John Tabatabai Wins Australian Heads Up Championships
Betfair Poker pro and WSOPE runner up John Tabatabai continues to prove he is one of the hottest young talents in UK poker, by winning the high profile heads up championships at the Aussie Millions. He bested a field of 32 players in the $5,200 event, eventually coming up against WSOP Heads Up runner up Alec Torelli in the final.
The event was a best of three affair, which got off to an unusual start when new chips were introduced for the final. Early into the match the tournament staff noticed that an extra 10,000 chip had found its way into play and match 1 was abandoned. Play eventually started afresh and Tabatabai beat his opponent in commanding style 2-0. He takes home AUS$100,000 and a special Aussie Millions Gold Ring.
Elsewhere in the Main Event, Richard 'Chufty' Ashby is flying high amongst the big stacks and maybe this could finally be the big tournament result that has evaded him for years. Barny Boatman is also still in the field at the time of writing as the final table is fast approaching.
Can anybody stop the Devilfish?
Wow! There is good form and then there is good form. The return of Dave 'The Devilfish' Ulliott continues as the man who won an Irish Poker Championships side event and Euro Finals of Poker main event this month is currently the chip leader at the Pokerstars.net EPT Deauville. The Hull man is currently sat with 120,000 chips and the second highest chip count is 105,000. We said it earlier this week, but when the Devilfish has a chip lead he rarely relinquishes it, and he is a real monster with a big stack. The first prize for this event is €851,400 and were he to pull off this amazing treble, it would take his earnings for January alone to well over €1 million, as well as making him only the second person in history to have won an EPT, WPT and WSOP title.
Whatever your thoughts on this 'love him or hate him' character, this would be an amazing result for UK poker and we all hope he does it.
The current US Situation – a UK Players Guide
This week has been a monumental week in not only American history, but also the landscape of online poker, and here is a very brief roundup for UK players and what it could mean for them.
First of all, the case of the Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear trying to seize 141 gambling domain names has been dismissed in the appeals court. Beshear wanted to block gambling websites from the citizens of Kentucky to 'protect them' from the evils of gambling, while conveniently allowing the State owned horse racing industry to remain legal. This is a great omen for poker in the US, although the Kentucky Governor is appealing the dismissal.
Also in the last week, a Pennsylvania judge has decreed that poker is a game of skill, after a case where a man was arrested for illegally running a poker game. He decided that Texas Hold'em is predominantly skill based and therefore not gambling – another great omen.
The news was looking like it was taking a turn for the worse, as in the final day of the Bush Administration; the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed. However, one of President Barack Obama's first actions was to put a halt on all the regulations passed in the final few days of the Bush Administration. This potentially means that Politician Barney Frank now has the power to regulate online gambling in the US, which he has been lobbying to do for several years now.
This is all superb news for our friends across the pond and could have a profound impact for all of us. European based poker rooms could potentially re-enter the US market and online traffic will become bigger and more widespread than ever. It also means that so many more recreational American players will start depositing again, making all the games much juicier, especially at the big poker rooms that still allow US players.
All in all, the future is looking a shade brighter for the fortunes of online poker (and the world in general) since a certain Mr Bush stepped aside for a certain Mr Obama.