Wednesday News Update
Feb. 29, 2012, Posted by Daniel.Smyth
In today's news round-up we reflect on a somber few days for Bodog and learn of another development in the Black Friday indictments. However, today's mood isn't all negative as we look forward to the LAPC final table and check out Daniel Negreanu's latest Vlog.
It was an inevitable move by the DOJ and it took place yesterday when Bodog's .com URL was seized. News of the legal action filtered through via a leaked VeriSign notice intended for the registrar managing the domain name.
While the move sent minor shockwaves through the online poker community, the founder of the Bodog Brand, Calvin Ayre, was less troubled by the news:
“The brand left the market last year and the domain in question has been dormant globally for longer than that. We are only currently doing brand licensing deals outside the US so this domain had no place in any of our current plans.”
Indeed, Bodog.com has been inactive for some time now following a withdrawal from the US market in July 2011. Moreover, Bodog rebranded part of its operations to Bovada.lv in December 2011 in a bid to remain active within the US.
Running Out of Ayre
When it rains it pours and for Bodog founder Calvin Ayre the last few days have produced enough precipitation to leave him practically drowning. While his virtually defunct Bodog.com domain was being seized, the DOJ were busy drafting an indictment against the Canadian billionaire.
In an article published by Forbes, the Federal prosecution named Ayre - as well as Rod Rosenstein, James Philip, David Ferguson and Derrick Maloney - as guilty parties in an illegal gambling business.
The charges included money laundering which is estimated at over $100 million in sports gambling wins and $42 million in a media company payments.
Not one to waste a PR opportunity, Ayre moved to defend himself via a statement to the press which read:
“I see this as abuse of the US criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large US corporations. It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law and in the case of these documents is it also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion."
Lang Arm of the Law
Over the past few days it seems like it’s been a case of another day, another legal development. Indeed, with the Bodog and Ayre indictments still ringing in the ears of the poker community, it's emerged that another player in the Black Friday saga has pleaded guilty.
Ryan Lang, a 37 year old Canadian, entered a guilty plea at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, yesterdy. Following the seizures of 4 major online sites, Lang, amongst others, was charged with conspiracy to commit tax fraud and violation of UIGEA.
Between 2007 and 2010 Lang admitted to helping various poker companies, including Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker, process payments from U.S. patrons.
Following the admission, Lang said: "I wish to publically apologise to anyone I’ve harmed by my conduct." His crimes carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and sentencing will be set for September 24th.
Indeed, with all the recent activity in the last week it’s clear that the DOJ aren’t letting the online poker community rest. While many recent reports have focused on the virtual game’s bright future, it seems the industry’s dark past is yet to fully catch up with it.
All-Star LAPC Final
549 players started and now only 6 remain in the hunt for the latest WPT title. This year’s LAPC event attracted a slew of famous faces, including the elusive Phil Ivey.
Indeed, much of the early attention centred on the high stakes hero but his chances of reclaiming the title he won in 2008 fell by the wayside when he crashed out on the bubble.
However, where Ivey faltered, the likes of Jason Somerville, Dan “djk123” Kelly and David “Doc” Sands excelled. The trio of young guns all take to today's final table with healthy chip stacks alongside Noah Schwartz, Jason Burt and Sean Jazyeri.
All the action kicks off today at 16:00 PT (Midnight GMT) and you can watch the race for the $1,370,240 (+$25K WPT World Championship seat) first place prize via the WPT's live stream.
Vlogs have become the flavour of the month for many poker players in recent weeks, with Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond both producing insightful videos.The former of the pair released his latest virtual chat yesterday, outlining his thoughts on the Commerce Casino, his recent diet and the ongoing Full Tilt saga. Enjoy.