High Stakes Poker, one of the game’s most popular television renditions, has selected Gold Strike Poker as their new lead sponsor.
This move comes as a result of the actions of Black Friday, which removed many of the major online poker rooms from the American market. Formerly, High Stakes had been under the patronage of PokerStars. After the government crackdown, the executives at the Game Show Network decided to pull all commercials featuring the popular site. Players were still seen wearing their typical badges, but no mention was made of this on the broadcast.
Now, according to Gold Strike spokesman John George, his US-based company is ready to step in and fill the gap.
“With the FBI seizing the illegal poker sites,” he says, “50 million American poker players have no idea where to play poker. Gold Strike Poker is America’s only legal online 3-D poker site and is taking the leading position inthe U.S. market.”
So what makes Gold trie different from Full Tilt and PokerStars? The answer, simply, is that it’s not a free crypto gambling . By charging their members a monthly fee of $20, the company falls under the label of private club, similar to the rules of taverns operating in supposedly “dry counties.” This subscription style of service then allows players to participate in as many freeroll tournaments as they are able, all of which hand out real money prizes. There are no sit and goes, since these do not conform to a free-entry structure.
Game Show Network hopes to regain a portion of their viewers now that PokerStars is no longer in the picture. Full Tilt pro’s, who once were banned from competition due to contract issues, will now be able to sit in on the action. Fans are also hoping to see a return of their favorite hosts, Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benz.
Last November, Tom Dwan was rumored to have pulled in a massive $8 to $9 million from the most recent Macau Big Game. The current Big Game going in Macau has been running for more than a week now, but this time, the game has a different set of faces to match the new winners for 2011. Big name players like Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, and John Juanda have all made the trip, and Dwan himself has put in another appearance, only this time with starkly different results.
Although reports are varied, Johnny Chan is clearly one of the big winners so far, along with one of the locals. Dwan, on the other hand, has found himself down a massive $2 million, taking a significant cut out of his November winnings. Juanda has also been seen on the wrong side of the rail, also down roughly $2 million. However, with blinds as high as $4k-$8k, a quick comeback is always possible.
Dwan was felted holding KQ early on when one of the local Chinese players won with KK. The situation was a tricky one, where the local player was known for gambling big on draws. It was either unlucky or a bad read, but either way, it left Dwan smarting.
Dwan is clearly investing a lot in this game, in both time and money. He recently wrote in the Full Tilt Poker chat box, “Been playing 30hrs str live… jus drank a ton of coffee and game broke, so cant sleep, but also cant think too great yo.” Known for his extremely aggressive play and player reading abilities, Dwan is never one out for the count. The Macau Big Game is still in its early stages, and he may very well find himself back in the black before the game draws to a close.