French online poker room Winamax has decided to move its Winamax Poker Tour (WiPT) completely online. The WiPT, which will soon enter its eighth season, had been a hybrid live/online tour, with live satellites allowing players to qualify for the online events. Typically, online poker rooms do it the opposite way, making the WiPT very unique.
But after four entities, including the French casino association and casino unions, filed a lawsuit against Winamax, an appellate court ruled that because Winamax doesn’t have a license to spread live poker games, the live satellites are illegal.
The groups that filed the suit said that the WiPT hurts them financially, presumably because it sucks players away from the casinos and to Winamax’s live satellites. Winamax argues that it is the opposite: the WiPT makes players interested in player more live poker, so they end up patronizing the casinos in the long run.
PokerStars Begins PokerStars VR Beta Test
PokerStars has partnered with software developer Lucky VR to launch a beta test of PokerStars VR, a virtual reality, free-to-play online poker game. Just 100 people have been invited to give it a test run and it is available on Steam, HTC Vice, and Oculus Rift.
PokerStars VR, like other virtual reality poker apps, puts players in an immersive environment where it feels like they are actually at a poker table, using a first-person point of view. Players can look around the room, stare each other down, talk to each other with microphones, gesture, look down at their cards, etc. Other goofy things are included, too, like celebratory fireworks and animated table trinkets, but all-in-all, PokerStars VR looks like it will mimic the real thing as much as online poker can.
“PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players,” said PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset. “Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century. We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand new virtual reality dimension.”
Erkut Yilmaz Wins WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event
Erkut Yilmaz won the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open Main Event in Atlantic City Friday night, cashing for $575,112. It is the largest cash of his live tournament career, not only taking him over the $1 million mark in total winnings, but the $1.5 million plateau, as well.
Yilmaz had a mountain of chips to begin the six-handed final table, dwarfing those of his opponents. His 21.575 million chips were a tick more than the combined totals of the other five men at the table. Yilmaz was at an even greater advantage because the blinds were high compared to the stacks, so his foes couldn’t wait it out.
But in poker, as long as you have chips, you have a chance. T.K. Miles, the chip leader earlier in the tournament, actually took over the lead after eliminating Austin Wentling in fourth place. Yilmaz, though, knocked out Oleg Shnaider in third place to retake the top spot heading into heads-up play. It took about two and a half hours for Yilmaz to do away with Miles. On the final hand, the two ended up all-in on a 5-4-3 board, Miles with K-5 and top pair, and Yilmaz with 6-3 and bottom pair with an open-ended straight draw. A 6 came on the turn to give Yilmaz two pair and a 4 gave Miles a worse two pair on the river, producing the WPT title for Yilmaz.
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