Archive for March, 2010

WPT Hollywood Open Winner

A World Poker Tour veteran took the top prize at the World Poker Tour Hollywood Poker Open this week. Carlos Mortensen won his third WPT title, which puts him in a tie with Gus Hansen for the most WPT titles.

The Hollywood Poker Open was a smaller tournament with just 143 entries, but it was a competitive final table which took Mortensen to the top. He took home a cash prize of more than $340,000. His career earnings total nearly $10 million.

Mortensen won his first WPT title at Festa al Lago in 2004 and won the WPT marquee title in 2007.

The final table featured some well known poker players and all achieved cash success. The sixth place player took home more than $88,000. The other players at Mortensen’s final table included Mike Mustafa (second place), Frank Calo (third place), Chris Bell (fourth place), Ravi Raghavan (fifth place) and Jerry Payne (sixth place).

Mortensen arrived at the final table with the chip lead, but managed to hold onto that lead as he played against four youthful online players and many veteran players. One of the young pros that Mortensen was playing against included Chris Bell, who was playing at his fourth WPT final table.

BodogCasino.com with 20 New Casino Games

Bodog Casino is looking to expand its offerings and is doing so at an unprecedented pace. While it’s common for other to offer two to three new casino games in an average month, Bodog has added 20 new casino games this month alone.

The majority of the new games are the always-popular video poker games, video slots and other popular specialty games.

“We’re very happy with the addition of over 20 new games to the Bodog online casino,” said Bodog’s spokesperson Alwyn Morris. “Over the coming months, Bodog Casino will continue to expand as more and more new games are added to the roster. Many of these new games are being added as a direct result of feedback we’ve received from players, so we’re especially excited to hear their reactions.”

Bodog (www.bodogcasino.com) isn’t just an online casino. The popular site also offers a sportsbook, an online poker room, and a variety of online casino games. Like most sites, Bodog offers a number of promotions and special offers that are designed to encourage your play and continued play. Some of the online table games offered at Bodog include baccarat, Caribbean stud, Caribbean Hold’em, and both online blackjack 21 and European blackjack.

EPT Robbers in Custody

One man has turned himself into police and has named three accomplices who he says are also responsible for that brazen raid on a poker tournament in Berlin, Germany.

According to officials, the man turned himself into police on Wednesday and admitted his involvement in the poker heist. He also named three accomplices who police are now searching for — one a Turkish citizen, one a German citizen, and one of undetermined nationality.

Police say there are no additional suspects.

According to German police, the men are already known to law enforcement officials for previous acts of bodily harm and robbery. The car that was identified as the getaway car in the heist has been recovered, police said.

The suspect in custody told police that he had scoped out the poker venue, the Grand Hyatt in Berlin, in advance of the heist, and “took a look at where the money is, how the money is secured, are their guards armed.” He told police that when he noticed the guards did not have guns he realized his group might have a chance at a successful robbery.

Originally it was reported that more than $1.3 million was taken from the tournament, part of the European Poker Tour, but that number was reduced down to around $350,000 after everything was accounted for. Although there was chaos at the venue following the robbery, play resumed about 20 minutes after the heist occurred on March 6.

CPT Purchasing by Poker Site?

According to reports, the Canadian Poker Tour might either be purchased or be sponsored by an unnamed, but large, online poker company.

According to CNN Money, Kelli Kellner, the chief executive officer of Heads Up Entertainment International, which owns the CPT, has confirmed there is an offer on the table for the CPT.

“For competitive reasons, the online poker company wishes to go unnamed at this time,” Kellner said. “As the online poker market becomes more competitive our brand name in our market becomes more and more valuable. As a result of these negotiations, the numbers here can get very large, very quickly.”

Over the last several years, Heads Up Entertainment has built up the Canadian Poker Tour to include more than 50 of the best casinos throughout Canada. The tour are also reaches into Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and on cruises on the Caribbean. In all, Heads Up Entertainment supports more than 600 casino-based poker events through its various partnerships all over the world.

CNN Money reports that heads up entertainment, which owns the Canadian poker tour, Canadian Poker Player Magazine, and Canadian Poker Player Television, could potentially reach more than 40 million people throughout North America. This new sponsorship or ownership deal could cement that powerful commodity further.

“When we started discussing the idea in more depth on Friday with this online poker outlet,” Kellner said, “we realized that it was happening way before we thought it would.”

Should this deal be successful, it would not be unprecedented. Last year the World Poker Tour was sold to online gaming giant Party Gaming for more than $12 million. It is not known what kind of deal is currently on the table, but Kellner did say it was “well into the seven-figure range.”

Caesars Bingo Launched by Harrahs

Britishresidents who are interested in gambling online at one of the great casinos can visit www.Caesarsbingo.com, launched recently by Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, Inc.

This new bingo site is specifically for locals in Britain and will provide a number of casino games including slot, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.

Some of the games are free to play, but many are played with a small investment of money. If you enjoy the look of Caesars casino, and the thematic elements that it offers, this website is for you. Much of the same design and look is present at the site and users can enjoy the same Caesars experience that they would at the actual casino in Las Vegas.

The software is powered by Gamesys and it offers a number of different gaming functions, various payment options, and a solid customer support element.

This new marks a new development deal between Gamesys and Caesars casino. Gamesys was established in 2001, owns Jackpotjoy, and saw its bingo products awarded the Bingo Operator of the Year by eGaming Review. The combination of Caesars and Gamesys is sure to bring an exciting game platform to online gamers, because Gamesys is known for its groundbreaking technology and Caesars is known for its fun games and exciting atmosphere.

All Star 2010 WSOP Tournament

According to Harrah’s officials in Las Vegas, the 2010 World Series of Poker annual Tournament of Champions will adopt an all-star format this year.

Twenty-seven players will begin the tournament on June 27 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Vegas and will continue play until there is a final table. A week later, on July 4, the final table will reconvene where a winner will be determined.

One unique element of this tournament is that poker fans from around the world will be able to vote for who will play in the Tournament of Champions. Five of the 27 players will receive automatic bids, similar to the national Heads Up Poker Championship, three winners who have previously won the Tournament of Champions will also gain automatic entry into the event.

Annie Duke, who won the 2004 Tournament of Champions, said in a press release Monday, “Tournaments, like the tournament of champions, help elevate poker to the level it deserves and I am honored to participate. Winning the TOC marks one of the most memorable events in my poker career and I’m ecstatic that the WSOP is hosting this prestigious event.”

Duke, who recently won the 2010 Heads Up Poker Championship, will be seen on NBC in April when the network airs footage from that championship which took place from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The other 20 players at the all-star tournament will be voted on by poker fans. Voting opened Monday and continues until June 15. According to WSOP officials, there will be some requirements before the players voted on can be honored with a spot at the table.

“To qualify as one of the eligible fan-voted 20 participants, players must be a WSOP bracelet holder. All living WSOP bracelet holders are able to receive votes and currently there are 521 eligible players,” a statement read.

LAPT Cancelled in Chili

In light of the huge earthquake that killed hundreds of people in February, PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) has canceled its Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Chile. The event was to be held from March 19 to March 23 in Vina del Mar.

The 8.8-magnitude quake was centered about 175 miles north of the Viña del Mar Casino and resort. In a statement Thursday, poker stars said anyone who had qualified or who bought into the tournament would be fully refunded both their out-of-pocket expenses and their buy-in money. The next stop on the Latin American poker tour is Argentina, which will host the grand final.

This isn’t the first newsworthy event to center around the PokerStars tour. Last week, a pack of armed robbers broke into a casino in Berlin, which was hosting a stop of the European Poker Tour. There was a panic as tables were turned and chips flew; the robbers have not yet been caught and an American, Kevin “ImaLucSack” MacPhee won the main event.

In 2008, the LAPT Mexico was postponed when Mexican government officials shut down the tournament on the second day of play. PokerStars officials were forced to distribute the prize pool to the remaining 89 players in the event and to hold an online freeroll to decide who would play at the final table. The final table players were flown to Punta del Este to play the final table with a revised $50,000 prize pool.

Anyone with questions about the cancellation of the Chilean stop on the Latin American poker tour should send an email to lapt@pokerstars.com

Party Poker Signs Totti

Party Poker (www.partypoker.com) has landed a major sports star as one of its ambassadors.

Francesco Totti has signed a deal to represent party poker publicly and to play exclusively online at its poker tables. Party Poker has recently been ramping up their efforts in acquiring big sports talent to help promote their brands including their & poker room and this is just the latest signing.

Footballer Totti, who is known as “Er Pupone” in Italy, is likely one of the bigger sports stars to sign a contract with online gaming company. Party Poker is owned by Party Gaming which is undergoing a new marketing effort and increased promotional strategies following its dismal 2009 earnings.

For his part, Totti is excited to play for party gaming.

“I always apply myself with skill, intelligence, loyalty and passion,” he said. “You need all these abilities for poker and it is also a game that excites me and is a lot of fun. The qualities you need to become a good poker player are very close to those of the sport.”

Party Poker officials, meanwhile, are excited to add Totti to its ever-growing list of Party Poker ambassadors. Said a Party Poker spokesman, “He is one of the greatest football players of his generation — the question is now will he be one of the greatest poker players of his generation too? What Totti strives for he normally succeeds in achieving. He is a huge signing.”

Initially, Party Poker will highlight Totti in Italian markets. And for Italian customers to PartyGaming.com, there are some special promotional deals related to the Totti signing. Introductory bonuses include a ‘Totti 10’ welcome bonus. Totti freerolls will be available to new customers and other promotions might be offered as well. It’s not yet known if Toddy will become simply an ambassador for PartyPoker.com within Italy, or if he will represent the site worldwide.

PartyGaming Shifting Focus to Online Casino

In response to its large multimillion dollar profit loss last year, party gaming has decided to shift its focus from online poker players online casino players.

The company believes that players of online casino games other than poker are more likely to try something new. According to eGaming Review, party gaming’s CEO has developed a new marketing plan that will help its online casinos keep up with the changing trends and demands of the online gaming industry. As part of this new plan, party casino will be undergoing a major update, or makeover, as the site sees its focus shift from poker to other online casino games.

As part of this strategy, PartyCasino will target online casino players that they deem ‘pure play’ players, or players who are willing to try different casino games. In the past, the company has directed its focus on poker players in an attempt to get them to try other online casino games, but have been unsuccessful. While poker players seem to be extremely loyal to the game of poker, players that play at tend to try new games.

According to eGaming Review, PartyGaming will use its player database to solicit players to try new games. While some players might resent being solicited and the company risks losing members over this new strategy, PartyGaming overall believes that this strategy will be effective and that 2010 will prove to be a stronger year than 2009 was.

As part of the new strategy, and in order to make the new games seem more exciting, the company will be offering bigger bonuses and promotions that will ideally incite players to try the newer games and to try different games than they currently play. Because casino bonuses and promotions are one of the most persuasive ways of getting people to try new games or to come to an online casino and play at all, it’s likely that some of the new jackpots (some of which might exceed $1 million), will bring more players to the online tables.

Berlin Robbers Steal from EPT

If you once thought of poker as a safe activity, you might want to think again.

Over the weekend a gang of robbers with masks and guns attacked the European Poker Tour at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Berlin. They escaped with €1 million (about $1.3 million), according to police, and injured several players.

According to police, videos recorded at the scene showed that there was a brief panic when the robbers arrived, people quickly scattered, and some desks were toppled.

There were nearly 1,000 players participating in the poker tournament, and Berlin’s Tageszeitung newspaper reported in its online version that the robbers carried assault rifles and grenades in their hands. Apparently the robbers asked or ordered security staff to stand still while four robbers stormed the hotel and two others stayed on the lookout.

Some poker players were injured but not seriously. Police say their injuries probably occurred when they scattered from their tables and quickly tried to escape. A police investigation is underway, and police are asking that anyone who has video footage or photographs contact Berlin police right away.

TV Story along with video of the EPT Berlin Casino Robbers: