California advanced an online poker bill out of committee. 2004 WSOP bridesmaid David Williams to appear on Master Chef. Hawkins goes back-to-back on WSOPC. And more.

Big day for California online poker

Yesterday, the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously passed AB 2863, an online poker bill sponsored by GO Committee chair Adam Gray. The hearing went by and large as expected, with little to no surprises.

The top line takeaways from the hearing were:

  1. The horseracing issue seems solved, or very nearly solved.
  2. The rift over suitability (which boils down to: should PokerStars be able to apply for a license) is as large as ever.

Here are several recaps from the hearing with some in-depth analysis and commentary:

California Online Poker Regulation Takes Key Step Forward

California Online Poker Bill Passes GO Committee with Unanimous Vote

The First Hurdle Is Cleared, But Is 2016 Really Any Different For California?

Online Poker Has Clearly Made Headway In California, But Perspective Is Needed

Quick Hitters

– 2004 World Series of Poker runner up David Williams will be a contestant on the next season of the FOX show Master Chef.

– Don’t confuse a player’s value to a poker site with the amount of rake they pay. The gross amount of rake a player pays only tells you how much volume they put in.

– The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has decided to pass on Rush Street Gaming’s proposed casino in Brockton. The Brockton project was seen as the inevitable third licensee in Massachusetts, but the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe muddied the waters when they began construction on their First Light Casino in nearby Taunton – something the tribe is within its rights to do based on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Not wanting to saturate the market, it looks like the MGC will not license a third commercial casino.

– Unibet will soon become an online poker network according to PokerNews. The Unibet network will be a two skin operation to start when it brings the Finnish poker site Pokerihuone into the fold on May 2.

– Maurice Hawkins became the first person to win back-to-back World Series of Poker Circuit Series Main Events.

– The Fertitta brothers cashed in this week, when their company Red Rock Resorts became the largest IPO of the year,  netting the brothers and their family some $330 million, while still controlling 87% of the voting power of the now public company.