Monthly Archives: September 2015

WSOPC Crowns 1st Italian Main Event Champ but is the Market Becoming Over Saturated?

Sergio Castelluccio has won the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event, at the Casino Campione, prompting Lee Davy to evaluate whether the over saturation of the marketplace is a good or bad thing for the industry?

When we started playing our local home game the bar flies used to stare at us like we were some sort of occult phenomena.

[Image Credit: PokerNews]

Look at all that money.

Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars, Full Tilt brands approved to operate in New Jersey

Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars and Full Tilt brands have been approved to conduct online gambling operations in New Jersey’s regulated market.

Late on Wednesday, Amaya announced that it had received formal blessing from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to operate both brands in the state’s regulated online gambling market. Amaya CEO David Baazov offered no specifics on when Stars and Tilt might launch in New Jersey, saying only that he anticipated providing additional details “in the near future.”

PokerStars has a longstanding deal to supply Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel with an online poker product that predates Amaya’s 2014 acquisition of Stars and Tilt. Resorts struck a separate deal with SNG Interactive to supply it with a casino product but Amaya now says it will provide both poker and casino offerings to Resorts. NYX Gaming Group took full control of the SNG joint venture after buying out UK partner Sportech this spring, not long after Amaya took a $10m stake in NYX.

Baazov was relieved to have received the DGE’s blessing after a prolonged investigation that many suspected had been subject to political interference. Baazov thanked the DGE for their “thorough and fair review of our business,” which Amaya says involved interviews with over 70 individuals and visits to half a dozen jurisdictions in which Amaya conducts its affairs.

The Weird and Wonderful World of WCOOP

Lee Davy brings you news of the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event winners: including three brand new millionaires.

As a 10-year old I donned a top hat and tails, held a black cane in my hand and sang: ‘Who wants to be a millionaire and have flash flunkies everywhere?’ I performed the Sinatra classic with a schoolgirl who came perilously close to falling off the stage because of her NFL sized shoulder pads.

“I don’t!” She replied.

It used to be a bucket list goal to become a millionaire. It was Del Boy’s fault. It’s not like that in the poker world. A million is no longer a million. It used to be fillet steak and caviar. Today, it’s more like fish and chips.

DraftKings, FanDuel spend combined $107m on TV ad buys in September

Daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel spent a combined $107m on television ads in the month of September.

According to estimates compiled by, DraftKings was the clear Daddy Warbucks of the two, spending an estimated $60.1m on TV ad buys in the first 29 days of the month. The money allowed DraftKings’ 30-second commercials to run an incredible 16,259 times, which equates to over 135 hours or five-and-a-half DAYS of airtime.

The bulk ($23.6m) of DraftKings’ spending was devoted to running ads during National Football League game broadcasts. College football broadcasts ate up a further $8m of DraftKings’ budget, while $2m was spent on ESPN’s SportsCenter and $1.6m on NBC’s Sunday night pre-game show. In case you had any doubts as to DraftKings’ target demographic, the highest non-sports ad buy was $1.36m on Comedy Central’s pantheon of puerility, South Park.

By comparison, FanDuel was the picture of restraint, spending a mere $46.9m, although it spent more ($26.7m) on NFL broadcasts than DraftKings. College football earned $3.76m from FanDuel, while SportsCenter made do with $1.18m. Meanwhile, FanDuel’s largest non-sports buy was for reruns of the reality show Cops. “Bad bets, bad bets, whatcha gonna do….”

New Caesars CEO 'shocked' gaming industry doesn't do more to lure Millennials

New Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora, in his first major appearance since taking the helm of the casino giant, said today that casinos can do more to spur technological advancements that attract younger customers. Frissora’s comments came during a round-table discussion with other industry executives on the second full day of the Global Gaming Expo, or G2E.

Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Various Stages of the Muse

Lee Davy continues his confessions series by writing about the various stages of the muse as relates to his personal experience.

The sun warms my face, the rushing sound of water reminds me of a day full of tears. There are silhouettes of animals trekking along the hills in my eyeline, and yet it’s all about me.

I didn’t earn a shilling for my first writing gig. I panicked at first. Then my inner voice told me to chill. It was part of the embryonic stage that I was melting into. It was something that I had to do. Eventually, it would lead to the elucidation of a more structured future.

That’s what I told myself.

Poker Hall of Fame: The Role of Sentimentality

After reading the blog posts of Joe Beevers and Daniel Negreanu, Lee Davy shares his opinion on the role of sentimentality within the Poker Hall of Fame nomination process.

Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott divided opinion when he was alive, and he’s still at it now he’s playing poker with the likes of Stu Ungar, Elvis and Bruce Lee.

Ulliott was an acquired taste. He was more likely to talk about breast milk, bodily fluids and female body parts than Ikea wardrobes, politics and the price of a gallon of diesel. At times he came across a little Dan Bilzerian (minus the women and goat), and some of his jokes brought groans from the rail.

Since his passing he has become the most talked about member of the short list for the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame. It’s a classic should he or shouldn’t he argument, and this week it was interesting to read the opinions of two of poker’s most prominent figures, from very different eras: Daniel Negreanu and Joe Beevers.

New Powerball Game To Launch Oct. 4

Beginning this Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, Powerball players in South Dakota will have better overall odds of winning and a chance to multiply most of their winnings by up to 10 times in certain situations when changes to the lotto game officially go into effect. The changes, proposed by the Multi-State Lottery Association which oversees the game for the lotteries that offer it and approved by the South Dakota Lottery Commission and the Legislative Rules Review Committee this summer, are designed to deliver bigger jackpots and give players a chance to win other substantial prizes.

Vietnam’s casino industry just 3% the size of Cambodia’s

Vietnam’s casino industry was worth a mere $61.3m in 2014, while the casino business in neighboring Cambodia was worth over $2b.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Regional Sustainable Development (IRSD) released a report showing Vietnam’s eight foreigners-only casinos earned combined revenue of VND 1.38t last year, of which VND 339b went to the government in the form of taxes.

On the same day, Cambodia’s central bank chief announced that her country’s casino industry generated annual revenue of $2b. Like Vietnam, Cambodia doesn’t allow its locals to gamble at its casinos, and Chea Serey, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia, claimed that income generated by casinos from non-residents “represents about 40% of total international travel credits.”

With the exception of the NagaWorld facility in Phnom Penh, most of Cambodia’s 59 casinos are small-scale affairs clustered near border crossings with Vietnam and Thailand. Using just Vietnam’s southern province Tay Ninh as an example, the IRSD estimated that around 200 Vietnamese cross the border into Cambodia every day to gamble, rising to 800 per day on weekends.