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NEW LICENSEE FOR QUICKFIRE
OKLAHOMA TRIBES OPT OUT OF POKER TRIBES.COM
The sole tribal gambling groups NFL Odds showing any real interest in Universal Entertainment Group's online gambling proposal Poker Tribes.com have backed away from the project amid internal power struggles and financial questions regarding the $9.4 million already paid over to UEG.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma have decided to forego participation in the free-to-play online poker venture that had ambitions to morph into real-money action at some future stage (see previous InfoPowa reports).
At one point - as recently as last year - things looked rosy as the tribes signed a controversial compact with the Oklahoma state government that would have permitted online gambling...but only by punters located outside the United States.
That all appears to have flat-lined after federal officials objected to the proposal, prompting the tribes to initiate litigation against the feds last December.
At least one of the factions now vying for power in the tribal hierarchy no longer wishes to proceed with the legal action.
Part of the problem within the tribes is the internecine struggle for power between two groups, a situation exacerbated by the fact that the Bureau of Indian Affairs hasn't taken sides in separate electoral bids engineered by both factions and claiming legitimacy.
In the midst of the political boxing, one faction has called for independent investigators to look into the $9.4 million paid over to UEG for the PokerTribes project, a payment allegedly signed off by former governor Janice Prairie Chief-Boswell...now out of power.
What has emerged is that neither faction are enamoured of the PokerTribe project, so there at least appears to be some unanimity on that issue.
MAJOR ATLANTIC CITY CASINO READY TO JUMP INTO ONLINE GAMBLING
Executives from the Borgata land casino in Atlantic City and its parent group, Boyd Gaming, told reporters Wednesday that they are keen to enter the legalised online gambling market in New Jersey once regulations have been finalised and preparations are completed.
The publication Press of Atlantic City reports that the executives believe the new business opportunities will complement Borgatas land-based games and draw new visitors to Atlantic City.
Keith Smith, president and chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming, said Borgata will quickly introduce online wagering once New Jersey officials finish the regulations.
We intend to be among the first to offer online gambling in the state of New Jersey and are confident the Borgata brand will allow us to capture a substantial share of this lucrative market, Smith said during a conference call on Boyds first-quarter earnings.
Although he declined to give specific figures, Smith said that analysts and state officials have widely estimated Internet revenue from $200 million to $1.2 billion annually (see previous InfoPowa reports). He did, however, opine that the actual figure may fall somewhere near the middle.
New Jersey regulatory officials have said that the new regulations could be ready for implementation as early as November this year. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement is currently in the process of crafting the regulations.
Smith told reporters that his company does not believe Internet gambling will cannibalise business from Borgatas brick-and-mortar operations. In some cases, particularly with poker players, it could actually drive more visitors to Atlantic City, he observed.
We think its going to be a great addition to our land-based platform, Smith said.
Borgata land gambling profits were down in the first quarter compared to last year. Net revenues fell 6 percent to $165.6 million, while gross operating profits plunged 27 percent to $28.4 million compared to the same quarter in 2012, Boyd reported Wednesday.
The Borgata operation is the most successful in the embattled land gambling market in Atlantic City, and there are hopes that the introduction of online gambling will help revitalise the industry.
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March Madness Bracket
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HIGH STAKES POKER : REVENGE FOR GALFOND, BUT BLOM STILL PROFITS (Update)
The weekend ended on a high note at the nosebleed tables on the Full Tilt Poker site as Viktor Isildur1 Blom kept riding his almost two-week long wave of success by logging on for another exhilarating 17 hours of online poker, taking on anyone with the confidence and bankroll to challenge him on a spread of poker types.
But in fact it was Phil 'OMGClayAiken' Galfond who ended the day with the biggest profit at $507,800 on the Triple Draw and FLO8 tables, thanks to contributors like Blom and the luckless Patpatpanda, who dropped $282,000 in just three hours. Other losers in the session included KPR16 and Follow The Hawk.
That said, Blom still managed to play for around 17 hours and emerge at the end of the endurance session with another profit of $475,800, prolonging his extraordinary run of big wins and taking his earnings since the beginning of the year to around $5.5 million...and counting.
It could have been higher - at one point the young Swedish pro was up $1.1 million, but encountered another devastating downswing towards the end of his long day which cost him $600,000.
The High Stakes Data Base reports that Blom's main victim in the latest session was Alex "IReadYrSoul/Kanu7" Millar and unfolded on the $300/$600 NLHE tables, where the unfortunate Millar ended up handing over $704,000 to his opponent in just 90 minutes of intense action, with Blom winning 7 of the 9 six-figure pots.
The match was further affirmation of Blom's versatility, even when facing highly experienced players - Millar was the biggest online NLHE winner in both 2011 and 2012, according to the HSDB site, yet Blom handed him his biggest ever defeat.
Next on Blom's hit list was old foe Ben Sulsky, who has seen his bankroll ravaged by Blom in recent days (see previous InfoPowa reports). After a short discussion on stakes, the two settled on a single $250/$500 table PLO contest that extended to an exciting two-and-three-quarter-hour clash which Blom dominated despite Sulsky's best efforts.
The match ended with Blom taking down the biggest pot of the session at $401,600, giving him an overall profit at Sulsky's expense of $273,000.
The win brought Blom's profit for the day to $1.1 million, but instead of logging off he insisted on playing on for a further eight hours....and that's when his massive $600,000 downswing kicked in.
High Stakes Data Base reports that his FLO8 and Triple Draw action appeared erratic and unfocused, leading to him losing significant amounts to SallyWoo and Galfond and reducing his overall profit on the day to a still-impressive $475,800.
But, as HSDB notes: "Even after his downswing, due to his NLHE win, Isildur1 is now the biggest winner at the new Full Tilt at PLO, NLHE, FLO8 and 2-7 Triple Draw."
Following Galfond and Blom as the day's biggest winners, other players boasting six-figure profits on the day included Gus 'The Great Dane' Hansen on FLO8 and Triple Draw ($352,000); and SallyWoo ($250,800) with much of it won during Blom's downswing.