PokerStars announces APPT 2019 date

Hot off the press, PokerStars has just announced two dates to one of their most popular tours, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT). The last time this event took place was in August 2018 in the Philippines with a record-breaking 1,364 entries for the Main Event. The tour will come back back to Manila once again but first, they head to Incheon, Korea.

According to the announcement,
APPT Korea will take place from April 5 to 14 at Paradise City in the Incheon complex, The KRW 1,800,000 buy-in Main Event, starting April 11 will feature a KRW 300,000,000 guarantee, with other event highlights including:
APPT Korea Kick Off – April 5-6, 2019 – Buy-in KRW 350,000 (KRW 50 million GTD)APPT Korea National – April 7-8, 2019 – Buy-in KRW 700,000 (KRW 80 million GTD)APPT Korea High Roller – April 13-14, 2019 – Buy-in KRW 5,000,000
Following that leg, the tour heads to Manila from July 26 to August 4. The event will take place at the official hub of PokerStars LIVE Manila in Okada Manila.
Events highlighted are:
APPT Main Event – August 1-4, 2019 – Buy-in PHP 65,000 (PHP 20 million GTD)APPT Manila Kick Off – July 26-27, 2019 – Buy-in PHP 16,000 (PHP 3 million GTD)APPT Manila National- July 28-29, 2019 – Buy-in PHP 33,000 (PHP 5 million GTD)
PokerStars future in Asia
OkadaEver since the International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) headed by Stanley Choi was granted the rights to handle all PokerStars LIVE events in Asia – with the exception of the Philippines hub – the hype seems to have fallen flat. So far, only one festival has been produced in Korea last year, and this year, only Korea again has been announced.
This is unlike the recently relocated PokerStars LIVE Manila room in Okada Manila with its busy schedule. The year already kicked off with the Manila Super Series 10 and will be followed by the Okada Millions.
Several questions loom. Will the APPT 2019 season surpass its 2018 edition of four events?
Also will they be able to draw the same big numbers as last year without the PSPC Platinum Pass powerful marketing tool? At this time, no incentive of such kind has been offered. Another pressing question is Macau. PokerStars drew players from all over the world to Macau for their events.
Will there be a return to Macau? If so, when? Currently the only festival organized is handled by the Poker King group.
Article by Tricia David
The post PokerStars announces APPT 2019 date appeared first on Somuchpoker.


Record-breaking 822 players at the Aussie Millions 2019 Main Event; 169 remain; numerous Asian players in contention

The ground was shaking down under with a record-breaking 822 players turning up for the AU$10,600 buy-in Aussie Millions 2019 Main Event. Year after year, this annual event never fails to draw players from all around the world that it has now become one of the most sought after titles next to the WSOP Main Event.
As expected, the list of highly decorated players in the field was extensive. Since this was a freezeout tournament, everyone gunned to survive the first stage. By the completion of all the starting days, only half the field advanced to Day 2 – 405 players (to be exact) – which was further cut to 169 at the end of the day.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
Day 1A – 165 – 79 advanced
Day 1B – 268 – 135 advanced
Day 1C – 364 – 191 advanced
Day 2 – 25 late registration
Total entries – 822
Prize pool of AU$8,220,000 (~US$5.9 Million)
ITM: 88 places

With an addional 25 entries this today, the 2019 #AussieMillions Main Event has been officially locked out at 822 players – the largest field in its 20+ year history!!!
— Crown Poker (@CrownPoker) January 30, 2019 read more


Online Casinos for New Zealand Players

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National Football League selects Caesars Entertainment as first-ever official casino sponsor

Landmark sponsorship is the first-ever national casino agreement for the NFL. Caesars Entertainment will provide unique experiences for NFL fans by engaging its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainers.
The National Football League have announced they have selected Caesars Entertainment Corporation as the first-ever Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL.
Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multi-year sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.
Caesars will have the exclusive right to use NFL trademarks in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote Caesars casino properties and activate at key NFL events including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with one of the world’s largest gaming and entertainment companies,” said Renie Anderson, Senior Vice President, NFL Partnerships, Sponsorship and Consumer Products. “Combining the NFL with Caesars’ expertise in world class entertainment will provide our fans unique experiences both here in the United States and abroad.”
“All of us at Caesars Entertainment are thrilled to be the first-ever casino partner of the NFL, the most prominent sports league in North America,” said Mark Frissora, President and CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “Combining the league’s 180 million fans with our 55 million Total Rewards loyalty program members will expose millions of people to the exclusive and exciting year-round opportunities at our properties.”
Seven NFL Clubs have relationships with Caesars Entertainment, including the Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Colts, Saints, Raiders and Eagles. These partnerships, along with the new League deal, are for the Casino category only and do not include sports betting, daily fantasy or hotels/resorts.
Caesars, alongside other properties on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, will host elements of the 2020 Draft in coordination with the City of Las Vegas to help create this historic event.


Chanticleer Holdings Durban South Africa Hooters Awarded Gaming License

Two Machines Installed and Live with Three Planned for January Install.
Chanticleer Holdings, Inc, owner, operator, and franchisor of multiple nationally recognized restaurant brands have announced that it has been awarded a gaming license for its Durban South Africa Hooters location.
Two gaming machines were successfully installed in December and are now live and contributing to revenues. The Company expects three additional machines to be fully installed and live in January bringing the total gaming machines to five for this location. The Company anticipates being awarded additional licenses for its other South Africa locations, excluding its Emperor’s Palace Casino location.
Mike Pruitt, Chanticleer Holdings Chief Executive Officer stated, “We are pleased to have been awarded a gaming license on the heels of a nearly yearlong process now allowing for the installation of gaming machines in our Durban Hooters location. We believe this license has the potential to pave the way to adding gaming to our remaining South Africa locations providing a strong and complementary new revenue vertical. Durban is our original flagship location and houses our South Africa corporate office.
Chanticleer owns and operates five Hooters restaurants in South Africa, one in Durban, three in Johannesburg and one in Pretoria.


Esports Entertainment Group Opens New Global Headquarters In Malta, Hires Two Key Executives

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc, a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce the hiring of two key executives and the opening of our new global headquarters in Malta.
Malta was chosen due to its strategic location within the European Union, as well as, access to a highly educated and multi-lingual workforce, especially in the fields of online gambling.  The Malta office launch includes two key executive hires and will serve as the new global headquarters of the Company, with additional personnel expected to be added through 2019 as the Company ramps up development of its esports betting operations through, the world’s first and most transparent esports betting exchange.
The Company is pleased to announce the hiring of the following two key executives:
Adrien J. Lefèvre – Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
Adrien has served as a Compliance Officer, including Regulatory Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer in the gaming industry since 2015, including his most recent position with The Multi Group Ltd.  He will be responsible for creating an integrated risk framework, assess risk, quantify risk limits, develop plans to mitigate risks and manage any new license applications in any regulated jurisdictions.  His extensive experience at all levels of compliance will be invaluable as Esports Entertainment Group pursues additional gambling licenses in 2019 to further strengthen its market position and rapidly expand into new geographic regions.
Jenny Pace – Head Of Payments
Jenny has specialized in payments processing for almost 25 years, including her most recent position as Country Manager and Director of Western Union Business Solutions in Malta since 2009, where she maintained full leadership and operational control.  Her list of responsibilities will be extensive, including but not limited to, managing our relationships with banks, credit card companies and payment processors, as well as, insuring provides its players with the most up to date payment options. Given the speed at which the payments world is changing, her extensive payments experience and industry relationships will be critical to the success of Esports Entertainment Group.
Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, stated, “The opening of our Malta office and the addition of our newest executives is a new milestone for Esports Entertainment Group. Malta is a full EU member nation that provides greater resources and the infrastructure necessary to continue our growth.  The addition of Jenny and Adrien significantly strengthens our regulatory and operational expertise.”


Top 10 achievements by Asia-Pacific players in the live scene of 2018

2018 has come to a close and what an incredible year it was for players from the Asia-Pacific region. While there are many to acknowledge, here’s our list of top 10 player achievements for the year:
Michael Soyza tops Asia GPI ranking
Michael Soyza – Photo PokerStarsMalaysian pro Michael Soyza turned up the notch this year accumulating over $2.65M in live tournament earnings and rising to top rank of the Asia GPI standings with 3,112,36 points. This also placed him 13th in the overall GPI ranking.
Among Soyza’s numerous deep cashes and victories were six payouts in the six-figure range. His first one was $148,629 for his triumph in April at the APPT Korea Main Event. Two months later, this was easily usurped by his victory at the DeepStack Championship Poker Series in Las Vegas for a massive take of $588,249. With half the year passed, he was not only cashing in big but was also raking in the GPI points.
In August, Soyza padded up another fat chunk of points for his wins at the APPT Manila High Roller BB Ante event and at the EPT Barcelona €10,300 NLH event. This also added another $400K combined to his live earnings.
At the end of October, Soyza placed 3rd at the largest buy-in event we’ve seen him cash in, the €100,000 NLH Leon’s High Roller event at the WSOPE in Rozvadov. Though the GPI points he earned for this event didn’t make the tally, he still shipped $592,594 for his largest live career payout. Just before closing out the year, Soyza collected a combined $500K in two high roller events at the Jeju Red Dragon Series.
More: GPI Asia #1 Michael Soyza talks success, career and more
Michael Addamo wins bracelets at the WSOP and WSOPE
Michael Addamo – Photo King’s CasinoFor the past two years, Australian pro Michael Addamo has come very close to clasping one of those coveted WSOP gold bracelets. That all changed in 2018. Not only did Addamo win a bracelet, he won one at the WSOP in Las Vegas and another at the WSOPE in Rozvadov.
After piling in deep runs in Australia and Hong Kong, Addamo took to the 2018 WSOP in June and bested a field of 1,637 at the $2,620 NLH – The Marathon event. He claimed $653,581 and the first WSOP gold bracelet of his career. Four months later, he was in Rozvadov, Czech Republic for the 2018 WSOPE. He won the €25,500 NLH High Roller event for his second WSOP bracelet. He overcame a field of 133 and earned his largest live career payout of €848,702 which is roughly around $980K.
Alexander Lynskey WSOP Main Event Final 9 + WSOP Sydney Main Event Champion
Alex Lynskey – Photo Star Poker / PokerNewsIn July, Australian pro Alexander Lynskey navigated through a crowd of 7,874 players to reach the WSOP Main Event final table of nine. He went on to finish in 7th place and scored a deserving payout of $1,500,000. This was his first seven-figure win.
In December, the WSOP was hosting its International Circuit in Sydney, Australia. The Main Event attracted a large field of 1,191 players. Lynskey won the event for A$422,796 to claim his first WSOP ring.
Ivan Leow’s Super High Roller run
Ivan Leow and Team MalaysiaSeng Yee Leow “Ivan” took the felt by storm this year going from just $123K in live tournament earnings to amassing over $5.8M. The bulk of his winnings came from Super High Roller events starting in May at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Montenegro. Though he didn’t champion any events there, he scooped up a combined $450K for his two 6th place finishes.
The month of July was when it all broke open for Leow. He cashed in three events at the Triton Poker series in Jeju, one of which was a victory at the HK$500K NLH – Short Deck Only event. This awarded him over HK$8,470,000 which was just over US$1M. That leg earned him a combined US$1.53M.
Immediately after, he set off for Sochi, Russia for the Triton Super High Roller event at the partypoker MILLIONS. He powered over the 29 entrants for his second SHR career victory and second seven-figure payday of approximately US$1,133,555. The streak continued in September at WPT Korea in Incheon where he won a Super High Roller event for approximately US$118K and placed 2nd at another SHR event for US$156K.
In October, Leow championed the €100,000 NLH Leon’s High Roller at the WSOPE in Rozvadov, adding around US$1.4M to his insane list of SHR winnings. His last score was at the end of November. He finished 4th at the Jeju Red Dragon Series SHR event for over US$250K.
Mike Takayama brings home the first WSOP bracelet for the Philippines
Mike Takayama & Team PhilippinesFilipino pro Mike Takayama is a very well-known figure in the Philippines poker circuit with a long list of achievements earned in his home country since 2014. This year however was a particularly big one. Takayama took on the world stage for the first time, trekking to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual WSOP.
For his debut visit, he impressed his fans with a victory at the US$1K NLH Super Bounty event. He became the first Filipino to win a WSOP bracelet. He also earned $198,568 which is his largest live score to-date. At the series, Takayama also placed 32nd at the Double Stack Event for $17,814 and 421st at the Main Event for $29,625.
More: Interview with Mike Takayama, the first Filipino WSOP bracelet winner
Iori Yogo wins three APT major titles
Iori Yogo – Photo APTAPT Player of the Year 2016 champion Iori Yogo had another strong year in the APT circuit. Among his numerous deep runs were victories in major events. In March, he won the P110,000 APT Championships Event after overcoming several close calls against runner-up Lester Edoc. He won roughly $45,800. In August, he won the APT Main Event in Korea, Incheon for around $36,100; then in December, he won a second APT Championships Event, this one with a much higher buy-in of P165,000. He became the first player to win two APT Championships Event titles. Yogo pocketed roughly $54,700. This year saw the Japanese pro cash 17 times at the APT.
Wei Guo Liang wins the Little One for One Drop
Wei Guo Liang – Photo WSOPOne of the most popular events in the WSOP lineup is the $1,111 NLH – Little One for One Drop. This year saw another big field of 4,732 entries for a prize pool of $4,258,800. Several Asian players ran very deep here but none as deep as Chinese pro Wei Guo Liang. Wei championed the event to capture his first WSOP bracelet and $559,332. He became the fourth Chinese national to win a WSOP gold.
Tetsuya Tsuchikawa adds an APT Main Event title to his portfolio
Tetsuya Tsuchikawa – Photo APTOne of the Asian Poker Tour’s biggest supporters / promoters is Japanese pro Tetsuya Tsuchikawa. Through the years, the number of Japanese players attending the APT circuit has grown due to his efforts. Tsuchikawa is a highly accomplished poker player with stats dating back to 2011. He has won a WPT Main Event, a PokerStars Manila Main Event, and after two near APT Main Event victories – one in 2012 and another in 2014 – finishing runner-up in both, Tsuchikawa finally secured a win at the APT Main Event in Vietnam this past October.
Lester Edoc collects 1st places in his home country
Lester EdocUp until this year, Filipino pro Lester Edoc only had one major title under his belt which he won at the International Poker Open Main Event in Manila back in 2015. As of today, he now has another four, all of them won on home turf.
In February, Edoc won the Asia Poker League Road Series Philippines Main Event besting a field of 276 entries. This was immediately followed up with a win at the PokerStars Manila Super Series Main Event in March topping a field of 1,118 entries.
Later that same month, Edoc won the APT Philippines – Main Event and nearly captured the APT Championships Event of the same series. He fell in runner-up to Iori Yogo. In September, Edoc attended the APT Philippines II and took down the Main Event once again for back-to-back series victories. These major wins plus the 2nd place against Yogo earned him nearly $190K combined.
Philip King Chun Wang most cashes in 2018
Taiwanese player Philip King Chun Wang overtook Chinese player Xing Biao Zhu in the final stretch of the Hendon Mob 2018 Number of Cashes. He closed the year with 64 cashes, earning most of them in his home country and in the Philippines. His largest score though was at APPT Macau in January. He finished 2nd at the HK$55K NLH Megastack for HK$250,000 ($31,971).
As for Xing, he too had a commendable run. He led the race back in April and closed with 61 cashes. Interestingly, from January to April, Xing was very active in the scene. He cashed numerous times on each of those months to put him at the top of the list.
Then from May to September, it was zero activity. Xing did not post a single cash. When October rolled in, Xing was back on attack raking in the ITMs once again. At the AJPC Asian Circuit in Korea, he earned in 10 events, five of which were wins. To close out the year, he scored at another AJPC Korea event in December cashing in 9 events.
Article by Tricia David
The post Top 10 achievements by Asia-Pacific players in the live scene of 2018 appeared first on Somuchpoker.


Spotlight on the Metro Card Club: The year in review

2018 shined brightly on many destinations in Asia and for this article, we put our spotlight on the Metro Card Club aka Metro – one of the pioneers of poker in the Philippines.
For those unfamiliar with this incredibly popular poker joint, it is the largest brick and mortar poker room in the country, and for many years, it was the largest in Asia. Many of today’s top Filipino pros started at the Metro including Mike Takayama, the first homegrown Filipino 2018 WSOP bracelet winner.
This year was a very busy one at the Metro with festivals nearly every month. Since they cater to the wallets of the locals, as always buy-ins stay relatively low from P2,200 – P10,000 with guaranteed prize pools ranging from P750,000 to P5,000,000. Although they haven’t hosted an international event in quite some time, these home brewed festivals also attract foreign players residing and/or visiting the country.
Here’s a summary of the year’s biggest events and the champions:
February 7 to 12: P2 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P2,043,790
Entries – 602Winner – Rommel Angeles
April 11 to 16: Summer Event P3 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P3,294,500 ~US$62,000)
Entries – 599Winner – Joseph Sia
June 27 to July 2: Walk to a Million – P1 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P1,664,520 (~US$31,400)
Entries – 858Winner – Marvin Cerbito
August 22 to 27: P2 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P2,400,265 (~US$45,300)
Entries – 707Winner – Euryd Rivera
The P2 Million Guaranteed Main Event concluded with a highly thrilling final table. The last five players were all well-known figures in the local poker scene: John Tech, Mike Takayama, Lester Edoc, Marc Rivera, and Euryd Rivera. Euryd Rivera went on to defeat Marc Rivera at heads up and captured the trophy.
Euryd Rivera – Photo MetroOne month later, to introduce the Big Blind Ante system to their patrons, the Metro held a P1.5 Million Big Blind Ante festival. The format they chose was ante first, a similar structure used by the World Series of Poker. Since then, they’ve adapted this format for most of their tournaments.
September 26 to October 1: Big Blind Ante P1.5 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P1,455,000 (~US$27,400)
Entries – 472
Winner – Jharome Pena
When November rolled in, it was the time of year for the Metro’s biggest annual event, the RVS CUP Philippine Poker Championship. This event comes with a P5 Million guarantee. For the first time, the event was extended from 6 days to 11 days with pre-events added. Another addition was a Player of the Series title.
November 14 to 19: RVS CUP P5 Million Guaranteed
Prize pool – P5,665,770 (~US$107,000)
Entries – 649Winner – Marco AlmerezPlayer of the Series – Joven Huerto
Marco Almerez – Photo MetroThe Main Event witnessed the rise of Davao southern province favorite, Marco Almerez. Almerez overcame the likes of Mike Takayama and Lester Edoc at the final table. After this victory, Almerez went on to score another win at the Asian Poker Tour Finale festival. He won the APT-RWM Opening Day event defeating Takayama at heads up.
Metro creates Metro Team Pros
Team Pros – MetroIn July, several Filipino pros attended the 2018 World Series of Poker. This was the first time a strong contingent from the country entered the world stage in numbers. They did justice to their flag, cashing in numerous events, including the Main Event. Mike Takayama captured a bracelet after nearly giving up and packing for home. Hence the moniker “Batang Metro” sprung, translated as “Bred from Metro”, used to describe any player representing the room.
Upon their return, the Metro honored them for their achievements. Since then, a Metro Team Pro was formed. They comprise of Takayama. Lester Edoc, Marc Rivera, John Tech, Martin Gonzales, Ronald Singson, Mark Amparo, Joven Huerto, Czardy Rivera, Euryd Rivera, Alexis Lim, Terry Gonzaga, William Ysmael, and Nicandro Filart.
Article by Tricia David
The post Spotlight on the Metro Card Club: The year in review appeared first on Somuchpoker.


Schedule Preview for 50th WSOP Released

Back in the days when the WSOP was half a dozen men sat around a table playing what was basically a sit & go, few could have foreseen what the series would grow to be fifty years later. The WSOP is now the most recognisable and prestigious series on earth, and its 50th anniversary this summer will be marked by yet another packed schedule. Some of the details of that schedule were released into the public domain just a few days ago, and we now have a partial idea of what to expect in the summer. Here’s what we know so far.

Big 50
To mark the half-century point in the WSOP’s history, a new event has been added to the schedule. The Big 50 will command a $500 buy in, have 50-minute levels and a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. Players will begin with 50,000 chips and $1 million is guaranteed for the winner of the event. There is also an extra twist to the event, as the first entry of all players will be completely rake-free. This event will be one of the opening events of the series, beginning on May 30th and will permit players to re-enter on a subsequent starting day flight if they lose all their chips.
Other special June events
June 7th will see another event award $1 million to the player who lifts the bracelet. The Millionaire Maker has become a regular fixture on the WSOP schedule, with a $1,500 buy in fee and 60-minute levels. Expect a large field for this one, with each player starting off with 25,000 chips. The Monster Stack event will begin on June 21st and also costs $1,500 to enter. 50,000 chips and 60-minute levels should see a large field battling away for several days to determine a winner. The 28th of June sees another smaller buy in tournament with $888,888 guaranteed to the winner. The event is, of course the Crazy Eight’s event which has a buy in of $888.
Main Event
As ever, those looking to play the WSOP Main Event will have to stump up $10,000. The grandest tournament in the world will begin on July 3rd, consist of 2-hour blind levels and all players involved will start off with 60,000 chips. The guarantee for this event is yet to be set, but with a large field of 7,874 assembling at the Rio for the Main Event last year, this summer should see another healthy turnout.
May 30
Big 50
No-Limit Hold’em
50 minutes
$1m winner
May 31

50 minutes

June 1

50 minutes

June 2

50 minutes

June 7
Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em
60 minutes
$1 million to winner
June 8

60 minutes

June 13
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em (50+)
60 minutes
1 read more


LeoVegas Casino Review

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Thunderpick Targets US eSports Market with Unique Social Betting Platform

eSports betting operator Thunderpick is looking to bring its unique social betting platform to the United States after the removal of regulatory obstacles earlier this year. is one of the world’s fastest growing eSports betting platforms, boasting more than 275,000 customers wagering on eSports match-ups involving titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2. Having already reached profitability in 2018 since launching in 2016, Thunderpick is now looking to establish itself within burgeoning eSports betting markets in the US and beyond.
The platform is preparing for Series A funding to expand its operations and market share, becoming a household name in the global regulated eSports betting industry.
As one of the few licensed eSports-focused online betting operators, Thunderpick has grown impressively during the last two years, not only because of the expanding eSports audiences, but also due to the fact it does not resemble a traditional sports betting platform. Thunderpick’s mantra is that the needs of eSports enthusiasts aren’t best served by traditional online sportsbooks.
That’s why Thunderpick has sought to incorporate a host of real-time social functionality into its eSports betting platform, creating a community where eSports enthusiasts can watch and interact with other players in real time. It has also introduced a ranking and rewards system to the platform, with elements like a real-time leaderboard for players and social casino games that can be played with other eSports fanatics.
One of its most exciting new features in development is an interactive in-play betting functionality, allowing for real-time interactions with players, taking social gamification to the next level in eSports.
Before the end of this year, Thunderpick also plans to launch its exclusive mobile app, which will further enhance client engagement with the Thunderpick platform and allow eSports fanatics to keep abreast of live tournament action on the move.
Mateusz Jamiolkowski, co-founder of Thunderpick, believes the platform’s sustained success after just two years in operation underlines the potential for eSports betting.
“Unlike some cash-burning eSport start-ups, Thunderpick is already profitable. It confirms that we have secured a dedicated audience that puts trust in our products and integrity,” said Jamiolkowski.
“With the eSports market growing 14% year-on-year in terms of its fan base and over 27% year-on-year in revenue during the next three years, Thunderpick is ready for major investments to take eSports betting into the next decade and beyond.”
According to Newzoo, global eSports audiences are expected to rise from 380 million in 2018 to 550 million in 2021. Thunderpick’s approach to eSports betting – bringing together the social gamification that eSports fanatics thrive on – should enable the platform to scale new heights in the years to come.


eCOGRA explain why ICE London is ‘the one show that cannot be missed’

Shaun McCallaghan, CEO, eCOGRA
eCOGRA is a management owned company that was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 2003 with the purpose of establishing and improving operational standards and player safety requirements in the online gambling industry. Since then, eCOGRA has established itself as one of the industry’s leading testing and certification laboratories and acts as a regulatory audit partner to over 100 multi-jurisdictional operators, software providers and other relevant service providers. The organisation is the latest to make the transition from visitor to exhibitor. CEO Shaun McCallaghan explains what success will look like in London.
What is it about ICE London that makes the event so important?
ICE is widely recognised throughout the industry as the one show that cannot be missed and eCOGRA has been present as a visitor at every edition for the past 15 years.  We’ll be exhibiting for the first time in 2019, which is a very exciting prospect for our senior management and business development team that will be representing eCOGRA.
In layman’s terms, can you explain the business proposition and what success looks like?
Our objective is to engage with industry players that operate across multiple licensing jurisdictions, which take compliance seriously – this includes many organisations that are typically present at ICE.  ICE represents a unique opportunity for us to have face-to-face contact with many of our existing clients present at the show from all over the world.  We are looking forward to reflecting on activities from the past year and better understanding our clients’ future plans.  We are also expecting to create greater awareness of our organisation amongst new market entrants, as ICE is so well attended by the industry.
Which gaming sectors and jurisdictions are you targeting and why?
We are focused only on online gambling, which has enabled us to become highly specialised and experienced in all aspects of regulatory compliance in this sector of the industry.  The jurisdictions we target are those that require the services of independent and professional auditors and testing laboratories for the technical certification of licensees.  We are also firmly committed to servicing our clients in each of the regulated markets where they choose to license their online gambling products.
Why 2019? What was the impetus for your company to exhibit at ICE London at this time?
Due to continuous growth within our company and the significant number of our staff attending ICE, in order for us to manage back-to-back client meetings, it really just made sense for us to get a dedicated visible space which ensures that we have a working environment that is conducive to comfortable and productive meetings.
What sets you apart: is anyone else doing anything similar to your knowledge?
Since we focus only on online gambling, we consider ourselves experts in this particular field.  We are able to offer the most comprehensive suite of auditing services that an operator or software supplier licensed across multiple highly regulated jurisdictions would typically require.  eCOGRA is the only testing laboratory that is authorised to offer operators and service providers accredited ISO/IEC 27001 certifications for Information Security Management Systems. We are also the only laboratory that is approved to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution services as required by operators licensed in Great Britain and Malta.
As a first time exhibitor, what are you most looking forward to?
We are looking forward to being able to offer a comfortable meeting place for our existing clients and we’re excited about engaging with new people who are simply interested in what we do.  We also expect our first-time experience of exhibiting will provide us with a great opportunity to see how we can enhance our presence at future ICE shows.
eCOGRA is exhibiting at ICE London (5-7 February, ExCeL London, UK) on stand N1-120.
To register for ICE London, the world’s biggest and most international gaming technology event, visit:


Gary Platt Unveils New Line of Sportsbook Chairs

Whether players are playing the ponies all day or watching a 3-hour football game, seating comfort is a priority in sportsbooks. Now the casino seating comfort experts at Gary Platt have revealed their new line of chairs specifically for sportsbooks.
“Whether casinos have an existing sportsbook or are now creating a new sportsbook, we are proud to offer our new line of chairs that are the most comfortable on the planet,” said Gary Platt’s Vice President of Sales Joshua Corrick. “Think about it – unless they are standing and cheering a goal or a race result, sportsbook patrons are sitting, and our chairs are proven to provide a more comfortable experience that encourages patrons to stay and enjoy the game longer.”
Gary Platt’s sportsbook line features chairs from across the company’s portfolio that are field-proven to be player-favorites. Styles in the sportsbook line include Lido, Gazelle, Barona, Sierra, Monaco, San Remo, Riva, Bleu, Vue, Capri, and Ohio. Each chair is customizable to fit each individual casino’s design, with a wide range of upholstery, finishing, and base styles to choose from.
Operators can easily peruse seating solutions on Gary Platt’s newly designed website. Users can quickly search by use or by style to find the perfect fit for the sportsbook and every area of the property, on the casino floor, in the back office, and in the convention area.
Discover leading seating solutions for the sportsbook and more anytime at Join the company on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. granted Swedish licence, the award-winning online operator, has been granted a casino licence by the Swedish Gambling Authority (Lotteriinspektionen).
Commenting on the award in the newly-regulated market, Videoslots CEO Alexander Stevendahl, said: “We are delighted to be taking our unique casino offering to Swedish players and are grateful that the regulator has given us the opportunity.
 “Videoslots was among the very first operators to apply for a licence as we always saw the potential in a fully-regulated market. I am very pleased that all the hard work put in by the team has now been rewarded.” launches fastest loading casino site

Enhanced crypto casino 13 seconds quicker than largest competitor brands., the leading licensed Bitcoin casino operated by the Coingaming Group, has relaunched, offering players the fastest and most user-friendly casino experience on the market with load speeds up to eight times faster than its competitors.
The new mobile-first Bitcasino site loads in just two seconds and is eight times faster than some of the most well-known gaming brands, offering the new generation of tech savvy players the quickest route to the ultimate casino experience. Click here to see more.
Bitcasino’s philosophy is to put its customers at the ‘centre of the universe’, and its team of designers and developers have spent the last two months creating the most advanced, mobile-first and customer-friendly casino product.
The new site contains a host of features that enable players to completely personalise their experience. This includes an extensive range of configurable search filters, easy-to-use and control wallet options and a wide-range of new and improved promotions that will keep Bitcasino players engaged and able to play within a fast, fair and secure environment. Players new to crypto currency can also use BTCXE, the industry-first fiat-to-Bitcoin currency converter.
The site has been designed with Bitcasino players front of mind using machine learning to offer them games which suit their precise personal preferences. Bitcasino users can search for their favourite game by name, type, such as Macau, Egyptian or classic fruit-themed titles, and their favourite game provider.
The relaunch is the first release in a long list of new improvements due to be implemented as a direct result of player feedback.
One of the improvements users can expect in the coming weeks is an enhanced search allowing players to filter gameplay by parameters such as Return to Player (RTP) percentage, hit frequency and volatility. The site already contains games for every and any type of player, whether they prefer feature-rich games with smaller but more frequent wins, or classic high volatility slots with less hit frequency but huge payouts.
Tauri Tiitsaar, Head of Casino at, said: “Our philosophy is to put our customers at the centre of the universe and we have done exactly that with our relaunched Bitcasino product which truly is the ultimate, player-centric, mobile-first product.
“Our players wanted a faster loading site, with personalisation and a wide range of search parameters at the heart of the offering. We listen closely to every element of feedback we receive and have delivered on our promises with an exceptional product.”


Global Gaming granted licence in Sweden’s new regulated market

Global Gaming’s subsidiary SafeEnt Ltd was awarded a five-year casino (Ninja Casino and SpelLandet) and sportsbook licence from the Swedish Gambling Authority (Lotteriinspektionen) today.
Head of Compliance Linda Kärrholt commented: “We were one of the first operators to submit a licence application on August 1st 2018, the first available day, and are proud to announce that all the hard work put in by our team has paid off.”
“We are thankful for this seal of approval,” said CEO Joacim Möller. “It not only signals their approval of our business model but also gives us an opportunity to continue focussing on our largest market.”
This is yet another European licence for Global Gaming, after those recently granted by the Malta Gaming Authority and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. The company will continue to evaluate opportunities in other jurisdictions.


Casino Barcelona Online signs a video slots agreement with Pragmatic Play

Casino Barcelona Online has signed a video slots agreement with Pragmatic Play, one of the leading software providers for video slots and live casino. is the online platform of Casino Barcelona, a landmark on the casino map in Europe. Being licensed by Spain’s National Gambling Commission enables to offer all games on their quickly growing platform to a large local customer base.
Pragmatic Play’s growing suite of content, which contains more than 100 HTML5 video slots including the award-winning Wolf Gold, will go live with for the first time.
Melissa Summerfield, Chief Commercial Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “We are delighted to continue to enhance our footprint in Spain after agreeing this deal with We are always looking to grow in regulated markets, and we are very pleased that this deal with is the latest in a long line of agreements that we have signed in Spain this year.”
Xavier Ballester, Director of Casino Barcelona Online, said: “Pragmatic Play are consistently producing engaging and immersive content, by its thematic and with high quality production levels, to both online and land-based casino players. Also, Pragmatic Play games have proven to be a hit in other international markets. So, by the signature of that agreement, we hope to enjoy a long and successful partnership with them.”
Pragmatic Play recently entered the live casino vertical through its acquisition of Extreme Live Gaming from Novomatic Group, cementing its position as one of the iGaming industry’s leading providers.


Bede Gaming: “2018 our best year yet”

Transformative platform software supplier completes major integration every month.
Bede Gaming has had its most successful year since the business was founded seven years ago,signing three new clients and completing a major integration on average for every month of 2018.
Fresh from announcing its biggest commercial contract to date, having been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to transform its digital platform offering, the award-winning software supplier has completed 10 integrations in 10 months in 2018, a 30% increase on 2017. This includes major content integrations, as well as now offering two premier sportsbooks with Kambi and SBTech.
Bede has completed each integration in an average of just four weeks, living up to its reputation of managing and completing some of the fastest and most efficient software integration processes in the gaming industry.
The supplier is also promising more integrations to come in the remaining weeks of the year and will continue to build onthe application of its successful strategy into 2019 and beyond.
Content and sportsbook providers added this year include some of the most established and fastest growing brands in the industry including SBTech, Yggdrasil, Pragmatic Play, Play’n Go and Habanero.
These suppliers have been added to Bede’s extensive library of premium quality content and sportsbook services thatoperators can immediately access via its cutting-edge platform services. They join a host of some of the biggest names in the industry including Novomatic, IGT, Evolution, NetEnt, Gamevy and Microgaming that are already available on Bede’s platform.
Once a supplier is integrated its products are instantly available to all Bede’s network of platform customers. No other supplier offers such a wide range of leading content providing Bede’s operator partners with the easiest access to themost choice on the market.
2018 has also seen Bede enhance and expand its range of configurable, automated platform marketing and responsible gaming tools; through the launch of Bede PLAY, its new content aggregation platform technology; and significantly extended its licensee portfolio across a range of regulated markets and verticals.
Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming, said: “2018 has been our best year yet with three major commercial deals and 10 content supplier integrations in as many months to complement our comprehensive range of over 100 of the biggest supplier partners with more than 3,000 games. Our roadmap shows just how serious we are about content with a focus on quality over quantity.”
Haselhurst added, “We also now offer two major sportsbooks in Kambi and SBTech as well as expanding our portfolio into Virtual Sports following our deal with Kiron interactive earlier this year.
“And with our relationship with OLG expanding we will be adding more lottery games to our portfolio in the coming months too. 2019 looks set to be bigger even than 2018, watch this space!”


The Top Three Challenges Facing Online Gaming Regulators

It was once said that online gaming cannot be effectively regulated. Since then, many jurisdictions around the world have shown this statement to be false. In fact, the introduction of legalized online gaming in European member states over the last decade or more as well as the recent expansion of legalized online gaming in several US States, have shown that online gaming technology provides operators with  the ability to protect the interests of the customer more effectively than may be the case in the terrestrial industry. Having said that, the introduction of legalized online gaming has not been without its challenges. Different socio-economic, political and cultural landscapes have posed unique challenges to regulators around the world. During this webinar, we will look at how regulators in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA have responded to these challenges.
Moderated by André Wilsenach, Executive Director of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the panelists are:
George Rover, Managing Partner, Princeton Global Strategies
Birgitte Sand, Director, Danish Gambling Authority
Sonia Wasowska, Senior Manager – Insight, UK Gambling Commission

This session is part of IAGA’s free webinar series focusing on critical issues facing global gaming. Developed in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) International Center for  Gaming Regulation (ICGR), the UNLV International Gaming Institute (IGI), the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law and Ernst & Young, and  is made possible by Casino International.


MaxxVegas sets its sights on Asia with epic studio deal

MaxxVegas, a content developer founded by ex-MX Digital CEO Ike McFadden, has recently signed an agreement with UK studio, EPIC Industries, who will build a number of games targeted specifically at the Asian market.
EPIC Industries will use its proprietary SlotWorks product and extensive content experience to build the games directly onto the Flow platform, for distribution in early 2019.
Mark Smith, Commercial Director at EPIC Industries commented: “We are really excited to work with MaxxVegas on this project. Placing their faith in us is testament to the growing reputation we have as the go to studio partner.”
Matthew Shaile, Founder at EPIC Industries added: “With each build, our unique game framework, SlotWorks, grows and along with it, our ability to provide even more features to additional markets.”
“The global online market is projected to be worth nearly $200Billion USD 1
in the next 5 years, and a lot of that growth is expected to come from the Asia-Pacific area. It’s a market with a lot of players, and it needs a lot of content”, noted Ike McFadden of MaxxVegas.


Advantech’s Global Gaming HQ, in Newcastle, UK Centre gears up to meet higher demand

Advantech, a leader in global intelligent systems, announced the expansion of its Advantech-Innocore facility in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (United Kingdom). The gaming division, Advantech-Innocore, who are a leader in embedded computer products, design and manufacture some of the market’s most advanced PC products tailored specifically for their industry.
The expanded Advantech-Innocore facility, located in the Silverlink Business Park, where the company established itself some ten years ago, has nearly doubled in size. The team, currently celebrating 20 years in the industry, has grown year on year and is set to grow further as a result of current market demands.
“This expansion is excellent news for both Advantech-Innocore and the local community. It’s a directresult of the hard work and commitment by all of the gaming team, along with the loyal support of our customers, enabling us to post a 6-year CAGR of more than 30%” said Edward Price, Managing Director, Global Gaming and EU Displays Division at Advantech. “Some of our flagship products were created right here in the UK – including the best-selling DPX range of embedded boards which are approved in all major gaming jurisdictions, and running hundreds of thousands of slot machines and lottery terminals worldwide. Expanding our current facility was a logical choice for us as it helped minimise disruption.”
For its part, parent company Advantech is accelerating the deployment of branch locations globally, to better leverage its 25 years of local industry experience. For more information please contactAdvantech’s Marketing Team, details as below.


APT Finale Philippines 2018: Mikiya Kudo wins the Main Event; Marco Almerez, Bobby Zhang, Kosei Ichinose among the early winners

The end of the year is a busy one for poker players in the region. One of the ongoing festival’s attracting players is the Asian Poker Tour’s last event of the season taking place in the Philippines. 
The APT Finale 2018 is currently underway at Resorts World Manila. The festival runs from November 27 to December 6. Half of the games have already concluded including 3 of the 5 guaranteed events. The first featured tournament, the Main Event P10M guaranteed was won last night with Japan’s Mikiya Kudo defeating Korean pro Lim Yohwan at heads up.
Here’s a look at the festival’s early results:
Mikiya Kudo wins the Main Event
The Main Event ran from November 28 to December 2. 307 runners signed up, each one paying the PHP 55,000 buy-in to easily surpass the P10M guarantee. The prize pool settled at PHP 14,889,500 (US$284,500) of which 52 players earned a piece. The largest share of PHP 2,844,500 (US$54,300) went to Japan’s Mikiya Kudo after his impressive performance at heads up against the more seasoned live tournament pro Lim Yohwan.
Mikiya KudoKudo became the 9th APT Main Event champion of the year. His rise began late in Day 3 when he knocked out Sam Welbourne with a full house over a bluff. He also eliminated Che Li Lin to enter the Final 8 round as chip leader with Yohwan trailing in second rank.
The Final 8 was decorated with pros: Kosei Ichinose, Victor Chong, Le Ngoc Khanh, and of course Yohwan.  Other than Yohwan who won the APT Philippines II 2018 Championships Event in late-September, everyone else was on the hunt for their first APT major.
Early final table action was dominated largely by Yohwan to steal the lead from Kudo. But where it mattered, at heads up, the momentum reversed. Yohwan was ahead in the count but quickly lost it after Kudo claimed pot after pot. Yohwan could not stop the chips from flowing out and he fell in second place. Kudo claimed his first live tournament career victory and his largest-ever live tournament payout.
Final 8 payouts1st Mikiya Kudo – Japan – PHP 2,844,2002nd Lim Yohwan – Korea – PHP 1,896,1003rd Koji Asaka – Japan – PHP 1,323,8004th Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – PHP 963,6005th Victor Chong – Malaysia – 728,2006th Kosei Ichinose – Japan – PHP 569,0007th Stephen Nathan – UK – PHP 458,0008th Jiego Erquiaga – Philippines – PHP 379,200
Other players reaching the money were: Bobby Zhang (24th), Linh Tran (26th), En Ching Wu (38th), Fu Bang Huang (47th), and Alexis Lim (51st).
Phachara Wongwichit denies Lester Edoc the Super High Roller title
The PHP 500K buying Super High Rollers event saw only three players, Phachara Wongwichit, Soobum Kim, and Lester Edoc. This generated a winner-take-all pot of PHP 1,453,000. Edoc was hot on the hunt for a second APT SHR title, amassing a wide lead over his opponents within the first two levels. After Kim dropped out, Edoc was up 5:1 at heads up however the winds quickly shifted. Wongwichit staged an incredible comeback to overtake Edoc, exposing bluffs and missed draws. A deal was then reached. Wongwichit went on to win it for his first-ever APT title.
Phachara WongwichitPayouts1st Phachara Wongwichit – Australia – PHP 953,0002nd Lester Edoc – Philippines – PHP 500,000
Marco Almerez opens with a win
Kicking off the festival with a big win was local player Marco Almerez. Almerez defeated WSOP bracelet winner Mike Takayama at heads up of the APT-RWM Opening Event. This was outstanding for Almerez who won the largest local tournament just days prior, the RVS Cup 5 Million Guaranteed Main Event held at the Metro Card Club.
Marco Almerez defeats Mike TakayamaThe opening event attracted 220 runners. With each entry at PHP 11,000, it doubled up the P1M guarantee to PHP 2,134,000 (US$40,700). 37 players got paid with Almerez earning the largest cut of PHP 350,600 (US$6,700).
Final 8 payouts1st Marco Almerez – Philippines – PHP 350,600 (deal)2nd Mike Takayama – Philippines – PHP 300,000 (deal)3rd Czar Ian Marcos – Philippines – PHP 300,000 (deal)4th John Carlo Sayo – Philippines – PHP 151,1005th Chi Hung Ho – Taiwan – PHP 114,2006th Tomohiro Tanaka – Japan -PHP 89,2007th Si Yang Phua – Singapore – PHP 71,9008th Rio Kitaoji – Australia – PHP 59,500
Bobby Zhang and Kosei Ichinose win High Roller titles
After Bobby Zhang cashed at the Main Event in Day 3, he proceeded to win the PHP 107,500 buy-in High Rollers event. The two-day tournament saw 58 entries for a prize pool of PHP 5,626,000 (US$107,500). Many notable pros heated up seats but only 10 players reached the money.
Bobby ZhangPayouts1st Bobby Zhang – Australia – PHP 1,382,800 (deal)2nd Ying Lin Chua – Malaysia – PHP 1,350,000 (deal)3rd Cao Ngoc Anh – VIetnam – PHP 763,2004th Henrik Tollefsen – Norway – PHP 555,5005th Hideo Kudo – Japan – PHP 419,9006th Eunho Kwon – Korea – PHP 328,2007th Mike Takayama – Philippines – PHP 264,3008th Tetsuya Enoki – Japan – PHP 218,6009th Andreas Rauh – Germany – PHP 185,20010th Aso Seitaro – Japan – PHP 158,300
Kosei Ichinose wins the Short Deck High Rollers
Alike Zhang, Kosei Ichinose wasted no time jumping in another event after falling out of the Main Event in 6th place. Ichinose overcame the 16 runners of the Short Deck High Rollers. The event also had a PHP 107,500 buy-in. The prize pool amounted to PHP 1,552,000 (US$29,600).
Kosei IchinosePayouts1st Kosei Ichinose – Japan – PHP 789,200 (deal)2nd Seungsoo Kong – Korea – PHP 530,000 (deal)3rd Julian Hasse – Germany – PHP 232,800
James Auld wins the MSW Deepstack Turbo 1M
Another guaranteed event completed with the MegaSportsWorld Deep Stack Turbo just reaching the 1M guarantee. With the buy-in at a very affordable PHP 5,500, it drew 208 entries for a prize pool of PHP 1,008,800 (~US$19,200). Out of that pot, 35 players were paid with Canada’s James Auld earning the grand share of PHP 213,700. Mike Takayama also cashed in this event in 3rd place.
Final 10 payouts1st: James Auld – Canada – PHP 213,7002nd Katsuhiro Mori – Japan – PHP 142,6003rd Mike Takayama – PHP 99,6004th Guilherme Matsunaga – PHP 72,5005th Mark Leonardo – PHP 72,5006th Ricardo Torres – PHP 42,8007th Luis Bernardo – PHP – 34,5008th Mikio Komatsu – PHP 28,5009th Mark Ilin – PHP 24,20010t Yusutake Oka – PHP 20,600
APT Finale Philippines 2018 continues with the second featured tournament setting sail today. The event has a PHP 165,000 (US$3,150) buy-in and a guaranteed pot of PHP 10 Million (US$191,000). There is only one starting day offered which runs today. Players can sign up until the end of the first hour in Day 2. The event runs from December 3 to 6.
Other trophy events are also scheduled including the PHP 2 Million guaranteed Monster Stack event taking place on December 5 to 6. We will have the results for you as soon as it concludes.
Article by Tricia David
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