Peter Eastgate Returns to Poker

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The 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, Peter Eastgate has returned to poker. Some of you may recall his high profile retirement last summer. Eastgate also sold his WSOP bracelet on eBay to raise money for charity. At the time of his retirement he had this to say about poker: “When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player.” I guess if you do not enjoy the game then maybe you got into it for the wrong reason and probably should get on with your life. For now Peter Eastgate returns to being sponsored by PokerStars and plans to play EPT Copenhagen and the NBC Heads Up Championship at least.

Fast forward (but not too fast) to a scant 8 months later and Mr. Getonwithmylife has this to say: “I truly enjoy playing poker. I love the competitive element and the mental challenges of tournament poker.” He goes on to talk about missing his friends and family while jetting around to all the tournaments and losing himself. Yeah, well strong-willed people do not “lose themselves”. Many poker pros jet around the world without dumping their friends and family.

Mr. Eastgate brushes aside the comeback aspect of his return “I do not consider this a comeback, as I always knew there was a good chance I would play poker again.” Yet last summer the tune he was whistling was a tad different “now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life. What this will be, I do not yet know.” Now this young man is just that, young. We should understand and remember that some young people get confused and tend to talk in absolutes when they should talk of possibilities and options.

We have all seen the “i am done with poker”, “I am back playing poker” carousel. I do not think there is a lot of surprise in this. I do wonder how he will feel about selling the symbol of his big victory as he moves on in years. So all you aspiring pros out there, if you ever realize your dream please do not “retire”, if someone asks why you are not playing call it “a little me time” or a vacation. Save the poker world the emotional roller coaster of the quit/return cycle we all know too well.

World Series of Poker Europe Moving to France

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Just like the WSOP moved from Binion’s to the Rio, the WSOPE will find itself a new home in 2011. This year’s World Series of Poker Europe will be moving from London, the city it has called home since its inception in 2007, to Cannes, France. The event will be held October 7-21 at Le Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette.

In some ways, this is quite surprising, given the strict nature that the French government has treated poker, especially when compared to the lax view of the government in the United Kingdom towards poker.

There are seven events reportedly planned for the event:
· NLHE 6-Max €1,500
· NLHE €1,000
· PLO 6-Max €5.000
· € 3,000 NLHE Shootout
· PLO 6-Max €1,500
· Main Event €10,400
· Split € 10,400 (seat 9, then 6, then 2 players)

According to a statement released by “The World Series of Poker Europe is moving from London to Cannes in 2011 and will be rebranded as World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE®) Presented by In addition, the Barrière Poker Tour 2011 will include seven stops qualifying for the WSOPE®.”

While the date is still in the distant future, you can still keep your eyes open for online satellites and qualifiers as the time approaches!

Online Poker Opponent Jon Kyl Retiring

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Senator Jon Kyl, one of the most vocal and influential opponents to the legalization of online poker in the United States, plans to announce that he will not seek re-election when his term lapses in 2012.

First elected to the Senate in 1994 from Arizona, Kyl is one of the top ranking Senators in the Republican party, and is influential in finance and defense legislation.

He has stated his reasoning for retiring simply: time.

Senator Kyl has been one of the strongest supporters of the UIGEA since its proposal in 2006, and has argued vehemently against legalization of online gambling in the United States. His retirement may be a win for the PPA and everyone in the online poker industry.

eWalletXpress Shut Down by US Authorites

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Popular online gambling processor eWalletXpress has allegedly been shut down by US authorities for illegal activity. eWalletXpress which is part of the Navaho network started out as a processor for internet porn sites but quickly grew once they began accepting gambling transactions.

According to BingoWire, eWalletXpress sent out an email to it’s merchants this morning which read, “We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to continue service at this time due to a federal warrant issued to seize our funds…..”

This can leave a huge hole in an online gambling industry that is still feeling the affects of losing other US processors like Neteller and Paypal. No Online Poker Sites or online casinos are currently offering eWalletXpress as an option.

As of this writing there is no answer for the question on everyone’s mind, “What will happen to my money”. We hope that like Neteller funds will be delivered to their owners, but we can’t say for sure. We’ll stay on top of this story as it develops and will do our best to provide you with the answers you need.

Sources: BingoWire CasinoSpamReport

Party Poker and Ongame Merging

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Party PokerThe parent company of Party Poker, Party Gaming is merging with Bwin. Bwin is the parent company of the Ongame network. While most of you know who Party Poker is, the Ongame network includes sites like Bwin Poker, Betfair Poker, Hollywood Poker, and RedKings Poker. Poker Scout ranks Party Poker as the number three poker room in player size and volume globally. The Ongame Network weighs in at fifth. The word is the new merged company will probably sport a new name, but it is doubtful that any poker sites will be changing.

Reports call the merger a buyout of Bwin by Party Gaming yet Bwin will somehow have controlling interest of over 51%. I see the words “reverse takeover” bandied about but that is for financial types. To put the merger in perspective, if Ongame and Party Poker started being listed together on Poker Scout, they still would be a distant third to Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker.

Many view the merger as positioning to be ready when the US market opens up to regulated online poker some time in the distant future. With all the talk in committee hearings of excluding operators who have taken US players in the past, this may be the strategy. As far as we know, Bwin has never been in the US market, while Party Poker was one of the first big poker sites catering to US players before their abrupt departure in 2006.

From a player standpoint, there should not be any unrest or uncertainty regarding the merger. I am not an insider on this deal, but I doubt anything outward, player-facing will change on any of the sites involved.

ESPN WSOP 2010 Schedule

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ESPN will start airing The 2010 World Series of Poker Tuesday July 27, 2010. Each show will be two hours long and will be on the main ESPN channel. We already missed the preview show, but for most forum players, they do not need an introduction to the players. Each episode will air on Tuesdays. below is the schedule with each show’s focus. As most of you know, there are re-airings on ESPN2 as well. I am not familiar when the reruns will be scheduled and leave that to you to report on if you spot them while channel surfing.

July 20: WSOP Preview Show, 8 p.m.
July 27: Players Championship, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 3: Tournament of Champions, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 10-Aug. 24: Main event, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 31-Nov 9: Main event, 9-11 p.m.

Notice that the last entry will encompass Tuesdays all the way to the WSOP Main Event which is going to be played on November 06, 2010. that last November 09, 2010 Tuesday night will be the final table broadcast. I will be interested to see which poker sites do the heaviest advertising since Pokerstars already sponsors the ESPN web show The Inside Deal.

Peter Eastgate quits Poker

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Peter Eastgate, the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event winner has given up the poker life. Eastgate is only 24 years old. I guess I can see wanting to get away from the poker circuit and try new things at 24 years old. This is a standard deal with these kids anyway. they run all over the globe and do the poker lifestyle bit. there is always a new tournament to go to somewhere. Rather than just say they are taking a break and cooling it at home for a while to recharge, they get into absolutes and talk about their soul and identity. In a couple years they will pop back onto the poker scene and talk about their “renewed passion for the game” and being a “more balanced person now”. So good luck in finding yourself Peter Eastgate, see you in a couple years.

From the Pokerstars Blog:
“When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player. My goal was to become financially independent. I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008. The period following has taken me on a worldwide tour, where I have seen some amazing places and met many new people; it has been a great experience. In the 20 months following my WSOP win, I feel that I have lost my motivation for playing high level poker along the way and I have decided that now is the time to find out what I want to do with the rest of my life. What this will be, I do not yet know. I have decided to take a break from live tournament poker, and try to focus on Peter Eastgate, the person. I want to thank Pokerstars, my friends and family for their support over the last 20 months and for their support in my decision to take a break from poker.”

Michael Holmberg, Pokerstars Nordics Director had this to say:
“We know that poker will miss this world class player and world class role model, but Pokerstars has only the deepest respect for Peter’s decision. Poker is about determination and excitement and if Peter lacks this in his game, the right decision is to take a break, Peter has played amongst world champions and he has carried his title in the most admirable fashion. Tournament after tournament, the young poker player from Odense, Denmark has achieved great results and has established himself as one of the greatest natural talents the poker world has ever seen.”