888 has been unusually active this summer. The PokerNews staff share their WSOP thoughts. The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open is underway. The Philippines is cracking down hard on online gambling. And more.
GR8GR8GR8 or H8H8H8?
Former PartTimePoker writer Dustin Gouker, who defected to other sites last summer and is now dead to us, wrote a piece for USPoker.com, pointing out just how many concurrent stories there are involving 888poker and 888 Holdings’s other gambling offerings. He’s right; it has been an awfully busy summer for them, full of ups and downs. To wit:
- 888poker attempted to fight the summer slump with a repeat of its “Live the Dream” promotion.
- Just as that promotion ended, 888poker launched its new BLAST format. These are 4-max lottery sit-and-goes (LSNGs), but with a time limit (and a fairly brutal rake).
- 888’s online casino has had an overhaul.
- 888 Holdings is looking at a three-way deal with Rank Group to take over sportsbook William Hill.
- 888poker’s partnership with WSOP.com in New Jersey now leads that market, having displaced PokerStars NJ by means of a huge $1000 deposit bonus. The two have been duking it out for some time now, and 888/WSOP has held the lead briefly on a few occasions, but now seems to be widening the gap.
- 888poker meanwhile seeks to enhance casual users’ experience with an experimental feature that will provide some minimal results-tracking functionality, presented in the form of a personalized video presentation.
- 888poker provided an unprecedented number of users entry into WSOP events via online qualifiers this year, two of whom made the November Nine. Not everyone was pleased with the experience, however; Dara “Doke” O’Kearney blogged about how he “H8H8H8ed” the way they handled his Main Event package.
– The poker community is excited about the news that a sequel to Rounders may be in the works. CardPlayer reports that it will likely focus on internet poker rather than live. That may be cause for concern for some fans, as the writers’ last attempt at an iPoker film, Runner Runner was, by most accounts, a dud.
– The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) kicked off on Thursday. This year’s series will feature 28 primary events, with buy-ins starting at $250 and a $5,250 Main Event, plus a whopping 55 “secondary” events, aka mega-satellites, making for a viable alternative to the WSOP for players on a tighter bankroll.
– Thursday’s Hit and Run mentioned WPN’s announced crackdown on bots. At the time, the only article available on the subject was behind a paywall, but Dan Katz at FlushDraw has now picked up the story and written a piece which is freely available to all.
– Also at FlushDraw, Haley Hintze discusses how the increasingly authoritarian Philippines government is cracking down on online gambling, revoking licenses for numerous formerly-legal sites.
– The eSport most commonly compared to poker is HearthStone, but CalvinAyre.com’s ever-hyperbolic Lee Davy feels there’s a parallel to be made between the record-setting prize pools of the Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA2) Championships, and Alex Dreyfus’s plans for the GPL.