Italian poker pro Mustapha Kanit has been appearing regularly in major live poker tournaments all over the world since 2009. With each passing year, he seems to get better and better. Now, not even two-thirds of the way through 2015, he’s already collected over $2 million, including his latest win at the 2015 EPT Barcelona High Roller for €738,759 ($834,303).

Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona High Roller

Mustapha Kanit, 2015 EPT Barcelona High Roller – photo courtesy PokerStars

Knit’s performance on the felt has been spot-on this year. Of his career total 64 live event cashes, 10 of them have come in 2015. Likewise, of his newly acquired $4,629,838 career total winnings, $2,047,832 has been harvested this year alone–and we’re still in the third quarter!

Perhaps even more impressive for the young Italian, his latest victory at EPT Barcelona shoved Mustapha Kanit to the #1 spot on Italy’s All Time Money List, surpassing Max Pescatori ($4,079,534) by over half a million. And let’s not forget he also happens to be a stellar player on the virtual felt, having amassed $4,170,036, mostly from PokerStars under the moniker “Lasagnaaammm”.

Mustapha’s performance in Barcelona was exceptional, but it didn’t outshine his largest cash of 2015. That came back in May when Kanit outlasted a field of 54 entrants in the €50,000 EPT Madrid High Roller. In that event, the Italian would survive runner-up Michael Watson of Canada (2nd; $752,518) to pocket $1,048,243 (€936,500).

The 2015 EPT Barcelona High Roller called for a much lower buy-in than the previous leg in Madrid, asking €10,000 per entry. As such, the level of participation was significantly bolstered to a field of 401. Add to that 105 re-buys, and the prize pool quickly escalated to €4,908,200.

The top 71 players would receive a slice of the proverbial cash-pie, and several high-profile mentionables made the list. They include Davidi Kitai of Belgium (69th €18,650), Isaac Haxton of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (36th; €24,600), Adrian Mateos of Spain (17th; €47,100), and Mike McDonald of Canada (12th; €60,900).

When the final table of the high roller event commenced, Kanit bored his way through the competition to take a substantial lead going into 3-way play. Kanit held 11.63 million chips to the 7.99 million of his nearest rival, Kuljinder Sidhu of the UK, and almost twice that of American Nick Petrangelo, 5.885mm.

Based on those counts, the final three negotiated a pot-chopping deal that actually worked out perfectly since the order of stack-ranks coincided precisely with the end results of the tournament. Petrangelo fell to the rails first, collecting €592,840 ($669,513), and was soon followed out by Sidhu, who stopped by the cashier cage to collect €640,000 ($722,772) for the 2nd place finish.

Final Table Results

Mustapha proceeded to celebrate the win amongst his wildly cheering rail as he scooped the 1st place prize of €738,759 ($834,303), as well as the esteemed title of Italy’s highest winning poker player.

2015 EPT Barcelona €10k High Roller
Final Table Results

1 Mustapha Kanit €738,759
2 Kuljinder Sidhu €640,000
3 Nick Petrangelo €592,840
4 Niklas Astedt €336,700
5 Aliaksei Boika €265,600
6 Ami Barer €206,500
7 Gerald Karlic €155,600
8 Kevin MacPhee €108,500


New Jersey may have the largest online poker market in the US, but compared to international markets—even the ring-fenced markets in European states—player liquidity has been abysmal. Experts have debated various ways to turn things around, but one of the most interesting options I’ve come across has been the addition of fast-fold poker games.

New Jersey needs Fast-Fold PokerThe liquidity of an online poker room relates to the average number of players actively playing on the site. There are two important types of liquidity to be considered.

First, we have total liquidity, which designates the total number of players online at any given time, and then there’s game liquidity, which indicates player activity at specific game types/stakes.

The addition of fast-fold poker games would clearly have no effect on total liquidity, unless there happens to be a large amount of poker fans in the Garden States who are die-hard fans of the fast-fold genre and nothing else. That’s unlikely, of course. But for game liquidity, the results could be impressive.

The way fast-fold poker works, players are dropped into a pool of tables, rather than selecting the specific table they want to play at. Each time they fold a hand, they are immediately whisked away to another table and dealt into a new hand. As such, it can appear that a group of, say 12 tables, is actively entertaining as many as 100 players, despite their only be 50 players in the hunt.

NJ’s Fast-Fold Poker Dilemma

One problem is that these figures are merely fictional; a mirage of higher player volume to mask the reality of nadir liquidity. But if enough interested poker players see what appears to be a larger volume of players on the networks, it could attract additional players to the tables, effectively boosting total liquidity.

In the realm of land-based casinos, when you walk into a small poker room and see just a one or two tables housing a few players, it doesn’t pose an encouraging atmosphere for others to join in. Walk into a major casino and you’re likely to find a line of players waiting for an open seat.

New Jersey’s online poker sites are comparable to those ‘small poker rooms’. But if they can create the illusion of being comparable to a ‘major poker room’, perhaps it could start to turn things around.

The other problem—a much bigger one in the greater scheme of things—is that fast-fold poker is not authorized in the Garden State. Regulators would have to amend the current iGaming framework to permit operators to integrate fast-fold games. And unfortunately, there just isn’t enough evidence that incorporating such games would have a viable impact on the market for them to consider it at this time.

How to Increase Game Liquidity Now

A more practical solution—one that wouldn’t require approval from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement—would be to remove some of the stakes currently offered for NLHE games. If the range of stakes were cut in half, it would essentially force players to group together on the available tables.

For instance, if one player only patriciates at $0.05/$0.10 NLHE, but that level were to be removed, he might have to choose between downgrading to $0.01/$0.02, or upgrading to $0.10/$0.25. Either way, he would be merging into an existing group of players who already enjoy those stakes, thereby increasing the game liquidity.


Online poker pro Jason Somerville is a very busy—and very popular—man these days. Last week, the 28 year old signed yet another sponsorship deal with one of the largest Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites in the world, DraftKings. That brings his current sponsorships to three, including his Twitch Poker webcasting contract and PokerStars Pro status.

Somerville fist gained universal recognition after Ultimate Poker went live in Nevada, becoming the first regulated online poker site in the US. Jason was a key ambassador for that brand, helping to build awareness and player retention by hosting a regular web show called Run It UP.

Run It Up's Jason Somerville joins DFS site DraftKingsUltimate Poker eventually dropped the young poker pro in September of 2014, just two months before closing its virtual doors forever. But his time at UP, and his RIU web show, made him extremely popular among the online poker community. That opened the floodgates for other operators to pick him up, and PokerStars wasted no time in knocking on Somerville’s door.

Since then, he’s taken his Run It Up episodes to the live streaming channel known as His moniker, “jcarverpoker”, quickly wrangled up a mass of over 100,000 followers, inciting another sponsorship deal to promote Twitch Poker.

Now, young Jason has inked a contract with DraftKings to promote the DFS wagering giant on his RUI webcasts.

As part of the deal, DraftKings will be hosting a series of online satellite competitions leading into a special Run It Up Reno poker series slated for October. Taking place at the Peppermill Casino, the 6-day event will include a number of $125 buy-in tournaments, followed by a $565 RIU Reno Main Event. Projecting a field of at least 500, Jason Somerville will also be on hand, of course, hosting poker seminars along with “surprise celebrity guests”.

UFC Merges RIU with DFS

In an exclusive interview with LegalSportsReport, Somerville said that he’s not a big DFS bettor and only signed up an account with DraftKings a few months ago. Thus he was very hesitant to sign the deal, fearing the incorporation of DraftKings into RIU wouldn’t “be authentic”.

However, Jason was eventually swayed by the operator’s recent affiliation with UFC. As a longtime fan of UFC who frequently vocalizes that fact on RIU, he felt he would have no problem bridging the gap between his online poker livestream webcast and DFS sports betting.

The poker pro admitted that the majority of his viewers have probably never dealt in daily fantasy sports, but that he believes some of his fans will be intrigued by the possibilities, just as he was when he joined DraftKings earlier this year.

Somerville predicted that “a pretty decent amount” of his viewers would try it out, despite the majority of Twitch viewers not being sports fans, per say. When you consider that a whopping 1.4 million Americans tuned in to watch his most recent livestream, even a minuscule percentage of that would be an impressive turnover for the DFS site.

No Conflict of Interest between PokerStars & DraftKings

Interestingly enough, while DraftKings and FanDuel battle it out for the position of #1 DFS site in North America, the 3rd place position (sitting upon a rung of the ladder far below the top two rivals) is Victiv, which just happens to be owned by Jason’s other sponsorship partner, PokerStars.

Despite promoting a rival brand, there should be no conflict of interest between his ambassadorships with PokerStars and DraftKings. DFS and online poker are very far apart in terms of skillsets. And besides, realistically speaking, being one of the world’s largest online gambling companies, Somerville’s promotion of DFS could feasibly draw players to the PokerStars-owned DFS site as well.

Anyone supporting the regulation of online gambling in the United States has heard the name Sheldon Adelson. He’s the billionaire CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp, and the driving force behind the push to criminalize internet gaming across the nation. A new web show video has revealed just how hypocritical his argument against regulation really is.

Anti-online gambling cmpaigner Sheldon Adelson Exposed as is prepping for the release of a full web show video that tells the tale of Sheldon Adelson’s hypocrisy. The teaser video for the show, which went live on Saturday, August 15 on YouTube, tells a much different story than 82 year old Adelson gave Betty Liu of Bloomberg back in May of 2014.

The casino magnate and exorbitant GOP donor has staunchly opposed the regulation of online gambling in the United States, and vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to get a blanket ban of all internet wagering enforced across the country.

His argument has been based majorly on the proliferation of underage and problem gambling.

“I can’t tell over the internet who is underage… I can’t tell who is not gaming responsibly,” said Adelson during last year’s interview.” He went on to vow that, “I can in a casino.” Adelson believes that, wherever these things can be controlled, they should be.

Each of these quotes made the opening cut-scenes of the web video teaser, and what followed may (or may not) shock you.

Tim James says everything Sheldon Adelson claims to objectionable to is already happening freely at his own casinos. “I took two different people undercover into your casinos. Both of them were age 19,” says James.

The video then shows the female undercover player at the cashier cage of The Venetian attempting to cash out chips. “Are you 21 years old?” asks the cashier. When the 19 year old customer lied and said yes, the cashier simply gave her the money without even bothering to ask for identification.

The male undercover customer had no trouble either. He walked into the casino, ordered alcoholic beverages, played the slots, tables, even poker games, cashed out his chips, and despite multiple employees walking right by him throughout his underage gambling and drinking adventure at the Las Vegas casino, not a single person ever asked him for ID.

Tim James took his investigating one step further when he decided to enter the casino and pick up a prostitute. Why a prostitute, you ask? In Adelson’s interview, the billionaire compared legalizing online gambling to legalizing prostitution because “it’s happening all over the place anyway”. So James wanted to see if it was just as easy to pick up a hooker as it was to gambling and drink underage at Adelson’s casinos.

The result—you guessed it—yes. The teaser video shows Tim introducing himself to a lady of the night and asking if she wanted to “get out of here”. She said yes and they went back to the hotel room, where she asked “how about a thousand?” for her services.

James of course revealed himself to be the host of a web show, not an actual customer, and she agreed to answer some questions for him (with her face blurred for anonymity, of course). She said she’s worked the Venetian “ungodly amounts” of times, saying it’s easy to find work because “all the rich guys come here”.

Next up, James has his two 19 year old guinea pigs attempt to sign up an account to play online poker at They each used fake IDs to register their accounts—the same fake IDs they would have presented at Adelson’s casino had they ever been asked to show them. Regulated online gambling websites restrict identity verification procedures that quickly detected the invalidity of their identification and denied them access to the website.

In the end, it’s rather obvious that Sheldon Adelson’s claims to be able to control the very things he says are uncontrollable in an online environment are absolutely false.

View the complete 9-minute teaser video, Sheldon Adelson Exposed: Underage Gambling. Underage Drinking. Prostitution.

PokerStars Pros have been on a mission over the last few weeks to raise awareness among poker players in California. The campaign, called Californians for Responsible iPoker, involved major stars of the felt like Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst and Jason Somerville, visiting land-based card rooms throughout the state. The tour may be over, but its promoters believe the effects will linger indefinitely.

Lee Jones of PokerStars talks California iPokerThe PokerStars Pro Tour finished up with a final stop at Turlock Poker Room & Casino, where Negreanu and Selbst were joined by the online poker giant’s Head of Poker Communications, Lee Jones. His commitment to the cause has been unrelenting as Jones rode the tour bus along each of the 11 stops, taking a “do whatever needs to be done” stance.

According to Jones, as well as PokerNews, who was in attendance for the last four legs of the tour, the response from the community has been overwhelming. As the PokerStars branded RV rolled up at each stop, poker fans were lined up out the doors to meet the pros, get autographs and discuss their desire to see online poker regulated in California.

When asked what Jones believed was the biggest takeaway from the tour, he had a difficult time pinning down just one. Overall, though, Jones said, “the biggest takeaway is a renewed love of the game and its community.”

He said that so often, the limelight is focused on high-stakes games, big tournaments and grinders, but that there’s an immense population of players necessarily who don’t fall into any of those categories. “These people just love poker,” said Jones.

Everyone who turned out for the final leg in Turlock, CA seemed to agree on one point. Online poker is something they want and deserve to have the right to play. Jones was exceptionally pleased to see how devoted these fans were to the regulation of internet poker, many asking Negreanu and Selbst how they could help to achieve that goal.

“These people love poker not because they think they’re going to win or lose a million dollars, but just because they’re having a great time playing the game. They love going down to the poker club, seeing their friends, drinking a beer, and seeing what the cards bring,” said Jones.

“In many ways, seeing Daniel and Vanessa and being on the road with them, seeing the people swarm around them, again, they were all just totally unabashed fanboys and it just felt really good to see that,” Jones continued. “The smiles, the energy, the happiness of everybody — that’s the big takeaway I have. Plus, they all wanted to help. We forget sometimes that poker is supposed to be fun, and it’s just been fun at every single one of the 11 stops.”

Jones looked on as the mass of poker-loving attendees were all signing up for Californians for Responsible iPoker. He only hopes that their dedication to the cause will carry on well beyond the tour’s end. He said, “we all hope that they will follow through when we send them an email that asks, ‘Hey, will you fire an email off to your assemblyman?’”

Jones said he knows that PokerStars will continue to push heavily for regulated iPoker in California, although he was unable to share any specific details at the time. Continued propagation is “absolutely crucial,” said Jones. “If you start something and you don’t keep up the momentum, then it just dies.”

Anyone who knows anything about online poker knows that PokerStars is the leader in the global market. Statistics show the operator attracts more than 14,000 players at any given time. Aside from the fact that it offers an arguably superior software platform and other features, the ability to draw so much action is attributed to the fact that PokerStars is available in so many regions where internet gaming is largely (and legally) accepted.

Just imagine for a moment if PokerStars were available in America. Not just the state’s where online poker has been authorized (Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey), but all 50 states. Prior to Black Friday, that was the case, and PokerStars was averaging closer to 90,000 players at that time. And that was just PokerStars. Thousands of Americans were visiting other offshore poker sites as well.

Why does this matter? Because that information gives us a gauge to judge by when considering how many Americans could and would play online poker, if given the legal option and a compelling environment to do so. The number would easily soar towards, if not into, the 6-figure range.

Caesars Palace Las VegasBut right now, online poker operators in those three states are struggling to draw traffic to the virtual tables. Gary Loveman, former CEO and current Chairman of Caesars Entertainment (the parent of Caesars Interactive, which operates in Nevada and New Jersey), believes the ring-fenced nature of online poker in America has everything to do with it.

New Jersey has a few hundred players on board, while Nevada and Delaware share networks that attract less than 200 players. All told, there is an average of less than 1,000 online poker players visiting authorized poker sites in the US.

In a recent interview with Las Vegas National Public Radio station KNPR, Loveman shared his view of the internet poker market in America. He is certain that, once other states jump on board the regulatory band-wagon, the market will expand immensely. As for why the growth of current markets has stalled, Loveman offered his opinion on that matter as well.

“I think it stalled in part because we don’t have a sufficient population of people from other states playing to make the offering as compelling as it needs to be. This is one of the great frustrations of the years I’ve been in this industry,” explained Loveman. “That something that is so intellectually straightforward has been so difficult to execute. The idea that Americans cannot legally play poker online… strikes me as almost crazy.”

Loveman thinks the regulation of online poker in other states will eventually take off at a rapid rate, but not until something seemingly unrelated occurs—when the NFL decides sports betting should be permitted.

Historically, American professional and amateur sporting leagues have opposed sports betting, but Adam Silver of the NBA altered his stance late last year. “And once the NFL moves to the point where they in fact favor this,” said Loveman, “I think you will see a federal action that legalizes sports betting, somehow defined at the federal level and virtually every state will participate.”

With sports betting being a predominantly online activity these days, Loveman said, “Once that Rubicon has been crossed, I think poker will very naturally fall in because it has an awful lot of similarities to fantasy sports.”

What do you get the person who has it all? How about something that doesn’t actually exist—at least not yet? That’s where professional poker player Daniel Negreanu has set his sights these days. After making a fortune on the felt, the Canadian poker pro wants to buy a share of the Las Vegas NHL hockey franchise from Bill Foley.

Daniel Negreanu wants piece of Las Vegas NHL Hockey FranchiseIronically, Las Vegas does not have an NHL team, but the billionaire/millionaire team of Foley and Negreanu is aiming to change that. Bill has been on a mission to bring professional hockey to Sin City for some time now, heading up the organization Hockey Vision Las Vegas, which launched its own website late last year.

Last month, the NHL announced that it had received applications for expansions teams from 16 groups/individuals, but that it was seriously considering only two of them; “one from Bill Foley for a franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one from Quebecor for a franchise in Quebec City, Quebec.”

Negreanu says the odds of Las Vegas being awarded an NHL hockey team are extremely high. “I just don’t see it not happening,” he said in an interview with Toronto Sun’s Mike Strobel. “We have a solid owner, an arena (nearing completion on the Strip with 17,500 seats for hockey) and we sold 13,000 season tickets,” said Daniel.

“Vegas has 2.2 million people. It’s a sports town,” he continued. “We’ve been starving for a professional franchise of any kind for many years.”

The highest winning tournament poker player in the world with over $30 million in cashes (plus 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles), Negreanu made his fortune by correctly gauging the odds, and he puts the odds of Vegas receiving an NHL team at “99.9%”

What name does Daniel foresee the new team embracing? The Las Vegas Rat Pack, as in Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and the rest of the crew. Of course, that’s only his vision. The usual naming contest would be held.

Daniel pledged to be at every game cheering on the team, and said he might even launch his own hockey talk show. But for now, “the focus is on getting the team”.

Does Las Vegas have a Slap-Shot at an NHL Hockey Team?

When the NHL began accepting applications for expansion teams, there were specific guidelines set forth. In order to even be considered, the applicant must be capable of substantial ownership, which Las Vegas has in billionaire insurance tycoon Bill Foley. An adequate arena must available, or at least plausible, which Sin City already has in The Las Vegas Arena.

Lastly, there must be an interested audience, and Foley has already obtained that as well. As Daniel pointed out, Foley’s campaign to harvest hockey fans was a huge success, having already secured over 13,200 season ticket holders, including 11,500 deposits, 1,000 commercial commitments and 735 suite seats.

If Las Vegas is granted an NHL hockey team, it would be at least two years before the franchise was up and running. Foley previously aimed to have the team dropping the puck by the 2016-17 season, but now says that goal simply isn’t feasible. “It’s got to be 17-18 right now.”

When New Jersey’s online gambling market first launched in November, Golden Nugget intended to be at the forefront. A series of delays prevented them from launching with the rest of the pack, but it’s clear now that the head start competitors received was no hindrance. Now among the leaders of the state’s online casino market, Golden Nugget has also managed to disprove the theory of cannibalization.

Golden Nugget Online Casino New JerseyBefore internet gaming was approved in the Garden State, one of the major concerns for land-based casino operators—and the rest of the country, for that matter—was that online gambling would cannibalize the land-based industry. If players are logging on via their computers and mobile devices, why should they bother to visit that brick and mortar variety of casinos? Clearly, that hasn’t been the case for Golden Nugget.

Thomas Winter is the Vice President of Online Gaming for Landry’s, Inc., which operates the Atlantic City casino’s iGaming website, In a recent edition of iGaming Business North America, Winter told a triumphant tale of the Golden Nugget’s unlikely rise to the top in New Jersey.

As the rest of the market went live, shelling out untold millions in promotional campaigns to promote their products in November 2013, Golden Nugget was forced by technical difficulties to bide its time. Several weeks later, the online casino was launched. The online poker side of the business, however, was delayed indefinitely.

“As our competitors all launched marketing campaigns at the same time, they really struggled to acquire customers cost-effectively, and in most cases the operators had pulled back from their marketing spend already,” explained Winter.

In Spring 2015, when rivals had exhausted their marketing funds, Golden Nugget ramped up their efforts. The online casino was able to increase its market share from 5% to 11% by September.

Then in November, something extraordinary happened. Trump Plaza closed up shop, and iGaming company Betfair found itself without a land-based home for its online operation. Betfair spent a short stint with Caesars, but in November established a new, permanent partnership with Golden Nugget.

By December 2014, the casino’s market share has risen to 20%. Golden Nugget is now in a very tight race among the top three competitors for online casino market share in New Jersey, led by Borgata Casino (26.397%), Tropicana Casino (26.048%) and Golden Nugget (25.678%).

Golden Nugget Land-Based Clientele Increases

Instead of seeing a decrease in physical clientele, Golden Nugget has found that its online presence is actually increasing the number of patrons visiting the brick and mortar casino. Winter wasn’t the only one to point out a significant rise in foot traffic on the gaming floor of area casinos, either.

Winter said that only 20% of the casinos patrons “were already registered at the property.” The remaining 80% of their clientele “were totally new and recruited online.”

It was also feared that existing customers may not visit the land-based casino as often when given the option to play online. That hasn’t been the case either, says Winter. “Interesting enough, of the 20 percent of players we got who were already Golden Nugget customers, rather than their play decreasing once they started playing online, their visitation actually increased.”

Several US states have been working towards to regulation of online poker in recent years. In New York, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has spearheaded the movement to legalize and tax internet gaming in his home state. In a recent op-ed for the government journal Roll Call, Pretlow ridiculed the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), explaining that “prohibition doesn’t work”.

Pretow scorns RAWA in support of online poker in NYAssemblyman Pretlow is the Chairman of the New York State Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, making him one of the most influential people in the state in terms of gambling related legislation. In May 2015, Pretlow introduced S 5302, a bill designed to redefine certain gambling amusements – particularly poker – as games of skill, and allow such skill-based games to be legalized and regulated by the state for real money play over the internet.

However, despite having personally introduced the online poker bill, Pretlow made it abundantly clear that he had no intention of pushing the measure at that time. Instead, his purpose was to raise awareness in New York and create a smoother path for future regulation.

Now, Pretlow’s number one goal in regards to interactive gaming seems to be the eradication of RAWA. The federal bill was introduced on dual levels by House Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R-Utah] and Senator Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.] in 2014, and again in 2015. If passed, RAWA would provoke a blanket ban of online gambling throughout the country, possibly exterminating the existing online poker markets in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey along the way.

Pretlow Blasts RAWA in Op-Ed

Pretlow’s blog post on Roll Call, entitled “When Congress Shouldn’t Act: Let States Advance Economic Growth and Protect Consumers”, deemed the intent of Congress to pass RAWA “particularly troubling”, especially considering the political cabinet’s tendency to drag its feet on other, arguably more important matters designed to benefit the economy.

“The proposal currently being considered in the House —  the Restoration of America’s Wire Act — would prevent states from deciding for themselves how to regulate gaming and online lotteries, prevent us from capturing the potential for economic growth these systems offer and tie the hands of our law enforcement when it comes to protecting consumers online,” wrote Pretlow.

He said he’s observed closely the successful markets that have developed in three other states where they’ve “adopted well-regulated systems”. Pretlow noted that these states were able to capitalize on the taxation of online gaming, and that “the security technology they have employed has not only kept gaming safe within their borders, it has created a legal system where law enforcement can crack down on the fraud and any other illegal activity that currently runs rampant in the robust online black market.”

Pretlow scorned the fact that RAWA would ban online lottery sales, which were responsible for helping the NY Lottery to raise $3.11 billion in 2014-15. That equates to 14% of the state’s educational funds. “RAWA would ban online lotteries, risking education dollars in New York and over a dozen other states around the country,” reads the op-ed.

As for regulating online poker in New York, Pretlow said, “In addition to the economic benefits, we should be identifying the best possible way to protect online consumers. Simply banning online gaming will protect no one other than the criminals currently running a thriving online black market.”

Pretlow explained that an estimated “one million consumers spend upwards of $3 billion annually in this illegal overseas market,” and without regulations, “local and federal law enforcement officers are powerless to protect them from fraud and abuse.

“Prohibition doesn’t work,” continued Pretlow. He believes that the only way to promote safety in online gaming is to devise “A well-regulated and highly advanced system based on secure technology and fully integrated with our law enforcement’s needs.” He pointed out the success of geo-location technology in New Jersey for thwarting underage and out-of-state gambling over the internet, stating that RAWA’s passage would undermine the ability to “help keep vulnerable consumers safe.”

Best Online Poker Computer SetupJust about everyone owns a computer system these days. If you want to play online poker, it’s the first of many requisites on the list. For serious grinders, however, choosing the best system setup is paramount to an affable streaming experience.

Online poker players have enough frustrations to deal with already. Having an inadequate computer system that can’t keep up with your level of gameplay will only mount those frustrations. Not only can a slow or unresponsive system cause a player to miss out on opportunities, it can throw them into tilt mode, resulting in rash and expensive decisions. Therefore buying the right online poker computer setup is essential.

Desktop or Laptop; Monitor Size?

The first thing you’ll want to decide is whether your needs would be best met by a desktop or laptop computer. Both can offer the necessary system requirements to run online poker software seamlessly, but a desktop gives you the freedom to choose a separate monitor that’s appropriately sized.

Serious grinders are driven by multi-tabling. The more multi-tabling you intend to do, the larger screen size you’ll want to purchase to ensure ease of visibility when tiling tables.

If you need a system that can travel with you, a laptop is the obvious choice. The 21” variety can be bulky, not to mention pricey, but necessary. On the other hand, if you’ll do the majority of your grinding from home, a desktop PC can be equipped with much larger monitors with higher resolution.

When selecting a monitor, you can easily go up to 27” or more, but make sure the resolution is high enough to match the size. HD is a must, and if your budget allows, go for the 4k resolution. If not, a minimum 1920 x 1080p is recommended.

Windows or Mac?

I’ve been a devout Windows fan all my life, but I know Mac users who swear by their operating system of choice. Since all of the top online poker sites provide optimized platforms for both, I would recommend sticking with what you are already familiar with.

System Features

The system features are the most important aspect of all, and for this reason I highly encourage readers to spend plenty of time shopping around before choosing the right computer system. You will need a fast enough processor, adequate hard drive, plenty of RAM and, most importantly, a quality graphics card.

Processors: The Inlet Pentium i7 processor is top of the line these days, but it’s also the most expensive and not necessary for online poker grinders. An i5 core should suffice just fine. Avoid generic models.

Hard Drive: There are two types of hard drives you’ll come across when shopping for a good computer system – the standard Hard Drive (HD) and the newer Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD). Purchasing a system with an SSHD is going to cost some extra money, but in my opinion, is worth the added expense. They are faster, much more stable and boot up the system in mere seconds.

RAM: The Random Access Memory (RAM) is the part of a computer that holds onto previously accessed information so that you can pull it back up without reloading it all over again. Generally speaking, online poker players don’t need too much RAM, but if you intend to run multiple applications, the more RAM you have, the faster your system will operate. 8-16GB of RAM should do the job just fine.

Graphics Card: Don’t get stingy when it comes to your graphics card. You can load up with top of the line processor, SSHD and superfluous amounts of RAM, but it won’t do you any good with an inferior graphics card. The NVIDIA GTX 970 and 980 cards are a bit pricey, but well worth it. You can snag the AMD RADEON R9 380 for around $220, and it’s not a bad deal if you’re on a tight budget, but if you can swing it, shell out the extra cash for the GTX 970.

Note: If you choose an HD 4k monitor, make sure your graphics card supports it.