Archive for the ‘Poker News’ Category

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

I am a very loyal fan. I still root for the New York Yankees and Giants, despite not living in NY since 1988. Which is why I am so disappointed, Alexandre Dreyfus, about the absence of a Season Two for the Global Poker League.  The GPL is what turned me into a poker fan. I wrote more than 30 blogs extolling its virtues during its inaugural season; there were times I felt like an (unpaid) marketing director!

Chengdu Pandas GPLI understand that you and Mediarex Enterprises have been incredibly busy, coming up with your new tagline: Compete Globally, Play Locally, while forging strategic relationships in China and India. What’s more, GPL China had an extremely successful six-month season, as teams from 12 cities competed in regional leagues. The winning teams from each city became the championship franchise, and ultimately, the Chengdu Pandas defeated the Hong Kong Treasure Ships to win the first season of GPL China.

Meanwhile, there are six teams that now constitute GPL India, including the Chennai Sharks, Kolkata Creators and Nipun Java, with each team manager already named and Season I poised to launch.  And, based on the tremendous success of the GPL’s first season in Brazil, which fielded its own team, the Sao Paulo Mets, GPL Brazil is already becoming a “thing.”

All very well and good, but still no GPL Season Two (as promised) in the U.S. What happened to my favorite team, the LA Sunset, with poker superstars Fedor Holz, Olivier Busquet and manager, Maria Ho? What happened to the two-year contracts all the brave pioneers of the original GPL signed?

Custom Rockwell Poker TableIf you go to the GPL website like I did, you get a hint of something along the lines of a World Championship coming, with winners of each regional league competing against powerhouse teams from around the world. But there was a link on one page that said Season I has ended. Go on to Season II. I tried, but the link didn’t go anywhere. I hope that isn’t the fate of the original GPL that got me hooked on poker and even get my own poker table!

Send me your thoughts or comments!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

The title is actually a line spoken by entrepreneur Molly Bloom, played by Jessica Chastain in the upcoming poker thriller, “Molly’s Game.” I’ve written two previous blogs about this film as I eagerly awaited its release. The reasons are simple:

  1. What could possibly intrigue a poker blogger more than a movie about high-stakes poker, especially one written by one of my all-time favorite screenwriters, Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, also making his directorial debut
  2. In the late 2000s, Bloom ran the most exclusive high-stakes star-studded underground poker game ever seen in Hollywood;
  3. Poker-themed movies are generally filled with tension, humor, paranoia, excitement suspense and lots of poker chips;
  4. Idris Elba

So, if you’re ready to see the next great poker movie, you’re in luck. The movie has already received great reviews from film critics and was recently honored by the American Film Institute to run as its closing night gala.

Bloom, a world-class skier headed for the Olympics before a freak accident kept her out of the Salt Lake City games, went instead to Los Angeles where, as Sorkin states, she “ended up running for 12 years the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game, a game where there were movie stars (like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Toby McGuire) and hedge fund managers, big name athletes, Saudi princes and millions of dollars changing hands in the course of a night. She became known as the biggest game-runner in the world.”

To find out more about the woman who’d been on her way to Harvard Law School and wound up running a poker room, you’ll have to see the film. And I can finally say, we won’t have to wait much longer. “Molly’s Game” is opening on Christmas Day!

Send me your thoughts or comments!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

From time to time we have tried to keep you up-to-date on the status of online gambling in the U.S.  We imagined it would be an ongoing update with states falling in line to follow Nevada’s lead, but boy were we wrong!

In fact, since 2013 only New Jersey and Delaware have followed Nevada’s lead to legalize and regulate online poker, despite the millions of dollars generated in each state.

FINALLY, there is an update! As of October 30, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize i-gaming, which includes i-poker. In a new white paper, “ Analysis: Pennsylvania Moves to Regulate Online Gambling,” several key points regarding the regulations as well as the revenue potential for the state are described.

For example, Pennsylvania will have a unique licensing structure, dividing licenses into three categories of Interactive Gaming Certificates (IGCs) – poker, table games, and slots. Licenses can be in only one or in all three categories, but buying an IGC will cost a hefty $4 million.

Also, Pennsylvania has some of the highest taxes on land-based casinos in the world and the same will apply to online gambling, with a 42% blended tax rate for the three online gambling options . . . more than twice the tax rate in New Jersey.

That means that New Jersey can afford to spend more than twice what Pennsylvania can on critical items like advertising and promotion. This explains why the online gambling market in New Jersey has been so successful, generating over $100 million in tax revenue in 2017.

On the positive side, the Pennsylvania bill is designed to facilitate a quick to market approach, taking advantage of the four years of experience and templates available to them from New Jersey and Nevada. The bill is also designed to make it easy for the state to share the online poker player pools already established by the other three states.

It will be fascinating to see how it goes in Pennsylvania. Just counting the projected upfront licensing fees, the state should see approximately $120 million injected into their state budget.

As Greg Raymer, Board member of the Poker Players Alliance states, “Every state has a chance, and the best way to get online poker in your state is to let your representatives know you want it, and that their decision on this issue makes a difference when it’s time for you to vote.”

In the meantime, we’re predicting that New York will become the fifth state to legalize online gambling. Which state do you think will be next?

Send me your comments or thoughts!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

I love it when the poker community comes out to support a charitable event. So, when St. Jude’s announces a Charity Poker Tournament – the annual St. Jude Against All Odds Celebrity Poker Tournament  — AND I see Daniel Negreanu’s  smiling face prominently displayed, it definitely gets my attention.St. Jude Against All Odd Poker Tournament

I can’t help myself. Whenever I see that Daniel (@RealKidPoker) Negreanu is playing in a poker tournament I get excited. Maybe it’s because he was my first poker player “crush” when I started getting interested in poker. Or, maybe it’s because I watched his awesome documentary, “Kid Poker” and feel like I know him personally.

At any rate, the tournament being held to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital begins on Nov. 3 at Red Rock Casino Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas.

Tickets are still available to the event, which includes an elegant dinner and premium open bar, a live auction and other special features throughout the evening, with the highlight being the No-limit Hold’em Poker Tournament.

There are huge prizes for the top three finishers in the tournament, with a prized seat in the 2018 WSOP Main Event worth $10,000 going to the winner.

Some of the confirmed celebrities who will be in attendance include extreme sports athletes Connor Fields, Gus Kensworthy and Ricardo Laguna as well as actors Joshua Malina, Jennie Garth and Tom Everett Scott, plus many others including Geoff Stults who will be serving as emcee.

But the point is that this poker tournament is truly on behalf of a worthy cause, as the proceeds help St. Jude’s keep its extraordinary promise to ensure that “ families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”

In an interview with PokerNews,  Negreanu  explained why he’s so supportive of this cause. “St. Jude is like no other place. The research done there is shared around the world. Every hospital in every community benefits and needs our support. It brings me great satisfaction to know that the poker community is coming together to help St. Jude focus on what matters most — saving children’s lives.”

Send me your comments or thoughts!