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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: 2024 World Series of Poker begins edition

31 May 2024

By Dan Ippolito
The most anticipated poker tournament of the year officially kicked off on Tuesday and the first gold bracelet was captured shortly after. The World Series of Poker also made headlines just before the WSOP began, announcing a historic real-money poker platform. In addition to the WSOP, we also have news of a seven-figure jackpot win at a Four Winds casino, a Michigan regulator cracking down on illegal gambling sites, and a jam-packed summer entertainment schedule for Las Vegas.

Let’s start with a life-changing amount of money:

5. Four Winds New Buffalo awards $1 million win
A guest from Harvey, Illinois won a $1,008,222 progressive jackpot on 17 May while playing a UFL Explosion slot machine at Four Winds New Buffalo in Michigan.

The winner, who chose to remain anonymous, won while making a $15 bet.

4. Michigan Gaming Control Board issues cease-and-desist letter to Bovada
The Michigan Gaming Control Board took action on Thursday against the overseas gaming company in Curaçao that is operating “illegal” online gaming sites, and, accessible to Michigan citizens.

Due to the unregulated and unlicensed online gaming offerings on Bovada, Harp Media B.V. is in violation of Michigan gaming laws, including the:

- Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which states that internet gaming may only be offered by a licensed internet gaming operator. Only casinos that are currently licensed under the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act and federally authorized tribal casinos within Michigan can apply for an internet gaming operator license or a sports betting operator license.

- Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, which prohibits a party from conducting a gambling operation without a license issued by the MGCB. A party who operates an unlicensed gambling operation is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.

- Michigan Penal Code, which broadly prohibits any form of gambling, which generally involves the elements of consideration, prize, and chance. For example, accepting money, or anything of value, with the understanding that money, or anything of value, will be paid to any person based on the outcome of an uncertain event is prohibited.

3. Las Vegas summer entertainment schedule
Las Vegas has long been synonymous with entertainment, offering headlining residencies from global superstars, tour stops from today’s top acts and comedy sets from the best comics. Spectacular shows can be found year-round, but the entertainment landscape heats up even more during summer.

Here are a few options for visitors to look forward to:

- Dolby Live at Park MGM presents a packed summer of headliners, including pop icon Lady Gaga (select dates from Wednesday, 19 June through Saturday, 6 July); the Strip’s first all-Spanish language residency from grupero band Los Bukis (select dates from Friday, 12 July through Saturday, 20 July and Friday, 13 September through Saturday, 21 September); pop diva Mariah Carey (select dates from Friday, 26 July through Saturday, 10 August); and pop star Bruno Mars (select dates from Tuesday, 20 August through Sunday, 1 September).

- BleauLive Theater at Fontainebleau Las Vegas presents alternative rock band Third Eye Blind with Yellowcard and A R I Z O N A (Saturday, 22 June); music icons Daryl Hall and Elvis Costello & The Imposters with Charlie Sexton (Sunday, 23 June); Jane’s Addiction and Love and Rockets (Friday, 9 August); rapper Young Miko (Saturday, 10 August); and alternative rock band Hootie & The Blowfish (Friday, 23 August and Saturday, 24 August).

- The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas presents a season of laughs, with the lineup including Love & Laughter with Toni Braxton and Cedric the Entertainer (Friday, 28 June to Saturday, 29 June and Friday, 12 July to Saturday, 13 July); country comedy icon Ron White (Saturday, 20 July); stand-up comic of Ted Lasso fame Brett Goldstein (Saturday, 3 August); comedian and television host Daniel Tosh (Saturday, 7 September); and the Girls Gotta Eat podcast duo (Saturday, 21 September).

2. WSOP launches new real-money poker platform
Last weekend, Caesars Entertainment and the World Series of Poker announced the launch of an all-new real-money poker platform, WSOP Online that combines player pools in Michigan, Nevada and New Jersey into one network.

The move makes online poker history, as WSOP becomes the first poker operator to pool liquidity across three U.S. jurisdictions.

WSOP.COM officially rebrands as WSOP Online, featuring upgraded functionality such as four-table capabilities on mobile, including Omaha, multi-flight re-entry tournaments, in-app gift drops, and game derivatives, including Mystery Bounty.

Effective immediately, existing players in Nevada and New Jersey should go online to complete the pre-registration process to create an account on the new platform. Once players create a new username, any existing balances, tournament tickets, and rewards points will be transferred into the player account within 72 hours of the launch of the new platform.

1. Event #1 of WSOP 2024 comes to a close
Asher Conniff battled back from a five-to-one chip disadvantage during heads-up play to claim his first WSOP bracelet in the $5,000 Champions Reunion event and picked up $408,468.

Conniff defeated Halil Tasyurek in a heads-up duel that spanned three levels and saw the Turkish player bag $272,305 for his runner-up spot.

A total of 493 players turned out for the opening event of the 2024 WSOP, creating a prize pool of $2,047,800.

In the final hand, Tasyurek shoved all in with jack-nine and ran into the pocket tens of Conniff. As the rail watched on, a clean runout secured the victory for Conniff which meant Tasyurek had to settle for the runner-up prize.

Final Table Results
1. Asher Conniff United States $408,468
2. Halil Tasyurek Turkey $272,305
3. Yuzhou Yin China $188,342
4. Jonathan Pastore France $132,545
5. Terry Fleischer United States $94,936
6. David Coleman United States $69,231
7. Nenad Dukic Serbia $51,416
8. Michael Acevedo Costa Rica $38,903
9. Bryce Welker United States $29,999
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