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Industry News

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Jul 01, 2007

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Sweden's Boss agrees deal with Finland's PAF
Swedish-distributed gaming-entertainment-systems supplier Boss Media AB has announced that it has signed an agreement to supply its poker software to Finnish betting and gaming company Alands Penningautomatforening (PAF).

Under the agreement, Boss Media will deliver a downloadable poker system in five language versions - Swedish, Finnish, English, German, and Spanish. Later in the year, Boss Media will also deliver a web-based poker system.

The poker product will be linked to Boss Media's partner-based poker network, which includes Sweden's Svenskaspel, Celebpoker, and Virgin.

PAF is an association governed by public law that aims to raise funds for public benefit through offering cash gaming to the public. The company conducts gaming with cash prizes on land, aboard ships, over the Internet, and via mobile phones.

No-go in Finland for Ladbrokes
Meanwhile, Finland's government has rejected Ladbrokes' gaming-licence application for the second time, on the basis that the 2002 gaming act allows for a single such licence at any one time, and a corresponding licence has already been awarded to Oy Veikkaus Ab, the state-owned national lottery and gaming company.

More money at the bottom in the 2007 World Series of Poker
The prize payout structure at this year's Word Series of Poker has been altered, "increasing the return to players who, after hours or days of gruelling competition, are able to reach the money," according to Howard Greenbaum, regional vice president of specialty gaming for Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. "Our goal is to keep more money circulating among more people in the poker community," he added.

While the final payout schedule for each event depends on the number of entrants, a comparison of the actual payouts for the 2006 main event with what they would have been under the new payout schedule illustrates the differences.

Overall, 846 players last year would have won substantially more money than what they collected in 2006; in some cases, more than double the amount. The top-27 players would have received less, however.

For example, the 2006 main event would have paid $22,266 for 873rd through 775th place, up from $14,605 and $15,512, respectively. Places 82 through 73 would have paid $126,173, up from $66,010. First place would have paid $10,028,715, down from $12 million, while second place would have been worth $5,442,769, compared to $6,105,900.

Betfair upgrade
Betfair has completed its 12th software update since launching its poker site. Renamed Betfair Poker Plus, it has 25 individual enhancements, including the option to choose from a selection of different views for playing multiple tables. Up to 15 tables can now be played simultaneously.

World Poker Tour's online poker room joins Crypto
The World Poker Tour's official gaming site has joined the CryptoLogic network.

"Liquidity is a big deal in this business," said Steven Lipscomb, president, founder and CEO of World Poker Tour Enterprises. "CryptoLogic has proven itself to be an industry leader that delivers a superior product.

"The move [to CryptoLogic] ensures that starting with day one of our online gaming relaunch, there will be a plethora of cash games and tournament offerings available for our customers on a stable and proven platform.

Country singer has something poker to sing about
Kenny Rogers knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, but with the launch of his TheGamblerPokerClub.com website, there's no doubt the country music legend knows how to open 'em, as well.

"It's amazing how many people are out there that love to play poker, but there are so few legal and safe places to play. That's what makes us so special," said the country singing legend Rogers.

Sweden wins TV team event
Sweden defied huge odds against them to pull off a spectacular triumph at the PartyPoker.com Poker Nations Cup in Cardiff. The winning team, captained by Bo Sehlstedt, included 2006 WSOP bracelet winners Anders Henriksson and Mats Rahm, as well as Johan Storakers, William Thorsson, and online qualifier Hans Isoz.

They scooped up $100,000 in this unique televised tournament that saw players pursuing personal and team glory, along with the honour of representing their home nation.

Team Sweden owes their success to the calm prowess of Henriksson. Heads up against the U.S. team captain Robert Williamson III, Sweden had 12,000 in chips compared to 88,000 for the U.S.

The contest appeared to be over, the U.S. camp triumphant and the Swedish supporters despondent, until Henriksson doubled up once and wore down the U.S. captain in an intense psychological battle.

Henriksson was delighted. "It is great to win. I always thought we were in with a chance because we had a very strong team. It didn't seem to be going good for a while, but once I had doubled up from almost nothing, my confidence started to rise."
U.S. captain Williamson III was devastated to have thrown away such a huge chip lead, and could only say, "I don't need a bar right now, I need a doctor."

The show was produced for Channel 4 in the UK by Presentable Productions, and is likely to be sold to worldwide broadcasters for transmission later in the year.

New Party features
PartyPoker.com has announced that two new features have been added to the ever-popular poker client.

Users now have the option of a "Heads-Up Sit-and-Go Tournament Rematch," which already has proved to be a hit with players. Once a game ends, both players are automatically asked if they wish to play each other again; if both choose to accept this option, a new match begins. Long gone are the days when it would be a struggle to line up a rematch.

Another recent feature added that also has proved popular is the "Sit-and-Go Tournament Replay." This removes the hassle of going into the lobby to find a new tournament and is ideal for frequent tournament players. As soon as players win or are eliminated from a tournament, they are given the chance to join another equal buy-in tournament in just one click.

Pool ace to poker ace … Meecham lands Laddies Ladies
Jackie Meecham of Leytonstone won the second-ever Ladbrokes European Ladies Championship (ELC) and prizes worth £32,000.

Jackie, a home office manager, is already a UK champion pool player (once achieving a UK No. 1 ranking), and has been playing poker for only two-and-a-half years. Her biggest win before the ELC was £700, which was at her local cardroom, Equal Chance.

As part of her prize, Jackie will now play in Poker Million VI, Europe's most prestigious live televised tournament, with a chance to win the $1 million winner's prize.

Jackie qualified to play in the ELC tournament via a $3 online tournament at Ladbrokespoker.com, where she beat 47 other women from all over Europe, including Liz Lieu and respected poker player Lucy Rokach.

The ELC tournament will be broadcast as a prelude to the Ladbrokes Poker Million VI on Sky Sports II in July and August.