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by Brendan Murray |  Published: Mar 01, 2011


Devilfish Poker Sold to the Weather Lottery
The Weather Lottery has agreed to acquire Devilfish Poker, the trading entity owned by Devilfish Gaming Plc.
The company is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market and will pay £40,000 in cash and £290,000 in shares for Devilfish Poker.
The Weather Lottery chairman Lord Razzall, said, “Devil Fish Poker has an established brand name in a sector which is complimentary to the existing gaming operations of TWL. We have a growing database of users in both and FC Lotto some of whom will we believe wish to take advantage of the DFP products.
“The Board considers its acquisition at a time when there is still considerable untapped potential for development fits in with our gaming strategy”.
In December 2010 Devilfish Gaming Plc announced its financial results for the year ending June 30, 2010. Turnover at the company was up 13 percent to £783,353 compared to £695,072 a year earlier.
Gross profit was £525,115 representing a margin of 67 percent before costs such as bonuses and marketing, however overall losses at the company grew to £2.14 million, primarily as a result of an “impairment of goodwill” charge of £1.7 million.
Andrew Flitcroft, chief financial officer, said, “We continued to further reduce costs this year where practically able. However this also prevented the company from actively marketing the “Devilfish” brand and as a result of this and the competition in the market, revenues have declined during the period.
“Due to this and other factors we came to the decision that the correct strategy for the company was to dispose of the trading subsidiary, Devil Fish Poker Limited.” ♠

Cyprus Delays Online Poker Ban
Cyprus will have to wait until March 2011 to find out the feedback from its proposed legislation to ban online poker, slot machines, and casino games, which legislators have estimated to have a turnover of €2.5 billion per year.
The draft legislation, which excludes online sports betting, calls for a licensing authority which would issue permits and regulate permitted forms of gambling.
With no casinos based in Cyprus, poker players have turned to online sites provided by outside sources, or they must travel to the Turkish Cypriot state in north Cyprus where there are plenty of casinos.
The government hoped to hear back from the European Commission in December, however it will have to wait patiently now until spring. ♠
PartyGaming and bwin Announce Merger Details
PartyGaming Plc and bwin Interactive Gaming have announced further details of their proposed merger in the first quarter of 2011.
The key information for poker players is that both Party Poker and bwin will retain their own brands post-consolidation, and the new company, to be named digital entertainment, will be headquartered in Gibraltar.
Norbert Teufelberger, co-ceo of bwin said, “The online gaming industry is going through a phase of consolidation, making market players’ size and geographic diversification more crucial than ever.
“The new company will operate worldwide with its existing brands under the name of digital entertainment plc, in which current bwin shareholders are expected to hold 51.7 per cent of the shares and current PartyGaming shareholders 48.3 per cent. “Our products and target markets complement one another perfectly, and we can continue to expand our technology lead in all key product segments: sports betting, poker, casino, bingo and games.” ♠

Ladbrokes Confirms Approach to
British bookmaking giant Ladbrokes has confirmed it has approached with an offer to purchase the Israeli-based online poker and casino operator.
Ladbrokes confirmed “very preliminary discussions with 888” to Reuters newsagency, but added. “There can be no certainty that these discussions will ultimately lead to an offer for 888 being made, nor as to the terms of any such offer.”
According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper the offer is around the 70 pence per share mark valuing the company at approximately £240 million.
Previously Ladbrokes had tried to buy 888 around the time the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in the U.S. for £470 million but the deal subsequently fell through on fears of potential legal problems. ♠

Unibet Launches Italian Poker Site
Unibet has launched its own online poker site in Italy,
The company has partnered with Ongame’s P5 Poker Engine to offer sit ‘n’ go and multi-table tournaments ahead of the expected arrival of cash games in the first half of 2011.
Unibet chief executive Henrik Tjärnström said, “Re-launching our operations, using our own technology and joining Ongame network is the first step of our market re-entry in Italy. With the imminent introduction of cash games, we see great value in the Italian market.”
While Martin Lerby, head of Ongame added, “Unibet is a well renowned brand, and we are very happy to work with them in Italy. With the addition of Unibet, and later the introduction of cash games, we will see new energy coming into the Italian market both for players and operators.” ♠
Betfair Poker Revenue Declines
December 2010 saw Betfair Plc announce its financial results for the six months from May to October 2011 and comment that poker revenue had decreased since its recent move to the Ongame network.
While the company did not break down the figures to indicate the size of the fall it said, “Games growth has strengthened but poker has continued to show significant year-on-year declines following its migration to the Ongame network. In the second half, we will continue to improve our customer offering and address challenges in racing and poker with a number of product enhancements and initiatives.”
It also said that overall growth at the company, which saw group revenue jump 27 percent to £213.3 million in the period, was, “moderated by more challenging conditions, particularly in horse racing and poker, which together offset robust performances in football, other sports and Games.” ♠ Adds
Sports Book
Online poker room,, has signed a deal with Sportingbet Plc which will see the latter provide it with a full business-to-business sports book operation.
The sports book will be launched at Opoker in late January 2011 and is to be branded as “powered by Sportingbet”.
Ben Freeman of Sportingbet said, “We’re really excited to be able to provide Opoker with our full business to business solution, incorporating our industry leading sportsbook, casino and poker products, in addition to our award winning customer service and payments platform.”
While Bjorn Nilsson, a board member of Heptalon which owns Opoker added, “This is a milestone for The company is happy to have sealed this agreement with one of the major operators in the i-gaming industry. We are convinced that this will be a fruitful cooperation for both parties. After the launch of the new client we will be able to serve our customers even better.” ♠

Isildur1 Defeats Tony G In SuperStar Showdown
Team PokerStars Pro Isildur1 and poker veteran Antanas “Tony G” Guoga did battle on the virtual felt at the end of December in the second installment of the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown. After a long fight featuring vicious swings, Isildur1 came out on top $44,820 after 2,500 hands of pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold’em.
The match was aggressive from the start, as Guoga jumped out to an early lead by winning $23,850 after just 207 hands. Guoga continued to run smoking hot, coming out on the right side of the coolers and winning the majority of all-in confrontations. By hand 561, the Lithuanian was in the black $47,000.
With his substantial lead after slightly more than 20 percent of the hands completed, Guoga had some needling for his high-stakes foe:
Tony G: u feeling ok my man
Tony G: u getting owned by a total donk old man
Tony G: start pressing sme all in buttons boy
However, after the barrage of trash talk, Isildur1 picked up a large pot worth more than $40,000 to cut his opponent’s lead in half. Both players turned the nuts on a K♣ 9♣ 2♦ J♥ board in pot-limit Omaha. However, Isildur1 had a redraw to Broadway and hit it on the river.
Even though at times it seemed Isildur1 was mounting a comeback, Guoga remained determined to keep his lead. It wasn’t long before Guoga’s lead again blossomed to more than $60,000. He had some aggressive words for Isildur1 at this point, calling his opponent a “donk” and saying that he controlled the Swede “like a baby”.
However, by hand 1,000, Isildur1 had cut his deficit to slightly more than $20,000. Everything began to unravel for Guoga at this point, and it wasn’t long before Isildur1 had squeaked into the black a couple thousand dollars near the midway point of the contest. Things began to completely fall apart after Guoga overplayed some hands in pot-limit Omaha. When the SuperStar Showdown had passed the 1,250 mark, Isildur1 was sitting on nearly $80,000 in profits.
The swings were nowhere close to over, however. By hand 1,517, Guoga was back in the black by a small margin. Isildur1 came storming back by winning the first six-figure pot — and the largest hand of the duel with Guoga.
The confrontation started when Isildur1 raised to $300. Guoga called, and they saw a J♦ 7♣ 2♥ flop. Guoga led for $600, and Isildur1 raised to $2,400. Guoga made it $7,800, and Isildur1 called. The 5♠ landed on the turn, and Guoga fired $16,200. Isildur1 called. The river brought the 9♣, and Guoga shoved for $37,850. Isildur1 called, having his opponent slightly covered. Guoga exposed the J♥ 7♦ 6♦ 6♣ for jacks and sevens, but was no good against the Q♣ 10♠ 9♥ 8♣ of Isildur1. The Swede raked in the massive $124,300 pot and jumped out to a $78,000 lead.
Guoga once again chipped away at the lead and moved into the black. However, Isildur1 pounded his opponent with another six-figure win, and he was ahead. After the match reached the 2,000-hand mark, Isildur1 never lost his lead. Although Guoga cut into Isildur1’s profits significantly after a few pots, the Scandinavian kept everything under control for the last 20 percent of the battle. When the dust had settled, Isildur1 was in the black $44,820.
Despite the fierce trash talk earlier in the contest, Guoga had some kind words for his opponent, calling him a “real star” and offering congratulations. Guoga also admitted that he “played really bad PLO”, as nearly all of Isildur1’s profits came in the discipline.
Isildur1’s short and brilliant poker career, up until this point, has been dominated by vicious swings. His war with Guoga was a microcosm of what makes the high-stakes sensation so popular in the poker world.
Here is a look at the table-by-table profits from the match:
After 625 hands at table Showdown1 (no-limit hold’em), both players were even.
After 625 hands at table Showdown2 (no-limit hold’em), Isildur1 earned $500.00 profit.
After 625 hands at table Showdown3 (pot-limit Omaha), Isildur1 earned $158,470.00 profit.
After 625 hands at table Showdown4 (pot-limit Omaha), Guoga earned $114,150.00 profit.
In the first PokerStars Superstar Showdown Isacc Haxton took around $40,000 from Isildur1. ♠