Archive for the ‘Online Poker’ Category

PokerStars Testing Virtual Reality Game

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

pokerstars-vrPokerStars is joining a small number of online gaming sites that are exploring virtual reality (VR). Stars is currently beta testing PokerStars VR, a free virtual reality poker game that’s available for HTC Vive and Oculus Steam.

Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at Stars, issued a statement on the site’s new frontier.

“PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players,” said Rasset.

“Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century. We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand new virtual reality dimension.”

How is the PokerStars VR Beta Test Going?

Stars is merely running a small beta test involving 100 online players. The goal is to see how the VR game performs and decide how close it is to offering to the masses.

Virtual reality poker is considered one of the untapped markets in the game. And PokerStars could position itself as a front-runner in this genre.

Will Virtual Reality Online Poker be the Future?

VR poker is exciting to consider, because it could feel like you’re playing a home game with friends. Furthermore, you’ll have a more-realistic online poker experience than simply playing the standard online version.

That said, virtual reality could very well be the future of internet poker. But it’s important to be realistic, because this type of poker still has a long ways to go before it’s ready to take over the game.

PokerStars VR is helping further this cause by beta testing a product that should be available at a later date.

Winamax Poker Struggles with DDoS Attacks

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

winamax-online-pokerSeveral online poker sites have dealt with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks over the past few years, including PokerStars, partypoker, and the Winning Poker Network. You can now add Winamax Poker to this list, as they were hit with DDoS attacks recently.

These attacks are used in order to disrupt the targeted website. They cause a website’s communications to get jammed up, thus messing up a variety of functions. Looking strictly at an online poker room, the site’s cash games and tournaments are hit hard and filled with lag and other problems.

That said, Winamax Poker slowed to a crawl as they tried fending off the DDoS attacks. Luckily, the site has weathered the storm and is now fully operational again.

Winamax Releases a Statement

Winamax took to their Twitter account in order to provide clarification on what happened to them. Here are some tweets they offered as an explanation:

1/ These malicious acts (called DDoS in computer jargon) are unfortunately common on the Internet and are completely out of our control. These only affect a very small amount of players: the majority of players stay connected and can continue to play as normal. However, in order to keep proceedings fair, and in order for the disconnected players to not be put in an unfavourable position compared to the players who can continue playing, Winamax voluntarily interrupts all tournaments.

2/ Neither the quality of the Winamax servers nor the quality of our cyber security are called into question because of these attacks. They have no impact on the players’ data or funds, which are completely secure.

3/ Players who have been affected by the stoppage will be fully reimbursed to article 3.2 of our Poker Terms and Conditions. Reimbursement will be automatic: you will not need to take any further action.

Preventing this kind of situation from ever recurring is our technical team’s number 1 priority.

Why do People Launch DDoS Attacks Against Poker Sites?

Reasons for issuing a DDoS attack against an online poker room can vary. But in many cases, these are used as a method of revenge.

For example, somebody could have lost lots of money at a poker site and be angry about it. Or they could have a negative interaction with customer support and want to get back at them.

In any case, DDoS attacks can severely interrupt a poker room until the site is able to deal with the problem. Winamax, as well as other sites, have managed to fight off these problems. But DDoS attacks can still cause plenty of financial damage.

New Jersey Online Poker Struggles – Despite Shared Liquidity

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

new-jersey-online-pokerNew Jersey’s online poker market has lagged well behind their casino market. The state’s internet poker traffic saw an 8.5% decline to $24.5 million in 2017.

This is a big reason why they finally agreed to join Delaware and Nevada in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) in May 2018.

The hope was that this shared liquidity would boost the state’s online poker revenue and traffic. But so far, the change has done little for the Garden State.

Looking at May, New Jersey online poker earned $1.9 million in revenue, which is down 9% from May 2017. June brought in $1.76 million, which was a 1.2% increase. July generated $1.85 million, which is an 8% decrease from July 2018.

New Jersey Online Poker Is Worse than Ever This Year

While 2017 wasn’t a banner year for the state’s iPoker market, they at least recorded five months with over $2 million in revenues. They haven’t hit this level even once, though, in the current year.

Considering the lower revenue up to this point, it’s likely that 2018 will be an even worse year for New Jersey internet poker.

Why Has the MSIGA Failed So Far?

new-jersey-online-pokerIt stands to reason that New Jersey should’ve benefited from shared liquidity. After all, this creates a larger player pool and makes for the possibility of bigger tournaments and cash games.

However, the Garden State has gained little benefit out of partnering with two much smaller states. Nevada and Delaware have less than 4 million residents combined. New Jersey, meanwhile, has a population of 9 million.

Another problem is that WSOP.com and 888 Poker are the only operators that are involved in the MSIGA. Partypoker and PokerStars are currently confined to New Jersey. If they were able to participate in the market, then things might be a different story.

One other possible explanation is that New Jersey residents are sticking with partypoker and PokerStars post-MSIGA. If this is the case, then it would provide a boost if these two operators were ever able to join the multi-state pact.

Until then, though, it appears as if New Jersey’s online poker traffic is set to continue struggling.

Doyle and Todd Brunson to Sell $149 Poker Training Course

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

doye-todd-brunson-poker-training-courseDoyle Brunson is one of the most-legendary poker players ever, having won 10 WSOP gold bracelets and millions of dollars in cash games. His son, Todd, is also an outstanding player with plenty of his own successes.

The father-son duo are now combining to offer a poker training course that’ll retail for $149.

Dubbed the Brunson Poker Pro Training Course, this program will offer access to the brunsonpokerpro.com training site, a book, and an audio CD.

Here’s a synopsis from their site:

“This new Poker Learning System will not just teach you what professionals know about the game, it also will give you the knowledge much faster by using board templates, audio cd and flash cards. Your brain will absorb the knowledge in a short period of time so you can use it at the tables without playing for years.”

More on What the Brunson Poker Pro Course Offers

Below you can see every area that this course will cover, as per the website:

  • The visual aspects of the game
  • Board Textures
  • Early Straights Flops
  • Reconizing your Outs
  • Combos & Blockers
  • Push / Fold Charts
  • Players and their Ranges
  • Betting Patterns
  • Math & Probabilities
  • Winning Percentage and your Hands
  • Hand Strength Heads Up
  • Nuts Evaluation
  • Poker Thought Process
  • The Mental Game
  • Tournament Play
  • Tells
  • Strong Hand Bets
  • Weak Hand Bluffs
  • Balancing your Ranges
  • Plus 208 Professional Poker Moves displayed on Flash Cards

Is the Brunson Poker Pro Course Worth the Money?

I haven’t personally gone through the Brunson’s training course. But looking at all of the content offered, it seems that the $149 price may be a better deal than similar programs.

It’s also worth mentioning that Todd and Doyle are both active in Las Vegas’ biggest cash games. So it’s not like Brunson is simply dusting off his famed 1978 Super/System book and regurgitating the advice.

Only time will time on the value, though, as more players try the course and give their feedback. I’m guessing that it’ll at least offer some value to aspiring live cash pros.

Doug Polk Completes $10k Bankroll Challenge in 58 Days

Friday, August 24th, 2018

doug-polk-bankroll-challengeTwo years ago, Doug Polk started a personal bankroll challenge, whereby he wanted to run $100 up to $10,000.

He played quite a bit in the beginning. But Polk grew tired of the challenge and stopped with his bankroll at just over $1,364 in November 2017.

However, Polk recently picked up his efforts again in July 2018 and has now reached $10,000. He made over $8,600 within the past month few weeks.

What’s amazing about this is that the long-time poker pro made his money through low-stakes cash games and tournaments. He also played exclusively on Nevada’s WSOP.com, which doesn’t get an abundance of traffic.

How did Polk Make so Much Money in Low Stakes Poker?

Polk became rededicated to the bankroll challenge after the start date’s two-year anniversary. He didn’t make much money in late July and early August.

However, things really turned around for him after an August 12 session, which saw him win nearly $1,000 (bankroll at $2,303). He followed this up with another $1k profit on August 14 (bankroll at $3,320).

Just six days later, on August 22, Doug went on a massive heater in 200NL and 500NL. He played 11 hours and was successful after taking shots at both higher levels.

What Happened on the Final Day?

doug-polk-bankroll-challenge-1Polk started his 57th session at $6,882 away from his goal. Few people expected him to finish the challenge when he began playing on August 22.

After playing well in 200NL, Polk took a chance at 500NL. He proceeded to win thousands of dollars over the next few hours.

Not wanting to get stacked and lose his progress, he moved back down to 200NL with his bankroll at $9,638. Polk was still able to win the remaining amount that he needed to reach his goal.

Polk finished the challenge with a $10,138 bankroll, thus giving him a $10k profit throughout the 2 years and 38 days. During this time, he only had to play 57 sessions to reach his goal.

The Stars Group Sees Poker Revenue Increase in Q2, 2018

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

the-stars-group-pokerThe Stars Group (formerly Amaya) had a very successful Q2 of 2018. They saw a 34.8% revenue increase to $411.5 million.

The company also made some big moves, acquiring the CrownBet Holdings and William Hill Australia sports betting operations.

“We continued enhancing our products and user experience across all verticals and executing on our cross-selling strategy,” said The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.

“The continued emergence of our sports betting and casino offerings and the addition of our 2018 acquisitions have transformed our business and greatly enhanced the foundation and diversity of our consolidated revenue base.”

Online Poker Up 7% in Q2, 2018

Internet poker traffic has steadily declined over the past several years. However, PokerStars defied the market by increasing their poker revenue by 7% to $271 million.

Online poker is still the big moneymaker for The Stars Group. It accounted for nearly 53% of the company’s overall revenue in Q2.

The Stars Group’s report notes that their revamped loyalty program and shared poker liquidity in Europe helped boost their poker platform.

Online Casino and Sportsbook also Up in Q2

The Stars Group saw even bigger growth from their online casino and sportsbook. The online casino revenue spiked 26% to $102 million. CasinoStars has added over 150 games since the start of 2018, which explains the increase.

BetStars saw the biggest increase of all, growing 122% to $19.6 million. This sportsbook’s massive rise can be explained by the boost they got from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. BetStars also benefited by adding over 200,000 new members.

Ashkenazi Looks Forward to Bright Future

Ashkenazi believes that The Stars Group is poised for even more growth as they continue transforming from a poker-only operation to more verticals.

“We are now focused on the next stage of our transformation—integration,” he said.

“While this will be a phased and measured process, we expect that it will prepare us to not only be a leader within the world’s largest regulated markets but to also leverage the strength of our combined platform to take advantage of new opportunities and markets.”

PokerStars Targeted in DDoS Attacks

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

pokerstars-ddos-attacksPokerStars was recently hit with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The attacks caused issues for PokerStars’ tournaments and cash games. Many Stars players were frustrated as they were forcibly disconnected from the site.

Making matters worse is that the attacks occurred on Sunday, which is PokerStars’ busiest day of the week. The site holds their Sunday Million tournament on this day, which was disrupted by the technical issues.

Disconnected participants were only able to log in later in the tournament. They found that their chip stacks were being blinded down or even completely gone.

DDoS Attacks are a Growing Problem in Online Poker

One of the players’ points of frustration is that PokerStars didn’t realize the DDoS attacks were happening until about an hour afterward. The world’s largest poker site was quick to apologize afterward.

“Please accept our apologies as we are currently experiencing technical issues,” they tweeted. “We are currently working on it and our services should be restored as soon as possible.”

Stars then paused tournaments across the site and began trying to figure out the issues. These actions caused further problems, though, when players from Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania were still connected and collecting other players’ blinds.

PokerStars Cancels Tournaments for the Day

Noticing the widespread problems, Stars eventually cancelled all of their Sunday tournaments while announcing that players would be refunded. The refunds were based on chip counts and how far players made it into the tourneys.

Stars tweeted the following:

“Apologies to all our players for the recent issues on PokerStars. The players affected by this morning’s issues have already been credited & we aim to refund players affected by yesterday’s problems, with their equity at the time of disconnection, within 72 hours.”

DDoS Attacks Becoming a Growing Problem for Online Poker

PokerStars isn’t the only site to be hit with DDoS problems recently. Americas Cardroom and partypoker faced the same dilemma just days earlier.

Cybercriminals who carry out DDoS attacks do so with the intention of disrupting servers with overwhelming traffic. Malicious people who use these attacks are often motivated by revenge and/or seeking a ransom.

Bruno Fitoussi Signs with Partypoker

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

bruno-fitoussi-party-pokerPartypoker has been signing a number of pros to their roster over the past year. And you can now add Bruno Fitoussi to this list, because he’s signed on to become a partypoker ambassador.

The Frenchman has long been one of the most-recognizable faces on the live tournament circuit, thanks to his trademark long hair and strong results. That said, he makes a good addition to the partypoker LIVE team.

Fitoussi Excited about Bringing His Industry Knowledge to Partypoker

Bruno Fitoussi expressed excitement not only about joining partypoker, but also in being able to use his expertise to improve the site.

“I am thrilled to join the partypoker LIVE team – partypoker has always held a special place in my heart, so to be working with them is a great privilege for me,” said Fitoussi.

“I have a vast wealth of industry experience that I am excited to share, and I look forward to getting involved with all aspects of the business.”

Fitoussi Has a Long History with the Game

Fitoussi is one of the biggest French poker legends of all time. The 59-year-old has been playing poker for around three decades. He made his first live tournament cash in 1991 and has continued his tourney success ever since.

The Paris native has earned nearly $3 million in live winnings to date. He’s finished runner-up in WSOP events twice, including the 2007 World Championship H.O.R.S.E. event ($1.28m).

Aside from his live tournament success, Fitoussi has also been instrumental in driving poker popularity in France. He introduced Texas hold’em to Paris’ Aviation Club card room in 1995. He’s also commentated on a number of European poker tourneys.

That said, Fitoussi should bring a wealth of experience and ideas to partypoker as their newest ambassador. Additionally, he’ll also have a bigger platform to continue drawing more French players to the game.

Neymar Jr Finishes 6th at BSOP High Roller

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Neymar Jr. is coming off a semi-disappointing World Cup finish, where Brazil bowed out in the quarterfinals. But the legendary footballer is using poker to relax in the aftermath.

He recently participated in the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) San Paulo High Roller, which featured a R$7,000 (US$1,850) buy-in. The event drew 288 players, with none bigger than the Paris Saint-Germain striker.

Neymar has been playing poker off and on for years. And his experienced showed as he finished 6th place and collected a R$79,440 ($21,470) payout. This is a special event for Neymar, because it’s the first time that he’s ever cashed in a live poker tournament.

How the Final Table Played Out for Neymar

Neymar Jr. battled through the 288-player field to make the nine-player final table. This put him in a strange situation, because he was also supposed to be the best man at a friend’s wedding.

neymar-pokerstarsThe other BSOP Sao Paulo High Roller final table participants agreed that action could be suspended for a day so that Neymar could attend his friend’s wedding.

When action resumed the following day, the 26-year-old survived a few players. But Neymar ultimately busted out in sixth place.

This paved the way for Affif Prado to win the tourney along with a R$317,800 ($85,825) top prize. Prado managed to exceed his previous largest cash, which was a runner-up effort in the $3k High Roller Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Uruguay for $43,380.

Prado commented on his victory and what it means to play with Neymar afterward:

“It was great to see him play, both for the illustrious person that he is and for the passion he has for the game. It was cool to see him making plays, because he studies, he watches, and to see the interest of a person like Neymar Jr. for this game is very gratifying. Not to mention the boom this has generated today, this is sure to reflect even more for poker.”

Neymar Had a Great Time at the BSOP High Roller

After signing a sponsorship deal with PokerStars, Neymar has been pretty active in the live tournament scene. And it appears that the BSOP Sao Paulo event is one of his favorite tourneys so far.

“It was great to take part in the final table with great players, and was a new and exciting experience,” said Neymar. “I think, for example, about Affif who I had already studied on Youtube. It was an honor to sit next to him.”

He later added, “I do not consider myself just a poker player but a poker lover and I want to improve as a player. The more I play, the more I fall in love. I want to be stronger and stronger.”

BSOP Sao Paulo High Roller Final Table Results

1. Affif Prado – $85,709
2. Oscar Alache – $67,423
3. Daniel Croce – $44,729
4. Bruno Marino – $36,085
5. Wender Oliveira – $28,307
6. Neymar Jr – $21,470
7. Alejandro Lopez – $15,737
8. Eyal Benshimon – $11,562
9. Lucas Tabarin – $9,588

Chris Moorman Now Has $15m in Online Poker MTT Winnings

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

chris-moorman-15-million-online-pokerChris Moorman has been the all-time leader in online poker tournament winnings for a long time. But he recently outdid even himself by becoming the first player to pass $15 million in online MTT earnings.

The Brit, who currently lives in Las Vegas now, reached this milestone after winning the WSOP.com $25,000 Weekly Sunday event for a $16,929 cash.

Following his victory, Moorman tweeted: “Just won the @WSOPcom $500 6 max to eclipse $15 million in online cashes. Nice way to close out the summer grind @888poker #grindonthemind #6maxlax #888poker.”

From Recreational Player to World Champion

Moorman has won more online poker Triple Crowns than anybody else at 26. And he easily has the most MTT winnings out of any player. All of this is quite impressive when considering where he started.

The 33-year-old recently explained how he didn’t know anything about poker in the beginning. But he continued working on his game and improving to the point where he became a professional.

“I met a couple of players who coached me and gave me tips,” he told Essex Live. “I also read and researched a lot on the game so I could get better.”

Great News for Moorman’s Sponsor

Moorman recently signed a deal with 888poker to serve as one of their ambassadors. And it’s hard finding anybody better to represent your online poker brand than Moorman.

He’s continued his winning ways and has proven himself more accomplished than any other internet tournament player. That said, it’ll be interesting to see what he does from here on out.

Moorman recently took part in the 2018 WSOP and cashed in nine different events. He didn’t have any near wins, but he boosted his live winnings over $5.6 million. The live arena is another place where he continues adding to his tournament earnings total.