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France Opens Huge Poker Room, PartyPoker Million Won by German, FTOPS Sunday

  • Robbie Davies + Philippe BaretRobbie Davies + Philippe Baret
France Opens Huge Poker Room, PartyPoker Million Won by German, FTOPS Sunday 0001

Enghien Casino to Launch Poker Tables at the End of May

The biggest casino in France is opening up to poker. Located north of Paris, the Enghien-les-Bains casino will offer six Texas Hold'em poker tables beginning on Monday May 19th, 2008. Could this be a sign that we may also soon be seeing poker in the capital?

The six tables offered by this Barrière group casino in the Oise valley, 11 kilometers from Paris, will not be accessible to players of all bankrolls. The minimum buy-in, which is set at €250 is sure to attract a clientele composed of the wealthy and well to do of the region. The Barrière casinos in Enghien and Cannes-Croisette (with buy-ins between 250 and 2000 Euros) will henceforth be the places to be for high stakes poker amateurs.

The arrival of casino poker, which has a reputation of being upscale and expensive, just outside of Paris could deal a serious blow to Parisian gaming circles where high stakes tables are available, like the Aviation Club de France, the Gaillon and the ACIC. These last two already felt the heat in 1995. The Barrière group had gotten permission to open roulette and black jack tables in Enghien, at a casino that had been traditionally barred from offering these games because if its proximity to Paris. That same year the same group was able to organize a poker tournament exceptionally at the Deauville casino, two hours away from the capital at a time when poker was still exclusive to circles authorized by a particular statute, the associative law 1901.

These slow but steady advances by casino operators, who have been allowed to offer poker since May 2007 in France, could also serve as a laboratory to test possible future establishments in Paris. A public report dedicated to gambling that was submitted to the Senate in November 2006 raised this possibility after having observed the increased investment by large casino groups in Parisian restaurants and gastronomy. It was the Partouche group, after all, who owned the "Laurent", located in the gardens of the Champs-Elysées, and Barrière who bought the Fouquet in 1998 and the Carré d'Or in 2002.

"The situation of Paris proper is unclear," said Senator Trucy, author of the report, considering these, "poker is prohibited in casinos within the city (although the Enghien-les-Bains casino is taking advantage of a remarkable situation just on the border), and these gaming circles are associated with the 1901 law, while the groups are slowly but surely going after the big cities thanks to the Chaban Delmas amendment. How much longer can this go on?"

The time has certainly come for the French minister of the interior to reform the status of these gaming circles of which the vast majority are located in the capital, thereby allowing big groups an opportunity to get in on the action.

The opening of the Barrière casino in Toulouse in October of 2007 was followed by the closing down of the Pyrenees circle, also located in Toulouse. Are the recent closure of two major Parisian gaming circles, the Concorde at the end of 2007 and the Haussmann in February of 2008, signals that poker will soon arrive in Parisian casinos?

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France Opens Huge Poker Room, PartyPoker Million Won by German, FTOPS Sunday 101

Party Poker Million VI Won by German

The Party Poker Million is an old school cruise and poker tournament put on by party poker. It was won this weekend by German entrant Alexander Jung. He took down $358k for his work, and beat out 171 players in this $8,200 event. Jung is already well known on the tournament circuit, having over $300k already in lifetime wins.

The tournament ended up heads up against another man from Germany, Dominik Stopka, making for an all German final two. Jung said about Stopka: "I had a lot of respect for Dominik. I had seen him play a great many hands, mostly without a showdown — and when he did have to show it was often something like aces — so he is a good player. However, I felt one or two others were a bit tight on the final table — perhaps wanting to try and climb the money positions."

Germans made up a big percentage of this tournament, as Germany is one of Parties strongest player bases. A spokesperson for Party Poker has said "Alexander Jung was the deserving winner in a week where German players truly dominated the tournament. The heads-up was a clash of two different kinds of player. In Jung you had the mathematical online whiz kid and with Stopka the experienced and respected professional who has fine tuned their game over the years."

The heads-up battle saw Jung go at it with a 2:1 chip lead over his opponent. Match the chips with Jung's experience and it is no surprise he dominated this one. The final hand was Jung being an aggressor and going all in with J-7. Stopka called with A-9, only to see a 7 hit on the board. This was Stopka's first major live cash, and expect to see more of this math student in the future.

All in this entire event was a success. First place was huge, and the players surely can't wait to see what the next PartyPoker cruise has in store!

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France Opens Huge Poker Room, PartyPoker Million Won by German, FTOPS Sunday 102

FTOPS VIII Events 8 and 9 in the Books

Sunday is the day for MTTs on the internet. Many sites have the biggest ones of the month on this day, and the Full Tilt Series of Poker is no exception. Events 8 and 9 were the big ones on Sunday, and they attracted more than 5,500 players.

Event 8 was a No-Limit Holdem Heads-Up event, hosted by Paul Wasicka. The winner has a funny name "GoToChurch," and probably had some divine intervention in this tournament. Here are the rest of the reuslts:

1. GoToChurch $51,200

2. Boondy $29,952

3. zuleh $16,000

4. kiwid10 $16,000

5. grunter321 $8,320

6. kenny05 $8,320

7. padirk165 $8,320

8. Jackal78 $8,320

9. DanOBrien $4,480

10. Kenny Rap $4,480

Event #9 was a standard No-Limit Holdem Event which brought an insane 5,090 players. It was hosted by Gus Hansen, and his popularity is apparent! These are the final results of this huge tournament:

1. _FlaXmarZ_ $263,438

2. MK376 $159,571

3. xqsays $102,614

4. nfa1080 $80,167

5. jbs07 $60,316

6. lonolin $45,046

7. POCKET FIVE $35,121

8. papychulo7777 $26,722

9. highbury90 $19,851

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