Veteran Welsh poker player Dave Colclough passes from cancer at age 52. Romania becomes second country to have smallest stakes removed on PokerStars. Phil Hellmuth announces autobiography. And more.

Remembering Dave Colclough

It was just a year and a half ago that the poker world lost David “Devilfish” Ulliott, and now we find ourselves similarly bereft of Dave Colclough, one of Ulliott’s contemporaries from the golden era of UK poker. Colclough came into the public eye competing on Late Night Poker, the UK’s analogue to America’s High Stakes Poker, alongside Ulliott, the original “Hendon Mob” (Barny and Ross Boatman, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswami), and others. Well-liked by his peers, “El Blondie,” as he was known, was named European Poker Player of the Year in 2003, and became the youngest inductee of the European Poker Players Hall of Fame in 2005, at age 41.

Colclough, like Ulliott, fell to cancer, losing his battle with the disease yesterday, October 18, 2016. He was 52.

PokerNews is the first poker media outlet to cover his life and passing in more detail, but others will surely follow.

Quick Hitters

– This June, PokerStars removed the lowest-stakes games ($0.01/$0.02 and €0.01/€0.02) from its dot-com client for players located in Belgium. It was widely speculated at the time that other countries would follow and that the penny stakes would ultimately be phased out entirely. Further weight has now been lent to that theory as Romanian players have joined Belgians among those only able to access stakes $0.02/$0.05 or €0.02/€0.05 and above.

– Gaming Advancement Marketing Entertainment LLC (G.A.M.E) – the company behind the Action Clocks currently being trialled in the WPT – is trying out a new cash game variation at the Aria, called Protection Poker. It’s just like standard cash game poker, but dealers have a hand odds calculator built into the table; during an all-in, any player who is at least 65% to win will get 20% of the pot regardless of how the cards run out. It’s not entirely clear from the rules given on the website how multi-way situations with side pots are handled, or what the supposed advantage is over the traditional variance-reducing option of “running it twice.”

– Jen Newell at PokerUpdate feels that the decision by William Hill to pull out of talks with PokerStars owner Amaya may prove to be bad for poker players. Her fear is that it will open the door for Amaya to seek a merger with GVC Holdings instead. GVC owns PartyPoker, and a union with the latter would make PokerStars even more dominant and leave players with few alternatives.

Phil Hellmuth has announced his upcoming autobiography, tentatively titled for his nickname, “Poker Brat.” Not everyone is excited for it, however, as resentment still remains over Hellmuth’s involvement with the notorious Ultimate Bet.