Another online poker room closes its doors while another is forced to shut down. Delaware legalizes online poker, but others have set backs.
We do have some good news, with the WSOP nearing an end. The largest ever poker tournament buy in got under way this weekend and the Main Event is only a few days from its start.
Hollywood Poker closes its doors
Early last week, the long running online poker room, Hollywood Poker, announced they would be shutting down. This news came abruptly without any signs or speculation they would be closing. In fact, their Twitter account had tweeted a promotional message the morning of the announcement. No players or even high level affiliates were made aware of the news making this a bit of a guessing game as to why they have closed. The only announcement that came was through E-mail to existing players and a special notice on their home page.
HollywoodPoker has stopped offering online poker. So that you can continue playing on the Ongame Network we have arranged to transfer your account with your entire account Balance to RedKings.com, a leading Ongame Network gaming site offering superb casino and poker games in a secure environment. Please be informed that your HollywoodPoker account, along with your entire account balance, has been transferred over to RedKings.com. Your nickname and password will remain the same. Simply log into Redkings.com with your HollywoodPoker username and password.
At RedKings, you will be able to play not only online poker, but also Sports Betting and a variety of Casino games using your account.
As part of the full package we have organized for you will be a new $500 Welcome Bonus paid in $25 increments! Plus the following:
- Get all the benefits from RedKings VIP program
- A 30% bonus for betting once you transfer money for the first time to BetRedKings
- Get a 15% Welcome Bonus to CasinoRedKings when you download the casino software
Are you ready to claim your welcome bonus? Simply click here to visit the Redkings home page and then log in with your HollywoodPoker username and password. They are now your Redkings user name and password.
As with any shut down the first issue is what will happen to players’ funds. With the latest rush of sites shutting down and not paying their players’, it’s only reasonable to be wary of this closure. However, Hollywood Poker assures all funds will be safe and moved over to the site who is taking them over. All players will be moved to Red Kings Poker room. Red Kings is part of the OnGame network and according to Poker Scout is the 5th largest network. It is nice to see that a site actually took care of their players for once and didnt just take the money and run. Still a bit of an odd situation as Hollywood Poker has been around for over a decade with no signs of trouble. Hopefully in the coming days or weeks, more information will be available as to why this happened.
Microgaming skin 5050 Poker is forced to shut down.
In a complete 180 of Hollywood Poker, 5050 Poker has been forced to cease its operations. They operate under the Microgaming Network which forced the site to stop all operations on June 14th. According to a press release from 5050Poker, they claim Microgaming changed their rules by putting a cap of 2 tables that any member can play at a time. Evidently this rule only applied to 5050Poker and a few of the smaller skins on the Microgaming Network. Shortly following this statement, Microgaming responded by saying the shut was due to a “material breach in contract“, whatever that means.
As of June 27th, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta have suspended 5050 Pokers license. It’s unsure what will happen to players’ funds as all withdrawals were halted on the 14th. Those with money on the site need to file a complaint form with the LGA. This is the third network licensed by the LGA to have problems paying their players. First was Purple Lounge late last year, then Everleaf. Purple Lounge has yet to make any payments and is currently not in operation. Everleaf has not paid out it’s American players and is struggling to get rest of world players their funds, yet they still have a license and continue to operate to this day under the LGA umbrella.
Delaware legalizes online poker
On Thursday, Delaware became the second state to pass a bill legalizing online poker. The state already offers racinos which are horse tracks with casinos on premises. The bill allows for the 3 racinos to start offering their own online poker rooms and will potentially expand the land based operations already in place. There is no timeline for a site to launch, but speculation points to early 2013.
This is good news for Americans, but a solid infrastructure for online poker in the U.S. is far from complete. Delaware is one of the smallest states and it’s unclear as to whether or not they could support one online room, yet alone multiple ones. They were the first state in their region to offer land based casinos, which prompted states like Maryland and Pennsylvania to open their own. It’s possible a multi state player pool could be a viable option in the future with states already competing for business in this region. Pennsylvania alone could support their own rooms and with Maryland launching their first casino with table games in 2013, they could be a player in this as well.
More states are trying to pass similar legislation, but most have been shot down. With this being an election year, online poker seems to be the red headed step child of laws. No one wants it, even with the amount of money it will bring in. It’s likely a bill we put in front of congress during the lame duck session and this could be our best chance, but I am certainly not holding my breath.
The WSOP is nearing its finale and the Main Event will begin in just a few short days. Of the more note worthy news is Michael Mizrachi winning his second Players Championship. The $50k buy in was one of the most anticipated events of the year and had 108 of the best players in the world competing for over $5 million in prizes. Mizrachi won the event in 2010 when it seemed the poker pro was going through a tail spin in life. There were rumors that he was broke. The Sun Sentinal also reported he owed the IRS and his home in Florida was foreclosed on. He then went on to have one of the best WSOP runs of any player. This year he seems to be doing the same and solidifying his place among pokers elite. His win was worth over $1.4 million and puts him 4th on the all time money list for the WSOP.
Big One for One Drop
July 1st became a date in poker history as the largest tournament buy-in was officially started. The $1 million event features 48 of the best and richest players in the world competing for over $40 million in prizes. Only 48 spots were available with 2 of those being filled from a $25k mega satellite. Gus Hansen would win the second of these, guaranteeing his place in poker history. Among the players entered are, Phil Ivey, Tow Dwan, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Galfond, Jason Mercier, Mike Sexton and the list goes on. Some of the entrants are rich businessmen who can afford to lose $1 million.
There was some speculation and conflict as to how Phil Hellmuth got into this event. It was first reported he won the first satellite, but this was quickly denied on 2+2. It’s still unclear as to how he entered the event, and he was a last minute entry so one can only guess. Other rumors were swirling that Andy Beal would be playing the event, but it is now confirmed he will not. Beal was made famous by the book, “The professor, the Banker and the Suicide King.” The book told the true life story of Andy Beal taking on the world’s best poker players in a game of high stakes poker. The match lasted over several years with millions of dollars exchanging hands. Beal is one of the richest men in America and its clear his reason for not entering is not lack of funds. No official statement has been made as to why he will be absent.
Part of the buy-in will be designated to the One Drop charity which was founded by Guy LaLiberte. Guy is a poker player and creator of the popular Cirque De Solei. So far over $8 million has been raised for the charity whose goal is to bring fresh drinking water to areas of the world that don’t have it.
There’s 8 more events currently running and coverage will begin on ESPN on July 3rd with the Big One for One Drop kicking off Poker Night on Tuesdays. The Main Event will follow soon after on ESPN as well. These are the only 2 events being covered this year, but every day of the Main Event is expected to be shown along with the One Drop.