Mike Watson Becomes Third Player in History to Win Two Live EPT Main Event Titles

Mike Watson Becomes Third Player in History to Win Two Live EPT Main Event Titles

Mike Watson was one card away from being eliminated on Day 4 of the EPT Monte Carlo €5,300 Main Event as part of the 2023 PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® with just two cards in the deck that could help him. Not only did he hit one of them, the Canadian high-stakes veteran climbed back to win the event on Day 6 for €749,425 and his second EPT Main Event title.

Watson, who previously took down the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event for $728,325, became just the third player in poker history to win two live EPT Main Event titles. Vicky Coren-Mitchell was the first to do it in 2014 before Mikalai Pobal joined the two-time EPT champion club in 2019, while Sweden’s “WhatIfGod” won consecutive EPT Online Main Events in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment,” Watson told PokerNews in a winner’s interview. “You know, winning two main events on the same tour is really hard. And yeah, I just feel really lucky that I was able to pull it off today.”

Watson defeated Germany’s Leonard Maue (€697,175) after the two struck a heads-up deal that flattened the payouts and left the two accomplished pros playing for the trophy and an additional €33,340, while other players who earned six-figure paydays in the event included the United Kingdom’s Leo Worthington-Leese (3rd – €397,450), Norway’s Joachim Haraldstad (4th – €305,750) and France’s Samy Boujmala (5th – €235,150) and Arnaud Enselme (6th – €180,900).

Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (EUR) Prize (USD)
1st Mike Watson Canada €749,425* $823,558*
2nd Leonard Maue Germany €697,175* $766,140*
3rd Leo Worthington-Leese United Kingdom €397,450 $436,766
4th Joachim Haraldstad Norway €305,750 $335,995
5th Samy Boujmala France €235,150 $258,411
6th Arnaud Enselme France €180,900 $198,795
7th Jason Wheeler United States €139,150 $152,915
8th Arunas Sapitavicius Lithuania €107,050 $117,639
9th Maduka Meragal Canada €82,350 $90,496

*Denotes heads-up deal

“This One Feels a Little Extra Special”

While Watson was ecstatic after winning the 2016 PCA Main Event — photos of the post-victory celebration show Watson coddling the trophy with a cigar clenched between his teeth — he said winning the second title was “even sweeter.”

“Just doing it again the second time, I think, definitely makes it feel more significant,” he said. “You know, joining a very small club. So, yeah, I mean, anytime you win a big tournament, obviously it’s amazing. But that definitely this one feels a little extra special.”

With $18.6 million in live tournament earnings headed into the event, “SirWatts” was by and large the most accomplished and experienced player at the final table.

Mike Watson
Mike Watson

A glance at the PokerStars live stream or PokerNews updates will reveal plenty of snug folds throughout final table play as each player looked to ladder up the pay slots and avoid an ICM blunder. Not only was Watson aware of this, he used it to give himself a competitive advantage.

“I was lucky, obviously, to have a big stack for much of the final table and was able to leverage that to a good extent to help build a stack and just, you know, had some hands and big pots going my way as well,” he said.

Watson’s Path to Victory

As mentioned earlier, Watson’s deep run almost came to an end on Day 4 as he was all in with pocket queens against the ace-king of 22nd-place finisher Jose Astima, who hit a king on the flop to take a major lead in the hand. An ace on the turn was no help to Watson, but the river miraculously brought a queen to keep him alive

“Deep in a tournament like that, to actually hit the two outer and a big spot is, you know, it feels amazing,” said Watson. “That’s when you want to do it. And I was still short after that. And then it seemed like that just kind of like, you know, the switch flipped and everything kind of started going my way right after that.”

Watson was able to run it up from there and entered the final day of play second in chips with a big stack that he maintained throughout the day.

After several hours with little chip movement, France’s two representatives on Day 6 were the first to go as Enselme’s tens were pipped by Watson’s jacks and Boujmala’s king-queen was likewise dominated by Worthington-Leese’s ace-queen.

Mike Watson
Mike Watson

There were two quick eliminations after that as Haraldstad shoved a short stack with king-six and Watson called with ten-nine, only for the Norwegian to be flopped nearly dead as Watson made trips. Shortly after, Worthington-Leese went out in third with a missed flush draw as Maue’s jacks held up to have him enter heads-up play nearly even in chips with the eventual champion.

The German managed to take the lead from Watson before the Canadian doubled up to have Maue on the ropes. In the final hand, Watson bet the flop with top pair only to be check-raised by Maue, who then checked the turn before moving all in on the river to send Watson deep into the tank.

After using a half-dozen time banks, Watson called and locked up the victory as his opponent turned over a four-high bluff.

Mike Watson - Leonard Maue
Mike Watson – Leonard Maue

“It was just a really strange hand because he’s really not repping much of in terms of value combos on the river,” Watson explained. “So it’s like, well, is he just really bluffing? And often it’s really obvious that there’s a lot of draws and things that missed and it’s really hard for him to have a value combo or not.”

“So (I was) just kind of going through thinking, you know, my hand seems very strong here, but (I was) just trying to kind of figure out, you know, what was going on, what he would have. (It’s) obviously a big decision. So, yeah, I took my time with it. But in the end, I just, you know, just had to see the hand, I guess.”

Watson celebrated the victory with his wife and fellow Canadian Sam Greenwood, both of whom were also on the rail for Watson’s 2016 PCA win. Whether there will be another Super Bowl championship-esque cigar celebration has yet to be seen.

Mike Watson
Mike Watson celebrates with his wife

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ClubWPT Qualifer Jonathan Powers Off is a Lifelong World Poker Tour Fan

ClubWPT Qualifer Jonathan Powers Off is a Lifelong World Poker Tour Fan

Jonathan Powers — “Jpowers1723” — won his seat into the World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw event, a $3,800 buy-in tournament, on ClubWPT, and now he’s off to Day 2 with an impressive stack.

The 30-year-old New Englander didn’t just make it through Day 1a with about 75 big blinds. He did so in his first major live poker tournament just seven months after joining ClubWPT.

Powers, who recently became a father, could conceivably turn that ClubWPT into enough money to cover his four-month old child’s college fund already. The payouts at WPT Choctaw aren’t yet available and will be figured out at the close of registration on Day 1b (Saturday). But the estimated prize for first place should exceed $300,000.

Building a Stack

PokerNews caught up with the qualifier at the conclusion of Day 1a to find out his backstory and his experience playing poker.

“I’m just super excited to be here, super blessed,” Powers said. “I’ve got 190,000 chips at the end of the day, which ain’t too bad because I was down to like 30,000 in chips and couldn’t really get anything going.”

The players began with 50,000 chips, and the first few levels didn’t really go his way. Powers had to grind throughout the day and wait for a spot to build his stack. He said the key hand of the day was a massive double-up with ace-king when his opponent jammed preflop with ace-four and the best hand held up.

World Poker Tour Dream Come True

jonathan powers clubwpt
Jonathan Powers

Playing in a World Poker Tour event was something Powers had planned for 20 years. He’s been watching the WPT on TV since the tour’s early days, long before he was even legally old enough to play poker. On Friday, he had dinner with the WPT staff, including Vince Van Patten, the longtime commentator he’s listened to for years.

“Watching this for almost 20 years and telling my dad that we were going to win the tournament and a seat when I was 10, and my dad was like ‘yeah, maybe one day,’ Powers said of watching the WPT for so long.

The money bubble hasn’t yet burst in the WPT Choctaw tournament, but the prediction he made to his father, who traveled with him to Oklahoma, could come true later this month. First things first though, he must survive the next two days of play to reach the final table, which will be held in Las Vegas at Luxor’s HyperX Esports Arena on May 26. But just the fact that he’s competing in a WPT event for the first time after watching the tour on TV for so many years is quite the experience for the poker enthusiast.

Powers is a recreational poker player competing in his first major tournament. Along with his dad, he works in the assisted living industry helping those with special needs and disabilities. As he explained, he’ll bring special needs patients to church and take them to various activities.

“It’s honestly changed my life a lot,” Powers said of his meaningful occupation.

Powers is one of two ClubWPT qualifiers competing at WPT Choctaw. Felipe “ChampSome” Diaz, a 36-year-old from Wisconsin, entered Day 1b.

*Images courtesy of WPT.

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BGaming Aims for the Stars with AI-Driven Images in Alien Fruit

BGaming Aims for the Stars with AI-Driven Images in Alien Fruit

BGaming, the in-house game studio of SOFTSWISS announced the release of one of the first online slots known to be created with AI-generated graphics. Launched on April 13, Alien Fruits joins two other AI-assisted imagery games released in April – Wild Buffalo Bonanza by NetGaming and Joker Ra from Endorphina.

Unlike the other two games, this one comes with very little background information on the development team’s interaction with the Generative AI creating the images. It’s also quite different than the other two as it presents as a chain reactor rather than a traditional slot.

Chain Reactor Game

The “grid” reel set that doesn’t actually have “reels” allows this game to appear with a screen holding 30 icons over 6 columns of 5 rows each. The top prize is 15,000x bet as well so it can pay a lot more than any of the other games in its small glass.

The narrative behind this title is one of the players joining the alien fruits on an intergalactic voyage. The simple but bright game icons including avocados, pomegranates, passion fruit, and lemons are animated as they threaten to come into play or are activated by a winning combination.

You’ll set out to find jelly letters to energize your mission.

Bonus mechanics are straightforward for this type of game with free spins and multipliers but they are also power-packed with win potential. Landing four or more scatters awards an increasing number of free spins – the symbols that trigger the free games cause the fruits to move across galaxies to escort the player into bonus mode.

The game also offers those chomping at the bit to trigger the bonus round a buy bonus feature. Changing the initial bet size will cause the price of the feature to rise.

While the graphics are bright and vibrant, there’s nothing very unique about them in terms of provenance and perhaps that is one reason BGaming didn’t rely heavily on innovative tech messaging in heralding the new release – in fact, it may have slipped by many who would be looking for just an innovation.

Huge Multipliers in the Bonus Round Spins

No matter how you arrive at the free spins, by chance or by purchasing a turn, the free spins bonus is where the biggest money is to be made.

Along the narrative line, the multiplier portal will allow coms to go on between the alien fruit and their home planet to generative multipliers ranging from 2x to 100x during the free games bonus. The most that can be won on the game is 180,000 euros. The minimum bet is €1.00 and the most that can be bet per spin is €80.00

One of the job-sharing CPOs at BGaming, Yulia Aliakseyeva said: “As a leading slots provider, we are delighted to add Alien Fruits to our portfolio of more than 100 creative titles. We are especially excited to introduce AI-generated graphics – just one example of BGaming’s innovative approach to slots development.”

Source: Embark On Space Odyssey With BGaming’s Alien Fruits, BGaming News, April 13, 2023

The post BGaming Aims for the Stars with AI-Driven Images in Alien Fruit appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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Jailed UK Mom Must Sell Car, House to Pay Back £1.6m Stolen to Fund Gambling

Lady justice statue

A mother from England who stole £1.6m ($2.2m) from her Derbyshire employer to fund her gambling habit will have to sell her home, her designer goods, and her Mercedes-Benz — complete with personalized number plate — to help pay back a fraction of what she took.

Recorder Tim Spruce sentenced Karen Brailsford, 53, to four years and eight months in jail for the crime in September 2022. Seh appeared from prison by video link at a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Derby Crown Court on Thursday.

Brailsford had only £130,314.59 ($164,284.35) worth of assets

While Brailsford has been in jail, Derbyshire Police’s financial investigators have been following her money trail. At this week’s hearing, the probe revealed Brailsford had only £130,314.59 ($164,284.35) worth of assets to her name.

Unlike the US equivalent Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), money that is seized under POCA is divided equally between the police and the government and is often used to bankroll community projects. In the gambling mom’s case, Judge Shaun Smith KC instead ordered £130,000 ($163,926) to go the employer she fleeced, Urban Design and Development.

Of the money Brailsford stole, police uncovered she spent £298,867 ($376,704) on gambling.

The post Jailed UK Mom Must Sell Car, House to Pay Back £1.6m Stolen to Fund Gambling appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Casino Execs Optimistic UAE Will Permit Casino Development

Dubai in the UAE

Senior government officials in the United Arab Emirates have been quick to deny any claims that they intend to legalize gambling anytime soon. However, that hasn’t stopped casino operators from giving it their best go, and they seem optimistic that those efforts are moving things in the right direction.

the Gulf state is seriously considering the proposals

As reported by BNN Bloomberg, multiple casino operators are holding discussions with UAE authorities about gambling. Operators, consultants, lawyers, and even UAE officials have supposedly confirmed that those talks are taking place and that the Gulf state is seriously considering the proposals.

The most detailed of those proposals comes from Wynn Resorts. Last week, the American casino giant unveiled plans for a $3.9bn gaming resort in the UAE. Named the Wynn Al Marjan, the luxury location would feature 1,500 rooms, suites and villas, in addition to a wide array of entertainment options, including a gaming area.

If it did legalize gambling, the UAE would become the first nation to do so among the Gulf states, where Islamic and Shariah law is typically the main basis for legislation. According to Angela Hanlee, a senior gaming and hospitality analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, the Middle Eastern country could earn as much as $6.6bn in annual gaming revenue.

The post Casino Execs Optimistic UAE Will Permit Casino Development appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Osaka’s First IR Might Not Get the Approved Loan


Osaka’s casino resort is the first in more ways than one. Not only will it be the first integrated casino resort in the whole of Japan, but now it has secured the highest-ever loan of JPY550 billion (US$4.1 billion). 

Many banks are involved:

The government discussed this loan for almost a year. It was finally approved, but some banks that considered being included in the loan are now changing their decision. 

After long negotiations, the District Development Plan for the first IR in Osaka finally got approved in April. 

The works on the construction are estimated to be completed in winter 2029. MGM Resorts and Orix are in charge of building the resort, along with the Osaka prefecture and city. As the CEO of MGM Resorts thinks, the opening can be scheduled for 2030.

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced many casinos to shut their doors and negatively affected the whole industry, banks started questioning their decision about the loan. Hesitation is supported by the fact that many locals are against the casino opening in their city, since they are worried about potential gambling addiction and threats to public safety

Osaka’s banks, MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC), are expected to provide the syndicated loan to the casino. Both of the companies are expected to lend between JPY200 billion ($1.5 billion) and JPY300 billion (2.23 billion). However, the exact amount is still unknown since it depends on the amount that other banks will provide. 

Resona Bank and SBI Shinsei Bank, both reliable banks from Japan, want to be included in this major project. Development Bank of Japan, which is controlled by the state, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank also might become the lenders. Additionally, many smaller regional banks will have a chance to be included, which will keep the loan within the borders of the state without any banks outside of Japan getting involved.

Possible withdrawal of Mizuho Bank:

On the other hand, Mizuho Bank, which was expected to join the group, hasn’t said anything official yet, although the name of the bank is missing from the list of the ones which already confirmed its involvement.

The bank doesn’t seem very interested in the project. MUFG and SMBC accepted repaying the loan from the earnings of the IR, but Mizuho doesn’t accept that but wants to rely on the company’s creditworthiness, which is more of a corporate finance approach.

If Mizuho decides not to be involved in the loan, it would be an issue for other lenders since they would have to invest an amount of JPY100 billion ($740 million) more than previously planned.

The risks exist. Since the resort will be situated on Yumeshima Island, there is a possibility of soil contamination and liquefaction, which can seriously affect the environment – and anyone can be guilty of that. This is among the key points of the loan agreements, and the banks have to decide whether the investment will be good for them in the future.

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Why Do Formula 1 and Poker Go Hand-in-Hand?

Why Do Formula 1 and Poker Go Hand-in-Hand?

Online poker sites forming partnerships with sports stars and influencers is nothing new. However, in recent times, there has been a trend of social casinos and online poker giants collaborating with Formula 1 racing teams.

PokerStars joined forces with Oracle Red Bull Racing, PartyPoker are in bed with McLaren Racing, and even GGPoker got in on the act when seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton made a shock appearance at the tables in a $10,300 buy-in tournament during the site’s High Rollers Week.

Social Poker Site Global Poker Gets In on the Act

In early March 2023, VGW, the parent company of the epic social poker site Global Poker, announced its own Formula 1 connection, when it put pen to paper on a multi-year deal with the world-famous Scuderia Ferrari team.

Global Poker Grand Prix Turbo Series May 5-7 Will Award Dream Ferrari Experience

Learn more about the Global Poker Grand Prix Turbo Series

What is it about Formula 1 and poker that works? One is driving a car at breakneck speed; the other is essentially a battle of wits and luck. Things become a little clearer once you start delving deeper.

Reason #1: They’re All in the Entertainment Business

Global Poker Grand Prix

Formula 1 and poker are part of the entertainment industry and do everything they can to keep their customers and fans engaged in their products. People travel far and wide to watch a Grand Prix. They want to see last-second overtakes, cars spinning off the track, and the famous spraying of champagne when the champion is crowned. People watch F1 races for fun.

Poker follows in a similar vein. Take the recent PokerNews Cup held on Global Poker, where people won thousands of Gold Coins on the turn of a card, where the increasing blinds added excitement and tension, and where one poker player got to call themselves a true champion. People play at Global Poker purely for the fun of doing so.

Reason #2: They’re All at the Forefront of Technology and Innovation

Formula 1 teams, online poker sites, and social casinos invest a ridiculous amount of money in technology, and equally as much in developing new products. F1 teams spend the off-season using state-of-the-art technology to make improvements and changes to their cars, hoping to shave off hundredths of a second and gain an advantage.

Online poker sites and social casinos know they can have the best cash games, tournaments, and offers, but they count for next to nothing if the poker software is not up to scratch. You wouldn’t believe the time and investment they spend keeping their software in tip-top shape.

They innovate to excite their customers, and Formula 1 teams develop an incredible, compelling end product to excite their fans.

“Allhustlenoluck” Triumphs In Inaugural Global Poker x PokerNews Cup GC Final

VGW founder, Chairman, and CEO Laurence Escalante summed this perfectly in a press release shortly after his social gaming company signed a multi-year deal to become a Premium Partner of Scuderia Ferrari on March 2023.

“We are excited to partner with Ferrari, one of the world’s most iconic global brands. With such a rich history, success in motorsport, and a brand synonymous with winning, achievement, passion, and luxury, we look forward to working together and our next chapter of growth.

F1 is a truly global sport with massive reach that has experienced amazing growth in recent years, particularly in the US, and there’s no bigger brand than Ferrari. We may operate in different industries, but share similar beliefs when it comes to the power of technology and teams for performance, and the role of passion that unites us all.”

Reason #3: They’re Serious About Safety


Safety isn’t the most exciting subject in the world, but it is vitally important to Formula 1 teams, online poker sites, and social casinos. Formula 1, like all motorsports, is inherently dangerous. However, continual improvements have made drivers, pit crew, and spectators safer than ever during a race weekend.

Former Group Commercial Director of Entain, owners of PartyPoker, Paris Anatolitis, highlighted the importance of safety in an interview with PokerNews during the infancy of PartyPoker and McLaren Racing’s partnership.

“Perhaps most importantly, we both want to offer an exhilarating and entertaining product while remaining aware of the importance of doing so in an environment where safety is at the forefront.”

Reason #4: Partnerships Open Doors to New Markets and Opportunities

Red Bull

The partnerships between Formula 1 teams, online poker sites, and social casinos work on a business level and for each business’ customers.

For example, the Global Poker name will be displayed on the Ferrari cars at the Miami Grand Prix over the weekend of May 6, which is also when Global Poker runs its exciting Grand Prix Turbo Series, complete with 12 Gold Coins and 12 Sweeps Coins events.

The social poker site is running a season-long promotion, hosting a Grand Prix series during each F1 stop where the eventual winner receives an exclusive experience for two at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

Not only is this cooler than cool for non-racing fans, but such a once-in-a-lifetime prize will surely attract F1 fans to Global Poker, and we all love new players enjoying this crazy game.

Grab a Healthy Slice of $7,500 every day on PokerStars with Spin & Go Races

PokerStars runs promotions during each F1 race weekend and has sent its customers to the Brazilian Grand Prix as part of their exciting Red Spade Pass promotion. Indeed, PokerNews‘ own Will Shillibier went along to that Grand Prix and reveled in the excitement that only a Grand Prix produces.

PokerStars Red Spade Pass
PokerStars Red Spade Pass winners at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Rebecca McAdam Willets, PokerStars Director of Partnerships, PR, and Consumer Engagement, told PokerNews that the PokerStars-Oracle Red Bull Racing partnership allows both PokerStars and Oracle Red Bull Racing to access new fans and offer those fans amazing experiences.

“We’re now in our second year as Team Partner and it’s safe to say the ride so far has been nothing short of epic. The partnership continues to be a natural fit with both communities sharing many passions, traits and interests, and while our community can benefit from exclusive rewards and experiences, we’re also able to access new, like-minded fans through the sport’s increasing popularity and its number one team.”

“Along with being part of an incredible part of the team’s journey, we’ve also been able to bring our community along through our money can’t buy race experiences with our ‘Red Spade Pass’ initiative, and a suite of offers and promotions across poker, casino, and sports that reward players who follow the team and sweat Sundays with us, with those rewards increasing when the team succeeds.”

“It has been a wonderful journey working with the Championship winners who continue to dominate the grid, and this year we have some extra exciting partnership integrations planned, with exclusive content and even more unforgettable experiences yet to come.”

F1 and poker partnerships work on many levels and PokerNews is glad they do. The collaborations bring in new and excited poker players that may not have otherwise played online poker or discovered the fun of social gaming, while the racing teams gain new fans from the army of poker customers who tie their colors to the team’s mast. Everyone wins, and that scenario is something of a rarity!

F1 red bull

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Dream Crushers: Brutal Elimination Hands from the WPT SHR Poker Showdown

Dream Crushers: Brutal Elimination Hands from the WPT SHR Poker Showdown

Over the weekend, the World Poker Tour (WPT) $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown attracted 2,290 entrants and played down to the final table of six, which will recommence on May 25 in Las Vegas.

The $3 million guarantee was obliterated as a $7,328,000 prize pool was created, and the eventual winner will walk away with a $1,128,250 top prize. While the dreams of WPT glory are still alive for the remaining six players, there was heartbreak for many on the playdown days.

Live reporters from both the WPT and Seminole Hard Rock captured the action throughout, and we thought we’d share some of the more gut-wrenching eliminations hands that likely saw players hitting the rail with a little bit of pain.

Bin Weng Leads Remaining Six Players in WPT SHR Poker Showdown

Big Slick Does Not Do the Trick for Lagodich

Frank Lagodich
Andrew Moreno vs. Frank Lagodich

On Day 3 in Level 24 (25,000/50,000/50,000), 54 players remained when a series of preflop raises resulted in Frank Lagodich getting his stack of 3.2 million all in from the cutoff against inaugural Wynn Millions champ Andrew Moreno in late position.

Andrew Moreno: A10
Frank Lagodich: AK

Lagodich was a big favorite, but not when a ten appeared in the window on the 1052 flop. The A turn paired both, but Moreno was ahead with aces up. Lagodich needed a king on the river, but it was not meant to be as the 3 appeared instead.

Just like that, Lagodich was ousted in 54th place for $19,100.

The Ladies Do Not Lover Steve Buckner

Steve Buckner
Steve Buckner

Also, on Day 3 in Level 26 (50,000/75,000/75,000), Steve “Cuz” Buckner moved all in for 1.4 million while saying, “I’m all in boys. I ain’t looking for the pay jump.”

Champie Douglas then called off for 1.15 million from middle position before John Dolan called from the big blind to put both players at risk.

Steve Buckner: QQ
Champie Douglas: KA
John Dolan: AK

Buckner had the best of it and looked good on the 1064 flop. However, the J turn put out a big sweat as Douglas picked up straight and flush draws. Unfortunately for Buckner, the 9 river gave Douglas the straight and a triple up.

Buckner won the small side pot of around 500,000, but he was eliminated a short time later in 33rd place for $26,400.

Madsen Gutshot Through the Heart

Jeff Madsen
Jeff Madsen

Day 4 saw 16 players return to action looking to make the televised final table of six. Four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Jeff Madsen was short-stacked in Level 29 (75,000/150,000/150,000) when he raised to 1.05 million from the small blind and Isaac Kempton called from the big to see a flop of K103.

Madsen wasted little time in moving all in for his last 600,000 or so and Kempton quickly called with the J9 for a gutshot straight draw and running diamonds. Madsen tabled the K8 for top pair and was a heavy favorite to double up.

The 5 turn brought him one step closer to doing so, but then disaster struck when the Q spiked on the river. Kempton made his straight and Madsen became the day’s first elimination taking 16th place for $56,800.

Check out the WPT Hub on PokerNews here!

Moreno Gets It in Preflop with Pocket Kings

Andrew Moreno
Andrew Moreno

Not long after in Level 29 (75,000/150,000/150,000), Rafael Farah Jarufe raised to 400,000 from the cutoff and Moreno three-bet to 1.55 million from the small blind. Jarufe responded by four-bet jamming all in and Moreno called off for 4.8 million.

Andrew Moreno: KK
Rafael Farah Jarufe: AQ

Moreno was primed to win a monster pot, and the 733 flop seemed safe enough. Unfortunately for him, the dealer burned and turned the A to pair Jarufe. The 2 river was a brick and Moreno was eliminated in 15th place for $56,800.

Ostapchenko Tries to Set Up Mzareulov

Andrew Ostapchenko
Andrew Ostapchenko

Also, in Level 29 (75,000/150,000/150,000), there was a flop of 975 when David Mzareulov checked from the small blind and Kempton did the same from the big. Andrew Ostapchenko then bet 200,000 from the hijack and Mzareulov woke up with an all-in check-raise to 2.5 million.

Kempton quickly folded, Ostapchenko called off for 2.45 million, and the hands were turned on their backs.

David Mzareulov: Q9
Andrew Ostapchenko: 55

Mzareulov had check-jammed with top pair and a heart flush draw, but Ostapchenko was ahead with a set of fives. The 3 turn was of no consequence but the 6 river was as Mzareulov made his flush to dispatch Ostapchenko in 13th place for $70,500.

Remember, the final table will be played at the Hyper X ESports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25th. Action will resume with just over 12 minutes remaining in Level 32 (150,000/300,000/300,000). PokerNews will be on-site and will bring you a winner’s recap upon the tournament’s completion.

*Images courtesy of WPT and Seminole Hard Rock.

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

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

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Best Casino Sites for May ▶️ 2023 Guide for the UK

 The Best Online Casino in the UK for May

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4.95 ★ out of 5

www.mrmega.com Full T&C’s apply.. New players only. 18+. Min deposit €10. Wagering requirement apply 35x. Offers valid for 72hr. 100 spins includes 3 deposit.
£100 + 100 Free Spins 1100+ 1050+ 20+

4.90 ★ out of 5

www.duelz.com Full T&Cs apply. 18+ new players only. Min deposit: £20. Max £100 bonus. Max bet with active bonus: £2. Wagering required 100% match bonus: 30x deposit + bonus. Max win from welcome bonus: £500. 100 Free Spins are given out 20 per day on Book of Dead for 5 days in a row. Max Free Spins winnings: £100. Free Spins winnings credited as bonus money with 45x wagering & 3 days expiry. Deposit bonus & Free Spins wins are forfeited 30 days after bonus is credited if the wagering is not met. Game weighting and restrictions apply. Play Responsibly www.begambleaware.org.
£100 + 200 Extra Spins 600+ 350+ 120+

4.90 ★ out of 5

www.slotsnplay.com Full T&C apply. Offer valid upon 4 deposits. New players only. 18+. Min deposit €20. Welcome package split over 4 deposits, 35x wagering applies. Max bet limitations per spin apply: €4.

30 Free Spins on Monopoly Paradise Mansion 450+ 450+ 20+

4.85 ★ out of 5

www.monopolycasino.com Full T&Cs apply. #ad. New members only, must opt in. Min £10 deposit & wager. 30 day expiry from deposit.18+. Free Spins: on MONOPOLY Paradise Mansion. 1p coin size, max lines. Bingo: Advertised ticket value based on £1 tickets. Game availability & restrictions apply. Begameaware.org
£80 Welcome Bonus 1000+ 850+ 20+

4.85 ★ out of 5

www.betiton.com Full T&C apply. 18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10 max bonus amount £80. Wagering bonus 35x. Neteller and Skrill deposits not eligible.
£300 + 25 Bonus Spins 1600+ 1500+ 20+

4.80 ★ out of 5

www.grandivy.com Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20. Max bonus bet is £5. Bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds contribute towards any wagering requirements. Terms apply. BeGambleAware.org
£50 On Selected Games 500+ 400+ 30+

4.75 ★ out of 5

www.coral.co.uk Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New customers only. Min spend £10 on qualifying games. Certain deposit types excluded. £50 Bonus on selected games subject to 40x wager req. Must accept within 7 days, valid for 30 days.
30 Spins Welcome Bonus 300+ 300+ 30+

4.75 ★ out of 5

www.rainbowriches.com T&C’s Apply. 18+. New members only, must opt in. Min £10 deposit & wager. 30 day expiry from deposit. Free Spins: on Rainbow Riches. 1p coin size, max lines. Bingo: Advertised ticket value based on £1 tickets. Game availability & restrictions apply. **£10 lifetime deposit for Daily Free Game.

Our casino experts have scoured the Internet to find the best online casinos for May in the UK. During this research, they were able to rate all the gambling operators you see above based on a variety of factors. Therefore, we have a lot more key information to share with you, so keep reading.

Best Online Casinos for May by Type


We’ve already shared what are the best online casinos for May, but why is Ladbrokes our number-one pick? It’s simple – this casino operator has it all, from slots and live dealer tables to a competitive bonus and highly-rated app, so we can’t ask for more. Of course, in our Ladbrokes casino review, we’ve highlighted even more advantages. Here are some of them:

  • Numerous Game Developers
  • Wide Variety of Payment Methods
  • Exceptional Customer Service

All British Casino

All British Casino is another one of the UK’s best casino sites for May. This gambling operator is well-known for its top-tier providers. Whether it’s classic slots or top table games, like Baccarat Pro, there’s something for everyone. We’ve provided more options in our All British Casino review, but for now, here are some other key advantages you should be aware of:

  • Excellent Interface
  • Generous Bonuses
  • Top-Tier App

Mr Mega

Next, we have an operator that, as you can see from our Mr Mega casino review, has over 120 live dealer tables. This impressive game collection is one reason why UK players consider it one of the best online casino sites for May. However, that’s not all, so here are some more things to look forward to:

  • Excellent Sportsbook
  • Various Bingo & Slot Games
  • Advanced Security Measures


As we mentioned in our Duelz casino review for UK players, this gambling site is full of exciting bonuses, jackpot slots and table games. Its RNG blackjack collection consists of many popular titles, such as Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack and so on. However, if you’re looking for something else, this casino has much more to offer:

  • Popular Slots from Top Developers
  • Intuitive Casino App
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Slots n’Play

When it comes to slots, there is no better recommendation than the star of our Slots n’Play casino review. The operator’s collection keeps growing, and in May, it offers over 550 popular slots. It may not seem like a lot, but we’re talking about the newest slot titles, so it’s worth a try. If that’s not enough, the casino also offers:

  • Excellent Mobile Play
  • Competitive Welcome Bonus
  • Over 120 Real Dealer Tables

Monopoly Casino

With this guide on the best casino sites for May, we wanted to provide options for every type of UK player. So, this next recommendation is for table game lovers. One of the biggest highlights of our Monopoly Casino review was the impressive RNG roulette collection. From High-Stakes Roulette Splendid to European Roulette, there are many options and even more benefits:

  • Exclusive Games
  • Knowledgeable Customer Support Team
  • Frequent Promotions


Among the best online casinos for May, one gambling operator stands out with novel and secure payment methods for British players. This is the site we covered in our Betiton casino review, which offers Skrill, Neteller and PayPal among other eWallets. However, that’s one of many positive aspects, so here is what else you can expect:

  • Diverse Game Collection
  • Fast Customer Support
  • Easy Payments on Mobile

The Grand Ivy

Bonuses are a fundamental part of all the top 10 best online casinos for May. However, there are some promotions that just stand out, and Grand Ivy’s welcome bonus for new players joining in May is one of those. Naturally, to fully understand how much this operator can offer, you would have to read our Grand Ivy casino review, but to summarise, here are the most important benefits:

  • High-Quality Live Casino
  • Responsible Gambling Tools
  • Impressive Mobile Gambling Collection


Mobile gaming is popular in the UK, so in our list of the top online casinos in the UK for May, we had to include one casino that can offer an excellent app. That gambling operator is Coral, which has developed an intuitive app that offers over 400 games from top developers. In our Coral Casino review, this is one of the main advantages, but here are some more if mobile play is not your thing:

  • Flexible Table Limits
  • Live Casino Powered by Playtech
  • Numerous Promotional Offers

Rainbow Riches Casino

Finally, we have a gambling site that is rather new and an excellent example of how quickly a casino can climb to the top. As mentioned in our Rainbow Riches Casino review for British players, this operator has only been active since 2019. However, it has so much to offer, such as exclusive slots, fast withdrawals and more:

  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Generous & Fair Bonuses
  • Unique Live Dealer Games

Other Recommended Online Casino Sites in May for UK Players

So far, we’ve answered the question ‘What are the best online casinos for May?’, but we would also like to share with you some other excellent options. As we mentioned, the gambling industry in the UK moves fast, so you can’t know if one of these alternative casino sites won’t be on the top of the list next month.

Top Casino Key Advantages Secure Links
Karamba Many Scratch Cards, Good Welcome Bonus & Great Live Dealer Games Get Bonus
Fun Casino Many Card Games, Retro Slots & Great Casino App Get Bonus
NetBet Diverse Payment Methods, Top Developers & 24/7 Support Get Bonus
Casimba  Intuitive Platform, Mobile Friendly & Over 1600 Slots Get Bonus

As you can see in the table above, these gambling operators are also quite impressive, so feel free to check them out. The online casinos in the UK are highly competitive, so when we’re talking about the top 10, maybe even the top 20, there are only minor differences between the contenders.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve reached the end of this guide on the best casino sites for May, and we hope you got all the information you were looking for. However, before you continue exploring our blog, we have prepared some frequently asked questions. Check them out below if something is unclear.

1️⃣ What are the best online casinos for May in the UK?

The UK gambling market moves fast, but our experts have managed to rank the best online casino sites for May. There are several excellent options, and British players with various preferences should be able to find at least one casino to get excited about.

2️⃣ Which is the top online casino in the UK for May?

Every British player is different, so you don’t have to agree with our experts, but the top online casino for May we’ve recommended has the most balanced offer. As you can see in the blog, we have several categories, and this gambling operator was able to perform well in each one, so we think it deserves the crown.

3️⃣ Which is the best live casino for British Players in May?

There are several great live casinos, but the best one in this category must be Mr Mega. This gambling operator has over 120 live dealer tables, as well as some of the most popular titles by Evolution. Combined with an excellent bonus, this online casino is hard to ignore.

4️⃣ Do the best casino sites for May offer good bonuses?

Yes, they do. Most of the casino operators on this list have excellent promotions, but the one that stands out is the welcome bonus offered by Grand Ivy Casino. This offer combines a cash bonus, free spins and fair terms, so it checks all the boxes.

5️⃣ Are there any other UK online casinos worth trying?

Yes, there are several other UK casino operators that might be worth your time. In May, only 10 gambling sites made the cut, but there were more strong contenders that could soon earn their place in the Hall of Fame. So, make sure you stay updated and keep an eye out for new developments.

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Spielbank Leipzig ✔️ A Great Casino in Petersbogen

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Besides the location of a great gamиng room – Spielbank Leipzig in Petersbogen, Free Province of Saxony, Germany, we will tell you what games you can find there, and what makes this casino preferred by gamblers over the competition. Below, you can see the main sections of the article, and at the end, we answered all major inquiries about the gaming room.

Main Details of Spielbank Leipzig, Petersbogen

Long-time players who visit this Leipzig casino in Petersbogen may have missed noticing that the casino’s new name is Spielbank Leipzig. It is still on the 1st floor of the trade centre Petersbogen-Passage and offers the same top-quality gambling experience. Here are the rest of the details about this modern gaming location:

📛 Name 🎰 Spielbank Leipzig (former Casino Petersbogen)
⭐ Type Casino
😎 Operator Spielbanken Sachsen
Sächsische Spielbanken-GmbH & Co. KG
✔️ License Sachsen-Anhalt State Administration Office
🎰 Casino Slot Machines
Electronic Gaming Machines
Electronic Bingo
🎁 Promotions First-Time Visitors Promotion
🎁 Extras Free Underground Car Parking, Free Wi-Fi
Food & Drinks Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Smoking Designated Smoking Area
🗺️ Address Petersstrasse 36-44, Leipzig
☎️ Telephone +49 341 2713990
💬 Social Media Facebook, LinkedIn
📧 Email [email protected]
🌐 Website spielbankensachsen.de
💻 Online Casino No

Just like the Petersbogen casino, Leipzig authorities also licensed Spielbanken Sachsen to offer
to players at legal age. The operator has three establishments – Spielbank Leipzig, Spielbank
Dresden, and Spielbank Chemnitz. They all are incorporated and operating according to the Free State of Saxony and the
German gambling laws.

Casino Spielbank Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany

The Spielbank Leipzig in Petersbogen may not be a gathering place for the all-time best German poker players, but it has its charm and offers diverse gaming opportunities. The entire casino is on the first floor of a trade centre and stretches over 370 square meters. The compact size of the gambling room creates a cosy atmosphere and grants players enough space to focus on their gaming.

Spielbank Leipzig’s Games List

Anyone walking through the door will notice this is an entirely electronic gambling location. The Spielbank Leipzig roulette and the rest of the table games are on gaming machines. Fifteen touch-screen monitors are bringing the gaming experience to the next level for all present games. Players can choose from the following games:

  • 🎰 Slots: there are 100+ slot machines, video slots, and jackpot slots
  • Electronic Table Games: Roulette, Multi Roulette, Blackjack, and their variations
  • 🃏 Video Poker: multiple variations of the game
  • 🎱 Electronic Bingo
  • 🎱 Keno

The lack of live dealer table games may seem like a flaw, but the operator compensates with many other things. This modern gaming room is a transition between the old-fashioned fruit machines with levels and the latest best online casinos in Saxony. Here, players can enjoy top-rated slots and RNG games while enjoying the classic casino atmosphere.

RTP, Jackpots & Wins

Players at Casino Petersbogen (now Spielbank Leipzig) may be typical representatives of the 16 personalities with preferred casino games, but they all love winning and collecting a prize. That is why the operator picked games with a high return to player rate – between 88% and 97.2%.

Besides the standard wins, progressive jackpots are displayed on machines where you can play for them. The Mystery Jackpot may drop cash and non-cash prizes to the lucky players. The machine pays every win under 600 credits, while the cashier pays out bigger prizes.

Casino Rules & Legal Gambling Age

The Petersbogen casino in Leipzig is created to help people have fun while wagering, but there are still some rules for players. For example, only 18 years old individuals can enter and play. The security checks the ID card upon entry before paying out the prizes, so don’t try to sneak in. The dress code is casual, and people can get a drink, but causing trouble or cheating is not tolerated.

Promotions at Spielbank Leipzig

Besides all chances for prizes given by the games, the operator also has prepared interesting boost for first-time visitors. Now, the welcome offer is a free drink to every new player who walks in and plays, but it might have changed by the time you read this blog post, so ask about it upon entry.

Casino Open Hours & Days Off

Opening Hours

The Spielbank Leipzig in Petersbogen welcomes players during most hours of the day and night. There are a few hours when the gambling room is closed for clean-ups and days when all commercial establishments are closed. Here are the current working hours and expected days off during the year:

  • 🟢 Open: opens at 1 p.m.; closes at 2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday
  • 🔴 Days Off: Christmas Eve, Day of Prayer and Repentance, Dead Sunday, Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Reformation Day

Seeing that almost all days when the casino is closed are Christian holidays is hard not to wonder if gambling is a sin. Let’s leave the theological matter to the side and turn towards practicality because the operator promotes responsible gambling. The best advice we also give players is to play for fun and seek help whenever they feel like they have lost control.

Food & Drinks at Spielbank Leipzig

Drinks Menu

One of the things players can’t experience at the best online casinos in Germany for 2023 is the social side of gambling. Holding a drink, talking with fellow payers, and spinning the reels is what players look for, which is what the operator provides.

All casinos under the Spielbanken Sachsen brand offer a wide range of hot, cold, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic drinks and a variety of snacks. The casino has no buffet or kitchen, but players visit the restaurants in the trade centre. This gaming room has no accommodations, so you must stay at Hotel Inter-Continental Leipzig or another location.

More Fun in Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig Germany Cityscape

Leipzig is located in the German state of Saxony, about 160 km from Berlin. If you travel here to play at the Spielbank Leipzig, you will notice that the casino is in a mall. The city has been a major trade centre for over a thousand years. Take a few hours to explore the city, and see some of those iconic landmarks:

  • 🏰 Architecture: there are many Renaissance, baroque, and modern-style buildings. Don’t miss to see the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, Leipzig University, Old Town Hall, Old Leipzig bourse, Südfriedhof, Gohliser Schlösschen, St. Thomas’s Church (Thomaskirche, where Bach worked as a cantor), and the other churches and historical buildings
  • 🥳 Festivals: A Capella vocal music festival, Dok Leipzig (documentary and animation music festival), the city festival Stadtfest, Bachfest dedicated to Johan Sebastian Bach, and more
  • 🖼️ Museums: Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts, Grassi Museum, Museum of Antiquities, Ethnography Museum, Applied Arts Museum, and over ten more museums
  • 🎶 Music: Johann Sebastian Bach museum, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig Opera, Haus Auensee, the birthplace of Till Lindemann, best known as the lead vocalist of Rammstein
  • 🌳 Nature: Leipzig Zoological Garden, Johannapark, Markkleeberger See, and the rest of the parks near Leipzig in Saxony
  • 🥨 Foods & Drinks: try the local dishes Leipziger Allerlei (crayfish) and Leipziger Lerche (sweet pastry), and the local sour beer Gose
  • Sports: 300 sports clubs offering 80+ sports, including football, ice hockey, handball, and more

Those are just a few popular tourist attractions and must-visit places. Because of the tireless efforts in preserving historical buildings, the entire city is a mixture of a museum and a park. Leipzig allows visitors to explore the past while enjoying modern comforts. Resting after a long walk, gambling day, shopping, or another outdoor activity is memorable when visiting one of the many restaurants, cafés, and eateries around town.

Spielbank Leipzig Popular Questions

Spielbank Leipzig might be the new name, but it offers the excellent quality gaming of established brands. Players often have questions when they are about to try a new gaming location, so we answered several popular inquiries. Check the brief answers below and follow the links for more information.

*️⃣ Where is Spielbank Leipzig?

The Spielbank Leipzig is located on the 1st floor of Petersbogen-Passage in Leipzig. The entire address is in the Spielbank Leipzig information, alongside details about the casino and games. The operator also has special surprises for the players you can learn about when you enter the gaming room.

*️⃣ What games can I play at Spielbank Leipzig, Germany?

Anyone who wishes to try the top-ranking slots, electronic table games, electronic bingo and keno, is welcome at Spielbank Leipzig in Petersbogen. There are 15 touch-screen electronic gaming machines and over a hundred titles to explore. Enter the casino and browse between the games until you find the eye-catching one.

*️⃣ Does Spielbank Leipzig have a restaurant?

We will have to disappoint you because Spielbank Leipzig has no restaurant but offers drinks and snacks. Players can get alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages while playing, but hunger isn’t satisfied. The good news is that there are many restaurants and shops near the casino, so gamblers can take a break and visit them.

*️⃣ Does Leipzig have other attractions besides Spielbank Leipzig?

If you have decided to visit the Petersbogen casino in Leipzig, Germany, then you will be a step away from dozens of cultural, historical, and natural landmarks. Explore the city that has been a major trade post since the Holy Roman Empire, and you will go on a trip through time.

*️⃣ Can I play roulette at Spielbank Leipzig, Germany?

Even when Spielbank Leipzig was known as Casino Petersbogen, there were no classic card or table games, including roulette. Visitors can enjoy either one of the Spielbank Leipzig’s electronic games. The list of entertainments includes electronic roulette and blackjack alongside hundreds of top slot machines, bingo, and keno games.

*️⃣ How can I cash my wins at Spielbank Leipzig?

When you win from a game at Spielbank Leipzig, there are two ways to cash out the wins and prizes – from the gaming machine and on the cashier desk. The machines release small prizes, while large sums are given by the casino employee after you show a valid ID.

*️⃣ How old should I be to play at Spielbank Leipzig?

When deciding to play at Spielbank Leipzig in Petersbogen, it is best to know the rules for visitors and gamblers. The main rule is that players must be over 18 years old and stick to a good mood and friendly tone. One of the things that are not tolerated is cheating, so don’t try it.

*️⃣ Are there promotions at Spielbank Leipzig in Leipzig?

Every operator surprises players with presents, discounts, free things, bonus money, etc. The Spielbank Leipzig promotions are inventive, practical, and player benefit oriented. There is a first-time player boost and many surprises after that. It is best to ask about the active promotions upon entry.

*️⃣ When Spielbank Leipzig opens?

The gaming room opens at 1 pm every day and closes at 2 am or 3 am depending on the day of the week. It is good to check the Spielbank Leipzig’s work hours upon your next visit because there might be changes. For example, the casino is closed on many holidays or because of unforeseen situations.

*️⃣ Does Spielbank Leipzig have an online version?

We will have to disappoint you because there is no Spielbank Leipzig online casino. Players need to visit the location to play the available games. If you can’t visit, then the alternative is to explore Germany’s top real money online casinos and other gambling sites, which are licensed to offer services in the country.

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