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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Casino City's Friday Five: Shared player pool edition

20 Apr 2018

By Gary Trask
Not exactly a shocker, but this week we learned that, yes, shared player pool liquidity works wonders for online poker. And if you live in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware, the much-anticipated model is heading your way soon. Very soon. That was the primary positive news this week in the gambling world, and hopefully it's a harbinger of things to come in the U.S. — particularly in Pennsylvania, which became the fourth state to legalize online poker earlier this year and, not-so-coincidentally, experienced some monster numbers in land-based properties last month. We also have a huge six-figure winner in Las Vegas and another major merger between two well-known gaming companies, so let's get right to it. 5. Las Vegas local hits 'life-changing' jackpot at The Orleans For our obligatory "big winner" story of the week, we head to The Orleans in Las Vegas where a local player snared a payday worth $621,606.55 after hitting Aristocrat’s Buffalo Grand Hyperlink jackpot. Superstitions be darned, she won the six-figure prize on Friday, 13 April on a $3.75 spin. The winner decided to remain anonymous, so apologies for not having the always awkward "big winner standing on podium with giant check" photo. 4. Tropicana Entertainment announces merge with Eldorado Resorts Eldorado Resorts, a Reno-based casino group with 20 properties in 10 states, acquired Tropicana Entertainment for $1.85 billion, the companies announced earlier this week. Tropicana, a Carl Icahn company, owns eight casinos and under terms of the new deal; will pay $1.21 billion, excluding taxes and expenses, for all of Tropicana’s real estate; and will enter into a master lease with Eldorado for the acquired real estate. Eldorado will fund the remaining $640 million of cash consideration payable in the acquisition. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2018. 3. Pennsylvania monthly gaming revenue surpasses $300 million Business is good in the Keystone State, where the combined gaming revenue from the 12 casinos exceeded $300 million for the first time — a great sign for the impending online poker business that is expected to launch soon. The properties with the biggest year-over-year increase in revenues were Mount Airy Casino Resort (18.39%), Rivers Casino (17.82%) and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (17.70%). 2. WSOP aiming to introduce interstate online poker in May Weeks before the start of the 49th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and 888 Poker are planning to go live with interstate pooling with players in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. In what the WSOP termed "a major step for gaming operators in the U.S.," the linking of the three states will go live on Tuesday, 1 May, if final approval is granted from all jurisdictions. This shared liquidity, of course, is welcome news for players who will benefit from larger prize pools and a wider array of games to choose from, time zone coverage and tournament offerings. “Pooling poker players from three states will be a significant regulatory step in the US and is very exciting for our players and partners,” said Yaniv Sherman, 888 Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Development. 1. PokerStars' SCOOP for France and Spain exceeds record-breaking guarantee Speaking of shared player pools, PokerStars, which rolled out a similar model between France and Spain in January, saw its Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) surpass its record-breaking €10 million guarantee by more than €1.7 million, reaching €11,768,035. The series, which ran from 25 March-9 April, attracted more than 37,000 unique entries across 120 scheduled tournaments, the first time PokerStars has offered an online series with more than 100 tournaments in shared liquidity markets.
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