Poker News Roundup: Google Play, Grafton Victory, WPT in Japan


This week’s poker news starts off with a breakthrough in mobile. Players in a number of European countries will now have access to gambling apps through the Google Play Store. Here’s a look at this week’s poker news of the week.

Google Allows Gambling Apps In Play Store

This past week, Google finally decided to allow gambling apps on its Play Store. This is only going to extend to the United Kingdom, Ireland and France for now as it is simply an experiment. There are not going to be many restrictions as of right now. They are going to test this out and leave it to companies to make sure they police themselves.

For example, apps that have “real money gaming” – like poker – will have to be free and to make sure that they have the proper licenses for their country. The app must also not allow underage players to download and play. As of now, the apps will not be allowed to use Google Play’s in-app billing.

Grafton Wins PokerStars Bucharest Main Event

England’s Sam Grafton won his second tournament of the year as he came in first place at the PokerStars Festival Bucharest Main Event. Grafton wound up taking home $139,050 for his efforts, followed by Turkey’s Anil Ozdemir, who won $114,592 for second place. In third was Austria’s Daniel Nietrzebka, who won $68,051, then it was Fahredin Mustafov of Bulgaria with $51,392. The French duo of Patrick Bueno and Johann Eclapier finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and won $40,641 and $30,825.

Overall, it was Grafton who was the best throughout the event. He beat out a field of 735 other players to win for the first time since January when he won a No Limit event at the 2017 Aussie Millions Poker Championship in Melbourne. This was also the second-biggest payday of his career; the top payday came in November 2012 as he claimed $163,953 for winning a No Limit Main Event on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour. Grafton has been trying his hardest to win a PokerStars event for six years, and now he has one.

World Poker Tour Expands To Japan

The World Poker Tour has been trying to have a bigger presence in the world as it has gone from eight countries just a couple of years ago to 18 this year. Now it’s moving into Japan just as the country moves to welcome casinos.

The World Poker Tour has announced that it will have its first event in Japan in November. They will have four qualifying tournaments leading up to the big event, which is officially being held from November 23-26. The prize pool will consist of packages to other events on the World Poker Tour. For example, entry to the WPT Beijing or India events.

Japan’s gambling market isn’t as big as you’d think, so they can’t offer massive prize pools just yet. But with a name like the World Poker Tour coming on board now, gamblers in Japan can only hope for more exposure and eventually bigger prize pools.