Goodwin closes in on European Player of the Year, PartyPoker Founder Pleads Guilty and more

Goodwin closes in on European Player of the Year, PartyPoker Founder Pleads Guilty and more 0001

Marc Goodwin on top of European Rankings

We predicted this would happen weeks ago but now it is official, Marc Goodwin has jumped up to the number one spot in the PokerinEurope European Rankings, following an amazing run of form in the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour. Goodwin made an amazing 9 GUKPT finals, including a main event and side event win, which helped him with the GUKPT player of the year award earlier this month.

These results have also seen him leapfrog EPT San Remo and London High Rollers winner Jason Mercier for the current top spot in Europe. Goodwin's only other ranking event final table came in the £750 deep stack event at Dusk Till Dawn in July, which means that not only is the GUKPT putting British poker on the map, it is also putting it firmly on the European stage.

With barely any other European ranking events between now and the end of the year, this looks like the prestigious award could be locked up for Goodwin and he will join an elite group of UK players including Ash Hussein, Mickey Wernick and Willie Tann who have won the award in previous years. We are pretty sure that the guys over at the GUKPT will be rooting for him just as much, and this result and the promise of European Ranking points will surely bring even more players to the tables in the 2009 season.

Neil Channing and Dave Penly are still in the mix in 4th and 5th place respectively, with Penly currently sitting pretty at the top spot in the PLO rankings. Here at UK Pokernews we wish both men the best of luck in pulling off this fantastic double for the UK in the European Rankings.

Festive Freezeout Festivals from CircusPoker

We've got news of three interesting looking festivals over the Christmas period to get you out of the house once you can't stand mince pies any longer. CircusPoker are sponsoring three main events across the UK, with exclusive online satellites at Circus Poker as well as the chance to buy-in, rake free, online. They are also adding £25 to the prize pool for every online qualifier in the field.


Southend Festival
26th December, 2008
Boxing Day Freeze Out
£150 + £15
27th & 28th December, 2008
Double Chance Two Day Freeze Out with Overlay Online Prize Add On
£500 + £40
Torquay Festival
1st Janaury, 2008
New Years Day Double Chance Freeze Out
£250 + £10
Stoke Circus Festival
4th January, 2008
New Years Day Double Chance Freeze Out
£100 + £10, £2500 Prize Pool Add On

PartyGaming Founder Pleads Guilty

More bad news for PartyGaming to end the year with, as their co-founder and largest shareholder Anurag Dikshit has pleaded guilty to charges 'related to illegal web betting' and will pay out over $300 million to US authorities, according to the Financial Times. Billionaire Dikshit is reportedly pleading guilty for violating the Wire Act of 1961, which is interpreted to make offering remote sports betting illegal. He will appear in front of the Southern District Court of New York on Tuesday. He could potentially also spend up to two years in Prison, although most believe that won't come to pass.

Dikshit owns a 27% stake in Party Gaming, the largest stake ahead of Russell DeLeon and Ruth Parasol, who each own 14% and who haven't come forward to negotiate with the US themselves. This could effectively give PartyGaming a clean slate with US authorities, opening them up potentially re-enter the US market, and Dikshit's dealings with the US Department of Justice are believed to be voluntary.

Shares in the group have just risen by 7% after the Group announced today that the amount Dikshit will pay is likely to be less than the $300 million reported. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange:

"The company's discussions with the Department of Justice have made good progress and it is currently negotiating the final terms of a possible settlement. On the basis of the discussions to-date, PartyGaming expects any settlement with the Department of Justice to involve a payment by the company of an amount that is significantly lower than that reported to be paid by Mr Dikshit. In addition, the company believes that any such settlement is unlikely to include a criminal plea on the part of the company or any director".

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