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Found 3 results

  1. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Australia's top-ranked online poker player, Rory Young, adopted a new kitten just days after arriving in Rosarito for SCOOP[/caption] The top-ranked online poker player in Australia isn't actually in Australia right now. Rory Young is hanging out in Rosarito, Mexico with a few other grinders, preparing for the grind that is the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker. And he couldn't be any happier. "I owe my love of Rosarito to 'JWProdigy', Jordan Westmoreland," said Young, who met Westmoreland a little over a year and a half ago while traveling with good friend Alex Lynskey just after Lynskey finished fourth in the Aussie Millions Main Event. "Then we ended up traveling around Adelaide. We went up and stayed at my parents' beach house up in Central Coast. We had a grind house up there for a little while. That was a lot of fun. We figured we'd keep the momentum going." Young, Westmoreland, Benjamin 'spektah' Leblonde and Timothy 'Weygang' English rented a house in Rosarito and instantly fell in love with the place. "Everyone's helpful, it's just a really relaxing environment; margaritas by the beach, waking up every day to good weather, and great food. The cost of living here is like really cheap as well," said Young. As 2016 SCOOP approached, they packed up and headed off to Cabo San Lucas for the series. There, Young and his group met up with some more of Australia's finest poker players; Jonathan 'xMonsterxDongx' Karamalikis and Stevan 'random.chu' Chew. While the camaraderie was great, Young found that poker was taking second billing to everything that Cabo offers. " I'll never do that again. It was more like we were there to party and play SCOOP on the side," said Young. "When SCOOP's so big it's probably not the best idea to be partying so much. Do more of a low-key thing this time and then party in Cabo afterwards." And that's exactly what Young has planned for this year. He'll be staying in Rosarito through the end May when his attention turns to the World Series of Poker. His poker-playing roommates this year include Adrian 'Knightsgee' Attenborough and Corey 'Corlusion' Kempson. The group plans to take advantage of the two-week break between SCOOP and the start of the WSOP with lots of relaxation. Having played a full WSOP schedule before, Young is looking at a different approach this year. "I'll probably focus a lot on cash games in the World Series and definitely find all the good tournaments but I wouldn't be on that every day tournament grind," said Young, who won't be sitting in every single tournament in pursuit of a second WSOP bracelet. " I'll play the good ones. The Millionaire Maker and stuff like that but I'm not going to be sitting there flicking $1Ks from the start. It's just too much of a grind and I want to try to enjoy my life a bit more rather than just like the live grind is very, very demanding." Lots of tournament grinders dream of winning a WSOP bracelet. Young did that in his home country in 2014, winning the $1650 Dealer's Choice event at WSOP Asia Pacific. Just don’t tell Young it’s a WSOP bracelet or ask him to show it to you. “It feels like ages ago. It’s not really a bracelet win. It was like a 60-person mixed game field in Australia. I lost the bracelet actually,” said Young. “I lost it in Mexico last year. I brought it with me because it was in my safe at home in Sydney, and I hadn’t taken it out since I won it. I’m not really a sentimental person, so I thought I’d maybe melt it down and make it into a cool necklace or a ring.” Over the last few months, Young has climbed up the PocketFives Rankings and broke into the top 20 last week for the first time in his career. He’s currently #19 in the world but if you ask him, it’s basically a months-long heater. “I’m barely playing. I’m just playing majors and just seem to bink something every week. It’s not down to any improvement of my game, I’m just running better now,” said Young. The run good couldn’t possibly come out a worse time for Young – or any Australian poker player for that matter. In March, the Australian senate voted to effectively ban online poker. While the law hasn’t taken effect yet, most of the bigger online poker rooms have indicated they won’t operate in the country once it does. That means Young and his friends could soon find themselves looking at places like Rosarito as a more permanent solution, just like American grinders did after Black Friday. “It might be a bit apathetic, thinking that I have no bearing on the decision, but I’m more of a realist,” said Young. “There’s not much that I could have done to have swayed the decision. Basically, I’m not too hopeful.” Young may not leave the country. He recently signed on as an ambassador for Star Casino in Sydney and could see himself focusing on playing live once he returns home after the WSOP. “If I can’t play online in Sydney, so be it. I’m not desperately out here grinding four days a week of online MTTs anyway. Worst-case scenario, I can just fly to New Zealand for the weekend whenever I want to play majors,” said Young. “I think I’m just going to take it easy and put my time into the Star and look at doing some stuff there instead of playing online. But I know quite a few people who are looking to relocate.”
  2. [caption width="640"] Online poker players and advocates in Australia are probably flying the flag at half-mast after their federal government moved to ban online poker.[/caption] Australian online poker players got bad news – the worst news, actually – on Tuesday. The Interactive Gambling Amendment 2016 passed through the Australian Senate on Tuesday, essentially banning online poker and in-play sports betting. This likely means most online poker operators will remove themselves from the Australian market in the days and weeks. 888poker left the market in late 2016 in anticipation of the bill becoming law and PokerStars has previously indicated they would leave. “It’s stupid. If you want to play poker, there are lots of opportunities in Australia, at casinos and tournaments. It’s not as if there isn’t a great deal of poker playing already, but they’re just stopping it online. The whole world is online now,” Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm told the Huffington Post. Leyonhjelm had attempted to amend the bill with a carveout for online poker but was unsuccessful. The bill, which allows for the government to fine operators violating it upwards of AU$6.5 million, was the result of a 2015 report titled “Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering”. That report asked for recommendations on the best ways under Australian law to limit the activities of illegal offshore gaming operators. The Interactive Gambling Amendment 2016 has similarities to the 2006 passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the United States. Following the passing of that bill most major publicly traded online gaming companies abandoned the American market. Alan Tudge, Human Services Minister, was anxious to close any loopholes that that the previously passed Interactive Gambling Act 2001 had that allowed licensed operators in Australia to accept in-play bets on sporting events over the internet. Jackie Glazer, one of many high profile Australian poker players and a partpoker ambassador expressed a sentiment that most Australian poker players are feeling today via Twitter.
  3. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Leon Tsoukernik found himself the center of the attention in the high stakes cash game world for all the wrong reasons.[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. We'll get things started by looking back at the five biggest off the felt news stories of 2017. #5 - Australian Government Bans Online Poker American poker players know all too well how it feels to have the government step in and take away online poker. In March, the Interactive Gambling Amendment 2016 passed through the Australia Senate and effectively banned online poker Down Under. Over the course of the next six months, PokerStars, 888poker, and partypoker all exited the Australian market, leaving grinders there to play on black market offshore sites, much like most of their American counterparts. There does appear to be some appetite from politicians to regulate online poker or at least carve the game out, but there's no real timeline for either of those options. #4 - The End of the November Nine & Launch of PokerGO A major shift in how poker fans watch the WSOP was announced just a couple of weeks before the 2017 WSOP started. In partnership with ESPN, Poker Central announced they had acquired the global television and digital media rights for the WSOP and would be launching their own subscription-based streaming service, PokerGO. The WSOP Main Event would be broadcast live on a combination of ESPN, ESPN2, and PokerGO, and the final table played out in July, ending the November Nine concept after a ten-year run. While the decision to take the Main Event back to its roots was met with praise from poker fans, one of the major complaints those same fans had was that not all final tables were live streamed, as had been the case in years past when WSOP.com aired them. PokerGO later added the Poker Masters series and brought back Poker After Dark as part of their original programming and signed on the World Poker Tour as part of their streaming coverage. #3 - UB & AbsolutePoker Money Returned to Players Most players who had money on UB.com or AbsolutePoker.com on Black Friday had long given up any hope of getting that money back. So to say the news that the Garden City Group had begun the remissions process for those players was met with delight back in April would be a massive understatement. With little to no fanfare, GCG announced that players could begin filling out the necessary paperwork to potentially get their money back. The process was nearly identical to the one used by GCG to pay Full Tilt Poker players back following the U.S. Department of Justice settlement with PokerStars. Most believe the UB/AP refunds process was only possible because of funds leftover from that settlement after all Full Tilt refunds were processed. #2 - High Stakes Drama: Leon Tsoukernik vs. Matt Kirk It’s rare that poker fans get any sort of reliable information out of the world of nosebleed cash games. So when Matt Kirk sued Kings Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik after he failed to pay back a $3,000,000 loan Kirk gave him, everybody seemed to salivate over the details contained in the court documents. According to Kirk’s suit, the pair were part of a high stakes game at the Aria Hotel & Casino on May 27 when the other players quit the game. Kirk and Tsoukernik both wanted to keep playing allegedly but Tsoukernik had lost his stake earlier and asked Kirk if he could borrow money to continue playing. Over the next hour or so, Kirk loaned Tsoukernik $3,000,000 and quickly beat him for all of it. According to the court documents, just 15 minutes after the two finished playing, Tsoukernik texted Kirk that he had no intention of paying the debt. In October, the Clark County judge overseeing the case agreed with Tsoukernik that under Nevada law a gaming debt between two individuals is unenforceable and threw out eight of Kirk’s 10 counts. However, Kirk is still suing Tsoukernik for “fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment.” #1 - Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Poker In late October online poker players in Pennsylvania were willingly watching the live stream coverage of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as HB 271 came up for vote. The bill, which regulated online poker, casino games and daily fantasy sports in the Keystone State passed by a 109-72 vote. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law just four days later. While there is still no timeline for when players will be able to play legal online poker in Pennsylvania, some observers believe mid-summer to be a best guess. Those same observers point to 888poker, partypoker and PokerStars as likely candidates to be operating within the state. PokerStars applauded the legislation. "We applaud the Pennsylvania Legislature for taking decisive action to legalize online gaming," said Eric Hollreiser, VP of Corporate Communications for PokerStars. "This is common sense legislation that will protect consumers, help close Pennsylvania’s budget gap, and make the state more competitive within the regional gaming industry. The Stars Group looks forward to working with Pennsylvania and its gaming regulators and competing in the future marketplace."
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