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The Poker Year In Review - September

Poker Sponsorship Takes An Upswing And Full Tilt Poker Deemed "Global Ponzi Scheme"


Howard LedererSeptember was a big month for poker sponsorships, a market which had received a battering all through the year.

Christophe Gross, at 29-years-old, is a modest tournament winner with around €90,000 in live earnings. However the player known as “Crazy Sheep” online became the poster boy for praline chocolates to a hip, young target group who like to make purchases online.

Swedish poker pros Michael Tureniec and Anton Wigg signed sponsorship deals with Svenska Spel, the Swedish online gaming operator.

Bodog announced its latest signing, poker hostess Amanda Leatherman. The ex-cheerleader now joins Tatjana Pasalic and poker pro Evelyn Ng in representing Team Bodog in both live and online events.

The four professional poker players behind The Hendon Mob; Barny Boatman, Ross Boatman, Joe Beevers, and Ram Vaswani signed an exclusive contract with Genting Poker.

Dutchman Joeri Zandvliet topped a 718-strong field at the UKIPT Dublin main event receiving €83,500 for his win which he added to his £63,200 first place prize from UKIPT Manchester in 2010.

Mike “Timex” McDonald won the Epic Poker League $20,000 main event finishing off an elite 97-player field at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas early to take home $782,410 in prize money.

The Entraction Poker Network said that it would no longer offer online poker to citizens of Canada, Russia, Norway, Israel and Turkey, in an effort to comply with each country’s various gaming laws.

The German state of Schleswig-Holstein passed legislation to legalize and regulate online poker from January 1, 2012.

The U.S. Department of Justice accused Full Tilt Poker’s board members Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst of working with CEO Ray Bitar to defraud poker players out of more than $440 million over the past four years.

Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that “Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” while “insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”

Things got worse for the company when it had its license to operate revoked by regulator, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.