Usain Bolt Pokerstars

Usain Bolt - the fastest man on the planet - has joined PokerStars as a sponsored ambassadors, joining an elite list that includes soccer legends Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, and tennis champions Rafa Nadal, and Boris Becker. Commenting on its latest signing, VP of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser stated:

“Usain Bolt is a fierce competitor who pushes his game to the limits. But he’s also one of the most-liked athletes in the world. His strong global following and winning personality will help us to introduce poker in a fun, social and fast way.”

The Jamaican sprinter is currently on his farewell tour, with just stops in Czech Republic, Monaco and London remaining.

Commenting on his latest move, Bolt said:

“PokerStars is a winner and I’m happy to join Kevin (Hart) in helping to bring poker and PokerStars to the masses. It’s a challenging game that’s fun, social and competitive so I’m pleased to be able to introduce it to my fans and to people around the world.”

Bolt’s has 4.71 million followers on Twitter, and a further 19.355 million likes on Facebook. This will help him promote the brand to his fans across the globe. Bolt, who will no longer be active on the athletics from later this year, is likely to spend most of his time pursuing his recreational interests.

2017 WSOP

Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson turned up at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in 2016 for the first time since the Full Tilt Poker scandal broke in 2011. At this year’s WSOP, the duo took part in Event #10: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em, along with Andy Bloch. Like last year, several players did not take kindly to the fact that the two turned up.

Top pro Valentin Vornicu tweeted:

“Chris Jesus Ferguson at my table. Currently Andy Bloch playing for his team – gonna secure a quick bust for all poker players @WSOP #tagteam”.

Another poster going by the name ‘pushallin’ commenting; “How insulting. Pkr community doesn’t want you guys.”

Lederer, Ferguson and Bloch bowed out from the event after being ousted by John Hulett and Deepinder Singh in an A-Q versus A-K situation.

David Worden tweeted:

“#wsop10 says farewell to the team of old full time scammers of Bloch, Lederer, and Ferguson #seemsfitting.”

Despite that, Lederer and Ferguson picked up $898 for their 81st place finish. Post that, Ferguson cashed in Event #11: $1,500 Dealers Choice – 6 Handed, after finishing in 44th place for $2,335. 

Amaya Gaming

Amaya Gaming has processed its final payment on the delayed purchase price commitment for its purchase of Rational Group.

In August 2014, Amaya bought out Rational Group for a fee of $4.9bn (€4.4bn), in a deal, which included Rational-owned brands PokerStars and Full Tilt.

As part of the deal, Amaya has now paid the outstanding amount of $47.5m, as well as roughly $870,000 in associated fees.

Amaya made use of its cash flow from operations for the final payment.

The final payment comes after Amaya dished out $200m of the deferred purchase price in November 2016, as well as $75m in February 2017 and and more $75m in April 2017.

Comeon New

Cherry completed its acquisition (announced previously) of the outstanding shares in gaming operator ComeOn.

In December 2016, Cherry used an option to buy 51% stake in ComeOn after originally purchasing 49% of shares in the company in July 2016.

Cherry now holds 100% of the shares in ComeOn and stated that the completion of the deal safeguards its position as the third biggest online gaming operator in the Nordics.

The total purchase price for the 51% stake totals to €209.8 million ($230.9 million), and has been funded via a mixture of 3,341,657 newly issued shares of series B and €125.9 million in cash.

Cherry obtained the first 49% stake in ComeOn for €80 million and the two companies have carried out several integration projects since the deal was sealed in July.

Also, ComeOn has been fused as a wholly owned ancillary of Cherry since October 1, 2016, from an accounting viewpoint.

Ratification of the deal comes after Cherry also publicized that it has obtained a 25% stake in gaming technology company Highlight Games Limited for €2.4 million.

Cherry has a choice to purchase an additional 36% stake in Highlight Games in the future.

Mike Cordell

Arkansas native Mike Cordell claimed his third career WSOPC ring at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Horseshoe Baltimore $1,675 Main Event beating 449 for a first place prize of $148,171.

The latest win helped take his career earnings to $780,814 and move from 6th to 4th on the Arkansas ‘All Time Money List’.

Speaking about his win, Cordell said:

“I won the tournament, so it feels good. I know I don’t show it, but I’m ecstatic.”

Some of the notable names that walked home with a return on their investment included Dennis Phillips in 42nd ($3,044), Alex Ziskin in 37th ($3,044), Ryan Jones in 36th ($3,354), and Andrew Brokos in 22nd ($5,570).

Nine players made it to the final table with Cordell in pole position. After a series of eliminations, Cordell and Alex Queen remained to fight it out in the heads-up battle.

Queen (A-A) went all-in with his 30bbs preflop, but Cordell subsequently hit a king-high straight to wrap up his impressive victory.

Final Table Results:

1: Mike Cordell $148,171

2: Alex Queen $91,562

3: Jeremy Stein $66,905

4: Robert Garrett $49,667

5: Vanessa Truong $37,460

6: Joshua Vizcarra $28,671

7: Maurice Hawkins $22,266

8: Richard Smith $17,538

9: Ryan Tamanini $14,009

Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor emerged victorious at the 2017 Borgata Spring Poker Open, beating 670 players paying, to claim the tournament’s $390,103 first place prize. The $2,500 entry fee tournament offered a prize pool worth $1,675,000.

Thanks to his latest win, Taylor’s career earnings are now $1,180,146.

The Borgata Spring Poker Open was a huge success and some of the notable players that Taylor von Kriegenbergh in 36th ($7,961), Mukul Pahuja in 25th ($8,936), Chance Kornuth in 22nd ($8,936), and Will Failla in 13th ($15,435).

Nine players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, Sam Tyalor and Simon Lam remained to battle it out for the title.

Taylor held at a 3-1 chip lead over Simon Lam into heads-up play.  After a two-hour battle, Lam went all-in on a 2-4-2-4-7 board, only to be called by Taylor (A-9) with just ace high to win the title.

Final Table Results:

1st: Sam Taylor $390,103

2nd: Simon Lam $219,341

3rd: Joe McKeehen $138,104

4th: Wade Meachem $112,108

5th: Eric Fields $89,361

6th: Ricky Guan $73,926

7th: John Racener $59,303

8th: Kane Kalas $44,681

9th: Erick But $30,870

Gvc Holdings

MGM Resorts International has sealed a deal with GVC Holdings to launch online casino and poker games in New Jersey through the new playMGM brand.

Set to go live later this year, playMGM will provide more than 300 games on desktop and mobile for customers in the US state.

This will include progressive jackpot slots and multiple variants of tournament and cash play poker.

Not just that, playMGM customers will have access to the MGM’s M life Rewards program that will be part of the GVC platform.

Shay Segev, chief operating officer of GVC, said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with MGM Resorts and to be launching casino and poker under the playMGM brand in New Jersey.

“MGM Resorts is quite simply one of the biggest and best names in the business, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Dzmitry Urbanovich

Polish poker player Dzmitry Urbanovich has become the latest name to join partypoker as one of its sponsored pros.

Partypoker has made quite a splash on the live tournament circuit of late. John Duthie, President of partypoker LIVE, has tried to generate interest in the brand via 21 live events featuring £1 million first place prizes, the of which took place at the Sochi Casino and Resort in March.

In order to promote the format, Partypoker has added several likes of Mike Sexton (USA), Sam Trickett (UK), Jan-Peter Jachtmann (Germany), Johnny Lodden (Norway), and Beata Jambrik (Hungary), to the roster.

The addition of Dzmitry Urbanovich means Partypoker now has Poland’s all-time tournament winner as their poker ambassadors. Urbanovich has won $5,192,138 during his career.

Commenting on his latest move, Urbanovich stated:

“I can’t wait to join the partypoker team. I have already played partypoker Million Sochi and MILLIONS and absolutely loved the events. There are so many great partypoker LIVE events that I’ll struggle to fit them all in. I am also planning my schedule for the online $20,000,000 Powerfest that starts on May 7, which I am sure will be a great success.”

32red Logo

32Red is the latest big name in the iGaming industry to end operations in Australia after the country’s Senate accepted a series of amendments to national online gambling laws.

According to several media reports, TTRpartners, the affiliate program that promotes 32Red and its brands, has communicated to affiliates that it will no long allow players from Australia on their website.

As of now, no new registrations from customers from Australia are now accepted by the site, while affiliates have been asked to stop promoting and marketing the brands.

In March, the Senate approved the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 that includes legislation, which prohibits online gaming activities not specifically authorized within the new national codes, including online poker.

888poker and Vera&John are among the other big names to have withdrawn from the Australian market in response to the new legislation, while PokerStars previously announced that it would withdraw if the amendments were approved.

Monday, 03 April 2017 08:32

LeoVegas sports announces Ireland launch

Leovegas Logo

LeoVegas has now made an important announcement, that it has launched a new sports betting service in Ireland.

The company was recently secured a license in the country to go live with the LeoVegas Sport platform, and has now quickly completed all formalities to roll out the service.

LeoVegas now has a gambling licence in Ireland, UK, Denmark and Malta.

Gustaf Hagman, group chief executive and co-founder of LeoVegas, said: “We are very pleased that the licence process and the launch has gone in record time.

“Again, it is the combination of our efficient team and our technology platform that allows us to customise our product and launch in a short time.

“Ireland is an exciting market and it will be interesting to follow how LeoVegas Sports is received.”

Brand LeoVegas has done extremely well in recent years and this expansion to Ireland will certainly help boost the numbers and revenues for the company.

The actually assessment of this strategic move can only be termed a success or failure after a year down the line. For now its time to wait and watch.

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