It was recently reported that one of the world’s leading professional poker players, American Phil Ivey, had issued a lawsuit in London’s High Court against the Genting Group for payment of an amount of approximately 7.8 million pounds ($11.9 million) which he claimed was due to him in respect of winnings racked up last summer playing baccarat at Crockfords Casino, which is part of the Genting Group.
However, the Malaysiabased Genting Group, which is a major casino operator, has since filed court papers in Britain’s High Court. The papers state that Ivey, together with an accomplice, successfully used a scam to rack up the winnings of about 7.8 million pounds between 20th and 21st August, 2012 at Crockfords, one ofLondon’s oldest and most respected casinos.
The Genting Group is refusing to pay Ivey the money as they accuse him of cheating and that his winnings were invalid due to the fact that it was “based upon illegal acts”.
Thirty seven year old Ivey issued a statement via his lawyers saying that any misconduct is denied by him and also said “The fact that I have issued a lawsuit in the face of what they are alleging says everything about how comfortable I am with my conduct and the validity of my win. Any allegations of wrongdoing by Crockfords are denied by me in the very strongest of terms.”
The casino group claims that Ivey’s “illegal acts” void any winnings that he claims is due to him as he had a huge advantage over the casino by using improper means to determine whether the first card being dealt in the baccarat hands would be a powerful or weak card.
It is also alleged that Ivey and his accomplice found a “shoe” containing decks of cards with an asymmetrical design and convinced the dealer to turn the card either sideways or end over end after the cards were revealed. Ivey’s accomplice told the dealer in Cantonese that she was superstitious and that changing the way the cards lay was for good luck. This resulted in the dealer inadvertently sorting the cards making 7, 8 and 9 cards distinguishable from others. The court papers also claimed that Ivey asked that the cards be shuffled automatically by a machine, which meant the way the cards were arranged was not altered during the game.
One of the best poker players in history, known as “the Tiger Woods of Poker” has issued a writ against Crockfords Casino in London’s High Court as he claims that the Mayfair casino owes him almost £7.3 million that he won playing Punto Banco (a variant of Baccarat).
Ivey claims that Crockfords,London’s oldest gambling club which is owned by the Malaysian Genting Group, is withholding money won by him during a private gaming session of Punto Banco when he visited the club with a female companion in August 2012.
Phil Ivey has been recorded to be the world’s sixth highest earner in Punto Banco tournaments and has already won an amount of £9 million in payouts from this game alone.
Although Ivey is “saddened” that it has reached the point where he has to file a claim against Crockfords Casino he has been left with no alternative but to do so.
Ivey made a statement in which he said “Over the years, I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honored my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings, but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I therefore feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”
During a visit to the casino last year Ivey amassed winnings of over £7.3 million after hitting a winning streak at Punto Banco. According to Ivey, although he was given a receipt for his winnings, Crockfords subsequently withheld payment giving him no alternative but to take legal action.
Instead of handing over his winnings to Ivey, Genting decided to open an investigation and flew investigators in from Kuala Lampur to review surveillance video footage, examine the cards used and interview croupiers and staff.
Genting confirmed that they will be filing their defense in the near future.
Crockfords was founded in 1828 and was sold to Genting gaming corporation in later years.
PokerStars has announced that it will be holding a great tournament in its new poker room, PokerStars LIVE Macau, at the City ofDreamscasino.
The new tournament, the “GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions” (GDAM) with a double re-buy $130k buy-in main event, is expected to attract in excess of 100 players. Several of the expected players will be members of theMacaubased junket operator, the Guangdong Group, organizers of VIP rooms for high stakes gamblers.
This super high Roller event is schedule to commence with a HKD $250k (USD $32.5 k) warm up event on 4th June, 2013 with the main event running from 5th June to 7th June, 2013 at a cost of HDK $1m (USD $130k) to buy-in and two HKD $1m re-buys allowed.
Director of Live Poker Operations for the Asia Pacific for PokerStars, Danny McDonagh, said “This is going to be one of the most amazing poker tournaments of all-time. We are expecting over 100 players to sit down and play at one of the biggest prize pools for a poker tournament outside of the World Series of Poker. It’s going to be seriously huge!”
Promoters of the event are aiming for a prize pool of over $10m which would result in it being on par with the biggest World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) events and World Poker Tour (WPT) Championships. PokerStars’ new event will not, however, reach the highs of the World Series of Online Poker (WSOP)Mainwhich manages to create prize pools of over $60m and currently attracts over 6,000 participants.
There are limited seats for those players outside the Guangdong Group. One seat in the event – in a package that includes the $130k buy-in, but not re-buys – through an online satellite will be given away by PokerStars. This will be the largest tournament package that has ever been awarded by PokerStars.
The Macaustop of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) will commence at the end of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GADM) and will run from 7th to 16th June, 2013.
Party Poker, one of the biggest online poker rooms in the world, is currently holding a Pokerfest III online tournament. The event commenced at 00.00 CET on Sunday 21st April, 2013 and will run until 23.59 on Sunday, 5th May, 2013. Qualifiers for the event started on 25th March, 2013.
The festivities were to include six tournaments on Sunday, 21st April, which were to launch in the span of an hour and a half. However, the festivities were marred when the first event, which was a $215 buy-in, $350,000 guaranteed prize pool No-Limit Hold’em tournament was eventually cancelled after a long delay. Five more events were cancelled thereafter.
Players at the tournament reported that the support staff at the event blamed technical issues for the delays and subsequent cancellations..
A total of $482,500 in prizes was guaranteed across the five events. Buy-ins was refunded to those players who had registered for the tournaments.
Party Poker apologized for the last minute cancellation and undertook to run two free roll tournaments with a combined $15k value given away in tournament ticket prizes.
The 6th and final event of the day was suspended for 15 minutes but eventually did run. This event was the largest buy in of $530 and $250k guaranteed tournament. The guarantee was just covered with a total of 501 players registering for the event. The victor was awarded the first prize of $50k in the early hours of the morning of Monday, 22nd April, 2013.
An official representative of Party Poker posted the following apology – “We would like to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to players involved in Pokerfest events #1, #3, #4 and #5. The tournaments faced technical difficulties which we were unable to resolve at the time.
We will run a $350,000 guaranteed event on Sunday May 12th which will replace the regular $250,000 guaranteed event to supplement for the cancellation of event 1”.
Event No. 2 was not mentioned by the representative as the buy-in was for PartyPoints and not real money.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun on Thursday, 18th April, 2013, the Nevada Gaming Commission was assured by Station Casinos that it would not permit any money laundering or underage betting and that the commission had cleared the Casinos to operate and develop its own Internet poker system.
Officials of Station Casinos were questioned extensively with regard to the safeguards and the casinos’ ability to detect any suspicious activity. The commission was advised by Tobin Prior the Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Gaming, that was acquired by Station Casinos that they are in possession of “state of the art” technology and that any problems in the system will be reported by them to state regulators.
According to Thomas Breitling of Station Casinos the prospects of the proposed business is excellent as Nevada has 47 million visitors a year. Breitling added that it is estimated to be a $100 million market.
It has been noted by the Nevada Gaming Commission that despite the fact that several other major casinos have also gained licenses for Internet gambling, the majority of these casinos are making use of other companies in order to develop the software to process the betting.
Tobin Prior also stated that there are currently 38 full time employees in the process of developing the system in Las Vegas, with the number expected to rise to 100 within a year.
Station Casinos includes Green Valley Ranch, Resort, Casino & Spa, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino, Sante Fe Station Hotel & Casino, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel and Days Inn & Wild Wild West Gambling Hall.
When Station Casinos purchased the controlling share of Fertitta Interaction LLC toward the end of 2012, it included the acquisition of Ultimate Gaming with Ultimate Poker being the first offering from the company. Antonio Esfandiari signed on as a brand ambassador for Ultimate Poker earlier on this month.
The Guardian revealed this week that co-founder of Full Tilt Poker, Ray Bitar is waiting for a heart transplant in California. The information was revealed within the context of an article relating to a plea bargain that has been reached between the 41 year old and the US Departmentof Justice, based on Bitar’s poor health.
Bitar faces multiple charges against him, including bank fraud and money laundering, and, more seriously, charges which were brought against him later by Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York, for running a Ponzi style scheme and plundering millions from unsuspecting and trusting players. Bitar is alleged to have “bluffed his player-customers and fixed the game against them as part of an international Ponzi scheme that left players empty-handed.”
Account holders at Blue Square Poker trying to access the domain this week will see that they are being automatically redirected to Betfair, the industry leading betting exchange and online gambling platform. “Blue Square is now a part of Betfair. Your new account is waiting for you,” players are being told, and are being presented with options to log in using their Blue Square Poker account, confirm their details and obtain a Betfair account.
The new reality for Blue Square players comes with the announcement the Betfair has acquired Blue Square from its former owners, Rank Group, paying GBP 5 million for the company which offers largely sports betting products but also an online poker room.
“Betfair Group plc today announces that it has acquired certain assets, including the customer database, of online bookmaker Blue Square Bet for STG5 million,” read a statement from Betfair. “From today, all Blue Square customers will be automatically redirected to Betfair where they can access a full suite of sports betting and gaming products and receive a promotional welcome offer. The acquisition is consistent with Betfair’s strategy of focusing on regulated markets and growing its sportsbook and gaming operations alongside the exchange.”
Players have been given the option to cash out the money in their Blue Square accounts or, if they opt to continue playing from their new Betfair accounts, to take advantage of a special welcome bonus.
Blue Square has not been doing particularly well in the past few years, and in the last six months recorded a GBP 4.8 million loss. Rank Group’s records show that Blue Square has a player base of 120,000 players. Rank Group bought Blue Square for a whopping GBP 65 million in 2003.
Yesterday it was announced that Betfair will be ending Blue Square’s six year sponsorship of the Football Conference, effective next month.
A record number of students packed the Coventry G Casino to take part in the UK Student Poker Championships for the 2013 edition of this popular UK land poker tournament. The Main Event of the tournament attracted 469 players, with the prize pool reaching over GBP 14,000. This was in sharp contrast to last year’s event which drew 297 players who each paid GBP 30 to vie for the GBP 8,400 prize pool.
Yesterday, the winner of the competition was announced as Ben Foxwell, who outlasted all the other players to win the GBP 3,450 first prize, in addition to the coveted GUKPT Grand Final seat worth another GBP 2,000.
On Thursday afternoon, 98 remaining players took their seat at the poker tables at Ricoh Arena in Coventry, vying for one of 50 cash prizes in this tournament.
The nine finalists by the end of the competition were Ben Foxwell, Artur Villa, Matt Takaro, Matt Butche, Andy Symeou, Lucas Durney, Han Zhang, Simon Priddis and Sunny Kalcutt. Takaro came in with the highest chip count with 1,740,000 chips, followed by Foxwell’s 1,368,000. Matt Butcher began the final table with the lowest chip count of 341,000.
Ben Foxwell played outstandingly, knocking out player after player before reaching a heads up battle against Lucas Durney, while holding 90% of the chips involved at this stage of the tournament.
The final prizes awarded were as follows:
Reece Lewis, the young poker pro, has bagged himself £80,000 by beating his opponents to win the World Poker Tour National London Main Event . The event attracted over 200 players, until it was finally whittled down to an eight man/woman final table which played out the finals on Tuesday night at the Aspers Casino in Westfield.
The tournament, which charged a £1,650 buy in, rounded up with eight players around the green felt, each of them safe in the knowledge that they would pocket at least £10K of the prize money. However, all eyes were naturally on the top prize, and competition was fierce.
The heads up stage of the WPT National London Main Event was played out between Elior Sion with his chip count of 1,085,000, compared to Lewis’ over 4.3 million. This advantage certainly worked to Lewis’ advantage and he eventually won the event.
The final table results were as follows:
1st place – Reece Lewis: £80,000
2nd place – Elior Sion: £54,150
3rd place – Robin Fisher: £34,000
4th place – Kevin Williams: £25,000
5th place – Rasmus Larsen: £19,000
6th place – Wang Weikang: £15,000
7th place – Carlo Citrone: £12,500
8th place – Emma Tolley: £10,000 (the last standing female player of the tournament).
A number of top online poker rooms were running satellites for players to earn themselves a package to play in the WPT National London. Bwin Poker, for example, ran a promotion calling players to compete for a $3,000 entry package, and this proved to be a hugely popular incentive for players at the site. The prize package included travel, accommodation and entry into the poker tournament.
This was the first major live poker victory for the young Reece Lewis, and it stands to reason that the industry will be hearing more of him in the future.
As part of a new five year deal signed with gambling software provider, Playtech, the leading UK group, Ladbrokes has announced that it will shifting its poker client from the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) to Playtech’s iPoker Network. The shift will not be immediate and will be done in due course, according to a press release put out by Ladbrokes earlier this year.
Ladbrokes’ deal with Platyech comes as the group seeks to improve its performance in the digital gambling arena, and has turned to Playtech to offer it advice, support and software. In previous years, Ladbrokes has been significantly less successful than its competitors when it comes to online gambling and poker performance, and is hoping to change all that by teaming up with Playtech in the coming years.