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The latest poker news from, featuring top stories from around the gambling industry.
US-facing online poker site Global Poker (GP) kicked off its Rattlesnake Open a week ago, and the response has been better than expected. If things continue as they have been, the 135-event series will pay out double the initial guarantee of $1.25 million.
A $5,000 freeroll opened the series last Sunday, and saw 3,132 entries take to the tables. All events across the initial four days broke their guarantees – some by just a small amount, others by more than double. The $110 6-Max tournament on Monday night offered a $10,000 guarantee, but by the time it got underway, the guarantee had risen to more than $22,000.
The series offers a variety of torunaments – No-Limit Hold’Em (NLHE), Pot-Limit Omaha and Fixed-Limit Hold’em – with buy-ins ranging from $3.30 up to $218. Three NLHE Main Event tournaments will be held on May 20 starting with a $22 buy-in event with a $15,000 guarantee. This will be followed by a $110 buy-in tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $40,000 and a $218 tourney with a $100,000 guarantee. Satellite tournaments are being offered for as little as $0.55 to try for a seat at the $100,000 Main Event.
The money for GP is offered in terms of “Sweeps Cash.” Since online poker is still illegal almost everywhere in the US, GP offers a unique approach to be able to award cash prizes in tournaments. Registered GP users purchase a virtual currency called Gold Coins (GC), through PayPal, which can be used for ring games, sit-n-gos and tournaments. With the GCs, Sweeps Cash is awarded, and this cash can be used for GP’s Sweeps Cash tournaments. GC-based games don’t offer real cash winnings; however, Sweeps Cash winnings can be exchanged for cash through PayPal.
GP is treading lightly due to the state of online gambling across the country. Given a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals that defined virtual gambling chips as a form of gambling in the state of Washington, it’s possible that GP’s poker model could fall under the same ruling. On the other hand, recent online poker ventures by several states challenge federal doctrine that gambling is “evil,” and could open the door to wider acceptance of online gambling activity.