In recent years and months, we’ve seen a blossoming of online poker in markets where such a development had, up until a few years ago, been nothing more than a pipe dream. Pennsylvania and Michigan stand out in particular as two large states which are suddenly in the mix.
Developments are starting to open up the country for real money poker players to areas beyond the traditional hot spots of Nevada and New Jersey.
Take Poker Home to West Virginia
The next domino to fall could be the state of West Virginia. It was two years ago that the Mountaineer state legalized online gambling. But unlike in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, there hasn’t been much interest in the state from online operators to create partnerships.
That could all be changing pretty soon.
Since the legal part of the equation is already in place, it’s just a matter of coming to terms if 888poker is definitely interested.
While not the biggest state in the world, West Virginia could provide a feather in the cap of an operator that wants to spread out its territory a bit.
Such a move increases the possibility of shared player pools, which can be enticing for those looking to sign up wanting to take on the best competition. Stay tuned to see how this develops in the coming weeks and months.
Bad News for Florida Online Poker
For the most part, recent news on the gambling front in the state of Florida has been positive, with the potential for legal sports betting in the offing.
That became a possibility with the agreement on a compact between the Seminole Tribe, who would be responsible for administering the gambling opportunities to those in the state and the state itself.
But sometimes the political winds can blow in ways that cause unlikely collateral damage. And in this case, the damage seems to have been done to the possibility of legal online poker in the state.
The bill will do a lot, including not just the establishment of sports gambling but also the inclusion of table games at tribal casinos for the first time.
Such a substantial bill needed to pass through the typical mix of conservatives and liberals in the legislature.
And some of those conservative members were concerned about an offshoot of the bill that would have given the impetus for the establishment to legalize online poker gambling as well.
In order to make sure the bill would pass, the part about online poker was excised from the finished product.
But the wheels of lawmaking can turn pretty slowly, and after such a major piece of gambling legislation going through, there might not be too much enthusiasm to rev up another one so quickly.
As a result, we could be measuring the time until the Sunshine State says okay to online poker in years. Which is a shame, because it was oh-so-close to happening much sooner than that.
NLOP With Big Plans
Much of the space in this column each week is devoted to the high-stakes action of professionals battling it out in Texas Hold’em tournaments and online cash games. But that doesn’t account for people who like their poker action without that kind of financial risk.
For many like that, the National League of Poker, a website that has been in existence since 2006, has been a godsend. It’s essentially a social gaming site that gives you the chance to play all the different variations of poker as if you were at one of the top real money gambling sites.
But the difference is that you can play for free, while still winning cash and prizes if you do well enough.
It looks like NLOP will soon be expanding its reach into the mobile gambling realm. The site announced on CardPlayer.com that it is in the midst of testing stages for an online gambling app. That app will allow you to play on your mobile device of choice.
As a result, instead of being tethered to your computer, you could play on your smart phone. Having such flexibility is a great thing in a world where everybody does everything on the go. It means more chances to play than you might otherwise have, which is always a good thing.
Like many other poker sites, NLOP is also offering many promotions for the upcoming summer months. It’s a great way to get involved in online poker if you’ve been wanting to try but reluctant. You get all the excitement with none of the risk.
Arrest in Poker Pro Robbery
Sadly, one of the byproducts of being extremely successful, in terms of finances, is that it makes you a target for nefarious types. Poker pro Chad Power knows all about that first-hand from when he was robbed of nearly $1 million in cash and poker chips earlier this year.
The good news for Power is that at least justice is being served, although it’s hard to say if he’ll ever get his capital back.
A man was arrested this past week in conjunction with the crime. Allegedly, he and a cohort followed Power home from the Las Vegas Strip and waited for him to leave. Then, they broke in and carried out a safe with the aforementioned stash.
In Power’s case, at least the robbery was a non-violent one. There have been many occasions where players have been beaten or faced gunpoint in a theft situation.
Criminals are wise to the kinds of money that change hands among the best poker players, and they know that much of that money has to be accessible to those players, making for easier thefts.
The anonymity that players get in those cases can certainly help keep away those who might be looking to steal.
Ultimately, there might be no real way for poker pros to avoid such threats other than to beef up their security a bit. But such concerns are part and parcel of the experience for top poker pros. They’re lucky if they can somehow avoid it through their careers.
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