This week’s hones in on two big stories from the past couple of days. For those who have been waiting for the ribbon-cutting on online poker in the state of Michigan, the day has come. We’ll start there with our weekly recap of the headlines.
Online Poker Launches In Michigan
The long-awaited launch of online poker in the state of Michigan is finally here. State regulators were able to approve a gaming license for the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. This particular tribe currently runs the Odawa Casino and has a partnership with PokerStars. Almost immediately after the Michigan Gaming Control Board granted them their online license, they launched their new platform. In other words, they had been working on the partnership and things from the software end to be ready to go as soon as they got the green light.
That wasn’t the only license that was handed out, though, as they also gave licenses to Detroit’s Greektown Casino and Fox Bet. The Greektown Casino is currently partnered with Penn Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook & Casino while Fox Bet is PokerStars’ sports betting site.
As of right now, PokerStars is the sole operator in the state of Michigan but that is bound to change in the not-so-distant future. BetMGM has ties with MGM Detroit and could very easily be the next operator to launch in the state.
Also, the Wire Act has passed in Michigan, allowing their players to compete against other people from out of state. That’s good news as now different states can partner up for poker tournaments, combining three different player pools all into one. That particular law has yet to take effect but it is expected to be cleared soon.
World Poker Tour Montreal Online Main Event Comes To A Close
Jack Hardcastle has added to his trophy case. While playing in the Great White North, Hardcastle was able to finish in first place during the WPT Montreal Online $3,200 buy-in main event. It was a big score as the prize pool was guaranteed at $2 million but later was surprassed. Hardcastle had overcome the field of 888 total entries and was able to take home the top prize of $447,859. That was the largest chunk out of the $2,664,000 guarantee as poker tournament organizers saw more participants than originally expected. Meanwhile, the rest of the money was split up among the top 133 finishers in the event.
For Hardcastle, this was the largest score of his career. His previous high watermark in terms of a dollar amount was a seventh-place finish in the 2020 MILLIONS UK $10,300 buy-in main event, which saw him take home $130,000. He was also able to compete in the WPT UK ‘Opener’ $550 buy-in event back in 2019 and earned another $100,000 from that performance.
Rayan Chamas was the runner up in the latest WPT main event, walking away with the second-largest prize at $308,703. Dan Shak finished right behind him in third place, bringing home $212,459. Rounding out the top was Felix Schulze, who placed fourth place and won $139,164, and finally Andrei Kriazhev, who finished fifth and collected $95,673.