DraftKings Poised to Deliver a Successful Massachusetts Launch

DraftKings Poised to Deliver a Successful Massachusetts Launch

An official press release revealed DraftKings’ plans for the 10 March Massachusetts online sports betting launch. The operator will utilize the next few days to the maximum, focusing on raising awareness of its imminent arrival in the Bay State via commercials and promotional events. Entering a new jurisdiction marks a significant milestone in DraftKings’ expansion efforts and should net the company substantial long-term benefits.

Fans Can Support Their Favorite Teams

10 March is fast approaching, and hopeful operators are doing their best to reach as many customers as possible during launch day. As one of the USA’s top sportsbooks, DraftKings has invested significant efforts to bolster its presence in the Bay State. The company hopes to draw in hopeful bettors with its varied selection of bet types, exclusive promotions, and ability to wager on numerous sports and leagues.

DraftKings has forged relationships with hometown teams like the Boston Bruins, New England Revolution, Boston Celtics, and the New England Patriots. Fans will soon be able to support their favorites and wager on exciting events like the NCAA Division I Basketball tournaments. Customers can participate via the DraftKings Sportsbook app on Android and iOS devices.

In the few days before the launch, DraftKings has prepared an extensive marketing campaign, hoping to inform sports fans of the many new online sports betting opportunities. The company plans to execute several marketing campaigns before and immediately after the launch like Boston sports watch parties and an official celebration with special guests.

The operator has also prepared its “Bet Local” commercial, which will commence on 10 March. The promo will feature famous Massachusetts athletes and celebrities who will help spread the word and inform fans of their new ability to bet online. Such campaigns aim to elevate DraftKings and help it secure its share of the new market.

DraftKings Should Secure a Sizeable Market Share

Launching in a previously untapped jurisdiction is a golden opportunity for all operators. However, several sportsbooks allegedly pulled out of the state before launch due to stiff competition from big players like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars. Analysts agree that an operator would need between 7% and 8% of the overall market share to be profitable. 

Such a milestone should be relatively easy to reach for DraftKings as the company commands substantial mindshare and has invested heavily in the launch. DraftKings co-founder, CEO, and chairman Jason Robins was excited to reach millions of new fans, delivering a safe and exciting sports betting product to the state’s diehard fans.

This launch will mark a major milestone for our company, and we’re proud to become the hometown sportsbook for customers in the Commonwealth.

Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder, CEO, and chairman

The Massachusetts launch should allow DraftKings to maintain its considerable momentum coming out of 2022. The operator’s yearly revenue hit $2.2 billion, representing a significant 73% year-over-year increase. With a positive outlook for 2023 and an entirely new market at its fingertips, DraftKings may continue to surpass expectations.

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Americas Cardroom to Celebrate March 8 with a Charity Tournament

Americas Cardroom to Celebrate March 8 with a Charity Tournament

Americas Cardroom, a US-themed online poker site, will celebrate International Women’s Day with a special charity tournament. As announced by the company, it will donate funds raised during the event to the United Breast Cancer Foundation.

Poker enthusiasts can join Americas Cardroom in celebration of the occasion and compete for a $10K guaranteed prize pool. The tournament has an entry fee of $55, making it accessible for players of all skill levels.

In addition, Americas Cardroom has decided to make the event even more appealing by providing entrants with an additional $55 tourney ticket. Players can use this second ticket to enter any future $55 tournament hosted by the company.

Americas Cardroom added that the prize pool will be paid out to players. The company will, meanwhile, match the total prize pool and will donate it to the United Breast Cancer Foundation.

A Twitch Live Chat Will Boost Engagement

Katie Lindsay and Ebony Kenney, Americas Cardroom team pros, and Nikki Lomo and Caitlin Comesky, prominent poker celebrities, will bolster engagement during the tournament by hosting a live chat on Twitch.

In addition to discussing the ongoing event and the latest developments, the women will also speak about the importance of raising awareness of the dangers of breast cancer and how important is for women to conduct self-exams at home.

Kenney noted that this wouldn’t be the first time the poker company has organized a tournament for Women’s Day. Last year’s event, she said, was a resounding success. Because of that, Kenney is excited to be a part of the celebrations once again. She said that there is nothing that beats playing poker with friends while supporting a good cause.

Playing poker with some badass friends of mine while also supporting a good cause?! Yes, sign me up! I am honored to be a part of the positive and intentional movement happening for women in poker.

Ebony Kenney

Lindsey added that she still fondly remembers the last time Americas Cardroom teamed up with the United Breast Cancer Foundation.

It was so wonderful working with the United Breast Cancer Foundation for our last charity event and I’m super excited to be able to do it again with another great group of women.

Katie Lindsay

Nikki Lomo and Caitlin Comesky also released statements on the upcoming tournament, saying that they feel honored to be part of the initiative and join so many talented and inspiring women.

In February, Americas Cardroom ran two satellite events, providing four full poker vacation packages for a Super High Roller Series in Vietnam this March.

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EGBA Unveils AML Guidelines for European Online Gambling Operators

EGBA Unveils AML Guidelines for European Online Gambling Operators

The Brussels-based trade association representing online gambling operators in Europe, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), announced it has released new pan-European anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines for the iGaming sector. The announcement came Monday and sees the organization boost its efforts against money laundering for the Old Continent.

The new set of rules was released after a consultation period was conducted last autumn. For the period of the consultation, EGBA asked for feedback from national regulators, as well as experts within the vertical.

The newly released guidelines for the online gambling sector in Europe were compiled thanks to contributions from leading AML compliance experts. At the same time, the rules “reflect the latest technologies and laws and build upon EGBA’s commitment to promote the highest level of industry responsibility in AML,” explains a statement released by the Association.

Guidelines Are Expected to Help European Online Gambling Operators

Dr Ekaterina Hartmann, EGBA’s director of legal and regulatory affairs, explained that the new AML guidelines reaffirm EGBA’s commitment to protecting the online gambling sector in Europe from financial crimes. At the same time, she pointed out that the guidance comes at a time when financial crimes continue to evolve and become more sophisticated.

Dr Hartmann explained that currently, there is no sector-specific guidance for the online gambling sector in Europe, which is why the new “guidelines provide a valuable tool to fill this gap and help operators achieve the highest possible standards.”

As the sophistication of financial crime continues to evolve, the publication of these AML guidelines demonstrates EGBA’s commitment to ensure that Europe’s online gambling sector actively contributes towards the fight against financial crime.

Dr Ekaterina Hartmann, director of legal and regulatory affairs at EGBA

The new guidelines, as explained by EGBA, bring practical sector-specific guidance for online gambling operators. This includes guidance on how such companies should conduct due diligence checks, as well as reporting suspicious transactions and risk assessments. Ultimately, this is vital guidance that can help gambling operators strengthen their AML policies and compliance.

EGBA’s guidance comes in addition to the upcoming pan-European AML Regulation. Companies that are EGBA members need to annually submit reports to the association and confirm the progress on the implementation of the guidelines. Still, EGBA invited other operators to also join the initiative and the fight against money laundering and financial crimes.

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Michael Gathy & “Miami” John Cernuto Among Recent 2023 Wynn Million Winners

Michael Gathy & “Miami” John Cernuto Among Recent 2023 Wynn Million Winners

The 2023 Wynn Millions kicked off back on February 20 and is slated to run through March 19. The $3,500 buy-in, $3 million GTD Wynn Millions Main Event is happening now, but while that’s taking place there have been several other side events playing out.

We already told you about early winners from the 2023 Wynn Millions, but we wanted to follow that up by highlighting some others to claim titles over the past week.

Laplante, Cheong & Costa Among Early 2023 Wynn Million Side Event Winners

Michael Gathy Victorious in $3,000 NLH Progressive Bounty $200K GTD

Michael Gathy

On March 2, a day after he finished in third place for $54,193 in the $3,000 NLH 6-Max $200K GTD event, Belgium’s Michael Gathy bested a 148-entry field to win the $3,000 NLH Progressive Bounty, which more than doubled its $200K guarantee with a $407,000 prize pool.

The top 16 finishers made the money including Aaron Duczak (10th – $6,138), Martin Jacobson (11th – $6,138), Dylan Linde (12th – $5,374), Tongguang Sun (13th – $5,374), Nicholas Bond (14th – $4,760), Katie Lindsay (15th – $2,380), and Ryan Leng (16th – $2,380).

Among those at the final table were Bin Weng (9th – $7,081), Ethan “Rampage” Yau (7th – $9,842), and Alex Foxen (4th – $20,202). After Leonard August bowed out in third place for $29,526, the final two players worked an even deal for $62,368. As part of the deal, Ryan McAllister took second place while Gathy received first and the trophy.

Wynn Millions $3,000 NLH Progressive Knockout Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Michael Gathy Belgium $62,368*
2 Ryan McAllister Charleston, SC $62,368*
3 Leonard August North Bergen, New Jersey $29,526
4 Alex Foxen Las Vegas, NV $20,202
5 Gregor Sverko Slovenia $14,893
6 John Murphy Kirkland, WA $11,914
7 Ethan Yau Las Vegas, NV $9,842
8 Robert Borick Houston, TX $8,262
9 Bin Weng Philadelphia, PA $7,081

*Denotes heads-up deal.

Poker Legend “Miami” John Cernuto Claims Wynn Millions $1,100 Limit Omaha 8/B Title

John Cernuto

On March 1, the 2023 Wynn Millions hosted its $1,100 Limit Omaha 8/B $50K GTD, which nearly doubled the guarantee as 98 runners generated a $95,060 prize pool. The top 11 players made the money, and the two to fall short of the final table were Duke Viveros and Clyde Gaskins, who each received $2,567 for finishing in 10th and 11th place respectively.

At the final table, two poker legends worked a deal in Ari Engel and “Miami” John Cernuto. The former wound up taking second place for $23,903, while the latter won the trophy and took $25,851 in prize money. It was just the latest victory on Cernuto’s impressive poker résumé, which dates back to 1987 according to the Hendon Mob.

Wynn Millions $1,100 Limit Omaha 8/B Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 John Cernuto Las Vegas, NV $25,851*
2 Ari Engel Canada $23,903*
3 Vincent Cealicchia Las Vegas, NV $11,559
4 Lawrence Berg Las Vegas, NV $7,966
5 Kao Saechao Renton, WA $5,941
6 Christopher Hundley Kirkland, WA $4,715
7 Mark Gregorich Las Vegas, NV $3,869
8 Robert Goulding Sandia Park, NM $3,270
9 Joseph Gargiulo Port Charlotte, FL $2,852

*Denotes heads-up deal.

Follow live updates from the 2023 Wynn Millions here!

Vikenty Shegal & Alex Foxen Work in Deal in $3,000 NLH 6-Max $200K GTD

Vikenty Shegal

On March 1, the 2023 Wynn Millions hosted its $3,000 NLH 6-Max $200K GTD, which more than doubled the guarantee as 184 players created a $506,000 prize pool. Among those to make the money by finishing in the top 20 were Maria Konnikova (10th – $11,193), Ryan Leng (11th – $11,193), Matthew Wantman (15th – $8,693), Will “The Thrill” Failla (16th – $7,767), and Cherish Andrews (19th – $7,028).

Belgium’s Michael Gathy made a deep run finishing in third place for $54,193, and the next day he’d go on to win the $3,000 NLH Progressive Bounty for $62,368. At that point, the final two players worked a deal that saw Alex Foxen finish in second place for $112,006 while Vikenty Shegal got $112,007 and the trophy.

Wynn Millions $3,000 NLH 6-Max Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Vikenty Shegal Las Vegas, NV $112,007*
2 Alex Foxen Las Vegas, NV $112,006*
3 Michael Gathy Belgium $54,193
4 Jeffrey Farnes Las Vegas, NV $37,140
5 Scott Eskenazi Mercer Island, WA $27,349
6 Maziar Keshavarzi San Antonio, TX $21,632
7 Kathryn Lindsay Las Vegas, NV $17,720
8 Chan Kim Horsham, PA $15,028
9 Jake Schwartz Fort Lauderdale, FL $12,902

*Denotes heads-up deal.

Minnesota Players Battle Heads-Up in $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. $50K GTD

Jon Breneman

From February 28 through March 1, the $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. $50K GTD tournament played out. A field of 115 entrants generated a prize pool of $111,500, which was reserved for the top 13 finishers. Among those to cash but fall short of the final table was Rose Bottler (10th – $2,800), Paul Sokoloff (11th – $2,800), Hal Rotholz (12th – $2,443), and Ryan Hughes (13th – $2,443).

The final table had some recognizable names in Ari Engel (7th – $4,440), Ron Ware (5th – $6,581), and Brett Richey (3rd – $13,051). In the end, it was two players from Minnesota battling heads-up with Jon Breneman ultimately besting James Johnson to win the tournament for $25,122.

Wynn Millions $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Jon Breneman Woodbury, MN $35,122
2 James Johnson Princeton, MN $20,659
3 Brett Richey Las Vegas, NV $13,051
4 Leonard August Las Vegas, NV $8,924
5 Ron Ware Las Vegas, NV $6,581
6 Brian Yoon Las Vegas, NV $5,287
7 Ari Engel Las Vegas, NV $4,440
8 Ron Schiffman Las Vegas, NV $3,765
9 Maxx Coleman Las Vegas, NV $3,235

Check out the Wynn Poker Room review here on PokerNews!

2023 Wynn Millions Winners Thus Far

Date Tournament Entries Prize Pool Winner Hometown/County Prize
Feb. 20 $500 NLH $50K GTD 290 $124,700 Maher al Mouselly Calgary, Canada $30,228
Feb. 21 $600 H.O.R.S.E. $30K GTD 92 $47,380 Ryan Laplante Las Vegas, NV $12,401
Feb. 21-23 $600 NLH $200K GTD 805 $414,575 Joseph Cheong Las Vegas, NV $74,670
Feb. 24 $400 PLO Turbo $20K GTD 129 $43,860 Pete Rocha Victoria, TX $10,965
Feb. 26 $400 NLH $40K GTD 325 $110,500 Brian Hughes Las Vegas, NV $21,271
Feb. 23-26 $1,600 Mystery Bounty 1,270 $2,463,800 Ryan Wolfson Westbury, NY $130,080
Feb. 27-28 $1,100 Seniors NLH $100K GTD 240 $232,800 Peter Costa Las Vegas, NV $44,179
Feb. 28 $400 NLH $40K GTD 296 $100,640 Patrick Hackenburg Manhattan, KS $24,395
Feb. 28-March 1 $1,100 HORSE $50K GTD 115 $111,550 Jon Breneman Woodbury, MN $35,122
1-Mar $3,000 NLH 6-Max $200K GTD 184 $506,000 Vikenty Shegal Las Vegas, NV $112,007
1-Mar $1,100 Limit Omaha 8/B $50K GTD 98 $95,060 “Miami” John Cernuto Las Vegas, NV $25,851
2-Mar $3,000 NLH Progressive Bounty $200K GTD 148 $407,000 Michael Gathy Belgium $62,368
Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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Black Mesa Casino Claims Glitch in Slot Machine Invalidates $542K Win

Bulgarian Football Union Rejects Gambling Ad Ban Proposal

Tommy Wilson is the name of the 74-year-old player from Las Cruces who claims he won a jackpot of $542,000 on a slot machine at the casino owned by Pueblo of San Felipe on February 25. 

However, what should have been one of the happiest days of his life for the unemployed veteran turned into a stressful event, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The newspaper revealed that the Black Mesa Casino invoked a system glitch in the slot machine that apparently rendered the player’s win illegitimate.  

The Player Spent $100 on the Buffalo-Themed Slot

On the controversial day, the player placed bets that totaled around $100 on the buffalo-themed slot game that brought him the big win in five or six minutes’ time. Or so he thought. Shortly after the slot machine announced the big jackpot, it shut down out of the blue. 

The players who witnessed what had happened started congratulating the player on his win, but this did not convince casino management that there was an actual win to begin with. After they completed the necessary diagnostics on the slot machine, they explained to Wilson that his win was not a legitimate one. The casino argued they came across a “digital or electronic glitch” and, accordingly, decided not to pay him. 

Wilson was informed by a casino employee of the possibility of filing a complaint with the Black Mesa Casino gaming commission. The latter is an independent body that is not related to the state regulator, which is the Gaming Control Board. The board is responsible for monitoring compliance of the gaming tribes in the state under the approval of tribal or state gaming compacts.

Too “Perturbed” to File the Complaint

Wilson claimed he was too perturbed to file a complaint on the spot. He also failed to take any photos of the winning slot screen or write down the names of the other players who had witnessed what had happened. 

Instead of following the complaint filing procedure, he went to Denver where he was scheduled for a job interview. Later that week, he returned to the Black Mesa Casino, determined this time to file the complaint and ask for his jackpot.

After the casino asked for his phone number and email address, he decided to try his luck on the slots once more. He won twice within 30 minutes on the same machine that had originally brought him the huge jackpot the previous week.

Wilson recalled the game had a lion/African theme in place and that it was most likely called Kings of Africa. He scored a win of $1,226 and another one of $1,446. In spite of his good fortune, the player who is still jobless and who recently underwent a triple bypass surgery is still looking for justice, stating “justice will come in the form of karma.” 

Wilson added he would be even willing to accept a $50,000 payment as an apology from the casino. However, the player who actively served in the US Air Force was offered “nothing” by the casino that runs a promotion that gives away a $10 free play bonus on Wednesdays to army veterans and active-duty service people. 

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Superbet Scales Back Outdoor Ads in Romania, Promotes Responsible Gaming

Superbet Scales Back Outdoor Ads in Romania, Promotes Responsible Gaming

The multinational sports betting and gaming group wishes to see all commercial messaging part of its outdoor marketing campaign in Romania vanish or be replaced with responsible gambling messages. The self-regulation decision comes in the context of the current discussions on a law that would restrict the promotion of gambling in the country. 

All Commercial Messages, Removed within a 100-Meter Radius of High Schools

The important changes in the group’s marketing strategy will take place in the European country that represents one of their core territories, and it is expected to be implemented during the first six months of 2023. The removal of all of Superbet’s commercial messages in out-of-home advertising will also include any slogans and additional content that might encourage passers-by to engage in any form of gambling and gaming. 

The group has also announced that it plans to only keep those street advertisements that display messages that encourage responsible gambling. Additionally, the operator has announced its intention to get more actively involved in the protection of minors, one of the most vulnerable categories in the country in relation to gambling risks. 

Accordingly, Superbet Group will also soon proceed to remove all out-of-home ads located within 100 meters (328 feet) of all high school facilities, no matter the size or type of the ad displays.

Superbet’s Decision, “Unique in the Romanian Market”

According to the official statement released by the group, their initiative is “unique in the Romanian market” and it will be used to further prove Superbet’s desire to maintain an ongoing and open dialogue with gaming regulators while working together with domestic and global sustainability and responsible gaming professionals.

In the same statement issued by Superbet, the group explained that it will keep developing a “sustainable business strategy, in which responsible gaming and involvement in the community are priority milestones.” 

The group that appointed Hans-Holger Albrecht as its new chairman at the end of February also explained that Romania’s gambling industry “operates in a complex regulatory framework, being in full compliance with national and European legislation” which explains their transparent collaboration with all bodies involved in the decision-making processes related to gambling and gaming.

At the start of March, a draft law that would regulate gambling advertisements was subject to voting in the Senate, where it passed with 80 votes in favor and two abstentions. To be put into practice, a vote in the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies would also be necessary.

In its final form, the law would prevent street advertisements to exceed 30 square meters (2,952 feet) and promote “money prizes or material goods.” According to the same law proposal backed by the National Audiovisual Council, TV ads would also be banned between 6 AM and 11 PM. 

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Ukraine Blocks Russian Operators as the War Intensifies

ITIA Bans Tennis Player for Life After Breaking 135 Match Fixing Rules

It has now been more than a year since Russia infringed Ukraine’s sovereignty and invaded the country after claiming it would never do that for months. As war losses mount, Ukraine has decided to block a long list offshore gambling websites, including many Russian operators.

Unlicensed offshore websites are illegal anyways but Ukraine has taken protecting its gambling market a step further and has completely barred Ukrainians from accessing the websites in question. This was announced by Ukraine’s Security Service, which joined forces with the local regulator to crack down on illegal gambling.

The ban of Russian offshore operators demonstrates both Ukraine’s intention to protect its legal gambling market and the country’s unrelenting ambition to drive Russia away from its territory. By blocking unlicensed websites, Ukraine will channel more players toward the legal sector.

A more controversial decision, on the other hand, was the Ukrainian Gambling and Betting Association’s refusal to allow its members to postpone paying their taxes for 2022. As a result, operators have to pay what they owe by April 2023. Companies have been struggling to adapt and not being able to delay their financial obligations will hurt their businesses.

The Russian invasion has been profoundly criticized by the Western world. As a result, Russian tech companies even got banned from attending the CES 2023 event in Las Vegas in January.

Ukraine Wanted to Expand Its Industry Prior to the War

Ukraine legalized online gambling in 2020. Under the local rules, companies must first apply for an internet gambling and betting license from the Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries. As one might guess, all licensees are required to also comply with the local regulations.

However, the rules also state that no company that is owned by a Russian company or person can acquire a license. Furthermore, licensees should not own shares of any Russian company or have shareholders from a FATF-graylisted country. If a company fulfills all of the requirements, it has to pay $1.3 million for its license.

In 2020, Ukraine also legalized traditional land-based casinos. However, the country currently has but a single operational casino, which is the Billionaire’s Casino at the InterContinental Hotel in Kyiv.

Unfortunately, Ukraine’s gambling potential has largely been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war which erupted soon after. While there are still efforts to modernize and expand local gambling, it will take a while before the industry can recuperate from all the damages.

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Sheng Ye Goes Big Down Under; Wins WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event (AUD $374,953)

Sheng Ye Goes Big Down Under; Wins WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event (AUD $374,953)

Image courtesy of the World Poker Tour

The World Poker Tour’s popular WPT Prime returned to the Gold Coast in Australia towards the end of February, for a fortnights worth of poker action inside the The Star Gold Coast Casino.

The festival has finally wrapped up proceedings and saw Sheng Ye walk away as the WPT Prime Gold Coast $2,000 Main Event champion. Ye, who resides in Sydney, Australia, secured a career-high payday of $374,953 (USD $253,843), which includes a $16,500 package to play in the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

The Main Event had three starting flights and saw 1,224 entries, creating the $2,203,200 (USD $1,493,899) prize pool.

All monetary amounts are Australian dollars unless otherwise specified

WPT Prime Gold Coast Fina Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (AUD) Prize (USD)
1 Sheng Ye Australia $374,953 $253,843
2 Ben Richardson Australia $238,978 $161,788
3 Mostafa Haidary Australia $176,753 $119,662
4 Josh Forster Australia $132,046 $89,396
5 Anita Savage Australia $99,654 $67,466
6 Gary Lin China $75,981 $51,439
7 Slav Rypinski Australia $58,534 $39,628
8 Andreas Vasiliou Australia $45,564 $30,847
9 Noman Mizra Australia $35,847 $24,268

Final Table Action

By the time the final day began, the field of 1,224 had been whittled down to the final 16 players. Jack Hardcastle was one of the early eliminations on Day 3 and was followed out of the door by others. The departure of Christopher Zenonos set up the final table, where the top nine players had locked up $35,847.

Noman Mizra was the first player to leave the official final table after his king-seven could not leapfrog the ace-seven held by Andreas Vasiliou in an all-in preflop encounter. Vasiliou then headed to the payout desk next. He had ace-nine and flopped top pair on a nine-high board. He ended up getting his stack in against Ye, who had pocket kings. There would be no help on the runout, and he finished in eighth place.

Ye then secured his second final table bust out after his jack-ten rivered a pair to win the race against the ace-nine of Slav Rypinski. Nearly an hour later, Mostofa Haidary put the pressure on the short-stacked Gary Lin in a blind versus blind battle. Haidary moved all in with nine-three, and Lin called off his stack with ace-deuce. The former would go on to make two pair and send Lin to the rail.

Win a WPT Prime Passport on WPT Global Every Weekend

The last woman standing was Anita Savage, and her deep run came to end shortly after Lin was eliminated. Savage put in her last big blind and was called by Ye and Josh Forster. Ye folded out Forster on the {q-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{7-Spades} board for the cards to be tabled. Ye had a pair of queens with his queen-eight but was behind the pair of kings that belonged to Savage. However, another queen hit the river to give Ye the winner with a full house.

Ye then claimed Foster’s stack after ripping his monster stack from the small blind with ten-nine. While playing on his birthday, Foster called for his tournament life with king-deuce. However, any birthday wishes of a WPT Prime title evaporated after Ye flopped a queen-high straight.

Ben Richardson then made it heads-up play after his ace-seven held against Haidary’s king-queen after another all-in preflop situation.

Ye had a slender chip lead over Richardson but soon began to pull away. The eventual winner at one stage had a 14-1 chip lead, but Richardson found several double-ups to stay in contention.

On the final hand of the night, Ye ended things when his queen-deuce turned top pair against Richardson’s ace-five. The latter was awarded $238,978 as his runners-up prize to take his all-time live tournament earnings to USD $922,596.

WPT Prime Cambodia Right Around the Corner

WPT Prime Cambodia

While WPT Prime Gold Coast may have finished, there’s plenty of action to come still as the WPT heads to Asia in just a few days for WPT Prime Cambodia.

The series is hosted at the beautiful Nagaworld Integrated Resort, Phnom Penh and runs from March 9-21.

With buy-ins varying from $110 to $10,000, events are suited for all poker players. The schedule is also packed with exciting events, which include but are not limited to Pot-Limit Omaha, Short Deck, and Mystery Bounty tournaments.

And, of course, there will be the $1,100 buy-in WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event, which kicks off on March 16 and comes with a $500,000 Guarantee.

Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen’s Meet-Up Game Returns to WPT Prime Cambodia

Win a WPT Prime Passport on WPT Global

Although it is too late to win a seat or package to WPT Prime Gold Coast and Cambodia online at WPT Global, you can start trying to win your way into the $110 Passport Qualifiers that take place every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET and again at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

At least one $1,500 WPT Prime Passport is guaranteed, which you can use for any of the following events:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – March 29-April1
  • Bratislava, Slovakia – May 11-15
  • Hanoi, Vietnam – May 25-29
  • San Remo, Italy – June 1-11

Satellites for the $110 Passport Qualifiers start at $5, giving every WPT Global player a chance to win a potentially life-changing live poker package.

Stephen Kehoe Turns WPT Global Satellite Win Into $269,900

Join WPT Global Today

The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

Name Surname
Calum Grant

Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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Charles Bronson Won Hundreds of Pounds from Illegal Bets in Prison

Pennsylvanian Dealer and Patron Arrested Over Craps Game Fraud

Charles Bronson, a criminal who’s been behind bars for the last five decades, admitted that he is a passionate sports bettor. This confession normally wouldn’t be anything special if not for the fact that prison rules prohibit gambling.

Bronson’s claim comes amid his parole hearing and may actually affect his future. The criminal got into prison in 1974 on the account of armed robbery. He may have been a reformed man by now if not for his love for breaking the rules, which resulted in additional sentences.

The parole board recently convened at HMP Woodhill in Buckinghamshire to discuss Bronson’s situation. During the gathering, the prisoner’s various prison rules violations were commented on, including his love for placing punts on sports.

According to Bronson, he has won around £1,500 ($1,778, current conversion rates) throughout his years of wagering with other inmates. Since gambling is forbidden in British prisons, this raises a serious question about the efficiency of the prison system and its protocols.

Crime Defined Bronson’s Life

If gambling was Bronson’s only vice, he may have gotten away with it easily. However, the criminal is also notorious for his love for violence. After a fight in which he covered himself in butter, Bronson said that he “loves a rumble” and doesn’t know a man who doesn’t.

Bronson’s “impressive track record” includes holding hostages in prison around a dozen times and fighting with other inmates. In one instance he fought a prison warden and bragged that he enjoyed it thoroughly.

Bronson’s history of crime is not contained to the prison. In fact, the criminal was released on several occasions but returned to prison soon after. For example, he was released in 1987 after serving the sentence for his first armed robbery (which was extended due to him fighting other inmates while in prison). However, Bronson quickly got involved in another robbery and returned to prison some months later.

Bronson was once again released in 1992 but was jailed three months later. At that point, he began committing various crimes in prison and got into a fight with a person who criticized one of his paintings.

Born Michael Gordon Peterson, the criminal now likes to call himself Charles Salvador because of his passion for painting. Nowadays, the man promises that his life of violence is behind him as he hopes to earn parole. However, the parole board remains skeptical of these claims as Bronson admitted that he did not feel remorse for his crimes in prison.

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As Good as I Once Was

Putting Bills Into a Machine

In 2005, country music star Toby Keith released As Good as I Once Was, a wonderfully self-deprecating song about a guy reaching middle age and not being as good as he was in his prime. In a clever twist of words, Keith sings that he’s not as good as he once was, but he’s as good once as he ever was.

If you haven’t seen the video, check it out on YouTube. It’s cute.

When the song came out, I was 58 years old. While I was still in my prime intellectually, video-poker-wise (I started playing the game in 1994 and it took a while to get my bearings), the golden years of video poker were over for me. I had been removed from all MGM Mirage properties, the Venetian, and Wynn in 2001 — largely because of financial success playing the game. I don’t remember exactly when the Golden Nugget stopped inviting me to events, but it was sometime around then. There were still more good opportunities for others than there are today, but I was excluded from that.

I shifted my play to other casinos, lowered the stakes I played for, kept teaching classes and writing books, and was as sharp of a player as I was ever going to be.

I’m now 76, about 30 years older than the singer of that song and 18 years after the song first came out. For me, my prime as a video poker player came and went a while ago. Many casino managers still don’t want me to play at their places, based on a decades-long reputation, but I’m not nearly the threat I used to be. 

The song deals with physical things (a sex threesome and a bar fight), but mostly video poker is more mental than physical. Still, physical endurance is a part of it and playing 15-hour marathon sessions is a thing of the past for me, 

With respect to the mental side of the game, learning and remembering strategies is a much tougher endeavor than it used to be. Twenty years ago, I had maybe ten strategies 99.9%+ memorized at all times. Now I have two or three. I’m going out of town in a few days where I’ll be playing another game, so I temporarily have an extra game memorized; but if my next visit to this casino is two or three months away, I’ll have to relearn this game all over again.

It’s not terribly difficult to get up to speed on a game I used to know well. I have the tools, a bunch of experience, and a whole lot comes back to me as I get into it, but it still consumes time and energy to do something that used to be a lot easier than it is now. And once I get up to speed on a new game, my retention ability isn’t what I’d like.

One area where I’m possibly better than I was 20 or more years ago comes from analyzing promotions. Am I going to play at Casino A, with this promotion and set of benefits, or Casino B, with another promotion and different set of benefits? The reason I’m better at this now is I’ve been around the block numerous times. I know what games are available at a number of different casinos, know the ins and outs of their slot clubs, and am generally familiar with all sorts of promotions. This experience and knowledge didn’t come quickly or easily, but having this is a huge advantage over somebody starting from scratch.

Even though the opportunities I find aren’t nearly as plentiful or lucrative as they were a few decades ago, I enjoy playing the game and will continue to do so as long as I can find some profitable games. I doubt I’ll continue to play when I can’t find any profitable opportunities. We’ll see.

The part of Toby Keith’s song that I’m having trouble applying to my life playing video poker is the claim, “But I’m as good once as I ever was.” While it is easy to apply that line to the sexual threesome suggested in the video for the song, sex was never part of my video poker career (other than in two novels which were definitely not autobiographical.) 

In video poker, you don’t typically do something once. It’s a game where you sit down and play numerous hands over a period of time. Still, “I’m as good once as I ever was” is a cute line and I still smile when I hear the song or see the video.


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