This week’s poker news is a mix of good news and bad news. Let’s start off with the rotten headlines and then move on to the more positive poker news.
China Moves Toward Complete Online Poker Ban
It doesn’t look good for the online poker community in China. Recent reports have indicated that the Chinese government will implement a ban on poker-related applications as soon as June 1. The app developers are already starting to feel the pain. Companies like Boyaa Interaction and Our Game have seen their stocks lose about 18 percent of their value on the announcement of the ominous news. If the ban in fact takes effect, they’ll have to either move or close up shop. Popular app Tencent has already responded, shuttering its World Series of Poker app and cutting off any poker-themed chat rooms.
China has asked gaming platforms to stop offering poker mostly because the growth in popularity of the game has created a black market. The problem is that it’s now viewed as a skill game and that being the case, it falls under the category of illegal gambling operations. Gambling is not legal in China.
It is possible that the government moves toward regulation at some point but as of now, the first step is going to be a crackdown.
Greenwood Stays Hot, Wins EPT Monte Carlo Event
Sam Greenwood’s live-tournament game is on fire right now. After a victory in the Super High Roller #7 on the European Poker Tour in Monte Carlo, the Canadian poker star has now won five times since the beginning of 2018. The buy-in for the event was around $120,000, which led to Greenwood taking home $1,853,387 for his efforts. That makes for his highest payday to date.
Greenwood beat out Germany’s Christoph Vogelsang, who collected $1,275,423, while Iran’s Ali Fatehi was next with $816,856. Germany’s Ole Schemion came in fourth place with $625,518 and Justin Bonomo of the United States rounded out the top five with $488,953.
Greenwood was the story as he won over a million dollars for the second time this year and we’ve barely reached spring. He now has won three of his last four starts. For his career, he’s piled up over $11.2 million in winnings, which puts him fifth all-time in the Canadian poker rankings.
Imsirovic Conquers Borgata Spring Poker Open
Almedin Imsirovic was the big winner at the Borgata Spring Poker Open, winning Main Event #17. Imsirovic, who hails from the United States, won a career-high $246,066 at the event in Atlantic City as he edged out Colombia’s Farid Jattin, who won $243,521. A trio of Americans rounded out the top five as Nicolas Salimbene won $113,272, Richard Pachoca won $89,988 and David Mock took home $70,480.
It was just the second time in his career that Imsirovic won a tournament that paid him out six figures. Imsirovic has now won over $698,000 for his career. The main event itself brought in 519 entries with a prize pool of $1.297 million.