Poker News Roundup: Online Poker, Olivier Busquet, Bay 101

This week’s poker news kicks off in Pennsylvania, which was the home of the latest round of King of the Hill. While regular poker has been a boost to the economy in Pennsylvania, persuading the governments to allow the online version has been a challenge. That’s where we’ll start our roundup of the latest poker news. 

Momentum In Pennsylvania Dies Down

Although there was a brief flicker of optimism, it doesn’t look like Pennsylvania will be getting on the online poker train any time soon. It wasn’t included in recent budget talks despite the fact that Pennsylvania is facing a deficit and there was hope that some tax dollars from poker could help cover that shortfall. In 2016, $100 million in revenue was going to be accounted for in the budget. This year, that number went up to $250 million, which led many people to believe that poker would surely get going in Pennsylvania. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have seen about $100 million in revenue since approving online poker. Other sites see that money and would like to have those earnings themselves, yet they continue to oppose poker playing whenever the topic comes up. 

Busquet Claims King of the Hill 2

Although there were a number of big names in the field at the Poker Night in America King of the Hill 2 in Pittsburgh, Olivier Busquet outlasted them all to claim the win. The event, which was held at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, featured a number of big-name poker players trying to take the title from Phil Hellmuth, who won the first edition in August. Hellmuth didn’t make the final as he lost to Parker Talbot, while Busquet defeated Shaun Deeb. In the final, Busquet defeated Talbot as the two started out with $100,000 in chips and went from there. Busquet also beat Deeb in two straight rounds as it was a best-of-three format. That gave him his first win since taking the Bay 101 Shooting Star on the World Poker Tour back in March. 

Busquet has now won over $7.8 million in live-tournament play and he will defend his title in late October at the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia as he’ll go up against Brandon Adams, Dan Coleman and Scott Blumstein, who won the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event. 

Bay 101 Absent From WPT Schedule

Speaking of the aforementioned Shooting Star tournament at Bay 101 in San Jose, it isn’t on the schedule for the 2018 World Poker Tour season. The casino had been undergoing renovations but now it looks like the California swing likely will be gone for at least a year. 

Bay 101 recently opened at a new location that involved a $53-million expansion. It’s unclear whether that was in fact a hurdle or whether there are other issues with the WPT. The tournament itself will apparently continue but it won’t be on the World Poker Tour slate for at least this year. The fact that it’s continuing but not on the schedule has opened the door for speculation as to possible issues between the sides. 

The WPT season will open in Berlin and then head to Florida, New Jersey, Canada and California for two stops before heading back to Florida. The World Poker Tour is still hammering out details on the Tournament of Champions.