Poker News

Frank and King introduce online gambling legislation

It’s time to regulate gambling on the Internet rather than outlaw it, says Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.) introduced legislation Wednesday that, if passed, would create regulatory framework for online gambling in the United States, and that is sure to please poker players. But the opposition is formidable and includes conservative groups that view gambling as exploiting the vulnerable, particularly the poor.

Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement, and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the states and Indian tribes,” the 48-page bill reads.

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Is online gambling coming in from the cold?

What will happen to online gambling during this year? The general picture is still not fully clear, but the biggest potential change would be probably in the United States, where, perhaps within days, Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, is expected to introduce legislation aimed at overturning the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

An overall view of the situation is explained in a recent article on New York Times “A New Chance for Online Gambling in the U.S.“. Here is a quick exerpt and a link:

“When the U.S. Congress cracked down on Internet betting in 2006, the big, publicly traded European companies that had dominated the business closed up shop in the United States. Growth in the booming industry shifted away from these companies, once the darlings of the stock market, to private operators in offshore locations like Antigua and the Isle of Man.”


Schedule released for 2009 World Series of Poker

2009 World Series of Poker is set for May 26-July 15 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Like 2008, play will pause after the field of the $10,000 buy-in main event is down to nine players. The 2009 version of the “November Nine” will return Nov. 10 to finish off the final table.

A $40,000 buy-in event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the WSOP is May 28 to kick off the series

All four rebuy events from 2008 have been eliminated

In total, there will be 57 bracelet events, the most ever. It includes 10 $10,000 buy-in events, including the main event, seven $1,500 buy-in events and the third $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship.



Poker: Ivey Wins a Million Online

The independent online poker stats site MarketPulse reports that Phil Ivey enjoyed a profitable session Thursday at the Full Tilt Poker big-action virtual tables, taking over a million from formidable players like Tom ‘durrr’ Dwan and the ultra-cool Finnish player Ilari ‘Ziigmund’ Sahamies.

It’s been a bad week for Sahamies  who lost a similar amount to Dwan, including one pot of $549 000, earlier in the week.

The biggest hand of the session saw Ivey take a $227 958 pot from Sahamies, who also lost more big pots to Dwan, incurring some of the heaviest losses of his online playing career to date.



Thoughts from a pro

How does poker reflect economic crash?

Perry Friedman is a World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a sponsored pro at Full Tilt Poker.  Friedman is a graduate of Stanford University and now lives in Las Vegas.

Living in Las Vegas, I have seen the effects of the current downturn firsthand.  Casinos have been hit pretty hard.  Several of the major casinos are in danger of bankruptcy or restructuring.  Some casino projects have stalled, while others have been completely abandoned.  You can’t read the newspaper or watch local news without more bad news being reported about the casino industry.  People are still coming to Vegas, but they aren’t spending as much while they’re here as before.

On the bright side, gambling in general tends to be pretty resilient when it comes to economic downturns.  There is always the “lottery effect,” where gambling is a way out for people who perceive themselves as having no other alternatives.  However, those people aren’t about to head to Las Vegas to gamble — they will instead play locally (whether it’s the lottery, horse betting, online gambling, or whatever is available to them).

As far as poker goes, live poker is seeing the same downturn.  The recreational poker player now has less expendable income and cash game poker doesn’t have that same “lottery effect.”  On the flip side, tournament poker does have that big reward potential.  I believe tournaments will suffer less than cash games.  Tournament poker was already seeing a slight decline prior to the economic downturn, mostly due to the huge peak it hit in the post-Moneymaker era.  I expect this year’s World Series of Poker to do about the same numbers as it did last year.  I think that as the economy rebounds, the poker industry will begin to rise again.  There is also hope with the new Administration in place that the regulatory environment may change for online poker, which could lead to a new resurgence in live poker as well.


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