Online Poker News
October 18, 2006  
© 2006 Randy Saylor  

October 9: FirePay drops US clients’ access to poker

FirePay is probably the second-most popular method to transfer money to online poker sites behind Neteller. Some players, who have had restricted access to Neteller due to their location, have found FirePay to be a good substitute. Although FirePay will not cancel accounts of US customers, the accounts can only be used for non-gaming transactions. The company’s official statement: “Beginning the day President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any purchase transactions from US FirePay account holders at any gambling merchant site. Ten days after President Bush signs the Act, FirePay will decline any transfer attempt made by any online gambling merchant to a US FirePay account. All US FirePay accounts holders will continue to be able to make purchases and receive payments from non-gambling, online merchants, as well as "Deposit From" and "Withdraw To" their US bank account.”

October 9: Online petition started

A California man started an online petition to help demonstrate the power of the online poker marketplace. The petition has over 10,000 signatures and is increasing daily. The goal is to spread the word to as many poker-related discussions as possible. The petition can be found here

October 10: Allen Cunningham added to Team Full Tilt

The already excellent stable of professional poker players at Full Tilt Poker has been added to, Full Tilt Poker announced. The 2005 World Series of Poker Player of the Year award winner (one win, three other final tables, and another cash) has over eight million dollars in career wins. His biggest money win was at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, when he finished fourth (out of 8773). There are thirteen fully sponsored professionals on Team Full Tilt. Among the past wins of the fifty full- or partially-affiliated players at Full Tilt are 67 World Series of Poker bracelets.

October 11: Tain and Tribeca networks merge

One of the first of many expected mergers and acquisitions of online poker sites (after the US law change) involved two large networks. The Swedish network Tain merged into the Tribeca network, increasing Tribeca to 91 different sites. The most notable Tribeca site, by far, is the popular Doyle’s Room. Golden Palace Poker is another large portal to the Tribeca network.

October 11: Late night poker coming to the US

Borrowing on the success of the BBC’s Late Night Poker, American television network NBC has announced it will begin airing Poker After Dark on January 2, 2007, at 2 a.m. Eastern Time. Former World Poker Tour host Shana Hiatt is back on television after a recent legal clash with her former employer regarding a non-compete contract.

The hour-long show will air six days per week, and features six professional poker players vying for a winner-take-all prize of $120,000. Each week of six shows features five nights of action, followed by a sixth-night “recap,” with commentary by Hiatt and the winning professional.

Marc Graboff, President of NBC-Universal Television (West Coast), said in a statement “We saw this as an opportunity to program this time period with original programming. We're pleased to bring late night television viewers this inside look at the professional poker scene.”

Poker Productions is the company behind this new series, as well as High Stakes Poker, Poker Superstars, Intercontinental Poker Championship, and the National Heads-up Poker Championship.

Professional poker players committed to the shows include Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Gus Hansen, and Erick Lindgren.

October 13: Harrah’s to disallow online WSOP satellites?

In a move that will most certainly reduce the field of the 2007 World Series of Poker, Harrah’s, the parent company of the WSOP, has announced that many third-party registrations will be disallowed.

The difficulties will arise because Harrah’s, as an American company, would be prohibited from doing financial transactions with online poker sites under some interpretations of the law. A more speculative view suggests that as Harrah’s might one day be a major player in regulated US online gaming, any move on their part to reduce the influence of the online poker industry is to their advantage.

The speculation may have started with an email from Full Tilt Poker that advised its players that online satellite wins for US events would be paid in cash to the player’s account. The player would then be responsible for his or her own buy-in at the tournament.

It is believed that the new rules, when made official by Harrah’s, will restrict third-party registration to the WSOP to charitable organizations and WSOP-licensed casinos in the US and elsewhere. All other third parties would be eliminated.

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