Congrats Poker Patriots! Step In The Right Direction.

November 14th, 2012  :  Written by Patriot #2

Rep. Jim Leach : DefeatedWith the Democrats taking the House – and possibly the Senate – in yesterday’s mid-term elections, a clear message was sent to the Washington insiders and special-interest groups: Don’t Mess With Texas Hold’em!

Jim Leach [R-IA], one of the architects of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, lost his seat in Congress to Democrat Dave Loebsack. So thanks Iowa! Good on you for standing up to this self-proclaimed “moral arbiter.” Unfortunately, Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R-VA] and Senator John Kyl [R-AZ], two other architects of the UIGE retained their seats, but Bill Frist [R-TN] didn’t run so he’s out [though he hopes to be President some day…].

There’s a good article over at CardPlayer and one at PokerNews as well.

Leach sat on the Financial Services and International Relations committees, so this means new people will fill his seat – hopefully those with better credentials and a broader outlook on what should be regulated and how far national powers should extend into the lives of everyday Americans.

The job is nowhere near complete – the fight must continue. We’ll continue to cover the fallout from the election and the changes it will herald.

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eCOGRA Makes Offer To UK RE:Online Gambling

November 13th, 2012  :  Written by Patriot #2

eCOGRA logoeCOGRA [eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance], the online gambling industry’s independent player protection and standards authority, has offered consulting services to the UK DCMS [Department of Culture, Media and Sport] regarding the current move to regulate online gambling in Europe. No word yet from the UK as to whether they’re interested.

It’s an interesting move by eCOGRA. They are one of the larger self-regulating bodies in online gambling, though they were founded by and are led by the major operators in the industry including OnGame, MicroGaming and 888 Holdings. It truly is an insiders club more than a regulating body but let’s not split hairs. What they’re doing is in their own best interest, but also serves the industry as a whole. If they can assist the UK/EU in establishing regulation, everyone will benefit, including players.

eCOGRA put out a press release you can read here.

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888 Is A Lucky Number For Ladbrokes

November 11th, 2012  :  Written by Patriot #2

ladbrokes logo

While online gambling giant PartyGaming was having coffee with 888 Holdings, owners of Casino-On-Net and Pacific Poker, regarding possible merger talks to stem the rapid decline of their business, 888 was out back schmoozing Ladbrokes, one of the UK’s largest traditional gaming companies. Opinion on who has the early lead goes to Ladbrokes, as their business is much more stable than PartyGaming.

PartyGaming, owners of PartyPoker, laid off almost half their workforce on Friday and issued a statement that more cuts are expected. And remember, these are jobs in the UK and Gibralter, so the US ban continues to have vast economic impact on major companies from other countries.

Though Ladbrokes operates an online division that offers sportsbetting, casino, poker and skill games, their bread-and-butter for over 120 years has been their land-based betting shops. So they bring a possible stability to 888 that Party just can’t offer. You can read the entire article at the International Herald Tribune.

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Party888? Online Gambling Giants Have Coffee

November 3rd, 2012  :  Written by Patriot #2

Party888 logoThe latest news out of the Guardian UK is that PartyGaming and 888 Holdings have chatted over coffee about the possibility of a merger in light of the US Gambling Ban. Both are publicly listed in the UK, both operate out of Gibralter [offices on the same block] and the merger has been estimated at a value of $3B USD. Since the ban Party stock lost 70% of its value while 888 lost about 25%.

PartyGaming runs PartyPoker, what once was the largest online poker room, while 888 owns Casino-On-Net and Pacific Poker, no slouches themselves. The problem for Party mainly lies in the fact that at least 75% of its revenues came from the US market, so when they pulled out after the ban, they started sucking wind. 888 wasn’t impacted as much after pulling out America, since they’ve been marketing internationally for years and perhaps 50% of their revenue comes from the US.

So what do we make of this?

Well, it’s obviously early stage for merger talks, but that aside, what’s the real impact on the industry and players? This is where it gets interesting.

Let’s say I’m a UK player and I’ve been playing at PartyPoker because of the sheer number of other players. Then one day 75% of the players go away because they’re from the US. So what do I do? Stick with Party? No way – I want to go where the players are, so I start looking for poker rooms that still accept Americans, places like Scarlet Poker, Ultimate Bet, Full Tilt Poker, etc [go here for a complete list of places to play]. Where does that leave PartyPoker? Sucking even more wind because now their international players are leaving too, and revenue plummets further. The situation isn’t much rosier for 888 or the other major pub co’s either.

So one move from the US could collapse public, legally operating companies from many other nations. Shining stars of foreign public markets disappear and drive down the value of their stock market index – most countries don’t like that. Imagine if Microsoft disappeared from the Nasdaq one day – that’s impact.

Anyway, there’s an international battle brewing behind the “innocuous” moral arguments of our special-interest friends in Washington. One can imagine Bill Frist getting a cavity search upon arrival at Heathrow. Don’t worry, we’ll publish the photos.

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Support Poker Patriots : Gear Up, Learn and Play

November 1st, 2012  :  Written by Patriot #2

Poker Patriots T-Shirt

Wouldn’t you look good in a new t-shirt or hoodie? We think so. That’s why we designed a bunch of great gear and set-up a store. We earn a little bit of revenue on each sale and we roll that straight back into the blog and our public relations and lobbying efforts. We’d love it if all our visitors and regular readers outfitted themselves in our stuff. One day, it will be a collectors item! Check it out.

If you’re looking for a good poker room to see a few flops, go to Scarlet Poker, our founding sponsor. They’re part of the Tribeca Tables Network and as I write, there are 12,000 players at the tables, which is big growth ever since the gambling ban went into effect. And they have a sweet deposit bonus too.

If you just want to polish your game, we’ve put together a great selection of poker books, including Harrington’s series on tournament play. Nothing better than NOT being the fish at the table.

Thank you for your support! We now return you to our regular programming!

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