Strip Poker

41 POKER PLAYERS READY TO ANTE-UP A MILLION FOR WATER CHARITY
2014-06-19

Guy Laliberte's charity poker concept Big One for One Drop, which raises funds for clean water developments in third world nations, is again proving popular as part of the World Series of Poker festivities in Las Vegas.

The second outing of the $1 million buy-in competition takes place in two weeks time, but has already pulled in 41 entrants prepared to ante-up the monumental buy-in, from which $111,111 on each entry goes to the charity. The rest generates a prize pool that has already reached $36 million.

The event is capped at 56 players, so there's room for a few more yet to join the latest 11 buy-ins, which have included an anonymous Macau businessman and a slew of professional players like Dan Cates, Tom Hall, Isaac Haxton, Greg Merson, Daniel Colman, John Morgan, Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, Scott Seiver and Talal Shakerchi.

The first millionaire version of the charity match in 2012 saw Antonio Esfandiari make headlines with an $18 million pay-out, but this year the first prize could top $20 million

The Big One action begins June 29 and concludes July 1.




FEDERAL ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION BILLS STILL ALIVE
2014-02-05

Recent enquiry responses from US Apuestas Deportivas Golf Betting Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC Betting Odds Congressmen have provided a useful update on the current state of federal attempts at online gambling legalisation - specifically those introduced by Texas Republican Joe Barton and New York Representative Peter King.

In responding to enquiries by the publication Poker News, Representatives Reid Ribble and Tom Petri advised that Joe Barton's HR2666 Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 currently languishes in the House Energy and Commerce and Financial Services Committees, following its introduction the House last year.

Rep. Peter King's Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act H.R. 2282 was also introduced last year (see previous InfoPowa reports) and seeks a wider legalisation of online gambling at the federal level.

This measure has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and, like the Barton Bill, to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Financial Services.



888 PARTNERS WITH C.I.E. FOR NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING
2013-08-06

The European online gambling group 888 Holdings is to extend its partnership with Caesars Interactive Entertainment to cover online poker and casino games under its own brand in New Jersey when that market opens to online gambling later this year, the company reported Tuesday in a trading update on its second quarter 2013.
Q2 and H1 2013 Key Performance Indicators highlighted:
* Agreement signed with Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) through the Group's All American Poker Network (AAPN) joint venture with Avenue Capital allowing 888 to offer own-branded poker and casino products in New Jersey, subject to required regulatory approvals
* Q2 Group revenue at US$97 million (Q2 2012: US$92 million), an increase of 5 percent year on year
* Q2 revenue B2C at US$85 million (Q2 2012: US$80 million), an increase of 6 percent year on year
* Q2 revenue B2C Casino at US$47 million (Q2 2012: US$41 million), an increase of 14 percent year on year supported by growth in newly regulated markets coupled with successful customer retention operations
* Q2 revenue B2C Poker at US$22 million (Q2 2012: US$20 million), an increase of 12 percent year on year demonstrating a continued ability to provide a recreational healthy poker environment
* Record Group revenue in H1 2013 of US$200 million (H1 2012: US$186 million), an increase of 7 percent year on year
* H1 2013 Revenue B2C at US$177 million (H1 2012: US$164 million), an increase of 8 percent year on year
* 535,000 active B2C Casino and Poker customers as at 30 June 2013 (30 June 2012: 505,000), a 6 percent increase year on year
* As at 30 June 2013, 888 had 14.4 million Casino, Poker and Sport real money registered customer accounts, representing an increase of 19 percent since 30 June 2012
Brian Mattingley, chief executive officer 888 Holdings, said:
"The Group has enjoyed excellent growth, particularly in Casino where a combination of strong results in Spain and Italy and very successful marketing campaigns have driven up revenue in Q2 by 14 percent year on year.
"We remain focused on preparing our platforms and marketing for the incredibly exciting US opportunity and we are delighted to announce today the agreement we have signed with Caesars Interactive Entertainment through our AAPN joint venture with Avenue Capital.

"This is an important development in our US strategy which will allow 888 to offer 888-branded poker and casino products in New Jersey,subject to required regulatory approvals. We are extremely well positioned in the US and are working with the regulators in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey as these three states become ready to open."

Turning to current trading, Mattingley said that the board is confident it will meet full year market expectations:

"The third quarter of 2013 has begun in line with our expectations, reflecting historical seasonal patterns. Daily average revenue during the first 33 days of the quarter is comparable to the previous year. Our performance is led by Casino with Bingo continuing to be a challenging and competitive market.
"We now have a new sports book provider on board and we are seeing good growth in 888sport, an area we remain committed to improving.
"As at 2nd August 2013 the Group had US$87 million of cash and cash equivalents and US$52 million liabilities to customers."
Breaking the 888 second quarter numbers down, B2C revenues reached US$85 million - up 6 percent, with contributions as follows:
* Revenue B2C Casino at US$47 million (Q2 2012: US$41 million), an increase of 14 percent
* Revenue B2C Poker at US$22 million (Q2 2012: US$20 million), an increase of 12 percent
* Revenue B2C Bingo at US$10 million (Q2 2012: US$13 million), a decrease of 23 percent
* Revenue B2C Emerging Offering at US$6 million (Q2 2012: US$6 million), a decrease of 2 percent
* Number of active customers B2C Casino and Poker at 535,000 (Q2 2012: 505,000), an increase of 6 percent compared to Q2 2012
* Number of active customers B2C Casino at 186,000 (Q2 2012: 185,000), an increase of 0.5 percent compared to Q2 2012
* Number of active customers B2C Poker at 410,000 (Q2 2012: 378,000), an increase of 9 percent compared to Q2 2012
* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Casino and Poker customer was US$129 (Q2 2012: US$121), a 7 percent increase compared to Q2 2012
* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Casino customer was US$250 (Q2 2012: US$221), a 13 percent increase compared to Q2 2012
* Quarterly revenue B2C per active Poker customer was US$55 (Q2 2012: US$53) a 3 percent increase compared to Q2 2012
On the business to business front, Dragonfish delivered revenues of US$12 million (Q2 2012: US$12 million), an increase of 2 percent compared to Q2 2012.
Half year KPIs for the Group included:
* Revenue up 7 percent to US$200 million (H1 2012: US$186 million)
* Revenue B2C up 8 percent to US$177 million (H1 2012: US$164 million)
* Revenue B2C Casino up 13 percent to US$94 million (H1 2012: US$83 million)
* Revenue B2C Poker up 13 percent to US$47 million (H1 2012: US$41 million)
* Revenue B2C Bingo down 18 percent to US$22 million (H1 2012: US$27 million)
* Revenue B2C Emerging Offering up 13 percent to US$14 million (H1 2012: US$12 million)
Dragonfish reported B2B reevnbues for the half year up a marginal 1 percent to US$23 million (H1 2012: US$23 million)


U.S. GAMBLING RING DEFENDANTS CHARGED (Update)
2013-04-24

The massive enforcement swoop on internet sports betting and poker that started in New York and spread across the United States last week (see previous InfoPowa report) had a sequel in a federal court in Manhattan Friday, when more than 30 defendants pleaded not guilty.

Over the weekend, the Associated Press news agency succinctly summed up the widely reported federal raids, saying that a colourful cast of characters stand accused of involvement in the sprawling scheme allegedly controlled by organised crime rings in Russia and America.

Among those arrested were celebrity poker players, a glamorous high stakes poker organiser, a billionaire art gallery owner and individuals accused of money laundering and running illegal internet sports betting enterprises.

Prosecutors in the case claim that at least $100 million in illegal gambling proceeds have been laundered through hundreds of bank accounts and shell companies in Cyprus and the United States.

Mark Galeotti, a Russian organised crime expert at New York University, told the news agency that the case illustrates "...the insatiable appetite for sports betting around the globe, and the enormous potential for illicit profits. The steep rise in wealth among the upper class in the former Soviet Union has driven that potential to new heights."

Galeotti added that higher-rolling businessmen are involved in these types of cases...and the bookies handling their action are left with the problem "of trying to figure out what to do with suitcases full of cash."

One of the alleged U.S. ringleaders was living in a luxury apartment on Fifth Avenue, just one floor below Donald Trump's apartment.

"There, he oversaw a network of Internet sites that formed 'the world's largest sports book' catering 'almost exclusively to oligarchs living in the Ukraine and the Russian Federation,' prosecutors claim.

Federal agents eavesdropped on thousands of cellphone conversations, prosecutors said, pointing to one exchange in which the alleged ring leader warned a customer who owed money that "he should be careful, lest he be tortured or found underground."

The ring is alleged to have paid Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov - already under indictment in a separate U.S. case accusing him of bribing Olympic figure skating judges at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City - $20 million in gambling proceeds in a two-month period alone, court documents reveal.

In another transaction in late 2010, the same man wired $3 million from a Cyprus bank account to another account in the United States, the documents show.

Mafia undertones are evident in the indictment, accusing Tokhtakhounov of being a "vor" - a term roughly translated to "thief-in-law" and comparable to a Mafia godfather, reports Associated Press.

International celebrities and businessmen with a taste for high stakes poker were uncovered by federal investigators enquiring into a related enterprise that allegedly involved a top art gallery owned by billionaire Hillel Nahmad, and a glamorous 34-year-old women who organised games in New York's swish Plaza Hotel for the rich and famous, some of whom ran up substantial debts.

The woman, Molly Bloom, apparently had a run-in with 'Eastern European thugs' in 2010, when she was roughed up.

The trial of the defendants has been scheduled for the summer of 2014, and will attract massive interest as the results of the federal investigation unfold.

But, Associated Press points out, one of the lead characters in the drama is currently not available; 64-year-old Tokhtakhounov is reportedly living in luxury in Russia, where he is alleged to be an important leader in the Russian criminal underworld.



US FULL TILT PLAYERS STILL HAVE A LONG WAIT
2012-11-15

John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players' Alliance gave some insight into the progress of the US Department of Justice's (DoJ) plan to refund US Full Tilt Poker player account balances.
Pappas met with officials from the DoJ's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section today (Wednesday) accompanied by PPA counsel Marc Zwillinger and Ken Dreifach from Washington DC-based law firm ZillGen, PLLC.
Despite feedback on what was described as a cordial and productive meeting, Pappas said: "Unfortunately completion of a refund claims process is a long way away. The first step in this process will be the Departments hiring of a third-party claims administrator, after a bidding process: there is no current date certain for that selection to occur. But it was evident that even when a claims administrator is hired, forfeiture and remission procedures require that a substantial administrative process be adhered to before players begin seeing their funds."