This week’s poker news delivers some rough headlines out of Germany as a number of big online sites are leaving the market. We’ll get to that story late but first, we’ll start of with a couple of big wins.
Hellmuth Wins High-Stakes Poker Duel Against Esfandiari
The high-stakes series between two poker legends has finally come to an end. 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth went up against all-time money leader at the WSOP, Antonio Esfandiari, and the two engaged in a thrilling showdown.
In their series, Hellmuth was able to beat Esfandiari in the first round back in July. Esfandiari then immediately challenged Hellmuth for a rematch, although they weren’t able to face off again until September. Unfortunately for Esfandiari, Hellmuth was once again victorious. To make this battle even more exciting, Esfandiari challenged again, creating a third battle between the two poker stars.
Hellmuth (left), seen above with Esfandiari (middle) and Phil Gordon (right), was able to win the third contest as well, bringing in $400,000 after three straight heads-up victories.
These two have more than $50 million in combined poker tournament earnings.
Massey Wins Venetian DeepStack Showdown Poker Series Event
It was a great week for Aaron Massey as he was able to take home first place in the $400 buy-in no-limit hold’em Monster Stack event. Originally starting off with $150,000 in guarantees, that number was eventually blown away as there was a total of 1,653 entries in the event. That made the prize pool balloon up to $552,102. This event was just one out of the 18 events in the DeepStack Showdown series.
Massey was able to emerge as the winner in the poker event, bringing home the top prize of $58,742. This would count as his 15th recorded tournament title, putting his career earning just under $4.2 million. He was also awarded with 432 Card Player Player of the Year points, counting as his first POY score of 2020. Even so, it was enough to push him into a ten-way tie for 399th place in the POY standings.
There were also a number of notable players who took part in this event – including 2019 Wynn Winter Classic main event champion Michael Rocco, who ended up finishing in eight place and taking home $8,733.
Online Poker Sites Flee Germany After New Regulations
The online poker market in Germany has been thrown completely off course after their new regulations were approved. That’s forced some operators to leave temporarily while others have made the decision to leave for good.
The new rules stipulate that poker sites will now have to implement a hefty know-your-customer requirement that will make all players fill in additional information about themselves in order to confirm their identity. Players will also only be allowed to play a maximum of four tables at once and will not be able to choose their table or their seat. In addition to those regulations, the deposit limit is now capped at €1,000 and there is a new “panic button” that can instantly self-ban a player for the span of 24 hours.
After these regulations were passed, Ladbrokes, Redbet and Betfair have all decided to leave the market entirely, with Winamax on the way out also. Unibet, 888poker and GGPoker have made changes to comply to the new regulations but have made a statement yet regarding their decision to leave the market. This will be bad news for German players, who will now get a far smaller range of options.