Nevada Online Poker Review February 27, 2014

Nevada’s online poker industry has experienced quite the week on the legislative front. First with Senator Dean Heller implying that a federal ban on online gambling (with a carve out for online poker) could be introduced soon, and then the far more real situation that took place on Tuesday when Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a historic agreement that will see the two states form an interstate online gambling compact. In this week’s Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll get you up to speed on both of these stories and a whole lot more Nevada partners with Delaware in online gambling This is a huge story, not because it will change the online gambling landscape in the United States (chances are there will be little change when Nevada and Delaware pool their players) but because the agreement signed by Delaware and Nevada on Tuesday opens up a whole new realm of possibilities in the US. You see, not only did Delaware and Nevada form an interstate online gambling partnership, but they also left the door wide open for other states to follow. While joining the interstate group that currently contains Nevada and Delaware may not attract the New Jersey’s and California’s of the world, smaller states now have a greater incentive to pass online gambling bill as the fear of ample player liquidity can be taken off the table. Here is an excellent breakdown of the agreement from Chris Grove at Dean Heller’s online gambling ban; will it happen? Last week Nevada Senator Dean Heller announced that there could be a renewed effort to pass a federal ban on certain forms of online gambling, with the obvious exception of online poker which is legal in Heller’s home state. If you missed this story you can find the details here, but in this section I’m going to explain the main reason this bill is destined to go nowhere, and what will likely happen to the bill in the halls of the US Senate. It puts most republicans between a rock and a hard place Two of the Republican Party’s core principles are state’s rights and social conservatism, and these two issues are on opposing sides of the proposed legislation. For Republican voters [read as: Primary Voters] voting for this bill will be seen as voting for a massive expansion of online gambling—thanks to the bills carve out for poker and potentially other forms of gambling—while at the same time trampling on state’s rights. Voting against this bill allows representatives and senators to appease the state’s rights crowd, but it can also be seen as rubber stamping an even larger expansion of online gambling. Basically, Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t with this bill, and asking senators and members of the House of Representatives to deal with the fallout of pissed off social conservatives and/or state’s rights advocates over this fairly innocuous issue is a tough sell. What will likely happen? I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill does get introduced and as per senate rules, sent off to committee. However, I would be surprised, but not completely shocked if some form of this bill passed through a committee. I would be picking my jaw up off the floor if this bill was ever voted on in the senate. Remember, the committee chair decides what they take up, and the democrats are in control of the committees, so it’s not out of the question that this bill just sits in purgatory for the entire session. Furthermore, if the bill does get to the floor it will need to get through the numerous amendments different senators would want to attach to it (which could send it straight back to committee) and it would need to achieve cloture before a vote on the bill could even be held. Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada After remarking on two major stories above we’re going to make this section short and sweet this week. Sunday $15K Guaranteed The $15k Guaranteed at had 82 entrants this past week, creating a prize-pool of $16,400. It looks like Tom McEvoy (unconfirmed) and Christina Lindley (confirmed) made the final table finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Here is a look at how the final table participants fared:
boomerfancy $4,674.00
Juantoo3fore $2,706.00
redmike99 $1,640.00
mnbass1 $1,312.00
Mcevoy $1,131.60
lindleyloo $967.60
newhippy $803.60
Forthekids $557.60
butters $442.80 The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker Ultimate Poker’s $100 buy-in ($91+$9) $10k Sunday Guaranteed pulled in 115 players this past week, once again, just enough to reach the guarantee, this time with $465 to spare.
AC Slater $2,658.78
Ted Sticle $1,862.08
SinCityLover $1,270.05
CROOK $946.70
telemere $732.69
LoungeMode $568.68
unlvrebel74 $464.01
BigHarryLV $359.34
Slowbedon $252.67 Traffic trends in Nevada It was another fairly static week for Nevada’s online poker traffic according to once again maintained average traffic numbers of 110-120 cash-game players; Ultimate Poker ticked down ever so slightly from 75 to 70 average cash game players; and the recently launched Real Gaming is still operating a graveyard. The word on the street Pro-Online Gambling advocates getting more vocal While Sheldon Adelson and company continue to setup their soapbox wherever they are allowed, and scream about the evils of online gambling, the other side seems to have gone to the garage and dusted off their soapbox as well, considering a number of pro-online gambling editorials have been popping up lately, like this one from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Senators Reid and Heller On Banning Internet Gambling

Recently the junior senator from Nevada, Dean Heller, made some very interesting and contentious comments to the Las Vegas Review-Journal with regard to online gambling. Echoing many of Sheldon Adelson’s and the Coalition to Stop Intern Gambling’s talking points (and referencing Adelson by name) Heller told the LVRJ that a bill banning all forms of online gambling with the exception of online poker would be introduced into the Senate in the near future. Heller also spoke for his fellow Nevadan who also happens to be the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, telling the LVRJ that, “There is no daylight between where Senator Reid and myself are on this particular issue.” If this is indeed the case it is a very worrisome statement for online gambling advocates. But are these two really on the same page when it comes to online gambling? The answer could be yes and no, as I’ll explain below. What you would like vs. what you will do There is a big difference between what you would personally do and what you think should be done in general, and this is especially true in politics where you see people who are pro-life in their personal lives voting pro-choice, and this may be along the lines of what Harry Reid is playing at here. Reid might completely agree with the premise of the bill, that online gambling sans poker should be banned, but he may not think this is the right move for Nevada or for the country. Furthermore, it could all be phooey; little more than politicking 101. To me, this entire “Wire Act Fix” proposal is little more than effort to appease Sheldon Adelson while at the same time appeasing the already launched online poker industry in Nevada. And the best outcome for all involved is for nothing to happen on the federal level, which is why the proposed bill is designed the way it is (more on this at the end of this article). If you want to know what will likely happen with this legislation you can read my thoughts in this column, but if you just want the cliffs version: The bill will be stymied at every step during the legislative process to keep it from coming to the floor for a vote. Amendments in committee; amendments on the floor; filibustered for cloture; filibustered for a vote. Assuming the bill even gets introduced it will face so many roadblocks and the 100 US Senators will make it unrecognizable and unpassable simply to avoid taking a vote on something that puts them between State’s Rights advocates and Christian Conservatives. I’ve used this analogy in the past and it still fits quite perfectly: Federal online gambling legislation is like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. The 2012 Reid / Heller Bill is a good indicator of the muddy process This is precisely what happened to a similar bill back in 2012, where it didn’t even clear the first hurdle. In 2012 Harry Reid was very vocal about his desire to pass an online poker bill, and became a public cheerleader of the proposed bill that never came to be. Reid initially laid the failure at the feet of Senator Heller, saying he was unable to muster any Republican support, later changing his tune to the more diplomatic, “we have simply run out of time in this legislative calendar.” Now this time around it’s Heller who is the public face of the potential bill (which would certainly resemble the previous incarnation from 2012) while Reid stays on the sidelines without making a peep, letting Heller speak for him—a complete reversal of 2012. One of two things may be going on here.
Harry Reid may have told Heller if he wants to introduce the bill he will have to do the cheerleading this time around, as the failure in 2012 was attached almost exclusively to Reid. UNLIKELY.
The two of them may be putting on a nice dog and pon