Tuesday, August 21, 2018 11:57 AM

Budd Beaman and Straton Wilhelm Emerge as WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1E and 1F Chip Leaders

Casino News Daily
Budd Beaman and Straton Wilhelm Emerge as WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1E and 1F Chip Leaders

The fifth and sixth starting flights of the WPT500 Los Angeles were completed on Monday at the host venue, the Bicycle Casino. Days 1E and 1F brought the field of the brand-new edition of the popular event to a total of 764 entries. And the survivors from these two starting flights will be able to join their fellow competitors from the previous few days to progress all together into Day 2 of the $570 buy-in tournament.

Day 1E kicked off at 11 am local time at the hosting casino. It drew a 105-strong field, but there were only five survivors left when organizers called it a day. Budd Beaman ended the day as the chip leader with a stack of 647,000. A look at the player’s Hendon Mob profile shows that he has a little over $8,200 in live tournament earnings, but if he keeps his momentum into the upcoming days of the WPT500 Los Angeles, he might change that and at a hefty payout to his bankroll.

Erik Nason with 574,000, Marc Robinson with 398,000, William Wolf with 292,000, and Ilya Shpiner with 190,000 were the other four players to make it through Day 1E. They will all return to the host venue on Sunday, August 26, for Day 2 action.

The Day 1F Survivors

Day 1F featured a Turbo structure. It kicked off at 5 pm at the host venue to create a field of 51 entries. There were just three players left at the end of that sixth starting flight. Straton Wilhelm was the player to bag and tag the largest chip stack of Day 1F with 522,000. The player finished the day with a considerable chip advantage over his two other fellow competitors. Abdulaziz Alaquil with 264,000 and Thuy Nguyen with 235,000 were the other two to bag for the night.

The WPT500 Los Angeles has attracted a total of 764 entries over the course of its first six starting flights and that original field has been reduced to just 39 hopefuls.

There are ten more starting flights set to be played within the tournament, two on each of the next five days through Sunday, when Day 2 will take place and survivors from all starting days will gather together for the very first time. Sunday action will involve the hopefuls reducing the field to the final nine. The official final table of the tournament will thus be played on Monday when a winner will be determined.

The event features a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. The guarantee is yet to be crashed but there is still plenty of time for that to happen with the unlimited opportunities for an entry into the tournament.

The Day 1A chip leader Peter Hengsakul is actually holding the overall chip lead among the 39 remaining players. The player bagged and tagged 1.151 million at the end of his respective starting day to top the temporary chip counts chart with a significant advantage. The WPT 500 Los Angeles is not an unknown field for the poker professional. Last year, he finished third in the tournament for a monetary prize of $100,000.

The post Budd Beaman and Straton Wilhelm Emerge as WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1E and 1F Chip Leaders appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Three NJ Online Casinos Join Forces With Evolution, Add Live Dealer Games

Three NJ Online Casinos Join Forces With Evolution, Add Live Dealer Games
three birds

Hard Rock online, 888 Casino, and SugarHouse open the virtual doors to live dealer games on their NJ gambling sites. Live casino popularity is exploding into the NJ online casino market.

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Kindred Partners with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey

Kindred Partners with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey

Kindred Group has entered into an agreement with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, in New Jersey. The agreement spans 5+5 years and is an important first step for Kindred to offer online sports betting and gaming in the US.

Monday, August 20, 2018 5:42 PM

The Russian eSports Hype Is Real and Here to Stay

Casino News Daily
The Russian eSports Hype Is Real and Here to Stay

Competitive video gaming has a long history of ups and downs in Russia. The ups involved the country’s eSports community growing tremendously in the number of its members and their accomplishments, while the hardships were predominantly caused by lack of sufficient funding, heavy bureaucracy, and censorship.

However, despite the challenges over the years, the country’s eSports industry now seems to be in a nice and comfortable position to expand further, and recent announcements about financial support from wealthy investors and recognition from Russian authorities represent developments in the right direction.

And as the Russian eSports industry is performing beautifully and is anticipating even better times, eSports betting is developing right alongside competitive video gaming in the country. In fact, this trend is not limited to Russia and can be easily spotted everywhere else in the world where eSports has taken off.

How has competitive video gaming developed in Russia and what will come next for what now clearly seems to be a lucrative market? Why have investors grown bullish on eSports? And what challenges betting operators are facing in their efforts to create a profitable eSports gambling market in Russia? These are some of the questions Casino News Daily’s team is looking to answer to in its latest industry report.

The Dawn of eSports in Russia

eSports in Russia can trace its roots back to the late 1990s. Competitive video gaming gained popularity in the country in a manner not that different from other parts of the world. Groups of friends would gather together to play until late into the night. Word would spread about a new exciting pastime until a full-blown industry would eventually be created. And what initially started as a tight community of players would develop into a behemoth network.

According to the latest edition of the Global eSports Market Report, produced earlier this year by Newzoo, the global eSports market was worth more than $650 million last year and is anticipated to grow 38% by the end of 2018 to over $900 million.

A separate study conducted by PayPal and gaming market research house SuperData showed that Europe’s eSports market was worth $301 million in 2016 and was expected to reach $346 million by the end of 2018. Sweden claimed the largest eSports revenue share in SuperData’s report with $40.8 million, while Russia trailed not far behind with $35.4 million.

However, the growth of the country’s eSports industry was preceded by a tumultuous period, during which the organization representing the Russian eSports community was struggling to secure the activity’s status as a rightful member of Russia’s list of officially recognized sports.

The Russian eSports Federation was originally established in March 2000 and was registered a year later. According to official information from the federation’s website it has organized more than 1,000 competitions, including hundreds of national tournaments, since its foundation. Competitive video gaming was included into Russia’s list of sports in the summer of 2001 and was officially recognized as such in 2004.

However, eSports was forced to leave the Russian Sport Register in late 2006. The lack of sufficient funding and support from government institutions as well as the heavy bureaucracy involving a sport’s recognition as such had taken their toll on competitive gaming, despite the rapid growth it enjoyed within the country’s gaming community.

It took some time before eSports was able to reassume its place in the register in 2016. And a year later, it cemented its spot there with its official entry into “the core part of the register” to become “equal” to the other recognized sports in Russia.

Russia’s eSports Industry Now

As mentioned above, eSports is a big industry in Russia and is showing a great potential for future growth and expansion. Recent developments from the country from the past several years have shown that the eSports hype is real and is here to stay.

While competitive gaming had somewhat struggled to gain proper financing in the past, it has now become a new favorite field for wealthy Russia businessmen. And wealthy Russian businessmen are well-known for their generosity when it comes to something they feel passionate about.

Earlier this year, Russian eSports giant ESForce was sold to Internet services company Mail.Ru for the reported amount of $100 million. Mail.Ru is a subsidiary of USM Holdings, a company led by Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov. Mr. Usmanov is known to be the owner of a large stake in English Premier League club Arsenal FC and has been making the headlines for his reported close ties with Kremlin. The businessman has been backing financially ESForce since at least 2015, spotting the potential of a company that is now among the CIS eSports powerhouses.

Private investor Nikolai Belykh has also joined the club of wealthy Russians to have felt tempted by this relatively new but quickly growing field. News emerged earlier this year that the businessman has purchased a 25% stake in Winstrike for a reported price of $10 million. The company received the much needed financial backing as it was gearing up to extend its footprint across different jurisdictions and channels.

eSports Betting in Russia

With the popularity of eSports growing globally, another major trend has emerged in recent years and has showed that it was here to stay. As mentioned above, the global eSports market is expected to generate revenue of more than $900 million in 2018. And where there is huge money to be made, betting somehow always follows.

In other words, more and more players and viewers are ready to pour money into eSports betting, including the so-called “skin betting” and real-money wagering on the outcome of eSports events. Russia has not been slow to keep pace with that trend, as well. Being a nation where betting and gambling, as a whole, have long been extremely popular (sometimes as underground activities), eSports betting has found a place to grow.

According to different data reports, the size of Russia’s sports betting market ranges from between $900 million to $3.5 billion. Those figures include both licensed and unlicensed operations. It is also important to note that only betting on sports events is considered legal in the country and is the only activity for which interested operators can obtain license from local regulators.

While it is absolutely impossible to say how much Russia’s eSports betting is worth, it is important to point out that a number of major international betting companies are targeting Russian bettors with eSports offering, which generally bodes well for the market.

And skin betting, just as anywhere else in the world, has created a whole underground economy in the country with its quite controversial nature. Skin betting has actually appeared on regulators’ radar screen multiple times. Last year, Russia’s super-vigilant watchdog Roskomnadzor, which, among other things, is tasked with cracking down on anything representing unlicensed gambling, blocked a number of Russian-language websites facilitating the provision of skin betting services to local eSports players. The agency justified its actions by arguing that sites of this kind targeted underage players.

eSports betting, that is real-money betting on eSports, possibly has as much potential for growth in Russia as sports betting. However, it faces quite the same challenges. In the first place, the proper advertising of betting services in the country is a major hurdle as there are very tight regulations on how and what can be advertised.

In addition, it can be said that Twitch has probably been one of the biggest channels for the popularization of eSports and betting on eSports in Russia. According to some reports, the country represents the popular streaming service’s second largest market in terms of viewership. However, regulators recently targeted Twitch in their attempts to crack down on services hosted by Amazon and Telegram, which was in turn part of a clampdown on services that were reportedly running anti-government messages. Russia-based Twitch users were thus unpleasantly surprised with the realization that they could not access the streaming platform.

eSports as well as betting on eSports are two lucrative markets that bring investors (and a whole new class of them) into the field. And it is clear that Russia’s eSports market is huge and ready to boom in the years to come. While the local industry might have cleared the financial backing hurdle as it has been drawing major investors, all of them bullish on its success, regulation and censorship are two of the big challenges that are here to attempt to hamper its future growth.

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The Latest New Addition To The NJ Sports Betting Scene: Kindred Group

The Latest New Addition To The NJ Sports Betting Scene: Kindred Group
NJ sports betting addition

Hard Rock and Kindred Group -- best known for its Unibet platform -- announced a new agreement last week. The deal allows Kindred to pursue a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License (CSIE) in New Jersey for sports betting and online gaming.

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Silver Bullet partner program -- RELAX GAMING

Silver Bullet partner program -- RELAX GAMING

Relax Gaming launched its new generation Silver Bullet partner program.

Sunday, August 19, 2018 5:48 AM

Peter Hengsakul Leads after WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1A and 1B

Casino News Daily
Peter Hengsakul Leads after WPT500 Los Angeles Days 1A and 1B

The WPT500 Los Angeles kicked off Saturday at the host venue, The Bicycle Casino, with two starting flights. As many as 331 entries registered into the $570 buy-in tournament during Days 1A and 1B, but only 17 of them will progress into Day 2.

The event features a total of fourteen starting flights, running all the way through August 25, so there is still a plethora of opportunities for interested players to enter it for a chance at the title and the lion’s share of the prize pool. But without much further ado, here is how action unfolded during the two starting flights.

Day 1A action kicked off at 11:30 am local time at the host casino. As many as 251 players entered through that first starting flight, but there were just 13 of them left at the tables of The Bicycle when organizers called it a day. Play was stopped with 24:51 remaining in Level 21.

Peter Hengsakul bagged the largest chip stack at the end of Day 1A. The player put a total of 1.151 million in his bag. Hengsakul has a massive chip lead over his fellow Day 1A survivors, with Robert Zeidman standing nearest to him in the leaderboard with 620,000. It is interesting to note that Hengsakul finished third in the previous edition of the WPT500 Los Angeles, which took place in May 2017. The player collected $100,000 for his deep run in that event.

Day 1B Action

The Day 1B (Turbo) starting flight kicked off at 5 pm at the host venue. It attracted 80 entrants, but only four of them survived to the very end of the ordeal. Peter Neff ended play as the chip leader with 714,000. This means that Hengsakul is the overnight chip leader of the first two starting flights of the tournament and will be heading the remaining 17 players into Day 2 next Sunday.

Day 1B concluded with 18:09 remaining in Level 22, blinds standing at 8,000-16,000. After all starting flights are completed and Day 2 begins, the blinds are set to be rocked back to the earliest finish of all fourteen Day 1s.

WPT500 action is set to resume at 11:30 am today at The Bicycle for Day 1C. Day 1D is scheduled to begin at 5 pm local time. Unlimited re-entries into the tournament are allowed until registration closes before the start of Level 9. Day 2 of the tournament will take place on Sunday, August 26. The remaining survivors will play down to the final 9 who will return on Monday to determine the winner.

The previous edition of the WPT500 Los Angeles was hosted by The Gardens Casino in the spring of 2017. The tournament was entered by 3,266 participants, who generated a prize pool of over $1.6 million. The top 263 finishers received a share of the money, min-cashes starting from $1,300. Poker pro Dong Le took down the event to collect a first-place prize of $224,500.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:00 AM

Vittorio Faricelli Wins Opening Event at WSOP Circuit Foxwoods

Casino News Daily
Vittorio Faricelli Wins Opening Event at WSOP Circuit Foxwoods

The second stop on the 2018/2019 WSOP Circuit schedule is now in full swing, with Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut currently playing host to the popular series. And a first gold ring has already been awarded to its rightful winner as part of the ongoing poker festival.

Vittorio Faricelli, a real estate broker from Brooklyn, New York, won last night his first piece of WSOP Circuit paraphernalia after a near-miss in Atlantic City earlier this year. The player took down the opening $400 No-Limit Hold’em at Foxwoods after two days of poker action.

The tournament drew a field of 113 entries who created a prize pool of $37,290. The top 12 finishers were treated to a share of the prize pool, with min-cashes starting from $779. Each of the nine final tablists was guaranteed a minimum payout of $963. As for the winner, he collected $11,187 to accompany his gold ring.

This was Faricelli’s fifth cash from the WSOP Circuit and seventh from a WSOP-branded event. Earlier this summer, the player finished in the money in the $1,111 Little One for ONE DROP for $1,593 and The Closer $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $4,021.

As mentioned above, the latest WSOP Circuit gold ring winner nearly claimed the piece earlier this year. Faricelli reached heads-up against Joshua Clanton in a $365 No-Limit Hold’em event at Harrah’s Atlantic City, but eventually placed second.

Event Highlights

The opening $400 No-Limit Hold’em at Foxwoods turned out to be Faricelli’s lucky one. The tournament was played over two days. The second day of action saw just three players return to battle it out for the first-place prize and the gold ring.

The eventual champion was holding the chip lead with 774,000 at the time cards were thrown in the air for Day 2 action. Lowell Kim held the second largest stack with 641,000, and James Campbell was the short stack with just under 300,000.

The event’s second day was a relatively short one. Campbell busted in third place for $4,922 and left it to Faricelli and Kim to square off for the gold ring. Faricelli was leading at the beginning of heads-up, but Kim managed to double up early into the match. However, the eventual champion rapidly gained pace to extend his advantage significantly until the final hand was dealt.

The two players got it all in with Faricelli tabling [Ac][6c] to Kim’s [10d][9d]. Faricelli’s ace-high kept him comfortable all the way through the river when he scored a straight for extra advantage. Kim was thus eliminated in second place for a payout of $6,914.

Commenting on his triumph last night, Faricelli said that his general positive attitude has helped him a lot in difficult situations on and off the poker felt. The player said that lately he has been running great not just in poker but in life as a whole. Faricelli recently wed his partner Pamela and is having his best life as a newlywed.

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INTERPOL-Led Operation Busts Thousands of Illegal World Cup Gambling Dens across Asia

Casino News Daily
INTERPOL-Led Operation Busts Thousands of Illegal World Cup Gambling Dens across Asia

An INTERPOL-led operation during the 2018 World Cup invovled thousands of raids being carried out across the Asia-Pacific region and suspects being arrested on illegal gambling charges, the organization said in a Friday press release.

The seventh installment of operation SOGA (short for soccer gambling) was conducted in the period between June 22 and July 16, or over the course of the major football championship. Coordinated by INTERPOL’s Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate and involving local police departments, SOGA VII saw 14,900 raids at what appeared to be illegal gambling dens be carried out. The illegal gambling operations were estimated to have handled more than $1.6 billion worth of bets ahead of and during this year’s World Cup. Raids took place across China, including Macau and Hong Kong, as well as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

During the nearly month-long operation, police seized more than 1,000 computers, mobile phones, and other equipment allegedly used for the provision of illegal gambling services as well as more than $1.7 million in cash. INTERPOL said Friday that the equipment seized is being analyzed to help police authorities in future operations and assist current investigations.

Commenting on the international World Cup illegal gambling operation, Chief Superintendent Tat-Shing Man of the Hong Kong Organized Crime and Triad Bureau hailed operation SOGA VII as success and attributed that to the “power of global and regional police cooperation through INTERPOL”. INTERPOL said Friday that 242 arrests were made and $16.8 million worth of betting slips were seized in Hong Kong alone during the operation.

”Clear Shift” from Physical to Online Betting Services

Operation SOGA VII highlighted a clear and significant shift from physical sports betting to online betting. Paul Stanfield, Director of Organized and Emerging Crime at INTERPOL, explained that illegal online sports betting platforms have brought an “international dimension” to the illegal gambling issue.

Such platforms are usually located in jurisdictions with fuzzy and underdeveloped betting regulations, the official went on to say, which presented additional challenges for police during the SOGA VII operation. According to Mr. Stanfield, a coordinated international response would be needed to tackle the problem, particularly given the fact that illegal gambling is rapidly moving from physical premises to the Internet.

Among other things, coordinated police efforts uncovered that regionally popular messaging apps have become a major channel for targeting bettors. During the World Cup, WeChat closed more than 50,000 accounts and 8,000 group chats related to illegal gambling.

INTERPOL said in its Friday statement, that all seven installments of the SOGA operations have resulted in more than 30,000 arrests, the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens, which were estimated to have handled more than $8 billion worth of bets on football matches, and the seizure of $57 million in cash.

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Friday, August 17, 2018 5:57 PM

SugarHouse NJ Online Casino Joins Live Dealer Party With Evolution Gaming

SugarHouse NJ Online Casino Joins Live Dealer Party With Evolution Gaming
sugarhouse nj live dealer

The lateest wave of NJ online gambling sites to launch live dealer games continues with SugarHouse joining the fray alongside Hard Rock online and 888 Casino NJ.

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Mystery Prize Gaming Machines Now Deemed Illegal Gambling in Singapore

Casino News Daily
Mystery Prize Gaming Machines Now Deemed Illegal Gambling in Singapore

Mystery prize vending machines are now illegal in Singapore, according to an announcement made by local police cited by news outlet the Straits Times. A ban on the machines is being rolled out as their number has grown tremendously over the past year and at least four operators of such devices have been found to have set up business in shopping malls, retail stores, and arcades across the city-state.

Generally speaking, the machines in question dispense random non-monetary prizes upon receiving a cash payment by players. They usually charge between S$5 and S$10. The “mystery box” prizes they dispense are usually of low value, but operators of the machines often promote them as ones that offer customers the chance to win big prize such as gaming consoles and smartphones.

According to a Thursday statement by the local police, the devices represented a form of public lottery and were therefore breaching provisions of the Common Gaming Houses Act. The statement further read that operators of such vending machines were advised to cease their operations. Under Singapore’s gambling laws, violators of its provisions face prison time of up to five years and fines of between S$20,000 and S$200,000.

The machines originally gained popularity in Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan, but have quickly taken off across Singapore over the past year, the Straits Times reports.

Claw Machines Not Gambling

Police clarified that unlike “mystery box” machines, those at arcades that allow customers to grab a prize with a claw in exchange for a certain fee, are not considered illegal gambling. The reason was that players can easily see the prizes they are paying and playing for.

When asked whether other forms of mystery boxes, including ones offered on e-commerce platforms, should be deemed gambling, authorities said that it is up to the public to seek legal advice on matters of this nature.

Commenting on whether mystery prize vending machines posed a threat to players, addiction specialist Thomas Lee told the Straits Times that he did not think the risks of addiction were that big. He went on to say that the only real danger is that children can get hooked up and spend money on them.

According to the expert, the idea behind gambling is that people wager on a random outcome, on something they do not have control over, and that it does not really matter whether there is something at the end or not, as it is still gambling.

The Straits Times further reports that mystery prize vending machines across a number of shopping malls, arcades, and stores have been removed overnight, following the Thursday statement from the police. However, there were still several facilities that featured the devices, with their owners claiming they did not know that those were now illegal.

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Ticket to ride: Bacta highlight safety commitment with ADIPS

Ticket to ride: Bacta highlight safety commitment with ADIPS

Bacta has launched an educational campaign to promote awareness of the key safety issues and responsibilities in relation to coin-operated children’s rides

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) Welcomed more than 80 Representatives from 19 Countries to its 11th Annual Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtable

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) Welcomed more than 80 Representatives from 19 Countries to its 11th Annual Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtable

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) welcomed more than 80 representatives from 33 government entities and 19 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain to its 11th Annual Latin American and Caribbean Regulators Roundtable. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:57 PM

Questions, Concerns Continue About Atlantic City Rail Line Shutdown

Questions, Concerns Continue About Atlantic City Rail Line Shutdown

Days after the NJ Transit announcement of a five-month shut down of the Atlantic City Rail Line in September, many are worried about the effect on AC casinos and commuters alike.

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Jeju Shinhwa World Casino Thrives Despite Chinese Boycott

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Jeju Shinhwa World Casino Thrives Despite Chinese Boycott

The Jeju Shinhwa World integrated resort located on South Korea’s Jeju Island has raked in KRW369.4 billion (approximately $327.7 million) in revenue since its grand opening in February, local news outlets report. The property features one of the island’s nine casinos as well as a number of non-gambling options.

The reported figure places Jeju Shinhwa World well ahead of its local rivals. According to official data, Jeju Island’s other eight casinos generated the total amount of KRW136.5 billion during the same reviewed period. In addition, the Jeju Shinhwa World resort took in around five times more than South Korea’s biggest casino, Paradise City located in Incheon.

The Jeju Island-based resort was developed and is operated by Hong Kong-based real estate developer Landing International Development. The company commenced construction on what turned out to be a KRW2-trillion mega-scheme in 2014 and began opening the property in phases from April 2017. Aside from a gaming floor, the resort also features a hotel, a convention center, retail space, theme and water parks, a concert hall, and multiple food and beverage facilities.

Jeju Shinhwa World welcomed some 350,000 international visitors since it launched and around 115,000 played at its casinos, the resort has revealed.

Jeju Shinhwa World Shines amid Rivals’ Struggles

The Jeju Island has long been a popular hub for Chinese tourists. However, the island was among the places around South Korea to be hit the hardest last year by the economic cost of China’s unofficial but wide-ranging boycott of South Korean goods.

Among other things, Beijing banned group tours to Korea which saw the number of Mainland China visits to Jeju fall steeply. As a result, the island’s casinos, which relied heavily on Chinese VIP customers, experienced sharp declines in their gaming revenues.

Jeju Shinhwa World, on the other hand, appeared to have adopted a different model that eventually helped it mitigate the consequences of China’s ire. Instead of relying solely on Chinese customers, the resort stepped up its efforts to attract visitors from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Serena Eng, Vice President of Marketing at the casino, said that they assembled teams that had to draw and cater to VIP guests from Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan and hired more staff that spoke Cantonese and Taiwanese Mandarin instead of relying solely on Beijing-style Mandarin-speaking staff members. That helped Jeju Shinhwa World reduce the proportion of its guests from China to just 50%, compared to up to 90% at other resorts across the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, the resort’s casino paid special attention to VIP marketing as it derived 80% of its revenue namely from high roller players. The gaming floor at Jeju Shinhwa World currently features 165 gaming tables and half of these are dedicated to VIP players. In comparison, other resorts across the Jeju Island use just about 15% of their tables for high roller gaming action.

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Former WSOP Main Event Champ Ryan Riess Wins Big in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Casino News Daily
Former WSOP Main Event Champ Ryan Riess Wins Big in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is definitely Ryan Riess’ lucky poker venue. The player recently scooped his third poker title at the casino after besting the 91-person field of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10,000 One-Day event. Riess collected $236,838 for his performance and the tournament trophy.

The event took place on Monday at the host venue. As mentioned above, it drew 91 entrants who created a prize pool of $873,600 to absolutely smash the $500,000 guarantee. The event’s structure provided for fast and furious action at the poker tables. It featured 30-minute levels this year, a change from previous editions of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open festival. The top 12 finishers received a share of the money, with min-cashes kicking off from $21,857.

Poker pro Aaron Mermelstein was the unfortunate bubble boy to bust out in 13th place. He was followed by James Calderaro whose twelfth-place finish secured him with the first payout of the tournament.

Notables who failed to make it into the money included Elio Fox, who topped the field of the SHRPO $50,000 Super High Roller just a couple of days ago, and WPT champ James Romero. Stephen Chidwick, Barry Hutter, and Ben Yu were among the tournament regulars to cash from the One-Day event, but failed to claim the title.

Final Stage of Play

The short levels allowed players to reach the final stages of the tournament quite quickly. It was not that long before Riess and Ray Qartomy were the last two players left in contention. Riess was the chip leader ahead of heads-up. He came on top the chip counts chart late into play to never look back. As for Qartomy, it can be said that he controlled action throughout the greater portion of the final table.

Instead of squaring off for the title, the two remaining finalists decided to strike a deal and split what had left of the prize pool based on their chip counts. Riess was thus crowned the tournament’s champion and collected the lion’s share of the prize pool, good for $236,838, while Qartomy scooped a $206,297 for his runner-up finish.

Riess has previously won two other tournaments at the same casino. Last April, the player took down the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $10,000 Finale for a first-place prize of $716,088. And in the spring of 2015, he won a $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em tournament that was part of that year’s edition of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. His payout from that tournament totaled $63,891.

Despite his numerous successes on the live tournament felt, Riess is still best known for capturing the most coveted poker title on the planet – the WSOP Championship. The player won the Main Event in 2013 to collect a first-place prize of $8,361,570. Including his latest live tournament cash, Riess now has more than $12.2 million in live tournament earnings.

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