The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
July 6, 2011

Bingo scandal in Alabama

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Alabama’s VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor is standing trial in connection with a vote-buying case brought to court by the FBI. The case involve passing of a bingo legislation which was allegedly to be helped through political connections and buying of votes. It’s not good for any type of a lottery or casino games to provoke scandals since passing of legislation on poker or some casino games has become a constant issue. Many operators and players alike would like to see betting, lotteries, poker and casino games legal, both outside and on the internet, and if corruption and other similar scandals emerge in connection with them, legalisation will just be becoming ever more difficult.

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June 27, 2011

A first WSOP bracelet for Fabrice « FabSoul » Soulier

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Fabrice Soulier, a pro poker player, also known as « FabSoul » at poker tables, has won prize money of over 2,5 million Dollars to date. His last big win was in 2010 in the Main Event of the Partouche Poker Tour de Cannes where he took home €500,000.

His prize money has just increased to $3,2 million thanks to his recent performance at the 2011 World Series Of Poker 2011 on 24 June where he became only the 8th French player in history to win a bracelet. This accomplishment was in Event #37 of the HORSE Championship. We mustn’t forget that this poker championship is a mix of 5 types of poker: Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Eight-or-Better.

Fabrice Soulier, 42 years old and from Avignon, was the director of the TV show « Farce Attaque » working alongside Laurent Baffie, in addition to directing the series « Un gars, une fille ».

He was discovered by the online poker site Poker770 and was sponsored for many years representing the site; he became the number one French poker player in 2001 as well as in 2006.

Thanks to his latest trophy, he joins the elite list of French players, Bertrand « Elky » Grospellier and Elie Payan to have won a WSOP bracelet in 2011.

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June 23, 2011

Custom Online Slots – How About a Dirty Martini?

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While many online casino share the very same games depending on their software provider, or which developers they partner with. Some online casinos and even bingo rooms, also offer custom slots, and one of the latest at Bodog is called Dirty Martini. Just the title of the game is enough to get you interested isn’t it? You will find the “Palace Groupie” at Palace casinos and bingo sites such as Sun Bingo offer “Mystic Meg” and “Winning Headlines” which are also custom slots.

But, back to Dirty Martini; this very unique custom slot fits well with the Bodog Brand, they describe it as “A little bit of gin, some vermouth, an olive and a dash of luck – all the ingredients for a win with Dirty Martini. Be like 007 and match up beer, wine, whisky and more for a winning cocktail. How would you like your prize – shaken, or stirred?” The slot comes from Realtime gaming and as you may or may not know, this software provider and this particular site has not bowed to popular pressure, and they still offer real money games to US players . At least they still did the last time we checked.

This site aligns itself with an image of glamour as well as entertainment so, while the Dirty Martini, might be tongue in cheek, it’s provocative attitude appeals to sophisticated audiences.

It is a five reel video slot, with a classic slot graphic appeal. The look is that of a traditional one armed bandit, and a fixed prize jackpot payout of 1 000 coins. Compared to some slot games this might not seem like a lot, but remember US players can’t afford to be all that choosy, when most online casinos won’t allow them to play for real money. At least this is a good amount for a fixed prize and Bodog is a well-trusted name.

The symbols which offer the largest pay-outs are the symbols for alcoholic drinks – Yay! Pink champagne enjoys pride of place as the highest paying symbol, followed by whisky, wine and beer – sorry there appears to be no women and song to complete the cliché. Fruits are also included and these always go down well with both cocktails and fruit machines; find strawberries, pineapples, oranges, lemons and of course the traditional cherries. Oh…yes, because the title of the game is Dirty Martini, you will find that the olive pays too. Is this a fruit or a vegetable I wonder?

The wild symbol is the Martini shaker, so, you will get yours shaken not stirred – this essential cocktail mixing item will help make winning combinations, and even double some payouts. You know it is winning for you when the shaker burst into animation and five of these on an enabled pay-line will win you 10 000 coins!

Give Dirty Martini a spin or two, it is tons of fun to play and the classic “B” for Bodog symbol allows scatter payouts to accrue. Fabulous fun for all fans of the online slot game genre!

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June 7, 2011

VIP baccarat dominating Macau

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Baccarat is still on its steady rise in Macau. Since the gambling monopoly expired in the Asian gambling enclave, Macau has overtaken Las Vegas in terms of gambling revenues and the by far most earning game is VIP baccarat, in other words, baccarat played by affluent casino patrons. Although experts are warning casino operators about possible volatility of this market due to its dependence on a single group of players, casinos’ profits are still increasing. VIP baccarat currently accounts for over 70 percent of casino revenues locally, with middle class baccarat not falling too far behind. Another game bringing in more and more money is the slot machine, too. U.S. based Wynn Resorts who opened a branch of their business in Macau are expected to report triple their 2010 profit this year.

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June 1, 2011

Pokie machine debate revives

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The Australian poker machine debate has been resurrected from the back burner once again as passing of the proposed legislation should happen very soon. The Australian senator Andrew Wilkie has been pushing for introduction of mandatory betting limits on every single poker machine within the boundaries of the federation, however, this effort is not supported by all of the states. Some want to make the betting limits voluntary, giving the player a choice, arguing that this step will not help problem gamblers since there are ways to circumvent the limitation, for example by setting oneself an unreasonably high limit. If the limits are flat, on the other hand, it won’t be fair to gamblers who have no problems with gambling and enjoy a high stake game. At the moment, the High Court has a challenge filed by the state of Victoria on its table since the Victorian government wishes for a voluntary scheme.

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May 31, 2011

More problems for online poker companies looming – in Australia

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The USA is not the only country in the world intolerant of online gambling to such an extent as to virtually prohibit it. Whilst countries like Denmark, France or Italy have managed to understand that prohibition only leads to crime and have set out on the journey of controlled regulation, the U.S. have the UIGEA prohibiting processing on transactions related to online gambling and Australia boasts a downright ban of casino games and poker on the internet. So now, after facing a disaster on the American continent, big online gambling and poker companies like Pokerstars who were offering online poker to Australians might just delve into further problems, this time with the Australian authorities, who started investigating on FBI’s request.

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May 12, 2011

Koen De Visscher : A remarkable feat in the $ 1,000 event # 8 high of the SCOOP

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The Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP), the largest and most popular online poker competitions, has just published its first results of the 2011 edition. Indeed, this festival of online poker tournament, with 38 events in total, has just started on May 8 and will only end on next Sunday, May 22 with the $ 10,300 Main Event. What caught everyone’s attention was the victory of Koen De Visscher, player of Poker 770 at the $ 1,000 buy-in tournament of the SCOOP, the event # 8 high. He’s an outstanding player who had just joined in this famous professional online poker team for a few months but continues to make talk about him in various competitions.

The experiences he acquired until now, continue to improve his performance. Note that De Visscher is accompanied at this SCOOP by some colleagues from his team, Team 770 as Coralie Naude and Jamel Maistriaux. And about the earning, he picked up $ 122,000 for this feat, an amount that certainly won’t stay there and may increase further during other events that will take place shortly. As a reminder, these online poker tournaments, run by all players of the four corners of the planet are available for buy-ins ranging from $ 5.50 to $ 25,000. All levels and all categories of players can find the tournament that suit them. The prize of over $ 500,000, of the final stage of this competition is still awaiting its winner.

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May 3, 2011

Iowa considering legalisation of online gambling

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Whilst three major poker websites in the U.S. have been seized by the FBI, the federal state of Iowa is heading in an opposite direction considering legalisation of online gambling on the state level. An official study has been commissioned to the state’s Gaming Commission whose purpose is to provide insight into the gambling industry locally. Potential of online casino games and poker is huge in terms of raising funds and fuel the state’s economy and legalisation and regulation of online gambling is highly desirable, in the light of the current economic situation. State officials expect the industry to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue if online gambling gets legalised.

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April 7, 2011

Casino staff image still more important

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Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is facing legal action from its former employees who claim they have been dismissed on the basis of age and sex discrimination. The importance of image of casino employees has been steadily growing in recent years, with the atmosphere of the casino being considered as essential a part of the offer as the games patrons can enjoy on the gaming floor. You can find casinos themed into the 20s, casinos themed around popular movies or around rock music and staff need to attire accordingly. A couple of Resorts waitresses, however, allegedly “violated uniform standards“ when they could not fit into a new type of a tight vintage uniform. One of them had been working for the casino for over 30 years. Seven of them are currently actually suing the venue.

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March 31, 2011

A Poker Player with A Most Discerning Eye for Detail

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Amarillo Slim aka. Thomas Austin Preston, born December 31, 1928, Johnson, Arkansas; started off his gambling career at the age of sixteen, hustling pool; and then in both the navy and army. He soon shot to celebrity status as a very young man, and returned from service in Germany, reportedly a millionaire! – A natural born burn or bluff poker player. After spending some time sowing wild oats and travelling around the US with a youthfully befriended troupe of talented card sharks, Amarillo Slim, it seemed would bet on absolutely anything that moved. Basketball, football, pool, even golf was grist for his mill; as long as he suspected that it would move faster than anything else. Most of the time, he won – this poker player had a most discerning eye for detail.

In 1972 Amarillo Slim won the World Series of Poker main event and subsequently picked up three other WSOP bracelets: a thousand Dollar no limit hold ’em in ’74, and the five thousand Dollar pot limit Omaha game, at both The ’85 and ’90 WSOP. In the meantime, he had bought, a ranch, just outside of Amarillo, Texas.

Slim’s seemingly charmed poker/gambling career has spanned a life long of road trips, tournaments, and exhibitions. Being featured on national television’s most popular talk shows including “Good Morning America”, “The Tonight Show”, and “60 minutes”; Amarillo Slim’s celebrity reputation kept escalating to even greater heights. The poker playing, honey talkin’ cowboy from Amarillo, Texas, could read another man’s subtle facial expressions, decipher his emotions, and then play his own hand almost every time to his own advantage. He sold his image as a poker face beneath a signature Stetson, and was inducted into The Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.

Winning as much, and as consistently as Slim has won; makes for bitter enemies – we cant judge? But the man’s character has been described by some as tough “and mean as a junkyard dog”. But then a backlash under extra-ordinary circumstances; is almost always bound to be judgemental to a degree. In March 2003, Thomas Austin Preston was accused of child molestation. As a result; he was embarrassed publically, his family was greatly upset, and he was shunned by much of the closely knit poker community. He subsequently stopped playing the big poker events, withdrew from the public eye, and kept completely silent on the issue for nearly six years. Since then he has twice been robbed at gun-point, whether the robberies were related to the charges or not are a moot point; but eventually he broke his silence. In an interview with the sports writer Nolan Dalla, in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009; he reverently defended himself as a family man first, and felt very deeply about the fact that he believed he had been framed.

He has always known about poker; that it’s got nothing to do with the cards or what’s on them, whether its hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades. “You’ve simply got to be able to read a man’s face, the length of his sleeves, and the shine on his cuff-links.” – Amarillo Slim.

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