Archive for November, 2011

Macau Could Host $100M Poker Tournament

by | Published: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

With the current high stakes cash games in Macau being all the talk at the moment plenty are wanting to find out more about this secretive gambling hub.

The vast majority of games being played in the special Chinese state are under closed doors with no coverage whatsoever.

They are played mainly by rich Chinese businessman and for many just how the poker is played inside is a mystery.

That may not be the case forever though as an audacious plan has been hatched to make Macau host to the world’s biggest poker tournament.

The tournament could be worth as much as $100 million and is being put together by five Chinese companies.

The ‘Macau Pro Am Open’ has been tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2013.

A minimum total pool of $65 million would be expected with first prize potentially earning as much as $25 million.

“The objective is to have 500 participants, including a third come from the Far East, a third from the United States and a third elsewhere,” William Murray said.

“With a field as small for a total as big, we can deduce that the entry fees will be substantial unless the sponsors, whose names are not revealed, only support a portion of the prize pool.”

A buy in for a tournament like this would therefore be worth up to $200,000.

To put that into perspective this year’s Super High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure drew 38 players with a buy in of $100,000.

Eventual winner Eugene Katchalov took home $1.5 million for first place.

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Tax On Poker Winnings A Whole New Gamble

by | Published: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

One of the most basic appeals of poker is ability to compete against your rivals on a completely fair an even playing field.

An environment where it doesn’t matter how big you are, how strong you are, whether you’re male, female, black or white, where it’s solely one mind against another with the best five cards wins.

While this is true the aftermath of the WSOP Final shows that where you come from can still have a big impact on your winnings as a poker player.

The payouts themselves are the same, but how much you get to keep depends entirely on the laws back at home.

Pius Heinz for example has had a win that’s bigger than the majority of first prize pools anywhere in the world.

We’re not talking about the $8.7 million that he won but the fact he gets to keep every single cent.

Thanks to a tax treaty signed by Germany and the US any income earned by a German in the US is free of tax.

In addition to this any money won gambling in Germany is tax free so Heinz will keep his entire loot.

Compare that to the fortunes of some of the minor place getters from the WSOP Final.

Martin Stazko who finished second will have to pay $814,963 of his total winnings of $5,433,086 to the Czech government.

Ben Lamb who finished third will have to pay $1,524,011 of his $4,012,038 winnings to the US government.

Mark Gianeetti will need to pay 35% of his $3,012,700 to the US government.

That’s still less though than the sixth placed Eoghan O’Dea from Ireland who has to pay 40% of his winnings to the Irish government, totalling $695,018.

This shows just how lucky Pius Heinz is.

If he were to live in Ireland his $8.7 million prize would actually be worth only $6.8 million, a huge difference relying purely on the laws of your nation.

Still, taking home any money at this sort of level sounds pretty appealing.

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New Poker Technology Hits US Casinos

by | Published: Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

American developers have come up with a new level of poker machine designed to simulate the thoughts and actions of playing a real person.

The video machine includes bluffing and other professional moves taking virtual poker play to a whole new level.

The game was unveiled during the final table weekend of the World Series of Poker at the Rio with thousands of people having a look.

John Daley is the director of the company that designed the game and says players are able to compete against the slot machine, which is different from traditional video poker, where players gamble against a pay table trying to obtain their best poker hand.

He says the software uses a neural net, a technology-developed mathematical model designed through artificial intelligence that simulates the operation of a human brain.
“For a customer, it’s less intimidating than playing at a live poker table experience,” Daley said.

“In some ways, it helps a player learn the game of hold’em so they become comfortable with sitting at a live poker table.”
So as to give customers greater certainty about their stake the game is run off a limit structure as opposed to the no limit style sued in most tournaments.

Daley said most casinos have set up the machines with a $1 ante and blinds and wagering limits of $2 and $4, though one set the blinds and wagering limits at $20 and $40.

“This is a game that players of every level can test their craftiest bluffing strategies and Texas Hold’em skills against.”

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Pius Heinz Claims $8.7M In WSOP Championship

by | Published: Friday, November 11th, 2011

Pius Heinz is the 2011 World Series of Poker Championship winner after netting the top prize with a mere ace high hand.

Heinz won the $8.7 million jackpot, the third highest single payout in the history of the game.

At just 22 years of age Heinz becomes the first German player to win the WSOP Championship beating a field of more than $6,800 players representing 85 countries across the globe.

Heinz has been a full time poker player ever since he turned 18 years old and in just four years has managed to pick up the coveted gold and diamond bracelet, the biggest prize in the world of poker.

“This is the happiest day of my life, obviously. I really am speechless right now. I could not imagine this would ever happen to me,” he said.

Heinz started the final round with the third lowest chip stack of the group but by the end of the first day he had gained the lead.

When they returned for the final day just three players were left but that quickly dropped to two with American Ben Lamb ousted in the opening few hands.

The two left were Heniz and Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic.

Staszko had the least live poker experience of the final players but it didn’t show has he locked into a six hour dual with Heinz.

In the end though:

“The final hand was dealt when Heinz bested Staszko holding ace-king. Neither player made a pair, which meant Heinz’s ace-high played as the winning hand.”

Staszko earned himself $5.4 million for second place while Lamb, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, grabbed $4 million for third.

As you can see when poker pays it can pay big.

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Hope For Frustrated Full-Tilt Poker Players

by | Published: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

It appears as if the French company looking to buy out embattled poker website Full Tilt poker could be just days away from making an official announcement confirming the takeover.

Rumours have been circulating for months that Groupe Bernard Tapie, was close to reaching a deal but now it appears as if an agreement may have been struck with the Department of Justice.

Jeff Ifrah is the attorney working on behalf of Full Tilt’s CEO Ray Bitar and says an unofficial agreement appears to have been reached.

“I have not seen final paperwork but I believe a deal in principle has been reached.” He said.

It’s hoped that any deal made would bring closer the possibility of players being paid out the $300 million currently owed to them.

Full Tilt said two months ago that any sale would be contingent on resolving its case with the Department of Justice.

No doubt players won’t be getting too excited though with a deal of a similar nature rumoured to have been brokered all the way back in June with nothing coming of it.

Groupe Bernard Tapie has a chequered history but at the same time has built a reputation for getting the job done.

Back in the 80′s former chairman Bernard Tapie is said to have turned around the financial state of no less than 40 companies.

In 1997 though the 68-year-old former owner of Adidas, spent time in prison after fixing a soccer match.

He was also convicted for tax fraud in a non-related matter.

Either way it’s some sort of hope for the thousands of players stills tuck in limbo.

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