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.


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.”

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.

The spring and summer months have always been slow periods for the global internet poker economy, but some regions—particularly New Jersey—have clearly struggling more than others. For the month of June 2015, the NJ online poker market suffered the lowest yield since the state introduced regulation in 2013.

NJ Online Poker Revenue Down Again in JuneLast month, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reported that NJ online poker operators harvested just $1.83 million. That figure represents a 46.8% drop compared to the state’s all-time high of $3.44 million generated in January 2014.

Diminishing player traffic—and consequently, revenue—is expected around this time of year. The iPoker industry endures a seasonal drop in activity all over the world. But the NJ online poker market has more reason for concern when comparing last month’s revenue to that of a year ago. June 2015 bears a 10% decrease compared to the same month’s figures in 2014.

In fact, aside from the relatively steady months of February and March, New Jersey has witnessed a perpetual month over month decline in internet poker revenue.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, regulators in the Garden State are enjoying a continuous boost from the online casino market. That division nearly struck 10-figures in June, reaping $9.83 million; a staggering 83.38% more than NJ online poker sites.

NJ Online Poker Market’s Leaders

There is some confusion among which network actually leads the NJ online poker market. If we go by revenue, the Party Borgata Network is at the forefront. Based on cash game traffic numbers from tracking website PokerScout, however, it’s WSOP/888 that leads the pack.

There are only two internet poker networks operating four sites in the Garden State. Party Borgata operates and, while Caesars Interactive’s and share they’re players on WSOP/888.

When comparing NJ online poker revenue, Party Borgata is on top with 51.8% of the market share, while WSOP/888 follows right behind with 48.2%. In terms of traffic however, WSOP/888 appears to have a significant lead of 170 average cash game players, compared to just 110 on Party Borgata. One would have to surmise that Party Borgata is drawing more tournament traffic, and/or higher stakes players to the virtual felt.

NJ Online Poker / Casino Markets Combined

When balancing the books for both NJ online poker and casino markets in June, Party/Borgata remained on top by claiming 29.6% of the Garden State’s overall iGaming market share. Caesar’s Interactive came in second with 22.6%. Tropicana and Golden Nugget, which operate online casinos only, trailed close behind with 21.95% and 21.64% respectively. Another casino-only operator, Resorts’ grade was negligible, managing to grasp just 3.43%.

New Jersey Still Awaiting PokerStars Entry

At this point, there’s only one thing that can truly turn the NJ online poker market around, and that’s the eventual introduction of PokerStars. The world’s largest internet poker site, owned by Amaya Gaming, is still waiting for a ruling from state regulators on whether a license will be granted, and according to Amaya CEO David Baazov, it could happen as early as Fall 2015.

PokerStars entry should have an immense impact on the Garden State, raising awareness ten-fold and giving existing operators significant reason to become more competitive with their promotions and tournament offerings.

It’s also worth noting that Amaya Gaming is currently in negotiations to acquire and its many interactive gaming assets, including its operations in New Jersey.

Update: Confirmed this morning, July 17, 2015, 888 Holdings has won the bid for, agreeing to a $1.4 billion buyout of the company and all of its assets.

California iPoker Awareness with PokerStars Pros Daniel Neagreanu and Jason SomervilleThe great state of California has spent so many years debating online poker regulation without any real progress that I’ve found myself groaning each time another news story on the issue hits the presses. But this year, unlike all others, a bill has actually moved beyond the first phase of reading, and Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Jason Somerville are doing their part to ensure it continues to see progress.

PokerStars has lobbied hard for passage of an internet poker bill in the Golden State—preferably one that allows the world’s largest poker operator to participate—and who better to represent the campaign than two of the most popular and prolific poker pros of our time? Negreanu and Somerville have agreed to host an iPoker Awareness conference in Sacramento, California on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

The terrific twosome will kick off the event in the Compagno Room of the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Negreanu and Somerville will be on hand from 10am to 12 o’clock noon. All in attendance will be able to talk with the poker pros about online poker and the political side of the debate, as well as play a little online poker with them (for free-play, of course) if interested.

PokerStars chooses Crème of the Crop to Represent

PokerStars couldn’t have possibly picked a better team to represent their interests at tomorrow’s iPoker Awareness session. Anyone with any interest in live or online poker knows of Daniel Negreanu, and Jason Somerville became a more high-profile player right around the time that Nevada launched the first US-regulated online poker site in April of 2013.

Daniel Negreanu: Known for his outspoken attitude when it comes to the game of poker, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu has 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles. He’s considered the most affable player in the poker world, and also happens to be at the very top of the All Time Money List with $29,973,908 in live tournament cashes.

The Canadian born poker pro posted his intentions to appear at the California iPoker Awareness seminar via his Twitter feed on Tuesday. “Will be in Sacramento Thursday to talk politics and online poker on behalf of @PokerStars. Feels like the right time to get CA on board!”

Jason Somerville: While this American poker pro may not be as decorated as his fellow iPoker Awareness speaker, having just one WSOP bracelet to his name thus far (with great emphasis on the term ‘thus far’), his popularity among the online poker masses is unquestionable.

Somerville has been actively producing poker videos on YouTube since 2011, and in 2014, started up a live-streaming poker series on Twitch known as Run It Up. After his former sponsor, Ultimate Poker, shut down in Nevada last year, Somerville signed on as a member of the Team PokerStars Pros, and is now in the third season of this immensely popular Run It Up broadcasts.

Jason Somerville also mentioned his upcoming appearance at the iPoker Awareness hearing on his Twitter feed, saying he’s “excited to be heading to Sacramento tmw with @RealKidPoker to talk online poker regulation on behalf of @PokerStars!”

Perfect Timing for CA iPoker Awareness Session

PokerStars couldn’t have timed out the iPoker Awareness conference any better. It takes place just one day after today’s scheduled Joint Hearing among the Assembly GO Committee in which legislators will discuss an “Overview of Gambling in California-Legality, Authorization and Regulation”.

You can listen to the hearing live today at 1:30 PST.

The subject of Assemblyman Adam Gray’s California online poker bill, AB 431, will be high on the agenda at the hearing. After its initial reading, the measure was referred to Committee, officially making it the first such bill in California to make it to the first stage of voting. The bill received unanimous votes in favor of referral on April 27, 2015.

The Danish Gambling Authority has seen fit to approve the license application of online gaming giant Full Tilt. As such, the operator announced on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, the launch of its Danish online poker room and casino in the European region.

Full Tilt Poker and Casino launches in DenmarkFull Tilt will be competing with a large market in its new Danish residence, where 113 online poker and casino licensees are already operating, including their own sister-site, PokerStars. Other major poker sites that have obtained a license to dip into Denmark’s respectable player pool include Betfair, partypoker, PKR and Unibet, just to name a few.

“We are excited that Danish players are now able to play both casino and poker games on Full Tilt,” read a statement to the press from Dominic Mansour, Managing Director at Full Tilt. He explained that the launch of the operator’s online poker platform in Denmark means that “Danish players are able to create their stories on Full Tilt and compete against players from around the world.”

Full Tilt Danish Gambling License

Obtaining a license from the Danish Gambling Authority comes with a number of regulatory standards and requirements that must be met. Along with regulatory compliance, Full Tilt was responsible for paying a license fee of DKK 250,000 (USD $37,753), and must pay an additional annual fee of anywhere from DKK 50,000 to DKK 1,500,000 ($7,500 – $227,400) in Danish taxes, depending on the amount of revenue the company generates in rake and fees from its new local player base.

Since re-launching in 2012 under the new ownership of Amaya Gaming, Full Tilt has acquired four jurisdictional licenses to operate its online poker and casino gaming website. Along with Denmark, Full Tilt is also licensed in the Isle of Man, Malta and the United Kingdom.

Based on recent revenue reports, Denmark was an easy choice for the company when seeking out a destination for its next license application. The Danish Gambling Authority reported that its domestic online gambling market harvested a total gross revenue of DKK 7.75 billion (USD $1.1 billion) in 2014. That figure represents a growth of 2% since 2013 (DKK 7.575 billion), and a 3% increase since 2012 (DKK 7.5 billion).

Full Tilt Gaming Options for Danish Players

As a result of the Full Tilt launch in Denmark, players in the European state now have access to the full range of online poker cash games and tournaments promoted by the website. These include seasonal online tournament series like FTOPS and Mini-FTOPS, as well as qualifiers to the brand’s live sponsored events, such as the International Poker Open (IPO).

Full Tilt Casino now presents Danish gamblers with the ability to log on and play the site’s collection of graphically rich online slots, baccarat, blackjack and roulette games, as well as a range of live dealer table games and multi-player games.

Full Tilt’s fast-forward cash games, known as Rush Poker, can be accessed by mobile poker players in Denmark. For the moment, Rush Poker Mobile is in beta mode, compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices with iOS 4.0 or greater installed.

California iPoker regulation has been an annual issue for the last seven years, but constant in-fighting between tribes, commercial card rooms and legislators has kept all relative bills from ever going to a vote with each legislative session. This year, the largest issue has become whether horse race tracks should be allowed to participate, and while tribes say they have enough clout to band together and prevent race tracks from participating, Union reps for the tracks say otherwise.

Union Lobbyist Barry Broad says California iPoker won't pass without Horse Race TracksBarry Broad is a long-time advocate for Labor Unions in California. He is a lawyer and Managing Partner at Broad & Gusman LLP, a steadfast union lobbyist, and also happens to be a top-selling author of crime mysteries like Eve of Destruction (2008) and Requiem for the Damned (2012).

More importantly, Broad is a representative of the Teamsters and Service Employee International Union (SEIU) workers within the state’s horse racing industry.

According to Broad, there’s simply no way a California iPoker bill can gain enough traction without allowing horse race tracks to participate in a regulated online poker market. “It would be very hard to move a bill out with a two-thirds vote that doesn’t include the tracks,” said Broad.

“They’re not going to get a two-thirds vote,” Broad stated flatly. “They’re not. These are some very big unions.”

3 Groups seeking Variable California iPoker Regulation

At the moment, there are three major groups who want to see a California iPoker bill passed, and they all have different interests at heart. The Pechanga Coalition wants horse race tracks excluded, the PokerStars Coalition doesn’t care whether race tracks participates, so long as Amaya isn’t omitted under a ‘bad actors’ or ‘tainted assets’ clause, and the horse racing industry, of course, wants a slice of the pie.

Pechanga Coalition

The Pechanga Coalition is currently made up of 6 confirmed tribes that strongly oppose permitting race tracks to participate. They are standing on a long-time policy of limited gaming in the Golden State that has historically restricted the racing industry from dipping its toes into land-based casino / poker gambling.

The tribes were staunchly opposed to allowing PokerStars to operate in a California iPoker market, but may be willing to loosen up on that issue in an effort to get the PokerStars Coalition on their side versus horse race tracks.

Horse Racing Industry / Union

The horse racing industry believes it has every right to partake in a California iPoker market, and whether that’s true or not, the industry’s 50,000+ employees-strong Union will fight tooth and nail to make sure they get it. And if they don’t get it, they’ll fight to make sure no one else does either.

Broad thinks that because the race industry operates all throughout the states, with Union reps located in just about every district, having such dominant political clout could draw the PokerStars Coalition over to their side.

PokerStars Coalition

Made up of Amaya Gaming (parent of PokerStars), the Morongo Band and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and California’s three largest commercial card room, Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino and Hawaiian Gardens, the PokerStars Coalition has one goal in mind. They have all teamed up to launch internet poker in the state, if an when it becomes legal to do so.

Members of this coalition want bad actors and tainted assets clauses to be removed from California iPoker legislation, or at least slackened enough that Amaya Gaming / PokerStars will be permitted to receive a license. However, they could become the middle man—the swing vote, if you will—in this debate, and will likely have to choose to side with either the Pechanga Coalition of horse racing industry.

Broad Says PokerStars and other Tribes will Choose Race Tracks

Believing Union opposition is simply too strong to get California iPoker passed without horse tracks, Broad says the most likely outcome will be a new alliance between the PokerStars Coalition and tracks, with three more tribes joining the ranks; the Auburn Indian Community and the Rincon and Pala Bands of Luiseno Indians.

Broad compared the Pechanga Coalition to a “paper tiger”, saying they don’t have nearly as much sway as they are making themselves out to have. He said the casinos run by the Pechanga, Agua Caliente, Viejas, and other allied tribes are “medium-sized businesses”, and are collectively “only a few tribes that are opposed to tracks.”

If PokerStars joins Pechanga, Broad believes the race tracks’ Union has enough clout to deny a two-thirds vote. On the other hand, if PokerStars and tracks team up, garnering the additional support of those other tribes, California iPoker regulation might have a chance at a two-thirds vote, with or without the support of Pechanga.

Every online poker player can be classified into one of two groups – recreational players and hard core grinders; the amateurs and the pros. For Scott “Aggro Santos” Margereson, there can be no doubt which class he belongs to. The UK online poker pro just earned his third major online poker accolade by taking down the PokerStars Sunday Million, adding that honor to a pair of lucrative WCOOP Titles.

Scott 'Aggro Santos' Margereson wins PokerStars Sunday MillionOne of the highest cashes of the young Brit’s career came in the wee hours of Monday morning when “Aggro Santos” outlasted an enormous field of 6,393 competitors at the PokerStars Sunday Million. The highlight of the online poker world’s weekly tournament offerings, the Sunday Million guarantees no less than $1,000,000 in the prize pool each weekend. With so many participants eager to cough up the $200 buy-in yesterday, the prize was driven skyward to $1,278,600.

Going into the final table, Margereson was among the low stacks, taking only 6mm chips into a 9-handed competition where the leader held over 14mm. But Lady Luck graced the shoulder of the 22 year old online poker pro from the start.

From the small blind, all action was folded to him, inciting his first big move of the table as he shipped it all on J-7o. Things looked grim when the big blind, “Illraiseyou8”, called with A-Qo, but a Jack fell on the flop and breathed new life into PokerStars’ “Aggro Santos”.

As the Sunday Million progressed, Scott would personally eliminate “Illraiseyou8” in 6th place ($40,915), followed by “JIMMY5BELLYS” in 4th ($70,323) and “” in 3rd ($102,288). That brought about heads-up play between Scott Margereson and fellow British poker player, “KDJAll3”.

The final duel began with KDJAll3 in the lead, but it wasn’t long before “Aggro Santos” built his stack to a superior level. With that done, it was only a matter of time before Margereson finished him off. With both all in, Scott showed A-9o to KDJAll3’s K-To. The board offered no help, giving Margereson’s Ace ultimate power at the showdown.

And with that, the PokerStars Sunday Million was over. KDJAll3 collected the 2nd place prize of $143,842 while Aggro Santos scooped a 1st place finish worth $194,479.

PokerStars Sunday Million final Table Results

1st Scott “Aggro Santos” Margereson – $194,479
2nd KDJAll3 – $143,842
3rd – $102,288
4th JIMMY5BELLYS – $70,323
5th dmr1001 – $53,701
6th illraiseyou8 – $40,915
7th -demis-13 – $28,129
8th TMcK69 – $15,343
9th HomeFlax.AAs – $9,909

Just Another Great Day for Aggro Santos

Scott Margereson is not your typical online poker player. According to The Hendon Mob database, he’s racked up a total of 1,277 scores in online poker tournaments alone, valued at over $2.5 million. The young British online poker pro is no stranger to 1st place finishes, either.

In September of 2014, at just 21 years of age, he earned two Titles in PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) series. The first was a $325 WCOOP Turbo Zoom event that netted him $106k for defeating a field of more than 2,200. The second came just two days later, when he harvested the largest online poker tournament cash of his career to date for surviving a field of over 8,100 in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up (supplemented as a WCOOP event), worth a staggering $202k.

Online poker has been a legally regulated activity in the state of Nevada for two years now. Just recently, an interstate compact to share liquidity between players in Nevada and Delaware was implemented. Now, via AB 414, the state is taking steps to ensure that online poker is the only form of internet gaming shared between players across state lines.

AB 414 online poker only interstate compacts NevadaOn Friday, members of the Nevada Assembly met to discuss AB 414, a legislative measure scripted to prohibit shared liquidity compacts with other states for the purpose of any online gambling activity outside of poker.

AB 414, backed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, was only introduced a month ago on March 19, and has moved rapidly through state legislature. It was passed by a slim margin of 23 to 17, with 2 excused from the vote.

The fate of the interstate compact measure is now in the hands of the Senate. It received its first reading in the Senate Committee on April 20 and was referred to the Committee on Judiciary. The deadline to pass the bill is May 15, 2015.

AB 414 and Online Poker in Nevada

Nevada chose to only legalize interactive peer-to-peer games (i.e. poker) when pressing for internet gaming regulation. Delaware and New Jersey took a different route, having authorized both online poker and house-banked casino games like blackjack, roulette, video poker and slots.

In early 2013, Nevada and Delaware came together in agreement on a shared liquidity deal that would see their online poker players merged into a single, networked player pool across all 888-powered operators, which include all three of Delaware’s authorized gaming sites (, and and Nevada’s New Jersey has chosen to go it alone, at least for the time being, declining to share liquidity with any other states.

Of worthy note, the interstate compact signed by the governors of Nevada and Delaware took more than a year to go into effect. During all that time, no bill to prevent shared liquidity across internet house-banked games was introduced. It wasn’t until mere days before player pooling became a reality on March 24 that the measure surfaced.

Adelson’s Crusade to Stop Online Gambling

As for why Sheldon Adelson is has been so adamant about in his support of AB 414 and the need to hold interstate compacts to online poker only remains a bit of a mystery. As one reporter for CardPlayer put it, he may be “hedging his bets”.

Though not for lack of effort, the billionaire CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) has thus far been unable to reach his ultimate goal of prohibiting all forms of online gambling in the US. He’s signed countless checks of untold value, all thrown at politicians and organizations willing to support his cause. Currently, his primary focus is lobbying for the passage of a federal bill known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act. If passed, RAWA would effectively criminalize any and all forms of internet gambling, shutting down iGaming markets in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, as well as the online lottery sales in four other states.

It’s also worth mentioning that Nevada permits mobile betting within authorized casinos; something Mr. Adelson has taken full advantage of, despite his outward aversion to online gambling. For example, a guest of the LVS-owned Venetian Hotel can log into the casino’s mobile betting site and place wagers on sporting events, so long as the individual is physically located within the confines of the property at the time the bet is placed.

AB 414 will not affect property-restricted mobile betting, and Adelson doesn’t seem to mind profiting from that internet gambling niche one bit.