Nevada Online Poker Review: Ongoing Mini Controversy, Cal. Hearing, and More

Written By Steve Ruddock on April 25, 2014
PokerStars Hearing Nevada Online Poker News Update

The iGaming community is currently focused on California, where the State Assembly hosted an online poker hearing that featured several key individuals from the online poker industry in Nevada, including former NGCB Chairman Mark Lipparelli. But while California discusses the potential for online poker expansion Nevada continues to live it, dealing with all the ups and downs that go along with it.

In this installment of the Nevada Online Poker Week in Review we’ll look at the good and the bad going on in Nevada, and the contentious and the uncontroversial.

We’ll kick things off with the ongoing mini-controversy regarding’s customer service department (which is actually 888’s customer service department) and why it speaks to a larger issue in the US iGaming industry, followed by Las Vegas Sands Andy Abboud’s name surfacing as one of the people who spoke at California’s online poker hearing.

So keep reading for the specifics on these stories and a whole lot more below.

The customer service kerfuffle

This weekend we brought you one of the most interesting stories we’ve seen in the one-year existence of Nevada’s online poker industry, as the first forum-based controversy involving a licensed, regulated online poker room got a little bit of attention.

There isn’t much to the story itself (click the link above to see why), but it does demonstrate one of the issues the licensed online poker rooms still haven’t been able to solve, transparency.

For whatever reason the licensed sites in the US have decided to continue the long tradition in the industry of being very opaque when it comes to their corporate structure and who and how things will be handled.

In this example it was the customer support department, and because of a lack of transparency the entire community was under the assumption that was in charge of their own customer service, which isn’t the case, 888 handles the customer service.

These things aren’t a big deal in and of themselves, but they do make things unnecessarily harder for the sites when things do go wrong, and then when they do have to explain what is going on, they wind up with conspiracy theorists thinking they are then making excuses up out of whole cloth to cover their butts.

Andy Abboud goes west

Wednesday’s California hearing on online poker wrapped up with Sheldon Adelson’s henchman Andy Abboud.

Check out the 24 Things I Learned at the California Online Poker Hearing here.

Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada Sunday $15K Guaranteed

This week’s running of the $15k guaranteed at pulled in 86 players, down seven entries week-over-week but still more than enough to eclipse the guarantee, as the final prize-pool tally topped off at $17,200.

Here is a look at the final table payouts:

  1. SilverMoon $4,902.00
  2. Rook1122 $2,838.00
  3. nutsplease $1,720.00
  4. SIT_TITE $1,376.00
  5. Mikeciti $1,186.80
  6. moanlikemoon $1,014.80
  7. PaulDewald $842.80
  8. dicma $584.80
  9. aggie69 $464.40

WSOP Main Event Satellite

Once again the WSOP Main Event qualifier featured a substantial overlay, as just 35 players registered for this weekend’s $215 ($200+$15) tournament, leaving on the hook for the remaining $3,000 of the $10,000 seat.

  1. DiaperChanger – Seat to the 2014 WSOP Main Event

The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker

Apparently the seven players missing from’s $15k guaranteed went over to Ultimate Poker this weekend (with one of them bringing a friend) as UP’s $10k guarantee saw attendance jump eight players. UP’s weekly tournament features a $100 buy-in ($91+$9) so even with the increased number of entries UP still had to cough up over $1,000 in overlays.

Here is a look at the final table payouts:

  1. INtheMOMENT $2,900
  2. Butters $2,000
  3. Rick2007 $1,500
  4. freephildirt $1,000
  5. Slickest $800
  6. lvkid7 $600
  7. HumorMe $500
  8. bansman $400
  9. VegasPlayer $300

Traffic trends in Nevada

It was bad week for Nevada online poker traffic as stayed below 100 average cash-game players and Ultimate Poker saw their average cash-gamed traffic dip to just 60 players according to’s data.

Traffic was already trending down, (last week’s numbers were 95 for and 65 for Ultimate Poker) but previous downward trends had been followed by a solid spike in traffic, a spike that did not occur this week.

The word on the street

Antonio Esfandiari begging for money at airport

What happens when you forget your wallet and are stuck in an airport with no money? You go hungry until you can crack open some pretzels on the plane. But if your name is Antonio Esfandiari you can beg and plead until someone hands you $30.

William Hill makes the case for election betting

William Hill is making their case that betting on elections isn’t all that bad, and what better place to make that case than in Las Vegas!

For those of you that don’t know, sites like InTrade are illegal in the US, so this would be a pretty big deal.

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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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