Weekly Poker Roundup: September 11, 2015
This is the first week of the NFL season, so if you’re on this site, chances are you care more about sports betting and daily fantasy sports than poker right now, but if you are interested in poker, check out some of what was going on in the poker world this week:
Ten Poker HOF Hopefuls Named
With the public nomination process completed, the World Series of Poker has released the list of ten finalists for this year’s Poker Hall of Fame class. Poker fans all over the world were able to submit nominations online for a couple months and once that period was over, the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council vetted the top nominees and put together the list of finalists. While the list is composed mostly of players, it also includes a few contributors who have put their stamp on poker throughout the years. For your reading pleasure, here are the nominees in alphabetical order:
- Chris Bjorin
- David Chiu
- Bruno Fitoussi
- Jennifer Harman
- John Juanda
- Carlos Mortensen
- Max Pescatori
- Terry Rogers
- Matt Savage
- David “Devilfish” Ulliott
Their fates are now in the hands of 39 voters: the 23 living Poker Hall of Fame members plus 16 members of the poker media. Those voters are given 10 points which they can allocate to up to three of the finalists. The top two points earners will comprise the Poker Hall of Fame class of 2015.
Nobody Cared About the NY Online Poker Hearing
A hearing to discuss the possibility of moving forward with online poker legislation in New York was held Wednesday, but like the saying goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The hearing took place in Albany in front of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. The committee is chaired by State Senator John Bonacic, who, not coincidentally, introduced a bill in May that would legalize online poker in New York if passed. The only problem was that he was essentially the only legislator in attendance. Two other members of the committee were there initially, but left before the third witness spoke. Thus, for the remaining five witnesses, Bonacic was the only legislator in the room. They were essentially preaching to the choir.
The witnesses were largely pro-online poker and included (amongst others) Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, MGM Resorts General Counsel John McManus, Caesars Entertainment Senior VP of Government Relations David Satz, and GamblingCompliance Senior Legal Analyst Kevin Cochran.
There will be no movement on Sen. Bonacic’s bill this year and while the hearing was disappointing in that almost nobody attended, it was at least something and may lay the groundwork for further discussions in 2016.
MPN to Allow Players to Stay Stealthy
It has been a few months in the making, but MPN (Microgaming Poker Network) is expected to rollout an “alias change” feature in about two weeks. Continuing the network’s efforts to make the poker environment friendlier to recreational players, alias changes are exactly what they sound like: the ability for players to switch screen names.
Why? Because as technological tools have become more advanced, the strongest, highest volume players not just on MPN, but on poker rooms around the internet, have used player tracking and seat scripting software to keep tabs on the weakest players. They then use these tools to help them sit at the same table as their targets and proceed to bleed them dry. By allowing players to change their screen names, MPN will make it more difficult for casual players to be targeted, as sharks will have a tougher time collecting enough data on them and even if they do, they won’t be able to find them once the aliases change.
The feature is expected to go live on some MPN skins on September 22nd and to the entire network by the end of the month. Players will be allowed to create a new alias every 30 days or every 1,000 money hands, whichever comes sooner. All players will also be allowed one “free” name change immediately.
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