Poker News Round-up
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Poker News Round-up: Week #44
The Absolute Poker saga seems to be winding down now that they have admitted that cheating did take place on the site, although there are a couple of interesting points still emerging. An interim statement has been released which attempts to depict Absolute as the victims in this and asserts that there was just one individual responsible for the fraud – the high ranking consultant referred to in previous statements. Not for the first time, nobody at Absolute has been willing to put their name to this statement.
Those who have been following this case closely though have generally believed that there were at least two perpetrators (the user of account 363 to view all hole cards and another player logged in to use this information.) The insistence then of Absolute that there was only one culprit was viewed with a fair amount of scepticism. That scepticism grew enormously when Mark Seif released a video in which he gives details of a recent online conversation he had had with an Absolute employee contradicting this in quoting “everything being demolished by a couple of stupid and ignorant maniacs.”
It has been widely speculated that AJ Green was one of those implicated in this and in the same video Seif became the first person connected to Absolute Poker to actually mention Green’s name in connection with the scandal. One poker website claims to have discovered Green in hiding in Canada, and whilst it refuses to divulge his exact location for his own safety, it has published his email address just in case Absolute Poker customers can think of any questions they would like to ask him.
As if Absolute Poker’s PR people don’t have enough on their hands at the moment, another story emerged this week in the New York Times whereby a marketing company by the name of Publicity Guaranteed has alleged that Absolute owes them $43,000. It seems that Absolute has not paid up in respect of a campaign for their “win your tuition” promotion from 2005, and having lost a court case in 2006 for failing to pay, Absolute have still not settled up. Publicity guaranteed indeed, but not the sort likely to help a site which many in the poker world would now like to see go under.
Moving on now from one person who many feel should be arrested but hasn’t, to one who has been arrested who many think should not have been – CEO of Unibet Petter Nylander. Last week Nylander was apprehended after checking in for a flight from Holland destined for his home in the UK, and detained on a French arrest warrant. French authorities had issued the warrant on the basis that Unibet’s operations had breached French national laws protecting state owned lottery and horse betting monopolies. This was a decision which shocked and outraged many within the betting industry as a European Court Of Justice ruling had already previously stated that anybody bringing criminal proceedings against a legitimate gambling operator based in a fellow EU country would be contravening the EU treaty. Following a brief spell in detention in Holland Nylander was transferred to Nanterre for his hearing and was released on a bail of €200,000 by the French judge. Though he is now a free man again it remains to be seen how the French courts will deal with Nylander, the betting industry as a whole, and EU law in the coming few months.
100 billion dollars
Such recent unsavoury goings on in the world of online poker could be seen as detrimental to the image it may need to project if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is to be overturned, but that has not stopped Barry Greenstein from making some bold statements on the future of internet poker. Recently Greenstein, along with other members of the Poker Players Alliance, visited Congress in Washington to lobby for the right to play online poker. After meeting with several Congressmen, Greenstein had the following to say “I can tell people that I am very confident that online poker is going to be back strong, legal; use credit cards, bank accounts, it would really shock me if it wasn’t within the next six months.” Such bullish comments were apparently prompted in part by the presentation of PPA members as being very respectable, educated people, but also by actions on this side of the Atlantic. The impending compensation claim by EU members et al against the US as part of the World Trade Organisation dispute has many people despairing for the consequences on the economy, as claims could reach as much as $100 billion. It is thought that revoking the UIGEA may help to reduce the size of some the claims being made.
Barney Frank has also spoken to Greenstein and confirmed that he intends to put the matter up for a vote in the Senate once he has garnered enough backing from other politicians so we could well see significant developments in 2008. One significant sign that we may be on the way back to pre-UIGEA conditions was the re-opening of Doyle’s Room to US customers recently. The site has confirmed that its absence from the US market will be coming to an end, although the real marker will be when Party Poker, formerly the biggest site of all, makes its return. Having picked up a lot of new customers elsewhere in the world since abandoning its dealings in America, a return to the US would see it re-established even more emphatically than before as the major operator on the scene.
For those still playing online poker, Sunday nights are when the big tournaments generally take place and there is one man who has had massive results on consecutive Sundays for the past two weeks. Bluff magazine managing editor Chris Vaughn added $197,984 to his bankroll by taking first place in the $1million guaranteed on Full Tilt, then remarkably followed that up with first in Pokerstars’ Sunday Million for another $240,633 the following week. Beating a combined total of 4769 opponents, that’s what you might call significantly positive variance.
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