Weekly Poker Roundup: September 4, 2016
Aussie Millions, PokerStars End Relationship
The Aussie Millions, the premier live poker tournament festival in the southern hemisphere, was an independent event for most of its existence since it was founded in 1998. In 2014, it joined the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), one of the many PokerStars tours around the world. Three years after that, it will be independent once again.
With the reorganization of PokerStars’ live tournaments into the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival, the APPT and, in turn, the Aussie Millions, has been left out in the cold. Crown Poker Tournament Director Joel Williams recently confirmed what everybody had been guessing, announcing that, in fact, the Aussie Millions and PokerStars were ending their partnership:
“Crown Melbourne can confirm that the 2016 Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Melbourne, set to take place on Thursday 6 October 2016, will be the final APPT event to be held in Melbourne,” he said.
“Crown Melbourne can also confirm that the 2017 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, set to take place from Wednesday 11 January to Monday 30 January 2017 will revert to a stand-alone event.”
WSOP on ESPN Starts This Week, Complete Schedule Released
ESPN has released the official television broadcast schedule for the 2016 World Series of Poker, revealing a dozen days of new programming consisting almost entirely of Main Event coverage. It all begins next Tuesday, September 6th, with two hours of the WSOP Global Casino Championship.
Main Event coverage begins on Sunday, September 11th and continues each Sunday night (going head-to-head with NBC’s Sunday Night Football) through October 30th. Most nights will have two 90-minute episodes starting at 8:00pm ET, with the exception of Sunday, September 18th, when the broadcast will start at 10:30 and go into the morning of Monday, September 19th.
The November Nine coverage will go for three days, from October 30th through November 1st. The first day will go until four players remain, while the second day will last until the tournament gets heads-up. Every hand will be shown on some combination of ESPN and ESPN2, as well as WatchESPN. It will be “semi-live” with just a 30-minute delay so that hole cards can be displayed on television.
Arkansas Voters to Decide on Gambling Expansion
Arkansas, which currently has just two venues at which people can gamble on electronic “games of skill,” could potentially see as many as three full-fledged casinos built in the state within the next few years, depending on the wishes of its residents. A proposed constitutional amendment, called “Issue 5,” has been put on the November General Election ballot, leaving it up to the citizens to decide whether or not they want to legalize most forms of casino gambling and allow new casinos to be built.
The proposal was advanced thanks to advocacy group “Arkansas Wins in 2016,” which garnered 100,977 valid petition signatures, easily outdistancing the required 84,859. The amendment would both change the permitted forms of gambling in Arkansas and permit for the construction of one casino in each of Washington, Boone, and Miller Counties, all of which border other states.
Arkansas Wins sees expanded casino gaming as a way to bring in revenue from other states, add jobs, and provide the surrounding communities with more entertainment and dining options. Total gaming taxes would be 20 percent: 18 percent to the state, 1.5 percent to the city where the casino is located, and 0.5 percent to the county.
Arkansas Wins already inked a deal with Cherokee Nation Entertainment in June to build a casino in Washington County. Cherokee operates nine casinos in Oklahoma, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa.
Trump Taj Mahal Hasn’t Showered in Days, Covered in Cheeto Dust
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City is in its final weeks; it was supposed to close after this weekend, but is now going to remain open until October 10th. This is not breaking news. We have known this. But reports are that the property formerly owned by reality television star Donald Trump is not going out gracefully.
There are numerous stories out there now about how run-down the casino is as the result of over 1,000 union workers being on strike since July 1st in protest of the loss of health and pension benefits (it is this dispute and strike that Carl Icahn, current owner of the Taj Mahal, and his ownership team blame for the casino’s pending closure). Replacement staff have been brought in, but the property is still extremely understaffed and many of those who are working don’t care enough to put forth a good effort (and who would completely blame them).
An example of the situation was provided by Gizmodo, who acquired a complaint by a Taj customer to the Federal Trade Commission. That customer described the room, saying, “It had dust balls around the lamps bases, on the headboard of the bed, the dresser top, desk top, the counter, the refrigerator, the window sills, the telephones, etc. The carpet was stained and need steam cleaning. The bathroom was not much better dust was everywhere, the phone, hair dryer was covered with dust.”
That patron, who had asthma and was allergic to dust, got no help from the staff and ended up cleaning the room himself. The person said that Expedia, through which the $1,200, week-long stay was booked, never mentioned the strike or poor conditions.
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