Poker’s Assani Fisher must leave Nevada to play DFS

October 28, 2015

assani-fisher-pokerWhile Assani Fisher has had a solid poker career, he definitely makes the bulk of his money playing daily fantasy sports (DFS). In fact, Fisher is ranked as the seventh-best DFS player in the world according to his winnings. Unfortunately for Fisher, he also lives in Nevada, which recently voted to ban unregulated DFS sites.

Much like how Black Friday forced online poker players to uproot their lives and head to other countries. Fisher must leave the Silver State to continue playing daily fantasy sports. And this is especially bad for him considering that it’s the middle of the NFL season, when DFS nuts are at their wildest.

So where is Fisher going now that he can’t enjoy the activity in his home state?

“The thing is, I need to be playing DFS right now, as soon as possible,” he said. “The money is too good right now to just sit back and see what happens. I’ve emailed both sites (DraftKings and FanDuel) and now I’m just waiting to hear what the official rules are going to be. If need be, I’ll be moving sometime this week to California or something so I can start playing right away, but no one is really sure right now what will be required to prove your location or establish residency.”

Once Fisher does move, he will be able to resume a career that’s made him $800,000 in just the past year alone – much higher than his $600k in online poker profits. And when one considers the volume of money that he’s betting each week, it’s easy to see why Fisher is doing so well.

“The first few weeks of the NFL season, I was getting between $100,000 and $150,000 down every weekend,” he said. “The biggest weekend was probably around $275,000. But this is very new to me. Like I said, I was playing $2-$5 no-limit earlier this year. This is really my first experience with this big of a bankroll and that much money in action. But of course, just to clarify, my rosters are diversified so it would take a complete disaster to lose all of that money in one week. I might have one player I really like in something like two-thirds of my teams, so if he manages to get hurt on the first play of the game, then I might be in a lot of trouble, but I don’t put more than $75,000 on any one particular team. I know that’s still a ton of money, but it’s not as crazy as it might look to an outsider.”

Fisher isn’t the only one who’s been affected by Nevada’s decision. Mike Matusow was also angry about DFS, complaining that his state took away one of the few things he has to look forward to. But despite the criticism, Nevada appears validated in what they’ve done, given that they have a regulated online poker market.

Beevers mad about Poker Hall of Fame Choices

October 26, 2015

joe-beevers-pokerJust recently, Jennifer Harman and John Juanda were selected to be the two members of the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame class. Both seem like very deserving candidates, however, not everybody is happy with the selections, including Joe Beevers.

Of Hendon Mob fame, Beevers wrote a post that rips how the Poker HOF is largely an American affair. He takes exception to how, out of all 39 living HOF members, none are from Europe. Entitled “When is a Hall of Fame not a Hall of Fame?“, the post’s following excerpt perfectly sums up the point that Beevers is trying to make:

“There are zero living non American’s in the PHOF and the only non American name I can see in the list of (now) 50 is Edmond Hoyle inducted in 1980 (he died in 1769). Sounds like they have a fair system here with no bias whatsoever right? Yeah right.

So when is a Hall of Fame not a Hall of Fame? When it’s a club.

I think that the PHOF as it is resembles more of a private ‘club’ than a real Hall of Fame. So today I am starting the ‘Joe Beevers Poker Hall of Fame’. I’m not sure what the guidelines are and how future members or inductees will be chosen but I am certainly sure who the first member is.”

The one player whom Beevers thinks should have been inducted into the HOF – but wasn’t – is not surprisingly Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot. There was some debate over whether Ulliott passing away this year should have some bearing on him getting into the Poker HOF. However, it’s pretty clear that he had some fans like Beevers who thought Devilfish had both the clout and emotional aspect to make the 2015 class.

In any case, the simple fact that Europeans were once again shut out of the Poker HOF is enough to spark a larger debate.

Nevada wants DFS Operators out – Matusow Angry

October 19, 2015

mike-matusowNevada recently made the decision to declare daily fantasy sports (DFS) “gambling” and tell operators to exit their state. This no doubt angered industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, but it seems a just move, given that Nevada has a regulated iGaming industry while DFS is unregulated.

Regardless of the reasoning, one guy who isn’t happy about Nevada’s decision is Mike Matusow. The famed poker pro has been laid up with health problems over the last two years, trying to keep himself busy with DFS and other online activities. So he was a little miffed when his home state decided to ban daily fantasy sports. Here are a couple tweets from him:

1st they take away my Internet poker and my life ,now they take away my dfs sports while I’m stuck bed ridden trying to get healthy#thissuck

This is all because of the greedy people in Las Vegas casinos wanting a piece of the pie,such a joke #greed

The possibility of DFS being allowed in Nevada is not totally out the window. After all, they’ve given their licensed sportsbooks permission to also offer DFS. However, sites like DraftKings and FanDuel will need to obtain licensing and adhere to regulation before they can participate in the Silver State market.

We can only assume that New Jersey and Delaware will soon follow suit, considering that they have regulated online gaming markets too. And thanks to the DraftKings, FanDuel scandal that we discussed before, many other states are likely to take a closer look at unregulated DFS. But perhaps this will finally spark a change on a federal level where DFS and online poker are legalized and regulated.

DraftKings, FanDuel under Fire amid Insider Betting Scandal

October 5, 2015

fantasy-football-insider-bettingBoth the rest of the online gaming industry and certain politicians have been questioning the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS), given that the industry somehow operates unregulated across the United States. And perhaps these questions have been validated after a major scandal erupted involving DFS’s two biggest sites, DraftKings and FanDuel.

Employees at both DraftKings and FanDuel were able to win big jackpots while playing at other DFS sites. Apparently, these employees has access to information that’s not available to the public – namely which NFL players were receiving the majority of action. This is a huge advantage because 1) the public doesn’t have this information, and 2) it can be used to bet the opposite of most other fantasy owners and gain a tactical edge.

According to the New York Times, an employee at DraftKings admitted to using such information during Week 3 of the NFL season to win $35,000 at FanDuel.

Daniel Wallach, a Florida-based sports and gambling attorney, likens such actions to insider trading on the stock market.

“It is absolutely akin to insider trading,” Wallach explained. “It gives that person a distinct edge in a contest.”

Now the unregulated status of DFS, which operates without the government involved, is going to be questioned even more. After all, it’s unclear exactly who is getting information that could help make them or accomplices unfairly make lots of money in DFS.

As for DraftKings and FanDuel, they’ve yet to offer any real info on how they ensure fair play. The only thing that they’ve really had to offer is the following statement:

“Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs. Employees with access to this data are rigorously monitored by internal fraud control teams, and we have no evidence that anyone has misused it.”

Gus Hansen discusses Bridge Scandal

October 3, 2015

gus-hansen-bridgeIt seems that Gus Hansen just can’t catch a break in the gaming world. First off, he’s gained much notoriety for his online poker losses, which exceed $20 million. And now, it appears that he may have been the victim of a bridge scandal that’s been brewing lately.

As reported by the Telegraph UK, the scandal started two months ago with a couple of German players admitting that they haven’t exactly been playing fairly. Norway’s Boye Brogeland, one of the world’s top bridge players, pointed out that there could be cheating afoot with the German team. His suspicions were confirmed when Josef Piekarek and Alex Smirnov banned themselves from the game for two years.

“We are aware of the ‘whispers’ circulating about our ethical conduct, and we are sorry to say there is some truth to them,” the team admitted. “We have voluntarily agreed never again to play competitive bridge together and to take two years off from playing competitive bridge.”

Now, where Hansen comes in is with a second team that’s accused of cheating. The Italian duo of Fulvio Fantoni & Claudio Nunes supposedly rotated their cards vertically or horizontally to tip each other off to what they had.

Hansen played against the Italian team in Monaco and said “it was almost like playing with open cards which made them almost unbeatable.”

He added, “They (the Italian couple) have been very unsympathetic every time I played against them so I cannot help to feel a bit happy about that they have been caught now.”

We can probably guess that Hansen didn’t have as much riding on the bridge tournament he was cheated out of as when he plays online poker. However, it’s still another bad beat for the “Great Dane.”