Vienna is Officially Back on EPT Schedule

PokerStars has officially announced, that the October tournament of the seventh EPT season will be organized in Vienna.


There have been rumors and debates going on since June on the whereabouts of the tounrey, held between the 26th-31st October, and the calendar issued by PokerStars in May did not have a venue yet.

With the Vienna tourney, Austria now has two official EPT stops, the other one being the very popular EPT Snowfest (made its debut last year) in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.

The buy-in for EPT Vienna will be €5,000+€300, and the event will take place at the Concord Card Casino.

Entrance of the Concord Card Casino

Phil Laak Suffers ATV Accident

Phil Laak and his friend, Antonio Esfandiari had some ATV quad fun in Oregon yesterday, which ended with Unabomber being taken to hospital, seven bones broken.

Phil Laak first informed public on Twitter that he had suffered an accident on Thursday, so instead of casinos, he will enjoy the Oregon hospital for some time: “Atv accident, massive arm injury and lacerations to eye in oregon. Life is good”

Later on, other details surfaced in connection with the accident. Phil went on an ATV trip in the Oregon desert with Esfandiari, and unfortunately Laak crashed his quad, which cost him seven bones and an eye injury.

Phil posted the following picture on Twitter:

Phil Laak

There is no information yet concerning when Laak will recover. Poker pros follow each other sending their get-well wishes, with Doyle Brunson noting in his usual dark humor that he would be happy to take care of Jennifer Tilly if Phil’s state turned worse.

PTR Confirms that the Cake Network is Safe

The Cake Poker Network has successfully changed its encryption method to SSL, and the problems detected earlier by PTR were not present in the software.

As I have mentioned before, PTR found a security gap in the Cake software. The weak XOR encryption made it available for hackers to access others’ passwords and view their hole cards.

Cake Poker

Although Lee Jones, Cake Poker’s Card Room Manager said that their players were not in serious danger, as an expert hacker would be necessary to crack the software, he acknowledged that the software was not 100% secure and started fixing the problem immediately.

Cake Poker has now finished changing their encryption to SSL. Although there were smaller difficulties with the transition, PTR claims that the software is now secure.

Also, PTR advises players to check if the changes have been made to their own Cake skin, as they are unable to test all the platforms. This can be done by finding ssleay32.dll in the folder where the Cake software is installed. If the file is there, our safety is guaranteed.

Full Tilt Poker Set to Boycott Italian Poker Tour

After the last IPT event in Venice, the next stop of the series will be San Remo, where PokerStars is planning to hold an exclusive invitational tournament (the Pro Championship) besides the IPT main event.

San Remo - IPT

The Pro Championship will have a buy-in of €3,500 and will be capped at 64 participants, the players being selected by a special points system.

PokerStars, however, will not allow players to wear other sites’ logos. Full Tilt Poker is, of course, objecting this, and has decided not to send any of its sponsored players to the tournament in exchange.

To Play Poker or to Go to Prison – That is the Question

Samuel McMaster Jr. has been found guilty of 26 felony counts of fraud, related to falsely selling securities. Samuel has been ordered by court to pay the victims back as a part of his conviction.

However, his only legal way of earning cash is playing poker, as Mr. McMaster is a professional gambler.

The court gave Samuel permission to leave his home state (New Mexico) in order to travel to poker tournaments. He will need to make a compensation payment of $7,500 every month for the next half year, and if he misses any two of these, he will be facing a prison sentence up to 12 years.

Phylis H. Bowman, prosecutor of the case, added the following about the strange verdict: "There's nothing to indicate that he's a violent threat to society. So based upon those factors, that's what determines conditions of release. It has nothing to do with profession."

If McMaster meets the monthly requirements of collecting $7,500, he might receive a more benevolent sentence. Smile

Sumo Gambling Scandal Involves Yakuza

On Monday, Japanese police raided yakuza offices in connection with the recently surfaced sumo gambling scandal. The police arrested three gangsters and a retired sumo wrestler on Sunday, who allegedly extorted 6 million Japanese yens (around $70,000 USD) from an illegal baseball betting broker. 38 year-old Mitsutomo Furuichi, the former wrestler is said to have helped the gangsters demand the money from the unnamed gambling broker, also a former wrestler.

In Japan, betting is legally limited to horse racing and some motor sports, excluding any other sports, like baseball and sumo, the most popular ones.


According to police reports, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s organized crime division had entered head offices of the Western Yakuza groups to which the gangsters belonged. The gangs are connected to the Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest Yakuza group, with the number of members exceeding 36,000.

The Very Short Life of the Michael Jackson Casino

This past weekend, a strange casino appeared on the internet: covered with Michael Jackson themes and images, and lacking any kind of information related to the casino’s headquarters or licenses, the casino advertised real money games.

Michael Jackson Online Casino

The Michael Jackson estate stated that the casino had nothing to do with the King of Pop and used his images without gaining authorization, with attorney Howard Weitzman adding that he would “take whatever legal actions that are necessary to shut this operation down”.

He probably didn’t hesitate too long, as the site was already shut down two days ago, with the domain provider being sued for allowing a company to register the domain.

Howard Weitzman is asking for $100 million to compensate damages.

A spokesperson stated the following on the matter on Tuesday: "While we have not seen the lawsuit, if we are named, GoDaddy plans to vigorously defend itself. When customers are involved in a legal dispute, GoDaddy complies with court orders."

Rumors: Harrah’s Is Selling the Rio and Looking for a New WSOP Venue

According to yet uncomfirmed sources on PokerAti, Harrah’s Entertainment has sold the Rio and it is “almost 100 percent unofficially semi-confirmed” that they found a new home for the 2011 WSOP.

Rio, the casino that had been bought and sold more times than any other casino in Las Vegas (if we believe rumors, that is) has once again been up for grabs, and will probably not be the venue that accommodates the 2011 WSOP.

No more World Series at the Rio?

According to LasVegasMichael’s investigations, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has been taken. Of course, this is all just “word on the street”, without any confirmation from Harrah’s.
The identity of the buyer is unclear, but rumors had it back in April that Starwood Capital Group LLC and Colony Capital LLC were also among the companies bidding for the resort, valuing the Rio at about $500 million.

All Star Week – PokerStars Pros Annihilated by the Challengers

Running from 26th July to 1st August, PokerStars has once again organized the ’All Star Week’, during which Team PokerStars Pros play heads-up matches against the team of ’Challengers’. Members of the Challengers’ team are the winners of the Sunday majors, SCOOP, WCOOP, the yearly TLB table and a special Joker tournament. Also, some Supernova Elite players took part on the side of the Challengers.

All Star Week

With five heads-up matches a day (35 altogether), each game had a $1,000 prize pool, plus $25,000, awarded to the winning team in the end. The Challengers could increase their own bankroll with the money won, while the Pros’ winnings added to the prize pool of an $11 buy-in All Star Week Supporter Game, to be held on the 8th August.

The PokerStars Pros arrived with great hopes and determination, as last year they only managed to win by one point, that being the very last heads-up game at a 17-17 standing. According to previous statements, they were hoping for a much better performance this year.

IPT Venice 2010 – Tamas Lendvai Wins

This year’s IPT Venice tournament has ended two days ago. Attracting 505 players, the Ca’Noghera Casino in Venice was the home for the second season of the IPT.

It got down to the final 8  at the 25th blind level, when the chip counts were as follows:

Ali Tekintamgac - 2.254.000
Toby Lewis - 2.117.000
Davide Cerrato - 2.030.000
Giovanni La Padula - 914.000
András Kovács - 815.000
Cristiano Guerra - 806.000
Sandro Mazzei - 731.000
Tamás Lendvai -  429.000

Mazzei was the first to leave the final table, going all-in preflop with KJ and getting called by Andras Kovacs, holding JJ.

Toby Lewis followed after losing a hand against Tekintagmac, and took place 7, worth €25,000.

Andras Kovacs was the next to get busted, followed by Tekintagmac.

Holding HeartA HeartK, Tekintagmac bet 170,000 preflop, got called by La Padula (SpadeQ Diamond6), went all-in on a Clubs6 Spade5 Diamond5 flop, and saw no help come on the turn and the river.

Ali Tekintamgac

WSOP 2010 Poker Player’s Championsip on ESPN – Episode 2

On 27 July ESPN aired the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship as the first event broadcast from the 2010 WSOP. The Tournament of Champions was the next chapter yesterday, but for those missed it live, it will take a couple of days to be able to watch it on Until then, here is the PPC Ep2, with Ep1 in my previous post. Have fun!  

WSOP 2010 Poker Player’s Championsip on ESPN – Episode 1

On 27 July ESPN aired the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship as the first event broadcast from the 2010 WSOP. The Tournament of Champions was the next chapter yesterday, but for those missed it live, it will take a couple of days to be able to watch it on Until then, here is the PPC Ep1, with Ep2 following in my next post. Have fun!  

The British Poker Awards: Voting Is Open

The ’Year of the Brit’ in poker is to reach its climax on 13 September at the soon-to-be-opened Fox Poker Club with the inaugural British Poker Awards.

The British Poker Awards

Voting is now open for the public on the official website: eight out of the eleven awards are Reader’s Choice. These categories are as follows: Best Cash Player, Best Tournament Player, Best Online Player, Best International Player as well as the Best Poker League, Best UK Card Room, Best Contribution to Poker and Best UK Poker Forum, which is sponsored by From the additional three awards, two are Player’s Choice (Best All Round Player, Best New Player) and one is Editor’s Choice (Player of the Year). Nominees for the different awards include Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi, Patrik Antonius, Neil Channing, Tom Dwan, Brunson 10 member Chris Moorman as well as Victoria Coren.

The event takes place during the London Poker Festival, just a day before the WSOPE launches. Tickets, unless you are the lucky voter to win one free, cost £100 and include a cocktail reception, apart from the opportunity to meet your favourites. You can also participate in an optional £50 NLHE tournament after the Awards Ceremony.

Bernard Lee Interviews Gavin Smith

The latest episode of ‘The Hijack Seat’ at features WSOP bracelet winner Gavin Smith, Full Tilt Poker’s professional player.

Gavin has managed to secure his first WSOP bracelet this year, by winning Event #44, the $2,500 Mixed Hold’em tournament. With a total 507 entrants and a prize pool of $1,166,100, Smith made himself a nice $268,238 (and a very valuable bracelet, of course).

Hijack Seat

Gavin Smith was featured on a show called The Ultimate Poker Challenge in 2004, where he quickly became a favorite because of his gambler’s attitude, drinking habit and good humor. His other TV appearances included High Stakes Poker, Late Night Poker and NBC’s Face The Ace.

Having more than $4 million in career tournament earnings, Smith finally succeeded in winning a WSOP event as well.
In this interview, Gavin does not only talk about his WSOP victory; he also mentions charity work, and a very touching movie titled ‘Darius Goes West’.

888 – “Highly Likely” to Merge

Gigi Levy, CEO of 888 Holdings stated on eGaming Review (EGR) on Tuesday that it was “highly likely” that 888 would favor merger discussions with other online poker sites within the next six months. Levy also told EGR that their marketing tactics would remain the same regardless of other companies’ mergers.


 “I think that the first thing to remember is that the consolidated Party-Bwin, when the transaction is completed, will represent less than 10% of the market,” Levy told the online gaming news site.  “We are not talking about someone controlling 50% of the market, giving us no chance to compete. We are talking about an entity which is significantly larger than us, but still is less than 10% of a very fragmented market. In that regard, I don’t see us changing anything in our strategy because of that” said Levy.

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