Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


The Party Ain't Over

by Brendan Murray |  Published: Mar 02, 2009


Poker industry watchers are divided over the recent news that co-founder Anurag Dikshit pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal gambling under the U.S. Wire Act in December 2008.

Shares in PartyGaming more than doubled, rising to over 200 pence, after the announcement, indicating investor sentiment to the news was positive - one settlement means others could likely follow and the slate would be wiped clean for, among other things, industry consolidation.

However, respected industry veteran Doyle Brunson slammed Dikshit for abandoning his obligations to online poker.

Brunson said in his Card Player blog, "It looks like he would feel a sense of obligation to online poker, the industry that made him a rich man. Instead, he folded up like an accordion and pleaded guilty to breaking some kind of mystery law and is paying a $300 million fine and a possible two-year jail term. It certainly created some ill will from the other online poker sites. I personally can't imagine what was going through his mind when he made his decision."

Whatever the outcome - which could include up to two years in prison for Dikshit - the ball is now rolling, and with Barack Obama finally ensconced in the White House, 2009 is likely to see developments which will shake the industry up at every level.

Will 2009 be a Recordâ€'Breaking Year?

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure got 2009 off to a record breaking start with 1,347 players taking to the felt on Paradise Island. This breaks the previous record - 1,200 players competed in the International Poker Open - for the largest land-based tournament ever held outside of the U.S. also set a world record for the largest field ever to play poker together online - 35,000 took to the virtual felt in December 2008.

If I were to make one prediction for 2009 it is that this trend for big fields will continue and we will see the largest World Series of Poker ever.

Player of the Year

In a global context, European poker significantly increased its profile during 2008. The Card Player Player of the Year final standings saw four Europeans in the top 10 - Frenchman Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in third, Russian Ivan Demidov in fourth, Frenchman David Benyamine in sixth, and Dane Peter Eastgate in eighth.

ElkY lifted the European Player of the Year title but, rather ironically, the two victories which propelled him to the title came in the Caribbean and Las Vegas.

It says a great deal about the strength of the European game and the quality and choice of tournaments on the European circuit that players from this side of the Atlantic are challenging in increasing numbers at every major tournament around the world and often winning big. Very big.

Check out our interviews with ElkY and Demidov in this issue, and check regularly for all the news, live reporting, interviews, and features from the gloriously technicolour world of the biggest game in town.