Chip Chatter: PokerStars-Kentucky Settlement, Dealer Shortages, Triton Million, & More

September 23, 2021
Chip Chatter: PokerStars-Kentucky Settlement, Dealer Shortages, Triton Million, & More

The World Series of Poker is approaching with a month and a half or bracelet hunting taking center stage in the poker world. However, there have been a few other items of note and Chip Chatter is back to take a look.

From a PokerStars settlement to dealer shortages to WSOP vaccinations, this edition has plenty to check out.

PokerStars reaches deal with Kentucky

In what seems like a dispute that’s gone on forever, PokerStars’ parent company recently settled litigation with the state of Kentucky. The state has been pursuing damages from the company for allowing Kentucky residents to use the site from 2007-11.

In December, the state’s supreme court affirmed an earlier $1.3 billion judgment against Flutter Entertainment. The online poker company argued it only made $18 million in revenue from the state during the period in question.

The two sides ultimately agreed to a settlement of $300 million. Flutter had already forfeited $100 million and is now on the hook for “only” an additional $200 million.

Flutter appealed the issue to the US Supreme Court, but was that just a bluff? Either way the deal brings to a close an ongoing saga that has dragged on since the poker boom.

“The Group strongly believes that this agreement is in the best interests of Flutter shareholders,” the company said in a statement. “The Group now considers the matter closed.”

Quick look at the possible DraftKings bid for partypoker parent company

Speaking of Flutter Entertainment, the company is also the owner of sports betting and daily fantasy sports leader FanDuel. News broke this week that DraftKings has made a $20 billion offer for Entain, owner of partypoker.

There are still some issues to work out regarding any potential deal, including MGM owning half of Entain’s US operations. However, it seems interesting that these two huge American sportsbook/DFS companies could both now be linked to two of the world’s biggest online poker outfits.

What does this mean for poker? Some synergy certainly seems possible. Stars already does some of this in the US, but maybe there are even more possibilities for each company.

DraftKings offers party a chance to get some of these players to hit the tables and grow the brand even more. It will be interesting to see how the possible deal plays out.

Caesars closes other poker rooms during WSOP

The World Series of Poker is right around the corner and rumors of a dealer shortage may be proving correct. Like many companies across the country, finding employees for the massive series has apparently not been easy.

It appears Caesars is making some moves to meet demand at the Rio. Via the Bravo Live platform, Bally’s and Flamingo recently announced their poker rooms would be shut down during the series.

“The Bally’s Poker Room is closing for the duration of the WSOP,” the company noted on Bravo. “Please join us at Caesars Palace or WSOP in the Rio Convention Center for bracelet events, satellites, daily deep stack tournaments and cash games. The Bally’s Poker Room will reopen everyday starting November 26th.”

A similar announcement was available for Flamingo. Obviously the Caesars poker room is expected to remain open, per the announcement.

Beyond the WSOP, dealer demand will be high this fall. Numerous other properties around Vegas are offering tournament series including Aria, Orleans, Wynn, and Venetian. For a complete look at the USPoker fall Las Vegas tournament poker guide, click here.

Vaccine verification reminder

Love it or hate, just a reminder that COVID vaccines are required to play in the WSOP this year. Organizers are using the CLEAR Health Pass feature to accomplish this.

Players are being asked to go ahead and get verified before heading to Vegas to make the process easy. Once players are verified, they won’t have to do so again throughout the series. 

 

Triton Million released on YouTube

Poker fans now have another viewing option with the Triton Million for Charity hitting the series’ YouTube channel beginning today. The first two of the event’s 10 episodes debut for viewers worldwide with Daniel Negreanu and Ali Nejad calling the action.

The tournament was held in London in 2019 with a £1.05 million ($1.45 million) buy-in. As part of the event, £50,000 was taken from each buy-in and distributed to over 15 global charities.

Those included the One Drop Foundation, Raising for Effective Giving (REG), and the Malaysian Red Crescent. In all, £2.7 million was raised for charitable causes.

The tournament featured some of the world’s most talented players such as Bryn Kenney, Daniel Cates, and Tom Dwan. Several high-profile businessmen also competed such as Paul Phua, Tony G, and Haralabos Voulgaris.

The event  is one of the richest purses in sports and gaming history. The tournament previously aired on television with NBC Sports, Canada’s TSN, and other networks around the world.

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