Posts Tagged ‘online casino games’

Victoria Coren quits PokerStars – She loves Poker, not Casino Games

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

victoria-coren-pokerstarsWhile PokerStars continues their expansion into casino gaming and sports betting, Victoria Coren won’t be sticking around to see the results. The English poker pro/writer/TV personality announced her resignation from Team PokerStars through her personal blog.

As Coren explains, the announcement that PokerStars will be doing a mass launch of online casino games came “very sudden.” While writing that she isn’t against casino games, the two-time EPT champion doesn’t like the thought of promoting a company that offers them either. Here’s one excerpt from Coren’s blog that really explains her mindset on Stars’ new direction:

But I cannot professionally and publicly endorse it, even passively by silence with my name still over the shop. Poker is the game I love, poker is what I signed up to promote. The question I’m probably asked most often in interviews is about the danger of addiction, going skint and so on. I’m always careful to explain the difference between the essentially fair nature of poker, where we all take each other on with the same basic chance, and those casino games at unfavourable odds which can be (especially online) so dangerous for the vulnerable or desperate.

Unlike many of their sponsored players, which PokerStars treats with a grain of salt these days, it seems like they truly valued what Coren brought to the table. After all, she’s a very successful writer and TV show host. And from the looks of what Coren wrote, it seems as though Stars made a pretty good pitch to keep her on Team PokerStars.

However, the Brit is pretty adamant that she doesn’t want to be associated with the promotion of online casino games. Coren didn’t rule out a possible return to Stars, citing that she will watch from the sidelines and maybe work on “something which is pure poker.” But she seems dead-set on avoiding sponsorships with any casino gambling-related companies, which is what Stars is moving closer towards becoming.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports going through a Poker Boom?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

chris-moneymaker-andrew-luckEven today, many poker players like to discuss the Poker Boom, which, depending upon whom you ask, lasted from 2003 – 2006 (maybe until ’08). Regardless of when the Boom ended, many can agree that the downturn’s fondation was laid when the United States enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). But one activity that avoided the umbrella of this unfavorable 2006 bill against online gambling: fantasy sports.

Largely thanks to the NFL’s deep pockets and desire to keep fantasy sports alive – due to the fan interest it brings – fantasy sports don’t come with the same limitations as online poker and casino games (at least for Americans). So players can use PayPal and other handy forms of payment to fund their accounts.

This is just one reason why daily fantasy sports (DFS) have been exploding over the past 1-2 years. Now, just like online poker today, sites like DraftKings and FanDuel are offering multi-million dollar tournaments.

As we covered before, poker pro Matt Smith was a big beneficiary of one of these tournaments. Smith earned the million-dollar top prize in a $2.2 million NFL tourney on DraftKings. Other noted poker pros who did well in this tourney included Brian Hastings, Aaron Jones and Tony Dunst.

Of course, a boom isn’t built on the participation of pros, but rather the average Joes. And as this New York Post article indicates, Mr. Average Joe is setting his DFS lineup far more often these days.

The NY Post cites how FanDuel expects to pay out over $500 million in prizes this year, and over $1 billion in 2015. Their player base will also reach 1 million people this year, quadruple what it was in 2013. And while 1 million is FAR off the 50 million-plus that PokerStars boasts, it indicates that the largest DFS sites are growing by leaps and bounds.

Will DFS ever reach the lofty status that online poker did in the mid-2000s (and remains at today)? Well, there’s no Chris Moneymaker figure in the DFS world yet. But both DraftKings and FanDuel seem to be driving the game, much like PokerStars and Full Tilt did for internet poker. And with DFS tournaments growing larger and larger, it’s only a matter of time before the football-loving version of Moneymaker comes along.