It has been a relatively quiet week for poker in the United Kingdom and Ireland as its grinders begin their preparation for the upcoming World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. A large part of that preparation stems around playing as many online poker tournaments as possible and with the PokerStars Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP) in full swing, there's been plenty of opportunity to do just that.
The week kicked off with the news of Ireland's Andrew "UlDuffer" Sweeney helping himself to a career-best score of more than $175,000. Sweeney kept up the recent trend of players from the UK & Ireland excelling in the PokerStars Sunday Million by navigating his way to a runner-up finish in the SCOOP special edition of online poker's biggest weekly tournament.
You'll see in the article linked above that it wasn't only Sweeney who won big that Sunday, and the big scores kept coming throughout the week with Billy "b8chatz" Chattaway locking up a SCOOP title when he won the $1,050 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event for a cool $111,132.
Chattaway is one of the British players who should be heading to the Nevada desert in the coming weeks and is definitely one to watch as he's hit some big scores this year.
Keeping with online poker, this week the legend that is Chris "Moorman1" Moorman climbed back to the top of the UK's online poker rankings following a string of superb results. Moorman won a record 25th PocketFives.com Triple Crown title before winning the PokerStars Sunday 500 and another two high stakes tournaments at PokerStars. Moorman is hitting form at just the right time and we think he is a solid bet to secure a bracelet in Las Vegas this summer.
Into the world of live poker now and the news that the inaugural partypoker Grand Prix Million looks set to fall short of its ambitious $1 million guaranteed. Dusk Till Dawn (DTD), the venue hosting the event, placed a $1 million guarantee on the $100+$20 event meaning it needs 10,000 players to hit the guarantee. A couple of days ago, the overlay was estimated to be $211,000 and a new blog update from the DTD owner, Rob Yong, estimated this could have risen to more than $270,000, which is fantastic for those competing, not so much for DTD or partypoker.
The Grand Prix Million's figures won't be helped by the fact the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) heads to the Welsh capital of Cardiff this weekend for a £500+£50 buy-in £100,000 guaranteed Main Event and a handful of side events. Although the buy-in is pitched at a different section of the poker community, there will be players who choose to head to Cardiff instead of Nottingham.
Away from the actual and virtual felt and into the boardroom where there's been some activity this week for some of our biggest gambling companies.
888 Holdings, the parent company of 888poker, announced Brian Mattingley had become the company's Chairman, a role that was announced in 2014, while Paddy Power's Chairman, Nigel Northridge, made the decision to step down from his role with him expected to vacate it in July of this year.
Speaking of 888poker, they could be set to buy rivals bwinparty in a £1 billion takeover. 888 confirmed rumors of their bid were true but they face stiff opposition from a joint bid from GVC Holdings and the owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt, Amaya Gaming.
Finally, do you remember the gambling company Mansion? Late in 2014, Mansion pulled out of the UK poker market after deciding the new 15% Point of Consumption Tax would eat into its profits from UK-based players too much. Its casinos are a different story and they recently obtained a remote gambling licence from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) meaning they now adhere to the strict guidelines and rules set out by the UK's governing body of gambling.