The news continues flying in the world of poker. Pennsylvania poker players will have to wait a bit longer for a second operator to launch in the state.
An arrest in the murder of a well-liked poker player was also announced last week. Here’s a look at some of the poker news making headlines.
Waiting game continues in PA for partypoker
After some promising news out of Pennsylvania, it appears an August launch by partypoker or WSOP.com seems unlikely. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spoke on the subject in a July 8 meeting and news looked promising.
Chief enforcement counsel Cyrus Pitre expected a partypoker approval at the group’s Aug. 5 meeting. In addition, PlayPennsylvania.com reported that WSOP.com has had approval from the PGCB since February 2020. However its online software provider, 888poker, has yet to get approved in PA.
Hopes of an August partypoker launch were dashed however, when the subject didn’t come up at the Aug. 5 meeting. No word on why there was a change in plans.
Will the September meeting offer some clarity on the situation? That remains to be seen. As of now, PokerStars remains the only operator in the state.
Arrest made in poker player’s murder
Many in the poker world were shocked recently at the brutal murder of poker pro Susie Zhao. Her badly burned body was found on July 13 at the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Michigan.
Two hikers found Zhao’s body in the park located near the town of White Lake Township, northwest of Detroit.
According to the Detroit News, Jeffery Bernard Morris, 60, of Pontiac, was charged this week with first-degree premeditated murder. Zhao, 33, recently moved to Michigan to live with her mother.
— Tom Durante (@TomDurante) August 1, 2020
Police believe the two met at a motel the night before the murder, but their relationship remains unknown. Authorities describe Morris as a homeless sex offender.
Law enforcement officials have ruled out any connection to her poker career as motive. Morris has been denied bail in the case.
Global Poker GOAT pays out big for Sunday majors
For players outside markets with traditional online poker, Global Poker offers a unique sweepstakes poker model. The site’s GOAT II series is currently underway with a SC1.1 million guarantee and
The series’ Sunday majors show what’s available for players. Indiana player “@ChipsMaxwell” took down Event 8-M SC110 NLHE (SC25,000 guarantee) for SC7,391.
In Event 8-H SC218 NLHE (SC55,000 guarantee), California’s “ChasinStacks1” took the title and SC15,312.
The GOAT features 27 tournaments with a Low, Medium, and High version and runs through Aug. 23. The series also includes a Tournament of Champions for all winners on Aug. 30.
Each winner also takes home a nice trophy. For a complete preview of the series, click here.
Triton announces expanded TV deals
The high roller scene continues to grow both online and at the live poker felt (when there’s not a worldwide pandemic). In recent years, the Triton Poker series has been a major part of that growth.
Last week, the company announced a major expansion of its television partnerships. The deal includes several added markets for the 10-episode “Triton Million – A Helping Hand for Charity” tournament.
The event was held last year in London with 54 professional players and businessmen. First place paid out £19 million, the biggest payout in poker history.
Triton collected an additional £50,000 from each player for a total of £2.7 million donated to various charitable foundations.
A growing television presence, more to come
The television deal was negotiated by Protocol Sports Marketing and follows Triton’s launch on Canada’s largest sports network, TSN. The announcement includes broadcasts on Sport 5 in Israel and Sport 1 across several eastern European countries.
Richard Yong and Paul Phua created Triton Poker in 2016. The series caters to poker’s high rollers and features some of the biggest events in the world.
“Our vision for the Triton Poker brand has always been about bringing the world’s best players and providing them with the opportunity to play the highest stakes imaginable while also giving back to charity,” Phua said in a news release. “We are finding that this vision is resonating with major media platforms, leading to coverage on some of the world’s biggest channels.”
Unfortunately for American fans, that doesn’t include a US broadcaster at the moment. It looks like that situation could change however.
“There is much more to come,” Protocol Sports Marketing President Lowell Conn said. “We have numerous broadcast partners and sponsors that are expressing interest in Triton Poker, and we expect to very soon announce deals in more major markets, including the United States and the United Kingdom.”
Partypoker PKO Series error leads to nice overlay
Partypoker has been on a roll in New Jersey, offering several series including a major event with the World Poker Tour. Players in the PKO Series Phase Tournament main event on Aug. 2 received an added bonus.
The tournament featured a $75,000 guarantee with Day 2 also allowing additional $320 direct buy-ins. A software error, however, limited that registration period and only 79 players entered.
That meant an overlay of more than $47,000. With the payout structure already established, everyone in the field received at least a min-cash of $218.
Many players received a nice unexpected cash. In the end, “pay4medsch00l” took the title for $13,598.
PokerStars Bounty Builder booms in NJ, PA
The New Jersey Bounty Builder featured a guarantee of $603,500 but paid out a total of $710,910. The festival produced 9,481 total entries
Dan “AvaGray” Lupo won the $300 Main Event for $6,273 and $7,984 in bounties as well as a championship belt. The tournament guaranteed $70,000 and generated a prize pool of $75,880.
Lupo is no stranger to New Jersey online success. In 2019, the 37-year-old architect won five SCOOP titles as well as a WSOP online bracelet. He’s now atop the NJ Championships leaderboard, and has won seven NJSCOOP and eight NJCOOP titles since 2016.
“miw21000” won the $4,000 top prize on the $16,000 leaderboard,
In Pennsylvania, the series guaranteed $1.5 million but ended up paying out a nice $2 million. The series attracted 32,731 total entries.
In the $200 Main Event, “RiverMeDaddy” took the title for $13,617, $10,755 in bounties, and a championship belt. The event paid out $197,904, almost $48,000 on top of the $150,000 guarantee.
On the $16,000 leaderboard, “Homie Sr” earned the $4,000 first place prize. With major tournament poker still in lockdown, NJ and PA players can expect even more big online poker action in coming weeks.
Players pony up for GGPoker charity event
The World Series of Poker Online may be over, but the bracelet-hunting action continues at GGPoker for international players. The series kicked off with a $500 event that produced some big results for charity.
The “Every 1 for COVID Relief” tournament raised $257,853. GGPoker added another $96,903 for a total donation of $354,756.
The tournament attracted 2,323 participants, with $111 of each buy-in going to the Caesars Cares assistance fund. This fund supports Caesars Entertainment employees across the US who have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are incredibly grateful to our partner GGPoker for their contribution to Caesars Cares,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release. “This donation will provide needed support to Caesars Entertainment team members experiencing unexpected setbacks as we work towards resuming operations and restoring normal business conditions.”
GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu was pleased to present a check for the funds.
“The international poker community really stepped up this time, and GGPoker was there to push the effort forward,” Negreanu said. “We will continue to raise funds for worthy causes in the future, and I’m grateful to be part of something that’s helping to make such a difference.”
Players will be battling for 54 gold bracelets through Sept. 16. This marks the first time players located outside the US can compete for official WSOP bracelets online.