Police Raids in Russia - More and More Illegal Casinos Appear on Scene

The Russian gambling law, introduced in 2009, has not been overly successful, as more and more illegal gambling places keep sprouting all over the bigger cities in Russia.

The Russian judiciary has accepted Vadimir Putin's 2006 proposal and exiled casino games into four special zones: the territory of the Kaliningrad Enclave, the shore of the Sea of Azov, the Southern Region and the Eastern Primorve Region. These territories have not become the Russian Las Vegas. Instead of this, we can see a mass of illegal casinos open all over Russia. Authorities are on a vicious hunt, trying to stop this progression. According to the Moscow Times, the police has already caught two of the big fish in the past days.

More Illegal Casinos in Moscow

In a luxury apartment in Mosfilmovskaya street they have found 2 poker tables, 2 roulette tables and 10 slot machines. The casino had been operating on an invitational basis and the police confiscated around $500,000 on the spot. The owner of the casino was a British entrepreneur. He managed to escape, and if he gets caught, he will face five years in prison.

There was an even bigger casino operating in Malaya Ordynka street with 4 blackjack and 4 poker tables, roulette, and 21 slot machines. The players were obliged to purchase at least $3000 in chips upon entrance and the room was guarded by security guards and cameras. The police managed to sneak an agent in, and had the commando crew assault the casino, where they have found more than one million dollars.

The Baluga Theorem of Poker

In this post I am going to introduce and familiarize you with a few well-known poker truth, the Baluga Theorem. Originally posted on the 2+2 forum, this rule was nicknamed from BalugaWhale, a 2+2 forum poster.

Baluga Theorem: If we have raised preflop and receive a re-raise when holding top pair on the turn, most of time we should re-evaluate the strength of one-pair hands and the right option is to fold.

The Tourminator, the new poker superstar

Fame in the poker world is not only for high stakes players, as we can see with the new cash game superstar, who plays on NL2. The Tourminator has had a career with the highs and lows of any poker player and his total career earnings now exceed four dollars. But this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have followers: the number of his fans can easily compete with the popularity of a high stakes pro.

Most of the time, The Tourminator plays at the NL2 tables at Full Tilt Poker and registered to YouTube in 2006. It was only six months ago when he uploaded his first poker video (titled "FULLTILT poker: me versus super donkey"). Unforeseen to him was the huge success that emerged and shot him to superstar status.

Watch his most viewed video titled "A,A almost cracked by suck out donkey":

The Tourminator now publishes his videos at an industrial scale and recruits more followers on a daily basis. Hundreds of thousands have watched his videos and he also has his own topic at the 2+2 forum. The expression ’BULLDOZER’ used in his videos is already a part of the word line-up of most of the active poker players.

According to statistics by PTR, the American player appeared in the world of online poker in March 2009 and has played 7,817 hands with a total profit of four dollars. Show me the money monkey face!! Smile

The New WSOP Bracelet Raising Controversy

Harrah’s Entertainment hired the jewelry designer Steve Soffa to create the new WSOP bracelet, but the design didn’t turn out to be overly popular with the public.

The first WSOP bracelet was made in 1976 and had an estimated value of $500. As the WSOP’s prestige grew, so did the emphasis on the design of the bracelet. By the time 2008 came around, the bracelet was made out of 18-carat white gold and also had 291 2.81 carat diamonds encrusted into it.

The Australian designer Steve Soffa has shown a love for the game for a long time now and he often utilises poker as a theme for his creations. He was also the designer of the wristwatch called ’Suicide King’, which was worn by the 2009 WSOP champion Joe Cada.

Suicide King

Gutshot Poker Club, a club that will not be forgotten

The Gutshot Poker Club, which opened its doors to the public on March 2004, was one of the most well-known poker clubs located in London. The Club which also housed a bar, restaurant and internet café grew to become the hot spot to be at for any poker player. The club played venue for poker ring games and tournaments and hosted four poker festivals per year. On top of this, in 2006 it even held the Showdown Poker Tour which was a £3,448 buy-in event.

Over time the venue not only saw many English professionals walk through its doors, but it also started to become a place where you could spot WSOP champions. Some of the big names included  Phil Hellmuth Jr , Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem where just some of the regulars to visit Gutshot Poker Club when they were in London.

The club seemed to be unstoppable and it wasn’t until 2007 when it first struck trouble. Derek Kelly, Gutshot Poker Club owner was been prosecuted of contravening the Gaming Act. After almost 3 years of trading and having over 23 thousand members, its hosting of poker games without a gaming license meant big problems for the club.

As Derek Kelly prepared for his court hearing his lawyers started building his defence against the allegations. Their main line of attack was that poker games shouldn’t be treated in the same way as roulette or blackjack because it is more a game of skill rather than luck. Obviously, the owner fought the conviction as best as he could but ultimately after two failed court appeals this spelt the end for Gutshot Poker Club and it was forced to close its doors for good.

Liv Boeree Photoshot and Video Interview

Liv Boeree, winner of the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo gave a video interview to Gambling Online Magazine, in which she tells the public about her future WSOP plans and her musical taste. 

Liv Boeree came out first at the EPT San Remo on 21st April. The tournament had 1240 participants, and the two players competing heads-up were Liv and the well-known Swedish online pro, the 22 year old Jakob 'mendieta19' Carlsson. Boeree received €1,250,000 for the victory, which gave a huge boost to her all-time live winnings (currently standing at $1,932,770), with her previous biggest earning being $42,000.

Liv Boeree
Liv Boeree

The gorgeous British poker pro, recently voted as one of the 30 hottest poker ladies, has been giving interviews ever since her San Remo victory. The latest one was made by Gambling Online Magazine, you can view it here. The video interview makes it pretty clear why she has received the nickname 'Iron Maiden'.

Miss USA 2010 Crowned in Las Vegas

Rima Fakih a 24-year old Brunette from Michigan is now Miss USA 2010 after winning the title this Sunday in Las Vegas. Rima managed to knockout 51 other competitors as she progressed her way up through the swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions to secure the number one spot.

Rima Fakih

Never too Late to Pump Iron - A 72 Years Old Bodybuilder

In our day-and-age where obesity has unfortunately become a global pandemic, one man is showing us that self-discipline can be the key to living a healthy lifestyle, even at old age. The 72 year old former ‘Mr. America’ Jim Morris is turning heads and dropping jaws with his ripped and buff body, leaving many speechless.

Jim who has been bodybuilding for close to a century now is showing no sign of slowing down. He has a strict work out which he abides by and manages to fit in all in an hour a day, six days a week. But this is not all; Jim also watches what he eats as well. His diet consists of a vegetarian’s line up of vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and he does his best to avoid all meats and cheeses. For all his hard efforts over time, Jim has the health and physique of a 20 year old. 

Cereus Network Finally Got Rid of the Security Flaw

Although the Cereus Network has announced on the 14th of May that they have taken care of the security gap that made it possible for hackers to view their opponents' hole cards and access others' poker accounts, employees of PokerTableRatings (PTR) were once again easily able to get around the system.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, PTR found a security gap in the software of the well-known Cereus Network. The main concern was that the network wasn't using the industry standard SSL encryption, but their own XOR coding system, which proved to be inefficient against outside threats. Programmers of the Cereus Network started to fix the problem immediately, and according to announcements made by Cereus, they managed to rewrite their software with the SSL encryption technique.

Cereus - PTR

As Cereus had requested PTR to test their system after the repair process, they tried once again to hack the software. To everyone's surprise, they have succeeded once again. Although they weren't able to view hole cards this time, the did manage to access poker accounts.

Cereus has once again kindly thanked them for their help, and the programmers are once again sterted to work on the issue.

On the 16th of May Cereus patched again and have informed PTR that they believe the issue is solved. After some testing PTR confirmed that SSL is now being used everywhere for Cereus. The login vulnerability no longer exists. They are not ensuring a proper implementation, but it seems like the biggest problems have been addressed.

Phil Ivey Getting More Than Just a Massage

As I was browsing through the 2+2 forum the other day I came across a hilarious post by 2+2 members. In the thread entitled 'Phil Ivey Photoshop potential', a newbie member ‘jaybeee’ displayed an already funny photo of Phil Ivey getting a head massage at the EPT Grand Finale in Monte Carlo. Jaybeee then goes on to encourage all the Photoshop wizards out there to have a go to increase its potential, with some very funny results.

Phil Ivey Photoshop Potential
The epic thread-starting photo Smile

Perlego - A Revolution in Broadcast Poker

PokerStars will introduce Perlego, its latest innovation in poker broadcasting on the 16th May, at one of the side events of the United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT).

Perlego is an automated card reading and graphics generation system, which is changing the way poker and other card games are produced and broadcast. It utilises a brand new camera technology to ensure recognition of all cards dealt to the players. All cards are supplied with a barcode, which is only visible when infrared light is shed on it. The algorithm of the program decodes this and recognizes the value and color of the given card. Of course, the system is also capable of recognizing community cards.

Roy Winston Challenges Negreanu’s Arguments - The Sunglass-Scandal Continues

Daniel Negreanu’s blog post concerning wearing sunglasses at the poker tables is raising more and more controversy. The Canadian player would be happy to have shades banned from the tables, while other players find this ridiculous.

The topic that shades have a bad effect on poker was first raised in the GSN show High Stakes Poker. Later on, Daniel Negreanu has paraphrased several times why he thinks sunglasses should be banned.


The blog post ended up generating a huge debate, with Negreanu’s opinion being discussed on several online forums. It seems that the idea of banning shades divides the poker society. The latest to comment on the issue was the winner of the 2007 WPT Borgata Winter Open and Full Tilt Pro Roy Winston, who finds Negreanu’s idea completely outrageous.

PokerStars Has Purchased Cecure Gaming and is Developing Mobile Phone Software

PokerStars has set out yet another goal for the near future: they are about to create the mobile phone version of their software and have purchased Cecure Gaming, a company whose profile is the developement of casino and poker software for mobile phones.

Cecure Gaming, established in 2000, has been developing poker and casino software for cell phones and can be brought in connection with brands like Orange, T-Mobile, 3 Mobile and Vodafone. Apart from operating the games World Poker Tour mobile and Ladbrokes Poker Million mobile, they also had their own gambling brand called Aces Royal.

Aces Royal
Aces Royal

Layne Flack’s Poker Reality Show is Coming!

The six-time WSOP winner Layne Flack will let us have a sneak peek in his not-so-everyday life in the new reality show titled ‘Life in the fast Layne’.

Layne Flack used to be mentioned among the most promising poker players of all time. He has won five WSOP bracelets between 1999 and 2003. After winning two consecutive WSOP events in 2002, Layne earned himself the ‘Back to Back Flack’ nickname. His drug-related problems nearly broke his career in two, and although he continued to participate in poker tournaments (and even finished second in the $6,000 NLHE Final Day behind Eric Brenes at the 2004 WPT), he was unable to deliver the performance that was expected from him by his fans and the poker society.

The PokerStars Big Game is Set to Arrive in June

Shooting of the long awaited PokerStars high stakes poker show, The Big Game, has ended last week and the first episode will be aired on the 14th June by the American Fox Sports TV channel.

Although the PokerStars Big Game has no official player listing yet, we already know for sure that Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Rousso, Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, Freddy Deeb, Tony G, Phil Laak, Doyle Brunson and Todd Brunson will be featured at the six-player table.

The PokerStars Big Game

Besides them, one seat will be reserved for the so-called ’Loose Cannon’, whose $100,000 buy-in will be paid for by the poker room. If the Loose Cannon wins, he can keep the amount won above the $100K, if he loses, he won’t have to pay. In order to become the Loose Cannon, players need to win one of the four daily PokerStars satellites and then prepare a self-intorductional video. PokerStars will choose the lucky one based on these videos.

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