In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Winning Network serving the U.S with big guarantee
The U.S.-facing Winning Network is once again hosting the legendary event called The Venom from 24th July to 4th August. There will be a record-breaking $7 million guarantee with at least $1 million for the winner. The Venom has been there before, but the guarantee is the highest we have seen yet. The buy-in for the event is $2,650 and it will have four starting days.
There are satellites available starting at $0.11 and you can work yourself through steps, for example.
But that’s not all. The Winning Network proves that it can indeed compete with the big three, partypoker, PokerStars and GGPoker by holding a $15 Million GTD Online Super Series. Right when The Venom enters Day 2, ACR and BlackChipPoker are starting to host the Online Super Series (OSS) for the tenth time in history. The four-week tournament series will run from 3rd to 30th August and include more than 220 events.
Especially when a lot of U.S. players are looking with envy towards the big tournament series that are being hosted by the poker giants elsewhere, knowing that the Winning Network has their backs is crucial. To name just the two main sites Americas Card Room and BlackChipPoker can accept American players, which many of the other sites can’t.
More U.S. knockouts
There are more good news for U.S. players when it comes to a very popular poker offering: Progressive Knockouts (PKO). Almost everybody loves these entertaining ‘bounty’ tournaments where the prize pool is split between normal payouts and the ‘bounty’ prize pool. All players have bounties on their heads which you receive, in case you bust a player.
‘Progressive’ means that the bounty amount can increase. The more opponents you knock out, the bigger your own bounty gets. So by the end of the tournament there are big amounts to be won simply by busting a player from the tournament.
Now the Winning Network, partypoker NJ and the ‘sweepstakes’ site Global Poker have joined the cult and the U.S. market is thoroughly equipped to knock out those fellow poker players.
Michigan Online Poker might happen sooner
And while we’re in the U.S…. The next State to legalize online gambling is Michigan and it looks like the Corona pandemic and the need to recoup lost income for the State through brick and mortar casinos has sped up the process a little. Instead of an early 2021 launch it now looks like late 2020. That is the good news.
The bad news is that Michigan will not join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware as of yet. With 10 million inhabitants the State has a similar population as New Jersey and so it will be interesting to monitor the developments in comparison.
As with Pennsylvania it is to assume that joining player pools is in the books for Michigan, although there has not been a mention in recent communications.
Russian actor becomes PokerStars ambassador
Despite there not having been an official press release from PokerStars it has been reported that the poker giant has signed the Russian actor Vladimir Yaglych as an ambassador to promote EPT Sochi.
The Russian stop of the European Poker Tour had been postponed from March to October this year and with the help of the popular actor the event will hopefully be a successful one.
“I am delighted to be partnering with the PokerStars Sochi and European Poker Tour brands, which host major international tournaments in Sochi, which, among other things, contributes to the prosperity of this beautiful region,” Yaglych says.
“Poker is several hundred years old, it evokes the strongest emotions and requires certain skills to play successfully; it is a smart and tough game. It will be my pleasure to join the participants in international poker events to immerse myself in the atmosphere of this intellectual competition.”
iPoker Network battles ‘bum hunting’
‘Bum hunting’ is the practice of following specific weak players to tables to take advantage of them. It has been around for a long time in live and online poker. While you can’t do much about it in live poker, many online poker sites implement ways to reduce this chasing of the fish and harvesting them to their death.
Daniel Negreanu made the point in a tweet from 2018 that it is indeed difficult to battle this and that it will probably always be around:
The practice of bum hunting has been around for decades and will be a part of poker forever. There is no magic solution to stop people from only playing in good games and quitting when the fish quits. Unless you are in private games I guess
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 11, 2018
However, online poker rooms started offering cash game player pools instead of waiting lists and now iPoker has introduced two new ways to prevent ‘bum hunting’. First of all, player names are anonymous until you post a big blind and so actually join the game. And you can only sit out at all cash game tables at once, not individually.
The more poker sites can do to preserve the poker ecosystem the better. Retaining a fresh and thriving flow of new players that don’t get hunted down right away is an important part of this.