California takes key step towards legalizing online poker. Daniel Negreanu discusses the “politics” in the high stakes poker community. PokerStars launches Duel app. And more.

California back in play for online poker

There are huge developments to report on the California online poker front. After being all but written off, online poker expansion suddenly appears to be a real possibility in 2016. The big breakthrough was a recently revealed draft amendment to Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker AB 431, that would see the online poker operators pay an annual stipend of $60 million to the state’s horseracing industry in exchange for the tracks giving up their operating rights.

The role of the horseracing industry has been one of the key issues preventing the state from passing an online poker bill, but the current offer (or even an offer of $20 million – $30 million) is simply too much money for the tracks to pass up in many analysts minds.

And just like that, California is back in play for online poker expansion.

Quick Hitters

– The daily fantasy sports industry was put under the spotlight by FRONTLINE this week, with a lot of debates have been raging over the episode. Here were the three key takeaways I had after watching it.

– Today’s news of the weird tells the tale of a planned casino heist, involving three youth level players in the German Bundesliga.

– PokerNews recently interviewed LA Sunset team manager Maria Ho to get her thoughts on the soon to be launched Global Poker League.

– Daniel Negreanu pulled back the curtain on the high stakes poker games in Las Vegas in two recent blog posts. While detailing his experiences at Aria and Bellagio, Negreanu decided to ask his readers whether they think the current politics of these games was a good or a bad thing.

– As they prepare to remove their regular heads-up tables tomorrow, PokerStars has launched a new heads-up poker app called Duel. The game is akin to words with friends and other one-on-one apps in that players can pause the game for hours or even days, and pick up where they left off.