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Archive for September 3rd, 2018

West Virginia Lottery Director Resigns as State Launches Sports Betting

The Director of the West Virginia Lottery resigned from his post on the same day the state’s first legal sportsbook celebrated its soft opening and two days before a grand opening ceremony was held at the facility, a press release from the office of Gov. Jim Justice reads.

Alan Larrick was appointed as head of the state gambling regulator in January 2017. He is from Beckley and prior to his appointment at the West Virginia Lottery he worked as an attorney at his hometown for nearly four decades.

The press release, issued on Friday, stated that Mr. Larrick informed Gov. Justice about his decision after the Thursday soft opening of a sportsbook at Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, the state’s first legal sports betting facility following the legalization of wagering on sports in West Virginia and the annulment of a long-standing federal ban on sports betting.

Mr. Larrick’s resignation became effective yesterday, September 1. Gov. Justice appointed Doug Buffington as an acting Director of the Lottery. Mr. Buffington is currently serving as Deputy Secretary for the West Virginia Secretary of Revenue.

The state’s Lottery oversees and regulates all types of gambling services that are legal on the territory of West Virginia, including sports betting. That particular activity was legalized in the state on March 3 in anticipation of the US Supreme Court’s ruling from May 14 that struck down a federal ban on betting on professional and collegiate sports.

West Virginia became the fourth state to launch sports betting after the SCOTUS ruling and the fifth overall, as the activity was legal in Nevada prior to that.

Resignation ahead of Sportsbook’s Grand Opening

Local media reports that Mr. Larrick’s resignation came as a bit of a surprise. The former Lottery Director has not commented on him leaving his post at the gambling regulator yet.

Mr. Larrick attended Thursday’s soft opening of the Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino in Charles Town. From that day on, customers have been able to place bets on all types of sporting events. A grand opening ceremony took place at 11 am local time on Saturday.

Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann placed the ceremonial bet. He wagered on his former team to beat the Arizona Cardinals in the first game of the new NFL season next week.

Hollywood Casino owners told local media that it was their goal to open the sports betting facility ahead of the start of the new football season and that they were glad they managed to meet that goal.

Erich Zimny, Vice President for Racing at the gambling venue, revealed that their wagering facility has turned out extremely popular among customers and that total wagers reached a six-figure amount during the first days of operation. A mobile betting app is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

The post West Virginia Lottery Director Resigns as State Launches Sports Betting appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Haoxiang Wang Leads Final Six in EPT Barcelona Main Event

There was plenty of poker action and drama at the penultimate day of the EPT Barcelona Main Event. There were 13 players at the start of that day and just six of them made it through the end. They will resume play at noon today at Casino Barcelona to fight for the title and the €1.6-million first-place prize.

There were two former EPT champs among those final 13 as well as a number of other accomplished players. However, it was the player with the shortest poker resume to create most of the excitement at the tables throughout the day. Haoxiang Wang, a young player from China with one previous small cash from earlier this year, showed aggressive style and expert bluffing skills yesterday at Casino Barcelona. And those helped him build a solid stack and soar well above his opponents in the temporary leaderboard.

At the end of the day, the young player had a total of 16.1 million in chips, good for 81 big blinds. Wang will thus lead the six remaining survivors into the final day of play. Six-handed action is set to kick off today at noon local time at the host venue. The finalists will battle it out until there is a single player left.

Ognyan Dimov Still in for the Title

There were to former EPT champions in the mix at the beginning of Saturday action – John Juanda and Ognyan Dimov. Both players were in the bottom half of the chip counts chart and both players were eyeing a seat into the finale and vying for their second title from the series. However, it was not meant for Juanda to make it to the Main Event’s final table.

The player won his EPT title three years ago exactly in Barcelona. He entered action yesterday as the short stack and it did not really get any better for him. Eventually, Juanda was eliminated in ninth place by the other former EPT champ.

Dimov won his title in Deauville in 2015 again. The Bulgarian entered yesterday action with one of the shortest stacks but quickly gained momentum to improve his situation significantly. He eventually built the second largest stack with Wang being the only player ahead of him. And it was for the better part of the day that Dimov kept his second spot in the chip counts chart.

However, on the very last hand of the day, Poland’s Piotr Nurzynski eliminated Irishman Mark Buckley in seventh place to win a massive pot that raised him in the counts. Nurzynski thus finished the penultimate day of play second in chips with 15.425 million. Dimov dropped in third place with 10.125 million. Matthias Tikerpe from Estonia with 7.1 million, Pedro Marques from Portugal with 6.95 million, and Rodrigo Carmo from Portugal again with 2 million were the other three players to make it through the day and secure a spot into the final day of play.

The post Haoxiang Wang Leads Final Six in EPT Barcelona Main Event appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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