In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Darren Elias signs with Partypoker US
In a press release earlier this month, BetMGM announced its first addition to the network’s roster of sponsored players. Four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias now serves as the newest face of partypoker US as it continues its expansion across the US market. Elias’ tasks consist of representing the brand by taking part in live and online events beginning with the WPT Online Borgata Poker Open in New Jersey this coming September 19-21, 2021.
“As partypoker US Network continues to expand, I’m excited to grow with them and bring accessible, championship-level online poker to players across the U.S.,” said Darren Elias.
“As an online Main Tour event, I believe that the upcoming WPT Online Borgata Poker Open can fill a void left by the postponement of many live events this season. I hope to ‘see’ many of friends on the felt, as we all try to put our name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”
— partypoker US Network (@partypokerUS) September 7, 2021
Fittingly, Elias stands to be the all-time leader in WPT wins, final tables and cashes across all participants, carrying four Main Event titles to date: 2014 Borgata Poker Open and WPT Caribbean, 2017 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, and 2018 WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic.
“During his career, Darren Elias has been a strong advocate for the game of poker,” said Matthew Sunderland, Vice President of Gaming, BetMGM. “We’re thrilled to welcome him to the partypoker US Network team and look forward to working together to elevate our brand and drive awareness for the WPT Online Borgata Poker Open and beyond.”
Another successful WCOOP: $122M in prizes, Record wins for Brazil
Online poker giant PokerStars has once again closed an impressively successful festival for its 20th edition World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) games. This year’s events awarded the biggest combined prize pool amounting to $122,340,165, as well as an increased number of entries across its 306 tournaments. The $5,200 NLHE Main Event served to hold the largest guarantee of the series valued at $10,000,000, with Russia’s “CrazyLissy” claiming the top prize of $1,499,942.
A full 25 days of action played out with Brazil having dominated the majority of the games while beating its previous record of 35 titles in last year’s events. This year proved the country’s unmatched skills having snagged a whopping 57 titles throughout the festival, with Russia trailing behind with 37 titles. Additionally, Brazil also topped the list of second place finishes garnering 54 runner-up placers as Russia similarly followed with again, 37 finishes.
Top five prize pools*
$10,000,000 – WCOOP 91-H: $5,200 NLHE 8-Max, NLHE Main Event
$3,891,500 – WCOOP 91-M: $530 NLHE 8-Max, NLHE Main Event
$3,000,000 – WCOOP 34-H: $25,000 NLHE 8-Max, Super High Roller
$2,014,550 – WCOOP 91-L: $55 NLHE 8-Max, NLHE Main Event
$1,930,000 – WCOOP 63-M: $1,050 NLHE 8-Max, PKO
Top five fields by number of entries*
141,219 – WCOOP 01-L: $5.50 NLHE Phase event
45,743 – WCOOP 01-M: $22 NLHE Phase event
40,291 – WCOOP 91-L: $55 NLHE 8-Max, NLHE Main Event
27,906 – WCOOP 94-L: $11 NLHE 8-Max, PKO, Series Saver
22,966 – WCOOP 67-L: $11 NLHE PKO
*Information retrieved from PokerStars Blog
WSOP adds 11 online bracelets to complement fall series
The excitement keeps on pouring in as the World Series of Poker continues to add more surprises in line with the upcoming 2021 games. In addition to the full schedule of 88-bracelet events, 11 official gold bracelets will be offered on main platform WSOP.com every Sunday from October 3 through November 21, 2021.
“Online poker is an important form of tournament poker in 2021,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart. “Our philosophy has always been to provide players the most options of any poker festival in the world. WSOP.com online bracelets have a strong track record of significant prize pools, making them a great option for players who want to multi-table while in a live tournament, or play from the convenience of their home or hotel.”
Ten of the added gold bracelets will stand to be available to players geo-located in states Nevada and New Jersey, with one solely dedicated for the WSOP Pennsylvanian market. Buy-ins for the online tournaments range from $400 to as high as $7,777 for its NLH High Roller event.
2021 WSOP Online Bracelet Schedule (WSOP.com)
Nevada/ New Jersey
October 3: $5,300 buy-in No-limit Hold’em Freezeout
October 3: $500 No-limit Hold’em Big 500
October 10: $400 No-limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack
October 17: $888 Pot-limit Omaha Crazy 8’s 8-max
October 24: $1,000 No-limit Hold’em Online Championship
October 31: $666 No-limit Hold’em
November 7: $3,200 No-limit Hold’em High Roller 8-max
November 14: $7,777 No-limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s High Roller
November 14: $777 No-limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s
November 21: $1,000 No-limit Hold’em Mini Main Event
November 21: $1,000 No-limit Hold’em Mini Main Event
Dutch market to see major operators off by November
In light of new regulations, players in the Netherlands may find themselves in search for more gaming options as major operators PokerStars, partypoker – Bwin, 888poker and Unibet leave the market by November 1st. The forecasted move is in correspondence with Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker’s latest instruction to the country’s Gaming Authority KSA to enforce stricter implementation of its policies.
“In view of the foregoing, I consider it important and obvious that providers who do not yet have a license terminate all their offer for Dutch players in the short term”, said Sander Dekker.
As a result, KSA have enforced a new policy effective November 1st, increasing basic fines from €150,000 to €600,000 or 4% of turnover for larger companies. Online operators are reportedly undergoing a “cool down period” having violated the prioritization criteria in the past, and will only be able to return once they are fully licensed. With procedures taking at least six months from now to complete, Dutch players will have to wait in the meantime as their favorite hosts make an effort to comply with recent directives.
Unibet Poker launches upgraded software
Independent online poker room Unibet Poker has been working on a new upgraded client that introduces an exciting string of developments. Due to launch this September, the update meets changes such as an all new table design, portrait layout on mobile, an MTT break pop up display along with extended breaks, and a fresh look for the lobby among many others. The software was designed by Relax Gaming, a subsidiary of Kindred Group which has worked with Unibet since the release of its version.