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Ryan McLane

Ryan  McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news.

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EPT cancels 2007 French Open

24 Jan 2007

By Ryan McLane

French authorities have forced the European Poker Tour to cancel the 2007 French Open, according to a statement on the European Poker Tour Web site.

The popular EPT tournament was scheduled to run from Feb. 20-24 at the Casino Barrière de Deauville.

"This is as a direct result of last-minute intervention by the French authorities making it impossible for the Lucien Barrière group to run a poker tournament on their premises in Deauville," said tour CEO John Duthie.

Duthie also said he is considering appealing the decision to "the highest authority," but added that the tournament is currently postponed indefinitely.

The EPT has not said what prompted French authorities to shut the tournament down. PokerStars, the tour's official sponsor, has made no official statement either.

Casino City is investigating reports that a new French law prohibits online gaming advertisements. That would prevent PokerStars from advertising at the French Open.

The new law may also prohibit financial institutions from transferring money to online gaming sites in a fashion similar to the American Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Casino City has tried to contact the French Ministry of Finance, PokerStars and the EPT, but received no response.

France has a history of fighting online gaming, arresting BWIN executives Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger in September of 2006.

The EPT had been booming until the cancellation of the French Open. Season-three player participation has risen 36 percent from Season 2, mostly because of PokerStars satellites that pump players into the EPT events.

EPT officials added two more tournaments to the third season because of its recent success. Dortmund, Germany will hold an EPT event on March 3 and Warsaw, Poland will host the country's first major poker tournament on March 14.

The 2006 French Open was the largest event in the second EPT season, drawing 434 players and a prize pool of 1.6 million Euros.

The 2005 competition was the second largest tournament in Season 1, drawing 234 players and a prize pool of 468,000 Euros. Only the EPT-Austria tournament was larger (297 players).

Mucking McLane
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