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 Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online
Published: 2018-03-15

Uncertainty starts to absorb the gambling industry since the moment when Adam Laxalt announced that had filed paperwork seeking to become the Nevada’s 30th governor this fall.

Laxalt trough his time in the political background has signaled his opposition to Las Vegas casinos, including the offering poker over the internet to people within the state’s borders.

The controversial anti-regulated online gaming Nevada attorney general has officially thrown his hat into the ring for governor. He would replace Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has been at the helm since 2011.

Sandoval, a former state gaming regulator, was the man to sign the online poker legislation in Nevada, and he also brokered online poker liquidity sharing deals with Delaware and New Jersey, all in an effort to grow the regulated online poker market. READ HERE: NEVADA UNCLAIMED WINS COULD EVEN CASINOS PRODUCTION IN ONE QT

MGM Resorts strongly opposed Laxalt’s position as well. The casino operator said that Laxalt’s views placed him “against the gaming industry in Nevada.”

In 2015, Laxalt said he would support plans at the federal level to “restore” a decades-old law in order to effectively ban online casino gaming nationwide.

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Hong Kong poker participants in WSOP go down more than the 50% 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Hong Kong poker prodigy Lok Chan has won his first World Series of Poker tournament on his first-ever visit to Las Vegas, snagging a US$144,338 cheque along the way.

The 22-year-old topped a field of 281 players to capture his first WSOP bracelet, after three epic days of competition.

Heading into day three, Chan sat in fourth place, with Canadian Drew Scott firmly in the lead. Chan worked his way into the lead by the time the official final table of seven was set.

The mixed tournament featured seven “big bet” games, including No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw Lowball and No-Limit Five-Card Draw High. This was the fifth event of the series.

Chan’s victory was his 30th major tournament victory, according to online poker database The Hendon Mob.

“When I turned 17 or 18, I would go to Taiwan and play live tournaments and I would play cash online. This is my first time coming to Las Vegas for the WSOP. I was lucky enough to stay alive and have a chance to get a bracelet.” Chan said after the match.

Chan sent a number of notable players packing over the course of three days, including two-time bracelet winner Keith Lehr, who finished 13th, and bracelet winners Andrew Robl (17th), and Scott Bohlman (12th).

The newly crowned champion plans to spend much more time at the 2022 WSOP series and perhaps get a shot at a second bracelet. This year some 7,000 people are expected to buy in for the US$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, also known as the Main Event.

This year just six players from Hong Kong will compete at the WSOP tournaments, significantly down from pre-pandemic levels where more than 20 people would make the pilgrimage to Vegas.

In 2019, Hong Kong native Danny Chi Tang won more than US$1.6 million and a WSOP bracelet after winning the Final Fifty No-Limit Hold’em tournament.

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Efforts for online poker weren’t enough this year in New York 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling including online poker, in New York State will have to wait until next year.

The 2022 legislative session is winding to a close, with the legislature set to adjourn on June 2. With the end of the session will come the last hopes for S8412 this year, a piece of legislation aiming to bring online slots and table games to the state’s cyberspace.


The measure was introduced early this year by Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., a Democrat. Addabbo spearheaded efforts to legalize online sports betting in the Empire State. Online sportsbooks launched in January 2022.

The online poker and casino bill didn’t advance very far this year.

The bill received five aye votes and two ayes votes with reservations on April 25. Unfortunately for the bill, it didn’t continue advancing through the legislature after clearing the Senate Racing, Gambling and Wagering Committee. The bill’s sponsor is the chair of that committee.

The rationale behind the legislation is simple. “Currently, seven states have authorized online gambling, including the neighboring States of New Jersey, Connecticut. and Pennsylvania,” the bill reads. “In 2021, online casino gambling revenue exceeded $1 billion in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, generating approximately $120 million in tax revenue for each of those states.”

It’s estimated that New York State would receive about $475 million annually “based upon conservative market estimates.” Under the proposal, New York would also receive about $150 million in onetime license fees from casinos, operators, and independent contractors seeking to conduct online casino gambling.

According to reports, Addabbo plans to push the bill again next year.

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Poker scam through bitcoins 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

Recently a poker player (pictured) was charged in Las Vegas for allegedly swindling a novice cryptocurrency trader for as much as $500,000 in in 2020.


In the last days, 23-year-old Filippos Liakounakos was sized and faces three felony charges in Las Vegas Justice Court: theft of more than $100,000, obtaining or using another person's identity to cause a financial loss of more than $30,000, and an unlawful felony act involving electronic mail or transmission of computer data, according to court records.


The victim, whose name is blacked out in an arrest warrant for Liakounakos, had notified authorities in November 2020 that he was the victim of a bitcoin scam.


The victim told police that he was approached by a business associate on the encrypted mobile chat app Telegram and agreed to a bitcoin transaction. The victim allegedly transferred $500,000 in bitcoin, including a $50,000 seller's fee.


The next day, the victim contacted the business associate to learn that they had not been aware of the transaction and the money had been sent to an imposter, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


In the warrant for Liakounakos's arrest, a detective stated that he reviewed the transaction on the public blockchain "and observed the BTC (bitcoin) being moved rapidly in what is commonly known as ‘peeling’ to obfuscate where the BTC was going."


The following month, the victim was contacted by the imposter again, who proposed a bitcoin transaction of just under one million. The victim obtained an email from the imposter, which allowed police to issue an arrest warrant for Liakounakos.


A few months before the victim told police about the bitcoin scam, a poker forum was discussing an alleged six-figure scam by a poker player named Filippos Liakounakos, who was described as "the tall young Greek kid who plays PLO."


In May 2020, Poker Fraud Alert founder Todd Witteles posted a thread titled "Dan Fleyshman claims that Colossus winner Cord Garcia was ripped off of $600k by Filippos Liakounakos."


"Cord Garcia is best known for his 1st place finish in the massive-field WSOP Colossus event in 2015, for $638k. I met him in 2018 at a $1500 NL event, and he was nice/friendly. Liked the kid," Witteles wrote in the thread, which includes an embedded tweet that has since been deleted.


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The 2022 World Series of Poker, the first ever to take place on the Las Vegas Strip 

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

The 2022 World Series of Poker officially kicked off Tuesday morning, with hundreds of poker players in attendance for the first day of poker’s biggest tournament festival.


This is the 53rd year of the WSOP, but the first ever to take place on the Las Vegas Strip. After starting at Binion’s Horseshoe downtown, the summer series moved to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in 2005, where it stayed until last year’s series.


With Caesars Entertainment’s sale of the Rio, the series now shifts to two properties located right on ‘the 50-yard line’ of the Strip in Paris Las Vegas, and Bally’s, which will soon be renamed the Horseshoe.


The new venue serves as a major upgrade over the Rio, with four times the dining options, and significantly more restrooms. The 200,000 sq. ft. of combined space will also house close to 600 tables, which is almost a 33% increase over last year.


“This year is particularly historic for the WSOP with its move to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and debut in the best facilities we’ve ever had. We’re ready to welcome players from all over the world to our housewarming party at Bally’s, soon-to-be Horseshoe, and Paris.


The schedule is jam-packed with first-class events and we expect this to be the biggest and most anticipated WSOP yet.” said Executive Director Ty Stewart.


As is tradition, the series began with the $500 buy-in Casino Employees event, which is only open those players who also work in the gambling industry. There are more than 800 players registered so far, with the series’ first bracelet scheduled to be awarded Wednesday night.


The first event for the pros was the $100,000 buy-in high roller bounty tournament. Every player eliminated in the event is worth $25,000.


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Canada Croupier strike affecting poker room mostly  

Laxalt: The Lex Luthor of Nevada and poker online

The poker room at Casino de Montreal is closed as dozens of dealers are on strike over pay and working conditions.


Workers are seeking concessions from Loto-Québec, which operates the casino.


Loto-Québec said that gaming tables, restaurants, slot machines, and shows are running as normal. The poker room is closed, however.


It appears the strike involves more than just poker dealers, but poker typically make less money for a casino than table games, so if there’s a staffing shortage that would be the first to close.


“The collective agreement that regulates the working conditions of 521 dealers expired on March 31, 2020, with salaries and schedules among the issues at stake,” the report added.


Loto-Québec is also reportedly looking to implement a 10-percent wage reduction for new dealers, from the current $18.40 an hour to $17.44 an hour.


”In the current context of labour shortages, (the salary reduction) is irresponsible and the union will never accept it,” the union rep said. “We are demanding better management of work shifts and rest breaks to avoid injuries.”


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