Maurice Hawkins Wins Historic 15th WSOP Circuit Ring at Harrah’s Cherokee

Maurice Hawkins Wins Historic 15th WSOP Circuit Ring at Harrah's Cherokee

It took Maurice Hawkins just one month to re-take the lead on the all-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit ring list after being tied by Josh Reichard in April. The Florida grinder won a historic 15th Circuit ring earlier this week at WSOP Harrah’s Cherokee with a victory in a $2,200 buy-in High Roller event for $54,599.

Hawkins held the top spot on the ring list for several years before Reichard won his 13th and 14th rings earlier this year to tie Hawkins.

Just four weeks later, Hawkins has bumped Reichard from the top spot to maintain his status as the most decorated WSOP Circuit player in poker history.

WSOPC Event #16: $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller

  1 Maurice Hawkins West Palm Beach, FL $54,599
  2 Toby Boas Daytona Beach, FL $33,744
  3 William Stanford Tupelo, MS $23,137
  4 Irene Carey Banner Elk, NC $16,327
  5 Angela Gambino Berwyn, IL $11,867
  6 Dylan Wilkerson San Francisco, CA $8,893
  7 Will Givens Aurora, CO $6,877
  8 Jonah Labranche Chandler, AZ $5,493
  9 Ryan Brown Ellicott City, MD $4,538

For several years, no one could touch Hawkins as he sat comfortably above the rest on the all-time ring list with 14 rings, in front of Valentin Vornicu with 12 rings.

Multiple players went on surges this year to close the gap. Ari Engel won a 12th ring in March to tie Vornicu, while Daniel Lowery picked up a staggering three rings and Reichard won two rings to reach respective totals of 13 and 14.

Hawkins now re-takes the lead after a heads-up victory against fellow Floridian Toby Boas ($33,744), while other players who made deep runs include Cherokee regular Irene Carey (4th – $16,327) and bracelet winner Will Givens (7th – $6,877).

Maurice Hawkins
Maurice Hawkins

Hawkins, a controversial figure in poker, won his 14th ring at WSOPC Choctaw in 2020 and has had several close calls since then, including a fourth-place finish in Event #11: 400 No-Limit Hold’em at this very stop. It may only be a matter of time before Hawkins adds a 16th ring to further close the gap, or before Reichard wins a 15th to do the opposite.

Jones Wins Cherokee Main Event a Second Time

Hawkins wasn’t the only big winner at WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee, which ran May 4-15. Earlier in the series, Spencer Smith won his third and fourth rings, denying Lowery a 14th ring in the process.

The $1,700 Main Event drew a huge field of 1,205 runners for a prize pool of $1,663,301. North Carolina’s Ryan Jones took it down for a career-best $302,131 and his third Circuit ring after defeating heads-up opponent Jonathan Lewis, who is turn took home $186,733.

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones

Incredibly, it was not Jones’ first Main Event victory in the Smokey Mountains. In 2015, he took down the $1,675 buy-in WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event for $235,804, while his second ring came from a victory in the 2017 WSOPC Rio Las Vegas Main Event for $269,327.

The victory made Jones the first player to ever win the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event twice, according to WSOP.

WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event Final Table Results

  1 Ryan Jones Burlington, NC $302,131
  2 Jonathan Lewis Hopkinton, MA $186,733
  3 William Kopp Bloomington, IL $138,637
  4 Michael Monaghan Yazoo City, MS $104,019
  5 Timothy Brown Houston, TX $78,882
  6 Kenneth Brossoit Ladson, SC $60,466
  7 Alcides Gomez Miami, FL $46,858
  8 Robert George Decatur, GA $36,714
  9 Alex Vasilescu N/A $29,087

Other players who picked up rings at the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee stop include Georgia’s Matthew Higgins (WSOPC Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack – $99,121), North Carolina’s Matthew Torma (WSOPC Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold’em – $27,732) and Ohio’s Shane Melert (WSOPC Event #18: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Last Chance Big 30K – $20,081).

A full list of ring winners at WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee is available in the table below.

WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Ring Winners

  WSOPC Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Big 30K Stack 398 $131,340 Daniel Kusnerak Newton, NC $26,954
  WSOPC Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 2,232 $736,560 Spencer Smith Atlanta, GA $104,177
  WSOPC Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 602 $198,660 Christopher Storie Asheboro, NC $37,630
  WSOPC Event #4: $400 Seniors Event 837 $276,210 Simon Philip Pensacola, FL $48,050
  WSOPC Event #5: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em 255 $248,625 John Petro Fredericksburg, VA $57,137
  WSOPC Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed 668 $220,440 Spencer Smith Atlanta, GA $41,949
  WSOPC Event #7: $600 No-Limit Hold’em 264 $135,960 John Evans Vinncennes, IN $30,266
  WSOPC Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack TBD TBD Matthew Higgins Rossville, GA $99,121
  WSOPC Event #9: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha 245 $126,175 Seth Weinberg Key West, FL $28,694
  WSOPC Event #10: $1,700 MAIN EVENT 1,205 $1,663,301 Ryan Jones Burlington, NC $302,131
  WSOPC Event #11: 400 No-Limit Hold’em 448 TBD Jason May Panama City Beach, FL $29,340
  WSOPC Event #12: $250 Ladies Event 198 TBD Michelle Miller Jacksboro, TN $9,590
  WSOPC Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 413 $131,340 Matthew Torma Charlotte, NC $27,732
  WSOPC Event #14: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 410 $131,340 Joseph Stacey Mcminnville, TN $26,954
  WSOPC Event #15: $250 Seniors Event 586 $117,800 Brian Heaton Greer, SC $21,700
  WSOPC Event #16: $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller 92 $194,000 Maurice Hawkins West Palm Beach, FL $54,599
  WSOPC Event #17: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo 178 $58,740 Justin Donato Mount Juliet, TN $14,596
  WSOPC Event #18: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Last Chance Big 30K 277 $91,410 Shane Melert Mogadore, OH $20,081

Photos courtesy WSOP

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Scotland’s Ludovic Geilich Takes Down GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event

Scotland's Ludovic Geilich Takes Down GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event

Ludovic Geilich is the latest player to enjoy the sweet taste of success on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) after the popular Scotsman triumphed in the £1,000 GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event over the weekend.

Geilich’s first major live victory since he took down the €1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Open event at the PartyPoker LIVE MILLIONS Barcelona festival in April 2018 came with £79,590 in prize money, cementing third place in Scotland’s all time money listing, and closing the gap on David Vamplew in second.

£1,000 GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
1 Ludovic Geilich £79,590
2 Abdul Mukit £55,840
3 Lin Chen £34,130
4 Craig Smith £21,710
5 James McLean £14,270
6 Michael Kane £10,550
7 Timothy Chung £7,760
8 Robbie Bull £6,510
9 Geoff Kearney £5,580

Lin Chen Conquers GUKPT Blackpool Main Event After Three-Way Chop

The £1,000 GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event drew in a 366-strong crowd, who created a £310,220 prize pool that the top 34 finishers shared.

Team Grosvenor’s Katie Swift cashed in the Main Event, her 32nd place finish yielding £2,230.

Others who finished in the money places included Matthew Eardley, Brandon Sheils, Yucel “Mad Turk” Eminoglu, Colin Gillion, and John Bousfield, the latter falling in 13th place for £4,030.

Six of the nine finalists saw their £1,000 investment swell into five-figure scores. Ireland’s Geoff Kearney went into the final table as the shortest stack, and was the first player eliminated from it. The last of Kearney’s chips went into the middle with pocket eights, and he lost a coinflip against Geilich’s king-queen courtesy of a queen on the flop. Kearney collected a career-best £5,580.

Robbie Bull was the next to fall when his 35 big blind four-bet jam with king-jack of hearts lost to the dominating ace-queen in the hands of Craig Smith. Bull had to make do with a £6,510 score, which pushed him over the $450,000 in live career earnings.

Man Moc Wins Largest-Ever GUKPT First Place Prize; Bests His Brother’s Previous Best

Seventh place and £7,760 went to Timothy Chung, who you may recall won the £1,250 GUKPT London Main Event for £185,560 in February 2022. Chung’s last 14 big blinds were committed with ace-jack, but Smith found ace-queen and called. As it did in Bull’s exit, Smith’s ace-queen held, and the final table lost a dangerous player.

The surviving six players locked in at least £10,550 for their efforts, but Michael Kane would not collect any additional funds. Kane three-bet shoved with pocket tens for 22 big blinds, only for Geilich to wake up with pocket kings and make the cold call. The five community cards provided no drama, and Kane was out of there.

James McLean busted in fifth for £14,270 in an exciting hand involving Abdul Mukit. With blinds at 15,000/30,000, McLean jammed for 500,000 with ace-eight, and Mukit called with pocket nines. McLean soared into the lead with an ace on the turn, only for the nine of clubs to gift Mukit a set on the river!

Smith’s tournament ended in a fourth-place finish worth £21,710, a career-best for the Edinburgh native. Smith attempted to apply maximum pressure to Geilich by four-betting all-in with pocket fives. Ordinarily, the move could have worked, but Geilich was holding pocket queens and going nowhere. An ace-high board all but eliminated Smith, and he busted a few hands later, while Geilich improved to a commanding chip lead.

The heads-up stage was reached when Lin Chen bowed out in third for £34,130. Chen has been in incredible form of late, and won the £1,250 GUKPT Blackpool Main Event for £65,310 in March. Perhaps his confidence got the better of him because he ran a huge bluff against Mukit, but Mukit was having none of it. A short-stacked Chen then pushed with king-ten and lost a coinflip against Geilich’s pocket sevens.

Geilich wasted little time in brushing aside Mukit, resigning the runner-up to a £55,840 score, and claiming the £79,590 top prize and winner’s trophy for himself.

2023 GUKPT Edinburgh Side Event Results

Jamie Nixon
Jamie Nixon

It was not only the GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event that took place at the festival because there were several key side events.

Arian Hassnkashani banked £43,800 by being the last player standing in the £1,500 High Roller event. There was also an outright victory for Team Grosvenor’s Jamie Nixon in the £550 GUKPT Cup, a result that added £23,480 to Nixon’s coffers.

Event Entrants Prize Pool Champion Prize
£330 NLHE Mystery Bounty 357 £51,410 Patrick Bell £6,560
£250 NLHE Mini Main Event 518 £110,630 Chris Williams £24,590*
£1,500 NLHE High Roller 109 £147,150 Arian Hassankashani £43,800
£200 NLHE Turbo 73 £12,615 laurynas Jakutis £4,035
£550 NLHE GUKPT Cup 163 £78,420 Jamie Nixon £23,480

GUKPT Heads to Luton From May 26

GUKPT regulars do not have time to rest on their laurels because the fifth leg of the 2023 schedule kicks off on May 26 at the Grosvenor G Casino in Luton.

Luton has always been a popular stop for the GUKPT, and some of the United Kingdom’s best-known players have returned home with the Main Event title in tow. Stay tuned to PokerNews to discover if another superstar walks away with the GUKPT Main Event trophy.

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Which One is Better? – Gambling With An Edge

Putting Bills Into a Machine

I’m going to present a case about a Caesars property with conditions that may not exist anywhere. I’m trying to address how I would figure things out if this property did exist. I know many of my readers would prefer I do all the calculations for their particular casino and tell them, “Just do this.” I can’t do that. There are thousands of casinos out there with a different game mix at each one. And the game mix is different for quarters than it is for dollars than it is for higher denominations. And to top it off, I have readers who insist on playing Double Double Bonus even if there are numerous superior games EV-wise.

In this hypothetical Caesars property, assume you can play 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54%) and earn one Reward Credit (RC) per $10 coin-in, or you can play NSU Deuces Wild and earn one RC per $20 coin-in. Which is the better play? Assume RCs are worth 0.1% if you redeem them for comps or 0.05% if you redeem them for free play.

I’m assuming the comp dollars are valuable to you. This is especially true if you live out of town and need to purchase room and food. But sometimes you get enough food and room deals in your mailers that you don’t really need to spend the RCs on comps, and it makes sense to redeem them at a 50% rate. You’ll have to adjust for this yourself.

Further, assume you earn one Tier Credit (TC) per RC. TCs aren’t redeemable, but they determine your tier level. Play enough TCs per day and you get bonus TCs.

Confusing enough? This is what Caesars players need to deal with.

If this were all there was, neither game would be playable as the return is less than 100%. You might not be a stickler for this, but the basic rule of gambling is that if you want to be a net winner, play games with enough extras to make the game worth more than 100%. Suffice it to say, there are enough promotions and mailers to at least interest me. I’ve earned Seven Stars status every year for twenty years. Many players have determined Caesars is not a good play for them.  This is another thing you’ll have to decide for yourself —  whether it’s even worth it for you to play at Caesars.

One factor that I’m not explicitly considering in this blog is the theoretical of each game. Offers (including mailers) are based on average daily theoretical. NSU “should” have a lower theoretical than JoB (because a 0.27% house edge for perfect play on NSU is lower than a 0.46% house edge on JoB), but it doesn’t always work that way. Casinos can set any theoretical they like.

To find out how the game choice affects your promotions and mailers, it’s nice to know others who play at this particular casino. Some of these players, presumably, will be playing NSU and some will with be playing JoB. I’m frequently reminded of Richard Munchkin’s oft-stated maxim when our the podcast was in effect. “Your success will be primarily determined by two things: How hard you study and how good your network is.” Although Munchkin is not a video poker player, his words ring true in this game as well.

Just assuming the EV of the game, NSU remains the clear choice— 99.73% + 0.05% is a bigger number than 99.54% + 0.1%. But if you consider “time to earn various tier levels,” playing NSU takes twice as long as it does playing JoB. How much time do you have to devote to Caesars properties?

If this casino offered periodic 10x RC multiplier days, now JoB is the better play. If the casino offered 5x TC multiplier days, NSU is better EV-wise. Still, if time were running out by when you need to reach, say, Diamond level or maybe Seven Stars level, it might be worth it to play a game with a slightly lesser EV in order to make sure you reach the benefits of the next tier level. The benefits of reaching these tiers aren’t as big as they were several years ago, but they aren’t trivial.  

Finally, I never got into a personal preference as to whether you prefer NSU or JoB. I never base my decisions on that. I’m seeking the higher EV. Players who base their decisions on such factors remind me of the silly people who argue, “I always have desserts because I have a sweet tooth.” I’m always the one who argues, “Sugar is bad for you. Avoid. Sugar substitutes are worse!”


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PokerNews East Coast Road Trip (Day 1): Welcome to Philadelphia

PokerNews East Coast Road Trip (Day 1): Welcome to Philadelphia

Last year, PokerNews sent a team down south for a weeklong “Texas Road Trip” to visit various cardrooms and local historical poker spots. On Monday, we did the same thing by sending PokerNews Community Manager Jesse Fullen and US Live Reporting Executive Matt Hansen to Philadelphia for the start of our “East Coast Road Trip.”

Over the course of the next week, we will be updating this piece daily documenting our adventures, which will include visits to live poker rooms, checking out the online poker sites in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and even meeting up with some notable East Coast players. You can also follow along on PokerNews social media.

PA Best Online Poker Sites: Play Online Poker in Pennsylvania

Day 1 – Live Poker Rooms in Philadelphia

Parx Casino
Parx Philadelphia

After traveling from Las Vegas to Philly on Sunday, Matt and Jesse got a good night’s rest before checking out the live poker rooms in the “City of Brotherly Love.” First up was Parx Poker Room, which houses a massive 48 tables. It was there we were welcomed by Director of Poker Operations Bill Entenman, an industry veteran.

He started in poker after watching Rounders when he was 21. Since then, he has worked in every position you can imagine in a poker room starting as a dealer before taking a floor position. Two decades later, he’s been at Parx for several years and has seen lots of change over his tenure.

He told us some great stories about local players such as Matt Glantz and Shaun Deeb, and he also shared his love for the game. While tournaments haven’t come back to Parx yet post-pandemic, daily tournaments appear to be coming back in June 2023.

If you’re in the area north of Philadelphia, you have to check out Parx – they currently have a Bad Beat Jackpot sitting at $424,000 – and tell them PokerNews sent you! Here’s a look at the Parx Poker Room:

The Parx Poker Room
The Parx Poker Room
Parx Poker
Inside the Parx Poker Room.

From there, the crew headed to Rivers Philadelphia, formerly known as Sugar House Casino. Their 28-table enclosed poker room is gearing up for their $1,100 Ultra Rush Event this weekend. The $200K GTD tournament kicks off with Day 1a on Thursday, May 18 at 6:15 p.m. Days 1b and 1c will take place at 11:15 a.m. on Friday and Saturday respectively, and the survivors from all flights will return at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 21 to play down to a winner.

Rivers Philadelphia
Rivers Philadelphia
Rivers Philly
The Rivers Philadelphia Poker Room

The last stop of the day was over at Live! Philadelphia, which is home to a 29-table poker room with plenty of tournaments on their calendar.

Philly Live
Live! Philadelphia
LIVE! Philadelphia
Live! Philadelphia

Day 2 – Stay Tuned

Be sure to check this running article daily for updates on the PokerNews East Coast Road Trip.

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

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

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US Commercial Gaming Revenue Hits All-Time Quarterly High of $16bn+ in Q1

Roulette table

US commercial gaming revenue hit a new quarterly record in the first three months of 2023. The American Gaming Association (AGA) reported on Tuesday that the total for the first quarter was $16.6bn, surpassing the $15.9bn total in Q4 2022. It marks the sector’s eighth consecutive record-breaking quarter. One of the highlights of the most recent period was a $5.9bn total in March, which was the industry’s highest-ever grossing month.

AGA CEO and president Bill Miller acknowledged the tremendous recovery since pandemic-related struggles. Talking about the strength of the sector, he said: “With records across every gaming vertical—from brick-and-mortar casinos to mobile gaming—American adults continue to choose gaming as one of their top entertainment options.”

record sports betting handle of $31bn

Of the 35 commercial gaming markets in the US, 18 of them set new revenue records in the first quarter. Online gaming had its largest-ever share of the intake, accounting for almost 25% of the $16.6bn total. Record sports betting handle of $31bn was hit during the period, with revenue for the sector reaching $2.8bn. iGaming revenue was up nearly 23% year-on-year at $1.5bn.

The post US Commercial Gaming Revenue Hits All-Time Quarterly High of $16bn+ in Q1 appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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APAT Shares Schedule for UK Championship Of Amateur Poker 2023; Runs from May 17-21

APAT Shares Schedule for UK Championship Of Amateur Poker 2023; Runs from May 17-21

More action from the Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT) is right around the corner as the tour’s UK Championship Of Amateur Poker (UKCOAP) is set to begin at Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham from tomorrow, with the series culminating on May 21.

The UKCOAP is one of the best events of the APAT season, as it allows amateur players to test their abilities, experience diverse poker variants, and vie for prestigious titles. With varying buy-ins and formats, participants can choose the events that best suit their preferences and challenge themselves in the realm of amateur poker.

Six Championship Events Planned for Nottingham

The UKCOAP offers an exciting lineup of six championship events and the well-attended APAT High Roller. Poker enthusiasts have plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills and compete for prestigious titles.

Kicking off the series is the APAT UK PLO Amateur Poker Championship on May 17. Players can test their Omaha skills in this Pot-Limit Omaha event with a buy-in of £60. With the popularity of PLO on the rise, participants can anticipate intense action and challenging gameplay.

On May 18, two championship events begin. The first is the APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship, which guarantees a substantial £50,000 prize pool. There are several Day 1 flights and you can enter this No-Limit Hold’em tournament for £120. The event promises fierce competition as players compete for their share of the impressive prize pool.

Simultaneously, the APAT UK Triple Stud Amateur Poker Championship commences on the same day. With a buy-in of £60, this tournament offers a unique blend of three poker variants – Stud Hi, Stud Hi-Lo, and Razz. Participants will need a versatile skill set and adaptability to excel in this multi-format event.

On May 19, the APAT UK HORSE Amateur Poker Championship takes center stage. HORSE combines five different poker variants (Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, and Stud Hi-Lo) in rotation. With a buy-in of £120, players will showcase their proficiency in various games and compete for the championship title.

Moreover, the APAT High Roller event, held on May 19, offers a high-stakes competition for those seeking a greater challenge. This prestigious tournament features the largest buy-in of the series, attracting experienced players looking to demonstrate their prowess and compete for significant rewards.

The APAT ROE (NLHE/PLO) Amateur Poker Championship rounds out the series on May 20. This tournament combines two popular poker variants, No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, in rotation. With a buy-in of £60, players will engage in a strategic battle, utilizing their skills across multiple formats.

Finally, the festival culminates on May 21 with the APAT UK Bounty Hunter Championship. In this thrilling tournament, players pay a buy-in of £120, with £50 of that amount becoming their personal bounty. Knocking out opponents earns players their bounties, adding an extra layer of excitement and rewards to the competition.

Full UKCOAP Schedule

Date Start Buy-in Event
Wed 17 May 19:00 £50+£10 APAT UK PLO Amateur Poker Championship
Wed 17 May 21:00 £34+£6 APAT High Roller Satellite
Thu 18 May 18:00 £100 + £20 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship (Day 1A) £50,000 GTD
Thu 18 May 19:00 £50+£10 APAT UK Triple Stud Amateur Poker Championship
Thu 18 May 21:00 £34+£6 APAT High Roller Satellite
Fri 19 May 17:00 £300 + £40 APAT High Roller
Fri 19 May 18:00 £100 + £20 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship (Day 1B) £50,000 GTD
Fri 19 May 19:00 £100+£20 APAT UK HORSE Amateur Poker Championship
Sat 20 May 13:00 £100 + £20 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship (Day 1C) £50,000 GTD
Sat 20 May 13:00 £50+£10 APAT ROE (NLHE/PLO) Amateur Poker Championship
Sat 20 May 17:00 £100 + £20 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship (Day 1D) £50,000 GTD
Sat 20 May 20:00 £56 + £9 WPT SATELLITE
Sun 21 May 13:00 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship (Day 2/FT)
Sun 21 May 14:00 £50+£50+£20 APAT UK Bounty Hunter Championship
Sun 21 May 17:00 £50+£10 APAT Deep and Steep
Sun 21 May 19:00 £56+£9 WPT SATELLITE

Play APAT Online Events on GGPoker

Did you know that you can play online APAT events on GGPoker? The two brands recently joined forces and will work together to support the growth of amateur poker at a grassroots level. GGPoker’s advanced platform and extensive player base will offer APAT members opportunities to develop their skills, compete in prestigious events, and connect with poker enthusiasts worldwide.

As part of the collaboration, GGPoker will host exclusive online events for APAT members, including Championship tournaments and qualifiers for live events. Additionally, APAT’s World Championship of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) will be played exclusively online at GGPoker. This partnership will allow APAT members and GGPoker players to compete for prestigious National Amateur Championship titles, Medals, and Bracelets, as well as earn a National Amateur Ranking.

2023 Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT) Remaining Live Schedule

The Nottingham event marks the midway point of Season 16’s calendar, with future stops taking place at Edinburgh, Cardiff and Czechia. There are also another two series to take place in Nottingham in August and November 2023.

Dates Event Venue
May 17-21 APAT UK Championship of Amateur Poker Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham
Jun 9-11 APAT Scottish Amateur Poker Championship Grosvenor Casino, Edinburgh
Aug 23-28 World Championship of Amateur Poker – WCOAP Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham
Sep 15-17 APAT Welsh Amateur Poker Championship Les Croupiers, Cardiff
Sep 27-Oct. 2 APAT German Amateur Poker Championship Grand Casino Asch, Czech Republic
Nov 16-19 APAT Poker Squads Live 2023 Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham

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Aristocrat Leisure to Purchase NeoGames for $1.2bn

Aristocrat logo on a phone

Aristocrat Leisure is buying the online gaming solutions provider NeoGames for about US$1.2bn in cash. The announcement by the Australia-based Aristocrat led to NeoGame’s US shares jumping 120% in pre-market trading.

The major slot machine manufacturer offered US$29.50 per share for the entirety of NeoGames’ shares, a premium of about 130% from the target’s closing price on Friday. The hope is that the acquisition will be completed within a year, once it receives the necessary regulatory approvals.

access to the lucrative iLottery market

This acquisition will provide Aristocrat access to the lucrative iLottery market and help it penetrate other real money gaming (RMG) online verticals. The company has been eyeing RMG growth for some time. Aristocrat unsuccessfully tried to buy gambling software and games developer Playtech last year for US$3.7bn.

NeoGames provides technology solutions and content for the online RMG sector. The Israel-based NeoGames’ board of directors recommended that shareholders accept the offer. Aristocrat believes that the purchase will begin adding to its profit in the 2025 financial year.

The post Aristocrat Leisure to Purchase NeoGames for $1.2bn appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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What Is It & How Can You Prevent Attacks?

What Is It & How Can You Prevent Attacks?

It’s still surprising to me that many people who have come to rely on home computers and online services are unaware of the dangers of clicking random or unexpected links or visiting rogue sites.

There are many types of malware in circulation at any one time but ransomware – where your entire hard drive (or drives) is encrypted – has become a common, profitable weapon for online scammers.

The Good Old Days

In the early days of The Real Hustle, we decided to feature ransomware as it was beginning to feature in more and more reports of online crime; But it was still incredibly rare and in some cases, possible to defeat without paying up.

Our problem was how to demonstrate this form of fraud since the show was based on seeing how human beings interact with cons and scams and any computer scams were hardly thrilling to watch.

Our solution was flawed to say the least.

We entrusted a valuable laptop to someone who believed they were hired to do a simple job and in the process of doing that job (in a hotel business center) they had to use a USB stick that apparently locked all the laptop files then issued a warning to send/give money before the end of a countdown when it would all be deleted.

While the laptop, the USB and all the other elements were a setup, the on-screen victim believed all of it and their reaction was perfect for the show’s audience and overall, it helped illustrate what could happen under the right/wrong circumstances.

At that time, the scam was unusual but years later, it has become a much bigger problem.

Blissfully Unaware

One aspect of computer fraud that makes it both easy and profitable – even for less skilful hackers – is the fact that most people have no real idea how the internet (or the computer they use to access it) works and often feel perfectly safe because they installed anti-virus software six years ago.

An interesting illustration of this was the “shredder” scam we pulled on The Real Hustle.

Again, it was a difficult scam to illustrate since the “real world” goal would be to install the shredder into an office then sit back and collect as valuable data until the gaff is discovered or (more likely) the shredder was replaced.

In our version we had to complete the scam in one day then get reactions from people who had no idea they had been scammed!

It was a very clever device but in order to demonstrate it we had to deliver it to people as part of a “shredding service” complete with secret cameras (also inside the shredder).

Unlike most Real Hustle scams, there was no “sting” moment so instead we asked people how secure they felt after using the shredders before showing duplicate copies of the documents they destroyed.

All of our victims were baffled because to their mind the only way we could now have copies is if we reconstructed the papers with scotch tape!

The very idea that the act of shredding was also the way their information was captured didn’t occur to anyone.

The secret was a document scanner hidden inside the shredder that lit up as if to accompany the shredding paper but actually scanned both sides of any piece of paper before it was shredded.

This data was then transmitted via a cellular phone inside the device (constantly charged since the shredder was always plugged in).

This scam illustrated something that’s true to all forms of security that interact with technology: There will always be more precautions you could/should take and there always be new ways of defeating those precautions. 

Just like our scanning shredder, common steps that should protect users will eventually become corrupted or exposed to new methods.

Current Affairs

Ransomware is now a huge problem with thousands of new victims every day whose files are locked out by a bespoke cypher used to encrypt everything on a target drive.

On accessing their device, malware will notify the victim that their files have been captured and give details of how much they must pay to unlock their files and how/where to pay it.

Some criminals aim for smaller amounts from low-profile targets like private individuals or small companies but attacking higher-profile targets can earn a lot more money but with a much greater risk of being pursued.

Some ransomware attackers have targeted public services and even hospitals, locking out access to critical infrastructure and thereby getting the attention of multiple international agencies concerned that the tools of ransomware might also be used by nation states as a form of online warfare.

In fact, the methods created by these online blackmailers are powerful weapons that might open entire countries to life-threatening scenarios such as a nationwide shutdown of a power grid or essential communications.

Like many scams, the tools being used and created by the scammers can be re-applied with much more serious consequences.

Many people still believe you need to open an executable file or start a program or app in order to activate a virus but these days there are many seemingly innocuous actions that can expose us to malware.

Just clicking a link in a rogue email can open the door to all sorts of problems*.

What’s more concerning is that ransomware criminals don’t even need to defeat whatever security you may have because there are other criminals who specialize in collecting passwords and existing vulnerabilities that are then sold to the hackers.

These access brokers might trawl thousands of exposed passwords, identify potentially lucrative victims and price that data accordingly or even take a share in potential ransomware attacks.

It’s like a little industry of symbiotic crooks, creating a functioning and effective network to steal more money.

Another tactic is to gain direct access via insiders who might be blackmailed but are most likely paid (sometimes as much as $1,000,000) to hand over the keys to their employer’s data.

Another “way in” is to gain access via network hardware (such as servers and storage devices) that are shipped with generic admin IDs and passwords.

Once found online, the malware can be easily applied and if the victim does not have up-to-date backups the ransom might be cheaper than any alternative measure.

And with modern encryption (a “feature” on most operating systems) there’s no need for a countdown or threat to delete – the data is just locked out (and useless) until you pay for the key.

No One Is Safe

One of the frustrating truths about modern computers that access the internet is that being online opens up thousands of potential different attacks from many different sources.

In fact, any type of connectivity exposes a device to problems and even cables bought from seemingly trustworthy sources can have tiny hardware hidden inside that will inject malware, reveal your identity/location or capture every keystroke.

It’s a game of technological whack-a-mole and no matter how many precautions you take or how clever you think you are, if targeted there’s almost no way to prevent being hacked or surveilled or having all of your data stolen or encrypted.

Seriously, if they want to get you, they’ll get you but for the most part, these crooks are fishing with wide nets and taking a few simple precautions (stronger passwords, two-factor authentication etc.) will keep you safe from lighting up as a potential target.

* For example, since the Covid pandemic, thousands of restaurants have switched from paper menus to online version accessible through a QR code. This is an enormous risk since I can think of several methods that could leverage this new habit and score millions of pounds, euros, and dollars with ease.

Lead image: Pete Linforth/Pixabay

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Incredible Luck: d5t6y7 Pulls Their Second $10K Mystery Bounty at 888poker

Incredible Luck: d5t6y7 Pulls Their Second $10K Mystery Bounty at 888poker

They often say that some poker players have all the luck, and you could make a case for British grinder “d5t6y7” in that statement. Less than a month ago, d5t6y7 finished tenth in the 888poker $100,000 Mystery Bounty Main Event but not before they pulled out the $10,000 top mystery bounty prize.

Fastforward to May 15, and d5t6y7 did it again. Not only that, but they took down the tournament too!

This week’s $100,000 Mystery Bounty main Event saw the 965-strong field reduced to a final table of nine on Day 1. Usually, the biggest mystery bounty prizes have been won by this stage, but not this time around because there was a $3,000 and a $10,000 bounty still waiting to be won.

$100,000 Mystery Bounty Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Bounties Prize Total Prize
1 d5t6y7 United Kingdom $10,389 $7,740 $18,129
2 KJJIDIele Uzbekistan $5,126 $5,645 $10,771
3 Iadutska Belarus $408 $4,150 $4,558
4 p1uzera Brazil $124 $3,075 $3,199
5 Adhmor8 Montenegro $764 $2,275 $3,039
6 Freedan Ukraine $524 $1,700 $2,224
7 juncanaru98 Romania $703 $1,280 $1,983
8 SeiryokuZen Brazil $1,423 $970 $2,393
9 DiouL2 Brazil $241 $740 $981

“DiouL2” of Brazil busted in ninth for a $981 score, and another Brazilian in “SeiryokuZen” joined them on the rail with $2,393 in tow.

Then came the exit of “juncanaru98” in seventh. They open-shoved for 9.2 big blinds with ace-deuce of spades from under the gun, and the action folded to “KJJJIDIele” in the cutoff. KJJJIDIele held an overwhelming chip lead and was using their massive stack with deadly aggression. They continued that aggression by moving all-in with ace-ten of clubs, resulting in the other active players folding, including d5t6y7 who mucked ace-jack. d5t6y7 would have won the pot because the board ran five-queen-jack-ace-four. KJJJIDIele saw a golden envelope open in front of them, an envelope containing $3,000!

Ukraine’s “Freedan” saw their tournament end in sixth place for $2,224, “Adhmor8” fell in fifth for $3,039, and “p1uzera” bowed out in fourth for $3,199. None of those eliminated players’ envelopes contained the $10,000 mystery bounty payment!

Neither did the envelope on the head of third-place finisher “Iadutska” who collected $4,558, meaning the heads-up duo were not only fighting for the first place and the not-so-small matter of more than $2,100 difference in prize money, but one of them had a $10,000 mystery bounty on their head!

888poker LIVE Barcelona Runs May 10-22; Will There be a Spanish Main Event Champion?

KJJJIDIele started the heads-up battle with a 62.6 big blind to 58 big blind advantage over d5t6y7 but the stacks were reversed on the first hand with KJJJIDIele getting frisky with queen-five of clubs and folding to a four-bet.

The chip lead exchanged hands a few times over the next 15 minutes, but neither player could pull away from the other. That was until d5t6y7 flopped twp pair with nine-deuce and got fully paid off by KJJJIDIele, who couldn’t lay down their pair of aces.

d5t6y7 now held an eight-to-one chip advantage over KJJJIDIele, and the writing was on the wall for the latter. The final hand occurred soon after and saw KJJJIDIele limp with king-eight, and call when d5t6y7 raised to three big blinds. A ten-king-ten flop saw d5t6y7 fire a 1.5 big blind bet, and KJJJIDIele called. An eight on the turn was greeted with a 3.1 big blind bet, a 10.4 big blind shove from KJJJIDIele, and a call from d5t6y7. It was king-eight for KJJJIDIele and king-jack for d5t6y7. A seven on the river busted KJJJIDIele in second place for $10,771, and they handed an envelope containing $10,000 to the tournament’s champion, d5t6y7.

Learn more about the $2M Gtd XL Spring Series

$2 Million Guaranteed XL Spring Series Starts May 21

It is all hands to the pump right now at 888poker with the online poker giant hosting the $2 million guaranteed XL Spring series from May 21, in addition to having its live poker team in Spain for the 888poker LIVE Barcelona festival.

The first of 32 numbered XL Spring series events shuffles up and deals at 6:30 p.m. BST on May 21, while the 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event runs from May 17-22, and you can follow all of the Barcelona Main Event action right here at PokerNews.

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Yulian Bogdanov Crowned PartyPoker MILLIONS Online KO 6-Max Champion

Yulian Bogdanov Crowned PartyPoker MILLIONS Online KO 6-Max Champion

Bulgaria has itself a PartyPoker MILLIONS Online KO champion, and Yulian Bogdanov is the player who brought home the bacon. Bogdanov came out on top in the MILLIONS Online KO 6-Max Championship and turned his $215 investment into a $32,631 haul.

The tournament drew in 1,111 entrants across several starting flights, resulting in a guarantee-busting $222,200 prize pool. Only 165 of those entrants progressed to Day 2, with each locking in a min-cash for their efforts plus any scalps they collected along the way.

Big names littered the Day 2 payout list. Endrit Geci, the 2021 MILLIONS Online Main Event champion cashed in this event. As did such luminaries as Jerry Odeen, Marton Czuczor, Irish legend Andy Black, Niklas Astedt, Ioannis Angelou Konstas, Team PartyPoker’s Patrick Leonard, Kenny Hallaert, Benjamin Chalot, and the United Kingdom’s Tom Hall.

Seven PartyPoker players made up the final table. With bounties included, each was guaranteed a four-figure haul.

Finland’s Elias Suhonen was the first finalist to find themselves with fresh air where their chips once stood. Suhonen saw $2,317 land in his PartyPoker account.

Matt Staples
Matt Staples

Brazilian Gustavo Cerjeira busted in sixth for $4,289 before Team PartyPoker’s Matt Staples ran out of luck and had to make do with a fifth-place finish worth $6,043.

Fourth place and $7,581 went to Henrique Coutinho, with Eugenio Peralta busting in third for $12,587, which sent the tournament into the heads-up stage.

Bogdanov was only a single elimination away from capturing the title, but the talented Brit John Adderley stood in his way. Both players guaranteed themselves more than $14,000 from the main prize pool, but the final bounty payment was worth more than that, so everything was still to play for.

Unfortunately for Adderley, he fell at the final hurdle and received a $17,848 consolation prize. Meanwhile, Bogdanov reeled in a score worth $32,631, giving him plenty of ammunition for the rest of the MILLIONS Online KO Series, which concludes at the end of May.

MILLIONS Online KO 6-Max Championship Final Table Results

Place Player Country Bounties Prize Total Prize
1 Yulian Bogdanov Bulgaria $18,226 $14,405 $32,631
2 John Adderley United Kingdom $3,466 $14,382 $17,848
3 Eugenio Peralta Ireland $3,148 $9,439 $12,587
4 Henrique Coutinho Brazil $1,216 $6,365 $7,581
5 Matt Staples Canada $1,774 $4,269 $6,043
6 Gustavo Cerjeira Brazil $1,179 $3,110 $4,289
7 Elias Suohonen Finland $150 $2,167 $2,317

Brazilian One-Two in the Sunday Party

A field of 1,522 players bought into the MILLIONS Online KO edition of the Sunday Party, and created a $152,200 prize pool. There was a notable absentee from the field in Patrick Leonard. Having won back-to-back Sunday Party events, we would have thought Leonard was raring to go in this tournament. Perhaps he took a backseat to allow someone else to win?

The nine-handed final table had five Brazilian players seated around it, and two of those Samba stars navigated their way to the heads-up section of the event.

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Guilherme Rimbano found himself in a one-on-one battle with fellow countryman Lazaro Tupy. There was little difference in the main prize pool payouts, with both Brazilians securing more than $8,600 for their efforts. Both players had been active throughout the tournament, and were both guaranteed to add more than $5,000 worth of extras to their hauls.

When the dust settled, it was Rimbano who held all of the chips, and he scooped a total prize worth $17,471, leaving Tupy to collect $13,650.

This weekend’s Sunday Party, at 7:05 p.m. BST on May 21, boasts a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool, making it the biggest Sunday Party since the tournament launched a few weeks ago.

MILLIONS Online KO Sunday Party Final Table Results

Place Player Country Bounties Prize Total Bounties
1 Guilherme Rimbano Brazil $8,827 $8,644 $17,471
2 Lazaro Tupy Brazil $5,021 $8,629 $13,650
3 Euan Baxter United Kingdom $1,762 $5,570 $7,332
4 Michel Pereira Brazil $758 $3,674 $4,432
5 Malte Schirmacher Germany $542 $2,497 $3,039
6 Aleksandr Balashov Mexico $436 $1,905 $2,341
7 Bruno Lopes De Castro Brazil $523 $1,387 $1,910
8 Nathan Rose United Kingdom $1,282 $1,107 $2,389
9 Eduardo Custodio Brazil $1,479 $870 $2,349

Big Names Progress in the Main Event

Steven Van Zadelhoff
Steven Van Zadelhoff flies high in the Main Event

Two MILLIONS Online KO Main Event flights are in the bag, and those Day 1s have seen 374 players whittled to a more manageable 57. The current top ten has some phenomenal talent in it, and the field is only going to become tougher with each subsequent flight that takes place.

Antonio Ortega of Malta is the early chip leader, having turned his one million starting stack into 23,619,050 chips. Ortega also has $1,750 locked in from bounties already, meaning he is freerolling towards one of the tournament’s bigger prizes.

Also currently in the top ten are Steven Van Zadelhoff (12,561,583), Patrice Brandt (9,999,370), and Jerry Odeen (9,354,655).

Further down the chip counts, you find Jack Sinclair (7,068,279), Tomi Brouk (6,208,257), former MILLIONS Online Main Event winners Jon Van Fleet (5,571,344) and Benjamin Chalot (5,555,137), Team PartyPoker’s Jaime Staples (5,158,107), and Swedish superstar Simon Mattsson (4,593,511).

There are Day 1s at 7:05 p.m. BST on May 21 and May 28, plus additional flights at 4:05 p.m. BST and 6:05 p.m. BST on May 29.

MILLIONS Online KO Main Event Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Country Bounties Chips
1 Antonio Ortega Malta $1,750 23,619,050
2 Paulo Brombin Brazil $875 22,722,425
3 Bartha Cristian Hungary $1,187 19,265,232
4 Eugenio Peralta Ireland $820 18,152,910
5 Mikkel Astradsson Denmark $1,750 14,624,617
6 Steven Van Zadelhoff Malta $625 12,561,583
7 Patrice Brandt United Kingdom $875 9,999,370
8 Erik Tamm Sweden $437 9,554,183
9 Jerry Odeen Sweden $687 9,354,655
10 Rusu Nicolaie United Kingdom $250 9,247,201

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