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PADDY POWER WITHDRAWS OFFENSIVE TWITTER COMMENT
The Paddy Power online gambling group, famed for its controversial but eye-catching promotional work, may have gone too far this week with a tweet that was clearly intended to be amusing but ended up in wide condemnation and an embarrassing withdrawal of the offensive material.
Ahead of a Newcastle vs. Liverpool football match, the betting company referenced the currently raging controversy in the US around often videoed African-American police beatings in a tweet which read:
"Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male".
The backlash on social media was strong and almost immediate, resulting in the withdrawal of the tweet.
InfoPowa readers will recall that Paddy Power has the dubious distinction of generating the most complaints ever on a gambling promotion to the Advertising Standards Authority. Last year the company was criticised for an advert on the outcome of the legless Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius' murder trial in which the company offered "money back if he walks."
There were 5,525 complaints about the insensitivity of the advert, and the ASA directed that it be withdrawn.
Ed. Note: "Kop" is a UK colloquial term for steep terraces at a football stadium occupied by hardcore fans.
AFFILIATES TARGETED IN MOVE TO HALT UNLICENSED ONLINE GAMBLING
The New Jersey regulator and a number of online gambling operators licensed in the state have for some time flagged the activities of unlicensed and illegal operators as one of the reasons for the slow take-up of internet gambling in the Garden State, and now the problem is being addressed.
In addition to sending cease-and-desist warnings to the operators themselves (see previous InfoPowa reports), the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has fired a shot across the bows of at least six affiliate marketing website owners, demanding that they remove online gambling advertising and promo links to illegal internet gambling sites accessing New Jersey players, or face civil or criminal consequences.
The intimidating letter is signed by George N. Rover, the Attorney General of New Jersey, and was reportedly sent to poker information sites like RaketheRake, PokerSource, CardsChat, Pokersites and RakeBrain.
Commenting on the warning, DGE spokeswomen Kerry Langan said the sites promote illegal gambling websites through advertising and links alongside Internet gaming sites that are authorised in New Jersey.
"We believe this may either taint legitimate sites by associating them with the illegal ones, and conversely may lend the appearance that these illegal sites are affiliated with authorized sites, Langan said.
"Among the sites that the Division asked to examine their practices and to cease and desist from promoting illegal gaming sites are: CardsChat.com, PokerSource.com, RakeBrain.com, Pokersites.com, and RaketheRake.com
"The Division feels very strongly about protecting NJ citizens from illegal Internet gaming websites. New Jersey has a strong regulatory framework in place to enable Internet gaming to be a safe reliable experience for those who wish to participate.
"Our licensing requirements ensure that only carefully vetted companies can provide Internet gaming services. These illegal sites do not offer the same protections to players and we do not want these unregulated sites being promoted with our legal, regulated sites.
"We have strict regulations in place to help prevent underage gambling as well as monitoring tools to detect possible fraud and money laundering.The Division hopes that by taking a strong stance against illegal websites and their promoters, the benefits of regulated online gaming will help drive illegal operators out of the market place and provide patrons far better protections.
"At the same time, we believe it is unfair to those companies that subjected themselves to our strict licensing and regulatory requirements to have to compete with these illegal sites and the entities which are being paid to promote them."
WORLD SERIES OF POKER FINAL TABLE KICKS OFF TODAY
16 weeks on from the 2013 World Series of Poker, the nine final table players who survived return to the felt in Las Vegas today to battle it out for the winner's millions and the prestige of taking home a WSOP main event winner's bracelet.
5 Americans, a Canadian, an Israeli, a Dutchman, and a Frenchman are all that remains of an original entry field of 6,352 players, all but one of them professional players with varying levels of experience. The odd man out is Jay Farber, a night club promoter.
Each of the finalists has already received $733,224 in prize money for making the table, and that's all the first man to fall will get...but the prize money escalates as each player is eliminated, and the top seven spots will receive over a million each, with the winner taking home $8,359,531.
"This may be the most skilled nine players at the final table," WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky said this week. "You expect that after the initial jitters, these guys will not be making amateur mistakes"
The final table composition, and individual chip counts at the start of the action, will look like this:
JC Tran (38,000,000)
Amir Lehavot (29,700,000)
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (26,525,000)
Jay Farber (25,975,000)
Ryan Riess (25,875,000)
Sylvain Loosli (19,600,000)
Michiel Brummelhuis (11,275,000)
Mark Newhouse (7,350,000)
David Benefield (6,375,000)
Today's plan is for the finalists to play down to the last three and then break for the night, returning next day (Tuesday) to decide the winner.
SHAFFER WINS FIRST WSOP BRACELET
Kansas poker player Brett Shaffer has emerged victorious in Event 53 at the World Series of Poker outlasting a field of 2816 players in the $1 500 No Limit Hold'em event.
Shaffer played it slow and steady at a final table that included experienced poker pros such as Loni Harwood, Mike Watson and David Vamplew.
Playing it down to the final two, Shaffer when into heads-up with David Vamplew as the final table played into an unscheduled fourth day.
The win marks Shaffer's second career WSOP final table as he finished sixth in the 2010 WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event. Along with the title, he takes home a gold bracelet and a $665,397 prize.
The final table ended up:
1.Brett Shaffer - $665,397
2.David Vamplew - $413,157
3.Arttu Raekorpi - $291,392
4.Loni Harwood - $210,456
5.Michael Watson - $153,850
6.Diego Zeiter - $113,819
7.Jonathan Cohen - $85,193
8.Darren Rabinowitz - $64,513
9.Matias Ruzzi - $49,420
WINE LOVER HAS WORLD SERIES OF POKER PLANS
One of the quirkier stories to emerge during the current World Series of Poker unfolding in Las Vegas this week is that of wine lover Geno Foschi, a Las Vegas small business owner who plans to leverage part of his rare wine collection into WSOP entry fees, according to the magazine The Drinks Business.
Foschi has been collecting wines for many years, starting in his early twenties, and is offering 38 bottles from his collection of over 600 on Craigs List in order to play poker at WSOP. With some of the big winners looking for something special with which to celebrate, Foschi's discounted lot could be in demand.
The lot, which Foschi says is worth $25,000, is on Craigs List for $13,000 and includes 13 bottles of Chteau Margaux 1984, five bottles of Chteau Lafite Rothschild 1984 and six bottles of Chteau Margaux 1982. All been stored properly and most have been owned by Foschi for more than 20 years.
Foschi said if he were to sell his wine, play in the WSOP and win, the money would go to his business.
FULL TILT POKER DEVELOPS NEWBIE TABLES
Full Tilt Poker has moved to provide a more attractive and perhaps safer playing option for new online poker players, introducing "New to the Game" virtual tables this week.
The strictly controlled tables are designed to ease newbies more gently into the game, giving them more time to make playing decisions and shielding them from sharks who might seek to take advantage of their inexperience.
The tables additionally provide "tool tips" to assist newbies in a variety of game situations and provide them with practical options. Current hand strength is displayed for the new player to assess as each hand progresses.
Participation on the newbie tables will be strictly controlled and is based on each player's experience in terms of number of tournaments and hands played in each poker variant eg Texas Hold'em, Omaha etc.
For cash games, the limit is 2,000 hands and for tournaments and sit-and-go's the limit is 75 events. When those levels have been achieved, the player no longer qualifies as a newbie.
The new system is at present restricted to low stakes cash and tournaments on No-Limit Holdem and PLO, with Fixed Limit Holdem introduced as a single featured game of the week.
Players may only participate in two New to the Game tables at one time.
FTP expects to offer "New to the Game" tournaments later