Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PartyCasino Wins Media Man Online Casino Award, by Greg Tingle - 30th December 2009

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has once again been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both Captain Cooks Casino and Virgin Casino, however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Last month PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Rambo, The Godfather, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Hulk, Monopoly, Resident Evil and Mega Fortune Wheel. Last month a German casino player won the Gold Mega Jackpot of almost $5 million dollars playing Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $1 million mark. Players can also compete for the Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Tarzan, High Noon and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that pro wrestling themed online slot games are in the works and that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 3 months. Names been thrown around include Andre The Giant, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, but those names are only rumors, however a print feature did showcase Andre earlier in the year, indicating that there is substance to the rumor mill. In any event, PartyCasino already has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

In other exciting PartyGaming news, PartyPoker.com is currently running qualifiers to the L.A Poker Classic in the United States. PartyGaming's recent purchase of the World Poker Tour company and assets enables PartyGaming to once again accept American based poker players, and they are hopefully of soon accepting American casino players also. Both websites accept most European, South American and Australian players.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming and igaming industry.

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PartyPoker Cash Machine Returns, Features Booster Bonus, by Dan Cypra - 29th December 2009

In January, PartyPoker, one of the world’s longstanding online poker sites, returns the popular Cash Machine promotion. This time, hardcore grinders will earn additional cash as part of a Booster Bonus.

The Cash Machine promotion last ran during the month of September and shelled out a bevy of added funds to PartyPoker players. The promotion returns on January 4th and will run through the end of the month. All players have to do is earn 10 or more PartyPoints on at least 10 days during the 28-day period. Then, PartyPoker officials will take a look at the PartyPoint totals of the 10 highest-earning days and match the lowest one at the rate of $1 per point.

As an example, if a player’s 10 highest PartyPoint total days were 100, 100, 100, 150, 150, 150, 200, 200, 200, and 200, PartyPoker would award a $100 cash bonus, matching the lowest amount. The minimum payout is $10 and there is no maximum amount that PartyPoker will match. For those players who are unable to meet the $10 minimum, a generous consolation prize exists. Text found on PartyPoker’s website explains, “If you can achieve 10 qualifying days of one PartyPoint or more, but fail to earn the minimum cash reward, we’ll give you a seat in our $25,000 Cash Machine freeroll, which takes place at 15:00 ET on Wednesday, 3rd February.”

The Cash Machine Booster Bonus is available to players who earn at least 1,000 PartyPoints per day on 20 out of the 28 days of the promotion. Players who earn between 1,000 and 1,500 PartyPoints for 20 days will earn a $500 Booster Bonus. Players who rack up between 1,500 and 2,000 PartyPoints for 20 days will get a $1,100 Booster Bonus. Players who amass between 2,000 and 2,500 PartyPoints for 20 days will take home a $2,000 Booster Bonus. Players who earn between 2,500 and 3,000 PartyPoints will receive a $3,000 Booster Bonus and those able to surpass 3,000 PartyPoints for 20 days will nab a colossal $5,000 Booster Bonus.

The Cash Machine is an opt-in promotion and players can register for it at any time prior to its conclusion. Once they opt in, PartyPoker will credit players with all PartyPoints earned during the 28 days, regardless of when they sign up. Each qualifying day runs from 00:00 ET to 23:59 ET and days do not have to be consecutive in order to count. All funds earned will be dropped into players’ accounts within 48 hours of the Cash Machine promotion ending.

One day prior to the Cash Machine promotion kicking off, the PartyPoker Monthly Million will play out. The $640 buy-in tournament takes place on the first Sunday of every month and boasts a Championship blind structure. Players begin with 20,000 chips and blinds start at 25-50. The price of poker increases every 20 minutes and antes kick in at Level 6, when blinds are 250-500.

Qualifiers for the Monthly Million run constantly on PartyPoker. Popular ways to enter include a daily Monthly Million Qualifier, a $70 buy-in satellite with at least 19 seats on the line. A Mega Friday Satellite also takes place weekly, featuring a $55 buy-in and 20 seats guaranteed. On Saturdays, two qualifiers take place on PartyPoker offering a combined 18 seats. Country-specific freerolls and daily player point qualifiers also send players to the Monthly Million. Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 3rd, the next running of the Monthly Million.

According to the traffic ranking site PokerScout.com, PartyPoker is the fourth largest site worldwide, with a seven-day running average of 4,500 real money ring game players. It is the second largest not to accept players from the United States, trailing only the massive iPoker Network.

PartyPoker claims World Poker Tour Host and new Poker Hall of Fame inductee Mike Sexton as its ambassador and is currently qualifying players for the L.A. Poker Classic. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PokerStars Guinness World Record Attempt Attracts 149,196 Players, by Dan Cypra - 28th December 2009

On a night when Full Tilt Poker’s software went down much to the dismay of players everywhere, PokerStars set the Guinness World Record for largest online poker tournament ever held. The event weighed in at 149,196 entrants.

The mark to beat was 65,000 players, set by PokerStars back in July, meaning that the site trumped the standing record by nearly 85,000. PokerStars was quick to put its record-shattering attendance into perspective, saying, “It would fill the Rose Bowl or Wembley stadiums and still have another 60,000 people with tickets waiting outside in the tailgating parking lot.” In addition, the attendance represented well over 20 times the field of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and 30 times the number of rooms at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The Guinness World Record attempt was a $1 buy-in tournament that guaranteed $300,000 in the prize pool. It played out in less than six hours in a Turbo format and oskar69 earned an amazing $50,000 for first place, or 50,000 times his buy-in. Text found on PokerStars’ website admits, “We're sure oskar69 is happy about the ROI from the win today, as no deal was reached and the entire $50,000.00 was awarded for besting this massive field.” Second place went to Bommel222, who earned a not-so-paltry $30,000. A total of 30,000 players finished in the money.

Others who made the final table in the historic poker tournament included TLWPB (third place for $20,000), willis59 (fourth place for $10,000), kruglay (fifth place for $8,000), madmick62 (sixth place for $6,500), DS1982 (seventh place for $5,250), denmil53 (eighth place for $4,000), and bigsnapper7 (ninth place for $3,000). The top 16 players grabbed at least $1,000 for their 100-penny contribution to the pot.

The PokerStars Sunday Million, the site’s hallmark $215 buy-in weekly high-stakes poker tournament, drew 9,344 entrants yesterday, creating a prize pool of $1.8 million. In the end, PokerStars member coach6999 banked $266,000 for the win, defeating BBOY3110 heads-up. The second place finisher claimed a $196,000 consolation prize and the top 1,350 spots paid out. Others who reached the feature table in the Sunday Million included tsakalias (third place for $139,132), schnaggels19 (fourth place for $93,440), mystinen60 (fifth place for $74,752), OBVAMENTS (sixth place for $56,064), robvleugel (seventh place for $37,376), plusmillion (eighth place for $20,557), and Mr Puckey (ninth place for $13,082).

The Sunday Warm-Up, another $215 buy-in online poker tournament that played out on PokerStars yesterday, generated a field of 4,605 entrants, shattering its $750,000 guaranteed prize pool. In the end, NinjasTyle87 banked $144,000 for first place, while .dmmarquez finished with a $107,000 bankroll boost for second place. The top 675 players finished in the money and others who could be found jumping for joy on Sunday afternoon included JBlaze20 (third place for $75,983), montjeu8 (fourth place for $52,037), Comeback2008 (fifth place for $39,143), Steinapride (sixth place for $29,933), haneferd (seventh place for $20,723), ReadOnYou (eighth place for $11,513), and pokerwille (ninth place for $7,368).

Appropriately, PokerStars is the industry’s largest online poker site, according to PokerScout.com, boasting a seven-day running average of 27,800 real money ring game players. During its peak hours, nearly 50,000 call the site home. PokerScout.com claims that PokerStars’ traffic has grown by 37% year over year and, at the time of writing, which is late morning Eastern Time on Monday, 36,000 cash game players are seated. That figure represents more than double the number of players currently found on Full Tilt Poker, the world’s second largest site.

Full Tilt Poker’s $750,000 Guaranteed, Sunday Mulligan, and Sunday Brawl, among other events, did not play out on Sunday due to a software malfunction. Players were refunded based on their chip counts at the time of the crash. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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PartyGaming's PartyCasino To Release More Hollywood Blockbuster Online Slot Games In Early 2010, by Greg Tingle - 29th December 2009

PartyCasino.com will be releasing more Hollywood blockbuster online slot games early into the new year!

PartyGaming's PartyCasino.com is the undisputed leader in delivering Hollywood movie titles to the online casino environment.

Insiders close to the source advise that "Avatar" style technologies and games are in the works as is some pro wrestling themed action, and more slot games based on some of the most popular motion pictures of all time, many of which from Paramount Pictures.

The company assures that its Rambo, Terminator, Call Of Duty 4, and the casino's Live Dealer facility, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Let's take a look at some of the titles that Party brought from the big screen to its world famous online casino in the past 12 months:

The Godfather, Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Rambo, Call Of Duty 4, Sinatra, Tarzan, The Terminator, Saturday Night Fever, King Kong, Gone With The Wind, High Noon, The Naked Gun, Resident Evil, and then there's the Marvel Comics line up: The Hulk, Thor, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. As Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

PartyCasino.com players can play more games for free or for money, and industry leading promotions such as PartyPoints and Palladium Lounge are also available, both of which has been popular with new players and the veteran VIP's.

Whatever your favorite games are, Party is likely to have them... slots, classics like Cleopatra, new age blockbusters like Mission: Impossible, table games with live dealers, baccarat, roulette, bingo, online poker and blackjack... PartyCasino.com has it all.

Classic slot players can't go past Cleopatra, Monopoly, Wheel Of Fortune, Cluedo, and the modern classics, Sinatra and Rambo.

World class jackpots are also available including the Marvel Hero Jackpot on a range of Marvel Entertainment themed slot games and the Gold Mega Jackpot, made famous via the exclusive Mega Fortune Wheel and The Godfather slot games.

Over the years PartyGaming has won numerous industry awards and commendations, recently winning an EGR Award for social responsibility and the prestigious Casino News Media "Online Casino of the Month" title.

PartyGaming was established in 1997 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Odds of coalition election win widen - 22nd December 2009

Punters have turned on Tony Abbott, with the odds of the coalition winning the next federal election widening after a recent plunge on Labor to retain office.

The coalition's standing in betting markets had improved when Mr Abbott was installed as Liberal leader in favour of Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month.

However, the odds of a coalition victory have since lengthened from $4.30 to $4.40 as punters looked to take advantage of a better price for Labor.

Labor remains the overwhelming favourite at $1.19, in from $1.23.

Centrebet analyst Neil Evans said the heavily backed ALP had eased from $1.16 to $1.23 after the first real big wave of money came for the opposition when Mr Abbott was installed as leader.

One Sydney punter unloaded almost $20,000 across four bets from $5.00 down to $4.35 before the opposition levelled out at $4.00.

"But in the last week, smart punters have hopped back on Labor, including bets of $10,000 at $1.23, $10,000 at $1.22 and $2,500 from a tough punter at $1.22," Mr Evans said.

"Most of the money is coming from Sydney clients, and it seems they were just waiting for Labor to get out to a more backable price before they stormed in."

The movement in the market is another sharp reminder that while Mr Abbott is popular and admired in some quarters, he is not the leader to cut into Labor's margin at the ballot box, Mr Evans said.

However, Mr Abbott remains the clear favourite to be opposition leader at the next election at $1.14, with Joe Hockey at long odds of $4.95, and "any other" at $7.50.

Almost $150,000 has been placed on the federal election with Centrebet with Labor holding 80 per cent of all monies.

The news is not so good for the NSW Labor government, which is scheduled to go to the polls in March 2011.

The Barry O'Farrell-led coalition has tightened to its shortest price - $1.15 - to win office at the next state poll, with the embattled Labor government under Kristina Kenneally at $4.90.

Bets are running at a ratio of 10:1 in the coalition's favour.

Mr Evans said a prominent member of the Sydney media set recently bet $15,000 on the coalition at $1.19.

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Gangs' casino dole scam; Media Man reports from down under, by Greg Tingle - 28th December 2009

Rupert Murdochs' Australian newspapers including The Herald-Sun, continue to run excellent (and balanced) coverage on the casino and gambling sector in Australia.

Let it be known that Murdoch also has some gaming (and igaming) interests, however they are further developed in the UK sector. Media Man has incidental joined some of News Limited's b2b affiliate programs as goodwill and we utilise some of their newsfeeds, so there's your disclaimer before we swing into things.

The age old connection between casinos, gambling dens and crime continues, albeit a different kind of animal than when the late George Foreman and his "Underbelly" crew ran the streets of Melbourne and Sydney. The late "Earthquake" Tim Bristow gave me a small taste of the scene via Sydney's Penthouse Executive Retreat, and "The Golden Mile" (Kings Cross), which Sydney's "Mr Sin" used to have a significant hold on.

Mr James Packers' Crown Casino has come under the spotlight (or blowtorch) again.... in Australia, if its not the anti gambling lobby having a dig, its the press, and if not them, the police. Crown Casino spokesman, Gary O'Neil, was recently quoted that Crown "is not a convent", but that's pretty much a given.

Australian law enforcement agencies have smartly noted and actioned revelations that some high level criminal networks (and some not so smart ones also) are using Crown Casino as quite the hub and centrepiece of criminal activity.

One of the scams that the crims operate is having Centrelink (Australia's unemployment benefits service) customers, and pensioners, buying chips at the casino which are then used as part of the money laundering process.

Media Man will be attending Crown Casino Aussie Millions next month and is in negotiations with media representatives for Crown. We look forward to providing news media and gaming media with more balanced reports on the casino and gaming sector.

*The writer does own shares in Crown Casino

*Greg Tingle is an Australian based correspondent for Gambling911 and the founder and director of Media Man a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen of business sectors that Media Man covers.

Ben Packham of The Herald Sun reports:


CRIME gangs are using pensioners and the unemployed to launder millions in dirty money through casinos, authorities believe.

Centrelink has alerted organised-crime investigators to 15 clients it believes are involved.

They are understood to include a Victorian man who bought almost $13 million in chips at Crown, despite being on the dole. The Australian Crime Commission is closely watching casinos after an 18-month probe.

ACC chief executive John Lawler said that it had intelligence indicating organised crime groups were engaged in "high-level gambling activity" in legal casinos.

Its financial assessment team matched information from casino loyalty programs with other databases, including Centrelink records.

Last year, the Herald Sun revealed it had identified about 2600 Centrelink clients who each bought at least $50,000 in chips; 30 had buy-ins of more than $1 million.

Many were welfare cheats with gambling addictions and undeclared incomes. But further investigation revealed some had links to organised crime groups.

The Herald Sun understands Centrelink referred clients with suspected organised crime links to the ACC for further inquiries.

It's believed the ACC identified more suspected money launderers, independently of the welfare agency.

The federal crime-fighting agency refused to comment.

"The ACC will continue to work with the casino industry to ensure serious and organised criminal entities involved in money laundering are identified and pursued," Mr Lawler said.

The investigation also used Immigration, Customs, and tax office data.

The ACC estimates the cost of organised crime is $10 billion-15 billion a year, an estimated $6 billion of which goes offshore.

Its recent report, Organised Crime in Australia, said most such groups had overseas links, good advice and "professional facilitators".

Organised crime groups are typically involved in drugs, weapons trafficking and high-level financial crimes.

Human Services Minister Chris Bowen said hi-tech data-matching meant that welfare recipients with illicit incomes would be discovered.

"Welfare fraud is a criminal offence liable to long jail sentences," he said.

"People who fraudulently claim benefits from Centrelink should consider themselves warned. It's not a question of if you'll be caught, but when."

Casinos are required to turn over information to authorities under anti-money laundering laws introduced after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Crown refused to comment to the Herald Sun.

*Read the full article here. (Credit: The Herald-Sun)

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Online gaming groups say they are on winning streak - 20th December 2009

Two of Britain’s largest online gaming groups signalled yesterday that punters were returning to the tables.

PartyGaming recorded its best quarter since the second quarter of 2008, while Sportingbet said it had gone from strength to strength.

The fourth quarter of the year is seasonally strong for online gaming companies and PartyGaming did not disappoint after reporting quarter-on-quarter growth across all of its categories, including bingo and casino. KBC Peel Hunt, the stockbroker and advisory house, projected a 24 per cent rise in revenue compared with the same period in 2008, its first year-on-year rise in six quarters.

Yet it was at the poker table that the company played its strongest hand, after revamping its site and working hard to introduce better loyalty offers. It is the first quarter-on-quarter growth that the company, once the largest online poker company in the world, has recorded since 2007.

Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, hailed the “return to growth” in the fourth quarter, despite competition from “illegal” US-facing sites.

“Returning poker to growth has been a key focus for us. We are pleased to see that the initiatives introduced throughout the year are now feeding through into both operational and financial performance with increased player numbers and average net daily revenues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sportingbet also issued a positive trading statement yesterday to coincide with its annual meeting. It said that the strength of its online sportsbook, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of its revenue, has continued to offset weakness at its poker operation.

PartyGaming looks set to play a significant role in industry consolidation during 2010.

It aims to be a top-three player in the online sportsbook market, after its acquisition of Gamebookers three years ago.

PartyGaming secured a new £35 million banking facility that will fund bolt-on deals. However, the company kept its cards close to its chest over its acquisition plans.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

THQ And WWE Agree To Eight-Year Deal - 23rd December 2009

THQ and WWE have been tangled in legal disputes for half a decade over alleged racketeering and licensing shenanigans, but the litigation is officially over, and according to an announcement yesterday THQ will continue publishing WWE games for another eight years. The messy affair that involved the two companies and toymaker Jakks Pacific will end with a series of payouts, but both THQ and WWE voiced satisfaction with their new agreement.

THQ will pay $13.2 million to the WWE and $20 million to Jakks Pacific to resolve things, according to MCV. The settlement was followed by a new licensing agreement that should make court arguments a distant memory.

“This agreement ensures that WWE games will continue to be an important cornerstone of THQ’s annual release schedule for the long term,” THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell said in a press release. “We look forward to working directly with WWE to expand their brand in the video game space through continued game play innovation and increased online delivery of WWE content.”

WWE echoed those sentiments.

“This year’s highly rated 'WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010' video game demonstrates the innovation and creativity that THQ brings to WWE,” WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stated. “This new licensing agreement will ensure that we continue our tremendous success in the video game industry in the years to come.”

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PokerStars New Guinness World Record - December 2009

This is your chance to play in the largest online poker tournament in history, and be part of a Guinness World Record. We’re aiming to beat our previous World Record of 65,000 players, set in July 2009. And with a buy-in of just $1, it’s easy for everyone to take part.

Here’s what you need to know about the Guinness World Record attempt tournament:

Sunday, December 27 at 14:45 ET

$300,000 guaranteed prize pool

$1 buy-in

More players than our previous World Record of 65,000, set July 19, 2009

Registration is now open!

Satellites available in a range of buy ins

To find the tournament, go to the PokerStars Lobby and select ‘Tourney’ and ‘All’ or ‘Special’. You can also use the Tourney Filter in the Lobby to search for the tournament name. To use the filter, open the PokerStars Lobby and enter the word ’record’. The Filter will then search all tournaments and provide you with the relevant results.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sydney Star City Casino workers vote to strike - 22nd December 2009

Staff at Sydney's Star City casino have voted to take industrial action over pay, frustrated over a two per cent rise offered by management.

The LHMU hospitality union says staff in the next few days are likely to decide exactly what action to take and when.

"Star City staff have decided on strike action because they are frustrated by the casino's unfair wage offer and management's refusal to listen to them," LHMU NSW branch secretary Mark Boyd said in a statement on Tuesday night.

"The casino put its offer to a vote of all staff in September and earlier this month. Star City staff voted overwhelmingly `no' twice to the casino's unfair pay offer.

"Star City is refusing to listen to its staff who just want a decent pay rise and don't want to lose any of their conditions.

"The decision to consider action is not taken lightly but staff feel it is their last resort."

Mr Boyd said $575 million was being spent renovating the venue, its top executives were paid $2.6 million and the casino's last quarter revenue was up 11.6 per cent.

No one was available for comment at Star City on Tuesday night. (Credit: Wires, Google News, AP)

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poker News Media: Season 2 Dates Announced For The Pokerstars.Net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) - 21st December 2009

The PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) is pleased to announce the first six events of its second season. Stops have already been confirmed in Australia and New Zealand.

The first event of Season 2 is in Adelaide, South Australia, from February 9 to 14, 2010 at the beautiful SKYCITY Adelaide Casino.

Perth will follow as a new venue on the tour from March 17 to 21. “We are thrilled to be part of the ANZPT,” said Jason Barry, General Manager of Table Games at Burswood Entertainment Complex “We feel this is just what our players have been waiting for and we expect big numbers will take part in the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Perth tournament.”

PokerStars.net launched the ANZPT, Australia and New Zealand’s first poker tour, in February 2009. Overnight the tournaments became the most successful in each region, welcomed enthusiastically by both local players and visiting poker pros keen to take on the Aussies and Kiwis while seeing the region.

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Crown bans 2 Carlton players - The Age - 23rd December 2009

Two Carlton footballers have been banned from Crown after an alleged drunken scuffle with a woman and a security guard at the casino.

Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker were staying at the Promenade Hotel at Crown overnight on Saturday when they were thrown out.

A witness to the alleged incident said Houlihan was walking around the hotel's lift lobby in his underwear about 3am when staff asked him to return to his room.

Minutes later, he said, screams could be heard when Houlihan, 27, became involved in a dispute with a woman and a security guard intervened.

Walker, 23, allegedly then became involved in the fight with the security officer before two bell boys and back-up security officers arrived. (Credit: The Age)

*Click here for the full article at The Age

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Monday, December 21, 2009

PartyGaming and Sportingbet both upbeat, but market awaits deals - 18th December 2009

PartyGaming has unveiled an upbeat trading statement, but said little about what investors are really keen on - its thoughts on consolidation in the online gaming sector.

The company was recently said to be in talks with Austria's Bwin about a merger, although Bwin subsequently played this down. Today PartyGaming annouced it had set up a new £35m loan which would be used for "general corporate purposes including mergers and aquisitions." But that is not enough cash to cover the sort of deals investors had in mind, ie the Bwins of this world.

On the business front the company said current trading was solid, and earnings for the year were expected to be slightly ahead of expectations. Its shares have edged down 0.3p to 258.3p but Investec analyst Matthew Gerard issued a buy note and said:

Albeit brief, this is an encouraging update. We expect the increasing focus on casino and bingo to drive robust revenue and earnings growth in what remains a structurally attractive sector. This supports the current 15 times 2010 PE valuation, whilst consolidation and regulatory change-driven growth offers more material upside, in our view.

KBC Peel Hunt's Nick Batram was also positive:

Our buy stance is based upon the view that Party is an attractive asset in a global market with exciting growth and consolidation prospects. Poker has stabilised, casino and sportsbook are growing and new markets and B2B present further opportunities. Assuming stable currencies the group should return to earnings growth in 2010. A prospective PE of 16.1 times doesn't look expensive given the opportunity for growth and corporate activity.

Elsewhere Sportingbet shares climbed 1.25p to 66.25p after an annual meeting statement stating that trading was in line and the company was confident of a satisfactory outcome for the year. Oriel Securities analyst Jeffrey Harwood said:

Sportingbet indicates that the main trends seen in the first quarter (reported on 25 November) have continued. The group is benefiting from its focus on European sports betting where revenues were 56% ahead in the first quarter.

Following some recent weakness the shares look attractive on a prospective PE of 10 times. Shares moving up to the main market in early 2010.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wrestling News Media - 20th December 2009

Bret Hart returns to WWE

Bruno Sammartino hasn't committed to WWE Hall Of Fame

Chris Jericho appears in Bloodstained Memories wrestling film and ramps up Fozzy appearances

Roddy Piper remains vocal about better conditions for pro wrestlers re health etc

Edge and Eve look forward to WWE tour in 2010, having recently campaigned down under

WWE.com ranked in Yahoo! and Google top ten in numerous markets and categories

WWE sticking to Wellness policy

WWE new champion Sheamus performing solidly

Jim Ross renews contract with WWE; may appear at WrestleMania

WWE - newspaper teases VS Hulk Hogan for WrestleMania

WWE - Dennis Miller as Raw host draws mixed reactions from fans and insiders

WWE's Seventh Annual "Tribute to the Troops" aired on NBC 19th December 2009

WWE Studios - Ted DiBiase stars in The Marine 2; available in U.S stores 29th December 2009

The Rock to do numerous WWE appearances

Jeff Hardy remains missed by fans

Kurt Angle on TNA Final Resolution PPV

Mick Foley writing balanced blogs covering Hulk Hogan's TNA entry and role

Hulkamania Let The Battle Begin still not aired on One HD in Australia

Ric Flair likely to sign with TNA; financial terms getting close

Mario Milano wrestled in Australia recently at 73 years of age

Shane McMahon poised to ramp up profile, following UFC meeting with Dana White

Steve Austin to continue film roles

Wrestling Legends: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan recovering well

Wrestling Legends: Paul "Mr Wonderful" Orndorff and many others high on real Hall Of Fame

Wrestling Legends: Wrestlers Rescue campaign garners interest and supporters

Jake "The Snake" Roberts still interested in being in WWE Hall Of Fame

Brooke Hogan open to opportunities

New World Order may reform in TNA

TNA will go head to head with WWE

UFC, TNA and Spike TV "teaming up" to take on WWE Raw

UFC Sydney, Australia tour sells out of tickets 2 months prior to show at Acer Arena

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Friday, December 18, 2009

PartyGaming's PartyCasino and PartyPoker in line for more awards, by Greg Tingle - 18th December 2009

As the countdown towards Christmas continues, with just seven days to go, the igaming industry remains as competitive as ever. It shouldn't surprise anyone, punter, newbie or industry veteran, that PartyGaming and its PartyCasino and PartyPoker brands are in line for more industry awards and commendations.

PartyGaming remains the world’s leading listed online gaming company. Founded in 1997, the
Group has its shares listed on The London Stock Exchange.

Coming off a wave of momentum with its successful purchase of World Poker Tour (WPT Enterprises), Cashcade a number of months ago, and the release of a swag of new slot games, the company is tipped to continue domination of the gaming and igaming world.

Party's awards and commendations include eGaming Review Operator Of The Year and Socially Responsible Operator Of The Year.

This month PartyCasino.com has made the shortlist for Media Man - Casino News Media Online Casino Of The Month, and PartyPoker.com gets to the finals for the Media Man - Casino News Media Online Poker website Of The Month.

The company also achieved inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index Series and last month won 'Best Communications by a private sector company' for the second year running at the CorpComms Awards. PartyCasino and PartyPoker also carry the eCOGRA seal of approval.

As the company looks forward to the new year they look to continue innovation, value for money, world class service, and growth into new geographic regions including South America, Indian, France and the Asia Pacific.

PartyGaming will continue to revamp its websites including it's ever growing PartyCasino.com site, thanks to the frequent games being added and its newly acquired Club WTP website, now sporting a PartyGaming look and feel to it.

PartyGaming remains poised to make more inroads into the United States coming off the back of its purchase of WPT Enterprises (U.S residents can play online poker on the Club World Poker Tour website without potential legal complications). PartyPoker.com ambassador, Stewart Scott, has just been doing a fine job promoting the PartyGaming and PartyPoker.com brand on a national and international basis, and will be defending his poker championship at Aussie Millions 2010 this January at Mr Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

PartyGaming sites are available in a wide array of languages and currencies, and are available for play around the lock. Players can enjoy most games in either free mode or play for money mode. Last month the PartyCasino jackpot of close to $5 million dollars was one, and as we head towards Christmas the jackpot nears $1 million. PartyCasino also offers the Marvel Hero Jackpot, thanks to their business agreement with Marvel Entertainment. Insiders tip that Thor and The Hulk are the most popular Marvel slots at present, and this may be related to a Thor movie in the works and wrestling living legend, Hulk Hogan, being very prominent in the press of late, just returning to the United States after his successful Hulkamania tour of Australia. A bit of history...Hogan bought the rights to use "Hulk" from Marvel in the 1980's for a million dollars or thereabouts. Rumors persist of a potential Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Andre The Giant online slot machine in the new year, but that's another story for another time.

PartyGaming also offers a number of other world class promotions such as Cash Machine, Monthly Million, Slotastic Sundays, and reward offerings, PartyPoints and the very popular Palladium Lounge which has proved to be a must visit destination for PartyGaming VIP's.

It's been a hugely successful year for PartyGaming and the industry and players alike expect more groundbreaking developments from the company as 2010 approaches.

*the writer has a b2b relationship with a number of PartyGaming brands, as they do with dozens of other brands in the gaming and igaming world.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PartyGaming in £2bn internet deal - 14th December 2009

Online gaming firm PartyGaming is in talks with Austrian rival Bwin over a potential deal that could create a £2 billion internet gambling giant, it has been reported.

PartyGaming is expected to be asked by the Takeover Panel to clarify its position before the stock markets open Monday morning, according to The Sunday Times.

The firm, led by chief executive Jim Ryan, is thought to be keen to boost its sports betting offer, an area of strength for Bwin.

Meanwhile, there has reportedly been growing speculation over consolidation in the online gaming industry.

But a source told The Sunday Times discussions were at an early stage and might not lead to a deal.

"Everyone in the industry is talking to everybody else," the source said.

PartyGaming has a market value of more than £1 billion while Bwin, which is listed on the Vienna stock exchange, is thought to be valued at 1.3 billion euros (£1.2 billion).

In August, PartyGaming hailed the performance of its casino operations, which include PartyCasino and FoxyBingo.

This helped offset pressure on its PartyPoker division after strong competition left poker earnings 29% lower.

PartyGaming reported a bottom-line loss of 66.9 million US dollars (£41 million) due to payments associated with a non-prosecution agreement with US authorities.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

The Celtic Warrior Sheamus O'Shaunessy Wins WWE Championship on RAW - 13th December 2009

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Casino News Media - Media Man - Global Gaming Directory - News Update - 14th December 2009

PartyGaming in talks with Bwin: Merger deal possible

PartyPoker Offering 25 Aussie Millions Prize Packages

Global Gaming Directory rolls out .com, .net and .org, as part of global media and marketing plan

Mission: Impossible slot game is Casino News Media online game of the month

Betfair teams up with Australian cricket industry on Pink Pigeon campaign

Virgin Games release swag of new games, but U.S and Aussie players can't play: Blankety Blank, The Price is Right, The X Factor, Super Hoot Loot, Cubis, Bar-X Magic 7, Bar-X bonus Ladder,
Ramesses Riches, Dragon Master, Irish eyes, Dolphin Reef, Emerald isle, Spiderman, The Hulk,
Fantastic Four, Rubik's Cube, Deal or no Deal and Big Brother


Richard Branson - still chasing Camelot Lottery deal with partners

Calvin Ayre - makes news in National Post

Greg Tingle - makes news via Hulkamania, Tiger Woods and PartyPoker Aussie Millions angle on WotNews

Stewart Scott - PartyPoker.com face for Australia exceeds expectations

Hulk Hogan interested to do more gaming and igaming deals, adding to The Hulkamania Experience slot and history with Marvel "Hulk" purchase; Australia's NextGen Gaming may release Andre The Giant game for online environment

Sylvester Stallone sells his art to casino king Steve Wynn, Sly keen to expand online gaming deals whilst Wynn's not keen on online gambling sector; Could Arnold Schwarzenegger get involved in talks

James Packer remains positive on Macau City Of Dreams project; May purchase U.S casinos while prices are down

Joe Hachem articles in The Age well received; Punters and industry prefers Hachem's articles over The Poker Star TV show on ONE HD

Playtech - Sega teaming expected to product a Sonic online slot game next year

PKR Poker continues to sign up more players to spearhead brand push

Betfair continues with business growth, despite ongoing court cases; Betfair will be available at Australia Post outlets

European gaming companies remain keen to expand into Asia Pacific, Australian region; PartyGaming, PKR, William Hill, Betfair, Centrebet leading the way

Harrah’s Entertainment ramps up online gaming with new online casino and site revamps

Media Man website network expands to 18 website portals with more on the way, Media Man website traffic continues to exceed 3 million hits per month with Google top ten domination and Hitwise status

Search Engines: Players and industry prefer natural and organic results over sponsored listings

Multi Currency Casino big hit with online punters

Global Gaming Directory moves in on World Casino Directory territory

Events - Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia January 2010; iGaming SuperShow this June 2010 in Prague

Casino Legal: U.S. Congress’ House Financial Services Committee hears out Barney Frank

Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia: Detractors point to a series of crimes at Crown over the years, Crown Casino top brass advises press more serious problems fixed; Gambling whale Harry Kakavas looses court casino against Crown and staying quite on matter

Marvel Entertainment - Disney: Investors to vote on offer

Marvel Entertainment: Thor, Captain America, Avengers and Iron Man II upcoming movies expected to further grow Marvel online slot games sector

Mobile gaming: PartyGaming, Playtech, Slotland and others advise mobile gaming market still growing

Las Vegas: Experts advise Vegas casinos should have better adapted to online casino and gaming market

Microgaming Wins Award for Innovation and Independent Thinking

Captain Cooks Casino continues to add more games, Remains a leader in Asia Pacific region

Star City Casino enjoys mainstream positive exposure via boxing champion Danny Green

City Of Dreams may host major pro wrestling event: WWE or TNA in 2010

Jackpots: PartyCasino Gold Mega Jackpot hit for 5 million; CasinoClub player wins €76,000, Virgin Casino ramps up MegaJackpots and overall jackpot offerings, and comp heats up

IGT: International Gaming Technology continues to see games adapted for online casino sector

Casino Kings: Casino billionaire Stanley Ho is recovering, son says

Crown remains interested to build casino at Mildura: $300 million dollar project

Dubai: Marvel Comics themed multi million dollar complex planned but debt may delay construction for years

Live Dealer innovation proves popular for PartyCasino.com

Portals: Internet portal strategy the way forward for casino and online casino sector

PartyCasino wins Casino News Media Online Casino Of The Month; Captain Cooks Casino and Virgin Casino run ups

Media companies further integrate gaming and igaming sector into business model, Early signs of success

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PartyGaming in talks with Bwin - 13th December 2009

PartyGaming is in talks with Bwin, the Austrian-based rival online gambling company, about a potential merger, a move that analysts have long been predicting as a possibility in an industry looking to consolidate.

The close-knit industry has seen a number of companies explore merger options with each other this year, as they wait for new markets to open.

Insiders at PartyGaming said current talks with Bwin went beyond the usual exploratory nature, but emphasised there was no imminent prospect of a deal. Both companies are licensed in Gibraltar.

However, the insiders said PartyGaming was keen that any deal with Bwin would be based on a merger of equals. The market capitalisation of both companies are similar – PartyGaming is worth £1.1bn, while Bwin is valued at around €1.3bn (£1.17bn). Neither PartyGaming nor Bwin would comment on the matter.

The desire for deal-making is likely to strengthen as countries that had turned their faces against regulated online gambling markets (France, Australia, India and United States) begin to step up preparations for liberalisation, albeit limited in some cases.

France is preparing for a partially-liberated market in 2010, Italy is widening its market to include bingo, casino and other games and other European states, with an eye on the potential tax revenues from the industry, are inching towards regulation.

PartyGaming has been preparing the ground for a significant deal, having sealed a non-prosecution agreement with the US department of justice in April over its trading in the US, in return for a forfeiture of $105m.

Jim Ryan, PartyGaming’s chief executive, has repeatedly said that the settlement was a necessary step prior to any merger activity on its part.

Bwin, listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, is also keen on pushing ahead with merger activity at a time when the company is establishing itself as one of Europe's strongest online gambling companies.

Norbert Teufelberger, co-chief executive of Bwin, last month told the Financial Times that demand from big investment houses was significant and that Bwin would emerge from consolidation as “one of the bigger guys in this industry”.

Bwin, which has 20m registered users, has seen shares rise up 177 per cent in the last 12 months. It is expected to achieve gross gaming revenues of €450m, and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €110m.

Bwin strengthened its position in online poker this past September by purchasing Italian operator Gioco Digitale. It has established a strong sports betting product, and is the shirt sponsor of Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Other companies with an eye on events at PartyGaming and Bwin include 888 Holdings, Sportingbet and Unibet.

More details on the PartyGaming - Bwin talks as details come to hand. (Credit: Wires, Google News, Financial Times, Bloomberg, AP).

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PartyPoker Offering 25 Aussie Milllions Prize Packages, by Jessica Welman - 12th December 2009

Ever since the popular online poker room PartyPoker signed 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Stewart Scott as one of its sponsored pros, it has gone out of its way to promote both online and brick and mortar poker in Australia.

This weekend, PartyPoker is offering players a chance to win one of 25 seats in the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event for just $600. On Sunday, December 13th, the site will host two separate online satellites, one for citizens of Australia and New Zealand and one that is open to the rest of the PartyPoker customer base. Both will feature a $600 + $40 buy-in, although many players will have won their way into the tournaments for much less since the site has been running micro-satellites.

The Aussie-only tournament will give away five tournament packages, each valued at $12,000. The package includes buy-in to the AUD $10,000 Aussie Millions Main Event, hotel accommodations at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne, and $500 to be put towards travel expenses. The tournament will begin at 2:45am ET.

The open field tournament will get underway a little later in the day at 2:30pm ET. It will reward seats to the top 20 finishers and offer a slightly more lucrative version of the Aussie Millions prize package. In addition to the buy-in and the hotel accommodations, the package will also include $3,500 to cover travel expenses. Should a non-Aussie take part in the early tournament, PartyPoker will not offer any additional money to cover travel expenses. Conversely, if a player from Australia or New Zealand wins one of the $15,000 packages, they will still receive the full $3,500 to cover travel.

Stewart Scott commented on the satellite tournaments in an official statement from PartyPoker: “I’ve been playing at PartyPoker.com for five years. These great packages are an amazing opportunity for other players to play in this huge tournament. Claiming the Aussie Millions title has been the highlight of my career and I’d love to see another PartyPoker.com player take the title.”

PartyPoker gave away 96 seats to the Aussie Millions in November as part of the site’s Gladiator promotion. The players who earned at least 1,000 PartyPoints each day in November won their way into the event and the site doled out even more seats as part of a series of online tournaments featuring Scott.

Scott is the reigning Aussie Millions Champion and the first local player to win the tournament since it took on its new moniker and became one of the premiere events on the international tournament circuit. In January, Scott defeated a field of 681 players to take down the AUD $2 million first place prize. Peter Rho of Las Vegas finished in second place and earned AUD $1 million. Other past winners of the Aussie Millions include Alexander Kostritsyn of Russia and Team Full Tilt member Gus Hansen. Last year’s event also played home to one of the biggest live cash games in history with a minimum buy-in of AUD $1 million.

The previous Aussie Millions event boasted a guaranteed first place prize of AUD $2 million. The Crown Casino is expecting an even larger turnout than 2009 and the tournament’s official website is predicting more than 800 runners in the upcoming Main Event. There will also be a host of side events, including an AUD $100,000 buy-in High Rollers Event, a Heads-Up Event, and several Pot Limit Omaha events. In total, the Crown will offer 20 different tournaments from January 14th to 31st, including the Main Event, which will run from January 24th to 30th. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

PartyGaming: Rumour of the day - 11th December 2009

Shares in PartyGaming gained 2½p to 251¼p amid speculation the online gaming group could be taking a look at Bwin, the Austrian sports-focused online betting business, perhaps best known for sponsoring AC Milan and Real Madrid. PartyGaming has previously stated its intention to expand in sports betting and has been linked with Bwin in the past.

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25 LUXURY AUSSIE MILLIONS PACKAGES GUARANTEED AT PARTYPOKER THIS WEEKEND

25 LUXURY AUSSIE MILLIONS PACKAGES GUARANTEED AT PARTYPOKER.COM THIS WEEKEND!

Gibraltar – 10th December 2009 – This weekend marks the last chance to qualify online at PartyPoker.com for the 2010 Aussie Millions in Melbourne. Seen as one of poker’s majors, the Main Event is a highlight of the world live circuit and the leading online poker room is going completely Aussie crazy this Sunday!

PartyPoker.com is offering the chance to win one of 25 luxury Aussie Millions main event packages. These fantastic dream trips will be up for grabs in two amazing $600+40 satellites on Sunday 13th December. One will be timed to suit Australia and New Zealand-based players at 02.45ET with FIVE packages guaranteed worth $12,000, while the other is scheduled at 14.30ET to give players from the rest of the world the chance to win one of 20 guaranteed packages worth $15,000.

PartyPoker.com Australia Ambassador Stewart Scott is the defending champion and there is a chance to emulate his success in Melbourne next year. Stewart said: “I’ve been playing at PartyPoker.com for five years. These great packages are an amazing opportunity for other players to play in this huge tournament. Claiming the Aussie Millions title has been the highlight of my career and I’d love to see another PartyPoker.com player take the title.”

Scott, 37, from Queensland, Australia, made history in January 2009 by becoming the first Australian in the modern era to take down the Aussie Millions Main Event, scooping US$1,865,724. Scott is a loyal member of PartyPoker.com’s VIP club the Palladium Lounge. He made his debut representing the leading online poker room at the PokerNews Cup in Melbourne earlier this month.

Scott is married with one daughter and started life as a gourmet chef in Adelaide, with a period running a small IT business as he honed his skills online. He made his first impact on the live circuit in 2006 by winning a satellite series at SkyCity Casino in Adelaide that awarded him a $30,000 package for the WSOP Main Event. Stewart is a popular figure on the Australian poker circuit and is well known for his relaxed attitude but killer instinct at the table.

® AUSSIE MILLIONS, AUSSIE MILLIONS POKER CHAMPIONSHIP and CROWN Device and associated trade marks are trade marks of Crown Melbourne Limited. No license, affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement, is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. PartyGaming is not affiliated, licensed, by, or otherwise affiliated with Crown Melbourne Limited in any way.

World Series of Poker”® and “WSOP”®, WSOPE”® are registered trade marks of Harrah’s License Company LLC. No license, affiliation, sponsorship, or endorsement is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. PartyGaming is not licensed by or otherwise affiliated with Harrah’s License Company LLC or the World Series of Poker®, in any way.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pink pigeon race date set - Fairfax - 9th December 2009

The Great Betfair Pink Pigeon Race Day is to be held again next year on January 5 to coincide with Jane McGrath Day.

Starting at Dundas Oval in Narromine it will finish 30 kilometres away, as the crow flies, in Trangie.

Following the success it enjoyed in January of this year the force behind the race, Trangie publican Shane Dolton, is in talks with Channel Nine about the possibility of the race becoming an annual event for the region.

Channel Nine first approached Mr Dolton last year with the idea of a fundraising pigeon race to raise money for breast cancer.

He then put the inaugural event together within two weeks and saw a figure of more than $10,000 raised for the McGrath Foundation.

Mr Dolton was flown to Sydney prior to the first Pink Pigeon Race Day to promote the event on The Cricket Show...

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Game's growth has been great, and it'll only get bigger, by Joe Hachem - 5th December 2009

With the grand final of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tournament (APPT) rolling into Sydney this week attracting poker players from across the world to the Star City's brand-new poker room, it's an interesting time to reflect on how far poker has come in Australia.

Just 23 years ago there was no poker being played in casinos in this country. As one of the most high-profile and high-stakes casino games, poker is now so prevalent in Australian casinos that it's difficult to believe that it only first hit the floors in 1987.

Even Crown Casino, widely regarded as having the premier poker rooms in this country, only introduced the game in 1997.

Obviously we are yet to reach the heights of popularity that the sport has achieved in America, where every major tournament is televised and attracts thousands of live spectators, but the popularity and the competitors continue to grow.

For a professional player, I always hope we'll get to that point. The growth so far has been satisfying as the standard of the events available in Australia continue to improve, as we attract more international talent as well as retaining our best home-grown players.

I believe the popularity and exposure has come from the internet in the past eight years, as online poker is a great way to learn, polish your game, and even compete in some serious tournaments.

This has led to a culture of amateur and professional poker players coming home from work to practice a few hands, or squeezing in a turbo play game during their lunch break. It's made poker accessible, fun and fast for a wealth of people who may never have considered stepping into a casino.

Once players do make the move from online to live it's the tournament that is king. Australia's tournaments just keep getting better and better. We are finally boasting a schedule of tournaments throughout the year that can hold their head up among the internationals and give a professional a serious challenge. From the Aussie Millions and this weekend's Pokerstars.net APPT, (the largest poker tour in the region) to smaller events that still offer a genuine challenge like the ANZPT, a professional player could quite happily now play a full season in this country and boast an impressive record of events.

For the past two years an Australian has won the PokerStars.net APPT - in 2007 Sydneysider Grant Levy became the first Aussie to win a million dollars on home soil, then in 2008 another Sydney boy, Martin Rowe, repeated the feat.

I'm hoping that the improved tournaments will continue to nurture local talent, so I hope to be there at the final table taking place on stage in the Star City Sports Bar with full viewing capabilities, tomorrow. With more great local wins, more impressive local talent, more people throwing their support behind the scene and more challenging and exciting tournaments, who knows where we'll be in another 20 years.

Until next week, pass the sugar.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tension over TOTE sale - 4th December 2009

Tempers have flared as a Government Business Enterprise committee probes the failed sale of TOTE Tasmania.

The Treasurer, Michael Aird, has been accused of wasting money and letting down the racing industry.

The Government took TOTE off the market yesterday, after eight months without a decent offer.

The aborted sale process cost $3 million and the Opposition's racing spokesman, Jeremy Rockliff, says the Treasurer's lost the industry's confidence.
"You should resign," he said.

The Greens' Kim Booth says it is a conflict for the Treasurer to also be the Racing Minister.

"You've effectively stuffed up two portfolio responsibilities."

The Government gives the racing industry $27 million a year.

The Treasurer, Michael Aird, says it was on its knees when Labor came to power but stakes have risen considerably.

"We are the envy of other states," he said.

He insists there was a good market to sell TOTE when it was first listed.

The opposition parties have accepted an offer from the Treasurer to be privately briefed on the aborted sale.

Mr Aird says some parts of the sale are commercial-in-confidence but the parties should hear an independent opinion from a financial advisor.

"I think the best thing I can do, in relation to this discussion is offer a confidential briefing for both the political parties from Deloitte's, with the Probity Advisor in tow, to ensure that you understand Deloitte's assessment of the process," he said.

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