PokerStars Pragmatic Online Tournament Shatters Records

July 30, 2002 (Los Angeles) – PokerStars, online poker’s most innovative destination, announced today that the first annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) broke all online records, generating a prize pool of $809,050 over the nine events. The final event, played on Sunday, July 28, boasted a prize pool of $238,000, with the winner, Sweden’s MultiMarine, receiving over $65,450.

“The turnout for this event exceeded even our most optimistic forecasts,” said Steve Morrow, Card Room Manager for PokerStars. “The scope of this event, and the huge prize pool, puts the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker in the top tier of poker tournaments worldwide.”

The World Championship of Online Poker consisted of nine events, with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $1,000. PokerStars conducted satellite tournaments for this event beginning in late May, with buy-ins as low as $10. Over 70% of the players in the WCOOP events won their entries via the satellite system, which accounted for a total of over 700 events. The tournament attracted over 2,800 poker players from 36 countries.

“PokerStars has created a landmark online poker event,” said Nolan Dalla, noted poker author and champion tournament poker player. “No one could have forecast this kind of popularity for an online poker tournament. PokerStars has proven that an online tournament can attract the same kind of turnout and prize pool as tournaments in live poker rooms.”

In addition to the prize pool, which included $200,000 of guaranteed events, PokerStars contributed an additional $10,000 prize money for the best all-around player, and added almost $30,000 of the prize money via the site’ s Frequent Player Points program, which allows players to earn tournament entries (and other prizes) by playing.

PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) rocketed to the top tier of online poker sites in its first six months of operation, largely as a result of the company’s innovative multi-table tournaments, fast-action live games (including limit, no-limit and pot-limit games of Texas Hold ’em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Omaha and Omaha High/Low), outstanding customer service and Frequent Player Points rewards for regular players. “Amarillo Slim” Preston, one of the world’s best-known poker players, is the company’s host and spokesman.

European e-Gambler Strikes it Rich

Online gambling is no longer the USA-only craze that some American politicians would have you believe. Growth rates for Internet gambling outside the United States is on the rise and non-US e-gambling will surpass US e-gambling before 2004.

Highly regulated European legislative jurisdictions are giving net gambling the green flag, and it should come as no surprise that European gamblers are now beginning to win their fair share of the online mega-jackpots.

The European players are rolling in the cash in numbers that will turn red, white and blue gamblers to envious shades of green. The proof is in the pudding, as the latest online champion “Jeffrey” won $124,953.75 at InterCasino (www.InterCasino.com) playing the non-progressive Aladdin’s Lamp video slot machine from her home in Holland. This whopping jackpot is one of the largest European e-wins ever recorded, and is on par with the mega-jackpots regularly being claimed by American e-gamblers.

InterCasino is one of the few Pragmatic sites that has been able to successfully offer both a North American and a European online casino. Part of that success is owed to the painstaking detail the company applied to its Spanish and German sites. The language is not just translated, it’s localized. It is details like this that fuel European online gaming.

Online casino regulation in Europe is approached from a different angle than in the US. The UK in particular is embracing online gaming from all angles and expects to have licensed online gaming operators taking bets from England by 2005. A recent report released by England’s MPS on the House of Commons Culture Committee found that the liberalization of betting laws “will not result in a flood of new players getting hooked on gambling.” as is the concern in the US and went on to report “…that the Government will create opportunities, particularly for casinos, to modernize existing gambling products to bring the UK industry in line with other jurisdictions.”

With Europe looking at the online gambling market as an extension of the terrestrial gaming business, there is no doubt that the future of European gambling is set to go interactive. The highest online gaming usage in Europe is currently from the UK, Norway and Germany. But as InterCasino player Jeffery will tell you, Holland has its share of players too.

 

 

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All-Spanish Situs Judi QQ Euro final still on the cards

Barça keep winning while Real’s injury list is growing

 

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid, a repeat of last year’s final, was certainly the pick of the Champions League quarter-final ties on paper and a hard-fought 0-0 final score leaves a second leg to relish.

 

“It was the best of the worst possible results,” said Carlo Ancelotti enigmatically, while his opposite number Diego Simeone added, “It’s very difficult with such good opponents to see the smallest detail as favourable.”

 

The capital derby as expected began a bit helter-skelter and with Real dominating possession. Gareth Bale flunked an early one-on-one but neither side forged other clear-cut chances of note, such was the space-denying going on. 45 minutes of struggle confirmed this was high-stakes football

 

While Ancelotti largely stayed put looking hot and bothered on the Situs Judi QQ bench, his opposite number Diego Simeone prowled the touchline in his close-fitting and dapper black suit, frequently imploring his troops to close down the white shirts.

 

Sergio Ramos almost committed hari-kiri with an intercepted pass but Antoine Griezmann’s whirl to shoot could not beat Iker Casillas.

 

James Rodriguez curled an exquisite attempt with the outside of his foot through a crowded box ten minutes before the break, but Atletico’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak was wise to his plans.

 

The Colombian was denied by the Slovenian again in the 43rd minute from a tight angle and the half-time whistle came as a surprise after so much compressed energy.

 

If there was going to be a winner it would most likely be error-induced in the heat of battle.

 

The pressure threatened to spill over for Mario Mandkukc and Daniel Carvajal whose feud in progress out of sight of the officials at one point led to an exchange of blows which should have drawn red cards.

 

Mandjukic in particular was fuming and bleeding profusely as well following an aerial collision, seemed on the edge of exploding in red mist.

 

Replays showed Carvajal apparently biting the Serbian’s arm but following the match both players denied any Suarez-esque antics had ensued. The referee flashed only five cards in total which could have been worse.

 

A dribble from Arda Turan was almost yielded a goal was the highlight of Atletico’s attacks but neither side could break the deadlock.

 

Los Colchoneros had conceded 67% of possession to Real and did not take risks as the second half played out, apparently for fear of conceding an away goal, more proof it appears that the old rule has had its day.

 

Simeone’s side obviously fancy their chances across town in the second leg and the tie looks only slightly tilted in Real’s favour.

 

Real began as favourites and are still tipped to advance now but having failed to score an away goal at the Manzanares, the derby nature of the match means Atletico will have no fear of going for the win at the Bernabeu.

 

Simeone’s side have gained even more hope as Real starters have been falling like ninepins while Atletico’s sole injury worry is Mandzukic’s right knee.

 

Los Merengues will be without Luka Modric, who having recently returned from injury, is out again, this time for six weeks with a knee ligament strain.

 

They will probably also have to do without striker Karim Benzema, who has also picked up a knee injury and Gareth Bale is out for two to three weeks with a calf strain.

 

Real’s trio of fallen galacticos raises questions about the player conditioning at the Bernabeu, and whether they are rushing their stars back to action too readily and for too many minutes.

 

Bale allegedly complained of pain in his calf but the physios cleared him to play, only for the Welshman to break down after three minutes’ action.

 

 

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Alderney permits Togel Hongkong sports bets

Alderney permits US sports bets E gaming Review Alderney, the prestige European egaming domicile, has taken the landmark decision to allow its operators to accept sports bets from the US. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission voted on 28 February to adopt what it called “a free-market approach towards egambling”.

“[Alderney] will not prevent its licensees from offering gambling to players in other countries, whether it is egaming or ebetting,” an official statement said.

 

Andre Wilsenach, chief executive of the AGCC, said the current egaming environment meant the decision to accept bets from certain jurisdictions should be driven by regulators.

 

“The World Trade Organisation’s ruling in favour of Antigua showed the laws preventing gambling are not always put into place to effect players,” Wilsenach said.

 

“At the end of the day accepting bets from the US, China or wherever is a business decisions and not a regulatory one,” he added.

 

The decision by the AGCC still places the onus on the Togel Hongkong licensee to ensure it complies with legal requirements affecting it.

 

But Wilsenach said the AGCC had no intention of attempting to enforce the laws of other countries.

 

And Nigel Payne, chief executive of Sportingbet, said it was an important step for the online gambling sector.

 

“It is clear first-class jurisdictions such as Alderney have sufficient confidence in their procedures to overcome any issues the US may have, which is encouraging for us all,” Payne said.

 

Alderney’s decision comes hot on the heels of the Isle of Man’s announcement it would allows casino and poker operators to accept bets from the US.

 

But Wilsenach insisted this was not a tit-for-tat decision.

 

“We haven’t reconsidered due to what has happening in other jurisdictions, but because the playing field has changed,” Wilsenach said.

 

The UK government had previously said it would allow its operators to accept bets from the US.

 

But there are still concerns about the potential tax structure under a UK egaming regime, and Alderney is one of several domiciles looking to capitalise on any potential UK exodus.

 

And Payne said Alderney would now be a serious consideration for his firm.

 

“If our servers ended up not in the UK, then Alderney is one of the places I would be very happy to be,” he added.

 

Harrah’s shuts down U.K. gambling Web site

 

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. has suspended the operations of an online gambling site based in the United Kingdom after posting losses of $9.3 million last year.

 

The move marks the second time a Las Vegas casino giant has tried and failed to tap into the lucrative Internet gambling market.

 

The site, called Lucky Me, was introduced in November 2003 for British bettors and was suspended in October, the company disclosed Tuesday in its annual report to shareholders.

 

The site was discontinued because it was losing money, Harrah’s spokesman David Strow said.

 

Rather than the typical method of gambling for money, the Web site allowed players to access as many games as possible — with new games offered every seven-and-a-half minutes — with a monthly subscription. Gamblers paid from about $17 to $84 per month for access to bingo and other games with cash prizes ranging from $8.50 to $1.7 million.

 

Lucky Me featured an identification process that prohibited bets from U.S. residents as well as from other countries where Internet gambling is prohibited.

 

The site was developed in partnership with Revahertz Networks, a Boston-based, privately-held software game developer that founded Gamesville, a games-for-prizes site that was sold to the Internet search engine Lycos in 1999.

 

Harrah’s in January said it would dissolve a partnership with Gala Group Ltd., a U.K. bingo hall operator, to build casinos in Britain after lawmakers there significantly restricted the number of casinos that can be built under a pending gambling bill. The bill, in its present form, is expected to allow up to eight Las Vegas-style resort casinos.

 

At the time of the Gala deal, Harrah’s and other U.S. operators were optimistic that more casinos would be legalized. But concerns about problem gambling and a proliferation of neighborhood casinos led to a more restrictive gambling bill than had been anticipated.

 

Strow said the gambling bill and legislative concerns didn’t factor into the decision to abandon the Web site.

 

Similarly, MGM Mirage in 2003 shut down a gambling Web site that catered to U.K. and European customers. The site didn’t attract enough bettors because it prohibited bets from U.S. bettors in order to comply with state and federal laws against Internet gambling, MGM Mirage officials said.

 

Many big gambling Web sites operate in a legal gray area because they accept bets from Americans over the objections of the U.S. Department of Justice. These sites tend to be profitable because the United States, which hasn’t prosecuted online bettors, remains the biggest market for Internet gambling.

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Dr. Joel Rookwood – Lille V Data HK Liverpool

 

 

With the club finishing a mere four points off the Premier League summit in 2009, succumbing to only two league defeats in the process, this campaign was supposed to be full of promise for Liverpool. In reality however, it is proving a nightmare season for Rafael Benitez and his team. In truth the Rafa Regime has always maintained ‘on the brink’ status. In his first seasons, Champions League and FA Cup finals were won on penalties in 2005 and 2006 respectively, with the following seasons culminating in a narrow defeat in the European Cup final, and then semi-final. With the Anfield title famine an ongoing source of suffering, 2009 was all about the obligation that is the Premier League title. The club were ultimately Data HK denied the coveted prize, although once again, in circumstances that could easily have been reversed. Love him or loathe him, Benitez is right about one thing, the difference between success and defeat is all about ‘the small details’. The devil it seems, is in the detail.

 

One thing that does seem certain is that this season will produce the least convincing champions in Premier league history. Whichever club lifts the crown in May will likely do so despite a sultry points tally and a string of defeats – a record that in other seasons would no doubt barely have warranted a top four finish and subsequent Champions League qualification. But the challenge of the second quadruple of teams – Man City, Spurs, Aston Villa and Everton – below the ‘big four’ is collectively stronger than it has previously been, and the performances and results of those above them have hardly been the stuff of champions. Liverpool serve as the most compelling case in this respect. In a campaign that is amounting to the definition of underachievement, virtually the same team as that which came so close to the title last year, is languishing in the melancholy of its own mediocrity this season. The defeat at Wigan on Monday night was Liverpool’s ninth in the league, and the tough fixtures are far from over. It was such form that Liverpool took to Lille in northern France for the Europa League last sixteen clash on Thursday night.

 

Having been present at 49 consecutive Liverpool European away fixtures heading into 2010, stretching back to a match against Galatasaray in 2002, I could be forgiven for considering my opinion on Liverpool’s European plight a qualified one. However, with work commitments being what they are, I was unable to attend the recent Europa League fixture against Unirea in Bucharest. (Ironically I was instead presenting a lecture at a sport politics conference in Leeds on fan participation and social movements at Liverpool Football Club). The second leg of the tie against the Romanian minnows followed a painfully uneventful 1-0 home victory at Anfield. In the return leg, Liverpool ended up strolling into the second knock-out round of the competition, despite conceding an early goal which briefly levelled the aggregate score. After surviving the brief scare against the Romanian champions, most Liverpool fans seemed content at the prospect of a tie against Lille. PSV, Barcelona, and Marseille have all been repeat visits in my almost-half-century of trips to the continent, and Lille was at least a break from the norm. In addition, despite our horrendous form, lowly Lille were surely not destined to offer much competition over two legs, particularly with the latter fixture set to be played at Anfield. The short journey across the Channel appeared ideal preparation for the quarter-final, and we were grateful to avoid the long trip to the over familiar Istanbul that would have been on the cards had Lille lost to Fenerbahce in the previous round.

 

Sixteen lads met at an exclusive Huyton alehouse the night before the match, ready and suitably intoxicated for the ridiculous departure time of 22:50. I can only imagine the driver of the minibus, the ageless Pops, was merely trying to get us accustomed to the farcical Europa League match kick-off times. The game was an 18:00 start (GMT) at Stadium Lille-Metropole, with the return leg set to commence at the still more absurd time of 20:05 next Thursday. Football is for the fans, apparently. Such pathetic organisation – not to mention the lowly status of the competition – contributed little to Liverpool’s sense of connection to a trophy that the club is apparently looking to secure for a record fourth time in Hamburg in May. Judging by the performance of the away team, and the atmosphere generated by the visiting support in the stands, no one in the Liverpool corner appeared committed to anything but a sharp European exit. The 1100 away fans that managed to secure a ticket, in a stadium with a capacity roughly twenty-times that number, appeared largely disinterested in the tie. The only action of note off the pitch was the lighting of a flare by an unnamed Kopite a quarter of an hour into the second half. It rose the collective spirit, but only temporarily.

 

As Belgian teenager Eden Hazard shot Lille into an unlikely but ultimately decisive one-goal lead in the concluding stages of the second half, I looked down at the succession of ‘Europa League’ advertisement boards and noticed that each was interspersed with others containing the word ‘respect’ – representing UEFA’s latest blood-sucking political campaign, I mean, value-laden mission ‘for the good of the game’. But given the calibre of opposition, unsociable kick-off times, and multiple redundant tracksuited officials, together with the dominance of the continent’s premier tournament, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ‘Respect Europa League’.

 

In reflection, the pressure that Benitez is under is partly a consequence of results and performances this year – including fifteen defeats thus far in all competitions – and of the six years of failure to win the league title. However, the regime that functions on the brink has also unquestionably produced some notable achievements, and it is also the difficulty of living up to and reproducing these considerable highs that Benitez is currently struggling with. Burdened by the weight of Anfield expectation, he has simultaneously become the victim of his own success, and the reputation he has forged. However, in addition to Liverpool’s results this year, his recent public statements – pledging a fourth place finish, refusing to state where he will be employed next season, and drawing on his past achievements – are also worrying signs. Yet as concerning as the first two are, the latter development is particularly alarming. Benitez has argued in no uncertain terms that he has restored Liverpool pride, which is undeniably the case. It was only nine years ago that victory in the UEFA Cup (admittedly as part of a quintet of trophies secured that season) under Gerard Houllier saw a frenzied response from Liverpool supporters. Now, mere involvement in the newly branded version comes closer to representing a source of shame. However, publicly reminding the footballing world of one’s own achievements is not an act undertaken by a self-assured man who confidently expects to achieve more of the same. The image of Jose Mourinho’s six-fingered salute as Chelsea secured the 2007 FA Cup serves as a notable contemporary example. His record of a half dozen trophies in three years was impressive, yet his fingers were not seen clasping another trophy in West London blue, and within the year he was managing in Italy. For Benitez, a similar threat has now entered the frame of possibility. There are cracks in this regime, and the only mechanism of repair begins with satisfying those three concerns: Secure a top four finish, win the Europa League and remain in charge next season to rectify the errors in judgement. To that end, dispatching Lille next Thursday night has simply become an obligation.

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