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  1. Late last week, Caesars Entertainment reversed its long-held stance that PokerStars should not be permitted access to the United States online poker market, a change that has been lauded by the industry. This week, the company took the next step, telling Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance that it was time to not only support PokerStars, but also to team up with the internet poker behemoth. Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations at Caesars Jan Jones Blackhurst told Krafcik that Caesars must "focus on where our opposition really lies, and clearly it's not Amaya and PokerStars. T
  2. As 2015 officially begins, we take a look back at five of the biggest poker news stories of 2014. At the end of the article, let us know what other headlines you thought were memorable this year. 5. Christian Lusardi Causes Havoc at Borgata with Counterfeit Chips Tournament organizers at Borgata's Winter Poker Open in January were forced to cancel the event after finding that several bogus poker chips had been introduced into play. Christian Lusardi (pictured) of Fayetteville, North Carolina was quickly identified as the culprit and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Lusardi had
  3. In recent days, PokerStarshas been reaching out to former New Jersey VIP players and meeting with them via a series of summits in Jersey City and Atlantic City. The site, which Amaya Gaming purchased along with Full Tilt Poker three months ago, appears on track to enter the New Jersey market by the end of the year and perhaps as soon as next month. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to li
  4. Just three months ago, almost no one would have predicted that the relatively unknown gaming systems supplier Amayawas in advanced talks to purchase the parent company of the online poker behemoth PokerStars. Yet on Friday, the Canadian firm announced the completion of its acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt, instantly transforming it into the biggest publicly traded online gambling company on the globe. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for gr
  5. One of the biggest headlines in the history of online poker came down on Thursday night, when it was announced that Amaya Gaming had purchased the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the Rational Group, for $4.9 billion. Whether PokerStarsor Full Tilt Poker is able to return to the United States in some capacity remains to be seen, but what we do know is that the largest publicly traded online gambling company in the world has been created. Commenting on the sale late Thursday night was the Poker Players Alliance, whose Executive Director, John Pappas (pictured), said the tran
  6. According to Bloomberg, the price tag for Amaya Gaming's rumored purchase of PokerStars' parent companycould be more than $1 billion. The news outlet, which released a series of articles on Thursday about the potential acquisition, said, "Blackstone Group LP's credit business, GSO Capital Partners LP, is among the backers of Amaya's bid, arranging more than $1 billion in financing." Trading of Amaya's stock in Toronto was haltedmidday Thursday after it had risen 28% in two days and 17% on Thursday alone. The reason, according to multiple reports, is a forthcoming acquisition of PokerStars'
  7. There's more news about the rumor that Amaya Gaming is in talks to acquire PokerStars. According to Bloomberg, trading of Amaya's stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange was halted on Tuesday "following a 28% surge in the past two days." What the stoppage means regarding a potential acquisition, if anything, is not yet known, but a separate Bloomberg article stated that an announcement of a deal could come on Thursday. Bloomberg told readers, "The stock was halted for pending news, according to a statement from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada." Spokesmen for Amaya an
  8. On Thursday, Amaya Gaming purchased the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the Rational Group, for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to close in September and will make Amaya the largest publicly held internet gambling company on the face of the Earth. The question many players have been wondering is how fast we can expect to see PokerStarsand/or Full Tilt Poker reenter a regulated market in the US. According to longtime industry insider Joe Brennan, don't expect to see PokerStars back in the US immediately. Brennan told PocketFives on Friday, "This transaction, if it goes t
  9. Now here's a headline we didn't expect to write over the weekend. According to a report on CalvinAyre, "An agreement is in place that would see Amaya Gaming assume ownership of the Isle of Man-based online poker colossus [PokerStars], thereby clearing the way for the Stars brand to return to regulated US markets." Whether Amaya could acquire PokerStars from a financial standpoint wasn't clear. As CalvinAyre pointed out, the latter appears to have a far greater value than the former: "Amaya's market cap was hovering around $500 million. Stars is privately held and thus its total value can
  10. According to State Senator Raymond Lesniak (pictured), PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site, will launch in New Jersey in March. Now that the so-called "lame duck" session of Congress in the US is behind us and lawmakers around the country have taken their posts, the focus in New Jersey may now shift to PokerStars being licensed. Longtime industry pro and Online Poker Report front man Chris Grove Tweeted to Lesniak on Saturday, "What about PokerStars - how's that appeal going?" Lesniak responded, "March 2015." You can follow Grove on Twitter at @OPReport. You can follow Lesniak
  11. In a blockbuster announcement on Friday, the first day of May, PokerStarsannounced that it's ending lifetime rev-share for affiliates, including PocketFives. An email sent to us on Friday morning read in part, "From June 1, 2015, PokerStars will pay revenue shares to affiliates for only the first two years of activity on a player’s account. This will affect all referrals by affiliates, including retrospectively affecting those players referred prior to June 1, 2015." Thus, on June 1, affiliates will get no monetary benefit for any players they referred before June 1, 2013. PokerStars add
  12. One of the biggest rumors this week in the online poker world has Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStarsand Full Tilt, purchasing DraftDay, a US-facing daily fantasy sports site. MGT Capital Investments owns DraftDay, which was started by poker players Taylor Green PlasticCaby and Andrew muddywaterWiggins. According to eGaming Review, MGT said about a prospective sale, "In recent weeks, MGT has communicated with several parties expressing interest in a potential investment or purchase of DraftDay. The company is reviewing multiple indications of interest in an effort to create maxim
  13. According to iGaming Business and other news outlets, Amaya Gaming Chairman and Chief Executive David Baazov purchased 110,000 common shares of his company's stock for a total price of $1.7 million. The news comes just two weeks after Amaya's shares dipped by 28% in a single day. As iGaming Business outlined, Baazov (pictured) wasn't alone: "The purchase, made on the open market, comes as two other executives at the firm also opted to increase their shareholding. Marlon Goldstein, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and general counsel, as well as Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Execut
  14. Following an ongoing investigation by the Canadian regulatory agency for financial transactions, an agency in the United States has also launched an investigation into Amaya Gaming and its purchase of PokerStars in 2014. According to reports from Canada's The Globe and Mail, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is looking into approximately 300 investors who profited heavily off Amaya Gaming's purchase of PokerStars. At the end of 2014, FINRA sent a request to Amaya for information about individuals who bought up sizeable amounts of Amaya stock prior to the announcement of th
  15. On Friday, PokerStarsannounced that it will roll out blackjack and roulette "on a market-by-market basis beginning this month with completion anticipated by the end of 2014 reaching nearly half PokerStars' current player base. PokerStars will add sports betting and other popular casino games in 2015. It also plans to launch a fully-featured casino on mobile and web in 2015." --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous w
  16. In comments made last week to the Las Vegas Review Journal, 888 CEO Brian Mattingley(pictured) said he would welcome the presence of PokerStarsin the US market. As you know by now, PokerStars and its sister site, Full Tilt Poker, were sold to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion in recent weeks in a deal that is scheduled to close in September. The transaction could bring PokerStars and Full Tilt back to the US. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great
  17. In a half-hour conference call held on Friday, one day after Amaya Gaming purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, Amaya executives previewed what's to come for players on the largest and fifth largest online poker sites in the world. While no management changes are expected, it appears that a host of software modifications could be in store. A summary of the callappeared on PokerNews' website, which quoted Amaya CEO David Baazov as saying in part, "We intend to support the company growth in real money online casino, sports betting, and social gaming." Currently, PokerStars is poker-only,
  18. On Friday, we'd expect to hear news that Canadian-based Amaya Gaming will be purchasing the parent company of PokerStarsand Full Tilt Poker, the Isle of Man-based Rational Group. Blackstone, a US-based private equity firm, is reportedly raising $1 billion for the acquisition. All of this is according to Online Poker Report, Bloomberg, and our own sources. Amaya is already licensed in New Jersey, although whether it would bring the PokerStars or Full Tilt brands to the Garden State remains to be seen. According to 4Flush, a reverse takeover is planned. While Amaya is green-lighted in
  19. Recently, an article published by CalvinAyre set the poker industry abuzz with rumors that the Canadian firm Amaya Gaming would purchase the online poker behemoth PokerStars. But this week, perhaps hoping to quell the gossip, Amaya decided to release a statement that was seen as a tacit denial of the surprising report. The first inkling of a deal came on May 16, when Industrial Alliance Securities analyst Neil Lindsell stated that Amaya would likely sell its Ongame poker network in order to "trade up" to a bigger platform, according to the CalvinAyre piece. Since then, the company's stock
  20. According to iGaming Businessand other outlets, the seemingly lengthy delay of PokerStarsgetting licensed in New Jersey has to do with a "thorough, comprehensive review" by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over
  21. If you think Amaya Gaming, which owns PokerStarsand Full Tiltand is reportedly in talks to buy bwin.party, is going to explode in value, now is your time to cash in. This week, Amaya was green-lit for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Its shares will begin trading on June 8. Amaya Chairman and CEO David Baazov said, "Our listing on the NASDAQ is an important milestone for Amaya and a testament to the tremendous progress we have made over our five years as a public company. We anticipate that the NASDAQ listing will provide greater visibility and better liquidity for our stock an
  22. According to a variety of sites, including Online Poker Report, Amaya Gaming has asserted that a mobile pop-up alerting players that real money Full Tilt games were available in New Jersey was an error. Call it a Garden State SNAFU that briefly energized the community that Full Tilt was going to enter the market effective immediately. "We have been developing a real money mobile poker app that has been submitted to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement as part of the review process of our application to offer real money gaming under a NJ DGE license," the statement from Amaya read.
  23. In June of this year, Amaya Gaming announced it had purchased the Rational Group, the owners of Full Tiltand PokerStars. The transaction has set off a chain of events including increased rakeat PokerStars' tables, changes to forex policies, and a rumored overhaul of the site's VIP program. The transaction has also increased Amaya's revenues by a factor of six, according to eGaming Review. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker ro
  24. Since the 2014 raid by Canadian authorities on the offices of Amaya Gaming, the owners of PokerStarsand Full Tilt Poker, as well as two investment banks that were allegedly involved in that transaction, there hasn't been much information released. Earlier this week, however, the Canadian courts changed that by releasing some information that allows people to conclude who was targeted by the raid and what information was being sought. Toronto Globe and Mail reporter Jacquie McNish reported that, as of earlier this week, the court had lifted a publication ban that had been in place. The appro
  25. During the announcement of the company's financials for the previous year, Amaya GamingChief Executive Officer David Baazov(pictured) announced an extremely optimistic outlook in New Jersey and globally due to new innovations. Perhaps the biggest note of the Amaya teleconference was the development and rollout of a sportsbook within the PokerStars platform. Baazov noted that the first sports bets through the PokerStars-backed sportsbook have already been accepted in selected markets as the company looks to move forward with the product by expanding into other markets over the second quarter

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