Posted on 19th May 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Prominent online poker room 32Red has closed its doors after its network MPN went offline on May 19th.

The site has chosen not to migrate to another network, unlike a dozen other MPN skins. Also, it won’t even provide an automatic transition to parent company Kindred Group’s primary online poker product, Unibet.

The 32Red’s decision was announced last week, along with the plans of almost all other skins on the network. Now, the players are greeted with the message that details this.

“We regret to announce that 32Red Poker will be closing down on 19th May, when the Microgaming Poker Network closes,” a statement on 32Red’s offical poker site reads.

Customers will be able to log into their accounts after that date and access banking options and casino games.

Though there will be no more poker games and any ongoing promotions and progressive jackpots, 32Red will continue offering casino and sports betting products. 

“The Bad Beat Jackpot has been decommissioned, and all five Fish Party Jackpots will be decommissioned on 18th May.

Any unused contributions will be returned to players, and any excess funds will form the prize pools of freerolls for all six Jackpots (held on 18th May).”

In early 2017, a global online gaming giant, Kindred Group acquired 32Red. The group already runs a successful independent online poker room, Unibet Poker. 

That’s why players that want to continue playing poker are being encouraged to join Unibet.

“Looking ahead, we recommend Unibet Poker, our sister brand, who will ensure 32Red Poker players get the warm welcome they deserve,” 32Red poker advised.

It’s been a year since Microgaming announced the closure of its poker network. The supplier said at the time that the decision was based on the following.

“The network model no longer fits with our strategic vision for poker, and this is the right time to announce the closure as we focus on redistributing key resources and personnel across the business.” 

Though it seems like the end of poker at Microgaming, there’s hope that the company will come up with a new strategy for the vertical.

Posted on 14th May 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

While the global pandemic is causing the cancellation of live events around the world and the closure of land-based casinos, it’s apparent that the interest in online poker is rapidly growing, as more players are turning to the virtual tables.

Since the UK lockdown began, online poker has seen a significant increase in interest among new online poker players and new research confirms this.

The research was conducted by the online poker provider GGPoker using Analysis of Google Search Trends and Analytics data. It showed that a lot more Brits are starting to play the popular card game while lockdown restrictions are in place.

The month following the UK heading into lockdown there was a 282% increase in searches for ‘best poker hand’, while searches for the top four poker hands are also up: royal flush (47%), straight flush (106%), four of a kind (66%) and full house (43%).

Also, searches for ‘Texas Hold’em’ have increased by 292% month on month.

It seems that increase is mainly due to new players looking to venture into poker, with searches for ‘how to play poker’ rising by 200%, ‘poker rules’ searches increasing by 98%, and ‘poker hands’ searches experiencing 182% growth month-on-month.

GGPoker itself recorded 102% gain in new users.

“With people looking for ways to pass the time and escape from the current climate, it’s no surprise that popular escapism activities like playing poker online have seen a substantial increase in interest over the past few months,” commented Jean-Christophe Antoine, Head of the GGPoker Network.

“We anticipate that poker engagement will continue to grow and we look forward to seeing how the market evolves as a result of old and new players alike continuing to refine, adapt and advance their online skills.”

It’s likely that this trend will continue even after the isolation, but only the time will tell.

Posted on 6th May 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Loto-Quebec, the online gambling corporation operating in the Canadian province of Quebec, has announced that the biggest online bad beat jackpot ever was won.

The OK Poker product on its Espace-jeux online gambling site had issued a new record online bad beat jackpot the previous week as the players at the table shared a whopping C$755,896 (US$537,711).

On the evening of April 30, Raymond Desjardins was playing poker on OK POKER. It was only when it got to the river, and the cards already dealt were a 10 of spades, 6 of diamonds, 10 of hearts, 8 of spades, and 7 of spades, that he realized he had a straight flush of spades.

Raymond immediately called over his son: “Come see! I’ve got a straight flush!” When one of his opponents decided to go all in, he knew he was about to win big.

“That’s when I saw my opponent play the worst beat hand. When I saw those two 10s, that was it… I was ecstatic! My son and I let out a big whoop,” the Montrealer excitedly explained.

“It was a really happy moment. I can only imagine how my opponent felt when he saw that he’d won the most money with his losing hand!” 

Desjardins got his hands on $188,974, while his opponent with the second-highest ranking hand (or worst beat hand) won $377,974. The other players at the table scooped $31,495 each. 

Desjardins, who loves to fish, says he’s still in shock and wants to wait a little before making any plans on how he’ll spend the money. He does, however, plan to celebrate the win with family.

The win surpasses a C$676,443 bad beat jackpot awarded late last year at the land-based poker room at Casino du Lac-Leamy. 

Posted on 30th April 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Poker Central today announced that its premier poker tournament, the Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB), will be held online through partypoker’s platform.

This is the latest live poker tournament event to move online during the lockdown because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Super High Roller Bowl Online will not be a stand-alone event although many others have been in the past. Instead, it will be part of a series of high-stakes tournaments starting on May 23 and culminating with the $100,000 Main Event June 1-2.

A total of $20 million will be guaranteed across the 28 events. And this includes the Super High Roller Bowl that closes out the series.

While past Super High Roller Bowls usually carried buy-ins of $250,000 to $500,000, the online edition makes it slightly more affordable at $100,000. The $3 million guarantee in that one figures to be the largest offered.

The popular tournament comes right after Poker Masters Online, another Poker Central staple, migrated to the virtual felt. The PMO that recently wrapped up on partypoker, featured $16.5 million in guarantees, which was more than doubled when the 30 events of the series paid out over $35.4 million.

“After a successful Poker Masters Online tournament, we knew we had to continue the momentum with an online Super High Roller Bowl series in lieu of a live tournament this year,” said Poker Central’s J.R. McCabe. 

“Our partnership with partypoker will allow us to continue to deliver what our fans love – live poker from the best players in the world.”

Partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters added: “In this time of increased caution, partypoker’s goal is to help fans and players in the poker industry continue to partake in the excitement of the game”. 

The full schedule is yet to be released.

Posted on 22nd April 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is officially being postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The 51st edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) was set to begin on Tuesday, May 26 from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

However, it has to be pushed back, like many other major events around the world, in order not to contribute to spread of the virus.

Now, the organizers aim for it to begin in the fall of 2020. The exact dates and events are yet to be determined.

“We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. 

“In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, the official statement read. This will be done in the similar vein of online tournament series WSOP Spring Online Championships Series.

They will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.” 

Held since 1971, the poker’s most renowned and recognized tournament festival was always running in spring, and since 2005 was moved to the June/July schedule that most players today are familiar with.

This is the first time in the event’s 50-year history, that this is being changed to a much later date.

When this year’s edition does run, it will include poker’s world championship, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship, the richest prize pool on the poker calendar each year.  Once details for the revised 2020 WSOP are finalized, they will be announced.

The next live event on the WSOP schedule is still the Global Casino Championship, which is happening from August 11-13th, 2020 at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. This is an invitation-only event, open to those who have qualified.

Meanwhile, WSOP Europe, hosted at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, remains on the calendar for the Fall 2020.

All announced dates, times and events are subject to change.

Posted on 15th April 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Partypoker has announced a partnership with comedian and actor Kevin Hart.

Partypoker executive Rob Yong, shared the news by tweeting the following:

“Happy my good friend @KevinHart4real is now official @partypoker partner. Was talking about partypoker ethos at cash game with him, @Andrew_Robl @BrokeLivingJRB & Kevin promised to help us promote poker to new/amateur players, so made him do this video to commit his ass!KTF Rob”

The big-screen star has already dabbled in poker prior to this. He’s a fan of the game and plays often, and has even competed in high-roller events such as the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. 

Then, Hart had a role with partypoker’s rival PokerStars as an ambassador. In 2018, he was competing against some of the toughest players in the world in the PokerStars $100K Super High Roller. 

Also, he appeared on the TV poker shows PokerStars Shark Cage and the Championship Cash Challenge as well as famously raced Usain Bolt in the Bahamas for a PokerStars promo.

Now Hart decided to join his second poker site, and the response on social media appears to be great so far. 

In the video, Hart is excited to be a part of the team, with Rob Yong and numerous high-profile poker pros.

“I’m here to party, I’m here to make it a good time,” he said. “Expect the world of poker to get a lot more fun. Expect it to get real, and expect us to get rid of all of the people that make it so f*cking technical, man.”

Yong said that Hart is “the highest stakes amateur poker player in the world.” He is hoping that Hart will help him “promote mature poker and promote poker to the masses.”

There aren’t many details about what Hart will be specifically doing for partypoker, however, this will be revealed in the near future.

Posted on 9th April 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Game development studio Evoplay Entertainment setting out to deliver ultra-realistic poker experience with its latest poker game.

Harnessing the latest in gaming technology to power a full house of wily and cunning opponents, Texas Hold’em Poker 3D enables full portrait viewing mode via mobile, providing the next best thing to sitting in a real casino.

Moreover, the game’s easy-to-use rulebook allows players of any ability to get in on the action, whether that be a lifelong poker enthusiast to a complete newbie.

Boasting immersive graphics and designed to work flawlessly across all devices and platforms, the company believes it will surely have players lining up to reserve their seats.

Commenting on its launch, Ivan Kravchuk, CEO at Evoplay Entertainment said: 

“There is no need for players to forgo that alluring casino experience with our latest release, Texas Hold’em Poker 3D.

“The enticing visuals and straightforward rulebook mean that this is the closest that you will get to an Old Western card table, and we can’t wait for our players to pull up a chair.”

The release follows a number of acclaimed 2019 titles, including many awards nominations for its revolutionary in-game tech. The innovative studio is focused on transforming the gaming experience for the next generation of player.

Kravchuk was appointed in January 2020 after serving as a creative director for three years. He commented on his commitment to Evoplay and the firm’s fast growth by saying:

“Stepping up to lead the company I have been part of since day one is a dream come true. I’m incredibly proud to be guiding one of the industry’s most dynamic, agile and enterprising suppliers through its next chapter of development. 

Having already claimed a host of industry accolades and ground-breaking technological advancements with my team here, I can promise our innovation-packed portfolio is only just getting started as we gear up to deliver another record-breaking year.”

Currently, Evoplay boasts a rich portfolio with over 80 games such as slots, tables, and instant games, and the rest of the gaming catalog is set to be unveiled throughout 2020.

Posted on 1st April 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Currently, online poker across the globe is on the rise amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Various online poker rooms are starting to host large online tournament series.

Among them is the WSOP/888 network which hosted its Online Super Circuit series that has over $1 million in guarantees and is open to players from all three states: New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. The series ended yesterday, on March 31st.

The combined network is set to host another online tournament series: WSOP Spring Online Championships Series.

The series starts on April 5th and lasts more than four weeks. It ends with a $300,000 guaranteed Main Event on May 3rd. The winner of that $525 buy-in event will also take home the Champions Belt.

Players in each of the three US states where WSOP/888 operates including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are permitted to participate in the series.

With more than $4 million in guaranteed prize money spread over 100 events, this year’s The Spring Online Championships Series is the largest online tournament series ever to be attempted in the history of the US regulated online poker market.

It has broken its own record of $3.5 million set last year with its annual Online Championships series that coincided with the live summer World Series of Poker series. Last year, the series had just $1.3 million in guarantees spread across 48 tournaments.

Meanwhile, the 2020 WSOP is still yet to be canceled. The WSOP recently announced that a decision on the 51st annual summer poker extravaganza won’t be made until early May.

Many poker players have speculated that the series will take place exclusively on WSOP.com. 

One example of moving live events online is the 2020 Irish Open. It was previously dropped from the calendar and will now run as an online event in partnership with partypoker.

However, we’ll have to wait another month to see if WSOP will follow the footsteps of other events.

Posted on 25th March 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, all land-based casino and poker revenue in March will cease. 

Currently, nearly all casinos across the United States have shut down their operations which will affect poker results.

That is, unless players take up the online cardrooms offered in each state. And they quickly are.

Valley Forge Casino remains one of the best performing properties in the Keystone State, claiming 25% of the revenue. 

Now, while everything is on the lockdown, the operators are rushing to hopefully meet bigger demand online in March.

This will leave only Mount Airy casino claiming some revenue, thanks to its partnership with PokerStars. 

PokerStars is on the rise, with its Spring Championship of Online Poker or SCOOP.  The series will run in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The President of PokerStars’ USA, Matt Primeaux said that the operator is aiming to kickstart PASCOOP on April 4.

There aren’t many details about it at the moment. However, based on Primeaux’s tweet, the first-ever PASCOOP series in Pennsylvania will have $2 million in guaranteed prize money.

SCOOP series is usually held in May in the dot-com market. But, the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have forced the operator to schedule the series much earlier.

There are more and more people that stay at home in self-isolation. As a result, online poker traffic across the globe including the US markets is seeing a huge boost.

PokerStars PA’s cash game traffic saw a massive rise this month. It grew nearly 75% in a matter of a couple of weeks. The network is now averaging 441 concurrent cash game seats, up from 238 seats seen during the end of February.

Meanwhile, WSOP.com and partypoker have still not announced any official plans to launch. 

Nevertheless, as local casinos have to currently shut down, online poker traffic is expected to rise further.

Posted on 17th March 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

The coronavirus global pandemic has hit the live poker industry hard. The outbreak continues to cause closures and postponement of casinos and live poker events across the globe.

Recently many poker events had to be canceled due to the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. This is mostly events that were scheduled this month or in the next month.

Initially, Irish Open was supposed to go on from April 6th to April 13th, 2020, in Dublin’s Citywest Hotel. But, because of the situation with Coronavirus, it had to be postponed.

However, there has been a change of plans, and the event will now take place online. The virtual version of the event is replacing the live one. It will feature a €1m guaranteed main event, starting on April 6th, along with a selection of smaller buy-in tournaments.

JP McCann from the Irish Poker Open commented: “Since our announcement last week regarding the postponement of Irish Open 2020, considerable efforts have been made to find an alternative date to run Irish Open 2020. 

“However, as the uncertainty surrounding live poker events continues, we feel that the best decision to take at this point is to cancel the live festival for 2020.”

He also thanked partypoker for taking the initiative to help their Festival goes ahead during these very challenging times.  “We hope to see you for the first time on the virtual tables for the 40th Anniversary of the Irish Open.”

Irish Open’s sponsor partypoker will gladly run the Irish Open Festival Online.

Partypoker managing director, Tom Waters, said: “We are delighted to be associated with Europe’s oldest poker festival. 

The Irish Open is a truly unique event and following the disappointment of its cancellation this year, an online Irish Open festival looks a perfect fit for both event organizers and partypoker.”

All in all, to look on a bright side, this could potentially lead to popularizing online poker.