The month of October 2017 has been one of the biggest for poker news stories in recent history.

Following is a chronological outline of our news coverage here at PartTimePoker of events that took place throughout the month of October 2017.

Las Vegas Tragedy

On Sunday, October 1st, country music fans were attending the Route 91 Harvest festival at Las Vegas Village located on The Strip when gunfire suddenly erupted. Officials would later state that video poker machine player Stephen Paddock was responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern-day United States history.

The tragedy ended the lives of 58 individuals while wounding over 500 more as Paddock used automatic weapons to victimize an innocent crowd from his corner suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Poker Community Reacts to Las Vegas Shooting (Craig Klinski – Oct 2, 2017)
Debate Continues — Was Las Vegas Shooter a Professional Gambler? (David Huber – Oct 9, 2017)

Skill-Based Games Make Waves at Annual G2E Conference

The Global Gaming Expo held its annual showcase in Las Vegas this month, and skill-based games attracted plenty of attention. Will practical remakes of popular arcade games such as Pac-Man become a fixture on the floors of land-based casinos?

Skill-Based Games Steal Show at G2E (Alex Weldon – Oct 10, 2017)

PokerStars NJ Live Events Struggle, Hollywood Haxton Twitter Critique

The world’s largest online poker operator held its second live tournament series in Atlantic City this month. The MEGASTACK format failed to attract enough entrants to cover the guarantee of the two featured events, which resulted in hefty overlays for the brand that once dominated the global scene as an exclusive administrator of the European Poker Tour.

The PokerStars stranglehold on all things poker has significantly loosened since late 2015, when it ceased distribution of Supernova cashback benefits for the site’s highest volume players. The decision to refuse payouts to players who had been promised rewards throughout the 2015 calendar year didn’t sit well with former Team Pro Isaac Haxton, who in turn ended his relationship with the site on January 1st, 2016.

Since that time, Haxton has become more or less a spokesperson for high volume, winning poker players. The successful poker pro routinely calls out his former sponsor on social media site Twitter, and believes PokerStars’ new eSports-leaning game Power Up is an attempt by The Stars Group corporate shot-callers to replace traditional games such as Texas Hold’em with higher rake formats online.

PokerStars Live Event Struggles, Isaac Haxton Rages on Twitter (Alex Weldon – Oct 11, 2017)

New Jersey Announces Online Gambling Compact Deal with Nevada and Delaware

Regulated United States online poker proponents were abuzz midway through the month when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a deal with fellow lawmakers in Nevada and Delaware that would essentially combine player pools in those states.

The announcement has been heralded by many in the industry as a very positive step in the right direction for regulated online gambling interests in the country, but has also raised a number of questions from players and fans. Which operators stand to benefit from an eventual combined online gambling player pool in the states of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware?

FAQ Sheet: Regulated Online Poker Shared Liquidity (David Huber – Oct 14)

PTP Podcast Season 2 Begins

PartTimePoker Podcast hosts Andrew Barber and Alex Weldon have launched Season 2 of our in-house audio program. This month’s guest was none other than poker strategy consultant Miikka Anttonen, who has put his entire career as a poker pro on the line with his most recent prop bet.

Andrew and Alex discuss the high risk, high reward proposition with Anttonen on the latest PTP Podcast episode, which you can access below.

PTP Podcast Season 2, Episode 1 — Risking It All (A. Barber, A. Weldon – Oct 20, 2017)

PokerStars Power Up Poker

After more than a year of soft promotion and insinuation, PokerStars has launched its new card game — Power Up Poker — for real money play.

So far, feedback from the poker playing community has been generally positive in regards to actual gameplay. However, the quick-play format may not be a fit for professional players due to the 7% to 8% fee that online gamblers must pay along with the prize pool buy-in to participate.

Power Up Poker Veteran Player Feedback (David Huber – Oct 21, 2017)
Power Up Poker Complexity Part 1: Reducibility (Alex Weldon – Oct 25, 2017)
Power Up Poker Complexity Part 2: A Simple Example (Alex Weldon – Oct 26, 2017)

Kirk vs. Tsoukernik Lawsuit Update

King’s Casino operator Leon Tsoukernik and professional poker player Matt Kirk are involved in one of the highest profile disputes in the poker industry. Kirk claimed in his lawsuit that the World Series of Poker Europe host owes him $2 million USD from an in-game loan that took place in Las Vegas earlier this year.

A ruling handed down by District Judge Linda Marie Bell effectively removed eight of the ten counts alleged against Tsoukernik while deeming gambling debts “unenforceable,” but also allows Kirk to pursue payment if he can prove “unjust enrichment” and/or “fraudulent inducement.”

Update on Matt Kirk/Leon Tsoukernik Lawsuit (Alex Weldon – Oct 22, 2017)

Phil Ivey Denied by UK Supreme Court

The edge-sorting saga between high profile poker player Phil Ivey and the Crockfords Casino in London has finally reached a conclusion. The United Kingdom Supreme Court has upheld a Court of Appeal dismissal of his £7.7 million claim against the casino stemming from Punto Banco wagers made by Ivey and companion Cheung Yin Sun at Crockfords way back in 2012.

Phil Ivey Loses £7.7 Million Edge-Sorting Case (Craig Klinski – Oct 25, 2017)

Pennsylvania Set to Become Fourth U.S. State to Regulate Online Poker

Perhaps the biggest poker news story in October transpired this past week, when both the Pennsylvania state Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill that would regulate online poker, table games, DFS and internet casino products within the Keystone State‘s borders.

Pennsylvania Governor Tim Wolf is expected to sign the bill into law this week, which would effectively pave the way for legalized online poker in PA at some point in 2018. If signed, Pennsylvania would become only the fourth United States jurisdiction to authorize real money online poker play. The state could also potentially join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to combine its player pool with those three states.

Pennsylvania Regulated Online Poker Bill Awaits Gov. Wolf’s Signature (Craig Klinski – Oct 26, 2017)

Partypoker Named EGR “Poker Operator of The Year”

Online poker site Partypoker — owned by parent company GVC Holdings — was named “Poker Operator of The Year” at this month’s eGaming Review (EGR) awards ceremony.

The title brings PokerStars’ three-year dominance of the award to an end while calling into question the wisdom of PokerStars’ ongoing negative publicity campaign against its own customers.

Partypoker has surged in relevance and popularity in 2017 thanks to a clear-cut rakeback program for dedicated online players along with a number of high quality live events that have catapulted the brand into the mainstream conversation.

Partypoker Wins EGR “Poker Operator of The Year” Award (Craig Klinski – Oct 27, 2017)