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William Watson Takes Down WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $400 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed

Category : Lifestyle

Watson scoops second gold ring exactly a month after claiming his debut WSOP Circuit gold piece
William Watson from Lexington, Kentucky bested last night the field of the $600 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed at Horseshoe Hammond to claim his second WSOP Circuit gold ring in just a month and a payout of $30,592.
Watson’s ride to victory was a bumpy one, but the player managed to survive all the challenges he faced throughout the two days of action and to emerge as the victor. Commenting on his latest poker accomplishment, the player said that winning the second ring took much less than the first one. Watson has been poker for nine years now but it was last month that he finally captured a piece of WSOP Circuit jewelry.
During the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek stop last month, Watson outlasted the field of a $400 No-Limit Hold’em tournament for his debut gold ring and $6,805. At Horseshoe Hammond, the player played the six-max format, which he said he is particularly fond of as “there’s more space at the table and it plays faster.”
The $600 buy-in tournament drew a field of 220 entrants from here and there. They generated a prize pool of $113,300 that was split into payouts for the top 24 performers.
Final Day Action
Of all 220 competitors that registered into the tournament, there were just ten left at the end of Day 1. Watson was among the short stacks coming into Day 2 with his 192,000 chips. The player managed to add to his stack as action kicked off. However, he was the short stack when the unofficial final table of seven was set.
Blake Whittington was the chip leader at that point in play with 1.33 million, and he never really lost his momentum down to the heads-up match. Whittington himself is a two-time gold ring winner.
Another player who started gaining momentum over the course of the final table was Watson himself. The player doubled through Whittington to improve his situation. The heads-up duel between the two player was quite the ordeal, Watson himself admitted. “Long, hard, and tough,” the eventual player said of the battle. Yet, he pointed out that he ran really good so he could not really complain.
On what turned out to be the final hand in play Whittington went all in with [10c][8s] and Watson called with [Qc][9s]. The board ran out [Kh][Kc][7d][4s][5h] and Watson’s Queen high was more than enough to lock the victory. Whittington, a player from Jacksonville, Florida with nearly $500,000 in WSOP earnings, collected $18,901 for his runner-up finish.
The $600 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed was the eighth gold ring tournament on the schedule of the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond stop. This means that there are just four gold rings up for grabs until the poker series wraps its Hammond visit. The $1,700 Main Event starting October 19 and the $5,300 High Roller starting October 21 are certainly the ones that will attract the most attention.
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Sports Betting Takes Central Stage at Illinois House Committee Hearing

Category : Events & Reports

Illinois legislators bullish on benefits from the legalization of sports betting
Legal sports betting is coming to Illinois and the question is not “if” anymore, but when and what the state’s wagering regulatory framework will look like, it has become clear from a four-hour hearing on the matter that took place on Wednesday in Springfield.
During the hearing, members of the House Committee on Revenue and Finance heard input from industry stakeholders, major sports leagues, representatives from different cities and towns, associations representing professional sports players, and a number of other interested parties.
The potential expansion of gambling in the state has been discussed for several years now, but bills on the matter have failed to advance too far in the Legislature. A legislative piece by Rep. Bob Rita and his fellow legislator from the Senate, Sen. Terry Link, has been what has kindled the gambling expansion debate in the state.
SB 7 was originally introduced early in 2017 and has been amended several times since then to propose the construction of new casinos in the state as well as the addition of slots and other gaming machines at local horserace tracks. Most recently, the piece was extended with provisions regarding the legalization of sports betting, online gambling, and daily fantasy sports.
The Wednesday hearing was the second of two concerned with the potential gambling expansion in the state. Sports betting was the main topic of that second hearing. It seems that a number of legislators have already made up their minds and believe that legal sports betting will benefit Illinois.
Highlights from Wednesday’s Hearing
While Rep. Rita has been among the most active lobbyists for gambling expansion in the state, other bills on the matter were produced this year and more are expected to be drafted in the coming months as Illinois is clearly gearing up preparations for the addition of more legal gambling options.
Rep. Lou Lang said on Wednesday that he plans to introduce his own bill on the matter. He further revealed that he is on his third draft currently, but will not be presenting any piece until “it’s been distributed to all of the stakeholders” for their input. Online sports betting and daily fantasy sports will be part of the bill, Rep. Lang has pointed out.
In his comments during the hearing, the lawmakers also stressed on the importance of not rushing the state’s sports gambling legislation, pointing to Pennsylvania as an example of how speedy legalization is affecting the market’s lure and potential.
Pennsylvania legalized sports betting last October as part of a sweeping gambling reform. However, it implemented a 36% tax on gross revenue and a $10-million license application fee, which resulted in just four of the state’s 13 eligible operators applying for a sports betting license.
“If you do it too fast, you make a real mess of this, as the state of Pennsylvania did,” Rep. Lang said Wednesday.
The introduction of a so-called “integrity fee” or some form of royalty for professional sports leagues was another issue discussed during the Wednesday hearing. Four states have launched sports betting since the mid-May SCOTUS ruling that lifted a long-standing federal wagering ban, but none of them have implemented an integrity fee.
The fee has been pushed for by the nation’s professional sports leagues, with those asking to be contributed a portion of the proceeds generated by legal sports betting as wagering offering is practically based on their own product.
Rep. Lang shared his thoughts on the matter during the Wednesday hearing, saying that he had no problem “giving major leagues a fee, but I want to give them a fee for something.” The lawmaker further elaborated that if leagues want to be contributed a share of sports betting revenue they should provide something (“… data, photos, marketing data”) the state’s sports betting market needs to improve its sports betting product.
While a sports betting legislation could be introduced during next month’s veto session of the state Legislature, this is not likely to happen, particularly bearing in mind the upcoming mid-term election on November 6. With that said, lawmakers will probably seek to move to legalizing betting early next year.
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Casino Boss Tilman Fertitta Reportedly Approaches Caesars with Merger Offer

Category : News

Another massive merger and acquisition deal within the US casino industry could be around the corner
A fresh round of industry buzz from Wednesday suggested that billionaire casino boss Tilman Fertitta has approached Caesars Entertainment Corp. about merging the Las Vegas casino giant with his own Golden Nugget casino group.
Sources told the CNBC on Wednesday that Mr. Fertitta was trying to lure Caesars with an offer for a reverse merger that will place Caesars as the acquirer. Company shareholders will remain shareholders in the combined business.
According to sources, it is still unclear whether the gaming and hospitality company will consider any offer from Mr. Fertitta given the fact that Caesars’ market capitalization currently stands at around $6.3 billion, while Mr. Fertitta’s net worth was valued at $4.5 billion by Forbes. Aside from Golden Nugget, his holdings also include the Houston Rockets National Basketball Association team as well as dining and entertainment company Landry’s.
Caesars emerged from a lengthy and challenging Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall and is looking to improve its profitability and to catch up with rivals MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts. The company has said that it would focus on acquisition and geographical expansion as part of its post-bankruptcy growth strategy.
The Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant recently closed the acquisition of Indiana-based privately owned gaming and horse racing company Centaur Holdings LLC for the total amount of $1.7 billion, which Caesars paid in cash. The deal will help the company expand its presence in Indiana, a key casino market.
”Fun is just getting started at Caesars”
Chad Beynon, a senior analyst at Macquarie, told the CNBC on Wednesday that the proposed merger of Caesars and Golden Nugget is part of a larger merger and acquisition trend within the US gaming industry. The analyst further explained that low valuations could be one of the main reasons why so many major casino companies are exploring M&A opportunities.
According to Mr. Beynon, as Caesars has just emerged from bankruptcy protection, “fun is just getting started” at the casino and hospitality giant. Following the recent acquisition of Centaur Holdings, the Las Vegas company is now reportedly considering a bid for Dan Gilbert’s Jack Entertainment LLC.
Reports emerged last month that hedge fund HG Vora Capital Management LLC had quietly built a nearly 5% stake in the gaming behemoth and has been pushing for the company to take consideration of different options, including divestiture of assets or an outright sale.
According to a recent round of reports, Caesars might be looking to divest itself of the off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the annual host of the World Series of Poker. Rumors about the property’s sale have been popping out for years but a transaction has never occurred. It emerged a few years ago that PokerStars was interested in buying the Las Vegas casino. Those reports were even confirmed by the poker operator itself.
Caesars currently operates 49 properties in 13 US states as well as in Canada, the UK, Egypt, and South Africa. The company is set to launch two non-gaming resorts in Dubai next month and plans to break ground on a similar property in Mexico early next year. It also became known that Caesars is interested in joining an €8-billion mega-scheme for the construction of an integrated resort with a casino near the Greek capital Athens.
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Majority of New Gambling Accounts in Sweden Registered with International Operators, Report Finds

Category : Events & Reports

Off-shore gambling operators have proved particularly popular with Swedish gamblers over the past year
Accounts registered with international online gambling operators represent 60% of all online gambling registrations made over the past 12 months in Sweden, local consultancy firm Mediavision reported earlier today.
The firm also found that nearly 60% of all Swedes aged between 18-74 have an online gambling account, up 12% from last year. Svenska Spel, the state-run operator that holds the monopoly over most of the gambling services provided on the country’s territory, still holds the largest share of all registered accounts. Mediavision reported that combined, all regulated gambling operators account for around 58% of all registered gambling accounts.
However, international operators seem to be gaining momentum as approximately 60% of all new registrations made over the past twelve months were namely with companies targeting Swedish gamblers from outside the country.
Commenting on the latest trends discovered by the consultancy firm, Mediavision’s Mazyar Sajjadi said that a possible explanation why new and existing customers seem to be more and more drawn to international gambling operators is “their marketing with special offers and deposit bonuses.” Licensed Swedish operators are banned from offering any such bonuses to lure customers, under the country’s current laws.
Sweden’s new gambling regulations are just a couple of months away from taking effect. From January 1, 2019 onwards, international operators will be able to operate legally in the country as long as they have obtained a license from the local gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen.
The Swedish Gambling Authority launched the application process in July and has recently announced that it has so far received 55 applications from international gambling companies that are interested to operate in the newly regulated local market.
Local News Outlet Slapped with Fine over Gambling Ads
News emerged late last week that the Administrative Court has slapped a SEK100,000 fine on local news outlet Nyheter24 for failing to remove links featured on its website that were referring to international online gambling websites that were not licensed in Sweden.
The case was first brought to media attention back in 2014 when Lotteriinspektionen filed for an injunction against the media outlet. In October 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in favor of the regulatory body. However, Nyheter24 was found to have not removed the links to the internationally licensed online gambling products.
Swedish media outlets have for years been heavily criticized for featuring gambling-related advertisements. However, they felt encouraged to do so after the European Commission had declared the country’s monopoly system over the provision of gambling services one that violated EU principles for free trade and movement of goods and services among member states.
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Mohammed Nuwwarah Takes Down WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $600 H.O.R.S.E.

Category : Lifestyle

Nuwwarah captures debut WSOP Circuit title on his 32nd birthday
Mohammed Nuwwarah, an Omaha, Nebraska resident with solid poker background, won last night the $600 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. that played as part of the ongoing WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond series. The player captured a gold ring and a cash prize of $14,008 after besting 95 like-minded fans of mixed game formats.
Nuwwarah is a member of a poker media by trade, but playing the game is also something he enjoys and apparently is good at. He told WSOP staff after his triumph last night that he likes all Stud games and that he is not a big Omaha 8 or Better fan. Ironically, he won his first piece of WSOP Circuit gold namely while playing an Omaha 8 or Better hand, so he dislikes the game a little less now.
As mentioned, the tournament, marked as Event #7 on the Horseshoe Hammond schedule, featured a 95-strong field that generated a prize pool of $43,775. Apart from the eventual winner, nine more players left with a payout from the H.O.R.S.E. event.
The tournament was played over two days. The second and final day kicked off with 23 lucky hopefuls advancing from Day 1. Cory Chaput led the pack of survivors into the second day of action. He was followed by none other but the eventual champion. Chaput had a total of 181,500 in chips at the start of Day 2, while Nuwwarah held 135,000.
Final Table Highlights
By the time there were just nine players left in contention, Nuwwarah had already swelled his stack and emerged as the chip leader. Nine-handed action kicked off with the eventual champ holding 465,000 in chips, nearly two times more than his nearest competitor – Christopher Grzadziel.
Final table play unfolded relatively quickly until there were just two players left. Michael Hanson was the hopeful whom Nuwwarah faced heads-up. Hanson, too, was vying for his first ring from the series.
What came next was an action-packed three-hour duel that saw Nuwwarah drop to just nine big blinds at some point and then recover to claim the title. Chips swung back and forth for a while and none of the remaining players was happy to give up on the title without a good fight. Eventually, an Omaha 8 or Better hand brought the tournament to a long-anticipated end. Hanson departed with a payout of $8,657 for his runner-up finish.
It is interesting to note that Nuwwarah was a birthday boy yesterday. He said at the beginning of heads-up that he hoped play would extended until after midnight “to outlast the birthday run good.” However, the player emerged as the tournament’s victor five minutes before midnight. Nuwwarah told WSOP staff that he would give his piece of WSOP jewelry to his mother.
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Israeli Court Blocks Naughty 1xBet, Two Other Gambling Websites

Category : Events & Reports

Russian online gambling operator 1xBet among those to face block by Israeli authorities
A Tel Aviv District Court judge ruled earlier this week that three gambling websites targeting Israeli customers should be blocked. The ruling arrived after the cybersecurity unit of Israel’s State Attorney’s office requested action from a district court as part of a crackdown on illegal gambling operations in the country.
With very few exceptions, gambling is mostly illegal in Israel. The country’s existing gambling law currently allows for the provision of sports betting and lottery products only. Online gaming services are banned.
Local news outlets reported that a Tel Aviv District Court judge ruled that the www.p2vbet.com, www.1xbet.com, and www.totobet777.com be blocked so they are prevented from targeting Israeli customers.
While the provision of online gambling services on the territory of Israel might be banned, the country has been a preferred destination for a multiple international gambling companies to set up offices in, with 888, Playtech, and Ladbrokes Coral being few of those.
The Monday ruling was based on a 2017 law, under which local District Courts have the authority to block access to websites with improper content as well as ones used for criminal purposes. A number of websites have been blocked following the implementation of the law.
However, experts have expressed doubts about the efficacy and success of blocking websites with content that violates local rules and violations as it is extremely easy to circumvent the ban.
1xBet – Everyone’s Favorite to Block
As mentioned earlier, 1xBet, a major bookmaker and casino games operator hailing from Russia, has been among the websites to face block from Israeli authorities. And it should be noted that the operator has somewhat turned into one of the industry’s bad boys as its reputation has been challenged on multiple occasions over the past several years.
1xBet was previously found to be featuring fake games posing as ones developed by NetEnt. The operator has removed the games since reports about their existence emerged, but skepticism over its operations will certainly remain.
In addition, aside from Israel, 1xBet has a strong presence on the blacklists of a number of regulated jurisdictions after it has been caught targeting customers in those without holding the necessary licenses to operate there.
In Poland, there are nearly 200 1xBet-related domains to have been added to the country’s blacklist of erring operators. It is also important to note that the local Finance Ministry has been actively adding unauthorized domains to the list since the country market’s re-organization in April 2017.
1xBet has also drawn ire from gambling watchdogs in its homeland and its domains are often part of illegal gambling operation purges conducted by local regulators. And while the operator was found to have blocked access to its main website from within Russia, it has created multiple domains targeting Russian gamblers.
The gambling operation found itself in the middle of a bitter controversy in Italy last year. It was first picked as the official international presenting partner of the Italian Serie A football league for the 2017-18 season. However, the partnership was later on suspended due to heavy criticism from the government and local regulators. 1xBet currently only holds an online gambling license from Curacao.
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Tropicana and Hard Rock Casinos Seek Approval to Commence Sports Betting Operations

Category : News

Tropicana and Hard Rock to soon hop into the New Jersey sports betting mix
New Jersey’s sports betting market is set to soon expand as two Atlantic City casinos have submitted petitions with the state Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) to commence wagering operations.
According to documents made available by the New Jersey gambling regulator, Tropicana Casino Resort and Boardwalk 1000 LLC, the local branch of Florida gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International, have recently submitted their petitions, seeking green light to start sports betting operations.
News about Tropicana and Hard Rock joining the New Jersey sports betting mix emerge shortly after the NJDGE published what the regulator described as “stunning” September wagering results. The state’s sportsbook and online betting operations generated revenue of nearly $24 million and handled nearly $184 million in wagers last month.
Both Tropicana and Boardwalk 1000 have submitted petitions for transactional waiver to “commence sports pool and online sports pool operations.” Six of Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos are currently offering sports betting operations. When Tropicana and Boardwalk 1000’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City join the local sports betting market, Caesars will remain the city’s only casino to be straying from the betting craze that has swept over Atlantic City and New Jersey, following the May 14 ruling of the US Supreme Court that struck down a federal ban on wagering on professional and college sporting events.
New Jersey was the second state to launch legal sports betting in the post-SCOTUS ruling era. State lawmakers approved the necessary regulatory framework a little over a fortnight after the sports betting ban was lifted and first wagers were accepted in New Jersey on June 14.
Tropicana and Hard Rock’s Sports Betting Partners
It can be said that plans for sports betting at Tropicana began being shaped even before the SCOTUS ruling. It was announced this past April that billionaire investor Carl Icahn was selling the casino resort’s parent company Tropicana Entertainment Inc. in an agreement that would see gaming REIT Gaming and Leisure Properties take over the company’s real estate while Eldorado Resorts assume control over its hotel and casino operations.
The transaction, which was valued at around $1.85 billion, was completed earlier this month. Meanwhile, Eldorado announced in the summer that it has forged a partnership with William Hill, under which the US arm of the British bookmaker would become the exclusive sports betting partner of the casino operator. It also became known that the partnership would extend across all properties owned by Eldorado, Tropicana included.
As for Hard Rock International, the company launched its Atlantic City property at the end of June. There were speculations that Hard Rock might not be able to operate sports betting due to its naming rights deal with the Miami Dolphins and their home Hard Rock Stadium.
Asked about their comments on the matter, Hard Rock officials have said that sports betting was something they were definitely interested in and that Hard Rock Atlantic City would offer some form of wagering. It is yet to be seen whether the gambling venue will go live with full-blown betting services or there will be certain limitations to its product.
It was announced last week that Malta-based gambling company Gaming Innovation Group has signed a letter of intent with Hard Rock for the provision of an omni-channel sports betting service at the gaming operator’s Atlantic City property. In August, Hard Rock announced a partnership with Kindred Group for the provision of online sports betting and gaming services. And news emerged in July, that the Florida-headquartered gaming and hospitality giant has joined forces with bet365, the major British bookmaker, for the provision of a sports betting product in the nascent New Jersey gambling market.
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Former Kenyan MP Accuses David Baazov of Fraud and Gambling Proceeds Misappropriation

Category : News

Amaya founder and former CEO David Baazov lands in hot water, former Kenyan lawmaker comes forward with serious fraud accusations
A former Kenyan MP accused Amaya Gaming Group (now The Stars Group) and its founder, businessman David Baazov, of misappropriating billions of Kenyan shillings through NIC Bank accounts after the company entered the East African country in 2010.
Kennedy Nyagudi, a former MP representing the city of Kisumu, claimed Amaya had allegedly conspired with the above-mentioned bank to move abroad billions of Kenyan shillings that had been generated by the Canadian gambling giant’s local subsidiary.
Amaya formed its Kenyan subsidiary in 2010. Mr. Nyagudi said in an investigative documentary that aired on KTN News earlier this week that he held a 15% stake in the subsidiary and was listed as one of its Directors. Mr. Baazov reportedly owned the remaining 85% stake in Amaya’s Kenyan branch.
The company launched two products – the M-Lotto Sweepstakes and the Mega Mega Kwachua mamilii lottery – which quickly gained popularity among Kenyan gamblers and raked in millions of Kenyan shillings shortly after they commenced operation.
The proceeds from Mega Mega Kwachua mamilii lottery product, which totaled KSh375 million, according to Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), were initially being wired to Amaya’s account at Equity Bank, Mr. Nyagudi revealed. Under the country’s gambling law, any gambling operation is obligated to contribute 25% of its gross proceeds to a local charity. In the case of Amaya, it was supposed to donate money to the Lion’s Heart Self Help Group. The organization was established to help orphans and widowed women in Kenya’s Siaya County.
By October 2011, the gambling company had not donated the required amount to the charity. The then-Chairman of the BCLB, Kenya’s gambling regulator, filed an affidavit to reveal how much Amaya had collected from its Kenyan lottery operations. According to the affidavit, the company had reaped in the approximate amount of KSh375 million and was supposed to contribute KSh93 million to the Lion’s Heart organization. However, the charity claimed the gambling giant owed it well over KSh73 million.
New Bank Account
Mr. Nyagudi further said that Mr. Baazov then opened new bank accounts in NIC Bank without the former lawmaker’s knowledge and stopped transferring money to the Equity Bank accounts. The new accounts were opened in Mr. Nyagudi’s name and were allegedly used by the Canadian-Israeli businessman and associates of his to siphon around KSh500 billion out of Kenya.
The former Kenyan lawmaker is now suing Mr. Baazov, his alleged accomplices and NIC Bank, accusing the businessman of fraud and the bank of helping him to conduct improper money transfers. Mr. Nyagudi also said earlier this week that he has filed a notice to Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions to inform them that he intends to prosecute the bank privately for failing to disclose details about Mr. Baazov and his accounts. NIC Bank had previously been issued an order to provide details about Amaya’s Kenyan operation and about the Canadian-Israeli businessman’s dealings but had refused to do so and the agencies responsible for prosecution had failed to take further action.
Mr. Baazov was up until recently the subject of insider trading investigation and prosecution in his home country. The businessman was probed for allegedly trading inside information about the company prior to Amaya’s $4.9-billion acquisition of The Rational Group, parent company of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, and thus affecting his company’s stock price.
The Quebec securities watchdog, Autorité des marches financiers (AMF), brought 23 charges against Mr. Baazov in March 2016, which marked the beginning of a lengthy trial. The Court of Quebec decided to stay the legal proceedings against the businessman this past summer, arguing that the AMF had made “repeated errors” and showed a “lack of rigor” over the course of its investigation.
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Chris Fuchs Wins Opening Event of WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Stop

Category : Lifestyle

Fuchs scoops first WSOP Circuit title after a decade of playing poker recreationally
Chris Fuchs, an IT sales specialist by day, topped the behemoth field of the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Opening Event for his debut gold ring from the series and a hefty first-place prize of $124,385.
Fuchs has been playing poker recreationally for over a decade now. And the player played the Horseshoe Hammond stop for a fifth straight year. He told WSOP staff after his triumph in the series that he had not planned to take part in the upcoming Main Event but, encouraged by his success in the opening event, he decided to take a shot at the $1,700 buy-in tournament that is set to take place over the weekend.
The opening event at Horseshoe Hammond once again drew a massive field. As many as 2,563 entries registered into the tournament. They created a prize pool of $845,790, easily beating the $777,777 guarantee. The top 272 spots got paid, min-cashes starting from $294.
The event featured five starting flights and a second, and final, day of play. Day 2 of the tournament was played on Sunday. Only 220 survivors returned to the host casino that day to play down to a champion. And it did not take long before the unofficial final table of ten was set.
Final Table and Heads-Up
Fuchs was the chip leader at the time with a massive advantage of 4 million over his nearest rival. The player had 9.63 million at the start of the final table. Nicholas Cikulin was ranking second in the temporary leaderboard at that point with 5.235 million in chips.
Fuchs pretty much maintained his advantage over the course of final table play. The player told WSOP staff that he had run pretty well throughout that closing stage with good cards coming his way all the time. And indeed, the player performed extremely well and took advantage of what he was offered at the table to eventually emerge victorious and be crown as the champion of the first tournament on the schedule of this year’s WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond.
The winner eventually faced James Gregg for their final heads-up match. Gregg, a New Berlin, Wisconsin resident, was too vying for his first gold ring from the series. However, the piece was not meant for him this time. The player was defeated by Fuchs to collect $77,362 for his runner-up finish.
As mentioned earlier, Fuchs will be seen next weekend when the Main Event will be taking place. The tournament is scheduled to kick off Friday, October 19 with the first of its two starting flights. It will feature a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, but it is yet to be seen whether it will be surpassed.
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Sports Betting Debate Gains Momentum in Illinois

Category : Events & Reports

Adding sports betting to the mix of gambling expansion opportunities makes sense, says Illinois legislator
Gambling expansion is once again on the discussion table in Illinois as the second of two hearings on the matter is set to take place later this week. This time, state lawmakers are set to discuss the potential legalization of sports betting, online gambling, and daily fantasy sports.
Sports betting has been creating the biggest buzz within the US gambling industry this year, following the May 14 ruling of the US Supreme Court that effectively lifted a long-standing federal ban on the provision of wagering services and left it to individual states to decide whether they want to legalize the activity or to stray from the sports betting bandwagon.
Efforts for the potential expansion of Illinois’ gambling industry have emerged on several occasions in recent years but without much success as bills on the matter have never survived committee consideration.
It was not any different this year, except for the fact that a gambling expansion bill (SB 7) presented earlier in 2018 by Rep. Bob Rita has turned into the basis for the ongoing discussions. A previous hearing was held in August when state lawmakers sought input from stakeholders during a four-hour event in Chicago.
That hearing considered the potential construction of more casinos around the state as well as the addition of slot machines and similar gaming devices at the state’s struggling horse racing tracks, among other things.
The upcoming hearing, scheduled to take place on Wednesday in the state’s capital Springfield, will be primarily concerned with sports betting, online gambling, and daily fantasy sports.
Sports Betting Makes Sense
According to State Rep. Mike Zalewski, who recently spoke with local news outlet the Herald & Review, the addition of sports betting in the gambling expansion mix only makes sense. Rep. Zalewski currently chairs the House Revenue Committee. The lawmaker has further pointed out that wagering could be “the tie than binds the different industries” and the “bricks and mortar” that would form a “unifying approach going forward”.
A recent report on gambling in the state compiled by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability dwelt briefly on the potential legalization of sports betting in the state. The report reads that “it is difficult to predict the revenue potential” of the gaming services discussed by the Legislature as the final product and its taxation are not determined. However, “each of [the] formats would create a new revenue source for the state.”
Additional revenue is certainly something Illinois needs as it once again struggled to create a spending plan for the next financial year and close a deficit of more than $1 billion.
New Jersey reported last week that it has recorded sports betting revenue of nearly $24 million in September and has handled around $184 million in wagers. According to Rep. Zalewski, $184 million in betting handle “in a state like New Jersey” presents real opportunity for Illinois. The lawmaker added that if mobile betting is added to the mix, “then you would talk about a real opportunity to have revenue affect the state.” Of the $184 million wagered in New Jersey last month, a total of $104 million was bet online or via mobile devices.
The Illinois sports betting hearing is scheduled for noon local time on Wednesday in the capital Springfield. While the hearing is an important step, a sports betting legislation will not be presented and potentially voted on before January 2019 when the new legislative session of the state Legislature is set to commence.
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