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Archive for November, 2018

Pavel Plesuv Bags Debut WPT Title in Florida after Spectacular Final Table

The 30-year-old poker pro from Moldova finally claimed his first title from the WPT after a runner-up finish in Prague three years ago

It took three years for Pavel Plesuv to improve his runner-up finish at the WPT Prague. The player finally scooped his first title from the series last night, and he did that in a spectacular manner. Plesuv, a 30-year-old poker pro from Moldova, took down the first-ever WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open for $504,820 in prize money as well as a shiny guitar pick trophy.

The player entered the six-handed final table of the tournament as the chip leader and only lost his advantage for a very short time throughout that closing stage of the game. Jim Gilbert took the lead early in the day but could not keep it for long as Plesuv managed to regain control. From that point on, the eventual winner only extended his advantage to make sure that he would win the event this time.

The final table of the event featured only one former WPT champion – Ravi Raghavan. The player entered the final day of action as the short stack and could not really improve his situation. It was actually Plesuv who ended Raghavan’s hunt for a second title. The player collected $103,310 from the prize pool for his deep run.

Jeremy Joseph then felted Chris Kennedy in fifth place. The latter took home $135,505. Four-handed play was when Plesuv really built his stack and pulled well ahead of his rivals. The eventual champion won several big pots, including one against Marius Gierse, which resulted in the latter’s elimination. Gierse received $179,710, while Plesuv assumed control over two-thirds of all chips in play.

Joseph went out next after failing to hold up against the soon-to-be-champion. His share of the prize pool totaled $240,945.

Lengthy Heads-Up

Plesuv entered heads-up against Gilbert with an 8-1 chip advantage. Both players were vying for their first titles from the WPT and both had previously recorded runner-up finishes in WPT Main Events.

As mentioned earlier, Plesuv was the runner-up of the 2015 WPT Prague. As for Gilbert, he finished second in the WPT Borgata Poker Open in 2015.

Despite his massive chip disadvantage heading into heads-up last night, Gilbert put up quite some fight during the match, trying to survive for as long as possible and gain momentum in a hunt for the title. In his post-victory interview, Plesuv said of his opponent that he had put him to the test a lot, “jamming a lot of [his] limps” and “chipping up a little bit more and more.” The champion further said that he had patiently waited for a big hand to finish off his opponent and it took quite a while before a big hand was dealt.

When that big hand finally came, Plesuv moved all in with [Ad][Js] and Gilbert called quickly for his final 9 million with pocket nines. The board ran out [Ac][Qs][3c][Jc][Qh] and Plesuv locked up the pot and the title with two pair. Gilbert had to settle for the runner-up finish and $326,565 in prize money.

Of how it felt to be member of the elite WPT Champions Club, Plesuv said that it was pretty awesome. The player also recalled finishing runner-up in Prague, noting that back then he entered heads-up with a big chip lead, but still the title eluded him. He said he felt pretty awesome that the same did not happen in Florida last night.

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Virginia Lawmakers to Talk Bristol Casino Bill at News Conference

Virginia’s Del. Israel O’Quinn and Sen. Bill Carrico gear up preparations for casino legalization effort

Two Virginia lawmakers are set to discuss today the parameters of a bill that would allow the construction of a $150-million casino resort in the city of Bristol, news outlet the Bristol Herald Courier reports.

State Del. Israel O’Quinn and Sen. Bill Carrico will hold a news conference at 3 pm local time at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to reveal details about their effort to secure permission from the General Assembly and the Virginia Governor for what could be the state’s first full-scale casino.

The legislative push arrived after two Bristol businessmen – Jim McGlothlin and Clyde Stacy – announced earlier this year plans to build a casino resort at the site of the vacant Bristol Mall. Their project involves the development of a $150-million property that will feature a casino floor with gaming machines and table games, a hotel, a conference center, dining facilities, retail space, and family-friendly entertainment options, among other amenities.

The resort is hoped to turn into a major draw for tourists and to have a massive economic impact. According to initial estimates, the property is expected to generate 2,000 jobs during its first year of operation, 3,000 jobs by year five, and more than 5,200 jobs after seven years of operation. Owners have also said that economic impact will reach $1.5 billion for Southwest Virginia and $1.9 billion for the whole state after year seven. The property is expected to initially welcome 1 million guests a year and that number is poised to grow to 3 million a year within the first five years of operation.

The Most Tightly Regulated Business

With casino gambling currently being illegal under Virginia laws, the two Bristol businessmen will need approval from the state General Assembly in order to be able to move forward with their project. A bill calling for authorization of the development of the Bristol Mall resort will thus need to be submitted to the Legislature.

Del. O’Quinn and Sen. Carrico are yet to craft the piece of legislation. As mentioned earlier, they will hold a news conference today to discuss details about their effort. Del. O’Quinn told the Bristol Herald Courier that this was probably the first time local lawmakers were calling a news conference to talk about a bill, but the amount of interest the piece has gained so far, even though it is yet to be drafted, justified the event.

The two lawmakers are expected to discuss a probable timeline for the bill’s introduction and to provide information about how the process of legislative approval works.

Del. O’Quinn said he and Sen. Carrico “feel very strongly that the only way [they] can support this is if there is a local referendum and that if people approve the project, they will make sure “it is the most tightly regulated business in all of Virginia.”

The Bristol city charter does not allow for public referendums at present, but changes might be on the way. The City Council gave the nod to a series of proposed reforms to the city’s charter, including the permission of public referendums. The proposals need approval from the General Assembly. If the Legislature gives the green light to those as well as to the casino bill, they will all be able to take effect on July 1, 2019.

Is Gambling Finally Coming to Virginia?

Virginia lawmakers have historically opposed any forms of gambling expansion. However, they may have a change of heart this time around as federal authorities allowed the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to build a casino earlier this year and tribal officials have begun their search for a site in Virginia.

Del. O’Quinn said that Virginia lawmakers do not have any power to stop the construction of the tribal casino and that they will not be able to collect any tax proceeds from the gambling venue. As a result, they might decide to approve the establishment of a commercial property that will rival the tribal one and produce tax revenue for the state’s coffers.

Sports betting is another gambling practice that is expected to be discussed in the Legislature when the 2019 session convenes in early January. Earlier this month, Del. Mark Sickles pre-filed House Bill 1638 that calls for the legalization and regulation of sports gambling at a time when more and more states are looking to capitalize on the mid-May decision of the US Supreme Court to lift a long-standing federal ban on betting.

However, HB 1638 arrives with a little bit of a twist as, unlike in all other states where wagering was legalized over the past several months, the legislative piece does not include provisions for in-person betting. The bill instead calls for the legalization of sports betting platforms, identifying those as a website, app, or other platforms accessible via the Internet or mobile, wireless, or similar communications technology that sports bettors use to place sports bets.”

According to estimates by Oxford Economics, legal mobile betting could generate $380 million in annual net revenue and betting handle of $5.2 billion. It is to be seen whether these early projections will tempt Virginia lawmakers to jump into the nascent US sports betting market.

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The Star Threatens to Reconsider Massive Queensland Expansion if Second Gold Coast Casino Gets OK

The casino company has urged the Palaszczuk Government to “fully embrace” a partnership that could bring A$9 billion in investment to the state

Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group has warned the Queensland Government that it could reconsider its plan to inject nearly A$9 billion in development projects across the state, should state lawmakers approve a second casino in the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported on Wednesday that The Star Queensland Managing Director Geoff Hogg has sent a letter to state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her ministers, urging the Cabinet to “assess the costs of discontinuing a true industry partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and The Star that will leverage statewide benefits” and to “fully embrace” that partnership.

Mr. Hogg penned the letter in the wake of news reports that the Government was gearing up to issue a license for a second casino in the Gold Coast. The Star operates The Star Gold Coast (formerly Jupiters Hotel and Casino), a hotel and casino resort located in the Broadbeach suburb on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The property is currently undergoing what has become known as the first phase of a multi-billion renovation and expansion. Earlier this month, the Queensland Government approved additional phases of the masterplan that would see The Star and its Hong Kong partners Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium pour billions of dollars into the transformation of the Gold Coast property into a sprawling integrated resort.

The first phase of the project began in 2016 and involves the construction of a 53-story hotel and residential tower that will herald the entry of the Dorsett hotel brand to Australia. The tower is expected to open in 2022. Under the recently approved masterplan, four more towers will be opened progressively at the complex every two years. The Star said that once the scheme is complete, its Gold Coast resort would feature 3,000 hotel rooms to eclipse the regionally popular Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The Star, together with its Hong Kong development partners, is also building a A$3-billion integrated resort in Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane.

Hard Rock Vies for Gold Coast Expansion

According to recent reports, the Japan office of gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International has given the green light to a potential expansion to Australia’s Gold Coast. It is also believed that the company has been discussing its expansion plans, which include the development of a A$2-billion casino resort, with the Queensland Government.

Media reports suggest that Premier Palaszczuk’s Cabinet is likely to provide more information about the potential granting of a second Gold Coast casino license next month.

In his letter to the Government, The Star Queensland General Manager cited a recent research by Macquarie, according to which a second Gold Coast casino would struggle to deliver return of more than A$400 million. The casino official pointed out that with “this new independent evidence,” the Queensland Government should “fully embrace” the partnership it has been offered by his company.

According to the results from a new poll by ReachTel, 68% of Gold Coast residents were against a new casino or the addition of more poker machines as part of any developments in the region. The Star has previously said that its massive expansion at The Star Gold Coast would not involve the addition of pokies, as the gaming machines are locally known.

The company has also pointed out in previous comments that its A$2-billion Gold Coast investment is heavily dependent “on the market and competitor landscape at the time.”

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Cordish Given Two-Year Extension to Complete South Philly Casino

Pennsylvania gambling regulator gives South Philly casino project a two-year extension, allows sports betting at two more casinos

Developers of South Philadelphia’s second casino were given on Wednesday a two-year extension to complete the project and launch the property by December 2020. The announcement arrives shortly after it became known that Maryland-based The Cordish Companies would assume full ownership of the hotel and casino complex which would be located just outside the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.

During a Wednesday hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, developer Stadium Casino LLC said that demolition of the former Holiday Inn at 900 Packer Avenue is set to take place in December. The company bought the site where it would build its casino complex in early 2018. It then obtained a demolition permit in April and is now awaiting a building permit. Construction of the $700-million property is expected to begin early in 2019.

Joseph Weinberg, Managing Director of Stadium Casino, told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board that their vision for the project is “that it becomes part of what really would be one of the most unique sports/gaming/hospitality destinations in the country.”

Developers initially sought a three-year extension from gaming regulators. However, the state gaming board gave the nod to a two-year extension for the opening of the property. According to sources, the regulator believed that was a more “adequate deadline”.

Some board members voiced concerns about the project hitting unexpected roadblocks that could derail it further. Former state representative and board member Kathy M. Manderino said that as a Philadelphian, she has seen this project and similar ones fall apart and that she would be able to breathe a sigh of relief once the building permit for the casino is issued.

Years in the Making

What would be Philadelphia’s second casino has been a project years in the making. The state gaming board approved the construction of two casinos in Philadelphia back in 2006. SugarHouse Casino opened doors in 2010. However, the second project – Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia – never materialized as Foxwoods was not able to secure financing and had to surrender its gaming license.

In 2014, Stadium Casino, a joint venture between Cordish and Greenwood Gaming, was granted the second casino license. However, developers failed to move forward with their project and according to people familiar with the matter the implementation of the multimillion scheme was partly due to disagreements between the two companies, stemming from their different corporate cultures.

As mentioned earlier, Cordish is set to assume full ownership of Stadium Casino and the South Philadelphia casino project. The move is yet to be reviewed and approved by the gaming board.

Sports Betting Arrives at Two More Pennsylvania Casinos

In a separate round of developments, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board cleared the path Wednesday for Parx Casino in Bensalem and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia to launch sports betting. The board said yesterday that it expects both casinos to be able to hold two-day test runs with the regulator within the next several weeks.

Neither of the two casinos provided an exact date for launch of wagering. Parx has partnered with Sports Information Services Ltd. for the operation of its sportsbook, while RushStreet Interactive PALLC will run the sportsbook at SugarHouse.

Parx Casino is set to convert its 360 Lounge into a temporary sportsbook. The facility will feature seven betting windows and 12 self-service kiosks. Sugar House’s temporary sportsbook will be located next to the casino’s poker room. A permanent facility is set to open doors next year. The opening of the physical sportsbooks at the two casinos will be followed by the launch of online sports betting in the coming months.

Hollywood Casino was Pennsylvania’s first casino to go live with sports gambling. The property launched its sportsbook on November 15.

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Pavel Plesuv Leads Six Players into WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Finale

Pavel Plesuv leads the final six players in the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, Ravi Raghavan still in the hunt for second WPT title

Pavel Plesuv, a poker pro hailing from Moldova, is looking to claim one more poker title this year, after taking down the DeepStack Championship Poker Series $3,500 MSPT Big Blind Ante for $640,062 a few months ago.

The player is now eying the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open title and made sure yesterday to secure a comfortable entry into the tournament’s final day. Plesuv is leading the final six players left in contention for the top prize and the tournament trophy with 10.92 million.

The player put up quite the performance yesterday, winning the largest pot of the tournament and locking up the overnight chip lead.

The day began with 14 hopefuls, but it took a relatively short amount of time for the field to be reduced to the final six. Plesuv emerged as the chip leader toward the end of the night when he busted the start-of-the-day leader, James Rann, in ninth place.

Nearly 20% of all chips in play were placed at the center of the table on what turned out to be Rann’s final hand in the tournament. The player held [As][Ks] against Plesuv’s [Qd][Qh]. A blank board was of no help to Rann and he departed in ninth place, good for just under $50,000 in prize money.

Ravi Raghavan Vies for Second WPT Title

Raghavan is the only member of the elite WPT champions club still in the hunt for the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open title. The player will enter the official final table as the short stack with 1.32 million, but all is not lost and he can still win the tournament, despite his current disadvantage.

Jim Gilbert is trailing behind Plesuv in the temporary leaderboard. The player managed to accumulate 8.655 million in chips yesterday, good for 108 big blinds. In fact, Plesuv and Gilbert are the only two players heading into the final day of action with more than 100 big blinds. Marius Gierse with 6.18 million rounds out the chip counts podium. Jeremy Joseph with 5.045 million and Christopher Kennedy with 3.8 million were the other two players to bag and tag chips last night.

Action resumes today at noon local time at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. There will be a live stream of the final table starting at 12:30 pm local time. The six finalists will play down to a champion. Each of the final tablists is guaranteed a minimum cash of $103,310. And the winner will be awarded $504,820, a tournament trophy and a seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

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The post Pavel Plesuv Leads Six Players into WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open Finale appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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