Hard Rock International and WWF Renew Earth Hour Collaboration

Hard Rock International and WWF Renew Earth Hour Collaboration

Hard Rock International will continue the years-long tradition to mark the annual Earth Hour movement in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by having its properties “going dark” for one hour on March 25, 2023.

Going Dark to Raise Climate Change Awareness

As part of the renewed commitment, all Hard Rock Hotels, Cafes and Casinos around the world will go dark for one hour starting at 8:30 pm local property time to bring the brand’s “Save the Planet” motto to life.

Paul Pellizzari, vice president of global social responsibility for Hard Rock International, commented on the continued support for WWF’s Earth Hour movement as part of the company’s “mission to protect the future of nature and create impact together.”

As one of our four founding mottos, Hard Rock is committed to “Save the Planet” and we’re thrilled to unite team members from all over the world for this worthy cause while inspiring others for the good of the planet.

Paul Pellizzari, VP of global social responsibility, Hard Rock International

Guests at the restaurants, bars, Rock Shops, hotel rooms, lobbies and outdoor spaces will be able to partake in the movement by engaging in entertaining activities that require no electricity such as candle-lit dinners, acoustic musical performances, flame shows, cocktail promotions, and ROXITY Kids Club events.

Seeking to build awareness for climate change action worldwide, WWF’s annual Earth Hour movement encourages countries, businesses, popular destinations and iconic landmarks to switch off lights and host events with no electricity.

Its partnership with Hard Rock International through the Earth Hour movement over the years has resulted in more than 603,000 kilowatts of conserved electricity. In 2022 alone, the 114 hotels, casinos and cafes under the brand, located across more than 20 countries globally, saved nearly 391,000 kilowatts of electricity – more than enough to power over 1,500 outdoor concerts.

Sustainable Approach to Energy, Waste, Water

Hard Rock’s continued Earth Hour participation is part of the company’s efforts to address waste, energy and water in a sustainable way by utilizing operational improvements and pursuing best practices in collaboration with commercial vendors and non-profit partners.

The collaboration with one of these partners, global health leader, Clean The World (CTW), will see the gaming and entertainment operator’s hotels donate soap and bottled in-room bathroom amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, to help the creation of sanitized hygiene kits with recycled materials.

To date, the partnership has delivered 13,660 pounds of plastic waste and distributed through hygiene kits to shelters, food pantries and disaster recovery centers in the US more than 66,000 bars of soap and over 10,000 pounds of leftover soap.

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OlyBet Designated as the Official Betting Operator of the DP Tour

OlyBet Designated as the Official Betting Operator of the DP Tour

The DP Tour, a European men’s professional golf league, has designated OlyBet as its official betting operator in the Old Continent. The agreement between the two parties has been signed for two years and will cover all European countries with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Thanks to the agreement, OlyBet, an Estonia-headquartered casino and sports betting company, will be able to provide its sports betting customers with the freshest information regarding the DP Tour.

Relevant DP Tour information will be available at OlyBet’s sportsbooks and casinos, while its online streaming platform, OlyBet YV, will broadcast content from the tour. As announced, the operator will follow 39 DP Tour tournaments this season alone.

New Fan Experiences Are at the Heart of the Relationship

Representatives from the two companies commented on the agreement in a promotional new video announcing the partnership.

David Brookes, senior commercial director for the European Tour Group, said that finding a betting partner was a natural step for the league.

I think the drama of golf lends itself perfectly to having a betting partner and in creating this partnership with OlyBet as our official European betting operator, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to once again evolve and innovate experiences for the golf fans.

David Brookes, senior commercial director, European Tour Group

Brooks added that his team is truly passionate about what it will be able to deliver with OlyBet, saying that this betting agreement will provide fans with new opportunities.

Corey Plummer, chair and CEO of Olympic Entertainment Group and OlyBet Group, said that his team always seeks to leverage the thrill of sports to provide sports aficionados with unforgettable experiences. Plummer added that there are very few sports and activities that are better at bringing thrill, anticipation and excitement than golf.

This is a natural sport for competition, you can play it at all ages and all levels and be very competitive. So we want to create those kind of moments that bring more of that competitive juice and the thrill of the game to as many people as possible.

Corey Plummer, CEO, OlyBet Group

Plummer concluded that golf is growing rapidly and that there are many markets hungry for more golf content. However, he noted that being able to engage with golf through content really elevates the experience.

Plummer concluded that he is excited to provide European punters with more opportunities to engage with the sport and the players themselves.

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Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Goes Back-to-Back to Win PGT PLO Championship

Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Goes Back-to-Back to Win PGT PLO Championship

The inaugural PokerGO Tour (PGT) Pot-Limit Omaha Series in Las Vegas wrapped up over the weekend with Ronald Keijzer of the Netherlands taking down Event #9: $2,200 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha for $43,700. But the second half of the PLO Series has been all Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo.

After his victory in Event #5: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha for $220,400, the Spaniard went on to win Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty and the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for respective scores of $228,000 and $518,750 and a total of $967,150 in earnings.

Factoring in bounties and the championship bonus on top of his three cashes, all wins, Cabrerizo walked away from the PokerGO Studio with $1,067,150 and the at the top of the PGT Leaderboard.

Read about the early winners at the PGT PLO series!

Cabrerizo Crushes PLO Series

Cabrerizo, who almost exclusively plays PLO tournaments, according to his Hendon Mob, had no recorded cashes inside the PokerGO Studio before the PLO Series kicked off. That changed when he bested the field of 112 runners in Event #5 and ultimately defeated Finland’s Joni Jouhkimainen during heads-up play.

Cabrerizo was just getting started. The later Event #7 drew plenty of accomplished Omaha crushers — Yuval Bronshtein (8th – $45,600, Robert Cowen (7th – $57,000) and Isaac Haxton (6th – $68,400), to name a few — but it was once again Cabrerizo who came out on top.

Alex Foxen, no stranger to success in the PokerGO Studio, bowed out in third for $171,000. Isaac Kempton went out in second for $171,000 when he called off with trips against the straight of Cabrerizo, according to PokerGO live updates. Earlier in the series, Kempton finished fourth in Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty for $37,590.

Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo
Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo after winning Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty

Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty

  1 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $228,000
  2 Isaac Kempton United States $171,000
  3 Alex Foxen United States $125,400
  4 Jesse Chinni United States $102,600
  5 Johann Ibanez Diaz Colombia $85,500
  6 Isaac Haxton United States $68,400
  7 Robert Cowen United Kingdom $57,000
  8 Yuval Bronshtein United States $45,600
  9 Michael Wang United States $45,600

Cabrerizo had to be in good spirits heading into the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, which drew 114 runners for a prize pool of $1.7 million. Among those who cashed in the PLO Championship were George Wolff (12th – $41,500), Jeremy Ausmus (10th – $62,250) and Josh Arieh (7th – $103,750).

Nacho Barbero and Jim Collopy were both looking for their second titles of the series after Barbero won Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha and Collopy won Event #6: $10,000 Mixed PLO / PLO8 / Big O, but Barbero fell in sixth place for $124,500 and Collopy was next out for $166,000.

After the eliminations of Chris Lee (4th – $207,500) and Krasimir Yankov (3rd – $269,750), it was a heads-up battle between Ren Lin and Cabrerizo that saw the Spaniard coming out on top for a career-best $518,750.

Ren Lin
Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo and Ren Lin

Event #8: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship

  1 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $518,750
  2 Ren Lin United States $352,750
  3 Krasimir Yankov Bulgaria $269,750
  4 Chris Lee United States $207,500
  5 Jim Collopy United States $166,000
  6 Nacho Barbero Argentina $124,500
  7 Josh Arieh United States $103,750
  8 Johann Ibanez Diaz Colombia $83,000
  9 Maxx Coleman United States $83,000

The PGT PLO Series closed out with Event #9: $2,200 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha, which saw Keijzer defeating American Tommy Le to take home $43,700.

The victory gave the Dutchman his third cash of the series after a 16th-place finish in Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty for $10,740 and a 14-place finish in Event #7 for $22,800.

Ronald Keijzer
Ronald Keijzer

Cabrerizo currently sits atop the PGT Leaderboard with 774 points, in front of Cary Katz (693 points), Foxen (544 points) and Michael Wang (490 points).

Next up on the PGT schedule is the US Poker Open, which will run from March 20-April 3 and will feature No-Limit Hold’em and PLO events with buy-ins ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

A full list of winners at the PGT PLO Series is available in the table below.

2023 PGT PLO Series Winners

  March 12 Event #1: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 200 $1,000,000 Daniyal Iqbal United States $160,000
  March 13 Event #2: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty 179 $895,000 Allen Shen Canada $91,290
  March 14 Event #3: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 130 $1,300,000 Nacho Barbero Argentina $234,000
  March 15 Event #4: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 80 $800,000 Sean Troha United States $200,000
  March 16 Event #5: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 112 $1,120,000 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $220,400
  March 17 Event #6: $10,000 Mixed PLO / PLO8 / Big O 86 $860,000 Jim Collopy United States $206,400
  March 17 Event #7: $15,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty 114 $1,710,000 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $228,000
  March 18 Event #8: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship 83 $2,075,000 Lautaro Guerra Cabrerizo Spain $518,750
  March 19 Event #9: $2,200 5-Card Pot-Limit Omaha 95 $190,000 Ronald Keijzer Netherlands $43,700

Photos courtesy of PokerGO

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NuxGame Improves Core Platform with More Updates

NuxGame Improves Core Platform with More Updates

The updates are designed to help the platform boost its payment operations and introduce new security measures that safeguard against illegitimate actors.

NuxGame Doubles Down on iGaming Platform and Solutions

These improvements on the core platform include but aren’t limited to preventative measures powered by a two-factor authentication solution. Customers are ultimately the ones to decide what measures they prefer to use to bolster their security, but NuxGame has made sure that the option exists nevertheless.

NuxGame has similarly introduced a new user interface that offers in-depth transaction history for additional comfort and better onboarding. The company is also happy to announce the introduction of the GumballPay and Monnet payment solutions designed to bolster the efficiency of deposits and withdrawals.

The Agent System has also been touched up through a QR code referral link, a phone number, and an email address verification system. NuxGame has considerably strengthened its variety of new games, live sports broadcasts, and other pillars of the iGaming experience to bring a 360-degree product to market.

Not least, NuxGame is happy to announce that it has been able to introduce significant performance improvements to its Aurora database, which will translate into scalability and stability. NuxGame CEO Daniel Heywood has hailed the opportunity to introduce these changes and significantly strengthen the company’s product portfolio.

Exceeding Customer Expectations Is Modus Operandi for NuxGame

This, Heywood explained, demonstrated the company’s commitment to innovation and a desire to deliver experiences that far exceed customer expectations.

At NuxGame we are constantly on the lookout for partners that will help elevate our offering, ensuring we can continue to help our clients excel across all sectors of the iGaming and gambling space.

Daniel Heywood, CEO, NuxGame

The Monnet payment system has already been tested in Latin America where the company is keen to grow its offer by delivering the best iGaming solutions. As to the advancements made to the Agent System, the company introduced those at the end of February.

The new improvements are a confident step forward as the company seeks to deliver a robust experience for all partners looking to expand and boost their iGaming offer through the choice of a suitable technological and platform partner such as NuxGame.

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The Joy of Sports Betting

The Joy of Sports Betting

Last night I watched the World Baseball Classic (WBC) semi-final between Japan and Mexico. I think it was the most perfect baseball game I’ve ever watched. The next day I’m still coming down from the excitement. Coming back from 0-3 and 3-5, Japan won with a walk-off double by 24-year-old Munetaka Murakami, MVP and Triple Crown winner in Japan’s highest level professional baseball league. Murakami had been in a slump throughout the WBC and was set up to be the goat (not G.O.A.T.) for Japan’s sports-crazy fans. Now he’s again the hero. Japan plays the U.S. for the title tonight.

The WBC has taken some criticism as being a money grab by baseball owners, with professional players not yet in regular season form risking injury, while getting little or no money to participate. In fact, Mets star closer, Puerto Rican Edwin Diaz, will miss the season and may never be the same after tearing the patella tendon in his knee in an on-field celebration of a win, no less. Astros star, Venezuelan Jose Altuve, was hit by a pitch, suffered a fractured thumb and will be out a couple of months. Some other players suffered less serious injuries. But the joys and heartbreaks witnessed of players playing hard for very little money but a lot of national pride makes this a worthy event for both players and fans.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. A couple of months ago my friend Mike, who spends hours every day searching through betting lines looking for weaknesses, told me that Japan at +450 to win the WBC had slight value. I found it at Westgate and made a small “sweat bet.”

Japan had been a huge favorite in their games leading up to the Mexico game, so I paid little attention. But last night’s game was to get into the final, so it was time to sweat!

A word about sweating; among my circle of friends are professional gamblers who are in it for the bottom line, not the enjoyment. Many don’t watch the games; they just look at the results to see if they won. I don’t get it. I believe if you don’t enjoy your work, it becomes drudgery. For me, the payoff for doing the work finding the bets is getting to sweat the game or event! Win or lose, it’s my entertainment.

In the ‘90s I was part of one of the most successful sports-betting groups in history. We were betting big. So big that one of our guys tried to sweat the games and ended up in the hospital with an ulcer. Our computer guy cared only about results. Me? I was in sweating heaven! Especially when we started seriously winning.

Had I not bet on the WBC, it’s very unlikely I would have watched this game, thereby missing out on a great viewing experience. In fact, I can count on one hand the sporting events I’d watch without having a little action. And I almost always have a little action on them anyway!

In my upcoming book, with the working title All About Sports Betting, I do my best to educate readers, many of whom will be introduced to legal sports betting for the first time, on all aspects of the sports betting world, including a journey through the years with my group. I also include an important section outlining the things I do now, absent the advantages of working with a highly intelligent and motivated team, to try to ferret out small edges in the battle against the sports books. I think it will illuminate for my readers the best approach to recreational sports betting.

Sports betting is now my primary source of entertainment, not income. I no longer have delusions that I can make lots of money betting on my own. My goal is to break even or make a small profit, get some comps, and have a year’s worth of great entertainment, like the WBC game that I would have missed without having a bet. Hopefully my readers will be cured of any such delusions and learn how to enjoy the entertainment the sports betting world offers and avoid the inherent dangers.


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PredictIt Has Until April 5 to Respond to a CFTC Letter

PredictIt Has Until April 5 to Respond to a CFTC Letter

PredictIt, a platform that allows customers to wager on political and financial events, is under fire by US regulators that seek to shut down the exchange. In response, the exchange filed a lawsuit, which still continues. Amid the heated battle between PredictIt and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the exchange’s deadline to respond to a letter from the latter body was extended.

As reported by Casino.org, PredictIt received a letter from the CFTC on March 2, in which the regulator emphasized that it has rescinded an August 2022 notice. In the notice in question, the CFTC said it was pulling the 2014 no-action letter. The no-action letter allowed PredictIt, which would under normal circumstances be illegal in the US, to operate as an exception for non-commercial purposes.

The CFTC accused PredictIt of certain violations, claiming that the exchange broke the terms of the no-action letter.

However, the Victoria University of Wellington, the body behind the exchange, failed to meet the deadline to respond to this letter. Initially, the CFTC expected a response by Monday, March 20. However, this has been extended to April 5, 2023, providing PredictIt and its founders with more time to respond, a spokesperson told Casino.org.

The CFTC Might Be in More Trouble than PredictIt

In the meantime, the CFTC hopes that the Fifth Circuit would lift an injunction that was placed on the commission earlier this year. The injunction was requested by PredictIt and other plaintiffs, including Aristotle International, and allows the marketplace to remain open. However, the CFTC argues that now that its original letter has been revoked, the injunction should be invalid.

The CFTC recently scrutinized the plaintiffs for not sharing that they knew about CFTC’s claims before its letter in August. PredictIt and the plaintiffs, on the other hand, slammed the CFTC for never bringing that up before, saying that the commission has had more than seven fillings in which it could have divulged that information.

The plaintiffs will now try to find the CFTC in contempt for what they believe violates the injunction. They believe that it is too late to dismiss the case now. The plaintiffs noted that injunction violations have consequences that go beyond an apology. As a result, the plaintiffs will seek their attorneys’ fees and costs associated with “nervous investor behavior” covered.

In an interview with a Casino.org journalist, Pratik Chougule, a prominent trader on PredictIt, said that the ongoing case has impacted the exchange’s business, causing liquidity in the markets to decline. Still, he believes that the situation is calming down and urged traders not to be reactionary and stick with PredictIt for the moment.

While Chougule believes in PredictIt, he accused its organizers of poor communication with their traders, to which he attributed traders’ initial panicked reaction. He also said that PredictIt should lower its withdrawal fee or remove it altogether.

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Yoti Delivers Identity Verification Solutions for Flows

Churchill Downs Expands Its Board Adding Andréa Carter

The innovative award-winning integration and automation platform that delivers efficiencies for iGaming operators, Flows, announced a new partnership with the digital identity technology company, Yoti. The new deal, announced Tuesday, sees Flows’ platform benefit from leading technology provided by the UK-based digital identity company.

Under the terms of the new partnership, Flows’ platform adds Yoti’s Digital ID and Identity Verification technology, delivering fast, reliable and robust identity checks for partner operators. The new technology resonates well with Flows’ “plug-in no-code platform” that supercharges the development of iGaming operators by delivering efficiencies through automation.

The Solutions Enhance the Experience for Flows’ Partners

Thanks to the integration of the Identity Verification technology and Digital ID app, Flows’ platform is expected to deliver immediate benefits for its customers. Besides helping with identity verification, partner operators can benefit from meeting compliance requirements and combatting fraud or other foul play attempts.

Through this new partnership with Yoti we can now instantly provide our customers with easy access to leading identity verification technology so that they are able to provide fast customer verification on-demand instantly improving the overall KYC process.

James King, CEO of Flows

James King, Flows’ CEO, explained that the company remains committed to offering agnostic solutions for its partners that help them continue their work seamlessly. He added that the new partnership with Yoti delivers further benefits for Flows’ customers that can enjoy identity verification technology. In conclusion, King said that this technology is expected to help improve know-your-customer processes for the operators.

We’re delighted to offer our leading Digital ID app and Identity Verification technology on the Flows platform.

Robin Tombs, CEO at Yoti

Robin Tombs, Yoti’s CEO, added that the company is delighted to deliver its technology to Flows’ platform. He pointed out that the two solutions are easy to integrate and can help “more businesses to unlock the power of digital identity, and benefit from fast, simple and robust identity checks.” Finally, Tombs said that the solutions allow the customers to select a way to prove their identity, making the process easier.

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Reiji Kono Tastes Victory in Cambodia; Becomes Latest WPT Prime Main Event Champion ($131,731)

Reiji Kono Tastes Victory in Cambodia; Becomes Latest WPT Prime Main Event Champion ($131,731)

The 2023 edition of WPT Prime Cambodia is now in the books after Japan’s Reiji Kono was crowned champion in the series $1,100 Main Event for $131,731 which includes a $10,400 ticket to the end of the season WPT World Championships.

Kono topped a field of 1,011 entrants and secured the winner’s spoils after overcoming Bien Mai and Matthieu Lamagnere when play was three-handed. The trio agreed to an ICM deal which saw Mai pocket $117,842 while Lamagnere collected a $112,247 payday.

The tournament had a prize pool of $980,670 and saw the top 128 finishers make the money, with the mini-cash being set at $1,800.

WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event Final Table Results

Place Name Country Prize
1 Reiji Kono Japan $131,731*
2 Bien Mai Vietnam $117,842*
3 Matthieu Lamagnere France $112,247*
4 Charlie Chiu Taiwan $59,820
5 Jose Catela Portugal $45,120
6 Sho Katsura Japan $34,400
7 Feng Ji Chua Singapore $26,510
8 Lewis Cowell United Kingdom $20.660
9 Nicolas Ragot France $16,280

*indicates three-way ICM deal

Popular WPT Prime Tour Heads to Amsterdam From March 24

Final Table Action

WPT Prime Cambodia Final Table
WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event Final Table

The first final table elimination came on the 54th hand of the day. France’s Nicolas Ragot lost a significant flip to compatriot Lamagnere, who rivered the nut flush to crack Ragot’s pocket jacks following an all-in preflop situation.

The next bust-out would occur 13 hands later, with Lewis Cowell being sent to the payout desk by Lamagnere. Cowell jammed preflop with ace-nine, but the Frenchman hit the river again to make Broadway.

Lamagnere soon secured a hattrick of knockouts after the ace-queen held by himself and Bien Mai chopped the pot after pairing up to eliminate Feng Ji Chua, who was all in with pocket nines.

Lamagnere continued to dominate the final table after winning another flip against Sho Katsura the very next hand. Lamagnere’s pocket sevens remained best against his opponent’s queen-jack.

Bien Mai
Bien Mai

At five-handed play, the pace began to slow until Jose Catela had Mai at risk. Catela had pocket tens, while Mai was in rough shape with a pair of sevens. However, Catela was left short after Mai rivered a set to get a double up. Shortly after, Mai finished off Catela after the former flopped two pair while Catela had top pair and held out on the turn and river to bring the Main Event to its final four players.

Twenty minutes later, Kono bagged his first final table casualty after sending out Charlie Chiu in fourth place. The duo were all in on the J-6-2 flop, with Kono ahead with pocket nines while Chiu held queen-six. A clean runout gave Kono the checkmark.

After eliminating Chiu in fourth place, the final three players made an ICM deal to adjust the final three payouts. The first-prize amount also included the winner’s $10,400 seat for the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

Kono managed to gain the chip lead as three-handed play unfolded and Kono secured his heads-up place after sending out Lamagnere in third. It was Kono’s turn to hit the river as his eight-five paired up to move ahead of Lamagnere’s king-three.

Kono then claimed the winner’s spoils after he and Mai got their stacks into the middle on the A-K-8-7-7 board. Mai had queen-seven for trips but Kono had a full house with his eight-seven to secure the victory.

Here’s How Much Math You REALLY Need to Succeed at Poker

Win a WPT Prime Passport on WPT Global

On WPT Global, you can start trying to win your way to WPT Live Events thanks to 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 worldwide.

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.

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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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Dream Las Vegas Construction Stalls as Developers Run Out of Funds

Dream Las Vegas Construction Stalls as Developers Run Out of Funds

Shopoff Realty Investments, one of the companies behind the project, is confident that the planned hotel is promising enough to draw additional investors. Rising inflation and other economic pressures almost doubled the construction costs, and the funding-related delays may push back the planned late 2024 launch. Despite ongoing difficulties, the developers remain optimistic and will do their best to see the project to its conclusion.

Problems Arose from the Very Start

Dream Hotel Group’s Las Vegas venue started construction in July 2022 with a ceremonial groundbreaking. The project aims to deliver a boutique-style experience, contrasting with the expansive casino resorts most common on the Strip. Once completed, Dream Las Vegas will feature 531 rooms, a selection of unique restaurants, 30,000 square feet of casino space, and many other amenities.

Unfortunately, the project was beset by setbacks from the beginning, suffering financing issues, delays due to the pandemic, and security concerns related to the hotel’s proximity to the airport. Despite the high hopes riding on the project and the successful start of the construction, a lack of funds has once again thrown a spanner in the works.

The Developer Should Soon Secure Additional Funding

Construction works on the property have allegedly halted, as developers Shopoff Realty Investments and real estate firm Contour can no longer pay their dues. On 10 March, the hotel’s main contractor, McCarthy Building Companies, filed a lien notice stating that it had received roughly $43.3 million in payments. However, the company still had to collect nearly $40.2 million for work performed on the project.

Shopoff Realty Investments president and CEO Bill Shopoff stated that the final projected cost of Dream Las Vegas had risen to $575 million, almost double the original $300 million estimate. He blamed the price hike on rising inflation, Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, and ongoing banking industry instability. However, he remained adamant that the builders would receive their dues and that construction would proceed as planned.

They will be paid, and the project will get built.

Bill Shopoff, Shopoff Realty Investments president and CEO

Electrical, steel, and drilling subcontractors have also filed lien notices. According to Shopoff, his company currently owes roughly $30 million. Despite ongoing setbacks, all involved parties wish to see the hotel completed. A new funding scheme is already in the works and should hopefully be sufficient to finish construction.

The owners… are working on a $400 million-plus funding package.

Bill Shopoff, Shopoff Realty Investments president and CEO

The developer hopes to acquire the extra capital within the next few weeks. Shopoff was adamant that the project leaders fully intended to finish the boutique resort and honor their agreements with all parties involved. He expressed confidence that Dream Las Vegas would soon be back on track. However, setbacks plague the project at every step, making its future ever more uncertain.

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Imagine Dragons-Backed Charity Hosting CSOP “Slay Cancer with Poker” in Las Vegas

Imagine Dragons-Backed Charity Hosting CSOP "Slay Cancer with Poker" in Las Vegas

Fans of poker, charity events and popular rock music are in luck as there’s an upcoming event that checks all three boxes. The Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), founded by the Grammy award-winning band Imagine Dragons, has once again partnered with the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) for “Slay Cancer with Poker,” a $300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament that will benefit the pediatric cancer community.

The “Slay Cancer with Poker” tournament, taking place on March 25 at The Sterling Club in Las Vegas, will play turbo-style with $100 rebuys and add-ons and will feature a $5,000 grand prize in addition to bounty and final table prizes, a silent auction and a 50/50 cash raffle drawing.

The event will also be an opportunity to hang out with Las Vegas royalty as Ink Master winner and Revolt Tattoos founder Joey Hamilton, as well as former Las Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland will be featured bounty players.

Read about the CSOP 2022 Awards!

Playing Poker for a Good Cause

TRF was founded by members of the Las Vegas-based pop rock band Imagine Dragons, known for hits like “Radioactive” and “Believer,” in honor of Tyler Robinson, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer as a teenager.

According to the foundation’s website, its mission is to “strengthen families financially and emotionally as they cope with the tragedy of a pediatric cancer diagnosis by offsetting out-of-pocket life expenses.”

Tyler Robinson Foundation
Tyler Robinson Foundation

The “Slay Cancer with Poker” event is just the latest charity offering by CSOP, a non-profit founded to promote charity poker tournaments which earlier this year celebrated its first-ever award dinner to honor volunteers and sponsors.

Mary Bodine was named Volunteer of the Year, while the TRF beat out St. Jude Against All Odds, HIT Living Foundation and Families for Effective Autism Treatment for People’s Choice for Event of the Year.

All net proceeds from the event will benefit TRF, which has supported over 7,500 families and raised more than $15 million in the past decade. For every dollar that TRF raises, more than 85% goes directly to families in need, according to a press release.

The event will begin will a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. local time and the tournament will kick off at 7 p.m.

To learn more about the upcoming “Slay Cancer with Poker” event, visit http://bit.ly/csoptrf.

Imagine Dragons-Backed Charity Hosting CSOP "Slay Cancer with Poker" in Las Vegas 101

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