Another Team Online Pro leaves PokerStars. California looking at comprehensive gaming expansion. Byron Kaverman wins GPI Player of the Year award. And more.

Haxton leaves PokerStars Team Online

The exodus of team online players from PokerStars continued last week, as one of Internet poker’s all-time legends, Ike Haxton, decided to follow Alex Millar’s lead and leave his position as a PokerStars Team Online pro, citing the company’s changes to their VIP program as the impetus for his decision to simply let his contract with PokerStars expire.

The highly controversial changes have causes what appears to be an irreparable rift between PokerStars and the high-stakes online poker community. We’ll have to wait and see how this story continues to unfold in 2016, and if time truly does heal all wounds.

Quick Hitters

– Veteran poker columnist Barry Carter gazes into his crystal ball and makes four poker predictions for 2016, including who will get the Hall of Fame call and the continued gamification of poker.

– PokerUpdate explores the popularity of Twitch in the poker world, and the Twitch broadcasters who have become stars thanks to the new medium.

– Part Time Poker’s Alex Weldon takes a look at the one-sided Sorel Mizzi vs. Brian Rast charity boxing match.

– Our countdown of the biggest poker stories of 2015 continues, with Part 3 of our five-part series,. This time around we explore  the women in poker debate; Vanessa Rousso’s appearance on Big Brother; the WSOP Colossus; the launch of interstate online poker in the U.S.; and Pennsylvania’s sudden interest in online gambling.

– Byron Kaverman ended 2015 as the #1 player on the Global Poker Index 300 rankings, as well as winning the Global Poker Index Player of the Year award.

– California will get right down to business in 2016, as the Assembly will host a hearing this week on the all too familiar topic of online poker, but also on daily fantasy sports and sports betting.