Archive for the ‘Queen of Hearts’ Category

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

In what comes as a welcome surprise to the state’s numerous poker fans, the World Poker Tour’s DeepStacks recently announced it will be making a stop in Houston, Texas, located at 10739 Gulf Freeway. That’s right, despite Texas’ strict no gambling laws, the city of Houston will play host to the $100K GTD WPT DeepStacks Main Event from September 21-25. The $1,000 buy-in tournament will take place at the FreeRolls Poker Club.

FREEROLLS Poker Club Houston Texas

Why is this such a big surprise? Because poker clubs in Texas have to adhere to stringent requirements in order to offer poker at all. Their games must be held in a private place; all players must have an equal chance of winning; and all payments taken must be paid out as winnings to participants. The last provision, of course, makes it impossible for card rooms to earn any money from games, so all gambling at membership clubs are“non-profitable activities”.

The FreeRolls Poker Club, however, (along with other up-and-coming poker clubs that have also figured out the winning, and completely legal, formula) offers daily, monthly, or annual subscriptions allowing members to play at the venue for as long as they like, with no further associated costs. The club also earns some extra money, via advertisements shown on touchscreens located on each individual table.

In order to enter the WPT DeepStacks Houston, a player must first pay a $100 membership, with all other funds collected subsequently going directly towards the tournament’s prize pool, meaning any re-entries will cost just $1,000. In other words, the card room will earn its revenues only from memberships fees, in addition to money derived from its advertisers and sponsors.World Poker Tour DeepStacks

Meanwhile, WPT DeepStacks executive director, Chris Torina, says that his brand is excited to be leading the way in Texas, and was hopeful that the “first-class live event” would pioneer the way for future tournaments to be held in Texas. Furthermore, the event has already attracted a great deal of buzz on social  media, indicating that it was likely to be an extremely popular event.

The question is, how many of our Texan followers will rush to enter this event. We can think of several who are probably already salivating, let us know who you are.

Send us your comments and or questions.

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!