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Industry News

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Aug 01, 2006


World Series Fantasy Game

An innovative online competition – boasting a $100,000 prize pool – has been launched by London-based

It offers every poker fan a stake in this year's World Series of Poker by building their own squad of 10 players, similar to fantasy leagues involving football, horse racing, and rugby.

A registration fee of $30 hands the player a notional $35 million to spend on recruiting his team, with players actually competing in the WSOP even able to pick themselves as part of the game's innovative Wild Cards element.

Entry into the game also secures a ticket in a prize drawing, with the winner walking away with a WSOP main-event package worth $12,500.

Inter Fisch has announced the signing of poker professional Scott Fischman, and described him as "one of the most dynamic and successful young players in professional poker."

Already of global fame for his stunning World Series of Poker victories in 2004, having picked up a bracelet in both the H.O.R.S.E. and no-limit hold'em events, Scott is the most recent professional player to join the ranks of the InterPoker Extreme Team.

Fischman joined the professional poker circuit at the age of 21 as a dealer at The Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. However, when he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2002, he moved to the other side of the poker table and never looked back. Just two years later, Scott was ranked the No. 7 poker player in the world by Card Player magazine, and grossed more than $600,000 in 2004 alone.

2006 will be an eventful year for Fischman. In addition to his move to, Scott will begin promoting his instruction poker book Online Ace this summer, and plans to break the world record for the longest continuous game of poker (currently set at 72 hours and three minutes) later this year.

Poker Pushes Paddy's Profits

Irish bookmaking outfit Paddy Power says its turnover year to date is up by a quarter, driven by a strong performance from its online channel – in particular, gaming revenues such as poker.

While turnover from the company's chain of betting shops rose 19 percent and telephone betting sales were up 18 percent, gaming revenues jumped 27 percent, dramatically boosted by the addition of poker revenue.

The firm plans to introduce online bingo business during the summer.

APA at the Olympics?

The recently formed Amateur Poker Association has announced its intention to lobby the Olympic organising committee in favour of introducing amateur poker as a trial sport in the London Olympics of 2012.

Mansion's Big Spending

Online gaming firm Mansion may have failed to sign a sponsorship deal with Manchester United, but it succeeded with Tottenham Hotspur for a reputed £34 million.

Launched in 2004, Mansion is a newcomer to the gaming market, but has a full portfolio, including exchange betting, sports betting, a casino, and, of course, poker.

To that end, it also signed Erica Schoenberg, a 28-year-old former beach volleyball player as its sponsored pro.

Marc has a Palace of a Place to Stay

Popular midlands player Marc Goodwin is set to see his profile skyrocket after he stars amongst the cast of a World Series of Poker reality show on American sports broadcast giant ESPN.

Goodwin will be staying in a fully comped luxury apartment during the WSOP amongst other featured poker players (each given an apartment) at the expense of ESPN.

Reason to Celebrate

In recent weeks, dealt its 5 millionth hand while fellow European site celebrated its second anniversary.

Date Change at WSOP

The dates for the new $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. contest at the 2006 World Series of Poker have been changed to provide enhanced television coverage of the largest buy-in event in World Series of Poker history.

Previously scheduled to begin on July 25, the three-day H.O.R.S.E. tournament will now be contested July 12-14. The two-day $5,000 buy-in deuce-to-seven draw lowball tournament originally scheduled to begin July 12 will now be held July 25-26.

Fred's $1 Million Final

The Million, open to 1,000 players at $1,000 apiece, gets under way on July 16. The winner will receive $250,000.

The Manchester-based firm will again be sending multiple snooker world champion Steven Hendry to the WSOP, along with UK Student Poker Champion Daniel Underwood.

Daniel, a 22-year-old student from Stratchclyde University with two years playing experience, beat 300 students in the UK's largest offline poker tournament to win his $14,000 package to the event.

Crypto Clear $27 Million

Cryptologic has carved a successful niche over the past 18 months, supplying software for online gaming companies. Its technology is used by many of the world's largest online poker companies.

Recently, the company, which is listed in London, New York, and Canadian stock markets, reported first-quarter revenues up 33 percent to $27 million.

During the year, the company has seen some churn among its clients. It lost the Ritz as a customer but picked up Playboy, and remains heavily reliant upon its contracts with William Hill and Betfair.

PokerPoka's Pitch

Fledgling site, a poker site launched by a group of well-known poker players from the northeast of England in 2005 and part of the Ongame Network that includes Daniel Negreanu's Fullcontactpoker, has found itself in the enviable position of being one of the few European sites in a position to offer its players a shot at a guaranteed $5 million prize pool.

Supersatellites for the Ongame Poker Classic start at as little as $1 apiece, and at the top of the tree, the final 45 qualifiers will take their activities off of cyberspace and into Barcelona's Grand Casino for a live $1-million-to-the-winner finale on Oct. 1.

Online EPT is set to introduce a new innovation for the EPT – namely, the EPT Online. This will be a weeklong festival of online no-limit hold'em action hosted by Each event will be titled after an EPT event; for example, EPT Deauville, EPT London, and so on.

On top of the usual prize money, the winner will receive a full EPT package (€5,000 seat plus hotel). The buy-in will be $200, except for the Monte Carlo EPT event, which will likely have a $500 buy-in.

Change of Game

Ladbrokes, the first UK bookmaker to introduce online poker and the biggest European poker site, to boot, has added online backgammon to its portfolio.

Bigger Deal

Anthony Holden will be documenting his progress in this year's World Series of Poker main event in his new book titled the Bigger Deal, a sequel to Big Deal, which he wrote in the 1990s.

It's a Goal is sending online qualifiers from its site to Ibiza for the finals of the World Cup, promising them "the ultimate World Cup party."

For as little as $10, online winners will be flown on a private jet to the Spanish island for a weekend that, according to Nick Fitt of the site, consists of: "Drinks, poker, girls, music, and, of course, the World Cup final on a giant screen on a private beach. Plus, after the final finishes, there will be a visit to Pacha Night Club for a VIP night out."

Petrol Promotion gave away more than 8,000 gallons of petrol to New Yorkers as part of a promotion last month. The offer reportedly created traffic queues 10-blocks long.

It would have to be considered unlikely that the offer would be repeated this side of the pond.

Titan Pulls has announced the signing of supermodel and actress Joanna Krupa as its spokesperson.

Over the past 12 months, Krupa has appeared on the cover of Maxim and Playboy magazines, and has been voted "sexiest woman in the world."

Her endorsement contract will keep her very involved in the poker world, representing TitanPoker at public appearances and autograph signings. Joanna will also be playing for TitanPoker at the main event of the World Series of Poker.

Sporting in Paradise

Sportingbet has posted a 55 percent increase in profits and named Finance Director Andrew McIver its new chief executive.

Pretax profits hit £21.2 million in its third trading quarter, helped by a 90 percent increase in profits from its ParadisePoker site.

MANSION Flying High, a leader in the online gaming entertainment industry, has signed a significant six-figure ambient media deal with Flybe, one of Europe's leading low-cost airlines, to brand one of its jet aircraft. spade