to allow the tournament to run. The issues caused many players to either not be able to register or stay away, though, so the network ended up having to cover a $224,500 overlay. Nagy said that some on his staff suggested cancelling the tournament to avoid the overlay, but Nagy refused to do that. He also said that the attackers requested a ransom, which he did not pay.
This past Sunday was the second Million Dollar Sunday of the fall, and the first of four that is scheduled for each Sunday in October. It was a similar situation to the previous one – the attacks caused problems, but they were solved enough to allow the event to run. Again, however, the DDoS attack was at least partially responsible for a shortfall of players and WPN had to shell out $197,500 in overlay.
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