Mar 31

Three worst online casino game ideas that bombed.

What Were They Thinking? Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

The online gambling industry is unique in many ways, one being that each internet casino presents limitless borders. An operator can pack in as many games as it wants and never run out of space. As such, virtual gaming floors are the perfect forum for testing out new game ideas.

In the last two decades, we’ve seen a lot of new games rise to ultimate glory. Microgaming’s 243 ways to win slots were a smashing success! Lottery-style sit-n-goes, first introduced by French operator Winamax in 2013, revolutionized internet poker. Live dealer casinos, debuted in 2003 by Playtech and perfected by Evolution Gaming in 2006, solved the lack of realism in RNG-based gambling.

Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

Not every game created is an instant success. In fact, just like land-based table game inventions, the majority of them die on the virtual gaming floor – some faster than others.

7-Card Stud video poker was a perfect example. It made the games more complicated than they needed to be. Similarly, 7-reel slot machines failed to attract players, who found them to confusing to keep up with. Duplicate Poker turned players off by elimination the luck factor entirely. Yes, poker players love the skill element, but without the marginal influence of the luck of the draw, no one wanted to play anymore.

Those games were historically bad ideas, but none more so than the three games I’m about to tell you about. These titles died so quickly, today’s players may have completely missed their short-lived appearance.

#1 Showtime Hold’em Poker

Showtime Holdem Poker

Showtime Poker was an online poker variant introduced by PokerStars in May 2018. It was conceived under the premise that players believed it was “about time poker players show their folded cards”. At the end of a hand, all mucked cards would be revealed.

PokerStars wanted this game to take off like a rocket! They were so enthused about it that they contracted some of their most famous pros to build hype by streaming Showtime Poker tables on their live Twitch feeds.

There were two major problems with this format. Pro players hated it, because it forced them to give away their game play secrets. Amateurs hated it because they don’t give a crap about seeing mucked cards. End result – everyone hated it!

#2 Live Casino Slot Machines

In 2011, the creative minds at Evolution Gaming believed they’d had an epiphany. Live casinos are a perfect playground for table games, but they were unable to accommodate players of the most popular casino games on the planet – slot machines. Enter stage right, live dealer slots.

This bold introduction was meant to revolutionize the live casino industry. Evolution put a lot of thought and detail into its debut, going so far as to replace virtual reels with actual spinning wheels. A dealer would host the game, offering commentary and providing live chat interaction with players.

What went wrong? Well, slots players enjoy traditional slot games for a reason. They like the singularity. They like controlling the pace of the games. Turning slot machines into a social affair was unnecessary, uninvited, and unwelcome.

Of worthy mention, live dealer slot machines are attempting a comeback this year, although I don’t expect the results to be any different.

#3 Virtual Reality (VR) Gambling

VR Casino Gambling

This is one concept most of you will remember. It wasn’t long ago, around 2015-16, that the virtual reality movement made its push. The concept was spot on. Throw on a headset and enter a virtual casino world, where your real-life actions transfer into the virtual realm in the most realistic digital casino games ever imagined exist!

Yes, it was quite a concept, but it did not catch on, and for one very simple reason. The technology necessary, and availability of that technology, has not yet reached mainstream households. That’s not to say that VR gambling doesn’t still have a chance in years to come.

Microgaming was making mobile games back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the first smartphones appeared. Who wanted to play slots on a flip phone? No one. Another five years would pass before the mobile gambling revolution actually gained a foothold, and now, it’s the number one way to play over the internet, and enjoy all the new online casino game ideas that developers are constantly spitting out – the good and the bad.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 03

A quick look at the current financial ups and down of the world’s biggest online gambling companies.

Ups and Down for the Biggest Online Gambling Companies in the World

No company rides the wave of success forever. Even the biggest and brightest names of an industry suffer hardships now and again. Every wave has its crest and fall. It’s the companies that recover from each crash that attain ultimate success. The online gambling industry is a perfect example.

According to the latest revenue reports from all over the globe, major brands like Flutter Entertainment, Playtech and Gamesys are all experiencing the ups and downs of the pivotal waves of finance. Some are looking up; some are stumbling; others are recovering from errors of the past.

Ups & Downs of Biggest Online Gambling Companies

This week saw a trio of major iGaming operators and software vendors riding those waves. Ireland’s Flutter Ent announced a boost in cash flow, while Isle of Man-based Playtech reported a marginal loss. At the same time, London-based Gamesys is appreciating a bit of breathing room as that company crawls its way back out of debt.

2019 Revenue “Flutters” Skyward 14%

The head honchos at Flutter Entertainment have a lot to be grateful for as last year’s final revenue tallies come in. Following a strain of good fortune (including a pending merger with Pokerstars owner, The Stars Group), the Irish company, owner of Paddy Power, Betfair, Sportsbet.com.au, Adjarabet, FanDuel and others, proudly announced a 14.3% boost in revenue year over year.

The most notable increases came in sports betting and casino gaming, both online and on land. Sports betting operations were up 13.1% to £1.67 billion. Land-based gaming revenues rose 18.5% to £473 million. Online gaming jumped 6.1% to £1.01 billion. All told, the company pulled in £2.4 billion in 2019.

Flutter CEO Peter Jackson called the results a “testament to the quality of our products, brand and team.”

Playtech Records Net Loss Near €20 Million

The board room was less cheerful at Playtech headquarters this week, where the financial officers reported a total loss of €19.6 million on the year. It wasn’t all bad news, though. Overall, revenue was actually up an impressive 23% to €1.51 billion, thanks largely to a 56%, €900 million boost in B2C revenue.

Playtech Chairman Alan Jackson gave an optimistic statement that notes the strategically added expenses associated with “entering newly regulated markets, signing new customers, expanding existing relationships and continuing to innovate with new product launches.” Such elements combine to reflect the expected cost of “laying the foundations for our future growth,” said Jackson.

Gamesys Pays Down 7% of Debt

Last year, JPJ Group (JackpotJoy) purchased the flagging software brand, Gamesys Ltd, with hopes of revitalizing the once successful product. So far, so good. This week, the company reported a principle payment of £40 million on its loans, reducing its previous debt of £484.7 million by 7% ahead of their annual financial report, due March 17. The payment is expected to save Gamesys £2.7 million in interest payments this year alone.

Gamesys CFO Keith Laslop comments: “As we’ve stated previously, a key strategic goal for the Board is to have our long-term leverage ratio in-line with our peers… today’s paydown is an important first step in attaining that goal.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dec 30

Defunct Gaming: Concept and consequence of Unfold Holdem.

Concept and Consequence of Unfold Holdem, and How it Might Work Today

Seated among the a small but formidable group of hard-core grinders, you peak down at a questionable hand. It’s a pair of 8s. You’re under the gun. You want to make a move, but you’re out of position. You call, hoping the action won’t get too heavy, but it does. Sweat beads threaten to form on your temples, so you make the only move you can – you fold. The flop comes down, 8-4-4. Doh!

You should have stayed in. A full boat like that doesn’t come along often. With the right moves at the right moments, you could have exploited that for a big cash, if only you’d known what was caoming. But wait… what if it’s not too late? What if you could rewind? Stay in the hand and turn your unpredictably poor choice into a profit? What if you could… unfold?

Concept & Consequence of Unfold Holdem

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the marketing innovations team behind PokerStars and Full Tilt put their heads together in an effort to bring something fresh – something provocative – something enticing for players, and at the same time profitable for the brands, to the virtual felt. What they came up with was a new game that would allow players to “unfold” a mucked hand.

This new Unfold Poker concept was heavily promoted by both online poker rooms, and in the beginning, it drew a fair number of players to the tables. Before long though, the crowds dispersed. Its popularity waned. No longer was anyone interested in what could have been a very intriguing and opportunistic way to play Texas Holdem.

What Killed Unfold Poker Games

The rules of this intriguing new poker game were simple enough. The game was played just like Texas Holdem, except that an extra Ante bet would be required from each player, prior to each and every hand. This bet, equal to half the small blind, went into a side pot known as the Unfold Pot. If no one unfolded, or the hand was decided pre-flop, all Unfold antes would be returned. The Ante was a bit excessive, but the return rules were good.

The biggest problem was that, in order to unfold a hand, the player would have to place yet another bet – this one equal to the total size of the Unfold Pot. With a full table, that can get expensive.

If a player did unfold, they obviously couldn’t compete against fully active hands. They would instead compete against other Unfold-ing players. But if only one player folded pre-flop, they wouldn’t even be eligible to unfold, having no one to compete against.

If two or more players folded, then any one of them could Unfold. If only one player did, they would automatically win the Unfold pot. If more than one Unfolded, their hands were compared. The winner took to pot – minus the usual rake fee applied to standard poker pots, of course.

The problem was plain to see. It was just too expensive. Players felt they were being exploited by PokerStars and Full Tilt, who were collecting rakes on two pots. Everyone complained that Unfold’em Hold’em (as it clearly should have been named) was a rip off.

Could Unfold Games Ever Ride Again?

The only way Unfold Holdem could ever acquire the fame it was originally poised to acquire, would be to make the fees more reasonable. The rake should be reduced to match all other cash games. The Ante should be dropped to 10% of the big blind. This would make it cheaper to place the required bet to qualify for the Unfold Pot. Players who do unfold should be allowed to bet/raise on their hands, as well, encouraging them to fight for those pots, rather than letting one bold, bluff-happy player take every Unfold pot, simply because no one else is confident enough to risk enough chips to compete for it.

In essence, make it a good game that everyone can enjoy, without scooping so much off the top as to make it unprofitable. And please, to whatever company may eventually decide to restructure and introduce a better version, call it Unfold’em Hold’em. That is all…

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Jul 10

Canada iGaming firm The Stars Group is teaming with New York’s Akwesane Mohawk Casino for live and online sports betting; online poker to follow?

Stars Group Signs w/ Mohawk for New York iGaming

The legalization of sports betting in New York has caused quite a stir, not just in the Empire State, but across the border into Ontario and Quebec, Canada. New York happens to have a few tribal casinos near its borders, granting rather convenient access for Canadian sports fans to enter the country and place all the wagers their hearts desire.

Here in Canada, it’s not illegal to bet on sports, but it is highly restrictive. We are forced to make bets with long odds – parlays, they’re called. Multiple picks, and they must all win, or the bet is lost. For years, many Canadians have trusted offshore gambling websites to place the bets they really want. But now – or rather, very soon – New York will present the same single event betting opportunities we crave, live and in person.

Oddly enough, it’s one of our own who will operate the first sportsbook across the St. Lawrence River. The Stars Group (TSG, formerly Amaya Inc.) of Toronto have inked a deal with the Akwesane Mohawk Casino Resort to run the property’s upcoming sports betting business.

Canada iGaming Firm TSG Signs with NY’s Akwesane Mohawk Casino

Canada's TSG to supply Sportsbook for NY's Mohawk Casino, Poker to Follow?

TSG’s benchmark contract gives the Canadian firm a foothold in the budding iGaming business of New York. The group’s contract gives them operational rights over an online sportsbook for the property, and will also see them performing support services for the casino’s retail sportsbook.

TSG’s newly appointed CEO, Robin Chhabra, comments:

“We are excited to announce this agreement with Mohawk, which further strengthens our market access as we work to build our Fox Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market.”

The terms of the agreements are extensive, giving Stars Group the right to launch its online poker and online casino offerings as well, if and when New York takes the next step to legalize those iGaming activities. TSG is, of course, the owner of PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room. And if more casinos sign sportsbook contracts with major operators like TSG, maybe it will help motivate New York legislators to move in that direction, based on the success in neighboring New Jersey, if nothing else.

At this point, it’s been widely speculated that New York will become the fifth US state to regulate online poker. No doubt Stars Group is banking on it, hoping to tap into yet another lucrative market on US soil. For the time being, their focusing on the growth of their US sports offers via another recent partnership with Fox Sports, which has the two brands collaborating on the production of Fox Bet.

PokerStars Events Getting Closer to Home?

It’s worth noting that single-event bets aren’t the only thing off limits to Canadian players. PokerStars is another area of legal contention in the Great White North. While the operator claims to accept Canadian customers, it’s no secret that their doing so teeters of the border of unlawful internet gambling.

Canada’s iGaming laws are known to be far less restrictive than our neighbors to the south. The only thing we must abide by is the law that states no entity with a physical presence in Canada may provide gambling services without a provincial license to do so.

With Toronto being home to TSG headquarters, and having no license from any provincial regulator in the country, Canadian players would be wise to keep their distance from the online poker room. But what about PokerStars Live? If the New York casino were to open a live branded poker room so close to the border, it could open the flood gates for Canadian poker pros to hit up new PokerStars sponsored events a lot closer to home. It’s all speculation for now, but I have no doubt the gears are turning in the minds of TSG executives.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 28

Analysts say a merger between UK’s Paddy Power Betfair and Canada’s Stars Group would create unfair competition.

That cat’s out of the bag, but it looks like the dish ran away with the spoon some time ago, and the dog is still having a good chuckle over it. According to one UK media source, two online gambling power houses were in merger talks last year. But the storm blew over before the public caught wind of it.

UK's Paddy Power Betfair + Canada's Stars Group = Unfair Competition?

The Sunday Times reported on January 27, 2019 that Paddy Power Betfair and The Stars Group held discussions about a possible merger. If it’s true—no sources were quoted in the article—it’s unlikely such a bond would ever be approved due the enormity of the situation.

UK’s Paddy Power Betfair + Canada’s Stars Group

Paddy Power was founded in 1988, starting out as a steadfast bookmaker in Dublin, Ireland. Through brow-raising, oft-times questionable marketing tactics, it grew to become one of the UK’s major operators, both on land and online. Three years ago, Paddy Power merged with Betfair, another major player in the UK gambling market. Then in July 2018, the company completed another head-turning merger with FanDuel.

The Stars Group, formerly Amaya Gaming, was a small-time company in Canada until then-owner David Bazaav made a shrewd move to purchase PokerStars‘ parent company in 2014 for $4.9bn. PokerStars was already the largest online poker site in the world. Since then, Amaya was rebranded, the business was expanded in multiple directions, including online casino and sports betting, and the company has swallowed up a number of competitor brands, including Australia’s Crown Bet.

In July 2018, while Paddy Power Betfair was bursting at the seams with its FanDuel merger, Stars Group was making global headlines with the jaw-dropping acquisition of one of the UK’s largest multi-channel betting conglomerates, SkyBet.

Now, if you were to put these two global brands together, analysts suggest it would create a company of such phantasmagoric proportions, no other operator could possibly stand in its wake.

Paddy Power PokerStars a Pipe Dream

The Sunday Times indicates that the “secret talks”, which they say took place sometime “late last year”, are “no longer… on-going”. The report suggests the cessation of communications between the two may have been the result of obvious indications that a giant corporation of that magnitude would never be approved by local regulators on either end of the regional spectrum.

A successful merger would create a business worth around CA$14.65 billion (£8.4bn). No existing company comes anywhere near that value—not even GVC Holdings, which controls a multitude of high-profile gambling businesses, including Ladbrokes, Coral, Gala Casinos, Foxy Bingo, Sportingbet, and others.

The real question is, why is Stars Group interested, and what would encourage Paddy Power Betfair to consider such an offer. The answer is the same reason so many UK online gambling companies are entertaining M&A conversations from foreign competitor brands.

The UK has been tightening its grip on the iGaming market for the last five years, pulling the regulatory belt one notch tighter with each passing year. The result is a mass-market in which it’s increasingly more difficult to turn a profit. Outside companies like Canada’s Stars Group are dangling juicy carrots, and local operators are finding it hard to resist the temptation.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Aug 14

Canada’s The Stars Group inks deal to bring PokerStars to Pennsylvania’s Mount Airy Casino.

Seven long year ago, PokerStars was unceremoniously ejected from the US market by the federal government in an historic event known as the ‘Black Friday of Online Poker‘. Since then, the company has undergone a complete restructuring, including new ownership by Canada’s The Stars Group (formerly Amaya Inc.).

Now, the world’s largest online poker room is slowly winding its way back into the US. First, The Stars Group (TSG) partnered with Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, launching PokerStars for New Jersey residents in March 2016. And if current their current plans work out, they’ll be accepting players from Pennsylvania next year.

Canada’s Stars Group Teams with Mount Airy Casino

Canada's Stars Group Teams with Mount Airy Casino for online poker, PokerStars Casino and BetStars sports betting

The headlines are alight this week with reports that TSG has inked a contract with the owners of Mount Airy Casino in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. Mount Airy is one of nine casino brands in that state to have already applied for a license to launch online gambling operations.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, TSG announced the new partnership in a press release on Friday. If all goes according to plan, the partnership will see the Canadian iGaming giant provide its universally renowned software platforms to deliver online poker (via the PokerStars brand), house-banked online casino games (PokerStars Casino), and online sports betting (BetStars).

While the PokerStars brand is clearly the most famous in the TSG repertoire, BetStars is the ‘rising star‘ of the group, so to speak. The sports betting platform has been growing rapidly in the last year, and has already achieved immense success in New Jersey; following the eradication of the 26-year-old US law banning sports wagers outside Nevada earlier this year.

Mt Airy / PokerStars Deal Not Cut and Dry

So far, it sounds like a perfect union, but the deal isn’t exactly cut and dry. Before these two operators can marry their products into a front-running online gambling website for players in The Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must first approve the alliance.

Due to PokerStars’ involvement in the Black Friday scandal, the operator has already been locked out of Nevada’s online poker market, launched in 2013. A similar bad-actors clause exists in California’s teeter-tottering legislation to legalize internet gaming. It took an arduous, two-year investigation into TSG for New Jersey regulators to finally give them the green light to launch with Resorts Casino Atlantic City.

Chances are, Pennsylvania’s regulators are going to want to take a long, hard look at The Star Group portfolio before deciding whether or not to grant the company a license. But all in all, the odds are stacked in PokerStars favor—largely attributed to the fact that NJ’s regulatory scrutiny was so exhaustive, so invasive, and eventually affirmative.

TSG Confident in Partnership with PA Casino

Matt Primeaux, Senior VP of Strategy & Operations for TSG’s US wing, comments, “We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States. In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”

Executives in Mount Pocono are equally enthusiastic about the opportunity team with Canada’s Stars Group and bring PokerStars to PA’s Mount Airy Casino.

“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings,” says VP of Marketing & Gaming Operations, Vincent Jordan. “Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”

Assuming the requisite approvals are met, and all the virtual bricks laid in a timely manner, PokerStars, PokerStars Casino and BetStars should be available to PA players in 2019.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 10

Online poker pro suing PokerStars for $692k SCOOP tournament win; says he was in Canada, not US.

Online Poker Pros Sues PokerStarsWhat’s the biggest difference between live and online poker? No, it’s not the ability to read opponents, or ease of pulling off a successful bluff. It’s the way winners get paid. At a live event, you collect your check on the way out the door. In an online poker tournament, you must rely on the operator to deposit the winnings in your account balance.

PokerStars is largest, and arguably most respected and trustworthy poker operator in the world. For more than 15 years, it’s seen exponential growth in players, tournaments and monumental prize pools. Even when the US cracked down on them and other poker sites in 2011 for accepting American players, PokerStars took the high road. The company paid an enormous settlement, and returned hundreds of thousands in funds to players of Full Tilt Poker (which it purchased in doing so).

But now, PokerStars’s integrity is in question, and it’s got a lot of online poker players angry. None more so than American poker pro Gordon Vayo, who’s suing the Canadian iGaming juggernaut for failure to pay nearly $700,000 in tournament winnings.

Live and Online Poker Pro Gordon VayoUS Online Poker Pro Sues PokerStars

Gordon Vayo is a professional live and online poker player from Illinois, USA. In 2016, he placed second in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $4.66 million. Then in 2017, he placed first in Event #1, $1,050 NLHE, in PokerStars famous Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) tournament series. That win should have earned him $692,000. But it didn’t…

Instead of receiving the 6-figure payout in his account, Vayo got a message that his winnings were frozen pending investigation of his location during the event. PokerStars requested Vayo supply them with evidence that he was not in the US at the time of the tournament.

According to a lawsuit filed by Gordon Vayo on April 7, 2018, the poker pro supplied that evidence. Yet PokerStars continues to withhold the winnings.

VPN Failure Costs Vayo $692,000

PokerStars claims that Vayo may very well have been in the US, because he was using a virtual private network (VPN) during the SCOOP event. VPNs are often used to mask a persons true location by connecting to a proxy server elsewhere in the world. Thus the server a player is connecting to – in this case PokerStars – is made to believe the player is in the location of proxy server.

PokerStars’s servers were able to verify that Vayo was using a VPN, but were not able to verify that the SCOOP tournament winner wasn’t in the US. Vayo is adamant that he was in Canada at the time, and says that using a VPN isn’t out of the ordinary. Even players in legal geographic locations sometimes use a VPN for security reasons.

Vayo claims that his VPN malfunctioned during the online poker tournament, and that’s why PokerStars’ geolocation system was unable to verify his Canadian position. That may very well be… but if it can’t be proven beyond a doubt, it’s a gamble PokerStars wasn’t willing to take.

Catch 22 for Canadian Online Poker Room

Realistically, PokerStars had no choice but to freeze the online poker pro’s winnings. If the company pays out the $692,000, it could face tremendous retribution from the US government for potentially allowing someone in the US (outside of New Jersey) to access its real money poker games. I’m sure most of you will remember the catastrophic fallout of April 15, 2011 (i.e. the Black Friday of Online Poker).

However, by refusing to take that risk, PokerStars’ integrity is being dragged through the mud by this lawsuit. And I if Vayo wins the case, the poker room’s reputation will surely suffer. Especially since Vayo is accusing them of a lot more than erroneous withholding of winnings. The lawsuit also claim a “pattern and practice of conduct intended to defraud users”, “retroactively” verifying geolocations of winners, and using the US law as a “whipsaw to maximize its profits”.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Apr 18

AMF case against Canada iGaming figurehead postponed, again.

Trial Delayed again for Former Canada iGaming KingpinDavid Baazov just can’t seem to get out of the headlines. For years, his name has been plastered in the news; formerly for his supremely expert handling of Canadian online gambling firm, Amaya Inc; more recently for an insider trading scandal that just won’t go away.

Baazov built Amaya (now The Stars Group, under CEO Rafi Ashkenazi) from the ground floor up. It began in 2005 as as a small software company that produced electronic poker tables for casinos and cruise ships. In 2010, Amaya held its IPO on Canada’s penny-stock market, the Toronto Venture Exchange. At under $1 per share, he managed to raise over $5 million. Four years later, he spearheaded the boldest move in the history of business acquisition, purchasing Rational Group, parent of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, for $4.9 billion.

Everyone around him was shocked that he’d pulled it off, congratulating the Amaya CEO and applauding his genius. What they didn’t know – what the Canada’s securities regulators insist to be true – is that Baazov was more shrewd than anyone realized.

The AMF claims that, just days before the acquisition of the world’s largest online poker site, Baazov was leaking insider information. They say he conspired with several people, including childhood friend Benjamin Ahdoot and Amaya consultant Yoel Altman, to purchase enormous amounts of stock in Amaya, just before it skyrocketed.

If Baazov gave associates the heads up to buy stock before the deal went through, that constitutes insider trading. But did he do it?

The former Canada online gambling CEO asserts his innocence, has he’s done since day one when the charges were first brought upon him back in 2016. And if his defense has anything to say about it, that’s the conclusion Judge Salvatore Mascia will come to before this is all over. That is, if it ever ends…

AMF Case Against Canada iGaming Figurehead Postponed, Again!

The trial was supposed to start in January of this year. Baazov’s lawyers requested additional time to prepare their case, and the Quebec court obliged. A new date was set for February, but that one got postponed as well, as the defense pushed once more for additional time.

The next court date was set for April 16, 2018 – two days ago. Can you guess what happened? Another delay.

As they’ve done on previous occasions, Baazov’s lawyers filed a motion earlier this month to have the case dismissed. They asserevate that the AMF is using “false or misleading evidence” to build their case.

In the filing for dismissal, defense noted having received two recordings of interrogations – one of former Amaya CFO Daniel Sebag – just three weeks prior. The defense claims this evidence will prove the AMF’s use of false or misleading evidence, and that it was delivered far too late for them to prepare a defense for it.

“The fairness of the trial is compromised by the cumulative decision of the AMF to proceed, in a late an illegitimate manner,” reads the request.

Will Frustrated Judge Throw Out the Case?

Judge Mascia is clearly frustrated by the situation; especially at the AMF for once again delivering evidence so late to the defense team. He’s agreed to push the trial back, delaying the legal proceedings once more, but no date was set. That’s because he’s deliberating on whether to set a new date, or throw the case out altogether.

“It is the AMF who claimed that there might be important elements for the defendants. You are obliged to disclose. It will never stop,” said an exasperated Judge Mascia to the AMF’s Camille Rochon-Lamy.

When she argued that the trial should begin Monday, as scheduled, the judge sided with the defense once more. “Would it be fair to start the trial not knowing if there is more evidence coming?”

Whether the case will proceed or get dismissed is yet to be seen. The Judge is taking the next few days to consider the matter. Either way, this is a huge win for the Canada iGaming kingpin.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 11

Poker pros Matt and Jaime Staples are 34lbs away from winning a year-long $150k weight loss prop bet in March.

Hailing from Alberta, Canada, brothers Matt and Jaime Staples are career poker pros who’ve gained celebrity status in recent years. Being world-traveling Twitch streamers, they’ve made quite the name for themselves. But it was a rather unique prop bet on March 26, 2017 that really got the attention of fans.

On that fateful day, Matt Staples and his older brother Jaime were relaxing in the Virgin Islands with their good friend Bill Perkins, a fellow poker pro best known for his 3rd place, $2M win in the 2013 WSOP One Drop High Roller. They were streaming live via Perkin’s StreamBoat when something incredible happened.

One of their Twitch viewers made a simple, offhand comment:

Imagine Jaime and Matt at the same weight”.

You see, Matt Staples was a mere 134 pounds at the time – all skin and bones, as my grandmother would have said. His ‘big brother’ Jaime, on the other hand, weighed in at 305. That was a rather significant difference of 171lbs.

Jaime read the comment aloud as they continued to stream poker and day-to-day happenings in the tropics. As the elder Staples brother recalled last fall, Perkins responded without hesitation, “I’ll give you 50 to 1!”

Jaime knew in a heartbeat that he had to take the bet, and it didn’t take much convincing to get Matt on board. “Within a minute we had booked the bet,” said Jaime. The picture below, shared on Instagram, shows the two brothers, and their difference in weight, as they spoke with Perkins about the terms of the prop bet that day.

Canada Poker Pros Matt (right) and Jaime Staples (left) talk Prop Bet in March 2017

Prop Bet Rules – 1 Year, Same Weight

According to the quickly negotiated terms of the prop bet, Matt and Jaime had exactly one year to weigh within a pound of each other. There could be no surgery, steroids or other unnatural means of weight loss/gain.

At precisely 5:00pm on March 26, 2018, an official weigh in will take place. They can weigh themselves all they want up until then, but only this particular weighing will count towards the bet.

The Canadian poker pros put up $3,000 between them, $1,500 each. At 50 to 1 odds, they stand to win $150,000 ($75k each) from Perkins.

As Jaime Staples confirmed, it was also decided no further bets could be taken on the challenge. “So we can’t book side action to get up to a million dollars or something; it has to stay at $150K max incentive for us.”

34lbs to Paydirt for Canada Poker Pros

This week, Pocketfives caught up with the Staples brothers in their worldly travels. In a brief interview with the Team PokerStars Online Pro, Jaime revealed that only 34lbs now stand between the brothers and Perkins’ six-figure payout.

“I weighed in about six days ago and I was 212 pounds, and my brother was 178 (Monday) morning,” said Jaime. Although 180 was the original goal, they now believe the best, realistic match in weight is to shoot for 187. That leaves Matt with 9lbs to gain, and Jaime with 25 to lose.

The photos below reveal a drastic difference from the photo taken almost 10 months ago. If it’s a bit harder to recognize them, that’s Matt on the left, Jaime on the right.

Matt Staple 178lbs, Jaime Staples 212lbs, 2 months to go

They’ve both been working diligently with personal trainer Matt Vacanti, who’s been traveling with them as they continue to play poker events both online and on land. Jaime said it hasn’t been easy watching Matt chow down on potatoes, rice, pizza and potato chips every day, whilst he consumes a portion-controlled chicken breast and salad (approx 1300 calories a day). But he’s stuck to it, and has no intention of quitting while the prize looms so close.

The biggest incentive, says Jaime, isn’t the money, but the accomplishment of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. In reference to his potential win, Staples admitted the money “doesn’t really cross my mind at all. Because I think the equity of being healthier — extending my life, being able to do more, having higher energy, even just vanity — is worth a lot more than $75,000.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Dec 12

PokerStars’ internet sports betting cousin launches BetStars News UK.

BetStars News Internet Sports BettingWhat’s more exciting than watching a good sports match? Putting a little action on the games. When we aren’t watching or betting on sports, there’s always the option of reading about it. Okay, maybe reading doesn’t sound all that exciting, but if you enjoy the first two activities, you really should make more time for the latter.

BetStars, the online sports betting arm of The Stars Group, is on board with that assessment. They’ve just launched a brand new website, BetStars News. It’s currently available in the UK only, but the operator has plans to expand the service to more regions in the coming months.

Online Sportsbook Launches BetStars News

BetStars News is a new website dedicated to athletic media content for sports bettors in the UK. It will feature engaging and informative news relating to all manner of sports and wagering opportunities, including media, videos, photos and acumen from expert analysts.

BetStars Managing Director, Zeno Ossko, was proud to announce the launch of their latest product. “BetStars News is an exciting development for us that will help our customers hone and improve their sports knowledge through the vast content that the news site will feature,” he said.

Ossko went on to confirm the upcoming expansion of BetStars News to more jurisdictions. “Starting with the UK, we plan to roll out BetStars News in many other regions in the coming months, continuing to demonstrate our commitment to enhance BetStars and create a better experience for our customers.”

Taking Internet Sports Betting to a New Level

BetStars is confident that this news site will take sports betting to a whole new level for their members. The site will feature daily publications in a wide range of betting markets. While sports will make up the brunt of analysis by nature, BetStars News will also cover additional markets, including things like entertainment and politics – virtually anything the sportsbook offers bets on.

Handicappers will be privy to match-up previews with in-depth statistical data analysis. By taking advantage of this information, BetStars hopes its casual punters will no longer rely on favorites or better records to make their picks. Being well informed is what promotes skill in wagering, separating an online sportsbook from an online casino. The more one knows, the more likely they are to make wise decisions.

BetStars – New Brand From a Trusted Name

BetStars is a relatively new online sportsbook that went live in December of 2015. Celebrating its second anniversary this month, the sportsbook may still be new, but its parent company has attained universal recognition as a top performer in the internet gambling realm.

BetStars is the product of The Stars Group (formerly Amaya Inc); the same company that acquired PokerStars parent, Rational Group, a few years back. In those days, PokerStars was a single entity, run by executives who had no desire to expand into other avenues of iGaming. That all changed when Amaya took over in mid-2014.

Since then, PokerStars has become the proud cousin of two new offerings, StarsCasino and BetStars. While the online poker giant continues to be the biggest money maker for Stars Group, its online sportsbook and casino are both experiencing exponential growth in revenue.

BetStars offers its members a wide ranging of betting products, including a vast selection of athletic contests from all over the world, plus specialist betting markets. Member accounts are linked seamlessly across all Stars Group products, allowing players to fund one account for all their wagering needs; sports, poker and/or casino.

The service can be accessed on desktop or mobile, with a highly functional and intuitive mobile internet sports betting apps optimized for Android and iOS devices.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,