Nevada Online Poker Review March 19, 2014 – iGNA, Slow Traffic, and Tourney Results

Written By Steve Ruddock on March 19, 2014
iGaming North America Schedule

The big news in Nevada this week is without doubt the iGaming North America Conference that will run from Wednesday to Friday at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. The iGNA Conference is considered to be the meeting of the minds in the iGaming world and should produce a lot of content, ideas, and visions for the future of the industry.

In this installment of the Nevada Online Poker Week in Review I’ll detail the most important panels at the conference; from an online poker player’s perspective of course. I’ll also take a look at the latest results from this past week’s Sunday Majors at and Ultimate Poker; go over the latest traffic numbers in Nevada; and fill you in on the latest gossip in our “Word on the Street” segment.

What to watch at the 2014 iGNA Conference

iGNA (the iGaming North America Conference) is the online gambling world’s Comic-Con or Star Trek Convention—it’s a big deal.

The 2014 version of iGNA will be taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will run from Wednesday March 19th through Friday March 21st. Each day of the conference will be jam-packed with panel discussions, guest speakers, and of course vendor tables as far as the eye can see.

Here are a few of the panels and speakers on the 2014 iGNA schedule that should garner the most headlines and be of particular importance to online poker players.

Day 1: The Great Debate

One of the first panels of the conference also happens to be one of the most talked about, as Caesars Interactive CEO Mitch Garber is slated to debate Las Vegas Sands VP of Government Relations Andy Abboud.

These two men are polar opposites when it comes to iGaming, as Caesars is leading the charge into the US iGaming era while Abboud, with the backing of his LVS boss Sheldon Adelson is not only trying to stop iGaming expansion, but trying to rewind what is already in place in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.

The debate will be moderated by World Poker Tour founder Steve Lipscomb and is likely to be one of the most contentious, and therefore one of the best attended.

Day 2: Payment Processing

During the afternoon session of Day 2 of iGNA Sue Schneider, the founder of will moderate a distinguished panel dealing with the current payment processing issues confronting legal online gaming providers in the US.

The panel will include a good mix of iGaming vendors like CAMS CEO Matthew Katz, as well as representatives from banking institutions:

  • Matthew Katz, CEO, CAMS, LLC
  • Steve Kenneally, Vice President, American Bankers Association
  • Joe Pappano, Managing Director, Vantiv
  • Kenneth Mayeux, Product Specialist, iGaming and Alternative Market, First Data

Day 2: Regulated Online Poker

A little later in the afternoon’s Chris Grove will moderate a panel that will talk about the regulated online poker market in the US, from its start in Nevada, to the current environment, and even a peek into the future.

  • Dan Stewart, Founder, PokerScout
  • John Mehaffey, Independent Gaming Analyst
  • Chris Danek, Poker Product Manager, Ultimate Poker
  • Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker, Caesars Interactive

Day 2: The Player Perspective

What do the players think of the current iGaming industry? You’ll get your answers when’s editor Mike Gentile talks to four of them on Thursday afternoon:

  • Shaun Deeb, Professional Poker Player
  • Jason Somerville, Team Pro, Ultimate Poker
  • Dominic L. Ricciardi, MD, Chief of Staff, St. Rose San Martin Hospital
  • Danielle Andersen, Team Pro, Ultimate Poker

Day 3: Interstate and International

One of the first panel’s on the final day of the conference will deal with interstate and international compacts. Interstate compacts may be the only hope for small to medium sized US states as it does not appear that the federal government is likely to pass on online gaming bill in the near future.

Marco Valerio will moderate a panel that will consist of:

  • Helene Keeley, State Representative – 3rd District, Delaware General Assembly
  • Mark Lipparelli, Founder, Gioco Ventures
  • Violet Anne Golden, Chairman, Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission

Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada Sunday $15K Guaranteed

How’s this for a double dip; VPIHokie1970 didn’t just win the $15k Guaranteed tournament at this past Sunday, he also took down the WSOP Main Event satellite!

In the $15k Guaranteed VPIHokie1970 bested the 80 player field to take home the $4,500 first place payday:

  1. VPIHokie1970 $4,560
  2. ColHanzLanda $2,640
  3. newhippy $1,600
  4. heater6366 $1,280
  5. BrianSlick21 $1,104
  6. rhin0 $944
  7. turnemloose $784
  8. Fabio57 $544
  9. PoonLagoon $432

In the $215 Qualifier to the 2014 WSOP $10,000 Main Event VPIHokie1970 came out on top of the 46 player field to win a $10,000 seat to the WSOP Main Event.

  1. VPIHokie1970: $10,000 2014 WSOP Main Event seat

The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker

There was a pretty sizable overlay this week in Ultimate Poker’s flagship tournament, the $10k Guaranteed, as just 86 players registered for the tournament, which left UP on the hook for a $2,100 overlay.

  1. BrownPride $2,900
  2. SLOPHOUSE $2,000
  3. RunninGoodMC $1,500
  4. PokerPro $1,000
  5. ZOMG $800
  6. MrIncredible $600
  7. Ranney $500
  8. Shipit $400
  9. corrinajoe $300

Traffic trends in Nevada

Nevada experienced a pretty severe downturn in online poker traffic this week, as dipped to just 100 average cash game players, while Ultimate Poker stayed relatively static at 75 average cash game players.

New Jersey is experiencing a similar downtick, so this could very well be just a seasonal slow period.

All traffic data courtesy of

The word on the street

Episode 2 of Strip Magic

Antonio Esfandiari and Ultimate poker are back with their second episode of Strip Magic. The web series is being released by Ultimate Poker and features brand ambassador Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari performing unscripted magic tricks on the Las Vegas strip.

The episodes are just 2:30 long, and feature Antonio doing voice-overs detailing his passion for both Magic and performing. Here is the second part of the six-part series:

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Steve Ruddock

Steve is a well-recognized voice in the regulated U.S. online gambling industry. He writes for a number of online and print publications including, USA Today, and others, with a focus on the legal market.

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