Posts Tagged ‘online poker’

Poker Heist in Germany no Oceans Eleven, But Full of Excitement all the Same

Monday, March 8th, 2010

If you watched the evening news last night, there’s a good chance you heard about the high stakes poker heist that went down in Germany, in which live television cameras caught the caper going down – or at least the immediate repercussions thereof. If you didn’t see it, basically, think of your standard World Poker Tour camera shot, the sound of people screaming and stuff breaking, a set board crashing down behind the players at the table, the camera going into handheld “shaky” mode, and everybody running for cover.

It truly was like something out of Ocean’s Eleven, minus the….how do you say…professionalism? As if there is anything professional about robbery. But to be honest, the German poker heist was probably more real life than any blockbuster movie fantasy. Apparently, the crooks did not read “Robbing for Dummies”. Heck, the footage capturing all the poker tableside action speaks for itself.

Another video shows the perps running from behind a counter where the money was apparently being held, and wielding a small machete at a supersized security guard, who in turn, resorted to throwing random objects at the thieves and managing to successfully capture one of them. However, either the captured perp had all the money in his backpack, or his fellow robbers have something of a conscious, for one of them returned, threatening the security guard with a metal stand. That was enough to back the security guard down – who, apparently, was the only person with an ounce of bravery in the whole casino – and the thieves went on their merry way. It was a sloppy mess to say the least.

Granted, they did get away with approximately 300,000 Euros. Authorities, however, expressed confidence that with all of the evidence left behind, it is very likely the bandits will be brought to justice. Currently, they are still on the run.

Who knew poker could be so fun? Wouldn’t you know it, but the tournament, which had a 1 Million top prize award, was eventually won by an online qualifier at Poker Stars. Kevin MacPhee, a 29-year old home player from Idaho, took out his revenge in head’s up play on the Finnish player, IIari Tahkokallio, who ironically won head’s up against MacPhee last year at the London Open.

Are Full Tilt’s Online Poker Days Numbered in the United States?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Is Big Brother Uncle Sam Watching Full Tilt Poker Room?

Is Big Brother Uncle Sam Watching Full Tilt Poker Room?

Yet another reason why I personally would not play online poker at Full Tilt are rumors surfacing that the U.S. facing online poker room is being investigated by the FBI. Now, Online Casino Suite cannot confirm if this is indeed true, but considering the details now surfacing, the word on the street is that there is some merit to the rumors.

The investigation is apparently going down in the State of Washington, which is one of few U.S. State’s where online poker is specifically deemed illegal. According to anonymous poker players residing in Washington, FBI agents have been doing the rounds and making literal house calls without warning to interview and gather information about these player’s real money transactions with Full Tilt.

I don’t know about you, but when the FBI starts asking questions, you can bet that something big is about to happen. And we all know that Full Tilt is indeed taking money from U.S. players. In other words, there’s no denying that Full Tilt is taking money from U.S. players. The bigger question, at least in terms of a making federal indictment, is whether or not the FBI can prove Full Tilt is allowing Washington State residents to make real money deposits.

Speculation is that the FBI is mounting a case to prove Full Tilt is breaking the law in the State of Washington, for it is essentially, an easy target with clear-cut laws that would enable authorities to conjure testimony from players that could be used in a court of law. Unlike other cases in which settlements were agreed upon, a federal indictment against Full Tilt would be a major blow to the U.S. online poker movement.

Now, as much as I have to recognize Full Tilt for their recent attempts to boost credibility via an eCOGRA certification, the fact of the matter is that Full Tilt was at the epicenter for some of the largest cheating scandals in the history of online poker. I’m sorry, but when “60 Minutes” does a critical piece on your poker room, the phrase “no publicity is bad publicity” does not hold up. This is probably what brought Full Tilt to the attention of authorities in the first place.

And as I bring attention to Full Tilt with my little blog post, I would hope that any U.S. poker players reading this – even those residing outside of Washington State, will consider the possibility that Full Tilt’s days are numbered. While that does not necessarily mean U.S. online poker players will get in trouble (in fact, it’s very improbable), it does not mean that any deposited funds risk being frozen and taken by good’ol Uncle Sam. Think carefully before you go depositing at Full Tilt.

And so as to keep this from being a totally “doomsday” post for U.S. online poker players, you might want to consider opening an account at Poker Stars or Doyle’s Room via Doyle’s online casino.

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Party Gaming Reports Impressive Revenue Growth for 2009

Monday, February 8th, 2010
Impressive Revenue at Party Gaming

Impressive Revenue at Party Gaming

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Party Gaming’s 2009 End of Year report shows a massive 32% increase in sales revenue. Being one of the more popular names and brands in the online gambling industry, not to mention the fact that online gambling hasn’t really taken that much of a loss in spite of the 2009 recession, or rather, economic crisis, I personally would not have been surprised if Party Gaming reported even higher earnings. Such is the life of big online gambling giants, no matter if they’re in the U.S. market or not.

Party Gaming’s third quarter’s revenue topped in at $100.4 Million, while the last quarter alone saw a 32% increase, topping $132 Million. Much of the increase in revenue is being attributed to a new online bingo and online casino operator in the Party Gaming network, while the vast majority of the revenue itself has been generated by Party Gaming affiliates (no surprise there).

With the addition Cashcade Limited and implementation of what Party Gaming likes to call “effective promotions” (meaning larger bonuses) and better loyalty rewards (all thanks in lieu to increased competition), Party Gaming was able to recapture the #1 spot in the world for poker liquidity (non U.S. facing) and increased player retention levels. This was a risky move, to say the least, but ended up paying off huge, resulting in 7% more active player days from Q3 and 24% more activity than the previous year.

2010 is already looking promising for Party Gaming with the integration of Cashcade and the World Poker Tour right on schedule. Party Gaming execs also remain hopeful that the introduction of online casino games, poker and bingo in the Italian market during the first half of 2010, online gambling liberalization in France (slated for the second half of 2010) and Denmark (2011) will bring another surge in revenue to Party Gaming throughout the next couple of years.

On another note, Party Gaming has appointed former Chief Executive Officer and Director of Mangas Gaming Malta Limited, Per Widerstrom, as Chief Operating Officer. With a wealth of experience in the online sports betting sector, perhaps that is a direction that Party Gaming is hoping to ramp up even more in 2010?

Quebec Hoping to Regulate Online Poker and Sports Betting Later This Year

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Quebec to Liberalize the Maple Leaf?

Quebec to Liberalize the Maple Leaf?

It really does seem like online gambling regulation has been the sole focus of the Online Casino Suite Blog these past few days. But what can I say, it’s not my fault. Blame it on the lack of regulation in “certain” countries. Or for a more optimistic view, perhaps I should say, blame it on a shifting regulatory landscape amidst the major player’s in the industry. Obviously, the United States is one of the major players I am referring to, and of late, has been at the middle of a heightened battled to implement an online gambling ban while regulatory legislation simultaneously makes it’s way into the House of the Representatives. Oh, and let’s not forget the Super Bowl.

Another major player in the internet gaming industry is Canada, which has long taken the same stance which the United States did before the passing of the UIGEA. And that, my friends, is the stance I like to call “shifty”. You know, the classic middle-gray area where you keep both sides of the gulf appeased as best as possible. Then again, shiftiness oftentimes comes down to the execution of power, or the lack thereof.

And in the case of Canada, it has mostly been the latter. You see Canada is essentially home to the Kahnawake tribe, which just so happens to operate one of the largest online casino and poker regulatory commissions in the online gambling industry. While Kahnawake operating licensees are free to take bets from citizens wherever they choose, there is no denying the fact that Canadians are giving lots of potential tax dollars to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, not to mention several other regulatory bodies. More precisely, it is estimated the Canadian online gambling industry is worth $675 million.

Perhaps this is why Canada now appears to be taking a more tolerant air toward the idea of regulation. Although it looks as if only online poker and sports betting is being considered for the time being, it’s a start, nonetheless – And a good start at that. This week, Quebec’s Finance Minister announced plans to introduce online poker by September of 2010, with major support from Loto Quebec (no surprise there). Of course, the opposition is already on it’s high horse, citing that online gambling will only increase underage and problem gamblers. However, Loto Quebec has been just as quick to retort with evidence of reports and public health studies showing otherwise.

Of course, nothing is certain at this stage in the process. There is still a long way to go before Quebec will be out of the clear and given a green light to begin regulating online poker and sports betting. Let’s just say the prospects are looking really, really good.

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