Over the past week, some of the biggest online poker companies were involved in some of the biggest headlines, with PokerStars throwing a monkey wrench of epic proportions into California’s online poker aspirations.
And, bwin.party has made it clear that they have their own US plans, as the company shifts its focus from Europe to the United States.
Not to be left out, Full Tilt Poker also grabbed some headlines over the past week as the site proves once again it’s at the forefront of online poker innovation, adding Flipout Tournaments to their list of original products - a list that already includes Rush Poker and Multi-Entry Tournaments.
You’ll find all of these stories and a whole lot more, including the latest instant poker bankroll offers below.
According to remarks made on investor conference calls, with the European market in a state of tumult bwin.party is looking towards the nascent US market when it comes to future growth - a market the company has already jumped into in New Jersey.
While bwin.party still has plenty of opportunity in Europe, with regulated markets in France, Spain, and Italy still eagerly awaiting the company’s involvement, it’s the US, and particularly potential markets like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the holy grail of US iGaming, California, where bwin sees its future.
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California looked to finally be on the right track, chugging along towards online poker legislation, but the developments over the past week may have just derailed that train.
Recent rumors indicating PokerStars has entered into some type of preliminary agreement with the Morongo Tribe and three California casinos, Hawaiian Gardens, Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Casino, has caused a significant backlash from other entities in California, namely the California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA) which released a statement via Chairperson Leslie Lohse.
In the statement, Lohse is quite clear that the CTBA (a coalition of the Pala Band of Luiseño Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians) sees PokerStars as a deal-breaker:
"In light of the partnership negotiations among PokerStars, Morongo, and the three card clubs, the Member Tribes of CTBA will continue to work diligently to ensure any online poker authorization bill will impose strong controls, mandate disclosures, and promote the highest standards of integrity in the gaming industry. Therefore we will strongly oppose any legislation which allows PokerStars to participate."
Needless to say, California’s attempts at passing an online poker bill just got a whole lot more complicated in 2014.
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Even under a new ownership team (the same team that owns PokerStars by the way), Full Tilt Poker continues to push the online poker envelope with novel ideas designed to keep the site at the cutting edge of the iGaming industry.
The latest product to roll off the Full Tilt Poker assembly line is called Flipout Tournaments.
The basics of the new format is that during the first round of the tournament each player at the table goes all-in with the winner moving on to a new table with the other survivors from other tables, where they are now in the money and compete in a normal multi-table tournament from there on out.
While it seems a bit dramatic, unnecessary, and is simply just luck (in the long-run every player will advance the same amount of times) the structure should be beneficial to players looking to cut down on time played, and players who think they have a strong advantage in end-game situations.
Another factor to consider is that players who struggle during bubble play can bypass that segment of the tournament altogether.
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