Newsround – the latest poker news

PokerStars Hangs On in Australia

Making poker news again and as we predicted, the Australian House of Representatives did not have time to pass the new gambling bill. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill has been put on hold for the third reading until the chaps have a little holiday. PokerStars has decided to wait until the bill becomes law before it leaves the market. They have recently emailed their Australian registered players informing them, here is a snippet;

It is with great sadness that we have to say that if this bill is passed, it means we will have to halt real-money poker play for you and all other Australian players

When the House re-convenes in May it is hoped that the Australian Online Poker Alliance could have used the respite period to lobby government. At Latereg, we think the bill will be passed, Australian players will look to play on dodgy sites and Bodog will launch a new poker brand aimed at the Aussies. Once again, the lawmakers make decisions on things in which they have absolutely no understanding.

An End to ‘Team SportsStars’ and Rakeback

Ze Stars

Last week we broke news that PokerStars had sacked Neymar Jr and Ronaldo. It seems to be the end for the brand ‘Team SportsStars’. The only sports star we see remaining is Fatima Moreira de Melo. The 3 times Olympic hockey medalist stays but has been demoted to ‘Team Pro’.

Ze Rakeback

Online pros and grindrs (doh! mean’t grinders) have been hit in the pocket, no longer will they be getting massive rakeback deals. In fact the new changes at PokerStars will mean an 85% decrease in rakeback. The new VIP points system will reward players on a “moment by moment basis” instead of accumulative play over months or even the year. These players make up less than 5% of total players. It is to be expected that when a company like Amaya goes public, the shareholders will make commercial changes. Let’s hope the recreational players get something at last.

PokerStars Adds Russian Ambassador

Whilst PokerStars is sacking ambassadors, PartyPoker is employing them. They have added Russian player Anatoly Filatov to the rosta. Filatov captains the Global Poker League team ‘Wolverines’. He has lifetime earnings of $1.3m and hardly anything more than a few hundred dollars online, yet he is very popular on social media. Here he is in the recent Sochi tourney for PartyPoker being….strange.

We asked our ‘Fashion Editor’ what he thought, “Cock” was the reply. Still, it has 436 views on youtube!

TD Bans Hoodies, Sunglasses, Mobile, Earplugs

Matt Savage is a Tournament Director held in the highest regards. However, he has raised some eyebrows in recent weeks. At his home casino, the Commerce in Los Angeles, he is prepping for the upcoming California State Poker Championships that runs between 28th April and 14th May. One of the tournaments has been named ‘The Social Experiment’ and it has a very affordable $350 entry. $50 of this entry is registration fee, but that isn’t causing the fuss.

“Talk to Each Other Guys”

Mr Savage has banned; hoodies, mobile phones (or cell phones, if you is yankee), earphones and even sunglasses from the poker area, unless medically prescribed. One can only assume with these measures and the name of the tourney, he is trying to get people to talk to each other. Earphones will be available at the cage in case it gets too much.

Some prefer the hoodies and peace and wearing hoodie and man wearing wig

But the players are divided, some acquainting this to the smoking ban and that it could be ‘the end of poker’. Others stating it is a good idea. We put it to our ‘Cultural Editor’ who said “couldn’t give a f*&!”

Run It Once Software Delays

I want a fair, honest, transparent poker site that believes in the dream that I have lived. I’m going to give it my best shot.

That is what Phil Galfond said 7 months ago, when he announced that he was building his own online poker site. He has taken to twitter to explain that there is a delay and he doesn’t want to put a ‘go-live’ date on his blog as he isn’t sure what that date will be.

Same Old, Same Old?

His brainchild that is is a poker training website, probably up there with the best there is. Seems fair that if you run a successful training site with good numbers that you may want your own online poker room. Whether-or-not it will be successful is another thing entirely. I am surprised that he is having his own software built instead of bastardising what is already out there. After all, that is what practically every other stand-a-lone online poker room has done. My grandmother said “you can’t make a handbag out of a pig’s ear but you can make a nice purse”. I may have dreamed that but my point to Phil would be this: You are inventing the wheel, it will still be an online poker room with RNG (random number generator). Why not take something that is already there, brand it and operate it how you want, cost you $20k max. Call me.