Wednesday, February 11, 2015

British Government Cracking Down On Gibraltar Online Gambling

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Published on August 5, 2013 by April Gardner

Gibraltar has become a popular destination for online gaming companies that are looking to serve British customers. This week, the British government threw a curve ball at Gibraltar by creating a new tax rate for gamblers using Gibraltar-based sites.

Prime Minister David Cameron has come up with a plan that would raise the tax rate on bets placed at Gibraltar online casinos from one percent to 15 percent. That is a sharp jump, and has Gibraltar officials upset.

"Internet gambling has become a premiere industry in the world, and Gibraltar has a large portion of licensed online companies in their jurisdiction," said Analyst Tre Simmons. "If this plan goes through, it has the potential to cripple Gibraltar. Companies would run from the area with a tax rate that high."

Another part of the new plan would insist that companies setting up shop in Gibraltar not only have a local license, but also a British license if they wanted to take bets from British customers.

Gibraltar officials are permitted to make their own laws regarding online gambling regulations, however, they are subjected to British laws as well.

The UK is one of the groundbreaking areas in the world within the Internet gambling industry. Gibraltar has become a hot spot for operators of online casinos since the operators started pulling out of the Caribbean territories of St. Thomas, Costa Rica, and Panama. The new taxation structure had some Gibraltar officials speaking out on the new plan. "The model of prohibition and higher taxes has been tried before," said Gibraltar government head Fabian Picardo. "If the UK takes the tax approach that it is proposing, it would be devastating for the UK itself."

The UK government is attempting to create a balance between the online and land-based casino industries. In recent years, the online sector has surpassed land-based gaming, leading to a call for change from within the land-based casino operators.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

UKIPT5 London Final table: Level 26-31 updates (100,000/200,000 ante 30,000)

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10.15pm: Rapinder Cheema wins UKIPT5 London and £78,825
It's all over here in London and Rapinder Cheema is the newest UKIPT champion. But spare a thought for Fernando Marin who will be wondering how in the world he lost this heads-up battle.

The biggest pot was actually not the final hand but it might have well as been. Pre-flop Cheema raised to 530,000 on the button, Marin shoved from the big blind and Cheema made the call. When the cards where turned over the situation looked like this:

Cheema: A♦2♦
Marin: A♠7♦

The stacks were very close so this hand was basically for the title. The 9♣8♦2♠ flop gave Cheema the lead and Marin looked disgusted. He'd got it in good again but was now behind. The 3♦ turn and K♣ river kept Cheema in front and it was now time to count the stacks down.

Cheema had 8,940,000 whilst Marin had 9,350,000 so was still in...just.

On the next hand Marin moved all-in for just over two big blinds with 9♦5♥ and Cheema called with 6♥6♠. The 6♦5♦9♣ flop was a fine microcosm of this heads-up play as Marin hit the flop hard, but Cheema had hit it even harder!

The 8♥ turn and 2♣ board meant Rapinder Cheema is the champion of UKIPT5 London whilst Fernando Marin finishes second for £74,275. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_rapinder_cheema.jpg

It's all about the UKIPT trophy!

Blinds up: 100,000/200,000, 30,000 ante

10.15pm: Chips for Cheema as he doubles
It had been brewing and after Fernando Marin made his standard raise of 330,000 on the button, Rapinder Cheema moved all-in for 4,165,000 and Marin made a quick call.

Marin: K♥Q♦
Cheema: J♣T♦

Marin was five cards away from the title with the best hand, but it didn't hold as a A♠J♦5♥6♥7♣ board meant Cheema doubled up to 8,330,000 and Marin slipped to 10m. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_rapinder_cheema.jpg

Cheema is back in the game

10pm: Back and forth
The chips are just flowing back and forth at the moment. No major action to report, but Rapinder Cheema is up to about 3,900,000 whilst Fernando Marin has dropped to around 15.8m. -- NW

9:49pm: More for Marin
Fernando Marin has increased his chip lead further and is up to around 16.2m whilst Rapinder Cheema is down to 3.5m. You sense he's going to take a stand soon. -- NW

9:39pm: Fernando Marin doubles through Rapinder Cheema
Big swing in chips now and Fernando Marin is now in a very dominant position indeed.

He opened to 425,000 and then called all-in when Rapinder Cheema shoved from the big blind, Marin was at risk for 6,885,000 total.

Marin: A♠Q♠
Cheema: Q♦9♠

The T♣4♠7♥2♦5♠ board kept the Spaniard in front and he now has 13,770,000 to Cheema's 5,000,000. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_fernando_marin.jpg

Marin got a crucial double

9:35pm: Changing of the guard
Rapinder Cheema now has the chip lead. There's been no major pots, just a couple of three-bets that have got through. He's up to 11,500,000 whilst Fernando Marin is down to 8,000,000. -- NW

9:25pm: Raps fast out the traps
Rapinder 'Raps' Cheema is up to 8,500,000 after all but doubling through Fernando Marin.

Marin made it 320,000 to go and Cheema called from the big blind. The 3♣Q♣6♥ flop was checked through and the A♣ fell on the turn. It checked to Marin, he bet and Cheema made the call.

On the 4♠ river Cheema checked again, Marin bet 1,300,000 and called after Cheema check-raised to 3,000,000 total. Cheema turned over J♣T♣ and it was good. -- NW

Blinds up: 80,000/160,000, 20,000 ante

9:15pm: It's a deal
Shortly before heads-up play started the two players struck a deal. There's still £15,000 to play for but they've flattened the structure a touch. Fernando Marin is now guaranteed £74,275 whilst Rapinder Cheema has locked up £63,825. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_heads_up.jpg

The stage is set for heads-up play

9:05pm: Off we go
Heads-up play is under way here at The Hippodrome Casino in London. -- NW

8:55pm: Another worthy winner
The Main Event trophy isn't the only one that'll be handed out today, as well as the London Cup, Deepstack Turbo and Ladies events trophies one player got his hands on a very well deserved trophy today.

Back in October after a season long battle against Max Silver, Tomasz Raniszewski and David Lappin to name just three, Daragh Davey sealed the UKIPT4 leader board title in the glamorous environs of a £300 side event at UKIPT London.

Over the course of 16 months and 11 festivals Davey took on all comers and beat them. A deep run to third position at UKIPT4 Galway may have got the ball rolling but as well as two further cashes in UKIPT Main Events it was his prowess over a range of buy-ins and games that earned him the title. From pot-limit Omaha double chance events to no-limit Hold'em turbo 'Win the button' events Davey cashed them all and his title is thoroughly deserved.

Well played to Davey and we'll be seeing a lot more of him on the tour in 2015 as his prize for winning the leader board is hotel and entry to all events in 2015. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_daragh_davey.jpg

Davey receives his trophy from UKIPT Event Manager Dave Curtis

8:55pm: Heads-up chip counts
The players are on a short break and when they return to do battle Fernando Marin will start with a 13,885,000 chip stack, whilst Rapinder Cheema has 4,970,000. Below's a reminder of what they're playing for:

1st. £95,100
2nd. £58,000

-- NW

8:45pm: Martin Hanham eliminated in third place (£41,000)
Martin Hanham had shoved three times and get it through on each occasion, but on his exit hand he was the one doing the calling after Fernando Marin had set him in from the small blind for his last 1,800,000.

Hanham turned over 8♣8♦ and he was racing for his tournament life against Marin's A♦9♦. The 9♥3♥3♣ flop gave Marin the lead and there was no way back for Hanham on the Q♣[ turn and 4♥ river.

The tube driver can buy plenty of oysters with the £41,000 he's won here this week. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_martin_hanham.jpg

Hanham - out in third after a gritty peformance

8:35pm: Buzz has quietened, focus is on
Since Lawrence Bayley and his incessant stream of wry observations have been excised from the tournament, the players have gone into their shells a little - at least verbally.

Conversation is minimal - these guys just want to play to a winner.

So far three-handed Marin has been the busiest - raising every single button and occasionally three-betting late position raises, he is slowly but surely wearing Hanham and Cheema down at the moment as he moves up to the 11 million chip mark.

They still have stacks capable of hurting him though so a big pot could see the power balance shift.. --RS


The game has entered a pensive mode

8:15pm: Marin shows some frustration
Could we just have seen the first crack in the hitherto impenetrable force that is Fernando Marin?

He called a 325,000 pre-flop raise from the small blind after Rapinder Cheema had opened on the button. The 2♦Q♦2♣ flop was checked through and the 5♠ fell on the turn. First to act was Marin and he led for 325,000, call from Cheema.

The T♦ rounded things off and both players elected to check, Cheema showed A♦T♥ and Marin slammed his cards face-up on the table to reveal he'd been holding pocket eights. -- NW

8:05pm: Back to crown the champion
The remaining three potential champions are back at the felt looking to turn that potential into tangible return.

Can anyone beat Spanish sensation, chipleader Fernando Marin? -- RS

7:50pm: End of level 29; Break it up
Three handed for the title, the players are taking a short 15 minute breather before they return to play to a winner.

Here's how they line up right now:

Fernando Marin: 10,340,000
Rapinder Cheema: 5,005,000
Martin Hanham: 3,010,000.

See you in 15 minutes.

7:40pm: Marin and Cheema the main protagonists
In the opening exchanges of three-handed play it's Fernando Marin and Rapinder Cheema who've been making most of the running. Marin has won the most pots and he's put Martin Hanham to the ultimate test a couple of times.

But, he's had the roles reversed against Cheema, on two occasions Cheema has shoved over Marin's opens for over 40 big blinds. On the second time Marin showed and Cheema showed just a seven as he took the pot. -- NW

7:30pm: Lawrence Bayley eliminated in fourth place (£31,000)
Lawrence Bayley thought his exit hand was a bit of a slowroll on the part of Rapinder Cheema, who's playing his first ever live tournament, we'll let you be the judge of that though.

Down to just 1,750,000 Bayley three-bet shoved over the top of Cheema's 250,000 chip open. Back on Cheema he got a count, tanked for a bit and then called.

Cheema: T♥T♦
Bayley: 3♦3♣

The board came 9♣5♠7♣T♠7♠ and meant Cheema made a full house to eliminate Bayley in fourth place. So Bayley's entertaining tournament comes to an end and it's back to clicking buttons for the Supernova Elite. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_lawrence_bayley.jpg

Bayley - button clicking in a hyper-turbo near you soon!

7:25pm: Cheema injured by Marin
Fernanado Marin has had a fantastic final table. Most of his moves have worked out and his stack has increased steadily throughout.

He just took a huge leap toward the title by winning a big pot off his major stack rival, Rapinder Cheema.

Cheema had raised preflop and bet every street of the K♦7♣4♦7♥8♥ board for 300,000 (call), 300,000(call) then 350,000. The last bet however saw Marin now raise instead of call, making it 825,000 if Cheema wanted to see his cards.

He was too curious to fold his top pair, calling with K-T only to get the bad news Marin had spiked the turn and had A-7 for trips.

Marin now up to 9 million, he is really starting to crush the final. Can anyone find a rush of cards to decimate his lofty towers of chips? -- RS


His supporters will be vamooing like there's no tomorrow

7:10pm: Bayley under the cosh
After playing that tension-filled pot with Marin earlier, Lawrence Bayley was pushed into a tough place once more, Rapinder Cheema the man to apply the pressure this time.

Bayley raised the button to 200,000 and Cheema peeled from the big blind.

Cheema saw the J♦7♥3♠8♠5♣ board and just took off, betting 300,000 on the flop ( call) 350,000 on the turn (call) and 500,000 on the river (tank)

Bayley looked really perplexed at what Cheema could have "It just doesn't make sense!"

He tried his best to elicit some information from his opponent, pleading friendship, asking regular questions, suggesting hands but Cheema had turned statue-esque and refused to respond to external stimuli anymore.

Eventually Bayley threw his hand away. "Live to fight another day he said," though his stack has been reduced to below 2 million and he will be starting to move into shove/fold mode soon. Cheema meanwhile is up to 6million.

"All the interesting hands are coming at the end of the tournament," he commented smiling. -- RS

7:10pm: Double for Hanham
A simple, classic hand here.

200,000 raise from Cheema again, a 1.7 million shove from Martin Hanham, a snap call from Cheema - we had an all-in!

The showdown was about as flippy as it gets A♥K♠ for Cheema, 9♣9♦ for Hanham.

The board ran out J♣J♥2♠7♣4♥ and it was Hanham who had run the allin gauntlet successfully once more - his stack now with a little more potential at 3,500,000 whilst Cheema loses those chips he just won from Yong. -- RS

7:00pm: Yong eliminated in 5th place
Christopher Yong has had his moments on the final table, but overall it's been a pretty tough experience for him. To be fair he doesn't seem to have had the best of cards at times, and once more the deck conspired to ensure he was pipped to the post - his 14 BB reshove with A-9 running into the pocket kings of Rapinder Cheema, who had min -raised from UTG.

A king on the K♦6♠3♦ board pretty much sealed the deal and once the formalities of a 9♣ turn and 5♠ had been revealed, it was handshakes and farewells for Yong, busted in 5th place for a very healthy £24,600.

Cheema climbs to 7 million chips-- RS


Christopher Yong - He's been all about the smiles and good poker

Blinds up: 50,000/100,000, 10,000 ante

6:50pm: Marin puts Bayley in the hurt locker
Sound the big pot klaxon!!

Lawrence Bayley just went through a tournament's worth of emotion in the space of one hand but he was gracious enough to say: "great bet, whatever you had," to Fernando Marin at the conclusion of the hand.

The action started with Bayley raising to 150,000 from the cut-off and Marin defending from the big blind. The 4♥J♦8♥ flop was checked through, giving little indication of the fireworks that would follow. On the 6♦ turn Bayley bet 205,000, Marin check-raised to 720,000 and Bayley smooth called.

The 5♠ completed the board and Marin announced that he was all-in, he was the covering stack so the shove was for an effective 2,600,000 or so. Bayley rocked back in his chair and said: "fair play to you, you've given me a very tough decision." He then eyed up the rest of the stacks at the table which were roughly:

Rapinder Cheema - 2,900,000
Martin Hanham - 1,350,000
Christopher Yong - 1,500,000

Perhaps ICM considerations were playing a big part in Bayley's thinking and given his online background it's a distinct possibility. Bayley began talking through the hand and said to Marin. "What seven can you have?"
"You want a clue?" asked Marin.
"Yes," said Bayley."
"I don't have a seven," said Marin.
"So you've merged two pair or a set then?" responded Bayley.

Eventually Bayley elected to fold and fight another day. "You were losing," said Marin as he stacked the chips. "Yeah but you're Spanish and you always bluff," said Bayley with a grin.

Who was winning? We'll never know but Marin is up to 9,300,000 and has half the chips in play. -- NW

6:40pm: Marin gets shoved on
Two hands, two raises from Fernando Marin, two shoves and two folds from the Spaniard.

First to take him on was Martin Hanham, he shoved for 1,550,000 over Marin's 175,000 open and the Spaniard folded after getting a count.

On the next hand it was Christopher Yong's turn to shove over his raise, this time for 1,105,000.

The Spaniard gave it up once more, he seemingly won't be able to bully this table at will. -- NW

6:30pm: Marin hoovering up chips
Fernando Marin is increasingly moving away from the chasing pack and he's up to 8.3m after winning a big pot against Rapinder Cheema.

The hand started with Marin raising to 175,000 from under-the-gun, Cheema three-bet from the big blind to 450,000 and Marin elected to peel. On the 5♣T♣9♠ flop Cheema c-bet 550,000 and Marin smooth called.

The 7♥ fell on the turn and Cheema slowed down, Marin didn't though as he bet 800,000 and Cheema folded to leave himself with a stack of roughly 3m. -- NW

6:20pm: Paul Simmons eliminated in sixth place (£18,600)
When you've shoved and Lawrence Bayley asks for a count beware, he's about 95% likely to call you.

Once again, this proved the case as Paul Simmons moved all-in from the cut-off and Bayley re-jammed from the small blind after a few of his infamous calculations.

You don't get to Supernova Elite without crunching some serious numbers with a fair degree of accuracy and Bayley once more was on the money, his call with pocket sixes +EV versus Simmons' range and specifically his hand A♥7♣.

"Overs at least!" Simmons piped up optimistically.

There was a flip to be contested though, a pretty key one for both players, and the mainly baby board of 8♦4♥3♥4♠Q♦ suited Bayley's hand better - his stack vaulting to 4.4 million as he sends Simmons to the rail in 6th place for £18,600,

It looks like Hanham the tube driver has bested Simmons the cabbie in the driver face-off.

"Well played Paul," Bayley said, shaking hands with another of his new friends before Simmons left to collect his money. --RS


5th place for Simmons - a quality result

6:10pm: Double for Hanman
Martin Hanman;s hands are tied really. His only realistic move when he decides to play a pot is to shove all-in. So when he found A♣7♣ this met the requirements for his sub-10 BB stack's shove range and he did the bizzo.

The allin triangle was passed his way but when Cheema made the call off his big stack in the very next spot, he must've been a bit dubious about how good he would look at showdown.

As it was when everyone else folded, Cheema turned up an inferior hand, albeit one with plenty of equity (41%) - his Q♥J♣ not far from flipping with Hanman's suited ace.

A board of K♣T♦5♠5♥8♥ would have sent a few shivers down Hanman's spine but his ace-high was ultimately good and he moves to 1,500,000 - his biggest stack for some time, whilst Cheema remains big stacked with over 4 million. -- RS

5:55pm Which driver will reach their final destination first?
As well as two professional poker players, there's a tube driver and a cab driver at this final table. Unfortunately unless our drivers go through the gears they're not going to be part of this final table for that much longer.

Paul Simmons (cab) and Martin Hanham (tube) are the two shortest stacks right now and it's Hanham's tournament that looks as if it could be derailed imminently. He's dribbled down to around 715,000 and whilst Simmons has a bit more wiggle room with 1,315,000 he's only just got over 15 big blinds. -- NW

Blinds up: 40,000/80,000, 10,000 ante

5:40pm Break
The end of level 27 means the players are taking a well-deserved break. We'll be back in 15 minutes, but in the meantime enjoy these stack counts:

Fernando Marin - 6,510,000
Rapinder Cheema - 5,020,000
Lawrence Bayley - 2,490,000
Christopher Yong - 1,925,000
Paul Simmons - 1,455,000
Martin Hanham - 955,000


Cheema has been growing his stack efficiently

5:35pm: Marin vs Yong part III
This is probably an understatement, these two have come into, if not mortal, then significant conflict on several occasions at this final table.

The main reason for this is that Marin is the button to Yong's BB and he doesn't seem to like to give it up too easily.

Most recently he peeled a 120,000 button raise from Marin, the pair seeing a board of 9♠7♦2♣.

Check from Yong, 135,000 from Marin raised to 340,000 from Yong. Marin called...

The turn saw the 7♠ appear and Marin called Yong's second bullet of 455,000 in position. A final K♦ on the river saw Yong fire his third and largest bullet - 715,000 the price to pay - but Marin pondered this before deciding his Q♥9♣ was too good to fold and it proved a perceptive call as Yong could only table the semi-bluffing 8♣6♠.

Marin up over 6 million, Yong down to 1.7 mill. --RS

5:25pm: Yong gets some back
Christopher Yong and Lawrence Bayley have continued to battle and in their latest skirmish it was Yong who came out on top.

He raised to 125,000 on the button, Bayley three-bet to 320,000 from the small blind and Yong called the extra. On the 3♣8♦A♥ flop Bayley bet 240,000 and Yong smooth called once more. The 5♥ fell on the turn and Bayley check-folded to a bet from Yong.

Yong then won a pot of roughly 800,000 against Fernando Marin and he's back up to 3,000,000, whilst Marin is down to 3,000,000 and Bayley around 2,600,000. -- NW

5:10pm: Final Table Profiles
Here are some short profiles of our 8 finalists for your consumption.

Please help yourself to a delicious slice of information.

5:04pm: Bayley pulls out the flair moves
It's a fine line between genius and madness, but Bayley just pulled off perhaps the most audacious move of the tournament so far, certainly one that required a healthy dose of bravery.

The hand started with Paul Simmons min raising the button to 120,000, Yong calling and a quick check of the stacks from Bayley in the big blind and he decided a squeeze was in order, making to 360,000.

Simmons looked highly disinterested in playing out this pot, throwing his chips into the muck...Yong on the other hand was not about to let this precocious whippersnapper steal the pot off him and after some thought four-bet to 600,000 to leave Bayley the one facing a potentially tough decision.

Bayley dived into the tank for 20 seconds or so emerging with his scuba gear dripping and instantly 5-bet to 1,050,000. Wowzer.

Yong thought about it but decided to muck, only for Bayley to flash Q♦4♦. for a pretty impressive airball five-bet. Bayley's antics mean he's up to 3.4 million, Yong is entering the danger zone with just 950,000.

For completeness, the other stacks stand at:
Cheema - 5,000,000
Marin - 5,000,000
Simmons - 1,600,000
Hanham - 500,000

"Sorry about showing the hand, it was for the table," Bayley later explained.

"Haha no problem. I thought it might be something like that" Yong replied with a smile that suggested all was forgiven. --RS


Yong - cheerful in the face of adversity

4:50pm: Marin causes Yong pain
Christopher Yong has been a somewhat peripheral figure so far in the final but he got involved moments ago, raising under the gun to 125,000, only for big stack Fernando Marin to put the pressure back on him, re-popping to 330,000.

A pensive Yong made the call and the pair went heads-up to an A♣8♠4♦ board.

325,000 from Marin, a slow call from Yong. The turned 9♦ saw Marin raise the price to pay to 650,000. Again Yong made the call.

Come the 7♣ on the river, Marin considered this carefully before checking. Long deliberations from Yong eventually led to him checking also, Marin showing down A♥J♦ - evidently good as Yong quickly mucked. --RS

Blinds up: 30,000/60,000, 10,000 ante

4:35pm: Brett's in Bayley's corner
Brett Angell was philosophical about his exit and took to twitter to wish Lawrence Bayley good luck. -- NW

4:25pm: Brett Angell eliminated in seventh place (£13,300)
There will be no fairytale second title in back to back UKIPT Main Events for Brett Angell. The 'Boro boy shoved for 890,000 on the button with Q♠8♣ and Rapinder Cheema called from the small blind with A♥T♣.

Cheema flopped Angell dead on a T♦]T♠A♣ flop and Angell was up and shaking hands as the 4♣ turn and 6♣ river completed the board. -- NW

4:15pm: Bayley and Marin go to war
With the rising blinds shrivelling up the players' stack to blind ratios, mistakes at this point will be magnified and good decisions could make a huge difference to the payouts the players might receive.

Moments ago, we saw Bayley raise to 100,000 and Marin make the call from the button.

A board of T♥9♠9♦ saw Bayley make a slow check, Marin following suit.

The turned 4♠ produced a second check from Bayley who was remaining quiet throughout the hand. Marin however was keen on making a move on the pot and bet out 100,000. Bayley called.

The river saw the 6♣ appear - Bayley checked once more and Marin now bet out 355,000. Bayley went into "mental calculator" mode - eyes moving about as figures danced around in his head.

Finally he called, showing down A-Q for just ace high, but it proved an inspired call as Marin could only table K♠J♠ for a missed draw and king-high.

Good stuff from Bayley, Marin looked annoyed at himself for losing those chips.

Bayley rises to 2,100,000, Marin drops just below the four million mark. --RS

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_lawrence_bayley.jpg

Bayley is on the up

4:05pm: Sorensen falls first in 8th place
Joakim Sorensen's short stack didn't afford him the luxury of passing up hands like A♣J♥ so when he looked down at such a pretty hand, he did what all poker players with a shortstack must do - shoved from under-the-gun.

A reshove from Paul Simmons UTG+1 didn't bode well and when everyone else elected to pass (Rapinder Cheema briefly considering getting involved before throwing his hand in the muck) it was left for Simmons to showdown A♥K♥ for a dominating hand.

A board of K♦9♥2♦4♥Q♠ sealed the Swede's fate and he departed to a smattering of applause to collect the £9,138 his 8th placed berth was worth.

"Congratulations on the pay jump chaps," Bayley added, although he was polite enough to wait till Sorensen was out of earshot first. --RS

3:50pm: Let's get this final started
The final table has been set up on the main stage here at The Hippodrome Casino and the players are now in their seats ready for the show to start. Tournament Director Toby Stone has just done the introductions and cards are back in the air. It's Fernando Marin who leads but all eyes are on Brett Angell who is not only attempting to win a second UKIPT title but back to back UKIPT Main Events.

Paul Simmons, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,840,000
Christopher Yong, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,510,000
Lawrence Bayley, United Kingdom, 1,930,000
Martin Hanham, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,805,000
Brett Angell, United Kingdom, 910,000
Rapinder Cheema, United Kingdom, 3,590,000
Fernando Marin, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 4,055,000
Joakim Sorensen, Sweden, 715,000

Ukipt5_london_main event_day3_brett_angell.jpg

Can Angell go back to back on the UKIPT?

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT London: Rod Stirzaker and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Rhode Island Governor's Veto Stands Against Casino Gambling

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A bill which would allow table games to be operated at Rhode Island racinos failed to advance beyond the governor's veto, leaving voters unable to decide for themselves.

Play Now at Slots Plus Casino! A bill passed by both houses of the Rhode Island legislature which would allow full casino gambling at the state's two slot parlors won't make it to the voters, as a deadline to override the Governor's veto passed today. Governor Donald Carcieri had refused to cooperate with a bill expanding gambling, and the lawmakers had to bypass the veto by today to have the measure placed on the ballot this year.

The new law would allow the operation of table games, including blackjack and roulette, to the selection of gambling provided at the racinos.

The Twin River slot parlor is already in bankruptcy, and the Newport Grand facility is struggling financially, as the state places an onerous tax burden on the gaming houses. Carcieri helped change rules which forced the two erstwhile dog tracks to meet minimum hours of live racing, as the racing was losing money, but the chunk given to the state is substantially greater than greyhound losses.

Carcieri also denies his own constituents the right to decide the issue for themselves. Because the expansion of gambling requires a constitutional amendment, the ultimate fate of the bill would have been decided in the general election.

With table gaming denied for more than a year at best, the future of the Rhode Island gambling houses is in question. OCA gambling analyst Sherman Bradley says the state's greed, combined with its intransigence over admitting new casino games, may cost it the multi-million-dollar golden goose.

Published on August 10, 2010 by MattMiller

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By the Book online gaming database—AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION

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120414_AGALogo_300As part of its ongoing “Get to Know Gaming” campaign, the American Gaming Association (AGA) today released a first-of-its-kind resource to allow stakeholders, policymakers, regulators and gaming journalists to easily compare commercial gaming regulations for each state.

The online database, called “By the Book,” is accessible through an interactive, easy-to-use map on It aggregates and explains the regulatory and statutory requirements for the gaming industry in five key areas: regulatory oversight; licensing; taxation; responsible gaming; and integrity.

“Commercial gaming operators and manufacturers face a complex regulatory environment unlike any other industry,” said Geoff Freeman, AGA president and chief executive officer. “The AGA is paving the way for forward-thinking policy that encourages innovation through our ‘Get to Know Gaming’ campaign, and this interactive database allows for easy navigation and comparisons of the nuanced and varied laws and regulations governing commercial gaming.”

“From a regulator’s perspective, this is a valuable tool that, for the first time, compiles key information in one place from a trusted source,” said Mark Lipparelli, gaming consultant and former Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman. “This will help regulators across the country do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.”

The interactive, easy-to-use database—which aggregates key information in one place for the first time—includes details on the following five key areas:

  • Regulatory oversight
  • Licensing
    • Operator
    • Supplier
    • Key employee
    • Costs/fees per license
    • Renewal frequency
  • Taxation
    • Gaming tax rate
    • How taxes are reinvested
    • Taxation of promotional credits
    • Withholding tax on gambling winnings
  • Responsible gaming
    • Statutory funding requirement
    • Self-exclusion (including laws punishing excluded players from entering casinos)
    • Alcohol use
    • Advertising restrictions
    • On-premise display requirement
    • Prevention of underage gambling
  • Integrity
    • Testing requirements
    • Anti-money laundering requirements
    • Shipping requirements
    • Political contributions

“Get to Know Gaming” is the gaming industry’s most aggressive effort ever to promote the value of the gaming industry, combat outdated stereotypes and pave the way for policies that encourage innovation.

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Casino executive news: February 2015

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Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) has named Phil Harrison to the position of senior manager regulator development, compliance and quality assurance for GLI Australia. Harrison will operate out of the company’s laboratory in Adelaide.

In his new role, Harrison will work closely with regulators and clients throughout GLI’s Australian and Asian marketplaces.

Harrison’s extensive experience in the gaming industry dates back to 1994 when gaming machines were first introduced to South Australia. In his role as inspector, systems auditor and as manager of gambling operations for the South Australia Liquor & Gambling Commissioner, Harrison has worked with all of the major stakeholders throughout Australia and Asia, including regulators, manufacturers, gambling operators, ATFs and monitoring system operators.

After 16 years with the South Australia Liquor & Gambling Commissioner, Harrison recently served as executive officer and director of Club Safe, an initiative of the club industry to support clubs with gaming and promote responsible gambling.


Hard Rock International, owner of one of the world’s most recognizable and iconic brands, has hired Daniel Cheng as senior vice president of business development, Asia-Pacific. Cheng’s appointment is a strategic move designed to accelerate momentum behind the brand’s global gaming growth plans.

Cheng will be responsible for identifying the appropriate casino investment and development partners within key countries, such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Bringing nearly three decades of multiple industry experiences, Cheng’s past gaming experience includes development roles with Bally Gaming Systems, the government of Singapore and most recently, Resorts World Inc., the international resort development, Internet gaming and brand licensing business entity of the Genting Group.


NOVOMATIC has announced two key appointments that will strengthen and enhance its management capability in North America and throughout Central and South America.

Rick Meitzler moves from his current position as vice president of sales-North America to become president of NOVOMATIC Americas Sales LLC with responsibilities for the markets in North America including Canada. Meitzler will also have responsibility for such additional business areas as cruise lines and the important Caribbean market sector.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Levy, general manager Crown Gaming Peru, takes overall responsibility for the group’s subsidiary companies throughout Central and South America.

Both Meitzler and Levy will report directly to the NOVOMATIC Board of Directors.

With these important changes NOVOMATIC signals a clear commitment to successfully engage and expand in markets across all the Americas—South, Central and North—to further enhance NOVOMATIC’s position as a global market leader.

In other NOVOMATIC news, the company also announced that gaming industry veteran Jens Halle has left his joint positions as managing director, Austrian Gaming Industries GmbH and CEO of NOVOMATIC Americas Sales. This move was reached by mutual agreement, according to company press materials.


Rymax Marketing Services, a full-service loyalty provider and the largest manufacturer’s representative in the incentive industry, has promoted Paul Gordon to senior vice president of sales. In this position, Gordon will focus on directing the multiple sales divisions that report to him in growing key accounts, developing new client relationships and strategically aligning Rymax’s exclusive and national brand partners within an assortment of incentive programs.

Gordon previously served as vice president of sales for Rymax, managing the product sales division, the solutions sales division and the gaming sales divisions. His presence as an industry expert and leader has led Gordon to be a featured guest on 21st Century Television with Host Donald Trump Jr. for Bloomberg Business and Corporate Review for Fox Business, discussing best practices for recognition and loyalty programs.


Scientific Games Corporation has elected Richard M. Haddrill, former CEO of Bally Technologies, as executive vice chairman of the board.

In this role and as a member of the board’s Executive and Finance Committee, Haddrill will focus on assisting the company in realizing its business and financial objectives in connection with the integration of Bally, which the company acquired in November 2014. Haddrill will also focus on new business development, as well as providing general strategic guidance to Scientific Games’ management.

Prior to joining the board, Haddrill served as Bally’s CEO from 2004 to 2012 and from May 2014 until the company’s acquisition of Bally. He served on Bally’s board of directors from 2003 until the acquisition, including serving as chairman of the board from 2012 to 2014.


 Suzo-Happ has implemented a new leadership structure to reflect the growth and diversification that the company has successfully achieved over the last few years. As a result, James Brendel, president and CEO of Suzo-Happ, has been elevated to chairman of the board. He will relinquish his day-to-day responsibilities as president and CEO allowing him to focus on the strategic direction of the company.   

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Atlantic City Playboy Casino Veterans Celebrate Anniversary

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Workers from the Playboy Casino in Atlantic City in the early '80s will have a reunion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the gambling venue's closing.

Management at Playboy had taken steps to begin to enter the gambling world just as the recession began, suggesting a future pairing of scantily-clad beauties and casino gaming. But to some who worked in Atlantic City twenty-five years ago, Playboy Casino is not a dream of the future, it is a memory of what was.

From 1981 to 1984, the Playboy Casino in Atlantic City featured the bunny outfits and gorgeous women that make the Playboy brand. The casino broke off its affiliation with the magazine empire in 1984, becoming the Atlantis, but never prospered and closed in 1989, the first Atlantic City casino to go out of business.

Now, Playboy is throwing an anniversary party for those who toiled in the casino years ago.

A $12 million mansion owned by a Pennsylvania real estate entrepreneur will host the get-together for those ladies who wore the traditional bunny ears. The mansion's property director, Renay Rogers, was a cocktail waitress at the Play boy Casino.

Playboy's new casino operation was dealt a fatal blow in 1984 when iconic owner Hugh Hefner was refused a gaming license by New Jersey regulators. The gaming board ruled that Hefner had lied about past business dealings, and made him ineligible to own the casino.

Hefner sold to partner Elsinore Corporation, who renamed the resort Atlantis.

Now, for those who expect Playboy casinos to mark the future, there is a chance to remember the Playboy Casino of the past.

Published on September 20, 2009 by EdBradley

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