Fintan Hand and Arlie Shaban Clash On The Bubble While Both Streaming The PokerStars $109 Daily Kickoff

Two members of PokerStars Team PRO Online clashed in a hand on the bubble of the PokerStars $109 Daily Kickoff while both pros were live streaming on Twitch.

Fintan Hand and Arlie Shaban seemed to take joy from trying to get the best of the other while playing in the $18k guaranteed tournament on Saturday. The two got heads up on the bubble in a flip situation with Hand’s tournament life on the line.

Though the poker hand wasn’t anything special, watching the dueling streams that each posted on Twitter proved to be quite entertaining.

You can watch the clips from both sides during the hand below.

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published 10 months, 4 weeks ago • by permalink

Spain Introduces New Advertising Restrictions

Spain’s Counsel of Ministers has approved a new set of advertising regulations for gambling operators in the country. The latest decree is aimed at private companies working in the gaming industry and it severely limits their ability to market their products and services.

Advertising guidelines in Spain are already very strict as it is but these recent changes are likely to have a significant impact on the bottom line of the regulated operators while simultaneously creating an opening for unlicensed sites.

Namely, new rules stipulate that gambling sites are only allowed to advertise their services during late night hours, between 1am and 5am. Furthermore, they are no longer allowed to enter sponsorship deals with sports organizations.

State Monopoly under the Guise of Care for the Players?

On the face of it, new measures have been introduced to protect the most vulnerable, i.e. those with gambling issues. However, the evidence suggests that there may be a different motivation for the latest restrictions.

First of all, Spain is one of the countries with the lowest percentage of problem gamblers. Studies suggest that of all gamblers, only 0.3% belongs to the risk group, which is way below the global average that stands at around 4% – 5%.

Secondly, new rules don’t apply equally to all operators.

While private companies are forced to adhere to very stringent rules, state-run lotteries seem to be exempt from them. They continue to run their advertisements during all hours, use suggestive language, and sponsor sports.

If the government is truly set on protecting players, it’s strange that lotteries are given so much freedom, given that their adverts account for about 34% of the overall marketing expenditure in the country. On top of that, state-run lotteries account for 65% of the overall gambling revenue, much more than online poker in Spain and other gambling activities combined.

Shaping Players’ Opinion

The government may be claiming that their only concern is for the players but things don’t quite add up. The EGBA has issued the warning that these new rules are in violation of the EU laws and are discriminatory towards private companies.

Jdigital, an association that brings together a large percentage of all gaming operators in the country, has echoed this sentiment, also emphasizing that this is a manipulative move that aims to try and shape the players’ view.

It is as if the government is trying to say that there is “good gambling” and “bad gambling”, with lotteries clearly being the former.

Jdigital is also warning that these measures could easily backfire and actually hurt the very segment the government is claiming they want to protect. With regulated operators so severely restricted, doors will be wide open for unlicensed sites to come in and make a tidy profit.

All the currently existing evidence suggests that new regulations are exaggerated and uncalled for. With such a low percentage of pathological gamblers, the Spanish government seems to be using an invalid argument to create an even more favorable environment for state lotteries that bring in billions to the state coffers every year.

While additional measures to protect the most vulnerable players have been introduced by regulators all over Europe, there is a distinct feeling that consumers weren’t in the focus of the latest decree on advertising.

The preferential treatment given to state-owned gambling operations suggests that the idea isn’t to protect the players but rather shift their interest towards specific forms of gambling (i.e. lotteries) using regulations that contradict the ideas of free market and fair competition.

published 10 months, 4 weeks ago • by permalink

Partypoker’s MILLIONS Online Tournament Set to Return in February 2021

Partypoker has confirmed that its extravagant & audacious online tournament, MILLIONS Online, will make a comeback for its fourth edition next year in February.

The announcement was made last week after the operator in conjunction with the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced plans for all the live and online events that will be taking place at partypoker in 2021.

“It’s confirmed – MILLIONS Online is returning in February 2021, and it’s time for you to claim your seat,” the operator’s MILLIONS Online webpage states.

The upcoming edition of the MILLIONS Online will be the operator’s fourth edition of MILLIONS Online. It debuted in 2017 with $5 million in guarantees for a buy-in of $5300.

A year later the tournament returned with the same buy-in but four times bigger guarantee than the inaugural edition of $20 million making it the richest online poker tournament at that time.

Despite its ultra-ambitious guarantee, the tournament easily covered its $20 million guarantee attracting 4367 total entries to build a prize pool of $21.8 million.

It repeated the same performance in 2019 beating its $20 million guarantee again but fell shy short of the 2018 record.

However, this record was recently broken by GGPoker after it hosted the WSOP Online Main Event that saw the prize pool reach over $27 million.

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The exact dates are expected to be announced soon although as per partypoker’s LIVE website, MILLIONS Online 2021 is tentatively scheduled to run from February 7 to 24. The buy-in will move back to the $5300 price point.

It also remains to be seen whether the tournament will sport another $20 million guarantee as it did in the previous two outings.

As seen every year, there will be plenty of side events running alongside the MILLIONS Online with further details to be announced soon.

Satellites are already underway at partypoker with buy-ins starting as low as 50 cents.

published 11 months ago • by permalink