Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun from Newsweek: Irish Bookies: U.S. Election Is Over


By Joanna Heath

The U.S. election is less than 3 weeks away, but some believe it’s a done deal--and are willing to bet more than $1.3 million on it.

On Thursday, Paddy Power PLC, Ireland’s largest betting agency, announced that it was so confident in the outcome of the election that it would pay out over 1 million euros ($1.3 million) on bets already made that Barack Obama will become the next president of the United States.

Should it get its prediction wrong--and it has made mistakes before--Paddy Power will be obliged to honor bets also made in favor of John McCain (currently running at odds of 5-1 against) in addition to Thursday’s payout, risking big losses for the firm.

However, according to Darren Haines, a representative of Paddy Power, the company isn’t taking any risk at all. “The combination of the three presidential debates, and then the differences between McCain and Obama’s handling of the economic crisis, has led us to believe that really there’s only going to be one winner now. One of them looks like a president, and the other one not so much.” With Obama’s odds of winning at 1-9 (meaning punters betting $90 would only make $10 if he won), bets have dried up. According to Haines, it is now a “one-horse race.”

Haines denies any kind of political motivation for the decision: “Americans can’t bet with us anyway, so there’s little use in us having a political viewpoint. It’s purely from a betting and entertainment point of view. Having a bit of fun with our betting, no more than that.”

Fun or not, Paddy Power’s widely reported move will only add to the air of inevitability starting to surround the Obama campaign, which is leading in many national and state polls.

In any case, if McCain is hoping for the proverbial luck of the Irish to help his ailing campaign, it is all in vain--they’re too busy collecting money from their bookies.

Kentucky Court Says Gambling Sites Must Restrict Access 

So I forgot to mention the latest in the battle of Kentucky versus online gambling sites.


Kentucky Court Says Gambling Sites Must Restrict Access

In a compromise ruling, a judge in Kentucky said Thursday that he intends to dismiss proceedings against online gambling sites, but only if they deploy technology to prevent state residents from accessing the sites. Otherwise, he ruled, the domain names will be subject to permanent forfeiture.

Judge Thomas Wingate of Franklin Circuit last month issued an order seizing the domain names of 141 out-of-state online gambling companies, which were characterized by Governor Steve Beshear as a threat to Kentucky's "signature industry" of horse racing. The state's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet had earlier filed a motion asking to confiscate domain names of 141 sites, including AbsolutePoker.com, PokerStars.com and UltimateBet.com.

Placing online bets is not illegal in Kentucky, but promoting gambling is a crime in the state. Lawyers for gaming organizations argue that the law banning the promotion of gambling violates First Amendment freedom of speech guarantees.

Industry groups including the Interactive Gaming Council and the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association also argued that the court had no jurisdiction over the domain names, all of which were operated by companies outside Kentucky. They also argued that it was unconstitutional for Kentucky to curb interstate online gambling operations in order to protect an enterprise in its own state. In addition, they said, Kentucky's forfeiture law only applies to physical gambling devices like roulette wheels, and not domain names.

Wingate rejected all of those arguments, but also held that if the sites prevented Kentucky residents from accessing them, he would relinquish jurisdiction. But one potential problem with that order is that geotargeting isn't 100% accurate, because IP addresses don't always reflect users' true locations.

Wingate adjourned the matter to Nov. 17, but the gaming organizations might file an appeal before that date.

Ed Leyden, president of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, said the group intended to appeal as soon as possible. "The likelihood is we're going to be fighting this tooth-and-nail immediately," said Leyden, who argued the case on behalf of the group. "There were very, very substantial due process violations here."

A spokesperson for Beshear said the governor's office was still reviewing the 44-page decision.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poker Blogs 

Hell, I'm drunk and eating cold medicine. And licking toads.

Go read this by Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic:

Why I Blog.

Poker Blogs Rule 

Just a quick update as with the weather change I just got nailed by a nasty cold.

Plus I hate to waste an uber post on a Friday/weekend so I'll be cranking one out on Sunday night, just like old times.

But I did wanna mention one thing in passing about the new SNG format on Full Tilt called the Matrix. Weird twist that I plan on trying ASAP.

From the site:


Matrix tournaments are unlike any tournament you’ve ever played before. When you enter a Matrix tournament you’ll sit down to four Sit & Gos simultaneously—against the exact same players at each table.

On top of competing for victory at each table, you’ll be rewarded for overall performance in the tournament as a whole in the form of Matrix points. You’ll score points for every player that you knockout and for every player that you outlast on each table. Most importantly, when the last table is finished, the players who’ve earned the highest Matrix scores will be paid out for their overall performance.


Again, an interesting twist and one I'm looking forward to playing.

Damn, I've a ton of great photos to post for you too. Again, I wish I could pound this out tonight but these damn ubers take forever to write.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poker Blogs 

I'm gonna write tonight damnit. Been reading the poker blogosphere and found some good stuff.

For now, that little midget is back with a new video.

Allow me to present: La Pequeña Sarah Palin

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