The poker world was abuzz this week as a rule change at PokerStars ticked off a lot of players. We’ll get to that in our weekly roundup of the headlines, but first we’ll start in New York where the state is again trying to legalize the game.
New York Introduces Second Online Poker Bill
Are we finally going to see legal poker in the state of New York? A new bill has been introduced to again try to make this happen.
State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who is a big proponent of legalized poker, has submitted a bill to the state assembly – the second piece of online poker legislation to be filed this year – as the state continues to discuss legalizing the card game.
The two pieces of legislation are separated by a “bad actor” clause but generally have a lot in common. Both would try to reclassify poker as a game of skill and not a game of chance, the bills would both ask operators to pay a one-shot $10 million application fee and the reclassification involved here would make an end run around the need for the state of New York to amend its constitution.
Pretlow has either introduced or supported legislation to legalize one or many forms of online gambling for the last several years. Legislation has not been approved due to various stalling tactics and countermeasures by online gambling opponents. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has not made any tangible declaration of his stance on online poker legislation in particular, but he has expressed support for casinos in the upstate portion of New York.
Chidwick Wins Third U.S. Poker Open Event
Talk about a successful run in the United States Poker Open. With his third win at the US Poker Open this past week, Stephen Chidwick has now captured one-third of the first nine events. Chidwick, who was the 2018 U.S. Poker Open champion, has come back for more in 2019 and won the Event No. 1 showcase for $216,000. He emerged as the winner from a field of 90 players.
Sean Winter was the runner-up and won $157,500 while Joseph Cheong was third and earned $112,500.
PartyPoker Adds $1 Million Tournament In Response To Proposed Boycott Of PokerStars
A controversy is brewing in the poker world.
A week ago, PokerStars announced it was reducing the number of reward points players gain for entering multi-table tournaments, or MTTs. This reduction was a 55-percent cut and earned a swift and substantial rebuke from players. Over 200 players banded together and fought back publicly – as best they could – with the threat of boycotting future tournaments. Although PokerStars has yet to make any changes, a competitor – PartyPoker – has heard the outcry and is looking to capitalize.
The event that has been targeted by players is PokerStars’ Turbo Series $5,200 buy-in $750,000 Guaranteed No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max Progressive KO. PokerStars needs at least 150 players to make this happen, which probably won’t come to fruition with 200 regulars bowing out.
PartyPoker has tried to step in by adding a $1 million guaranteed KO tournament to coincide with the next PokerStars event. Their $3,000 buy-in KO Series event will run simultaneously and it’ll be a fairly easy choice for players which of the two to pick. We’ll see if PartyPoker responds to the player demands as in the past, boycotts haven’t worked.