In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Bally’s might buy WPT for $100 Million
For a while it looked like Element Partners would purchase the WPT brand, but Bally’s Corporation swooped in at the last minute to place the winning bid. Element had offered $78.25 million and Bally’s slammed a $100 million offer on the table on 5th March.
The deal is not 100% done just yet as Element does have the opportunity to outbid Bally’s until 17:00 PT on 19th March.
Money is not all in this deal, however, as Bally’s owns licenses in many different states, which can open doors for the WPT not just to expand their tour, but also for possible future online endeavours.
iPoker overtakes partypoker
Number one and number two on the cash game traffic list are clear: PokerStars and GGPoker. And for 4 years there hadn’t been a big fight for the third spot on the leaderboard. It was clearly occupied by partypoker. Last week the news broke according to Q1 reports that has now changed.
The iPoker network has overtaken partypoker and pushed them off the podium into fourth place. This data comes from the independent industry monitor GameIntel on the Poker Industry PRO’s Data platform and says that over a 7-day average of active cash game players iPoker has reached 1249, while partypoker has dipped to 1174.
It might be that partypoker had seen the signs and started to plan for some cash game boosting promotions and features. A while ago they had announced that they were working on a splash pot feature and it looks like this has now been implemented.
The so-called “Hot Tables” are cash game tables with random splash pot awards. This means that during randomly chosen hands, an additional sweetener of extra big blinds is added to the pot. Whoever wins the pot, also receives these extra dollars.
According to some players that have played these tables so far the experience has not been great, however. The visualization of the feature is clumsy and the action is significantly slowed down at these hot tables.
partypoker might have to come up with more ways to increase their cash game traffic if they aim to reclaim third place in the overall rankings.
Germany/Austria: Casino and poker players sue casinos for losses
There has been quite an obscure development in the online gambling markets of Germany and Austria. As both countries have given out only few licenses and often only in a few areas of the country, many players have played on unlicensed sites over the past couple of years. These sites have not been blocked by the countries and were so openly accessible to players.
Some of those players have now taken this issue to court, suing online casinos and also online poker operators for providing illegal gambling, demanding back losses. The crazy part is, that this is working. Many players have received compensation for the losses they endured on those online casino and poker sites.
Online casinos are now worried about mass lawsuits against them and this strange development could push operators to aim to get licenses although they might not have wanted to opt in to this arrangement so far.
Upoker launches 6+ Omaha
It looks like we have entered an era of Omaha. While GGPoker is hosting the Omaholic Series and has introduced a new Team Pro team called OmahaSquat, smaller poker providers are also jumping on this train.
Upoker has announced a very new and interesting spin on the game, combining the popular short deck hold’em games with 4-card action. Yes, this means that you play pot-limit Omaha with a deck of only 36 cards.
As the number of cards in play is much lower, this game is played in 5-max and it uses a preflop ante.
This offer comes in addition to 4-card Omaha, 6+ Hold’em, Swap, PLO5, and PLO6. This proves once more that it is way easier for these kinds of poker apps to innovate, try out new variants and games. They can develop faster and don’t have to be too worried about cannibalization of their games as they usually run inside of clubs.