The Nightly Turbo: Black Friday Principal Pleads Guilty, Calvin Ayre Indicted, and More
It was a busy day in the world of poker, so we're here to get you caught up on all of the biggest stories around the globe. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering the guilty plea by a Black Friday payment processor, federal indictments handed to Calvin Ayre and three others, and more.
In Case You Missed It
The 2012 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic played down to 18 players on Day 4. Noah Schwartz bagged the most chips as play concluded but Dan Kelly, Stephen Chidwick, Jason DeWitt and Jason Somerville were lurking.
Phil Ivey was the bubble boy of the aforementioned L.A. Poker Classic. Rich Ryan takes a look at the community's reaction in his latest Five Thoughts piece.
Poker After Dark is set to return to television on March 5. Chad Holloway caught up with Poker PROductions' Mori Eskandani to talk about the show's relaunch, as well as the possible return of the National Heads Up Poker Championship.
Matt Glantz has been very vocal about the downfall of Full Tilt Poker. Glantz joined the PokerNews Podcast this week to discuss his recent blog about the FTP shareholders, the pending deal between FTP and Groupe Bernard Tapie, and more.
Black Friday Principal Pleads Guilty
Ryan Lang, one of the 11 men indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on Black Friday, pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.
Lang, 36, was accused of facilitating the illegal transfer of funds from online poker sites to players in the U.S. Lang operated as a payment processor out of Canada from 2007 to 2010, assisting financial brokers who made false statements to the banks to trick them into processing payments. He was charged with money laundering and fraud, among other things.
Lang apologized in court for the crimes, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal.
Calvin Ayre Indicted; Bodog.com Seized
One day after the Bodog.com domain name was seized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bodog brand founder Calvin Ayre was indicted by the federal government on charges of operating an illegal gambling business and conspiring to commit money laundering.
Federal prosecutors claim that Ayre and three other men — James Philip, David Ferguson and Derrick Maloney supervised an illegal gambling business from June 2005 to January 2012 in violation of Maryland law. According to the indictment, Bodog used payment processors in Switzerland, England, Malta, and Canada, and then directed the processors to send at least $100 million by wire and by check to gamblers in Maryland.
The company is also under indictment after its domain name was seized. Bodog.com was no longer operational after the U.S.-facing business was rebranded to Bovada.lv last December, and CalvinAyre.com reports that other Bodog Brand properties won’t be affected by the seizure of the inactive domain.
For more, read the story here at PokerNews.com.
Gambling Firms Blocked From Offering Games in Holland
According to numerous reports, the Dutch Supreme Court has ordered online gaming operators like Ladbrokes and Betfair to implement software that blocks residents in Holland from accessing their sites.
The ruling is the latest in a long battle between online gambling firms and the Dutch government. Currently, the Dutch Lotto is the only organization with a license to run online gambling in the state. The government has attempted to block foreign companies from offering their services in Holland since 2003 to keep them out of the market.
The ruling took 10 years because the Dutch Supreme Court waited for a judgment from the European Court of Justice, which declared in 2010 that the country is within its rights to ban foreign operators as long as the ban is aimed at reducing fraud and discouraging people from gambling.
NL.PokerNews has more.
WPT National Returns
The World Poker Tour made its way to Vejle, Denmark, on Tuesday for the €1,650 buy-in National Event. The tournament, held at the Casino Munkebjerg Vejle, is comparable to a $1,650 buy-in WPT Regional Event in the U.S.
Among the players taking part on Day 1a were Theo Jorgensen, Sander Lylloff, and Alexander "AlexKP" Petersen. Also in the field was award-winning poker commentator Jesse May, who qualified for a WPT for the first time in 12 years. Naturally, Tony G. had some fun with May's accomplishment on his blog.
The World Poker Tour will also be hosting WPT National events in Mauritius and France this year and expects to announce partnerships with a number of additional venues soon. Winners do not qualify for a WPT title, Player of the Year points or a WPT World Championship buy-in, but the affordable buy-ins allow players to compete for big prizes against some of the top players around Europe.
For more information on the first WPT National Event, visit the World Poker Tour website.
Online Poker Traffic Rankings
On Monday, PokerScout.com released its online poker traffic rankings for the previous week. The tracking site reported a slight drop of 0.7 percent, marking the third straight week of losses on networks around the globe.
PokerStars continued its stranglehold over the competition, boasting a seven-day average of 25,800 cash game players last week. That numbers dwarfed the averages of PartyPoker (4,650) and the iPoker Network (4,100), which came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. 888poker landed at No. 4, and the Ongame Network moved up a notch to fifth place, passing PokerStars.it.
One of the big stories this month has been the Everleaf Gaming's exit from the U.S., and the network has since seen a sizable falloff in traffic. Everleaf's traffic slid another 6 percent last week after it dropped 16 percent the week before. Last week, Everleaf released an official statement confirming that player funds were seized by U.S. authorities.
As for year-over-year traffic numbers, online poker has seen a worldwide decline of 30 percent since this time last year. Along with obvious decline at Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, the International Poker Network (down 45 percent), PKR (down 26 percent) and the Ongame Network (down 23 percent) have seen a significant decline.
The biggest climbers over the past year are the Merge Gaming Network (up 76 percent), 888poker (up 75 percent) and Bodog (up 60 percent).
The full report can be found at PokerScout.com.