Related Companies’ Final Filings for Hudson Yards License

Related Companies' Final Filings for Hudson Yards License

As the time to open up applications for three New York downstate casino licenses is getting closer, the bidders are employing ultimate efforts to convince the state authorities of the viability of their respective proposals. The real-estate development corporation Related Companies has recently filed a rezoning application to the Department of City Planning as a part of the $12 billion proposal for casino development in Hudson Yards to be now looking to eliminate both rezoning and license obstacles.

$12 Billion Hudson Yards Casino Proposal:

Related Companies and entertainment giant Wynn Resorts partnered in 2022 to start the race for one of the three downstate casino licenses available. As there are around ten other bidders for the license, each of them is now polishing their proposals trying to convince authorities of their eligibility for a casino license in the New York City area. As New York Daily Post (NYDP) reports, Related Companies’ proposed Hudson Yards casino development would include a 13-acre site with a casino, hotel, offices, housing, public school and open space.

According to NYDP, the partners have not revealed much detail about the proposed development. However, the projected spending has risen from $10 billion announced in May 2023 to the current $12 billion threshold. On February 20, 2024, Related Companies reportedly submitted a rezoning request to the city’s competent authority to detail the transformation of the Hudson Yard area if Related and Wynn are granted a casino license.

Filing Rezoning Application:

The transformation will have to include a new platform above the rail yard operated by Long Island Rail Road across the site, as NYDP reports. However, the company assures that its plan will not interrupt the rail road passenger service. Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for Related, reportedly stated:  “We are excited to continue engaging with stakeholders across the local community as part of the city land-use process for the undeveloped rail yards. The opportunity to bring a world-class resort to Hudson Yards will catalyze the master plan for the broader Western Yards and $12 billion in total investment.’’

Weinstein added: ‘’As the state’s parallel process moves forward, we look forward to unveiling our full proposed plan which will provide thousands of jobs, billions in revenue and community benefits, a new park, affordable housing, a school and more.” The development site is located west of the existing Hudson Yards and accessible via W. 33rd and W. 30th Streets, and on the west by 12th Avenue, according to the source.

Extensive Five-Year Development:

If approved, the project will reportedly include a 2.6 million-square foot casino, as well as a 1,750-room hotel resort featuring a ballroom and conference space. The facility will also feature a range of amenities and food and beverage outlets, as well as 500 parking spaces. The casino would reportedly spread over five stories of the gaming facility with a maximum of 80 stories built above it. According to the source, the site would include two additional skyscrapers with 80 and, respectively 74 stories with offices, retail, public school, cultural institution, and more than 1,500 apartments. Construction would be complete around 2030, according to NYDP.

Viable Development:

Related Companies rely on the rezoning documents submitted to secure the license. Although the documents include a version without a casino, Weinstein reportedly said that the version with the casino would be a ‘’viable development” capable of delivering the promised public benefits. As reported, the rezoning of the site would replace the 2009 version anticipating a mixed-use development above the western rail yard by 2025. Having filed the rezoning application to the Department of City Planning, Related Companies hope to have covered all the requirements. It will be known soon after the state starts accepting casino license applications.

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Best New Online Slots of the Week | February 23, 2024

SOTW feature image - best new online slots of the week February 23, 2024

We’re kicking the octane levels to high for our best new online slots of the week. Nolimit City returns with another dose of intense action in Fire in the Hole 2. Plus, Thunderkick is going in for the kill with Xterminate.

Not to be outdone, Reelplay joins the party with Bounty Hunt Reloaded. It’s just for Fantasma Games to soften the mood with some fantasy action in Shadow Summoner Elementals.

Remember, you can try all these great new online slots for free here. Click on the links to play gratis in your web browser or via your smartphone.

Go prospecting with the greedy dwarf in Fire in the Hole 2 from Nolimit City. Unlock reels and paylines, but watch out for the xBomb wilds that can really enhance your wins.  

Mining-themed slots have come a long way since Black Gold and Dynamite Digger started appearing at online casinos. With the first Fire in the Hole slot, you knew that Nolimit City’s foray into the genre would be a hit. With the new game, Fire in the Hole 2, Nolimit City is upping the ante and then some.

Fire in the Hole 2 wouldn’t be a Nolimit City slot without a few explosive bonus features or three. The slot features collapsing mines and – of course – xBomb Wild explosions during the base game.

You start the game playing on a 3×6 reel setup with three more rows blocked. The number of win lines is 486, but more lines and rows can be unlocked with a collapse.

You trigger a collapse by hitting winning combinations or landing an xBomb Wild. The special wild explodes to remove adjacent symbols on the reels. In addition, a progressive win multiplier kicks in and increases for each successive collapse.

You also unlock rows and paylines by hitting the Wild Mining feature. This bonus awards 1–4 extra wilds on the reels.

Of course, Fire in the Hole 2 wouldn’t be a Nolimit City slot without some free spins action. Trigger the Lucky Wagon Spins bonus to unleash three re-spins that reset after every winning collapse. You can also unlock enhancers such as multipliers and prize treasure chests.

Nolimit City continues to put out some of the best new online slots. Check out Fire in the Hole 2 for free today and see if you agree.

Unleash 100x multipliers in Shadow Summoner Elementals, the magical new slot from Fantasma Games. Trigger one of four magic tomes for even bigger enhancers!

It’s appropriate that a slot developer called Fantasma Games should release one of the year’s best magic-themed games. That’s what we have on our hands with Shadow Summoner Elementals, a mystical game that features a range of modifiers depending on how nimble the magician is with her fingers.

You play the game as Isabelle, the Shadow Summoner. The spells she casts unlock new levels to help her master the different elements. Simply fill the elementals meter to unlock a new totem.

Totems reveal modifiers, including replicating wilds. Plus, all four different totem features are available during the free spins feature. Land four bonus icons to unlock the free spins round.

The base game and free spins round use an Avalanche mechanic. Any winning combinations are removed from play and replaced by the icons above. In addition, an increasing multiplier comes into play for each avalanche you manage to land in a row.

The big selling point of Shadow Summoner Elementals is the graphics. The magical neon drawings are absolutely beautiful and lift the slot from the realms of the ordinary. Toss in an RTP of 96.31% and a 26.93% hit rate and you have the makings of one of 2024’s most exciting slots. Give it a spin for free today.

Brace yourself for high-volatility thrills in Thunderkick’s Xterminate. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will have you gunning for the big jackpots.  

Xterminate slot reels Thunderkick - best new online slots of the week February 23, 2024

Riding on Nolimit City’s coattails, Thunderkick bring the noise with Xterminate, a futuristic slot that features charged wilds and explosive bomb symbols for added thrills. A max jackpot worth 25,000x just adds to the excitement.

Xterminate is a six-reel slot with a cyberpunk vibe. Warriors do battle on the reels with cyborgs, but all characters have it in them to award big payouts.

You win by matching 8+ symbols in any position. In that regard, all symbols in Xterminate work like scatters. Plus, you trigger an avalanche where winning symbols disappear to be replaced by those appearing above them on the reels. You also activate a multiplier that accumulates with each successive Avalanche.

As in Fire in the Hole 2, you may land bomb symbols when you play the game. The bomb explodes but will protect the most common appearing symbol provided there is no win.

It’s the Charged Wild we love most, however. The Charged Wild stays on the reels for 1–3 “lives,” provided you use it to make a winning combination. The Charged Wild disappears once you run out of lives.

The RTP of 94.12% in Xterminate may be alarming, but the Charged Wild and bomb feature can ensure a good hit rate when you play. The lack of free spins isn’t an issue with what is effectively a Hold & Win bonus included. Why not give the game a spin for free today and see if you like it?

We end our roundup of the best new online slots of the week with Bounty Hunt Reloaded. It’s a neo-noir game by Reelplay that puts you on the hunt for a bunch of futuristic bad guys. Will you bag the baddie and the loot when you play?

Bounty Hunt Reloaded slot reels Reelplay - best new online slots of the week February 23, 2024

Following hot on the heels of Xterminate comes Bounty Hunt Reloaded from Reelplay. It’s the perfect slot for any fans of The Matrix or Blade Runner.

The gun target appears on each spin and targets a symbol at random. If it picks out the bounty hunter, he will turn wild in addition to a random symbol on the other reels. All other characters will turn wild if they are chosen by the bounty hunter target.

In addition, you may randomly trigger a reload where the crosshair chooses an extra symbol to turn wild.

It’s nice to say there is also a free spins bonus in Bounty Hunt Reloaded. Simply land 3+ Wanted scatters to win free spins. Alternatively, you win free spins if the crosshair picks out a Wanted target. You can retrigger free spins during the bonus phase.

With an RTP just north of 96% and a cool future vibe, Bounty Hunt Reloaded will be taking up our time in the VSO office this week. Will you be joining us? Play the game for free and decide today.

For more exciting games, make sure you visit our New Online Slots page!

The post Best New Online Slots of the Week | February 23, 2024 appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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Operators All Over the World Get a Chance to Advance Their Businesses Through New SPRIBE’s Product Broadway Platform

Operators All Over the World Get a Chance to Advance Their Businesses Through New SPRIBE’s Product Broadway Platform

The famous developer of crash games, SPRIBE, decided to take a new spin on its business and come up with a new, innovative solution, Broadway Platform.

Innovative product

SPRIBE, which is known as a leading crash game in the world, changed the perspective of both players and operators when it comes to this type of game. Now, the company shows its uniqueness and innovation by launching the new Broadway Platform.

Broadway Platform is a brand-new iGaming Platform (PAM) that allows players to enjoy a range of online sportsbooks and casino suites. The sportsbook available on the platform has various betting options. Players will be able to enjoy 100,000 pre-match events, as well as 70,000 live events across 3,000 markets. There will be available 125 sports in total, including esports.

A team of more than 80 experts in the industry are hired to help in expert trading and risk management. Their main goal is to achieve an average margin of 14% for pre-match and 10% for live events.

As the name suggests, the Broadway Platform will provide its customers with various singing and dancing online casino products. The offering will include over 16,000 games, and among them will be always-popular slots, table games, crash games, as well as live dealers. On top of that, the players will get a chance to enjoy various global and local jackpots, and the products will be obtained from more than 200 providers from all over the world.

This advanced product features a certified RNG system, along with back-office reporting and monitoring tools that make the experience smoother. On top of that, the support is available across various channels, currencies, and languages, so everyone can be taken care of.

The platform is easy to navigate, and its back-office tools are the fastest in the industry.

Fantastic tools and features

Great news for the operators is that they can provide customers with safe and secure payment solutions through Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, PIX, and crypto.

The platform’s content management system is user-friendly, with various advanced features and instant website updates. Thanks to a modern CRM tool, operators can manage customers through a data warehouse, which allows them to analyze their behavior, segment the audience, and thanks to the algorithm, start the promotions they want to utilize.

The Risk Management Tool allows real-time monitoring. When it comes to marketing, the Affiliate Tool allows automated marketing options that can increase engagement and customers’ interest in the platform.

Giorgi Samkharadze, Head of Broadway Platform, said: “SPRIBE is a pioneering technology company, but even we did not expect Broadway Platform to be as innovative and cutting-edge as it is. This is a game-changing technology stack that offers the fastest set-up time in the industry alongside streamlined management and effortless operation. There really is no other solution like it in the market and we are incredibly excited to see operators unlock its full potential.”

Source: Miller, George. “Introducing Broadway Platform from SPRIB”. European Gaming. February 20, 2024.

The post Operators All Over the World Get a Chance to Advance Their Businesses Through New SPRIBE’s Product Broadway Platform appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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US Commercial Gaming Revenue Set All-Time Record of $66.5bn in 2023

Casino slot machines

Online gambling keeps growing

US commercial gaming revenue continues to set new records, reaching a new high mark of $66.5bn in 2023. The American Gaming Association (AGA) data shows a year-on-year increase of 10%, the third consecutive year gaming revenue reached a new high.

The biggest growth segment was sports betting, with gross gaming revenue (GGR) up 45% to nearly $11bn. It passed land-based table games as the second highest-grossing vertical.

online gambling is driving significant growth

Another noteworthy result was iGaming with $6.2bn GGR and a 23% increase. Online gambling is driving significant growth and accounted for about one-quarter of the total gross gaming revenue last year. Slot machines still rule the roost after producing $35.5bn for operators in 2023, marking a rise of almost 4%.

No end in sight

The strong performance of commercial gambling in the US doesn’t look like it is slowing down any time soon. The Q4 total of $17.4bn and the $6.2bn December revenue were both new records for quarterly and monthly metrics.

Tribal-related gambling revenue is not a part of the AGA’s data.

The Las Vegas Strip is still the best-performing commercial casino market in the country, experiencing bigger year-on-year gains than any other region. Atlantic City is next on the list, followed by Chicagoland. A dozen of the top 20 commercial casino markets enjoyed revenue growth in 2023.

Looking to the future

The success of commercial gambling is also very beneficial for both local and state governments. The sector generated about $14.4bn in direct taxes last year, not including the money that comes from corporate taxes, payroll, sales, and income.

demand from adult Americans is at an all-time high

Talking about the continuing success of the sector, AGA CEO and President Bill Miller noted that the demand from adult Americans is at an all-time high. To continue the momentum, Miller believes that it will require “unified industry efforts around combating pernicious illegal operators and growing responsible gambling efforts in tandem with the growth of the legal market.”

The post US Commercial Gaming Revenue Set All-Time Record of $66.5bn in 2023 appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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Best and Worst Nosebleed Seats According to Fan-Driven Data

Best and Worst Nosebleed Seats According to Fan-Driven Data

Just last week, $6,000 could get you 226 feet in the air at one of the worst seats in the Super Bowl LVIII. Pair that with the 2190-foot elevation at the Allegiant Stadium and you’re in for a highly probable nosebleed. That said, spirits (and heights) were high. This opened a broader conversation to be had surrounding cheaper stadium seating: as altitude climbs, does quality drop?  

We dove deep into the data to evaluate factors that help define what a “good nosebleed” seat consists of, as oxymoronic as it sounds. The factors were as follows:  

  • View Quality: Assess the visibility of the playing field or stage from the nosebleed seats. Considering factors like sightlines and obstructions 
  • Height: Measure the height of the highest nose bleeds from the ground and compare that with the elevation of the stadium’s location 
  • Price: Evaluate the affordability of the nosebleed seats compared to other seating options in the stadium. Consider the starting price for nosebleed seats 
  • Accessibility: Examine the ease of access to and from the nosebleed seats using 8 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) factors 
  • Atmosphere: Evaluate the atmosphere and energy in the nosebleed seats section. Consider factors like crowd engagement and attendance 
  • Customer Reviews: Incorporate feedback and reviews from previous attendees who have experienced the nosebleed seats by scraping Tripadvisor reviews for “nosebleed” seats 

With such factors defined we were able to collect the data and weigh each factor in accordance with its importance to overall “nose-bleedness.” From there, we indexed each stadium based on the weighted score.  

Key findings: 

  • The worst stadium for nosebleeds goes to the Chicago Bull’s United Center scoring 12/100 
  • Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field was considered the #1 best stadium for nosebleeds 
  • The major league to have the overall best nosebleed seats was the NFL 
  • Coors Field was the location most likely to actually give you a nosebleed  

The Nation’s Best Nosebleed Seats 

When you see that your assigned seat is 600-something, some might gasp, but others might celebrate all the same. Not all nosebleed seats are created equal, and, in fact, some nosebleeds can actually offer a real good time, bar the minor altitude sickness.  

The best nosebleed seats in the US go to the Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field. It’s no secret that Cheeseheads know how to party, and the sentiment holds, even from the rafters. With the highest score on the nosebleed index, Packers fans take home a perfect 100/100. Although some of the pricier starting points in professional sports, a minimum of $105 if you’re lucky, Lambeau Field has proven it’s worth every penny. When we scraped the Tripadvisor reviews for nosebleed seats, we found nothing but positivity. One fan even went on to call it the “holy grail of the NFL.” How’s that for a rave review? 

With a minimum amount of obstructed view seats and high crowd engagement scores, the nosebleeds in Green Bay are bound to be a joy. You may not get to indulge in the “Lambeau Leap” from way up above, but the fandom is all the same from VIP to cloud-level seating. 

Keeping it in the NFL family, second place goes to CenturyLink/Lumen Field, home to both the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Founders. Seahawks fans pride themselves on their 2x Guinness World Record for crowd roar, if it gives any clue to how exciting these nosebleeds can be. Fans can expect high accessibility with the stadium scoring 8/8 on our ADA-factors score, a great atmosphere, and reasonably priced tickets, starting at $80.  

Can we get a yeehaw? Third place goes to the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. To round off our top three, we’re lassoing one of Texas’ biggest and best sports arenas. AT&T Stadium takes the cake for unique reasons. In addition to traditional “nosebleeds,” this stadium added a standing section for the true devotees. They may not be the most comfortable seats in the house, sans seats of course, but at a value of $29, you get what you pay for, nosebleeds and all.  

Worst Nosebleed Seats in the Country Goes to… 

We don’t want to bull you around, on this one. Fans have rightful beef with as the Chicago Bull’s United Center comes in #1 for worst nosebleeds in the country. Despite having the second largest fanbase in the NBA franchise, the Bull’s home court isn’t paying nearly as much gratitude as it should. Their 16.7 million fans have to face steep inclines up to their 140-foot-high seats and at a pretty penny too. At one of the costliest starting price points out of all major league sports, even the least significant game starts at $107.00. And your precious life savings could look like this: 

Source: A View From My Seat, user Psiclone

But hey, at least you’ll be able to see the giant, inflatable bull mascot from any seat in the house!  

We’re tossing the ball to another NBA stadium for the second worst in nosebleed seats in the country. The Brooklyn Net’s home court of Barclay’s Center came in second to last for nosebleed seats. Scoring a 13/100, 70% lower than its NBA equivalent at large.  Below we can see a WWE event held at the Barclays Center, where the user goes on to comment, “Clear view of the ring however if this was basketball or hockey the view would be blocked.”

Source: A View From My Seat, user Bigdogjeff

Despite recent stardom, the third to last place stadium goes to Allegiant Stadium. As one of the newer sports stadiums in the country, hopes were high for a five-star experience regardless of the section. Where they delivered in some areas, they fell short in others. Although Allegiant Stadium is the second-most expensive stadium in the world, most of that money was funneled into the VIP sections, with little thought to the high-up seats. The steeper-than-steep climb to the nosebleeds results in a low accessibility score paired with the literal probability of getting a nosebleed during the game (elevation + seat height), making the Raiders’ home stadium rank low.  

Best Fans in the ‘Bleeds  

They say “location, location, location” but for some die-hard fans, location is only a minor play in game day hype. Back to the hootin’ and hollerin’ of Texas, AT&T Stadium comes in first place for atmosphere and crowd engagement. On average, the Cowboys reel in 93594 fans for each home game. The stadium’s capacity sits at 105,000, meaning an 89% occupancy rate. Talk about die-hard fans!  

Interestingly, the Cowboys also ranked the #1 most hated franchise in the league, according to a recent study. Perhaps the hate fuels their team spirit? Their attendance isn’t the only measure, as 1 in 10 Cowboy Fans also believe they have the best game-day atmosphere in the league. How ‘bout them Cowboys?!  

Source: A View From My Seat, user Kebabegott

The Giants and Jets home arena brings out “the New Yorker in them” as the MetLife Stadium ranked #2 for best nosebleed atmosphere. The MetLife Stadium, in its full, actually ranks as one of the worst stadiums in the league, but nose-bleeders would beg to differ. When The Athletic interviewed NFL players, the majority listed MetLife as the worst to play in. Maybe the on-the-ground experience is a bust, but the turf is greener on the upper side at MetLife. Averaging some record attendance between the Jets and the Giants, the stadium stays lively. Amongst other factors, their crowd engagement score earned them second-best nosebleed fans.  

Best and Worst Professional Sports League for Nosebleed Seats 

Regardless of teams, each league has its own style of stadium. Basketball offers a narrow, but small setting, the NFL circles fans around its wide field, and baseball clusters spectators in a C-shape. Some leagues are better than others when it comes to nosebleed bliss.  

The #1 major league sport for best nosebleed seating goes to the NFL. With the top 10 out of 35 major sports arenas in the US being NFL stadiums, football nosebleeds are the clear winner. The landscape of the field offers wide views for catching all the plays meaning minimally obstructed views as compared to the MLB, for example, which must accommodate nets, structural columns, etc. Plus a good ole’ fashion tailgate before the game doesn’t hurt to get even the worst of seats in the mood for fandom.  

“Take me out to the ballgame” can be sung and enjoyed from even the highest of seats. The MLB ranked second for major league sports arenas. With the majority of MLB arenas boasting open-air seating and a tolerable height from the ground, these nosebleeds aren’t the best but aren’t the worst either. 

Get your spectacles ready as the NBA ranks the worst major sports league for nosebleed seating. NBA arenas had the steepest climb out of all the leagues and a higher percentage of obstructed view seats. Better to let your wallet bleed and buy a better seat when it comes to the NBA. 

Where you’re most likely to get an actual nosebleed  

They don’t call it nosebleeds for nothing, right? Although meant to be hyperbolic, there’s some truth to the term. Higher altitudes, thinner air, and a drastic change in temperature can actually cause your gameday to go from rad to red-stained. So which stadiums do you have a higher chance of getting a nosebleed? 

The Colorado Rockies’ home at Coors Field might make you a bit uneasy when it comes to altitude. At 5,200 feet above sea level, it’s the highest sports arena in the country. Air density is only 82% of what it is at sea level which could be just cause for both nosebleeds and curve balls according to some defensive fans. As the major league leader in “park factor”, we can understand why.  

A bloody debrief 

We hope you don’t ever have to put truth to the trope, but at least you know which stadiums to steer clear of and where you can rally with the rest of them. Put on your cheese hat and hit the nosebleeds at Lambeau Field or have a rowdy good time in the rafters at Lumen Field. On the flip side, and for the sake of your sinuses, stay away from the United Center and Barclays Center. You’ve been bloody warned! 


Using quantitative observation, web scraping, and secondary data, we collected different metrics from the top 35 major sports arenas in the US. We determined the 35 most “prominent” arenas by summing these factors:  

  • Capacity: The stadiums with the largest seating capacities 
  • Historical Significance: Stadiums listed have a long history of hosting important sports events and are iconic landmarks in their respective cities 
  • Professional Sports Teams: The stadiums are home to professional sports teams that compete in popular leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS 

We then weighed each factor for “nosebleeds” according to importance and relevance. Finally, we combined these numbers to create a score and rank regarding seats in the claimed “nosebleed” sections. 

Fair Use 

Feel free to use the data or visuals on this page for non-commercial purposes. Please be sure to include proper attribution linking back to this page to give credit to the authors. 

For any press questions, please contact riley.clark[at] 

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Deep Runs, Memorable Tournaments in Paris

Poker chips arranged to form the French flag

Heck of a start

As a poker pro, I constantly remind myself that it’s all one big lifelong session, and that worrying about short term results is as useful as worrying about weather. That said, on live trips, it’s always nice to start with a result. This is truer on major month-long excursions like the WSOP where a bad first week can make you feel beaten up and chasing only a quarter of the way through your campaign, while a good start can give you the feeling of nothing to lose now. This is particularly true when that result nets more than your likely buy-ins for the entire trip, as was the case for me in Paris when I took third in the opening 1k Freezeout for over 25k. This was my biggest Hendon Mob score since 17th in an online WSOP event during the pandemic, and my biggest live score in over five years since my Party Millions final table in Nottingham.

The tournament itself was not particularly memorable or remarkable apart from the result, mainly a procession through a number of standard spots and flips where I ran well enough to stay in. I built a stack early on, but prolonged card death and table draws that didn’t allow for much creativity meant I bagged up a bit less than average. Day 2 was a parade of standard shoves and re-shoves to keep my head above water but still below average, until I caught some heat on the second-to-last table and got to apply a lot of ICM pressure, so that when the final table formed, I was second in chips.

I was very happy with my play, particularly in the endgame

The final table was an up and down affair for me where I wrestled the chip lead at one point, only to find myself shortest with four left. I clawed my way up to third and then took out the always impressive Ankit Anuja (who was a guest on the most recent Chip Race!) to move into joint second. I then got it in effectively flipping post flop versus the other joint second, and didn’t prevail. Overall though, I was very happy with my play, particularly in the endgame. I’ve done a lot of specific ICM study recently with my study buddies Monica Vaka and Turlough McHugh, and it makes me feel a lot more confident being able to execute when I am still in with two tables left. It’s almost a relief when you bust in a standard flip as it means you fade having to live with yourself after a major mistake.

FPS Main Event and High Roller

Next up was the FPS Main Event, where I again made Day 2 and cashed. In many ways it was a repeat of the opening event, except I built and maintained a bigger stack on Day 1 but ran out of steam earlier on Day 2. The event was won outright by former Chip Race guest Matti Moolhuizen, who makes up half of my favorite couple in poker. Here’s a photo of what looks like me officiating at their wedding, but is actually me signing a copy of Poker Satellite Strategy for them at my first ever book signing years ago.

The last event of the trip was the FPS High Roller, but before that, I got to take part in the VIP invitational tournament. Things were looking pretty good for me and my VegasSlotsOnline News colleague David Lappin, when I was chip leader early on and he wasn’t far behind, but then we kept running into Aces to finish 8th and 9th, respectively, with only seven paid.

In the FPS High Roller, I quickly built a stack again, albeit in fortuitous fashion when I got Kings in against Aces and Ace-Jack. I was already getting ready to click “re-enter” on my phone when the flop came down Q-T-9, but running clubs gave me a flush and the winning hand.

A tortuous bubble meant I withered back to just seven big blinds going into Day 2.

I went extremely card dead for a long time through a series of tables, one of which may be the toughest I’ve ever played at live (it featured Santiago Plante, Joey Weissman, Georgi Sandev, Leo Margets, and Maria Lampropoulus). A tortuous bubble meant I withered back to just seven big blinds going into Day 2. Lappin was having a much more eventful bubble that included a verbal altercation with Tom Vogelsang and Parker Talbot. Lappin has written an entire article on it, so I have little to add except that I noticed that many of the most zealous callers of clock are a lot less observant of other rules, such as no phones when they have cards, and no talking that could influence action in multi-way pots.

I’d also like to point out that the floor handled the situation perfectly, quickly deciding the clock call was uncalled for, and admonishing the PokerStars ambassador who felt the need to involve himself in an altercation at another table.

France is a wonderful host

I went into this event a little apprehensive because while I didn’t attend last year, everyone I knew who did came home with horror stories. The Stars live team has a record of learning from mistakes quickly, and that was in evidence this year. Increased capacity and staffing levels made for a very well-run event.  I’m not a particularly patriotic person, but it does fill me with some sense of national pride to see so many of the best live events staff as products of the Irish poker scene, be they born in Ireland, based in Ireland, or learned their craft in Ireland.

good old Irish efficiency and common sense went a long way

Whether it was head of security Tony, my namesake Dara Hanlon marshalling the security bracelet lines, live events supremo Dave Curtis overseeing everything, or the host of other Irish based or Irish produced dealers and floor staff who are the very best at what they do, good old Irish efficiency and common sense went a long way to smoothing the challenges of arguably Europe’s most regulation-happy market. The things they think of to outlaw, like massages at the table, eating at the table, big blind antes in PLO tournaments, paperless registrations, or reentries in all but your first flight boggle the mind sometimes.

But there’s much to appreciate about France and the French too. They are remarkably welcoming. They are remarkably tolerant of not being allowed to talk their own language at the table in their own country (something I wouldn’t be surprised to see changed by regulation, and who could blame them?). Their food and culture are second to none, and they possess a civility that other countries could learn from. This was in evidence when a lady on my table stone bubbled the FPS high roller and nobody celebrated, much to the surprise of watching bloggers. As I get older, I become more aware of the creeping ageism I encounter on my trips abroad, but the French are famous for their inter-generational harmony and respect for their elders, and the only ageism I encountered on this trip came from visitors.

Success on multiple levels

On a personal level, three cashes from three events and a podium finish felt very good and continues the growing confidence I’ve been feeling live recently. The event was also a massive success for the organizers, both in terms of numbers and player experience. PokerStars live events are also on a bit of a roll after massively successful EPT stops in Barcelona and Prague, the biggest ever UKIPT in Nottingham, and now this. They wisely discontinued the PCA in the Bahamas which has long been a bit of a curate’s egg on the schedule and an unpopular destination, and pulled their act together in Paris.

I have heard they, too, have learned from past mistakes

Their next major event is the Irish Open, which I also expect to be a massive success, maybe the biggest Open ever. I have heard they, too, have learned from past mistakes, and this year have tweaked things to ensure side events won’t need to be cancelled, or octogenarians like Kevin O’Donnell forced to play long days way past their bedtime. Who knows, they might even get commentators into the booth who know a few of the local players, or at least how to pronounce their names.

My deep runs in all the events I bought into left little time for socializing, but I did manage to go for dinner with recent Lock In guest Maria Konnikova on our first night there. Better yet, she finally got to meet Mrs. Doke, who she had long suspected was a figment of my imagination, and we treated her to a joint rendition of our how we met story, a highlight of which seems to be how different our memories are on almost every point.

I also greatly enjoyed the number of people I hadn’t met before who took the time to say how much they had learned from the books I have written with Barry. An absolute highlight was getting meet Bert “Girafganger” Stevens for the first time in person. He doesn’t disappoint, and Mrs. Doke has a new favorite poker player. I even found her watching his videos back in the room, and singing along to “Fire,” which she informed me was her favorite song as a teenager.

The post Deep Runs, Memorable Tournaments in Paris appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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