Hit and Run: Urbanovich Leads EPT Dublin Final Table, Resistance to Iovation Continues, FullTilt Software Mothballed

Alex Weldon : February 19th, 2016
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The final table for the EPT Dublin has been set, with Dzmitry Urbanovich the chip leader. Haley Hintze releases interview transcript with damning testimony from a former ieLogic/iovation programmer. Winamax has a Hit & Run of its own. FullTilt’s software will be retired, not sold. And more.

The Luck of the Polish?

The Irish may have a reputation for luck, but it’s Poland’s Dmitry Urbanovich with the cards running in his favor in Dublin at the moment. He seized the chip lead with a flopped three-of-a-kind in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Dublin Main Event shortly before Day 4 ended with the elimination of Alexandre Meylan in 7th place. He now leads the pack with 5.125 million chips going into the final table.

Patrick Clarke is still in it and keeping hope alive for the Emerald Isle home crowd, however, in a close second with 4.3 million chips. Kuljinder Sidhu and Rhys Jones from the United Kingdom, Germany’s Gilles Bernies and Iliodoros Kamatakis of Greece make up the remainder of the final six. Play resumes tomorrow at 1 PM local time (7 AM EST, and much too early for those of you in PST) and will be streamed online.

Urbanovich finished 6th in the Global Poker Index’s Player of the Year standings for 2015, but has been off to a lackluster start in 2016, so he’ll be highly motivated to pull off a win here.

The Origins of the Ultimate Bet Scandal

Controversy was sparked this week when the Nevada Gaming Commission’s Gaming Control Board approved iovation as a service provider for geolocation functionality to online gambling sites within the state. The issue is that iovation, formerly known as ieLogic, was the company which provided the software for the infamous poker site Ultimate Bet.

FlushDraw’s Haley Hintze, who was instrumental in investigating Ultimate Bet at the time, has now published an interview she conducted with Jack Bates, a programmer who once worked for ieLogic and left the company around the time that the so-called “God Mode” or “superuser” functionality was added, which allowed Russ Hamilton and others to cheat players by seeing their hole cards. In the interview, Bates spills the dirt on how and when and from whom the orders came to implement said functionality, and reveals the extent of the company’s involvement in allowing the cheating to happen.

Quick Hitters

- Poker is taking off in a big way in Brazil, and Hard Rock International wants in on the action; it hasn’t even been two months since the country’s lawmakers approved a bill to make casino gambling legal, and already the company has submitted proposals for three of them, in Brasilia, Caldas Novas and Itapema.

- In Macau, on the other hand, gambling revenues continue to decline, leading MGM to postpone the planned opening of its latest casino there.

- The upcoming integration of FullTilt’s player pool into PokerStars’s has been all over the news this week. It’s now official that the FullTilt brand will become nothing more than a skin for the PokerStars software. The original FullTilt software, meanwhile, will be mothballed by Amaya and not sold off to a competitor.

- Winamax now has its own Hit and Run, but it’s a new type of satellite tournament, not a daily news digest. We’ll hold off on suing for now.

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