We continue marching forwards in our review of 2012 with the month of July.
July was welcomed by the poker world with the news that Ray Bitar — the now former CEO of Full Tilt Poker — had handed himself into the U.S. authorities. Bitar was facing a number of charges including Conspiracy too Violate UIGEA; Conspiracy to Defraud Banks and Wire Fraud. Bitar could face 145 years in prison!
There was more negativity in the air, but this time in the UK, when The International closed its doors for the last time. The private members club had lost its operating licence in December 2011 and was told to apply for a full gaming license. However, this was deemed too expensive and the club had no other choice other than ceasing to operate.
Picking up the spirits of the UK's poker playing public was left to the one-man wrecking ball that is Sam Trickett. The popular high-stakes pro almost went the distance in the inaugural Big One for One Drop — a $1,000,000 buy-in tournament — but he ultimately finished in second place for a not-too-shabby $10,112,001 pay day. However, just hours later Trickett was jumped by six men whilst out celebrating with his girlfriend, Natasha Sandhu.
At the opposite end of the tournament buy-in structure, Rod Albright became a Grosvenor UK Poker Tour champion when he took down the £500 No Limit Hold'em Deepstack event at GUKPT Plymouth. Albright defeated Fei Yung heads-up to get his hands on the £11,900 first place prize.
Sticking with the UK and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) overhauled its eGaming Regulations of 2009 in the light of the Full Tilt Poker debacle. From 2013, license holders will have to provide regular reports into the financial stability of their company; this is something that has been put in place to protect customers.
Last but certainly not least was the news that spread like wildfire on the last day of July, the news that PokerStars had acquired the assets of Full Tilt Poker! The deal cost PokerStars over $750 million, which included the funds required to repay all of Full Tilt Poker's customers! We will have a more in-depth look at this fantastic story soon, so please keep your browsers locked to UK & Ireland PokerNews!