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Wednesday, 23 March 2016 13:01

Easter Egg Hunt with Casino.com

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Unibet Logo

All Unibet shareholders and stakeholders had reason to smile post the annual financial results, as the company's gross revenues soared by 13.49% to £354.1 million in 2015. Unibet had collected £312 million in 2014/

In terms of profit, the company posted a neat again of  £69.7 for 2015, up 8.06% from the previous year. Q4 result, where revenues increased by 57% to £111 million and profits to £19.4 million, was the main reason behind the company's solid overall performance.

Speaking about the financial results, Unibet CEO Henrik Tjärnström said: 

“The focus on scalability across the Group has enabled us to deliver a new all-time high in underlying EBITDA for the quarter of GBP 27.1 million, up 47 per cent in GBP. Mobile was 56 per cent of gross winnings revenue compared with 51 percent in the third quarter.” 

Among Unibet's offerings, casino games, sports betting and poker generated of £171.6m, £161.2m and  £7.6m respectively. Apart from poker revnues, the remaining two verticals posted a growth as compared to 2014.

However, Unibet Poker remains the 14th best online poker site in the world in terms of traffic, with anaverage of 650 cash players over a 7-day period playing on it.

Sunday, 13 March 2016 15:48

Stefan Schillhabel wins WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star

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Stefan Schillhabel Win

Stefan Schillhabel won the 2016 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, beating a record 753 players to take home a cool $1,298,000.

A prize pool of $5.3 million was created at the $7,500 Main Event, with 72 places being paid.

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left for the German to fight it out with Adam Geyer for the title.

As the heads-up battle got underway, Schillhabel and Geyer were on even terms in terms of chips.

Their duel lasted for nearly three hours, with the final hand being played when Geyer pushed all-in pre-flop holding K-9 and was called by Schillhabel with 8-7. The board ran K-10-3-8-8 board to end Adam Geyer's run for $752,800.

Schillhabel on the other hand won his second career title and claimed his biggest score till date.

Final Table Result:

1: Stefan Schillhabel, $1,298,000

2: Adam Geyer, $752,800

3: Bryan Piccioli, $493,350

4: Andjelko Andrejevic, $331,500

5: Griffin Paul, $231,310

6: Maria Ho, $179,930 


Pius Heinz Win

Five years after cashing in at his first live tournament, Pius Heinz was back in the news earlier this week.

Heinz shot to fame in 2011 when he finished 7th at the WSOP's $1,500 NLHE event for $83,286 and then went on to win the main event for $8,715,368. 

The German finally got back to winning ways at the recent Eureka Poker Tour in the Czech Republic where he won the €5,300 Super High Roller event for €44,814 ($48,721).

A prize pool of €106,700 was created at the tournament with a field of 16 players and six re-entries. After a series of eliminations in two days of poker action, Heinz beat Martin Kabrhel in the heads-up to clinch the win.

The semi-retired Heinz said he was in town only to play some cash games but eventually decided to play €5,300 Super High Roller event.

This was his third tournament title. Heinz has 11 career cashes to his credit and features on number three spot on Germany’s ‘All-time Money List’, behind Tobias Reinkemeier ($10,528,819) and Philipp Gruissem ($9,731,201).

He remains one of the few players that did not continue playing poker professionally after such a big win at the WSOP.

As he explained in a previous interview: 

“Poker has basically turned back to a hobby for me I guess. I was kind of a professional before I won the Main, and I was a professional for a year and a half after I won the Main. Now I just play whenever I feel like it and when I enjoy it, when I don’t, I just don’t play. That’s perfect for me.. I know I’m not the best friend of the media, but I’m alright with that.” 

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 17:35

888poker unveiled as lead sponsor of 2016 WSOP

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888 Poker Logo

WSOP had to end their association with DraftKings after Nevada regulators ruled daily fantasy sports to be gambling in October 2015.

Hence 888poker stepped in to replaced them as the lead sponsor for WSOP 2016. The online poker site is already a partner of both WSOP and WSOP.com because of their collaboration with Caesars Entertainment Corporation. 

As lead sponsor, 888poker will be able to further strengthen its position in the state and also host satellites to the biggest poker tournament on the planet for players in New Jersey, as well as those across the globe.

In 2015, 888poker online qualifier Tommy Yates earned a whooping $19,500 thanks to his one cent entry fee. A total of 128 players were sent to Las Vegas via 888poker.

Speaking about this new development, Head of B2C division at 888holdings, Itai Pazner, said: 

“The World Series of Poker is the pinnacle of the poker calendar and during the Main Event the eyes of the poker world are on the action in Las Vegas. In 2015 we made dreams come true for Tommy Yates and renewing our partnership will help to get more 888 players from all over the world to the WSOP again this year. The sponsorship is fantastic for the 888poker brand, for 888 players, and for the poker community more generally.”

Interestingly, one of the events is branded with 888poker, namely Event #54: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em, that has a guaranteed first place prize of $888,888. 

Dzmitry Urbanovich EPT Dublin

Dzmitry Urbanovich won the 2016 European Poker Dublin Main Event, beating a strong field of 604 players to take home a cool €561,900 ($632,279).

Urbanovich played solid over for seven days, enabling him to take his live career earnings to $4,828,346. Commenting on his win, he said:

“It feels very good, very good.. It’s been a long week.”

The €5,300 buy-in EPT Main Event, boasting of a €3,025,000 prize pool, was held at the Royal Dublin Society,

David Vamplew in 82nd (€9,100), Liv Boeree in 74th (€9,100), Fabrice Soulier in 71st (€10,270), Anthony Zinno in 62nd (€10,270), Mike McDonald in 60th (€10,270), Gaelle Baumann in 55th (€11,440), Pierre Neuville in 34th (€13,200), Anton Wigg in 31st (€14,960), Dominik Panka in 29th (€14,960), Luca Pagano in 17th (€25,820) and Adrian Mateos in 10th (€39,320) were among the notable players that earned a return on their investment.

Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left between Urbanovich and Gilles Bernies to fight it out for the title.

Going into the heads-up round, Bernies held 14.84m to 3.28m chip advantage over the 20-year-old.

But after a gruelling four hour session, Urbanovich not only overturned the deficit but also ousted his opponent.

The final hand of the game was played when Bernie moved all-in preflop holding Q-7, only to be called Urbanovich with K-K. With the board running 7-5-4-5-9, Bernies had to settle for a runner-up finish for €349,800.

Final Table Results: 

1 Dzmitry Urbanovich €561,900

2 Gilles Bernies €349,800

3 Kully Sidhu €250,300

4 Patrick Clarke €193,650

5 Iliodoros Kamatakis €152,600

6 Rhys Jones €119,450 

Full Tilt Poker

Two of the world's most renowned online poker rooms - PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker - are set to merge their player pools starting April 1.It appears as though Amaya Gaming has finaly decided to stop its purusit of turning around the fortunes of FTP.

Though they will continue to remain separate entities, customers will have to access them via a single ‘Stars’ account. On doing so, they will have access to everything including platforms like BetStars, Starsdraft, Duel and a merged casino product.

With regards to the latest developmet, Rational Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said:

“Players will benefit from a larger pool of players offering greater game choice, bigger prize pools. It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly.”

Players began deserting FTP in 2015 dur to implementation of a host of sweeping changes. According to a PokerScout’s traffic report, the once dominant player in online poker has today just 850 players over a 7-day period. 

Hence the parent company has taken a call to merge PokerStars and Full Tilt, which release a lot of financial burden from Amaya. Some reports claim that brand FTP might be completely done away with in the near future.

There is even a possibility of Amaya selling FTP's software to interested parties.

What happens to this once iconic poker room remains to be seen. But this episode will serve as a gentle reminder to operators and investors about the unpredictability of this business.

Microgaming Poker Network

World's best online 3D poker site PKR is set to join the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) after operating on an independent platform for the past decade.

PKR is undergoing a transformational change at the moment with the introduction of Jackpot Sit & Go’s in 2015 and launch of PKR Casino and PKR Vegas going forward.

Until now, the company had survived with just online poker as a revenue stream. However, now the PKR management has ambitious plans to grow into a bigger entity.

As PKR CEO Chris Welch stated: 

“We want to give you the best poker experience possible but with the biggest tournaments, and games available every minute of the day. This move allows us to remain true to our video games roots while giving you more choice, more opponents and more prize money- the best of both worlds.” 

PKR will be able to achieve a lot more when it joins MPN in march, as it will have access to a bigger player pool.

At the moment, MPN is the 10th most popular poker destination in terms of player liquidity. It boasts of an average of 850 cash game players over a seven-day period.

On the other hand, PKR with 150 cash players ranks 38th on that list. Hence the new arrangement will help both parties considerably.

After this migration, MPN is likely to move up to 8th place behind PartyPoker.

“On the day of launch, you’ll log on to the same 3D poker client as normal, but you’ll see six times as many players online, three times as many tournaments every day and over €3.5 million in monthly tournament prizes,” Welch further added.

There is however a fear of the 3D poker site losing some of its loyal player base due to this move. However with crip graphics and innovation, PKR will easily retain its unique brand identity.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:53

US casino industry to generate $93 billion by 2020

Written by

Sheldon Adelson

USA's casinos are forecasted to generate revenues of approximately $93 billion in revenues by 2020 according to a report produced by Technavio with Faizan Akthar, the market research company’s lead analyst.

The report further highlights compound annual growth rate (CAGR) witnessed by America's tourist industry in the last couple of years. The gambling industry works in tandem with USA's tourism.

“The tourism industry in the country has recovered since the end of the economic recession, growing at a CAGR of over 7 percent until 2015.”

Las Vegas casino market has greatly benefited from a friendly visa policy, which was put in place in 2014. Chinese citizens can enter the country by applying for a 10-year multiple-entry visa.

Among the reasons cited by the report behind the growth of the US casino market is the country’s advanced and efficient transportation infrastructure and the incentivization fo the industry for boosting the economy.

As per Akthar, legalization of gambling in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware has given a further push to the online casino gambling in the US.

“This segment grew by almost 212 percent in terms of revenue in 2015, indicating a trend that is set to make online gambling the future of the casino market in the U.S.. Virtual online casinos provide more protection to user transactions than real casinos offer because they offer access after multiple verification procedures.”

American Gaming Association’s (AGA) results state the American casino industry generated $81 billion in 2014, $67 billion of which came from gambling activities.

Interestingly, limited stakes slot machine gambling in restaurants and taverns too contributed for much of the growth that year.


Wsop.com The Big Deal

WSOP.com's latest offering can be accessed by residents of Nevada and New Jersey starting Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Dubbed "The BIG Deal", the new tournament will feature a big $500 buy-in and will be hosted by the site on the last Sunday of every month.

In Nevada, the tournament will comprise of a $20,000 guaranteed prize pool, replacing the $20,000 Sunday Guarantee. While in New Jersey, guaranteed prize pool will be $30,000 and substitute the $30,000 Sunday Guarantee.

Apart from a change in the buy-in, there will be an alteration in the structure as compared to regular Sunday majors. In The BIG Deal, players will begin with double (10,000) the regular tournament chips with blind levels increasing in 20 minutes (five minutes more than the usual Sunday Guarantee). 

In addition, the rake to will be lesser. In the regular Sunday Guarantee tournaments, the $200 price tag is broken up as a $185 buy-in and $15 entry fee (7.5 percent). In the BIG Deal, the price tag is broken up as  $467 buy-in and $33 entry fee (6.6%), as compared to Sunday Guarantee tournaments that where the $200 price tag was broken up as $185 buy-in and $15 entry fee (7.5%).

The Big Deal will be conducted at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. local time in Nevada and New Jersey respectively.

In order to help players get in on the cheap, there will be satellites running for the high-profile event. Five $5 super satellites are currently running daily at 6:15 p.m. and $50 weekly satellites with five seats guaranteed are being held on Sundays at 5:45 p.m.

Steve Odwyer Pca High Roller

Steve O’Dwyer on January 9 beat a field of 58 players to win the PCA $50k High Roller 8-Handed event for a cool $945,495.

The 33-year-old has now conquered 7 tournaments in the last 14 months, which added to other scores totals his winning for that period to $8,590,662. O’Dwyer now has $13,996,249 in life time earnings, which is good enough to place him at number 15 on poker’s ‘All Time Money List’. 

With 22rebuys, a prize pool of $3,860,000 was created at the Atlantis Resort & Casino, Paradise Island. Some of the notable names that failed to make an impression included Jason Mercier, Liv Boeree, Byron Kaverman, and Paul Volpe.

Eight players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, O’Dwyer had to battle it out against Connor Drinan in the  heads-up for the title. The duo struck a deal in which the former ocked-up $914,811 to Drinan’s $870,625, leaving $30,684 up for grabs.

The final hand of the game was played after an hour when O’Dwyer (A-3) and Drinan (Q-10) went all-in preflop, with the boad running 3-4-6-A-5. The two pair was good enough for O’Dwyer to be crowned champions, while Drinan had to settle for a second place finish.

Final Table Results: 

1: Steve O’Dwyer – $945,495*

2: Connor Drinan – $870,625* 

3: Ivan Luca – $494,080

4: Isaac Haxton – $380,200

5: Erik Seidel – $301,080

6: Daniel DVoress – $235,460

7: Bryn Kenney – $185,280

8: Paul Newey – $144,760 


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