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GGPoker Unveils New Ask Fedor Feature

Want to get better at your poker game? How about getting a chance to learn from a poker pro? That is exactly what GGPoker is offering with its new, powerful, and innovative Ask Fedor feature. This is essentially a unique tailor-made deep learning system that was built in consultation with Fedor Holz, one of the best poker players alive.

The German poker pro has built up quite a reputation in the poker sector. Over the course of his career, he has earned over $32.5 million in live poker events and millions more from online poker gaming. That said, it is very exciting to get the opportunity to pick his brain.

How It Works

Ask Fedor is powered by Prometheus AI which not only analyzes your hand history but also gives detailed feedback on how you play a specific hand. To begin, you will be given feedback in the form of a one- to five-star rating. Five stars indicate that you played the hand in the same way or manner as Ask Fedor would.

“The perfect poker player doesn’t exist, and every one of us is curious about the best way to play a hand. This is why we have created Ask Fedor. Your hand is analyzed in real-time and the advice provided will help bring your game to the next level. It helps bridge the gap between casual players and professionals…”

Fedor Holz, GGPoker Ambassador

After the rating is then, the players then get recommendations on how to play the hand differently. In the long term, making the changes suggested by Ask Fedor should yield better outcomes for all the players that choose to participate.

The Ask Fedor feature currently only works in No-Limit Hold’em cash games and tournaments. However, there are plans in the works to introduce more varieties, so stay tuned.

Is It Free?

Well, it is possible to try out the feature without paying anything extra. Every player at GGPoker has been awarded five free asks. They may use these the next time they log into their account. You may choose from three membership tiers if you want additional requests to assist you in your game.

To make it more enticing, if you sign up for any of the subscription packages, GGPoker will give you a 50% discount on your first month. It is worth noting that VIP games can only be analyzed with the Ask Fedor Premium package. Cash games with stakes of $25/$50 or above, as well as tournaments with buy-ins of $5,000 or more, are classified as VIP games.

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Online Poker Finally Arrives in Ontario

Ontario’s online gambling market is finally a reality and this represents a lot of renewed optimism about Canada’s gambling sector. Being the very first jurisdiction in the country to take bets within the context of a legal and private online gaming market, it sets the pace for what we can expect in the future.

Going forward, residents of Ontario will be able to wager on casino games as well as sporting events. Other forms of gambling products and services will also be offered online on both mobile apps and web-based platforms. These will, of course, have to be from licensed and regulated operators.

So far, iGaming Ontario has registered an impressive 25 operators. More are expected to be added in the long run but this is certainly a great start. Thankfully, there is a decent number of online poker options. Poker enthusiasts in the jurisdiction now have another amazing option when it comes to enjoying their favorite online poker titles.

Offshore Operations

Now, even though online gaming is now available in Ontario, some of the online poker options will still be offered from offshore sites. Players will not need to worry about the lack of localized content though as the poker operators are taking the new market very seriously.

PokerStars, for instance, will strive to ensure that its customers in Ontario have access to the global poker market as well as its massive player pool. 888poker and GGPoker who are always big brands in the online poker sector also have their sights set on the newly-launched market. There is talk of even more operators coming in.

Two-Tiered System

The launch of online gambling today (Monday, April 4, 2022) came with the creation of a de-factor two-tiered system. As it stands, there are no long-term plans for the system but it is expected to have some far-reaching impacts, especially on poker players.

Commissioned by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the two-tiered system is intended to help with avoiding a blackout period. This means that licensed online poker operators will be operating alongside rivals that have just started the licensing process.

On the bright side, this could help eliminate the possibility of black market operators stepping in where the players have no viable options. The main disadvantage of this is that it might lead to the market having some arguably inferior products and services. Still, this is all work in progress and we will have to wait and see how it all pans out over the coming months.

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Poker Problems Amid Sanctions on Russian Banks

With the war on Ukraine, a lot of things have certainly been affected. Global tension aside, there have been lots of casualties. At the same time, many aspects of both Ukraine’s and Russia’s operations have taken a hit.

In the case of Russia, the country’s banking systems have since taken a nosedive primarily because of interventions from other countries. Most notably, the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States agreed to remove Russia’s banks from SWIFT, the global international payment system.

As a result of these sanctions, the assets of the Russian central bank were essentially frozen. The stock exchange was forced to close something that ended up spurring a surge in ATM withdrawals across the country. Consequently, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, moved to ban international bank transfers.

The Impact on Poker

Poker is probably the last thing on many people’s minds but it would not be surprising to find that people are using the games to cope with all that’s going on. For people who may fall into this category, there is another complication. As it stands, the only options they have available to them when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals are offshore payment services. To that effect, even some of the most popular online poker operators have had to make some changes.

PokerStars, for instance, transferred its Russian players from its EU network in November 2021. This is not directly linked to the ongoing situation. The state of poker in the country was already a bit shaky in the country. Similarly, partypoker chose to let go of its operations in the Russian market. That was after trying and failing to run its online operations from Sochi like PokerStars.

The Alternatives

All in all, it seems like Russian players will not even have access to unlicensed offshore online poker sites. Aside from international payment options some of which are also likely to stop working in Russia, the remaining option is digital currencies like Bitcoin.

In addition to using crypto to play online, Russian players can also use crypto to contribute to relief efforts in Ukraine. Members of the poker and gambling community at large are already doing this thanks to the decentralization of crypto. We can therefore all chip in one way or the other.

Even though poker is definitely not even close to a priority considering what is happening right now, the impact on the sector is proof of the far-reaching effects of the attacks on Ukraine.

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partypoker Partners with Theta Labs for NFT Venture

As part of its efforts to keep being a trendsetter in the poker community, popular online poker platform partypoker has recently launched its first-ever non-fungible tokens (NFT). This does not come as much of a surprise. Crypto and the iGaming industry intersected years ago. Given how well that has turned out, it was only a matter of time before the NFT craze caught on in the gambling sector.

For the venture, partypoker has partnered with Theta Labs, a decentralized, blockchain-powered video delivery network. It is best known for providing end-to-end infrastructure for video and NFT and Metaverse platforms.

The project will allow partypoker customers and poker fans the opportunity to own a piece of the gaming platform’s history. Its NFTs will major on a selection of the most iconic moments and tournaments hands from the previous partypoker tournaments.

For the mainstream audience, there will be a range of ‘PokerApes’ NFTs which will essentially be a showcase of 3D artwork with unique partypoker-inspired traits.

Where and How to Get Them

For those interested in the partypoker NFTs, the collection will be available on the platform’s own native marketplace. This is the first of its kind in the online poker scene and thus presents a huge leap forward. It will be the primary place where the sale of partypoker’s NFTs will be happening.

There are also plans for a secondary marketplace that users can take advantage of to trace their digital currencies. Both marketplaces will not only be exciting places for partypoker customers to explore but it could also be a great entry point for NFT enthusiasts.

“Partypoker has established a history across 20 years full of great hands and epic poker moments that have happened during our live and online events. We are happy to give players the opportunity to own their very own piece of poker history in partnership with Theta. I am truly excited for partypoker to join the NFT space.”

Vadim Soloveychik, partypoker Director.

This pioneering NFT launch in the poker space is part of a much larger innovative initiative by Entain, partypoker’s parent company. Its partnership with Theta Labs also extends to other equally exciting projects. These include the upcoming launch of a brand-new innovation hub known as Ennovate in London. The innovation hub is set to invest millions of dollars in several tech projects across the continent. This could potentially extend to other markets in the near future.

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Online Poker Wish List for 2022

The past couple of years have been quite challenging, to say the least. This was especially true for the land-based gambling sector which had to deal with the measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Online gambling, on the other hand, did not suffer quite as much as, something that is easily proven by the stellar performance of various iGaming sectors.

Online poker is quite mature now but this does not mean that it has stopped growing. The vertical still benefits from several innovations and technological advancements as operators rush to meet the growing market demand. Crypto and blockchain stand out for being some of the most notable technologies that have been pushing poker forward.

However, they are not the only aspects that we are paying attention to in 2022. Here are some of the things that we are hoping for in the world of poker this year:

Interstate Poker in the United States

Traffic sharing is a pretty big deal in the world of online poker. Not only does it open the doors for soma amazing possibilities for the players but it also creates room for more growth for the poker operators. In the United States, the best way of achieving traffic sharing has been interstate poker.

As it stands, only WSOP (World Series of Poker) can share traffic in the country. Unfortunately, this is limited to Delaware New Jersey and Nevada which happen to be the smallest regulated online poker markets in the United States.

Keeping that in mind, it would be amazing if Michigan and Pennsylvania could also be part of this online poker network. These two have massive poker markets and their inclusion would be a big step for online poker in the country. Moreover, it would even be better if other operators other than WSOP could launch their networks. The top contenders in this regard would be PokerStars, partypoker and BetMGM Poker.

2022 might not be the year all this is achieved but, hopefully, even a single step in the right direction could begin the journey towards the online poker market of our dreams.

An Expanded Poker Market Maybe?

When it comes to legal online poker, we have made tremendous strides towards an expanded regulated market. Even so, only a handful of states have actually come on board. Poker enthusiasts in many other states have had to stick to offshore betting sites or even underground poker sites which come with their own set of cons.

For state authorities, one of the things we hope will be a key consideration will be the introduction of regulated, safe and reliable poker offerings in their states. Some discussions had already begun and we will be following closely to see how far they go.

All in all, 2022 will certainly be quite a year. Nothing is cast in stone and there are lots of possibilities. Happy new year!

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Poker Players Betting on CryptoPunk NFTs

Non-fungible tokens, otherwise known as NFTs, have been all the buzz over the past year. One of the reasons why this is the case is how divisive they have proven to be as investment assets. There is a group of people who swear by it and believe that it is the future of both art and gaming. An equally large number of people see it as nothing more than a gimmick and a bubble that will fade away just as quickly as it rose.

Now, objectively speaking, nothing is cast in stone at this point. Still, the amount of interest in the sector is worth paying attention to. Several mainstream sectors are getting involved and one of the most notable ones is the poker industry. Recently, poker pros like Ryan Daut, Jeff Gross, Mike McDonald and Dan Smith have gotten in on NFTs. In total, the players have CryptoPunks NFTs worth about a whopping $400,000 as their Twitter profile pictures. Bill Perkins, another high-stakes poker player, has a World of Women NFT.

A Perfect Match?

Crypto and blockchain have found use cases in the world of online gambling and continue to thrive in the sector. For poker, especially in live dealer games, this has mostly been limited to payments. NFTs seem to be changing that. High-stakes poker professionals have a reputation for being risk-takers which makes NFTs a great fit for them.

The goal is profitability, something that is not always guaranteed. That is often overridden by the idea of the Expected Value (EV). NFTs present a rather unique opportunity for this as seen from their mind-blowing price surges in the past year. As it turns out, this fusion of poker and NFTs is already being explored on other fronts.

Next-Gen Poker

Recently, a new and innovative version of poker that brings together the loved game and NFTs was unveiled. Polker, the game, has been built using Unreal Engine 4 and is expected to usher in the next generation of online poker gaming. It is the first free-to-play and play-to-earn poker game that takes immersion to new heights. Most notably, Polker will be the first game of its kind to integrate NFTs throughout the game structure.

The gambling industry has always been known for its dynamism. Now we are at the tipping point in the way we gamble online and such innovations promise to take the poker experience we know and love to the next level. It will take a bit of time but it will certainly be worth the wait.

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Mastercard Strikes Crypto Deal with Bakkt

In a recent announcement, Mastercard which is one of the world’s biggest financial service providers revealed that it has partnered with Bakkt, a popular digital assets platform. Thanks to the arrangement, thousands of Mastercard’s banks and merchants will now have the chance to integrate cryptocurrencies into all their products. Giving Mastercard’s partners the ability to offer crypto solutions is set to significantly boost the already rapidly-expanding crypto ecosystem.

Speaking on the development, Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard mentioned that the move aligns with the company’s goals. With Bakkt on board, they intend to apply their innovative approach to ” power our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options” and “also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”

How Will This Work?

Consumers in the United States will have the chance to buy, sell and hold digital assets like cryptocurrencies. Enabling this will be the highly-acclaimed custodial wallets that are the backbone of Bakkt’s fast-rising crypto business. At the outlets where MasterCard is accepted, the users will have their digital assets exchanged for fiat to complete the transactions.

As if that is not enough, Mastercard’s loyalty solutions will also apply to the digital asset payments that its users will make. This applies to both Mastercard credit and debit cards. Rewards from the loyalty programs will even be converted to crypto in some cases. Merchants will no longer have to stick to redeemable loyalty points. Instead, they can just offer rewards to their customers in the form of crypto.

What Could This Mean for Online Gambling?

Online casinos form one of the biggest industries that depend on payment service providers such as Mastercard. Many modern-day online casinos have also started integrating digital currencies on their platforms. This is, of course, a very important step forward for the sector.

To begin with, it means that casinos that had not switched to using digital currencies may now have the chance to be a part of the revolution. It will certainly take some time but we are already off to a great start.

Secondly, this is a great way of increasing mainstream adoption of digital assets. Several great online casinos accept crypto payments. However, lots of people are still holding out. With the backing of yet another huge player in the financial sector, mainstream adoption of crypto just got yet another big boost. It will be like having the best of both worlds, that is, a popular payment service and what is considered to be the future of global finance – crypto.

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PokerFi.Finance to Unite Crypto and Poker Users

The utilization of crypto and related technologies in the world of gambling is not an entirely new thing. Still, there is so much to be discovered in the sector. New entrants debut innovative technologies and products regularly and this is what keeps it going. For poker players, it is now more apparent than ever that crypto is a huge part of the industry.

As part of an ambitious plan to further unite poker players and crypto enthusiasts, PokerFi.Finance has come up with an innovative approach for financial transactions in live and online poker. The main goal of this is to bring more awareness about crypto to poker players. It further provides this group of people with an incredible system through which they can earn some passive income. This should further give more people more reason to be a part of it.

How It Works

PokerFi.Finance which is also referred to as Poker Finance token is essentially a digital currency. It is linked to BEP-20 on the Binance Smart Chain and is built on a foundation of three ideas. That is to improve Decentralized Finance (DeFi), offer great poker games and deliver a deflationary system.

The deflationary nature of the system will likely be the most eye-catching thing for many people. That is because it means that the token holders will be able to earn in dollars with dividends and they will not have to sell their coins to make that possible. As for the actual figures, PokerFi.Finance token holders will have the chance to earn a 6 percent fee for every transaction. A 3 percent share is automatically distributed every 12 hours to everyone with over 35,000 coins in their token wallets.

More Perks

When it comes to actual poker gaming, the users of the PokerFi.Finance platform also have a lot to look forward to. The players will get the chance to rake back up to 70 percent of their spend on the site. This is paid out weekly in $BUSD. In addition to that, the side features an amazing loyalty program. Referred to as the PointFi rewards program, it is made to cater to all users with accounts on the site. Once registered, the players get 1FP for every $1 wagered.

The total rake of the site will contribute to growing the value of the PokerFi.Finance token. 2 percent of the total rake is dedicated to that goal. Players still can get to reap the benefits of this too. Qualifying players will receive a 5 percent share of the total rake.

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PokerStars COOP Series Coming to Three Different States in September

Poker lovers in the United States who may be feeling left out of all the action in PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) have something to smile about. While they are still not able to access the dot come version of the poker room and participate in the tournament, the operator has found a way to cater to them. The company has recently announced that it will be running Champions of Online Poker (COOPs) in three different states.

That said, poker lovers in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, the three states, will be able to simultaneously enjoy some special tournament action. This will run from September 10 through September 27. But that is not the only great news that the players should look forward to.

Amazing Prize Pools

According to the operator, the total guaranteed prize pools across the three states will be a whopping $4.5 million. Players who will be participating in the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) will take the biggest share of the prize pool. That is $2 million in guaranteed prizes which will be won across a total of 69 events.

Coming in second will be the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP). This is promising $1.5 million in guaranteed prize pools for its 68 events. The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) will be offering $1 million in guaranteed prizes that will be won over a total of 60 events.

All the Main Event winners during the tournament will receive a PokerStars trophy. In addition to that, there are a few special COOP events whose winners will also receive trophies. The guarantees for these Main Events are as follows:

  • $200,000 for PACOOP
  • $150,000 for MICOOP
  • $100,000 for NJCOOP

How To Get In

If you are looking to participate in any of the state poker events, you will be happy to know that the buy-ins for most events will be quite reasonable. Most of them will be below $100. However, they could range from as low as $10 to as high as $100. All the Main Events will have buy-ins of $300. That’s not too bad. They will also be running for two days starting from September 26.

To help their customers get in on the poker action, PokerStars is also hosting several promotions till September 26. All that the players need to do is participate in the operator’s special $3 Spin & Go’s. With that, they stand a chance of winning the $300 COOP Main Event tickets.

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Former Poker Pros Raise $130M for DeFi Market

The gambling and digital currency ecosystems are increasingly becoming intertwined in ways that would not have been imagined. This is partly because of all the interest and buzz that the sectors have been amassing as they continue growing. One of the most recent and most notable developments in this regard is a venture by Ascensive Assets, an investment firm that is led by ex-professional poker players.

The investment fund has been able to raise a whopping $130 million fund. This is aimed at taking on the rapidly growing decentralized finance (DeFi) market. It is not the first time that the firm is taking its chance on the market. In 2019, it managed to raise $24 million, a move that was backed by notable brands like Benqi, JennyDAO, Polkaswap, and Yield Guild Games.

Most of Ascensive Assets’ investors are high-net-worth individuals from Asia who are connected to the world of professional poker and gambling. This is not too surprising but it certainly represents an increasing level of interest in the burgeoning DeFi sector.

The Investment Plans

According to Ascensive Assets partner Oliver Blakey, the firm already has plans for how the fund will be utilized. About 30 percent of the fund will be used to invest in early-stage startups. The remaining amount will then be used to strengthen their investment from the first fund. There are, of course, elements of uncertainty. Still, that is a norm in the world of investments. Gambling is also clearly entrenched in the firm’s DNA.

“We have made some awesome investments; we’ve also made some terrible ones. I think about this industry as a kind of hybrid of venture capital and a hedge fund; it’s somewhere in the middle,” Oliver Blakey commented.

It will be very interesting to see how all this pans out for the firm. The confidence that they have might be an indication of where the sector is headed.

The Future of DeFi

Decentralized finance (DeFi) has had a resurgence recently and it is growing fast. Initially, decentralized finance was adopted mostly by smaller businesses. However, now it seems like the larger players in the transaction banking industry see it as a significant growth area. The technology has proven to be a great way of strengthening existing market trends. These are particularly good for permissionless access as well as interoperability.

Going forward, we can expect a lot more adoption of the technology. Many big names are warming up to it and that should be enough to take it all to the next stage.