Posts Tagged ‘Still’

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Still Wants Sports Betting Legalized in U.S.

 NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Still Wants Sports Betting Legalized in U.S.

As two Senators renew a quest to ban online gambling in the United States, another prominent figure is supporting the all-out national legalization of sports betting. On Monday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke with ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Trey Wingo on the aptly named “Golic and Wingo” show and addressed, in part, his desire to see sports betting finally legalized and regulated on the federal level.

Silver has been a proponent of legalized sports betting for a while now, first making his feelings known publicly in a November op-ed in The New York Times, just a few months after he took the helm of the NBA. His attitude is essentially that people like to bet on sports, so might as well let them do it in a relatively safe, regulated environment.

In the piece, he talked about how there was “an obvious appetite among sports fans for a safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events” and how the publication of betting lines is commonplace.

“Outside of the United States,” he added, “sports betting and other forms of gambling are popular, widely legal and subject to regulation. In England, for example, a sports bet can be placed on a smartphone, at a stadium kiosk or even using a television remote control.”

He said he wanted the federal government to legalize and regulate sports betting, with operators required to have safeguards and technology in place to prevent abuse and monitor betting activity.

On Monday, he reiterated these same points with Mike Golic and Trey Wingo. He said he is not “pro” or “con” sports betting, but rather that he’s a pragmatist and that regulation just makes sense.

“It’s legal in most other jurisdictions in the world, particularly in Europe, where people bet on their smart phones throughout soccer games, it’s closely regulated, they can monitor if there’s an irregularity activity, something we cannot do right now because it’s largely all illegal,” he said.

Silver does not believe, though, that states should come up with their own regulations, like they currently do for gambling. Instead, Silver told Golic and Wingo, “….I think there should be federal policy, it should be consistent from state to state, I think states should be able to elect whether they want to be in or out, if a state doesn’t want to have legalized sports betting they shouldn’t be forced to do it, so I agree it should be a state decision.”

He added that he is surprised that things have advanced so quickly in the three years since his op-ed, as the New Jersey sports betting case is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

“And I think even if the Supreme Court leaves in place the existing federal law, there seems to be a lot of interest in Congress in favor of addressing the issue. And I think in part because states see that this exists, and they figure they might as well regulate it and collect tax money on it, frankly.”

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2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Sergio Fernandez Paces Field, Ismael Bojang Still Overall Leader

 2017 World Series of Poker Europe: Sergio Fernandez Paces Field, Ismael Bojang Still Overall Leader

The second day of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe is in the books with the close of Day 1B of Event #1, the €1000 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack. Although Sergio Fernandez would end the day with the Day 1B edge over the 35 players left, it is still Ismael Bojang who can claim the overall lead.

The early afternoon starting time at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic (2PM local time, 8AM Eastern Time), saw several new faces come to the fore. Chris Ferguson, looking to lengthen his lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race, was a late entry on the day, but he could do nothing in the short time he was on the felt after dinner. A player known for his late arrivals, Phil Hellmuth, held true to form by coming into the King’s Casino after the dinner break.

It didn’t seem that the late arrival helped Hellmuth a bit. On an A-4-4 flop, Hellmuth fired a 2000 chip bet into a 4500 pot and only Maxim Lykov made the call. After checking the 9 on the turn, a 7♣ on the river seemed to wake up both men. Hellmuth felt confident as he fired off another 4000-chip bet but, after Lykov three bet the action to 11K (to build a pot around 23K), Hellmuth pondered just what Lykov could be holding. In the end, Hellmuth decided he needed to know and made the call, with Lykov showing him he had rivered Hellmuth with his pocket sevens catching the boat to defeat Hellmuth’s A♠ J♠ for the flopped two pair.

The battle with Lykov chopped Hellmuth’s stack in half from its 20K starting level and the “Poker Brat” would never recover. With his withering stack, Hellmuth would push the action with pocket fives and ran them into an opponent holding pocket sixes and Chi Cuong Huynh’s J-10. After the board was kind to Huynh, coming down with not only a Jack and a ten but no sixes or fives, Hellmuth was relegated to the rail and sentenced to a final shot on Saturday if he is to stick around for Day 2 of the Monster Stack.

By the time the dinner break had rolled around, another 158 players had put an entry in, with many of those players in on their second bullet in the tournament (the Monster Stack allows players eliminated on Day 1A to reenter on Day 1B and, if eliminated again, to come back on Day 1C). Prior to the dinner break, two-time buyers including Kunal Patni, Kristen Bicknell, Thomas Pettersson, Marc MacDonnell, John Racener (trying to catch Ferguson in the POY), and Kenny Hallaert were all on the rail for a second time. After the dinner break, Roberto Romanello, Aleksandar Tomovic, Casey Kastle, and Felipe Ramos would join those ranks.

The Day 1B ride was pleasant for some who were in for a second bullet. Lykov finished the day as the fifth-place stack of the 35 players remaining, while Pierre Neuville was able to build a good stack in ending the day in eighth place. They will both be looking up to Fernandez, who is only about 1500 in chips behind overall leader Bojang:

1. Sergio Fernandez, 267,000
2. Rene Crha, 186,500
3. Fahredin Mustafov, 183,000
4. Viliyan Petleshkov, 178,500
5. Maxim Lykov, 153,500
6. Aneris Adomkevicius, 153,000
7. Robert Schulz, 143,000
8. Pierre Neuville, 122,500
9. Dario Marinelli, 117,000
10. Usman Siddique, 111,000

The two-Day Ones completed have a total of 50 players remaining with Day 1C yet to play:

1. Ismael Bojang, 268,500
2. Sergio Fernandez, 267,000
3. Jeff Cormier, 265,000
4. Micky Blasi, 213,000
5. Ryan Hefter, 208,000*
6. Rene Crha, 186,500
7. Fahredin Mustafov, 183,000
8. Viliyan Petleshkov, 178,500
9. Maxim Lykov, 153,500
10. Aneris Adomkevicius, 153,000

(* – defending champion)

To this mark, the tournament has booked 255 entries (90 for Day 1A, 165 for Day 1B), but Day 1C should see a rush to the tables. The players will learn what they are playing for once late registration closes at Level 8 of Day 1C and the battle will then truly be on for the first bracelet of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe.

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Illinois Online Gambling Legislation May Still Have Breath This Year

 Illinois Online Gambling Legislation May Still Have Breath This Year

According to Online Poker Report, it is very possible that a few online gambling bills may be looked at in some short veto sessions in Illinois coming up next week and in November. These sessions, which will only be from October 24th to October 26th and November 7th through November 9th, are used mainly for state lawmakers to review bills vetoed by the Governor, but some other bills that haven’t even gotten to the Governor’s desk are sometimes looked at, as well.

In June, the Illinois State Senate passed a piece of legislation that would have legalized and regulated online gambling – including poker – and daily fantasy sports (DFS). The bill dominated, too, passing by a whopping 42-10 vote.

The bill authorized licensed casinos and race tracks in the state to apply for online gambling licenses. Taxes would have been 15 percent on gross gaming revenues, but for the first five years, the first $ 100 million in revenues would have been taxed at only 10 percent. Unfortunately, there was also a “bad actor” clause in the bill, which disqualified any operator who “accepted wagers via the internet in contravention of this act or in contravention of any law of the United States.”

Yup, that’s PokerStars.

As for daily fantasy sports, the tax portion would have been on a sliding scale. The taxes were listed at 5 percent on the first $ 1 million in gross gaming revenues, 7.5 percent on revenues up to $ 3 million, 10 percent for the portion up to $ 8 million, and 15 percent over 8 million. Licensing fees would be just $ 500 for operators that make less than $ 100,000 and increase to a max of $ 25,000 for those who make over $ 10 million.

The bill stalled out in the House, though you probably guessed that by now. There was actually a chance that Governor Bruce Rauner would have vetoed the bill, as when he ran for office in 2014, he said he didn’t want to expand gambling in Illinois. At the same time, Illinois faced a nearly $ 10 billion deficit, so any potential tax income would have been welcomed.

Online Poker Report says that three bills could possibly be considered. H 479 was the one passed by the Senate, now sitting in the House. S 209 was referred to the House Executive Committee’s Gaming Subcommittee this week. And there is S 1531, another bill moved to the House, this one to the House floor.

Since it is the most complete and furthest along, H 479 would logically have the best chance to do something and would have the shortest path to law, but you never know with these sorts of things. As mentioned, there are very few days for anything to happen, and as is usually the case, there are likely more important topics on the minds of Illinois legislators. But the windows, however small, are open, so action on internet poker is not impossible.

The post Illinois Online Gambling Legislation May Still Have Breath This Year appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Borgata “Chipgate” Perpetrator Still in Prison Despite Reports of Release

 Borgata “Chipgate” Perpetrator Still in Prison Despite Reports of Release

Others in the poker media have been reporting that the perpetrator of the Borgata “Chipgate” scandal from 2014, Christian Lusardi, has been released from prison. A little legwork from a valued member of the poker journalism community – and confirmed by this writer – shows that Lusardi is indeed still incarcerated in federal prison.

Reports from PokerNews poker journalist Katie Callahan indicated that Lusardi, who was sentenced in late 2015 to three to five years in federal prison for copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels (more on this in a moment), was released in July 2016 after only eight months in federal prison. Callahan, who attributed her information to Poker Fraud Alert, only discussed the issue peripherally with fellow PokerNews journalist and noted legal expert “Mac” VerStandig, who surmised it could be possible that any state charges he faced in New Jersey would have been dropped and, with only the federal case, could have been released because of cooperation in the federal investigation.

A deeper look into the Federal Bureau of Prisons and their Inmate Locator revealed the true story, however. Originally found by former Poker News Daily journalist and longtime poker industry member Jessica Welman, her investigation (as reported by revealed that “Christian Patrick Lusardi” is still a member of the federal prison system. He is currently incarcerated at the Edgefield Federal Corrections Institution in Edgefield, SC, with an expected release date of June 8, 2019. This writer’s own examination of the Bureau of Prisons website confirmed the information.

To this point, PokerNews has not updated their story.

The entirety of the Borgata “Chipgate” scandal reads like something out of a Marx Brothers comedy. During the 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open, the inaugural event – a $ 500 buy in tournament with a $ 1 million guarantee – drew in well north of 2000 players to blow past the guarantee with ease. Lusardi was a part of this tournament and amongst the chip leaders after his Day One play (there were multiple Day Ones for the tournament), but he didn’t return for the second day of competition.

While the tournament staff frantically searched for Lusardi, the comedy of errors expanded. Harrah’s, located down the boardwalk from the Borgata, suffered a clog of its sewage system in the hotel and sent plumbers in to correct the issue. Upon entering the pipes, the plumbers found 2.7 million in counterfeit Borgata tournament chips stopping up the system. Researching their path, the plumbers figured out which room the chips came from – one that had been booked and used by Lusardi prior to the discovery.

Lusardi, instead of putting as much distance between him and Atlantic City as possible, was apprehended later that same day at another hotel on the beach. At that point, he confessed to creating the fake poker chips and, in a moment of panic, chucking them into the commode in his room at Harrah’s to attempt to hide his crime. He also confessed to introducing approximately 800,000 in fake tournament chips into the Borgata tournament, causing it to immediately be shut down.

As it turned out, Lusardi was no stranger to counterfeiting objects. The federal case against Lusardi alleged that he trafficked in Chinese bootleg CDs and DVDs and, as a sidelight, he created the false poker chips with the intent to defraud a Borgata tournament at some point in the future. The federal case took precedent over the state of New Jersey and the Department of Gaming Enforcement’s case against Lusardi; Lusardi plead guilty to the federal charges, receiving a five-year sentence with three years of probation. It isn’t known if the state charges in New Jersey were tied in with that sentence or whether the Borgata charges were dropped following Lusardi’s guilty plea in his federal case.

Instead of being a free man, Lusardi is still in jail and won’t see the outside of the prison in South Carolina until 2019. One might ponder if there are some times when, staring at the ceiling of his cell, Lusardi wonders if it was all worth it.

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2016 WPT Montreal Day 3: Samuel Gagnon Holds Large Lead, Mike Sexton Still Going

 2016 WPT Montreal Day 3: Samuel Gagnon Holds Large Lead, Mike Sexton Still Going

Yesterday, I irrationally yelled in ALL CAPS about how players get knocked out of major tournaments so quickly on Day 2, only to have eliminations slow to a crawl after that. We’ll see how slow things go today, as just 17 players remain in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal Main Event. There will only be 11 eliminations on Day 4, as the six-handed final table is scheduled for Thursday. Typically, unless there are a lot of short stacks, players hold on as long as possible in the levels leading up to the final table so that not only can they take advantage of the pay jumps, but to also have that thrill of reaching the last day and make an appearance on TV. Oh yeah, and to still have a chance to win the entire tournament.

Tuesday’s Day 3 began with 50 players bellying up to the tables at the Playground Poker Club. Of the 17 remaining players, only chip leader Samuel Gagnon has more than 3 million chips, finishing the night with 3.35 million. Only two other players even have at least 2 million, and just barely: Benny Chen with 2.065 million and Terry Schumacher with 2 million even. This is to say that Gagnon was a tremendous lead. Let’s not crown him just yet, though, as we saw last week when Luis Cruz made a huge comeback at the final table of WPT Nottingham that a big chip stack offers no guarantees in poker.

As often happens in the days leading up to the final table, our chip leader reached the top of the leader board via a huge late pot. The live updates picked the hand up at the turn with a board of K-T-6-7 and over 1 million chips already in the pot. Robert McGhee bet 400,000 and Gagnon shoved for 1.109 million. After Jason Mann folded, McGhee gave it some thought and called with A-K, good for top pair, top kicker (or, as 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Jamie Gold would say, “top-top”). Gagnon, though, had two black Sixes for a set, giving McGhee no chance to win the hand. The river, of course, was inconsequential and Gagnon doubled-up to 3.28 million after winning the largest pot of the tournament.

Aside from the general race to the final table, one of the bigger developing stories is that Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton is still in the tourney. Sexton, as you well may know, has been the voice of the World Poker Tour – along with Vince Van Patten – since the very beginning, so it will prove quite interesting (and fun!) if he were to make the final table. Who will take his place behind the microphone? Will Vince be outright rooting for his friend? MEDIA BIAS, I SAY! Sexton has also been a long-time partypoker ambassador, dating back to before the poker boom.

2016 WPT Montreal – Day 3 Chip Counts

1.    Samuel Gagnon – 3,350,000
2.    Benny Chen – 2,065,000
3.    Terry Schumacher – 2,000,000
4.    Ema Zajmovic -1,885,000
5.    Nadir Lalji – 1,250,000
6.    Tam Ho – 910,000
7.    Robert McGhee – 880,000
8.    Antonin Duda – 810,000
9.    Alex Keating – 728,000
10.    Jonathan Abdellatif – 695,000
11.    Jason Mann – 694,000
12.    Ilan Boujenah – 685,000
13.    Mike Sexton – 584,000
14.    Jake Schwartz – 465,000
15.    Martin Raus – 455,000
16.    Stuart Taylor – 445,000
17.    Dakota Vandine – 235,000

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