Weekly Online Poker News (Continued)
© 2006 Randy Saylor  

September 18: PokerTek tables win approval in Michigan

Charlotte, NC based PokerTek issued a press release announcing that the Michigan Gaming Control Board has awarded regulatory approval for Michigan casinos to use the PokerPro automated poker tables. These tables automate the functions of shuffling, dealing, handling chips, and awarding split pots and side pots. Because the computer performs these functions much faster than even the best human dealer can, the casinos can generate more rake with fewer staff. The company claims 60% more hands per hour than human dealers.

The computer prompts each player to act in turn as well, which should increase the enjoyment for experienced and novice players alike. All relevant information concerning pot size and board cards is accessible both on the player’s individual screen and the common middle screen. The computer protects a player’s hole cards as well. The hole cards are shown face down on each player’s screen and only revealed when the player cups his hands over the monitor (just like with regular cards).


Although it is unlikely that casinos will reduce the rake because of this innovation, the increased profitability of poker rooms should mean that poker offerings are expanded at casinos using the new tables. This could result in a wider range of limits being offered, especially at lower stakes, which were previously unprofitable for casino operators. Novice players will also be more likely to play, since the intimidation factor of live games is somewhat reduced. All of this is good for poker players accustomed to online poker games.

September 18: Ivey takes second in EPT event

Phil Ivey must really like Europe. Last November, Ivey won two tournaments in one week’s time, pocketing more than $1.6 Million in the Monte Carlo Millions and the Full Tilt Poker Invitational Live. This year, Ivey raked in 371,000 Euros in the European Poker Tour event held in Barcelona, Spain for finishing second.

September 18: WCOOP Event #3

Once again, a guaranteed prize pool offered by Poker Stars was shattered by the many players excited about the premier online tournament series. Event three, a $300+20 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament (with rebuys and add-ons), drew 773 entries. After 987 rebuys and 501 add-ons, the prize pool had eclipsed the $400,000 guarantee by over $278,000.

Notables in the money included Tom McEvoy (87th, $1627), Joe Hachem (41st), and Stuart Patterson “thedonator” (21st, $3527). Player “thegiant” took home first place and $151,000 when the river card gave his opponent a straight and him a full house. He is the second player from Sweden to win a WCOOP event this year.

September 19: World Poker Tour Borgata Open

The Main Event at the WPT Borgata Open, a $9700+300 NLHE tournament, drew 540 entries. The final table of six (the television portion begins at six players) sat down Tuesday with hopes of the $1.5 Million prize. A winner was crowned 159 hands later. Television finalists included: Blaise Ingolia (6th, $261,000), Chris Bell (5th, $314,000), Anthony Argila (4th, $367,000), and noted poker author and theorist David Sklansky (3rd, $419,000).

Chris McCormack had a 2-1 lead over Mark Newhouse when heads-up play began, but Newhouse doubled up on the second hand up of heads-up play when his K5 caught two pair to beat K7. The two battled for twenty hands, with Newhouse generally getting the best of it. Newhouse had 12 Million chips to his opponent’s 1.7 Million when both got all-in preflop. Newhouse’s KK was the favorite over A8, but the shortstack flopped an ace to double up.

The next twelve hands were uneventful and didn’t even see a flop. McCormack then won a small pot on a KKT flop, before the players again got all-in preflop on the next hand. Newhouse (the chip leader) flipped QQ. McCormack’s AJ needed help. He didn’t get it, and the river was a queen for good measure. McCormack won $802,895 for second place.

September 19: ActiVision ships new poker video game

World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions is the second poker offering by ActiVision. Among the 32 professional players featured in this game are TJ Cloutier, Scott Fischman, Clonie Gowen, Erik Seidel, and Jennifer Tilly.

The game’s storyline puts the player in the position of a new poker pro. The player will advance their career with the advice of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Online interactive play is available, or players can challenge computer opponents.

The game features DigiMask technology that allows a user to upload their own picture to create a personalized character. This feature is available on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

MSRP for the Xbox 360 version is 39.99. PS2 and PSP versions retail for $29.99, and the PC version is $19.99.

September 19: WCOOP Event 4

Remember this city: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. This city of 109,000 might just be the next hotbed pf poker. Anybody watching the final table of the Poker Stars WCOOP Event Four might think so. The field for the $200+15 tournament was capped at 2048, and filled up long before play began. The format was heads-up NLHE match play. The winner of each heads-up match advances and the losers are out. Winning three matches would put a player in the top 256 and in the money. The ultimate winner would need to win eleven consecutive tables.

Player “spawng” (a 2005 winner of a WCOOP event) and k-knuts both won their first ten matches. Play began at the final table, and these two Canadians agreed to chop the prize money, leaving $10,000 for the winner. Twenty minutes later, spawng had won his second WCOOP bracelet when his opponent pushed all-in with top pair on a 953 flop. The champion held an overpair (ironically, it was KK), and spiked a king on the turn to leave his opponent drawing dead.

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