Virtue Poker release white paper for first Ethereum Poker site.

With the recent explosion of bitcoin and Ethereum, and the rest of the crypto-currencies following close behind, we are close to seeing our first online poker site built using Ethereum.

Companies are currently using Ethereum and ICO’s to launch new products. Easiest way to describe a Ethereum ICO is imagining if Kickstarted and a conventional IPO’s had a love child. The result would be an ICO using Ethereum.

However, before you get to launching an ICO, the first thing is releasing your ‘white paper’. You can think of a ‘white paper’ as your business plan. This is what you plan on doing and how much ethereum you are planning on raising through your ICO, and how you are going to spend that. You will usually list the team behind it, as currently trust is a big thing in the ICO market as Ethereum is decentralised and is unregulated.

This week, Virtue Poker became the first company to release a ‘white paper’ describing there plans on becoming the first decentralised online poker site to launch using Ethereum using an ICO. There is currently no mention of attaching a casino or slots site onto Virtue Poker at the minute, but this could be a possibility in the future. Creating an online casino using Ethereum is also possible. However, you can check out Grande Vegas Online Slots if you are looking a trusted online casino or slots site.

You can read Virtue Pokers full ‘white paper’ by following this link. You can also visit the Virtue Poker website and sign up to receive information Virtue Pokers ICO.

WSOP Makes Plans To Launch First Event In China Before The End Of 2017

The 48th edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is currently taking place at the Rio in Las Vegas, Nevada and the prestigious Main Event is already underway. The WSOP top brass are already making plans on growing the WSOP brand and taking the tournament to new countries.

Right at the top of the expansion program is China, which is considered to be one of the most lucrative poker markets in the world and is largely untouched because gambling is prohibited in Mainland China and the authorities have cracked down on poker tournaments in the past even though organizers have promoted poker as a game of skill and not chance.

The WSOP which is arguably the most recognized and popular poker brand in the world does not have any reservations in entering China as the company announced before the start of the 2017 WSOP Main Event that it had entered into a partnership with Tencent – a Chinese based company that has various business interests – one of them being gambling. The WSOP signed a 10 year agreement that will be beneficial to both companies as they both have a common interest of growing the game of poker and launching successful WSOP events.

The WSOP has plans to launch a number of events throughout Asia and the first event will most likely be the WSOP China tournament which will take place before the end of 2017. Tencent has a strong presence in China and will use its leverage to help spread the WSOP brand and bring in players to future WSOP events in China. Tencent has also signed an agreement with the WSOP to be its exclusive partner in selling WSOP merchandise and also for producing and distributing WSOP programming.

The WSOP is expected to begin training Tencent staff shortly to help the company prepare to host a successful WSOP China edition. Tencent will have to ensure that the WSOP China tournament maintains the high level of standard that the WSOP has set in terms of operational excellence, technical standards, gaming rules and tournament structure.

Tencent has experience of hosting live poker events on Hainan Island, which is similar to Macau but a lot smaller and with limited exposure to gambling. The company will host online qualifiers for WSOP China via its online poker app and the WSOP has confirmed that there will be WSOP gold bracelets up for grabs at WSOP China.

Iconic Stratosphere Casino Offers Daily Poker Tournaments With Low Buy-Ins

Poker players who are not familiar with the poker scene in Las Vegas will do well to pay heed to our suggestions with regards to find cool poker tournaments away from the Las Vegas Strip.

Whenever tourists visit Vegas and have an urge to play poker, they invariably tend to hit the casinos on the Strip because that’s where the action is supposed to be. However we can confirm that poker players will find some lucrative live poker action if they move away from the center of the Las Vegas Strip and head on to some of the lesser known poker rooms.

In fact, playing at live poker rooms a little away from the Strip is highly advisable for players who do not have too much money to spend. Currently, the iconic Stratosphere Casino is running affordable poker tournaments on a daily basis and players will most certainly end up having a good game as the casino property attracts a large number of tourists on a daily basis and a number of them end up playing poker.

This means more often than not there are some large pots to be won at their poker tables. One of the biggest selling points of the Stratosphere Poker Room is tournaments with low buy-ins and re-buys. The live poker room holds poker tournaments every day at 11:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m., so irrespective of their time of visit, players will find a tournament in progress at Stratosphere Poker Room. The tournament entry fee is $50 and players will receive a starting stack with 4,500 chips.

If players go in for the add-on of $20, they will receive 6000 more chips. The good news is that players can re-enter each tournament an unlimited number of times during the first one hour. Each poker level lasts 20 minutes, and cocktail waitresses are always ready to fetch drinks on demand.

The Stratosphere Poker Room is home to the Ace Play Club, which rewards members with points for real money poker play. Based on the number of points they earn, players will be showered with a variety of benefits that they can utilize at the property. Players who want a break from poker will also find a lot of other action at the Stratosphere including slots and video poker along with a wide range of non-gaming entertainment.

New Yorker mistakenly thinks she won $43m on Slots Machine

A New York woman was brought down to earth with a bump after she mistakenly thought she had won nearly $43m an eye-watering on a slot machine.

Katrina Bookman was playing a Sphinx machine at the Resorts World Casino (which is nearly an All Slots Casino), when the screen lit up with the words ‘Printing Cash Ticket’ accompanied by the eye-watering and life-changing eight-figure sum of $42,929,672.76.

After alerting security and being mobbed by other customers, Bookman took a selfie to document her “win”, but was denied the largest-slot machine jackpot in US history when she was told that she would have to return to the casino the following day to hear their decision on the incident.

When Bookman returned she asked the casino “What did I win?” and a representative for the casino replied “You didn’t win nothing.” In fact, according to Bookman the only thing the casino offered her was a complimentary steak dinner.

Bookman says that the first thing she thought about when the amount flashed up on the screenwas her family. She was raised in foster care, was homeless as a teen and has raised four children all by herself.

“The struggle I’ve been through, it’s hard to cope,” said Bookman.

“I can’t really describe the feeling [following her win], it’s like my whole body just went numb.”

She said that she instinctively had made plans for the money, with buying a barber shop for her son as well as giving back money to her community her top priority.

After the incident, Bookman is now planning to sue the casino. Her attorney, Alan Ripka says that Bookman should at least be able to win the maximum payout that particular machine could offer: $6,500.

“They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out. To me that’s unfair.”

“The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win”

The New York State Gaming Commission explained that the slot machine had malfunctioned and the innocuous phrase “malfunctions void all pays and plays” is stated clearly on all machines.

The machine in question was pulled from the casino floor immediately after the incident. It was repaired and placed back out for future patrons of the Resorts World casino.

First Licensed Online Casino Launched in Hungary

Hungary is to have its first ever licensed online casino thanks to a contract drawn up between Finnish gaming platform provider Finnplay and land-based operator Las Vegas Casino Diamond.

The Finnish bookmaking operation has entered the Hungarian gambling industry by agreeing to provide an online casino platform for the established Las Vegas Casino Diamond company.

The Las Vegas Casino Diamond establishment is a top casino operator within Hungary. It has been operating in Budapest since 1992, providing land-based casino services for Hungarian recreational gamblers and they now plan to launch the first licensed online casino in in the country later this year.

In October 2015, Hungary introduced new legislation to allow land-based casino licence-holders within the country to offer online casino games to register customers. In doing so, the state restricted iGaming licences to be granted only to land-based casino licence holders, which has limited the country’s online casino market. A number of other provisions were also introduced, such as rules allowing for online poker liquidity to be pooled by a number of different poker room operators (and substantial fines for any breaches of the law).

Online casino entertainment is a huge industry in Europe and has millions of recreational players across the continent using these services every day. Players are attracted by exciting games and slots as well as attractive rewards and lucrative sign up Casino bonuses for new customers.

Finnplay has claimed that its new contract with the Las Vegas Casino Diamond company will definitely provide the best possible online casino playing experience for Hungary’s first online casino.

Finnplay chief executive Martin Prantner has stated that: “We are delighted to be the casino technology partner for the Las Vegas Casino in the regulated Hungarian market”

“They have an incredibly strong brand in the land-based market, and we look forward to supporting their business growth across the digital channels.”

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Las Vegas Casino Company, Samuel Falconello Jr, has commented that said: “Finnplay is a recognized, flexible provider of online gaming platforms and has experience in several licensed markets”

He went on to say that, “given their outstanding technical expertise, and their understanding of the Hungarian market, Finnplay is the perfect partner for us in this venture. After acquiring the required permits from the authorities, Las Vegas Casino plans to launch its online casino later this year.”

The Las Vegas Casino Diamond group has assured players that their key objective was to ensure the most satisfying online casino experience possible.

Online Slots Player Wins Record £4.5 million Prize

online slotsA record for the largest mobile slots jackpot won in the UK has been set by an unidentified librarian from Glasgow, who has recently scooped a prize of £4.5 playing the Jackpot Giant slot game on GalaBingo.

The winner claimed to have been casually playing the online slot game, spinning slot wheels on the app whilst watching television and was astounded to discover she’d stuck lucky. She told a local news source, “I picked up my mobile and started playing while I was watching TV. Minutes later I saw a huge string of numbers coming up and realised I’d hit the jackpot. I was simply blown away and couldn’t believe I’d won. It’s still sinking in and my family and I are still in a complete state of shock.” She had been a regular player of the online slot game for around three years but has never won any significant prize until now. Spending just £4 on the spin which allowed her win the huge prize, she has proven to be a lucky customer. Instead of spending her winnings immediately, she returned to work the following day.

The slot game was created by GalaBingo, a branch of the GalaCoralGroup which is owned by the online gambling technology provider Playtech, which owns several online poker and casino sites. The company claim that this latest prize is the largest sum of money ever won by a UK online slots player.

Playtech chief Shimon Akad warmly congratulated the new winner for setting a new UK mobile jackpot record while the brand director of Gala Coral Interactive, Alison Digges, hailed it as the biggest jackpot Gala Bingo had ever awarded on either mobile or desktop slot games.

Playtech made the announcement on its software that the GalaBingo jackpot had been won. As well as being the largest on a mobile slot game, it was the second largest prize handed out by the gambling provider on a Playtech progressive jackpot game.

US Casino Market Will Be Worth $93 Billion by 2020

US online gamblingA recent market research study has forecasted good news for the US casino industry by predicting it will experience a period of steady growth and be worth $93 billion by 2020.

Technavio – a leading global research company specialising in emerging market trends and opportunities – published its report this month, detailing a moderate growth rate for the casino industry, which has significantly recovered from the recession. They’ve said that the growth rate will be an average of 5% during the next four years.

The casino industry is fairly strong in the US at the the moment for a number of reasons. Many states have legalised casino gambling to increase tourism and attract visitors, which naturally is expected to have a positive effect on the industry. The main casinos in the US are located in popular destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Pennsylvania has recently drafted legislation allowing for table games like poker at its land based casinos in a bid to encourage higher revenues. Casinos are popular spots for visitors and there are two major new casinos are due to open this year in the US. The National Harbour in Miami (which is worth $1.2 billion) is almost ready for business and the new addition to the Penn National Gaming casino group will be opening this summer in San Diego.

Some large scale casino companies are currently bidding to extend their chains by building venues in other states. Land based casinos are also implementing different methods to increase revenue, such as merging with luxury hotels chains to offer visitors entertainment options like live poker tournaments to expand their customer base.

The legalization of online gambling in these US states has undoubtedly contributed to the rising popularity of online casinos – which has been a key factor in the growth of the US casino industry. Since 2013, online casino gambling has been legalised in a number of US states, such as Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, and is expected to become regulated in more jurisdictions in the coming years.

The revenue of the online casino sector in the US rose by a massive 212% last year, indicating that online gambling is the future of the casino market in the US, according to Technavio. A spokesperson for the firm commented that, “Virtual online casinos provide more protection to user transactions than real casinos offer because they offer access after multiple verification procedures.” This encourages improved consumer confidence in online casinos, and will help build future revenue in the casino market. Industry experts have suggested that there is a possibility of enhanced growth in the sector, as more states in the US are expected to make progress in legalising online gambling in the next four years.

Since online gambling is widely considered the future of the casino market in the US, there are an increasing number of online casino sites for customers to chose from, offering a range of games and promotions for players. This has become a popular option for players to enjoy the experience of a casino from the comfort of their own home.

Online Gambling In Pennsylvania To Become Legal

Online Gambling In PennsylvaniaOnline poker has taken the first step to becoming legalised in Pennsylvania as the state’s Gaming Oversight Committee has recently passed the HB649 bill. This proposed legislation will effectively regulate iGaming in the state of Pennsylvania and many hope it will provide a model for other US states to follow.

The GO committee chairman John Payne sponsored the bill, which has so far seen a plethora of amendments added to it before the vote was taken, including provisions regarding memberships fees, extending liquor service in casinos and increased slot machine availability.

Many view the HB649 bill as being hugely beneficial in helping reduce the state’s vast financial deficit, as the revenue brought in by online gambling will be substantial. So far the budget discussions in Pennsylvania between the Republican-dominated legislature and new Democratic governor Wolf, have provoked considerable debate as both sides fail to agree on way to deal with the deficit.

What is the HB649 bill?

A version of the HB649 bill was initially proposed in Pennsylvania back in February 2015, but the bill that was passed by the Gaming Oversight committee on the 18th November was not technically the same due to the omnibus of amendments attached to it.

Essentially, the HB649 will fully legalize and regulate online casino and online poker games in Pennsylvania.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Gaming Oversight committee, there are two possible avenues for it to follow in its path to become law. Firstly, it could go the usual route of being endorsed by each of the two houses of legislature before the Governor signs it into law. It has been “laid on the table” of the state House this week. This option is usually a long haul, as every individual amendment added by the Senate must be approved by the House, forcing the bill to potentially yo-yo between the two legislatures for an extended period of time. If Senate chooses not to alter the bill, and approves it, HB 649 could move straight to the governor to sign into law.

Alternatively, there is the possibility that the bill could become part of Pennsylvania’s continuing budget negotiations as a compromise measure to bring in potential revenue for the state, which is currently over $2 billion in deficit. This is a fast-track option as the bill would grouped into the larger budget package, a huge time-saver in its bid to becoming law. In this scenario, it would be voted into law when the full legislature agrees on the state budget for 2016.

If the HB649 bill gets considered on its own, not as part of the state’s overall budget package, the timeframe could be pushed back much further in 2016.

John Pappas, the chair of the PPA (Poker Players Alliance) has spoken out in support of the HB649 bill: “this bill needs to become law. The safety of consumers and the fiscal health of Pennsylvania will be vastly improved when Internet gaming is appropriately licensed, regulated and taxed. It is our hope that the legislation will be enacted on its own or as part of the state’s 2016 budget by the end of this year.”

Pennsylvania currently has 12 existing land-based casinos across the state, whilst one or two are not likely to expand into online gaming when it becomes legalized, each of the 10 remaining casinos will be expected to bring $10 million to the state in 2016.

After 2016, the state will then collect 14% tax of gross gaming revenue from each online gambling operator from 2017 onwards.

With the increased licensing fees Pennsylvania stands to make over $100 million in 2016 from up-front licensing fees alone, a notable boost in revenue for the state.

Online poker in other US states

Online gambling in the USA has traditionally been mired in something of a grey area when it comes to legal status. While there is no overarching federal law prohibiting US players from making online poker accounts and playing online, state law tends to vary.

Nevada became the first US to officially legalise online poker in April 2013 and they were followed by Delaware in the same year. The two share an “Interstate Poker Compact”, which facilitates players in both state to play online poker with each other. New Jersey also legalised online poker sites in 2013. Some states, like California, are conflicted when it comes to definitive legislation regulating online gambling. CA online poker isn’t considered to be unlawful but so far there is not a state bill legalising the practice.

Only in the state of Washington is the act of playing online poker actually a felony.

The New Jersey online gaming legislation precess took around nine months to become law, a reasonable timeframe which many in Pennsylvania hope to emulate with the HB649 bill. Pennsylvanian officials have acknowledged that they’ll be looking to the the New Jersey model when implementing their own version.

 

Joe McKeehen Wins 2015 WSOP Main Event

 

The 46th annual World Series of Poker Main Event has been won by Joe McKeehen, in an exciting showdown which saw the professional poker player from Pennsylvania walk away with $7.7 million in prize money.

McKeehen, 24, dominated the entire competition in Las Vegas and sat down at the final table with over double the chips of his nearest rival. He did not relinquish this chip lead for the entire game. He fulfilled the expectations of spectators with a superior performance that propelled him to run away with the tournament title.

On the very first day of the WSOP 2015, poker’s new world champion succeeded in knocking out three other poker players, improved his starting stack considerably, as did beating Max Steinberg later in the tournament.

This victory awards McKeehen his very first World Series of Poker gold bracelet, and his first significant tournament win of his career. Previous notable wins include the 2013 WSOP Circuit event in Atlantic City, where he took away $174,147 in prize money. His combined poker career winnings thus far currently exceed $11 million.

Before the final game even started, it seemed as though McKeehen was going to triumph at poker’s most prestigious and most richly rewarded event, and any his competitors would be just playing for second place.

Blumenfield’s attempt at a bluff against McKeehen initially worked well, but the Pennsylvanian made a good call with a top pair of cards and knocked his rival to the bottom. Blumenfield couldn’t engineer a comeback and subsequently crashed out of the game in third place.

Overall, it took 184 hands of final-table play for McKeehen to seal the deal and walk away with the title.

Second place was awarded to Josh Beckley, with a prize of $4.4 million, and third went to Neil Blumenfield with a reward of almost $3.4 million.

And the Big One goes to Daniel… Colman?

wsop 2014It’s been a good year at the World Series of Poker for new crop of young, high stakes internet professionals. Jason Mo, Doug Polk, Dominik Nitsche… now, the latest guy you’ve never heard of to have put the live poker world on notice is Dan “MRGR33N13” Colman.

And boy has he ever.

Colman has appeared just about out of nowhere to win the Big One for One Drop, the highest buy-in event in the entirety of poker. His heads-up opponent? None other than Daniel Negreanu. Colman was a complete unknown in the world of live poker prior to 2014, his biggest cash being a measly $69,787 in the 2011 Bellagio Cup. In April this year, he exploded onto the scene by winning over $2 million at the EPT Season X Monte Carlo Grand Final. He then showed up in the $10,000 Heads Up event at the WSOP and came 3rd, for a six-figure score… and now this.

Negreanu was happy to give an interview after the event and discuss the fact that his second-place finish is enough to put him ahead of Antonio Esfandiari atop the all-time money list. Colman, conversely, seems to shun fame, quickly exiting the casino before any journalists could approach him.

There’s a good reason he doesn’t want the world to know much about him: his primary source of poker income has, until just now, been grinding hyper-turbo heads-up sit-and-gos on PokerStars. Although favoured by modern internet professionals because of the volume of play they make possible, heads-up hyper-turbos can offer only the slightest of edges, so it’s vital to find weak players to play against. Colman justifiably fears that having his name and screen name publicized would dry up his action.

Just how profitable is Colman online? Last year, he became the first hyper-turbo player in history to turn over $1 million in profit in a single calendar year… and he’d done so by August. He was taught the game by Olivier Busquet, who he’d been railling online back in 2007. Busquet saw Colman calling out his hands in the chat box and was impressed by his accuracy. Recognizing his potential, Busquet took Colman under his wing and staked him, starting him down the road to high-stakes play which has now led him to his platinum bracelet.

Colman’s win over the star-studded One Drop field really drives home an uncomfortable point that many would rather overlook, that poker celebrity might start to become a thing of the past. The online poker world is largely anonymous and evolves much more quickly than the live game. Although the top online players are usually too busy making their millions digitally to play much live, the high roller events can tempt them out of hiding. That means that these days, once there’s enough money in play, you never really know who the greatest threat at the table is.