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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.

Cooperation Between Playdom and WSOP

Besides Zynga, another Facebook game provider, Disney-owned Playdom, has its own poker application on the social network, Poker Palace. Only it is called World Series of Poker now.

WSOP Facebook

According to the Blog, in a world of brands developing their promotional games, re-branding an existing application is far from usual. Nevertheless, with Facebook being crammed with poker-related games, it seems to be a wise decision not to introduce yet another one into the market, not to mention the difficulty of building up a community around a new game. The merge provides a solid base instead and also helps Playdom popularise their application with the venerable brand.

Manchester City Signs Jesus Christ

According to Sky Sports, Jesus has recently not been satisfied with the position he had been playing at in Heaven, this is the reason why he accepted Manchester City's offer immediately.

Roberto Mancini, the coach for Manchester City acknowledged in a press release that it is not enough for the team to have only mortal people playing, this is why they settled on Jesus Christ himself. 

You can view Sky Sports' report below:

The Liberty Hotel - Where You Pay to Be in Prison

If you ever decide to visit downtown Boston, you will definitely stumble upon this very interesting building called the Liberty Hotel.

It used to function as a prison in the mid-19th century, and has been renovated to become a hotel three years ago. In this architecturally very special building, the structure of the cells remains as it was 150 years ago, except for the decoration and the materials used.

If you would like to stay one night in this luxury hotel, it would cost at least $320, with the elite suite having a nice price of $5500.

Liberty Hotel

Miami Heat to Win 2010-11 NBA Championship?

Miami Heat has recently signed Eddie House for two years (a contract worth $2.8 million), adding him to a selection of players including superstars like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Eddie House - Miami Heat
Eddie House

Experts say Miami Heat should not have any difficulties winning every single game in the season and becoming champions in 2010-11.

On top of that, now offers +175 odds of them winning the 2011 NBA Championship, which is almost unbelievable and sure not to last too long. The defending champion Lakers are the second favourite at +300 to win their third NBA title next year.

NBA Futures 2010-11

“Those odds are almost unfathomable. Some of us feel that is like taking candy from a child. says Don Shapiro.

“When your foundation is the trio of Bosh, Wade and LeBron, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the house is made of hay, spit and aging veterans. (...) With the NBA Championship Futures being released, it’s almost shocking that the Miami Heat are +175 to win in the 2010-11 NBA season.” writes Tim Furious of

If you have ever considered betting on the NBA, this is probably the time to do it, as these odds are truly worth the money.

Zynga Texas Hold’em Might Provide Real Money Games in the Future

Zynga, the most successful application creator has signed another five-year contract with Facebook. Zynga has countless other successful applications available on Facebook, including titles, such as Mafia Wars, Farmville and CaféWorld. Over 65 million people play their games every day, and this is only the Facebook users.

Zynga Poker

Developers like Zynga are able to write any software and application for Facebook, which gets easily publicised through the enormous and ever-growing community of people on the biggest community network. For example, if we install the Zynga Texas Hold’em application on Facebook, we will be able to challenge not only our friends, but also relatives overseas and the friends of our friends.

Bwin and PartyGaming Have Agreed to Merge

On the 29th July, Bwin and PartyGaming have officially announced that they are about to merge, thus creating the largest online gambling company in the world.

Bwin, with its main headquarters in Austria, and PartyGaming, the company that owns PartyPoker, have been negotiating on a possible fusion since summer 2009. Although this year many sources have reported that the deal would never come off, the two giant companies have now announced that they have managed to agree on all details, signed the papers, and will be listed together on the London Stock Exchange.

With this fusion, the biggest gambling company in the world is born. Bwin has an estimated value of €1.4 billion and PartyGaming is worth around £1.1 billion.

In the newly merged business, Bwin will take a share of 51.64% and the remaining 48.36% will be owned by PartyGaming. From now on, the leaders of the two companies (Jim Ryan of PartyGaming and Norbert Teufelberger of Bwin) will control the company together, sharing the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer.

“This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business,” Jim Ryan says, “With market leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino and games – in particular bingo – the new company will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cash flow generation and a highly experienced management team.”

Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan

A Star Wars Poker Parody Video - Felt Wars pt. 2

Finally, to finish the day with some funnier and lighter stuff, here is JimmyLegsFelt Wars pt. 2. You can see the first part here.
Be safe, have a nice day!

Bwin Profits from World Cup and Regulation reported that Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, leader in the online betting market, experienced a significant increase in its betting incomes during this year’s FIFA World Cup.

The 260,000 customers per day produced a total of 900,000 bets (213,000 of which made by newcomers and 90,000 by ‘reactivated’ users) and an average daily revenue of over €1.1 million. This means a record sum in comparison with previous soccer tournaments of the kind. In its bulletin, Bwin stated that “compared to the Euro 2008, Bwin increased its sportsbetting gross gaming revenues by nearly 40 percent (...) This figure was almost doubled by comparison with the 2006 FIFA World Cup. A sportsbetting margin of around 9.1 percent was an improvement on both the Euro 2008 at 8.3 percent and the 2006 FIFA World Cup at 6.7 percent.” The most popular match to bet on was the Germany v. Spain semi final.

The company also seems to prosper in France, as upon introducing its services in the country on 8 June, it was the “only international online gaming provider to enter the French market with a sportsbetting and poker license.” Bwin is thus among the few companies that are “in a position to meet the exacting demands of this regulated market.”


Harrah’s Management: ’Degenerate Gamblers’?

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., owner of the biggest casino network in Las Vegas and also the WSOP brand, has recently been relegated by Moody’s Investors Service.


Harrah’s is in private ownership, purchased two years ago by Apollo Management and TPG Capital for $27 billion. Now it is deep in debt but, according to Moody’s, “management seems more interested in jump-starting growth initiatives than in reducing debt.” They rather keep investing into new assets in hope of offsetting their deficit.

Octopus Paul Received a Bronze Statuette and a Spanish Jersey

Paul the Octopus, resident of the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, predicted the outcome of eight matches in a row during the FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa. Now, he is given honorary citizenship of Carballino, Spain, as well as the title “Best Friend of the City” and a Spanish national jersey.

Paul was awarded honourary citizenship of town Carballino, Spain
Paul, the Prophet Octopus, receiving honours

Everest Poker to Sponsor Olympique Lyonnais

Everest Poker signed a sponsorship contract with French professional football (i.e. soccer) league (Ligue de Football Professionnel – LFP) team Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon has been by far the most successful team of the league in the past 10 years.

Olympique Lyonnais 10/11 away jersey

Mangas Gaming, owner of BetClic, Bet-At-Home and Expekt as well, purchased Everest Poker in 2009 and is in for advertising on sport club jerseys; BetClic, for example, already sponsors Lyon, Marseille and Juventus, as well as 13 Portuguese teams.

OL is the first football team for Everest Poker to sponsor, but can easily be the most successful ever too: they won the LFP Ligue 1 championship seven times in a row and also keep doing well in the Champions League.

While BetClic remains to appear on the home jersey of the club, the away one now carries the name of the new sponsor. “Our aim with this agreement is to relate the most important values of sport with poker: play responsibly and respect your opponents,” Everest Poker representative Sandrine Mangia-Park said.

A Star Wars Poker Parody Video - Felt Wars

Browsing through the TwoPlusTwo Forum I came across this really funny video featuring a poker game that has the theme of Star Wars. The video made by JimmyLegs and titled Felt Wars is a secret bonus video featured at the end of 'Brain Fail Episode 5: Information Binge', a series produced for CardRunners. I was quite impressed by the video. It is definitely worth a look.

Tag Heuer Introduces the First Night Vision Sunglasses

Tag Heuer, well-known for their beautiful wrist watches, has now come up with something unprecedented: the Squadra Night Vision Sunglasses.

Tag Heuer

The lenses have been designed mainly for 24-hour-long car races, this is what, for example, Peugeot drivers were wearing at the Le Mans 24-hour-race.

These sunglasses have a titanium body and big contrast lenses, being the first sunglasses in the world that are capable of making up for late night myopia (this is when, at night, our eyes progressively lose focusing capability when staring in the darkness for a long time).

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