Archive for the ‘Queen of Hearts’ Category

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!

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

Exotic -sounding places like Macau, Montenegro and Malta represent just a few destinations for big-name professional poker players to travel to, sit down at the poker tables and win big. With poker becoming even more of a big deal all over the globe (consider the recently-formed GPL-India, GPL-China and GPL-Brazil) that’s a lot of frequent flier miles!

Take the 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series, for example. The Triton series began in January 2016 as part of the WPT National Philippines. That event broke records for WPT as its highest buy-in event ever, at US $200,000 per entry. With 52 entries, my boy (GPL team member of the LA Sunset) Fedor ( @CrownUpGuy) Holz came away with the title and a whopping prizepool of US $3,072,748.

Naturally, when I was looking over the current SHR event happening now in Macau, I couldn’t help but notice that Fedor Holz had made the final table again. In fact, he’s in second place with 4,325,000 chips while the chip leader is Spanish phenom Adrian Mateos, with 4,785,000. Up for grabs is the top prize of $2.872 million.

The rest of the final table consists of Dietrich Fast (3,370,000), Kahle Burns (2,625,000), Timothy Adams (2,185,000), start of Day 2 chipleader Stephen Chidwick (1,395,000), Isaac Haxton (1,075,000), and Poker Hall of Fame member John Juanda (990,000).

And this is just one final table at one tournament. Poker is being played non-stop, everywhere (including Montenegro where the second in the 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series took place, with the win by Manig Loeser from Germany.)

Follow the poker players and you’ll see the world. You might even be able to point out Montenegro and Macau on the map!

Send me your comments or thoughts!