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It’s finally official. The weeks of rumors have finally been put to rest as PokerStars is scheduled to put their platform to the real money test on Monday, November 4 and will become the first online operator to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. For PokerStars, the soft launch testing period should take two days before it is officially approved. Once it is, poker players in the Keystone State can get back to their online grind. For a little while at least, PokerStars will be the only operator in Pennsylvania. However, it is just a matter of time before they have competition for the nearly 13 million potential players in PA. Here's a look at the online poker operators that could be next to join PokerStars in the Pennsylvania market. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] WSOP.com One of the most obvious choices to do battle with PokerStars is Caesars Entertainment’s online arm of the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com. Currently the leading online poker room in New Jersey, WSOP.com is powered by 888 software and partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, another property of Caesars. World Series of Poker officials have remained tight-lipped about their plans on entering Pennsylvania. When they do, it should only be a two-day testing process for them based on the fact that they already have up-and-running online sites elsewhere in the U.S. WSOP.com would bring a number of exciting opportunities for players in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, the ability to satellite into live World Series of Poker bracelet events would be a significant draw, especially in the summer months leading up to the Main Event. In addition to their satellites, WSOP.com offers its own online poker series with big guarantees including seasonal Online Championships as well as Online Circuit Events where players can win an actual ring. Party Poker partypoker’s parent company, GVC, has a deal in place with Valley Forge Casino Resort that would bring the well-known poker brand to PA. Like WSOP.com, partypoker already has a presence in New Jersey, where it shares a player pool with BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM.com. This means that whenever they decide to schedule a soft launch period, it too will only require two days of testing. Going live in Pennsylvania looks to be a piece to a larger puzzle for partypoker. Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved partypoker for an online poker license in Nevada. Currently, there is only one operator in Nevada, WSOP.com. The low population of three million makes it tough for the market to support multiple online poker sites. If partypoker has its sights set on taking over the #1 spot in the U.S. they would need to leverage the same multi-state compact that bolstered WSOP.com. At the same time, they will be looking forward to a time when Pennsylvania may also join the states that have legalized and regulated online poker. Dark Horses partypoker and WSOP.com are two of the most recognizable brands in poker today. But inside the state of Pennsylvania, there are some very popular poker entities that could decide to enter the market. Parx Casino is well-known for its massive Big Stax tournaments and large live poker room. They have also paid the steep $10 million fee to be able to offer online gaming. They are already offering sports betting and online casino games. Should the market warrant it, Parx could leverage their brand to expand into online poker. Rush Street Gaming is the owners of SugarHouse and their interactive arm could bring online poker to PA. Rush Street is already well-known in the poker scene with its televised live cash game Poker Night In America.
[caption width="640"] After three months of waiting, Mike Dentale and Cate Hall are ready to battle at SugarHouse Casino. (PokerNight photo)[/caption] It was the hand heard ’round social media. On Day 3 of theWorld Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic in December, Cate Hallcalled Barry Hutter’s six-bet shove with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"] and the hand was soon the talk of Twitter. Hall attempted to get in front of the firestorm that she assumed would follow but could not firmly batten down the hatches against the mob questioning her play. New Yorker Mike Dentale was the loudest and most outspoken of that mob. Well-known on the East Coast as a cash game and tournament regular, along with his brash personality, Dentale is never one to shy away from speaking his mind. Through a series of tweets that grew in animosity with each 140 characters, Dentale and Hall’s feud reached a boiling point and they agreed to play heads up against each other to settle their dispute once and for all. The combatants were in place but they needed an arena. Luckily for Dentale and Hall, Poker Night in America and SugarHouse Casino agreed to host the match and broadcast it live on Twitch starting this Sunday, March 19 starting at 3:00 pm EST. It didn’t take much prodding on Poker Night in America’s part to take on duties as Rush Street Gaming’s Matt Glantz was more than willing to do what was necessary to finalize the details and provide a scene for one of the most anticipated matches in poker history. “Once I saw Cate and Mike going at it on Twitter and challenging each other to heads up, I jumped on the opportunity so that we could make this ‘Grudge Match’ a Poker Night in America production. SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is the perfect location for the match. It is directly in between where Mike and Cate reside,” said Glantz. The pair have agreed to play a best-of-three series of Sit N Gos freezeouts. Each player start withs $15,000 cash and blinds will be $75/$150 for the duration of each match. Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk are teaming up to provide commentary for the live stream. There have been many “made for TV” confrontations across the sporting world but what separates this match, according to Glantz, is the authentic hostility between the two players. “There is real animosity between these two. This is not manufactured dislike in any way. These are two polar opposites. Cate is a highly-educated, liberal-minded, math-based poker player, who is relatively new to the scene. Mike is an extremely street-smart, conservative-minded, feel-based player, who has been around poker for twenty-plus years.” Dentale and Hall haven’t been shy about hiding their hate for each other. In a recent interview, Dentale went as far as to refer to Hall as a “phony bitch” while Hall described Dentale as a “really bad person [who is] a pathological liar and a cheat,” and noted that there is “nothing redeeming about him.” Both players feel they are superior to the other and are confident about their respective edge. “I think I have an edge because I’m a better poker player than him. I think I will be able to adjust in-game better than him. On both a fundamental level and live level, I feel like I have a big advantage,” said Hall. “I have a hard time believing he is beating tournaments with relatively high buy-ins or $2/$5. Just because someone has been around for a few years doesn’t mean they’re good,” said Hall. When faced with a similar question about his opponent’s playing abilities, Dentale responded with, “Any skilled veteran player can see that she’s a bad player. She always tries to not take responsibility for her bad play. I’ve played with her in three WPTs and found her incredibly novice. She has no clue. I firmly believe in my heart she doesn’t have the experience to beat me. There are certain things you need time to learn.” As for the preparation that each player has gone through prior to the match, both Dentale and Hall have not received formal coaching, but Hall has done the diligence of researching heads up play. Dentale, on the other hand, believes his many years of poker experience will be more than enough to overcome Hall. “No matter what she does, I’m going to put a lot of veteran pressure on her. I have very good hand reading ability,” said Dentale. Hall says she considered coaching but when she weighed the cost of hiring one versus the increase in expected value, she decided studying on her own would suffice. “Given a sample size of a few hundred hands against someone with major holes in their game, I felt I could get myself to 90 percent to where a coach would get me.” Regardless of who wins the match, Dentale and Hall both think that their play will speak volumes in determining who is the better player. They admit the variance in heads up play is too large to where the purest of results will take form, but each player wants to prove to the audience watching of their superiority. “I think that what I’ve tried to focus on and get mentally prepared for is, assuming many people are watching, is I want it to be apparent to people that I am playing better than him, if that is the case, it won’t be hard to acknowledge,” said Hall. The build-up to the match has been like no other and the three months of verbal warfare will be replaced by chips this Sunday inside SugarHouse Casino. Glantz notes that this is “uncharted territory” in the realm of live-streamed poker but he is hoping that the match is able to “capture the interest of the majority of the poker community.” The audience and social media chatter will be abuzz on March 19 and if Dentale and Hall have proved nothing else, the poker world is in for a one of a kind experience.
[caption width="640"] Matt Glantz will work with Rush Street Gaming and Poker Night in America[/caption] Matt Glantzhas inked a deal with casino operator Rush Street Gaming to develop the company’s portfolio of full-service poker rooms in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York. In addition, the Keystone State-native will serve as a producer and talent manager for the brand’s Poker Night in America TV and web series. Glantz, a well-known figure in the northeastern poker scene, previously served as the poker ambassador to Parx Casino, helping to turn the card room there into a nationally known brand in less than three years. He now hopes to leverage his experience as a professional poker player and consultant to do the same for Rush Street’s Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and the upcoming Rivers Casino in Schenectady, New York, slated to open in 2017. Glantz will focus much of his time on promoting SugarHouse’s new poker room, set to open at the beginning of February. Glantz called Philadelphia “the most competitive poker market in the industry,” noting that players can take their pick from a long list of poker rooms like those at Harrahs, Sands Bethlehem, Parx and Borgata, all within a 60 mile radius. The new poker room will be part of SugarHouse’s $164 million expansion and will feature close to 30 poker tables. Glantz described the soon-to-open card room as “absolutely beautiful,” and said that the venue had several exciting announcements in store for its poker players, some of which will be made soon. Above all, the 44-year-old poker pro wants to ensure that the card rooms under the Rush Street umbrella are as player-friendly as possible. Glantz has achieved great success at the tables throughout his poker career, boasting six major tournament titles and over $6 million in live tournament winnings. With his experience working in different facets of the poker industry, Glantz is in a unique position to bring about changes which will enhance the experience for Rush Street’s poker savvy customers. “Rush Street Gaming strives to offer the best poker experience for every type of player, from casual gamers to high-stakes players like Matt,” said Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin. “We’re excited to have Matt on our team to further improve our poker platform.” Glantz also expressed his excitement in his new role as producer and event manager for Poker Night in America, a CBS Sports Network TV series which features players at tournaments and cash games across the US. One of the goals of the show has been to revive mainstream interest in the game by capturing some of the poker world’s most interesting personalities. “I’m looking forward to joining the Rush Street team and working to enhance the Rush Street Gaming poker experience,” said Glantz.