Poker News

SC judge says poker a skill game

WASHINGTON, D.C — (PRESS RELEASE) — The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide (nearly 10,000 in South Carolina), today (October 5th) lauded the ruling of a South Carolina court that confirmed that poker is a game of skill, and thus should not be considered gambling under the law.

“Poker is not a crime in South Carolina or anywhere else, and we are grateful to the court for compiling the overwhelming evidence that proves this case and protects the rights of players,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. “This ruling is fully consistent with the declarations of other judges and juries across the country that Texas Hold’em is clearly a game of predominant skill and adults who play should not be criminalized.”

Five individuals had been convicted of illegal gambling. The trial court found that poker is a game of skill, but left it to a higher court to decide if state gambling laws were overly vague. The higher court agreed and reversed the convictions. In addition to holding that the law was overly broad and vague (as it could be used to convict anyone playing poker in their home), the court embraced the use of the predominance test, citing the “overwhelming” evidence that skill dominates chance.

“All poker players are well aware that the game is based on making the correct, informed decisions, not just mere chance, and games of predominant skill should not be classified in the same league as slot machines or lotteries,” said John Ridgeway, South Carolina State Director of the Poker Players Alliance. “We’re very pleased that the judge considered the overwhelming evidence and came to the same conclusion. This is a well deserved legal victory for the players, the American game of poker, and for common sense under the law.”

PPA’s Litigation Support Network has been involved in a string of legal victories by providing expert witnesses, preparing arguments for trial, and filing amicus briefs with the courts. For more information on these cases and a copy of the judge’s order, please visit. www.theppa.org.

[source: http://www.gpwa.org/article.asp?id=179905]

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2010 Aussie Millions Schedule release

The Aussie Millions is the sixth biggest tournament of poker in the world and the biggest poker tournament in the southern hemisphere. The 2010 Aussie Millions Schedule has now been released with 20 Offical Events and Daily Satellites! Here you can find the full schedule.

If you want to visit this beautiful country and want to battle against the best australian poker players it may be your chance.

The tournament will run from January the 14th till the 31st, 2010 in Melbourne and expects to have an eight million dollar prize pool, with two million going to the winner.  The Main Event will take place at the Crown Casino Resort – and will run from the 24th January until the 31st January.  The buy-in has been set at 10,500 Australian Dollars.

By the way there will something for everyone. In fact, during the main tournament, about twenty smaller tournaments will take place, including the High Roller tournament – where $100,000 is played in two days – and a HORSE tournament.

In 2009 the game started as a duel between two of the biggest of all, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius. But other big names soon joined the game: Jamie Pickering, Andrew Robl, Niki Jedlicka, Phil Laak and … yes … the man … Chris Ferguson, whose total live tournament winnings exceed $7,800,000, as of 2009, and whose 59 WSOP cashes staggering an amazing $4,031,499 crown him 3rd for most all time cashes at the WSOP, just behind Phil Hellmuth and Men Nguyen.

Satellite tournaments offering packages for this event are currently running on several online poker rooms. Don’t miss!

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Kahnawake Gaming Commission found Hamilton largely responsible for cheating players on Ultimate Bet

Russ Hamilton is the 1994 World Series of Poker main event champion. He defeated Hugh Vincent in heads-up play and won $1 million in first-prize money, as well as his body weight in silver. Following his World Series win, Hamilton served as a consultant for Ultimate Bet. In 2008, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission found Hamilton largely responsible for cheating players on Ultimate Bet out of $6.1 million through software that allowed access to opponent’s hole cards. KGC released the initial findings of an audit conducted on UB in regards to the cheating allegations that took place between May 2004 and January 2008. The incident marked the second time in less than a year that a Tokwiro property has had to investigate unfair play at one of its poker rooms. Earlier in the year the KGC fined Tokwiro’s Absolute Poker $500,000 after it was revealed players with “superuser” accounts that could see hole cards of opponents had cheated.

Now the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) confirmed through the release of an 11-page document that cheating occurred at online poker room UltimateBet and that Russ Hamilton did not act alone.

In the release, the KGC stated that Hamilton was “the individual who ultimately bears responsibility” for that cheating and that he had 31 accomplices, who were not named in the report. But the 117 usernames used in the cheating were listed in the report.

The KGC added that it has “provided extensive information to law enforcement authorities, including the names of 31 individuals who were associated, to varying degrees, with Russell Hamilton, the cheating accounts and/or transactions related to the cheating accounts.”

The 11-page document also reported that Tokwiro, the owner of UltimateBet, refunded more than $22 million to players affected by the cheating and also paid $1.5 million in fines. It also revealed that there were 23 accounts and 117 usernames used in the cheating and the majority of the money was paid through player-to-player transfers on UB.

“Despite the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in this cheating, we are satisfied that the actions taken by the (KGC) provided an equitable result for affected players – our first priority,” KGC Chairman Dean Montour said in a press release. “We remain optimistic that this experience and the lessons learned from it will result in a higher standard of gaming regulation for companies licensed and regulated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and elsewhere.”

HERE you can find the complete text of the 11-page report that was released by the KGC. The 117 usernames are listed on page 7 of the report.

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Is Texas Hold ‘Em about the luck of the draw, or the skill of the player?

The question is being played out in courts around the USA.

Let’s say you’re playing poker and you need one more diamond for a flush. The dealer turns a card, reveals a diamond and you win the hand. Was it skill or luck?

The answer is affecting the fates of people across the country accused of breaking anti-gambling laws — people like Kevin Raley of Colorado.

As an engineer, Raley finds that the mathematics of poker come easily, and he’s pretty good at keeping a blank face. Reading other people, though, is something he’s always working on. “It’s something I’m better at today than I was five years ago,” said Raley.

This goes to the point that Raley, 44, is trying to make: The better he gets, the more he wins.

You can find the full story on Los Angeles Times.

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Goldman Sachs bets on legalization and regulation of online gambling industry in US

The reason? …

In a recent note to its investors the firm shows how, by using statistics from PartyGaming, it can be estimated that the existing poker market alone is capable of generating over $1.5 billion. Goldman Sachs says the total possible stake for the US, by maximizing gaming and revenue created, may be as high as $12 billion or more annually.

Can US really miss such a good pot?

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