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Paddy Power Poker Becomes UK News Betting Sponsor, Expands Into America

                Online gaming network, Paddy Power Poker, has just announced a number of business decisions that will see the company moving in exciting new directions. These include new advertising deals and an effort to gain operating licenses in American markets.
                First of the new moves is a partnership between Paddy Power Poker and one of the United Kingdom's top news providers. The online gaming network has signed on as a sponsor for News UK's Premier League content and will soon be able to place betting advertisements within mobile news apps for the Sunday Times, The Sun and The Times. For a total of three seasons, Paddy Power will enjoy the ability to spread awareness of its brand through one of the nation's most highly visited football news sources. Tom Wyse, Paddy Power Poker's Head of Media, attributed the partnership to the fact that "football plays a huge part in both [News UK and Paddy Power's] businesses."
                Paddy Power Poker has also begun the process of expanding its business in the United States. The company recently told press that it has made the preliminary move of applying for a New Jersey gaming license. Speaking of the decision to broaden its American market share, Paddy Power's Communications Director said that the gambling site is currently positioning itself in order to "make sure that we're in place and ready" if further opportunities to increase its presence in the United States arise.

Ladbrokes Releases iOS Roulette and Blackjack Apps

                Ladbrokes is making it a bit easier for online gambling fans to enjoy their favourite games while on the go by releasing two new virtual casino applications. Developed in partnership with Realistic Games, Ladbrokes' Blackjack and Roulette are available for download on the iPhone and iPad now.
                Both of the gaming apps have been created by Realistic Games, a company with plenty of experience in crafting casino experiences meant to be experienced on mobile devices. The latest release from Realistic leverages the business' skills in order to provide Ladbrokes fans with fully featured, real-money blackjack and roulette iOS apps. The Ladbrokes Roulette app sports viewable game history records, 3D effects, authentic game sounds and customization options. The Blackjack app is also highly customizable, features animated card and chip models, lifelike sound and three betting boxes. Both of the apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store by users in the United Kingdom.
                Andy Harris, Realistic Games' Commercial Director, said that the developer feels it has "created market leading iPhone Roulette and Blackjack apps" with its new Ladbrokes releases. John Pettit, Commercial Director for Ladbrokes, apparently agrees. He told press that his company is "delighted with the delivery of the Roulette and Blackjack apps," and used current download numbers — more than 1,000 downloads for the Roulette app alone were recorded only one day after launch — to demonstrate that the products "are already proving popular with our customers."

PokerStars Finalizes 2013 World Championship of Online Poker Schedule

                With the 2013 edition of PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) fast approaching, the popular online poker network has just released a full schedule for the event. The site previously offered a tentative version of the line-up and solicited members for suggestions for improvements that have now been implemented.
                Now that the final version is complete anyone excited for the tournament series can begin planning to watch or take part in its most exciting events. The 2013 WCOOP features a staggering $40 million guarantee and will kick off on 8th September. Players can buy into the tournaments directly, but may also choose to take advantage of qualifiers. PokerStars has also packed the series with special incentives like Player of the Series and Woman of the Series, two promotions that will provide those with high positions on the tournament leaderboards with lavish Spring Championship of Online Poker, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and Turbo Championship of Online Poker prize packages. The WCOOP's most anticipated tournament, the no limit hold 'em main event set to take place over two days, sports a $5,200 buy-in and will feature an $8 million prize pool (with $1.25 million reserved for the winner).
                PokerStars  described the WCOOP "which began in 2002" as "the longest-running online poker series [and] also the richest with well over $300 million in prize money awarded to date." The World Championship of Online Poker 2013 will run from Sunday, 8th September to the 29th of the same month.

New Zone Poker Format Launched at Bodog Poker

                Online poker players looking for a fresh take on their game of choice will be pleased to hear that Bodog Poker has just launched a brand new format with Zone Poker, a style of play that is designed to appeal to those who want to pack as much action as possible into their time at the tables.
                Bodog's Zone Poker is meant to give players the ability to compete quickly and is built to accommodate fast movement from table to table. This is accomplished through a pool of special Zone tables. Once the player has entered into these games they can use Fold Now and Check/Fold Now buttons to make the process of swapping one table for another extremely easy. Zone Poker software enhances the speed of switching to a new game by instantly transitioning from the player's fold on one table to their placement at another. The length of time set between each hand is also much shorter than at Bodog Poker's standard tables. Zone Poker currently supports no limit and pot limit Omaha (with either $0.02/$0.05 or $0.05/$0.10 stakes), but is set to expand to include other stake levels and play styles over time.
                Bodog Poker called Zone Poker a game that lets players "take [their] thrill ride to another level" by giving them "the chance to see more cards and play more hands in a shorter period of time." Zone Poker is now available for European and American players.

Jonathan Bredin Wins 2013 PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Main Event

                The Queenstown leg of the 2013 PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) has recently come to a stunning conclusion. The tournament's main event was exciting for its high-stakes action, but what is most likely to be remembered is the player who triumphed over the table: a young Australian suffering from cerebral palsy named Jonathan Bredin.
                The ANZPT Queenstown main event marked the first time that Bredin had participated in a major tournament and, given the outcome, it's very unlikely that it will be his last. The Melbourne native came to the main event without much experience at high-profile games and, because of his palsy, also required an iPad and companion in order to properly relay his decisions throughout the landmark game. Despite these limitations, Bredin ended up beating out a pool of 126 players to become the winner of the Queenstown main event. Bredin entered the last day of the games with a chip lead and used this advantage to fight his way to a heads-up showdown against Daniel Laidlaw.
                If his strong poker debut wasn't exciting enough already, Bredin cemented his legend by beating out Laidlaw with a final hand that included a king of clubs and king of spades. While these cards might not have seemed special on their own, Bredin's carer later told the crowd that champion had a picture of those same two cards tattooed on one of his arms. Jonathan Bredin is sure to be talked about for some time to come, his incredible skill and the incredible coincidence of his first major winning hand matching his tattoo marking an highly memorable start to a promising poker career.

2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Mega Path Satellites Launched at PokerStars

                Now that the 2014 edition of PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) has been announced, many players are likely looking for a way to win their way into the series. Fortunately, PokerStars is providing just that with the launch of its Mega Path satellite promotion.
                Entering the 2014 PCA directly is expensive, but the Mega Path satellites now available through PokerStars offer an alternative approach that's far gentler on the bankroll. The new satellites are scheduled to run several times every day and can be bought into for four or more Frequent Player Points. Competitors who are able to make their way to the eighth round of the satellites will have a shot at entering one of six Mega Path Finals and winning a fantastic prize package valued at $15,460. This award will provide players with entry to the PCA Main Event, accommodations and extra cash to cover trip expenses. The eight rounds of the Mega Path and the six Mega Path Finals can also be bought into directly.
                David Carrion, PokerStars' Director of Live Operations for PCA and Latin American, promoted the satellite series by detailing how "last year more than 400 players won their seats to the PCA event online." He elaborated on the 2013 satellite winners, telling press that 53 of these satellite players cashed at the PCA, "taking home more than $3.5 million between them." The 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will take place at the Bahamas' Atlantis Resort from 5th to 13th January, 2014.

Full Tilt Poker Selects Professional Representatives for UK and Ireland Poker Tour 2013

                Full Tilt Poker has prepared for this August's UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) by carefully choosing a squad of professional players to act as its ambassadors at the games. The team of representatives is drawn from some of the online poker network's very best pros and will be hoping to make an impressive showing at the tables.
                The four ambassadors coming to this year's UKIPT include Martins Adeniya, Ben Jenkins, Sinem Melin and Dermot Blain. This group of pros will kick off their participation by joining the UKIPT for its Galway Festival leg, battling it out in the €1,100 buy-in no limit hold'em main event and a number of other tournaments taking place during the Irish series. The Galway Festival will serve as a homecoming of sorts for Dermot Blain, an Irish poker player who rocketed into the professional ranks after winning the 2009 Asian Poker Tour's Macau main event and taking fifth place at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe's main event. Blain's fellow Full Tilt ambassadors — Adeniya, Jenkins and Melin — hail from the United Kingdom and are similarly accomplished.
                The four sponsored professionals playing at this year's UKIPT mark the third time that Full Tilt Poker has created small groups of players specifically to advertise the company at live international events. A statement from PokerStars' Pro, Celebrity and VIP Marketing Senior Manager, Dustin Iannotti, said that the four "tour ambassadors will help redefine what it means to represent a poker site."

PokerStars Wraps Up iPad Giveaway Promotion

                Fans of online poker who had been looking for a chance at winning some fancy tech were recently given a shot at taking home a 16GB iPad from PokerStars. The popular online poker network has just concluded a short promotion that saw one lucky site member take home a complementary tablet.
                Pokerstars' iPad giveaway promo saw players entering the competition by showing off just how well they could relax while enjoying a spot of online poker. PokerStars members were encouraged to take a snapshot of themselves playing the site's mobile app with their feet up. The picture then had to be uploaded to an Instagram account and marked with the special #PSFeetUp hashtag. The community voted on what they considered the best photo and the ten best shots were then submitted to judges for final consideration. Once Sunday, 28th July rolled around PokerStars awarded the coveted iPad 4 to a player who submitted his photo under the handle, "Bobbytabarsi." According to PokerStars, Bobbytabarsi "took [the competition] down with a torrent of votes" that granted him the attention of the judge's panel. The winner edged out two other popular users, "Fredyekivia" and "Madavaster," who just barely missed taking first prize — and the free iPad 4.
                Those who are interested in checking out some of the iPad giveaway promo pictures can head over to the PokerStars blog to see the winning entry alongside a selection of photos submitted by the runner ups.

Real Money PokerStars App Removed from Australian App Store

                The recent release of PokerStar's real money mobile application has given most iPhone and iPad owners a great way to play online poker while on the go. Not so for Australians who are unable to access the app now that it has been pulled from Apple's App Store.
                News of the app's removal was reported by the Herald Sun, a paper that attributed Apple's decision to the Australian government's ongoing efforts to further regulate online gambling. The Australian government section responsible for regulating online gambling — the Federal Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy Department — called for the removal of the PokerStars mobile app after determining that its use was illegal in light of the nation's Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. While Apple had contacted the app's developer, asking PokerStars' software creators to rewrite the program in accordance with Australian law, the company eventually decided to simply remove it from their App Store. Apple has responded to complaints and questions regarding the app removal by advising Australian customers to get in touch with local authorities.   
                The legal concern that is currently keeping the app from circulating is especially frustrating to Australian players since the PokerStars software has been continuously offered through the App Store from May 2012 until just now. This annoyance is only worsened by the fact that PokerStars can still be accessed through web browsers and Android-based smartphones.

PokerStars Reveals Preliminary Schedule for Latest World Championship of Online Poker

                PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is fast approaching, the event capping off the busy summer poker season by taking place at the beginning of September. Now PokerStars has released a preliminary version of the upcoming WCOOP's schedule in order to give fans a look at the kind of games they can expect to watch or play in the near future.
                The latest edition of WCOOP will include a massive 65 events in total that range across a wide variety of gameplay formats. PokerStars has begun discussing the prize pool guarantee, for now saying only that it hopes to exceed the $55 million that was awarded during the 2012 WCOOP. What the site has locked down is the presence of features like two-day tournaments, a $1.5 million main event and buy-ins that range from as low as $215 to as high as $25,500. The poker site is also soliciting feedback on the current, preliminary schedule throughout the coming weeks. PokerStars has asked members to send their thoughts on the current schedule before the final version is unveiled. All feedback will be considered and implemented in an effort to make the 2013 WCOOP the best it can be.
                A statement from PokerStars confirmed that WCOOP "satellites should be live from August 8th" with "the confirmed schedule" being set for release "before then." PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker will kick off on Sunday, 8th September, 2013.

Full Tilt Poker Details Full Tilt Online Series XXIII

                Full Tilt Poker has always enjoyed success with its Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS), a selection of tournaments typically paired with enormous prize pools. This doesn't look to change anytime soon now that the latest edition of FTOPS has been announced, the event consisting of nearly 40 tourneys and fantastic cash rewards.
                Full Tilt Online Poker Series XXIII features a guaranteed $8 million prize pool that is set to be spread across a total of 39 events. These include huge tournaments like 18th August's $1.5 million guaranteed no limit hold 'em main event (which sports a $635 buy-in) and Steps Tournaments that provide a less expensive shot at winning entry to larger, more lucrative games. To complement the main FTOPS XXIII events, Full Tilt will also be offering the special Bouncebackability Freeroll promotion on 24th August. Since Full Tilt Poker understands that "finishing on the bubble can hurt" they're giving players "the chance to bounce back" by providing a freeroll that will reward entry to "the last player eliminated before the money in any FTOPS XXIII event." The winner of the Bouncebackability Freeroll will receive buy-in to the forthcoming FTOPS XXIV's main event.
                In order to make it easier for all types of players to get into FTOPS XXIII, Full Tilt will also be offering a smaller-stakes version of the tournament series dubbed "Mini FTOPS." Full Tilt Online Poker Series XXIII's main games will run from 4th to 18th August, 2013 while the Mini FTOPS is scheduled for 8th to 22nd September, 2013.

PokerStars Enhances Player Security with SMS Validation

                Account security is a significant concern for serious online poker players. PokerStars recognizes how important it is to protect their members' privacy (and bankrolls) and has just launched a new security measure meant to provide complete peace of mind.
                PokerStars has revealed its implementation of a text/short message service (SMS) system that allows players to receive notifications warning them of irregular account usage. The SMS feature is meant to serve as a countermeasure against hackers attempting to access a player's private information or bankroll. After registering their mobile number with the site and turning on the feature PokerStars is able to send out a text if the network detects suspicious activity. When this happens real money actions (like cashing out, transferring or depositing funds, signing up for tournaments or joining cash games) are temporarily blocked. The SMS sent to the user's phone includes a security code that can be input in order to regain full access to their account. Passwords can be changed via text messaging as well, an additional security feature that makes it easier for players to have full control over their accounts at all times.
                A press release from PokerStars called the SMS validation feature "an additional security mechanism to help PokerStars player accounts remain safe and secure against online threats." The new feature is built into PokerStars' most recent software update and can be opted into for free by players in select regions.

Party Poker Offers Daily Satellites and Great Prizes with The Road to Old Trafford

                Party Poker is bringing football and poker together in a fantastic new promotion that aims to give talented players a chance to compete in their favourite game alongside famous athletes. The Road to Old Trafford promo has already started and will award competitors with great prize packages until early next month.
                Party Poker's The Road to Old Trafford consists of satellite tournaments that will reward seats to a three day live poker event. The tournament itself is scheduled to take place at the renowned Old Trafford football stadium in Machester, England and will see members of Manchester United in attendance. The prize package awarded weekly includes three nights of accommodations (from 8th August through to the 10th), $550 in cash, buy-in to the event itself and VIP perks like a tour of Old Trafford stadium, an exclusive party invite and more. Those who wish to buy into the event directly can spend $400 to gain entry ($35 of which is given to charity). Party Poker will also be hosting daily qualifiers and weekly satellites (with an $85 buy-in) that offer a shot at winning a seat into the unique tournament.
                A statement from Party Poker called The Road to Old Trafford "the chance [of] a lifetime" to both "play at [an] iconic venue" and "[rub] shoulders with some true Manchester United legends." The Road to Old Trafford has already begun and will run daily until Sunday, 4th August 2013.

Full Tilt Poker Celebrates Twitter Achievement with Freeroll Tournament

                Full Tilt Poker recently achieved a social media milestone, accruing more than 50,000 followers on Twitter. In order to mark the occasion the popular online poker network offered a freeroll tournament designed to reward its most dedicated fans.
                The Followers Freeroll was held on Sunday, July 8th and provided members of the site with entry to a potentially lucrative event. To gain access to the freeroll tournament players had to watch the company's @FullTiltPoker account for secret words embedded in tweets labelled with the #FollowersFreeroll hashtag over several weeks. Those who were vigilant enough to record the three secret words were able to combine them together into a single lowercase password that granted entry to the tournament. The Followers Freeroll proved to be worth the effort. It took the form of a turbo event that awarded a prize pool of $2,700 in Full Tilt Tournament Tickets across 250 competitors. The winner of the freeroll received a special $215 Tournament Ticket.
                Smart businesses count on social media as the cornerstone of their marketing efforts. With Followers Freeroll Full Tilt Poker did just that, offering an incentive for fans of the network to get online and engage with the company as it promoted itself. The innovative use of Twitter that Full Tilt demonstrated with its Followers Freeroll is sure to be emulated in some form by other savvy online gambling businesses hoping to drum up attention for their sites.  

Bodog President Leaves Company, Hints at New Online Gaming Business

                Bodog Poker Network's president, Jonas Odman, has announced that he has left the company in order to start a new business. The former president was responsible for turning Bodog into the successful online poker network it is today by introducing the popular anonymous playing model.
                Odman hails from Sweden and began working in online poker in 2004 by joining the Ongame Poker Network. From there he developed the anonymous poker model — a form of play that helps keep professionals and opportunist sharks from winning money from less experienced players — that came to define Bodog Poker. This focus on catering to recreational poker fans paid off for Bodog and set a new trend in the industry that was later adopted by competing sites. Now that Odman has stepped down as president of the company he has begun hinting at the start of a new business venture that will continue to focus on anonymous play.
                Jonas Odman  told press that he is seriously considering launching "a start-up company, based in [California]" which will bring anonymous play to the U.S. online poker market where "nobody else is offering anything tangibly different." Many American states have begun legalizing and regulating online poker, a trend that Odman believes will eventually open the wealthy state of California for business. If this proves to be the case the former Bodog president would be able to "do things right from the start and launch with a recreational poker model instead of trying to implement it later."