A major tournament bets a big change. Behind the DOJ’s recent reversal on the Wire Act. Check out these stories and more in the Monday Hit and Run.
PokerStars Sunday Million buy-in halved
The world’s largest weekly tournament is lowering the cost to enter the tournament, possibly as early as next week. The PokerStars Sunday Million, which each week features a $1 million guaranteed prize is slashing its buy-in from $215 to $109. In welcome news to players, all other major details of the tournament will remain unchanged, including the $1 million guaranteed prize pool. The tournament will continue to be held at 6 PM UTC with registration, with blind levels and starting stacks unchanged.
PokerStars is making the change to in hopes that the tournament will appeal to a wider selection of players. “We want to open online poker’s flagship event to more and more players. The lower buy-in will do that, while ensuring the “Milly” remains the Sunday Major every player wants to win.”
Going forward, in order to avoid an overlay, PokerStars will need to attract 10,000 players to the event — instead of 5,000 under the previous buy-in — potentially providing players with a better opportunity at extra value. Should the tournament meet the guarantee, PokerStars will stand to be a big beneficiary, collecting more than $15,000 in extra rake to the event.
Crazy. After all these years @PokerStars is reducing the buy-in for the Sunday Million to $109. On one hand you need 10k players now to meet guarantee, may lead to more overlays. On other, PokerStars will collect more rake if GTD met. (shocker)
— Robert DellaFave (@RobertDellaFave) January 21, 2019
– In a report that will hardly shock anybody, the Wall Street Journal reported that Las Vegas Sands owner and online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson influenced a U.S. Department of Justice’s recent opinion which reversed their interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act. In their opinion, the DOJ revealed that they now believed that the Wire Act is applicable to many forms of online gambling, putting into question the future of online gambling in the United States.
Meanwhile, former New Jersey State Representative Raymond Lesniak, who helped spearhead online gambling in the state, says that a lawsuit is coming in response to the reversal. “It looks like I will have to go to court again to straighten out the Justice Department’s overreaching on states’ rights, as I did with sports betting.”
– Speaking of the PokerStars Sunday Million, Twitch streamer Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot split most of the first place prize of the flagship event on Sunday, taking home $124,114, the largest score of his online poker career. PokerDave476 was the eventual winner as the pair played for the final $20,000, resulting in a total score of $144,114 for the United Kingdom player.
That's a very reasonable way to start the year. 6 figure score after chopping hu in the millball. Couldn't hold the JJ<KJ for the W but we'll fucking take it. 2019 m8s. pic.twitter.com/2k0QLikony
— Parker Talbot (@tonkaaaap) January 21, 2019
– US Poker’s Martin Derbyshire writes that the World Series of Poker should expand the use of the “shot clock” to more events for this year’s series. The shot clock was introduced for the 2018 WSOP series, where it was only used for high roller events.
– Muhammad Asad took down the 2019 Aussie Millions Opening Event to win the equivalent of $158,385 after a three-way deal. Jason Pritchard, the second place finisher came in second but won $205,200. Matt Edwards, the other player making a deal, won $140,400. Attention now turns to the A$1,150 Pot Limit Omaha event, which attracted 188 entries and is now down to the final 9 players. Christine Hia will have the chip lead when action resumes on Tuesday as players fight for the $50,473 first place prize.
– Monday’s featured Grinderschool.com poker training video of the day is a continuation of Carroter’s “Adjusting to Player Types” series. In this episode, Carroters focuses on playing against short stacks.
– From the Fake News Bin: Ramon Colillas files for bankruptcy due to high resort fees, less than two weeks after winning the PokerStars Players Championship
Best poker videos on YouTube
– Andrew Neeme is back in Las Vegas, where he sits down for a $2/$5 No Limit Hold’em and talks about some recent hands and legal developments in the United States.
– In his latest vlog, Brad Owen plays the biggest game of his life as he tests the waters in $10/$25NL