Cutting it Close – Gambling With An Edge

Putting Bills Into a Machine

Bonnie and I were staying at the Eldorado in Reno just before Mother’s Day. Through a combination of offers in both Reno and Lake Tahoe (about 60 miles from each other, reachable to and from the RNO airport by a $60-per-person-round-trip shuttle), it made sense for us to spend time at both casinos and fly back to Las Vegas on a 7:30 p.m. Saturday night flight.

Getting home Saturday night was important because I had $500 free play somewhere in Vegas that expired at midnight, and Bonnie had a big Mother’s Day church/lunch get-together planned with her sister and daughter. Bonnie’s sister and Bonnie’s daughter are less than a year apart in age, live less than five miles from Bonnie and me, and the three women do a lot of things together. Sometimes with me included, sometimes not.  This works well for all of us.

After we got to the Eldorado, we learned about an additional promotion on Saturday. Beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning and continuing into Sunday, you could earn high end purses. There were four different purses at different play levels, and you could pick the one you wanted. There was also a free play option if you didn’t want the purses. Within the past month or so, the machines I play now take $20 coin-in to earn a Tier Credit and Reward Credit rather than $10. That means it takes twice as much time to earn these gifts as the same promotion would have last month because those are based on Tier so those Credits. Reward Credits are redeemable for comps, so those got cut in half as well. Our mailers are based on theoretical, I think, and not Tier Credits or Reward Credits, so those haven’t been cut yet. As of now, it is still a good place for us to play, in my opinion.

One of the reasons we were there that weekend was that we each earned purses by Michael Kors or Coach on Friday. Bonnie got both of those, of course. I told her that she could have one of the nicer ones we earned on Saturday or cash for 50% of the face value of the free play of the higher-valued purse we qualified for. She wanted the cash!

We could redeem the awards starting at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Exactly how much play was required to earn these awards wasn’t announced in advance. We were told the information would be on the kiosks starting about 3 p.m. or so — if everything went right. Since we were planning to play on Saturday anyway, I started at 6:30 a.m. and played continually until we knew how much play was required. If I found out at 3 p.m., I could either stop at that time, keeping the amount of free play I had already earned, or continue playing.

The free play would be good for 72 hours but I wouldn’t have time to play it off before we had to go to the airport. There was a table games option, and my host told me that if I picked up the vouchers for the table games and gave them to him on my next trip, he’d convert them into free play. Great! Nice to have a good relationship with a host.

Arranging transportation from the Eldorado to the airport (about a 10-minute drive) was easy for two Seven Stars players. I figured we could leave at 6:15 and still make it to the airport in plenty of time.

Unfortunately, the vouchers weren’t downloadable until 6:20 p.m. Critical minutes were passing — we had to make that flight. I was going through my options, including taking Bonnie to the airport, getting her on the plane, and then going back to the casino to pick up the free play. I’d miss out on my $500 free play in Vegas, but at least Bonnie would make her Mother’s Day date.

Still, getting to the car at 6:25 gave us a shot at making it. Our luggage was already loaded, and it wasn’t that far. It was a 10-minute drive and so long as we checked in before 6:45, we were fine. Unbeknownst to us until it was too late, they were working on the freeways at that time — four lanes were cut down to one — and the normally-10-minute drive ended up taking 25 minutes.

We got to the airport counter 10 minutes late. I showed the employee $300 and said he could keep the money if he found any exception that would allow us to get on the plane. He looked at the money plaintively — figuring he could put it to good use — but said we were on camera and it wasn’t worth his job. Thanks, but no thanks.

There were no RNO – LAS flights we could get. Southwest had one leaving fairly soon, but it was already closed. We had booked on Spirit airlines, and the next flight was 1:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon. We could get on it — $100 transfer fee for each of us. Bonnie looked sick. She didn’t want to miss her Mother’s Day date, but if she had to, she had to.

Southwest had a flight at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. It was considerably more than $100 apiece — and waking up at 3:00 a.m. or so and getting to the airport wasn’t going to be fun. But it was better than missing her date. So, we signed up for that and took the next free shuttle back to the Eldorado.

Fortunately, we had left the room but hadn’t checked out, so it was still available. I let my host know that we missed the flight. I thanked him for his assistance and told him I thought he had done all he could have to help us. I played off our free play and went to bed.

The details of this particular weekend are unique to Bonnie and me, but all of us have had to wrestle with “How early do we get to the airport?” and “Can we get one more thing done that’s worth $xxx?” If you’re like me, usually we can make it, but occasionally we get bit by cutting it too close. This was one of those times.

Sort of.

We did collect $750 apiece in free play which we would have forfeited completely if we had left earlier before the vouchers were downloadable. (Minus $375 in cash that went to Bonnie. Whether that gets counted depends on whether I’m concentrating on “my” net or “our” net.)  I did lose out on $500 free play in Vegas that expired before I got to town. The plane fare wasn’t free, and we were messed up on our sleep schedule for a day or two. But financially, we were slightly ahead by staying until we collected the free play in Reno.

I’m happy with how I handled it. My decisions were based on the best information I had at the time. Had I known the traffic lanes were going to be shut down, I would have handled things differently. Had I known the offers in the kiosks wouldn’t be posted until twenty minutes late, I would have handled things differently. But I didn’t know and by the time I found out, things didn’t go optimally. Oh well. Life’s like that sometimes, in and out of the gambling world.


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Andre Allen Emerges Victorious in RGPS Kansas City Main Event ($86,550)

Andre Allen Emerges Victorious in RGPS Kansas City Main Event ($86,550)

After a marathon day of poker, Andre Allen has been crowned the winner of the RGPS Kansas City Main Event after a chop deal with Casey Henry. He was awarded $86,550, the RGPS champions ring, and the Dream Seat in Las Vegas for later this year. Henry was awarded $75,000 (more than second-place money) for his efforts.

“Man, to be honest, I’ve been chasing this ring for eight years, plus my son graduated today, so I wanted both of us to come home a winner,” Allen said about the chop deal after the event.

Allen is no stranger to tournaments with over $200,000 in live cashes according to The Hendon Mob, but this is his largest score to date as his previous record was $59,356 from a WSOP Circuit Baltimore score in 2016.

When the 43-year-old Kansas City native isn’t cashing tournaments, he runs a barber shop in the Kansas City Airport called Director’s Cut Take II with his partner Armon Lasker. When asked what he planned to do with his winnings, he said he would put most of it back into his business and make several crypto investments (and also pad his WSOP bankroll).

RGPS Kansas City Main Event Final Table Results

Rank Player Prize
1 Andre Allen $86,550*
2 Casey Henry $75,000*
3 Jesse Jones $42,850
4 Jason Brin $29,713
5 Jackson Turrentine $22,827
6 Iman Alsaden $19,043
7 Saied Moradi $15,859
8 Matthew Snook $12,719
9 Joseph McCaig $9,574

*indicates chop deal

Day 2 Action

Throughout the day, it was Saied Moradi and Jesse Jones that were the forces to be reckoned with, amassing large piles of chips early in the day and keeping it as such all the way to the final table. They were first and second in chips going into the final table, Moradi with 3,310,000 and Jones with 3,135,000. Things went downhill for Moradi when he made a huge bluff on the river against Allen, but he could sniff it out and made the call with top pair. Left short, Moradi busted soon after in seventh place, followed by Iman Alsaden when her ace-ten couldn’t improve against Jason Brin’s pocket fours.

Final Table
Final Table

After Jackson Turrentine busted with ace-nine versus Brin’s pocket nines, Allen caught fire by picking up pocket aces to bust Brin in fourth a few hands later. Then the hand of the night occurred, when big stacks Jones and Allen got it all in preflop, Jones with pocket treys, Allen with ace-king. Allen flopped top pair of kings but Jones flopped bottom set on the king-three-nine board for a huge lead. Miraculously, Allen went runner-runner king-nine to make a bigger boat on the river and busted Jones in third place. That’s when he and Henry made the deal and he was crowned champion of the $1,100 Main Event.

Other RGPS Kansas City Ring Winners

Event Number Event Name Entrants Prizepool Winner Prize
1 $250 Seniors NLH 243 $48,600 Gary Monroe $9,632
2 $200 Series Opener NLH 166 $26,560 Seungmin Yang $5,649
3 $200 Ambassador Bounty NLH 314 $50,240 Gregory Nowlin $10,601
4 $400 Deepstack NLH 514 $167,050 Saied Moradi $32,325
5 $300 One Day NLH 185 $44,400 William Pridey $11,544
6 $250 Double Green Chip Bounty NLH 195 $29,250 Javier Terrazas $7,605
7 $500 Pot-Limit Omaha 104 $44,720 Joshua Hatfield $13,416
9 $400 Black Chip Bounty NLH 171 $38,475 Kaleb Dunn $10,388
10 $250 Closer NLH 130 $26,000 Roy Ben-Aharon $6,280

Allen’s win concludes PokerNews’ coverage of the RGPS Kansas City, which has been a tremendous success here at Harrah’s Casino. Next up for RunGood is the $1,000,000 Main Event and other great tournaments at Thunder Valley Casino from July 8-31.

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2023 Bar Poker Open World Championship Taking Place in Las Vegas June 12-15

2023 Bar Poker Open World Championship Taking Place in Las Vegas June 12-15

The 2023 Bar Poker Open (BPO) will be taking place at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas June 10-16, and it will culminate with the BPO World Championship from June 12-15.

Bar poker leagues provide a fun and friendly environment for poker enthusiasts to play and improve their skills. Casual players can learn the game in a low-pressure setting at their local establishments and ultimately win big money.

The Bar Poker Open is the ultimate easy-access poker tournament,” the Bar Poker Open website states. “Start at the bar, and end up in Vegas.”

That’s exactly what many players will soon experience as they journey to the desert oasis, and one player will be returning home six figures richer as the upcoming “World’s Largest Bar Poker Open Championship” guarantees a $100,000 top prize.

The invite-only championship event will feature a record-breaking $100,000 guaranteed first-place prize with an estimated prize pool of $400,000+. There will be cards-up coverage of featured tables and the final table across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. In addition, it will be live-reported by PokerNews as will this year’s Tag Team event.

Even if you didn’t qualify for the championship this year, plenty of ways exist to get in on the excitement. The Bar Poker Open Pro-Am is an open event June 15-16 with a $1,000 buy-in and is expected to showcase some well-known poker stars. This event will also feature a televised final table and can be seen on the BPO socials.

Additionally, players can qualify for the BPO Pro-Am for free in several ways, including via a live drawing slated to take place in the Golden Nugget cash games during the week of the BPO, according to the Bar Poker Open blog.

Throughout the week, the Golden Nugget will also be hosting other open tournaments with affordable buy-ins for casual players, including a Black Chip Bounty PLO $300 buy-in event, a Green Chip Bounty NLH $130 buy-in event, and a Tag Team NLH $200 buy-in event. The events are all part of the Golden Nugget’s Grand Poker Series, which hosts the $1,000,000 GTD PokerNews Cup Mystery Bounty tournament later in the summer.

Click here to learn more about the Bar Poker Open!

Qualifying for BPO Championship

Bar Poker Open

The Bar Poker Open Championship event is only open to players who pre-qualified from their local poker leagues. Throughout the year, players can qualify by playing at their local bars and finishing in the top 3 to earn a “BPO Token”. Those tokens can be redeemed online each week for access to over $600,000 in annual championship seats and vacation packages.

Another way to qualify for the championship event is to collect league points by playing in BPO-sanctioned games. Top finishers in the super league standings will also be invited to the premier Bar Poker Open event. Hundreds of players started their journey by playing in their local bar and will soon flock to Vegas with a chance to take home a big payday.

The championship event kicks off on June 12 with the first flight of Day 1A at 10 a.m., followed by the second flight at 4 p.m. Day 1B will begin on June 13 and is a second chance flight for all Day 1A participants. Day 2 is slated for 11 a.m. on June 14, and the Day 3 final table will commence at 3 p.m. on June 15.

For more information on how to qualify for the Bar Poker Open Championship, visit

Previous Winner

Tommy Nefcy Champion
Tommy Nefcy

Tommy Nefcy of Sunshine Poker League claimed the trophy and $37,115 in the 2022 BPO Championship. Nefcy defeated Kourtney Sims (2nd – $25,385) of Eastern Poker Tour in heads-up play to secure the victory.

The invite-only tournament saw hundreds of players make their way to Golden Nugget Las Vegas after winning their seats by competing in bars and online. In total, 1,240 entries across three starting flights created a prize pool of $229,400.

Other players who made a deep run in the 2022 BPO Championship event include John Kelly (3rd – 16,615) of Eastern Poker Tour, and Carlin Soto (4th – $11,460) and Adam Iaccarino (5th – $8,800), both of NY Free Poker.

2022 Bar Poker Open Championship Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Tommy Nefcy United States $37,115
2 Kourtney Sims United States $25,385
3 John Kelly United States $16,665
4 Carlin Soto United States $11,460
5 Adam Iaccarino United States $8,800
6 Ruben Vancelette United States $7,335
7 Michael Schnitzer United States $6,120
8 Martin Bender United States $4,915

Check out the Golden Nugget Poker Room review here on PokerNews!

2023 Bar Poker Open Full Schedule

June 10 11:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Ultimate Re-Entry (Event 28 – Flight G) (Buy-in: $200, $200,000 GTD)
June 10 3:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Ultimate Re-Entry (Event 28 – Flight H) (Buy-in: $200, $200,000 GTD)
June 10 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Ultimate Re-Entry (Event 28 – Flight I) (Buy-in: $200, $200,000 GTD)
June 11 11:00 AM Pot Limit Omaha – Black Chip Bounty (Event 29) (Buy-in: $300, $10,000 GTD)
June 11 12:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Ultimate Re-Entry (Event 28 – Day 2)
June 11 1:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Daily Deep Stack (Event 30) (Buy-in: $200, $25,000 GTD)
June 11 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Cheap and Deep (Event 31) (Buy-in: $130, $10,000 GTD)
June 12 10:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Championship (Event 32 – Day 1A Flight 1) (Invite Only, $400,000+ Estimated Prize Pool)
June 12 4:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Championship (Event 32 – Day 1A Flight 2) (Invite Only, $400,000+ Estimated Prize Pool)
June 12 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Green Chip Bounty (Event 33) (Buy-in: $130)
June 13 11:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Championship (Event 32 – Day 1B) (Invite Only, $400,000+ Estimated Prize Pool)
June 13 1:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Daily Deep Stack (Event 34) (Buy-in: $200, $25,000 GTD)
June 13 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Tag Team (Event 35) (Buy-in: $200, $10,000 GTD)
June 14 11:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Championship (Event 32 – Day 2)
June 14 1:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Daily Deep Stack (Event 36) (Buy-in: $400, $50,000 GTD)
June 14 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Nightly (Event 37) (Buy-in: $130, $5,000 GTD)
June 15 11:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Pro-Am (Event 38) (Buy-in: $1,000)
June 15 1:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Daily Deep Stack (Event 39) (Buy-in: $200, $25,000 GTD)
June 15 2:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Championship (Event 32 – Final Table)
June 15 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Nightly (Event 40) (Buy-in: $130, $5,000 GTD)
June 16 11:00 AM No Limit Hold’em – Mystery Bounty (Event 41 – Flight A) (Buy-in: $300, $250,000 GTD)
June 16 1:00 PM Mixed PLO/8; Omaha 8/B; Big-O (Event 42) (Buy-in: $300, $10,000 GTD)
June 16 2:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Bar Poker Open Pro-Am (Event 38 – Final Table)
June 16 3:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Mystery Bounty (Event 41 – Flight B) (Buy-in: $300, $250,000 GTD)
June 16 7:00 PM No Limit Hold’em – Mystery Bounty (Event 41 – Flight C) (Buy-in: $300, $250,000 GTD)

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Entain Enters 25-Year Partnership With TAB New Zealand

TAB sign

Entain has entered a 25-year partnership with TAB New Zealand, the nation’s monopoly horse racing and sports betting provider. The gambling group has committed to investing NZ$900m (US$562m) in the country’s horse racing sector over the next five years.

This deal will reverse falling revenues for racing and provides certainty over the coming years.”

Minister for Racing Kieran McAnulty approved the agreement on Tuesday. saying: “This deal will reverse falling revenues for racing and provides certainty over the coming years.”

Entain beat out competition from Sportsbet and Tabcorp to be the preferred partner. The Ladbrokes owner will take over both the broadcasting and betting operations of TAB.

Entain currently offers sports betting in over 20 nations. Some of the major brands under its umbrella include Ladbrokes, BetMGM, Coral, and Neds.

The organization will receive an upfront payment from Entain, in addition to annual minimum guaranteed payments of NZ$180m (US$112m). This is an increase from the NZ$125m (US$78m) distribution in the current financial year. Various national sports organizations will receive a cut of NZ$15m (US$9.4m), while a NZ$500,000 (US$312,210) investment will go towards Sport NZ’s female sports programs.

The post Entain Enters 25-Year Partnership With TAB New Zealand appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Malta Gaming Operators Could Be Shielded from EU Claims

Malta Gaming Operators Could Be Shielded from EU Claims

Malta’s Parliament has introduced a bill that would allow the EU member nation’s courts to ignore enforcement of any foreign judgment. Such a far-reaching measure, seen by many as illegal in the European Union, includes decisions by courts outside of Malta concerning gaming law. In fact, the proposed change in Maltese law is included in the country’s Gaming Act (Amendment 55).

The decision to shake up EU courts is most likely a direct response to Germany and Austria’s recent legal actions against online gambling operators licensed and based in Malta but offering services in other EU countries – specifically Austria and Germany.

EU Law, a Complicated Framework of Balance

While the authorities in those and other countries assert and may have found or participated in creating case law that supports their position, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems in such a sprawling union of member states, each accepting compromise and asserting their own interests.

Many countries have been able to win court cases allowing them to establish gaming monopolies within their own borders ut EU courts have often struggled to balance the right of the member state to protect its citizens (and that is often the only reason such exclusionary laws are allowed), and the rights of other member states to provide services across the whole of the Union in the spirit of free trade and against monopolization.

According to a report on G3 Newswire, the bill was first read into the record on April 24th, 2023. Austrian and German lawyers representing their respective countries say that Malta’s Bill 55 – “blatantly undermines European Rule of Law by blocking the fundamental rights of EU citizens and Residents”.

One of the three conflicting legal principles that may be up for further definition, subordination, or adjustment is states’ practicing a right to develop country-specific gaming legislation to protect nationals from harm – specifically criminality as defined by the state’s own laws.

While stated without reference by code, some observers have stated that regardless of the “offending entities” being licensed in a member state and providing the ordained free movement of goods and services, the right to protect citizens from harm trumps a fellow state’s right to free trade.

For context, explains the principle like this: “One of the keystones of the European Union (EU) internal market is the principle of the free movement of goods – the creation and development of an area without internal borders, where there are no unjustified restrictions to trade between EU Member States.

National Gaming Monopolies Exist with Free Trade

However, according to the law in Austria, only one entity is allowed to offer online gaming in the country with all other providers being illegal by internal definition. Austria’s gaming laws are fragmented, however, ultimately only the federal monopoly holder, Casinos Austria’s subsidiary “win2day” is recognized by the government as a legal provider.

Germany on the other hand game out of the gate shooting upon the launch of their nascent regulatory authority stating it would prosecute any and all “outside” providers not recognized and licensed in Germany.

Austrian lawyers have filed thousands of cases against outside operators over the years and have been awarded claims of more than €350m throughout the course of several decades. Cases from long ago are still being processed against operators, often as class actions. The Maltese bill would stop the collections of those and other claims were it to pass in Malta and be upheld in courts of the EU writ large.

Malta has spent decades advancing electronic offshore gambling as a critical part of its economy, giving weight to the continuance this long into the tenure of the European Union – however – the chances of Bill 55 amendment to stand so all-encompassing is doubtful. If written to only protect gaming operators its chances would be nil.

German and Austrian lawyers are asking the European Commission to stop the law from being fast-tracked and rely heavily in their arguments on European Union’s (EU) Brussels I Recast Regulation, which deals directly with the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments inside the EU.

Source: New Bill to protect island’s igaming operators from EU claims, G3 Newswire, May 19, 2023

The post Malta Gaming Operators Could Be Shielded from EU Claims appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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Super Patrick Leonard Bags Seventh PokerStars SCOOP Title and $200K

Super Patrick Leonard Bags Seventh PokerStars SCOOP Title and $200K

Patrick “pads1161” Leonard helped himself to his seventh PokerStars Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP) title on May 22 by taking down the $5,200 No-Limit Hold’em Progressive KO Titans event.

Leonard’s latest result under his “pads1161” screenname saw him add a monster-sized $197,115 to his bankroll. Leonard’s triumph also prolonged PokerStars ambassador Lex “L. Veldhuis” Veldhuis’ SCOOP draught, with the Dutchman still searching for his maiden SCOOP title.

SCOOP 75-H: $5,200 NLHE PKO Titans Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Bounties Prize Total Prize
1 Patrick “pads1161” Leonard United Kingdom $126,093 $71,022 $197,115
2 PAX176 Poland $10,312 $71,022 $81,334
3 retro_cheetah01 Poland $10,312 $50,301 $60,613
4 Haringbuis Malta $9,843 $37,876 $47,719
5 milanov888 Bulgaria $11,640 $29,421 $41,061
6 Jonathan “x_zola25” Skovsen Denmark $15,546 $22,854 $38,400
7 Lex “L. Veldhuis” Veldhuis Belgium $9,375 $17,752 $27,127
8 Pedro “PaDiLhA SP” Padilha Brazil $15,781 $13,790 $47,786
9 Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky Brazil $18,125 $11,363 $29,488

Some 154 PokerStars players bought into the $5,200 Titans event and created a $770,000 prize pool. Usually, the Titans is played as a traditional No-Limit Hold’em tournament, but this one was played as a PKO, meaning there were some massive bounty payments along the way.

Day 1 concluded with only nine players after a raft of superstars bowed out. Team PokerStars’ Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg crashed out in 42nd place, missing out on some main prize pool money but banking a $2,500 bounty before he busted.

Ognyan “cocojamb0” Dimov was the unfortunate bubble boy, although he picked up over $6,500 worth of scalps before leaving the tournament in 18th place.

The likes of recent SCOOP champion Elias “SinKarma” Gutierrez, Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford, and PokerStars ambassador Sam “SamSquid” Grafton joined the list of busted players, Grafton being eliminated in tenth place, setting the final table, and bringing the curtain down on Day 1’s proceedings.

Felipe Boianovsky
Felipe Boianovsky

It took an hour for the first player to bust from the final table, and Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky was that initial casualty. Boianovsky lost all but a handful of big blinds after turning two pair with king-queen but lost out to Jonathan “x_zola25” Skovsen‘s turned Broadway straight.

Boianovsky finally open-shoved for under six big blinds with ace-deuce of diamonds and ran into the dominating ace-queen of “PAX176”. The Brazilian bowed out, while PAX176 claimed their first bounty of the tournament.

Despite taking some time to lose the first player, the tournament was then done and dusted following another 70 minutes of play.

Pedro “PadILhA SP” Padilha lost half of his stack in a battle of the blinds with Veldhuis, the latter holding pocket aces against Padilha’s ace-trey. A couple of hands later, Padilha shoved for 6.5 big blinds with pocket kings, “milanov888” reshoved with pocket nine and flopped a set to send Padilha out in eighth.

Veldhuis was third in chips at the start of seven-handed play, but he still fell by the wayside in seventh thanks to a disgusting hand against Leonard.

With blinds of 100,000/200,000/25,000a, Veldhuis made it 410,000 from early position with ace-five of hearts, and Leonard called in the big blind with queen-ten. The flop fell queen-king-ten with two hearts, and Leonard check-called a 300,000-continuation bet. The turn was an offsuit queen, gifting Leonard a full house. Leonard checked, and Veldhuis checked behind. The three of hearts completed the board, improving Veldhuis to an expensive second-best hand. Leonard paused before moving all in, and Veldhuis called off his 4,776,878 stack. Ouch.

Skovsen was the next player to fall victim to Leonard. The Dane open-shoved from under the gun for a shade over 7.5 big blinds with pocket fives; Leonard re-shoved with ace-jack from the next seat along and spiked an ace on the turn.

Leonard now held 22.7 million chips, over seven million more than all the remaining players’ stacks combined; it was his tournament to lose.

A Leonard victory drew closer with the untimely demise of Bulgaria’s milanov888, who ripped in their last four big blinds with ace-jack and lost to the eight-six of Leonard courtesy of an eight on the turn and a six on the river.

Malta’s “Haringbuis” was eliminated in fourth, and it was Leonard that claimed the scalp. Leonard raised enough to set everyone else all in, doing so with eight-five of spades. Haringbuis called with ace-jack of clubs. Haringbuis flopped a jack, but Leonard’s sun run continued with him improving to a flush on the turn!

Talbot Falls Short as Dzivielevski Bags Second SCOOP Title of 2023

Leonard’s one-man wrecking crew of the final table continued with the head of “retro_cheetah01.” They initially limped with ace-queen in the small blind before jamming over the top of Leonard’s 720,000 raise for their last 14 big blinds. Leonard called with ace-ten of clubs and flopped a flush to send the Titans event into heads-up.

PAX176 went into the one-on-one battle with Leonard trailing by more than seven-to-one, and it did not take long for Leonard to clinch the title. The final hand was typical of Leonard’s incredible run.

PAX176 jammed seven-six for ten big blinds, and Leonard called with pocket fours. The five-eight-four flop gave PAX176 a straight, but Leonard had a set. Another five on the turn gave Leonard a full house, rendering the river meaningless.

Leonard picked up $197,115 in total, including $126,093 from the bounty prize pool, almost double the size of first-place prize money! PAX176 headed into the night with $81,334 to show for their runner-up finish.

Grafton is the Bridesmaid in the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up

Sam Grafton
Sam Grafton

Grafton narrowly missed out on 2023 SCOOP glory, but the $81,003 he picked up for his runner-up finish should go some way to numbing the pain of not winning.

Grafton was one of 635 entrants in SCOOP 754-H: $1,050 NLHE Sunday Warm-Up, with those entrants smashing the $435,000 guarantee out of the water by almost $200,000.

The top 79 finishers received a slice of the pie. Those in-the-money players included such luminaries as Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot, Dzmitry “Colisea” Urbanovich, and the one and only Patrick “pads1161” Leonard, the latter falling in tenth and popping the final table bubble.

The nine-handed final table was equally, if not more, star-studded. Andy “BowieEffect” Wilson, Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver, Dejan “dejanlc357” Kaladjurdjevic, and third-place finisher Tomi “elmerixx” Brouk were all in contention at one stage.

Grafton found himself heads-up against Finland’s “PotnaPekka” in what was a $30,000 one-on-one clash. The Finn tripped Grafton up at the final hurdle and helped themselves to $110,835, resigning Grafton to a still very respectable $81,003.

SCOOP 74-H: $1,050 NLHE Sunday Warm-Up Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 PotnaPekka Finland $110,835
2 Sam “SamSquid” Grafton United Kingdom $81,003
3 Tomi “elmerixx Brouk Finland $59,201
4 Dejan “dejanlc357” Kaladjurdjevic Montenegro $43,267
5 Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver Costa Rica $31,622
6 neeno1990 Austria $23,111
7 Hulaaaa Ukraine $16,890
8 Andy “BowieEffect” Wilson United Kingdom $12,344
9 CPUrul0r Austria $9,983

Birthday Delight for Spragg; Veldhuis Looking to Shake Off SCOOP Hoodoo

Other Notable SCOOP Victories

Niklas Åstedt
Niklas Åstedt

A special mention must go to Niklas “Lena900” Astedt, who triumphed in two SCOOP events, the seventh and eighth of his career. Astedt took down a $530 NLHE PKO event for $42,610 and a $215 NLO8 6-Max PKO for an additional $16,022.

Event Entrants Prize Pool Champion Prize
#77-H: $1,050 NLHE 603 $603,000 13santoy13 $105,249
#77-M: $109 NLHE 4,440 $444,000 Juppenpuppen $63,287
#76-H: $2,100 NLO8 6-Max PKO 89 $178,000 Andrey “Premove” Skvortsov $61,969*
#73-H: $530 NLHE PKO 508 $254,000 Niklas “Lena900” Astedt $42,610*
#76-M: $215 NLO8 6-Max PKO 433 $86,600 Niklas “Lena900” Astedt $16,022*

*includes bounty payments

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Yankees, MLB, Net Worth + More

Yankees, MLB, Net Worth + More

The Steinbrenner family is worth around $4 billion and owns stakes in multiple businesses.

However, most people only know them for owning one of the most famous sports teams in the world: The New York Yankees. 

The family’s ownership of the Yankees began with George Steinbrenner, a larger than life figure who won seven World Series titles with the team.

He also built the Yankee brand into an incredibly profitable business, one that brought in nearly $700 million in revenue during 2019 alone. 

So, whether they lift the Commissioner’s Trophy or not, the Steinbrenners are winners when every MLB season ends.

But how did the Steinbrenners end up in this win-win situation? 

To put it simply, because of “The Boss.”

It Starts With George

Image: Twitter/BronxZooNYY

The Steinbrenners were wealthy long before George came along.

The main source of their money was a shipping company, Kinsman Marine Transit, which the Steinbrenners got involved with in 1901. 

George Steinbrenner, known by everyone in the baseball world as “The Boss,” was born in Ohio in July 1930.

His father, Henry, was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and a collegiate level hurdler. George’s mother, Rita, was an Irish immigrant. 

By all accounts, Henry was a hard man and a control freak who ruled both the shipping company and his family with an iron fist.

George’s upbringing in Cleveland was difficult because of this as he explained in an interview:

“He [Henry] was a pusher. He led, and we followed. You could run three races in one day and get two firsts and a second, and the only thing he wanted to talk about was, How did you get beat? What did you do wrong? […] I was mad at him all the time. I was mad a lot. But I found myself working that much harder to prove to him I could do it.”

As a young man, George graduated from Williams College and Ohio State University. He had several jobs including being an Air Force officer and a college sports coach.

After his time coaching football, George gave in to the inevitable and joined the family shipping company in 1957.

He soon proved himself a good businessman by revitalizing the company.

One of George’s best business moves came when he bought up the American Shipbuilding Company. It merged with Kinsman in 1967 and brought further wealth to the family.

Six years later, George led a group of 12 people in buying The New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million.

At the time of purchasing, George said he would have nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the business. But within a year he had bought out most of the partners and was already making his presence felt. 

This was the beginning of a reign that would last over 30 years. 

The Yankees And The Boss

Image: Twitter/BSmile

As the owner of the Yankees, George was hell-bent on two things: Winning the World Series and transforming the Yankees into a money making machine. 

He achieved both.

The Yankees won seven World Series and 11 pennants under George thanks, in part, to his hard-nosed approach to team ownership.

This involved spending huge sums of money to lure star players from other teams, including Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson.

George also developed the Yankees minor league system, a talent development network that helped build Yankee icons like Derek Jeter. 

Never one to shy away from controversial decisions, George changed managers 20 times in his first 23 seasons and even implemented a personal appearance policy which banned players from having any facial hair apart from mustaches. A policy that still stands today.

From a financial aspect the Yankees were an even greater success under George. 

This was thanks to huge marketing deals including a 10-year agreement with Adidas that was worth $95 million.

The Yankees even built their own regional sports network, YES Network. In 2005 alone YES Network made $257 million in revenue. 

One year later the Yankees became the first baseball team to be valued at $1 billion.

But even this milestone did not slow George down.

During 2008 he joined forces with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to form Legends Hospitality, a business focused on event management and concessions that is worth over $1 billion today.

However, the late 2000s marked a decline in George’s health and he steadily gave his work over to members of his family. 

In 2010, he passed away from a heart attack at the age of 80. He was worth approximately $1.1 billion at the time.

Joan, George’s wife, who was vice chair of the Yankees, died eight years later. She was 83. 

The Steinbrenner Children 

George and Joan Steinbrenner
George and Joan Steinbrenner, 1973. [Image: Twitter/BSmile]

George and Joan Steinbrenner had four children: Hank, Jessica, Jennifer, and Hal. 

All four were named general partners in the Yankees, although some of the children have been more involved in the organization than others.

Forbes estimates that the four children each got one-fourth of George’s estate.

However, their combined familial wealth of nearly $4 billion dollars only makes them the 10th wealthiest owner in Major League Baseball. 

Hank Steinbrenner 

Hank Steinbrenner, the oldest of the four siblings, was 15 when his father bought the New York Yankees. He was involved with the team as a general manager apprentice and also as a general partner.

However, Hank turned down his father’s offer of running the team when George was banned from baseball during the 1990s. Instead, Hank preferred to breed horses on the family stud farm.

After George’s death, Hank’s younger brother Hal was named managing general partner as Hank did not wish to spend large amounts of time in New York. 

Although he had limited involvement in the Yankees throughout his life, Hank was very outspoken and was known for the same gruff, opinionated comments as his father.

Hank passed away in 2020 due to an illness. He was 63.

Jessica Steinbrenner

Another family member that has had limited involvement with the Yankees, despite her status as general partner, is Jessica Steinbrenner. 

Like Hank, Jessica prefers horses to baseballs and runs the family’s 880-acre stud farm, Kinsman Farm. She is also the author of two children’s books. 

Her ex-husband, Joe Molloy, was a vital part of the Yankees’ front office as managing general partner from 1988 to 1997.

He even ran the team during one of George’s suspensions. However, Molloy cut all ties with the team after he and Jessica divorced in 1998. 

Jennifer Steinbrenner

Many saw Jennifer Steinbrenner as the natural successor to George. She majored in business at the University of North Carolina and was even named a Morehead Scholar. 

Upon graduating, Jennifer worked in the Yankee’s public affairs department for a year but did not progress further.

This was due to her father’s misogynistic views on women in business, as Jennifer hinted at in an interview:

”Even if I wanted to move up in the organization, I would’ve never been allowed. Not in this family.”

In contrast, her first husband, Steve Swindal, was made general partner in the Yankees and was even named as George’s heir to take over the team. However, Swindal left the organization after the pair divorced in 2007. 

Instead of running the baseball side of things, Jennifer has dedicated her life to philanthropy.

She is a supporter of many charitable organizations and is the president of both the New York Yankees Foundation and the New York Yankees Tampa Foundation.

Hal Steinbrenner

Despite being the youngest of the Steinbrenner children, Hal has become the family’s leader.

Hal Steinbrenner
Image: Twitter/JLasagna43

This was a gradual process: Hal was elected chair of the Board of Yankee Global Enterprises in September 2007. This was followed by his confirmation as chairman 13 months later by all the MLB owners.

Since taking over the running of the Yankees from his father, Hal has shown a similar belief in spending big.

In recent years the Yankees have been at the center of some huge deals including paying $325 million for slugger Giancarlo Stanton and $324 million for pitcher Gerrit Cole.

Most recently, Hal signed off on a $360 million deal to retain record breaking home run hitter Aaron Judge.

Unlike his father, Hal has not had championship success to back up this spending.

The Yankees’ last World Series came in 2009 and recent playoff losses to the Houston Astros have been difficult for both the team and the family to swallow.

Business-wise, Hal has had some success during his time as Yankee chairman.

For example, the Steinbrenner family earned $584 million in 2012 when it sold part of YES Network to Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox. 

What Does The Future Hold?

Forbes recently valued the Yankees as the 4th most valuable sports team in the world. The franchise is now worth $6 billion. 

For comparison, the next most valuable MLB team is the Los Angeles Dodgers who ranked 26th in the world at $4.08 billion.

In other words, the Yankees are set to continue building their reputation as the league’s biggest earners.

As for the Steinbrenners, they seem determined to keep the Yankees in the family. 

“We’re all in,” Jennifer said to The New York Post. “I hope we own the team for eternity. You never know what life will bring, but we’re in it for the long haul.”

Hal has already got some of the younger Steinbrenner’s working in the various Yankee offices. At the moment, we’re still not sure who will get the nod as his successor. 

Whether it’s Hal or another Steinbrenner at the helm, New York Yankee fans will be hoping for one thing.

That the chair of the organization can do justice to The Boss’s memory and bring the World Series back to Yankee Stadium. 

Related articles:
? Top 10 Richest Baseball Players Ever
? The Odds Of Making It To MLB

Lead image: Twitter/Yankees

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Eric Althaus Promoted to General Manager of Rivers Philadelphia

Eric Althaus Promoted to General Manager of Rivers Philadelphia

Last week, PokerNews’ own Jesse Fullen and Matt Hansen traveled from Las Vegas to the other side of the country for our weeklong “East Coast Road Trip.” While there, they visited Rivers Philadelphia, formerly known as Sugar House Casino.

Their 28-table enclosed poker room hosted the $1,100 buy-in, $200K GTD Ultra Rush Event this past weekend, a tournament that attracted 622 entrants and awarded $51,000 to the winner. The successful poker event came on the heels of an organizational change at the property.

Eric Althaus Promoted to General Manager of Rivers Philadelphia 101

Earlier this month, Rush Street Gaming announced today that casino industry veteran Eric Althaus was promoted from assistant general manager to general manager at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Prior to being named assistant general manager in 2022, Althaus served as vice president of gaming at Rivers Casino Philadelphia, overseeing all gaming operations, including the recent first-in-Philly launch of Pulse Arena.

Eric Althaus
Eric Althaus

“Eric’s leadership and familiarity with Rivers Casino Philadelphia will allow for a seamless transition and continuity with key initiatives,” said Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rush Street Gaming. “Our entire Rivers Casino Philly team has been doing a terrific job. We’re looking forward to the upcoming unveiling of the much-anticipated Martorano’s Prime, along with other exciting projects in 2023.”

Before coming to Rivers Philly, Althaus was President and General Manager of Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in West Virginia; and earlier served as Vice President General Manager of Gun Lake Casino in Michigan. He began his casino career as a table games dealer and supervisor at several Midwestern casinos.

“We have amazing talent here in Philly, and we’re continuing the strong forward momentum we’ve gained over the past year,” said Althaus. “Our success is the direct result of the team’s hard work and dedication.”

Check out highlights from the East Coast Road Trip here!

About Rush Street Gaming

Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates have developed and operate Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Des Plaines, Illinois (Chicago area); Schenectady, New York; and Portsmouth, Virginia. By placing an emphasis on superior design and outstanding customer service, Rush Street Gaming has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States.

Rush Street’s casinos employ approximately 5,000 Team Members and generate more than $1.5 billion in annual gaming revenue. All Rush Street Gaming casinos have been voted a “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” by their Team Members. For more information, visit

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

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

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Ramin Hajiyev Conquers $200,000 Luxon Invitational in Cyprus For $4.1 Million

Ramin Hajiyev Conquers $200,000 Luxon Invitational in Cyprus For $4.1 Million

It was a good day for Ramin Hajiyev, who walked away from The $200,000 Luxon Invitational with the biggest live cash of his career. In fact, his first-place prize of $4,122,554 was more than every other live cash on his Hendon Mob put together.

Hajiyev’s victory came at the expense of Tobias Duthweiler, who took second place, and a specially selected field of 86 poker, business, and celebrity sharks. Hajiyev has had a rough run of it at Triton events, but this event should set that all to rights.

“There was, I would say, a quite not good run,” Hajiyev told Ali Nejad in his post-win interview. “And I was maybe running a bit worse in Triton events. When I came here last year, I just loved the event, the organization. I said, Wow if you’re gonna win something, that’s the one.”

The $200,000 Luxon Invitational Complete Event Results

Position Name Country Prize
1st Ramin Hajiyev Azerbaijan $4,122,554
2nd Tobias Duthweiler Germany $3,606,446
3rd Patrik Antonius Finland $2,100,000
4th Sean Winter United States $1,640,000
5th Punnat Punsri Thailand $1,325,000
6th Wai Kiat Lee Malaysia $1,030,000
7th Sosia Jiang New Zealand $820,000
8th Wai Yong Malaysia $636,000
9th Ben Heath England $481,000
10th Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey $369,500
11th Philip Sternheimer England $369,500
12th Eng Ewe Malaysia $350,000
13th Linus Loeliger Switzerland $350,000

A Fearsome Final Nine

The Luxon Invitational was a special event in the Triton Poker Series Cyprus. Players were selected from a number of VIPs who, in turn, were allowed to invite a plus one. Some brought pros they wanted to mix it up with.

There were plenty of returning faces from last year’s event edition (sponsored by Coin Rivet). Linus Loeliger managed to cash this year after making the final table in 2022. That event was won by Sam Grafton.

The event’s unique makeup made for a star-studded final table.

Patrik Antonius and Sean Winter were on hand to represent the poker establishment. Not that they were likely to have an easy time of it. Every other player at the final table was either a recognizable pro like Sosia Jiang or Punnat Punsri or a VIP with a history of playing high rollers. All of them had seven-figure Hendon Mob pages.

Hajiyev was a VIP, not a pro. Plus, he had gone nought for nine so far at the Triton Series Cyprus. It may have been a sharks-only final table, but Hajiyev was among a school of megs.

Boredom And Terror At The Final Table

The final table had a very slow start, with no eliminations or even much in the way of big pots for the first three hours.

Then finally, Ben Heath ran his AJ into Punsri’s AK and hit the rail. Just a few hands later, the eventual runner-up, Duthweiler tripled up, taking a chunk out of Sean Winter’s stack and the entirety of Wai Yong’s.

Sean Winter

This set the pattern for the table with hours of slow play, followed by eliminations separated by minutes.

By the time Jiang and Wai Kiat Lee were eliminated in seventh and sixth place, respectively. Hajiyev now had the biggest stack at the table and was up against four top pros, including Winter and Antonius.

Hajiyev’s mojo had momentum now, and within forty-five minutes, there was just one pro left. Duthweiler was already at a chip disadvantage with 8.1 million in chips to Hajiyev’s 17.7 million.

Duthweiler’s stack had shrunk to 5.6 million when—with blinds at 200k/400k with a 400k big blind ante—he picked up two red eights. Duthweiler limped from the button, allowing Hajiyev to move in with AK. Duthweiler called, and the dealer did her thing.

A king on the flop for Hajiyev was good enough for the title, and Duthweiler took second place and $3.6 million.

Lead photo courtesy Triton Poker via Twitter

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PokerStars Shares 2023 UKIPT Schedule; Five UK Stops Planned

PokerStars Shares 2023 UKIPT Schedule; Five UK Stops Planned

The folks at PokerStars have released the schedule for the 2023 UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT), which sees five series on UK soil as well as an upcoming jaunt to the Malta Summer Festival.

“We are delighted to bring back the full schedule of the UKIPT, including five stops across the UK, as well as the Irish Poker Open, which was a huge success earlier this year. I am also very pleased to announce that our UKIPT Tournament leaderboard has been introduced and will include the Summer Festival Malta”, said Cedric Billot, Associate Director for Live Events.

Each UK stop will feature a £1,100 UKIPT Main Event and a £2,200 UKIPT High Roller, where players can satellite into for a fraction of the buy-in on PokerStars. Furthermore, the UKIPT Grand Final is booked for Nottingham and features a £1 million guarantee, while the London leg will also include a Women’s event.

2023 UKIPT Schedule

Date Stop Venue
June 27-July 2 Malta Summer Festival Intercontinental Arena
July 11-16 Blackpool Grosvenor Casino Blackpool
Sept 5-10 Brighton Rendezvous Casino
Sept 19-24 London Hippodrome & The Dilly
Oct 24-29 Edinburgh Genting Fountain Park
Nov 4-14 Nottingham Dusk Till Dawn

Player of the Year Leaderboard Returns

Also returning to the UKIPT this year is the Player of the Year leaderboard, which promises some fantastic prizes for the winners. The leaderboard has been reintroduced to recognize and reward consistency throughout the entire season. The better your performance in an event, the more points you will accumulate on the leaderboard.

At the conclusion of the series by the end of 2023, the top three participants will be awarded the following prizes (and yes, results from The Irish Open will be added):

  • 1st prize: A £15,000 package for UKIPT 2024, which includes £11,000 worth of live event credits for 2024 and £4,000 in cash for expenses.
  • 2nd prize: £2,200 worth of live event credits for 2024.
  • 3rd prize: £1,100 worth of live event credits for 2024.

Players who successfully cash in an eligible event (Multi-Table Tournaments with a buy-in exceeding £220/€220, excluding satellites) will be rewarded with points. These points will be determined by their final ranking in the tournament and the total number of entries in the event.

Full terms and conditions about the UKIPT PoY leaderboard can be found on PokerStars Live.

Use the PokerStars Welcome Bonus to Start Your UKIPT Journey

New depositing PokerStars customers can claim a welcome bonus worth up to $400. Download PokerStars via PokerNews, create your free account and decide how much you want to deposit. Your deposit is matched 100% up to $400 as a bonus. In fact, your first three deposits in the first 60 days after making your first deposit are matched up to a combined total of $400.

The bonus releases into your playable balance in $10 increments each time you generate 180 redemption points, which in turn are earned at a rate of five per $1 contributed to the cash game rake or spent on tournament fees (6.5 points per £1, 5.5 points per €1, and four points per CAD$).

Name Surname
Calum Grant

Editor & Live Reporter

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

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