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Found 6 results

  1. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Check out this week's all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie bring you all of the most important news and notes from the world of poker. This week, the World Series of Poker made its first announcement about the 2020 WSOP summer schedule including dates for the Main Event and the return of the last summer's breakout Big 50. Plus, the state of Michigan is on the verge of becoming the sixth U.S. state to legalize and regulate online poker. Download, tune in and subscribe! Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  2. Just weeks after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that legalized online gaming - including online poker - one of the world's leading online poker operators has announced a partnership with a local tribe. The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars and FOXBet, announced an agreement with Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority that gives it "first skin market access to operate and brand real-money online betting, poker, and casino" to Michiganders. This makes PokerStars the first online poker operator to announce a partner in Michigan since the bill was signed. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] PokerStars still needs regulatory approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board before launching. “We are excited to announce this agreement with the Odawa tribe, which further strengthens our market access as we work to continue to build our FOX Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market,” said Robin Chhabra, Chief Executive Officer, FOX Bet. The agreement also allows The Stars Group to offer sports betting and casino games. “The Tribe’s partnership with The Stars Group extends beyond our reservation and places the thrill of world-class sports betting and online gaming under every finger-tip sliding across a touch screen in the State of Michigan,” said Fred Harrington Jr., Tribal Council, LTBB Odawa. PokerStars currently operates two sites in the United States. In New Jersey, PokerStars NJ launched in March 2016 in partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel. In November 2019, PokerStars PA launched in Pennsylvania in partnership with Mt. Airy Casino. The two sites do not share traffic with each other and there is no indication that either site will share liquidity with Michigan. LTBB Odawa currently operates the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey and the Odawa Casino Mackinaw in Mackinaw City. The Petoskey location includes a poker room with six tables while the Mackinaw venue has no poker room or table games whatsoever. As part of this partnership, LTBB Odawa will receive a share of the revenue generated by PokerStars and FOXBet products in the state.
  3. Regulated online poker in the US made some leaps in 2019, and if the market can have a similar legislative year in 2020 as it did in 2019, things will be moving along quite nicely. In 2019, Pennsylvania online poker went live, West Virginia entered the regulated arena, and Michigan redeemed itself. Pennsylvania Goes Live As the saying goes, it’s better late than never. Following up on Pennsylvania’s regulation of online poker in late 2017, Kevin O’Toole, executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, announced in April of 2019 that that PA online poker would go live on July 15. The announcement was a very welcomed one, especially by players in the Keystone State. With a population of 12.8 million, Pennsylvania would become the largest state to have regulated online poker, topping New Jersey’s 8.9 million. Just days after O’Toole’s announcement on when Pennsylvania online poker would go live, it was revealed that seven casinos had been approved to operate online poker in the state, including PokerStars and partypoker. After plenty of time had passed between signing of the bill and the PGCB’s announcement on when online poker would go live in Pennsylvania, things were finally moving forward. As the days rolled by, more and more poker players become anxious for what was to come in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately the launch date of July 15 was not going to happen. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months as the wait went on. Finally, the poker community received the news that PokerStars was to begin testing real-money online poker in Pennsylvania on November 4. PokerStars PA’s soft launch proved a success and the site officially went live on November 6, 2019. Less than two weeks after opening its virtual doors, PokerStars PA announced the first-ever Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker. The series called for 50 events and $1 million in combined prize pool guarantees. The inaugural PACOOP got off to a roaring start, so much so that organizers opted to bump up the guarantees for the events not once but twice. As 2019 came to a close, PokerStars was the only operator live in Pennsylvania. The site has shown solid numbers, both in tournaments and cash games, and it will be interesting to see which operator decides to be next in line. With other operators in play, we’ll be able to get our first look at the competitive landscape in the Keystone State, although PokerStars PA has done well to get a head start by launching in November 2019. The best thing to come from PokerStars PA’s launch was the lack of hiccups exhibited elsewhere, like when New Jersey launched, for example. The regulated online poker industry is more mature in the US and a lot has been learned and improved upon in the time since NJ launched regulated online poker. Going forward, we anticipate other states that come on board will have a similarly streamlined launch phase to what we saw in Pennsylvania. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Michigan Redeems Itself At the end of 2018, it was thought that Michigan was going to be the next state to regulate online poker. Just days before Christmas, Michigan lawmakers passed a bill to legalize online poker. All that was needed was a signature from Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan would be off and running towards launch. Snyder had other plans, though. Days after the bill was sent to Snyder’s desk by lawmakers, Snyder vetoed the bill. Just about one year passed and a bill that included regulated online poker was back on the governor’s desk in Michigan, only this time it was the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Unlike her predecessor, Whitmer signed the bill into law. With a state population of nearly 10 million, it is hoped that Michigan regulated online poker will be similar to what can be seen in Pennsylvania upon launch. Whitmer was involved in the process of drafting the bill, which lended itself to greater confidence that the bill would get signed into law once it reached her desk. The bill does have language in it that does not allow for interstate liquidity, as Whitmer had concerns over online slot revenues potentially leaving the state. Things might eventually change for Michigan to allow interstate player pooling, but we’ll have to wait and see in that regard, just like what’s happening in Pennsylvania. West Virginia Legalizes Online Poker Before Michigan became the sixth state to legalize online poker and before regulated online poker went live in Pennsylvania, West Virginia became the fifth state to welcome legalized online poker. Via passing of the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, online poker is now regulated in the Mountain State. The bill was approved overwhelmingly by both the House and Senate in West Virginia before it was sent to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. Justice did not act on the bill before the 15-day deadline, which allowed the bill to become law. Those in West Virginia are still waiting for the next steps to take place, as regulators are currently working on putting everything in place that will lead up to launch. Although one of the smaller states in the US in terms of population, with a figure of 1.8 million, the more states that are on board with regulated online poker, the better. Wire Act Only Applies To Sports Betting Entering the 2019 WSOP, there was some uncertainty surrounding the WSOP.com online gold bracelet events that were set to take place across the interstate player pools of Nevada and New Jersey. But at the beginning of June, Judge Paul Barbadoro of the US District Court concluded that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. "I hereby declare that § 1084(a) of the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084(a), applies only to transmissions related to bets or wagers on a sporting event or contest," Barbadoro wrote in conclusion. "The 2018 OLC Opinion is set aside." The new opinion came following the Department of Justice's claim that the Wire Act applied to all forms of online gambling, which is what caused the uncertainty to surround the WSOP.com online gold bracelet events. The new opinion, however, gave the green light for interstate WSOP.com online gold bracelet events to move forward without issue. As regulated online poker continues to try and make strides, the new opinion from Barbadoro was very much viewed as a win. What followed was a record-breaking year for WSOP.com online gold bracelet events. WSOP.com Named Official NFL Sponsor Although WSOP.com, which is currently live in Nevada and New Jersey and has interstate player pooling across the two states, did not launch operations in a new state in 2019, it did have an exciting bit of news announced. In November, it was announced that WSOP.com was named an official sponsor of the NFL. The partnership stemmed from an earlier announcement at the beginning of the year when Caesars Entertainment Corporation, parent company of the WSOP and WSOP.com, was selected as the first-ever Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL. As part of the partnership, WSOP.com launched the ‘Sit ‘N’ Go to the Super Bowl’ promotion to provide players with the opportunity to win a trip for two to Miami for Super Bowl LIV. Looking Ahead To 2020 As we said off the top, if 2020 continues with the same sort of advancements that happened in 2019, regulated online poker in the US will be moving along nicely. What this means is one or two new states coming on board and at least one more operator going live in Pennsylvania. Both Michigan and West Virginia have passed bills to regulated online poker, but timetables have yet to be determined for when sites will go live. It seems that online poker will be live in Michigan before West Virginia, but for now we’re left waiting to see what’s next from these two states. Best hopes are that Michigan, due to its size, has an efficient timetable to and through launch, mirroring the success of Pennsylvania’s launch. In Pennsylvania, look for WSOP.com to go live sometime in 2020. Of course, without interstate liquidity sharing, WSOP.com players in Pennsylvania will be separate from those playing in Nevada and New Jersey. Competition within a market is almost always a good thing and having a powerful brand such as the WSOP alongside PokerStars in the market should help raise the bar for what’s offered to PA online poker players in addition to providing a second option of play. WSOP.com going live in Pennsylvania, if it were to happen ahead of the 2020 World Series of Poker, could positively affect the massive live festival that takes place in Las Vegas every summer, too. An online gold bracelet event likely wouldn’t be in the cards, but satellites offering players opportunities to win their way to compete in WSOP gold bracelet events in Las Vegas would certainly be expected. WSOP.com has already started running satellites for the 2020 WSOP for players in Nevada and New Jersey. With a new governor in office, Kentucky is a state to watch in 2020. Rep. Adam Koenig tried to push through legislation in 2019 but ultimately fell short in an effort to legalize both online poker and sports betting. Koenig has said he will try again in 2020 and his efforts could be supported by one very important person. The state’s former governor, Matt Bevin, was against gambling. The state’s new governor, Andy Beshear, who previously served as Kentucky’s attorney general, appears to be very much for regulated gambling. As attorney general, Beshear urged legislators to allow legalized gambling. Much like a new governor helped get regulated online poker over the finish line in Michigan, Beshear could be pivotal in Kentucky getting legalized online gambling, including online poker.
  4. As we move into 2020, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of 2019. December saw one of the largest online poker tournaments ever, a new state regulating online poker, and Pennsylvania players getting their first taste of COOP action. MILLIONS Online Chopped Up Again For the second year in a row, the partypoker MILLIONS Online was chopped up by the final two players. This time, 'frenchsniperrr’ and ‘Lucio’ each ended up with a $2.2 million score. The official winner, ‘frenchsniperrr’, banked $2,259,113.58 for first place while ‘Lucio’ took $2,222,511.43 as the runner-up. After Day 1A finished, all eyes were on 'jiggidyjigjohn', who finished with the chip lead. A partypoker promotion offered the Day 1A chip leader a $1 million bonus if they went on to win the event. Unfortunately for 'jiggidyjigjohn', they had to settle for a 42nd place finish for $52,725. The event drew 2,109 runners to build a total prize pool of $21,090,000 to beat the guarantee and make it the second-largest online poker tournament prize pool of all time behind only the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online event. The buy-in for the 2019 event was bumped up from $5,300 to $10,300 - one of a handful of things that PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley believes need to be changed for the 2020 event in an effort to break the record for largest online poker tournament ever. Alex Foxen Wins WPT Five Diamond to Clinch GPI POY Alex Foxen captured the 2018 GPI Player of the Year title and spent all of 2019 doing his best to defend it. He ended up doing just that in dramatic fashion. Foxen captured the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic for $1.694 million and more than enough points to lock up a second consecutive poker GPI POY title. The unlimited re-entry event drew 1,035 runners to break the record for largest Five Diamond ever. “It feels, I don’t know… surreal,” Foxen said in the moments following the win. “It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that I played heads up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win. I don’t have words.” Runner-up Toby Joyce collected $1,120,040 for his efforts. This was the fourth consecutive year that the Five Diamond field saw an increase. Season XV had 791 entries, Season XVI had 812, and Season XVII last year had 1,001. Pennsylvania Online Poker Players Enjoy First Big Series Just weeks after the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania, Keystone State grinders got their first taste of what a big online series was like. The inaugural PokerStars Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker actually kicked off in late November, but most of the events took place in December and PokerStars executives had to be happy with the overall turnout. PokerStars actually bumped up the overall guarantees for the series twice. First on December 2, going from $1 million to $1.125 million, and then again on December 4, with another $125,000 being added to the prize pools. The Main Event was won by 'Gyeao' for $31,335.64. The event had a $150,000 guarantee but the 640 entries in the $300 buy-in event helped the prize pool balloon to $179,200. PACOOP was the first time that some of the best online poker players in the state got a chance to show their mettle. Six players, lead by 'Gyea0', managed to earn more than $20,000 over the course of the entire series. Michigan Legalizes Online Poker - For Real In late 2018, online poker players in Michigan were excited and then heartbroken when the Michigan legislature passed a bill to legalize online poker only to have then-Governor Rick Snyder veto the bill out of spite just days before leaving office. It took nearly 12 months, but another bill was passed on December 10 and then signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 28. This made Michigan the sixth state to pass online poker legislation, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  5. Wednesday was a big day for Michigan online poker players as the State Senate passed a package of bills that make online poker, sports betting, daily fantasy sports and online casino legal inside state borders. The three bills each passed the Senate by a 35-3 vote and will need to next pass through the House for concurrence before it lands on the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature and final approval. The bills should pass through the house on Wednesday night. This marks the second straight year that Michigan has passed an online gambling bill. In 2018, the legislature passed H 4926 by a 33-5 before then Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the bill a week later before leaving office. Michigan residents have little reason to fear a repeat result though. Governor Whitmer has been involved in the drafting of the bill and was involved in the tax rate negotiations that eventually lead to its passing. According to John Pappas, former director of the Poker Players Alliance, the bill does not allow for interstate liquidity sharing due to Governor Whitmer's concerns over online slot revenues potentially leaving the state. Michigan has a population of nearly 10 million and will be a larger stand-alone market than New Jersey but smaller than Pennsylvania. Once the bill is signed by Whitmer, it will make Michigan the sixth state to legalize online joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  6. The state of Michigan is on the doorstep of legalizing and regulating online poker as well as mobile sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and online casino games after an all-encompassing package of iGaming bills passed through the Senate’s Regulatory Reform Committee and is headed to the Senate floor. If approved by the Senate, as it is expected to be, the return of online poker to Michigan will head to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. If this all sounds familiar it’s because this is not the first time Michigan has been on the cusp of iGaming legalization. Just last year, a comprehensive online gaming bill passed both the House and Senate and simply needed the signature of the outgoing Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder, in one of his last acts in office, unexpectedly vetoed the bill leaving the lawmakers who were leading online gaming charge, back at square one. Throughout 2019, a renewed effort to resurrect an online gaming bill has been underway and now with less than a week before the end of the legislative session, Representative Brandt Iden, who has been a sponsor for one of the major online gaming bills, and the state of Michigan is poised to finish this multi-year campaign to legalize online gaming. There’s an optimism that this time there will be no surprises. One of the biggest sticking points leading up to this point was the proposed tax rate on iGaming and sports betting. Iden was lobbying for a lower tax rate as not to overly burden suppliers and operators of the new, legalized industry. Governor Gretchen Whitmer was insisting on higher taxes, fearing that legalizing online gaming would replace the income from the current state Lottery, 70% of the profits of which are used to aid Michigan schools. Negotiations between the Governor and those looking to pass the bill appeared to have been hashed out. In the bills that passed through committee on Tuesday, sports betting receiving a slightly lower tax rate than initially proposed and iGaming taxes were increased. Should things go according to plan, the Senate will vote on the iGaming bills as soon as Tuesday afternoon, but before December 19. After that, it will await the signature of Governor Whitmer. Once signed, online poker could be a reality for the players in Michigan before the end of 2020.
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