PNB Week in Review: Zynga abandoning Nevada and WPT news

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 04, 2013 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Poker News BoyWPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown issues $10 million guarantee

Earlier this year the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown drew a big crowd thanks to the eye-opening and potentially expensive $10 million guarantee placed on the tournament. The event easily surpassed the guarantee, and because of the tournament’s success the World Poker Tour has decided to replicate the guarantee, placing a $10 million guarantee on the WPT stop at the Hollywood Hard Rock Casino.

According to a tweet by the casino, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will feature a $5,300 buy-in and will allow for reentries (likely unlimited considering the guarantee) and is scheduled to take place sometime in early April of 2014, which would put it in direct competition with other major tournament stops around the globe –although when is there not a major tournament series running somewhere?

Zynga abandoning the Nevada market

Zynga was expected to be a serious player in the US online poker market, considering the company’s success with social media games, and the impressive customer list they are in possession of. But things haven’t worked out the way Zynga would have liked, and the company seems to be abandoning any hopes of becoming a real-money online gaming company.

Less than a year after filing for a Nevada online poker license the company has withdrawn their application according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

While unexpected, the withdrawal of their application is not all that surprising considering the recent shakeup at the top of Zynga –Mark Pincus being replaced by Don Mattrick—and the statement made during Zynga’s latest earnings report where they essentially announced they were abandoning real-money online poker in the US:

“Zynga believes its biggest opportunity is to focus on free to play social games. While the Company continues to evaluate its real money gaming products in the United Kingdom test, Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real money gaming in the United States. Zynga will continue to evaluate all of its priorities against the growing market opportunity in free, social gaming, including social casino offerings.”

WPT returning to China

For the second straight year the World Poker Tour will host a tournament in mainland China when the WPT heads to Hainan in December. Here is a look at the press release on the newly announced stop:

Los Angeles, CA (October 3, 2013) – Less than a year after holding the first-ever No-Limit Hold ‘Em tournament in Mainland China, World Poker Tour® is returning to the tropical island of Hainan for its second, high-stakes poker event.

Working with Beijing Ourgame Ltd., World Poker Tour will return to the spectacular MGM Grand Sanya Resort on November 5 for its second WPT® National China tournament. “Last year’s historic event was fully subscribed and evidenced the growing appetite for world-class poker tournaments in China. We’re expecting November’s tournament to be even more successful, and look forward to returning to help promote Texas Hold ‘Em poker and the new emerging talent in China,” said WPT President, Adam Pliska.

This year’s event, which has already received commitments from celebrity players including David Chiu, Liz Lieu, Xuan Liu, Maria Ho, and Johnny Chan, carries a guarantee of ¥8,800,000 (approximately US$1,432,000) and will begin on November 5, 2013. The tournament will play down to its final table and will crown its champion in Jeju, South Korea on December 14 where the final six players will compete in advance of Day 1 of the brand new, $3,000 buy-in, WPT South Korea event, running from December 15 through December 19.

Just a short flight from Hong Kong and Macau, the MGM Grand Sanya resort is located in the Yalong Bay National Resort District where guests can enjoy all of the amenities Hainan Island has to offer, including easy access to a private beach or a round of golf at the magnificent Yalong Bay Golf Club. For guests who stay on property, the MGM Grand Sanya offers a world-class spa featuring 20 individual treatment rooms and three separate swimming pools, including Wet Republic where patrons can enjoy live DJs, private cabanas, and poolside food and bottle service. In the evenings, the resort offers a full complement of casual and fine dining options, along with numerous nightclubs and bars where players can party all night long.

Players who reserve their hotel rooms directly through the MGM Grand Sanya before October 15, 2013 will receive an 8% discount off the standard room rate of $280 per night. Players within reach of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL can earn entry to a $10,000 freeroll tournament at 2pm on Sunday, October 13 where they can win a $6,500 tournament package to play in the WPT National China Sanya event. To qualify, players need to amass 20 hours of live poker play at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Hotel & Casino between October 1 and October 10, 2013.

Players on the West Coast can win one of three, $5,000 WPT National China packages being given away by Commerce Casino in October. Awarded to the winner of Commerce’s $150 buy-in, No-Limit Megastack tournament held each Saturday between October 12 and October 26, each package includes round-trip airfare, a tournament entry, and five night’s accommodation at MGM Sanya.

All players who reach the WPT National China Sanya final table will receive free coach airfare, ground transportation, and hotel accommodations at the Ramada Plaza in Jeju, courtesy of Beijing Globallink Computer Technology Company Limited.

For more information about WPT National China Sanya, please contact

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