Poker seems to be fast-catching with the nerves of masses across the world. A whopping number of people have accepted it as a game of skill, which is perhaps the major reason why more and more people are showing interest in poker. Despite the growth and boom witnessed in the past years, the skill game of poker saw some nasty things happen in 2016, which really shook the poker world. Right from the police raids to legal troubles to some biggest controversies, several things affected poker. This article discusses the five major happenings that impacted the global poker industry in the year 2016:
1.Shocking Police Raids
The year 2016 witnessed several police raids at various poker rooms in India, which affected both operators and players a like, causing huge loss to them. We saw local police storming into the Rockets Poker Room in Bengaluru on August 6, 2016, disrupting the ongoing Poker Galactica Live Tour and resorting to outright hooliganism by taking away all the money found with the poker players. This was not the first time that police raided a poker room. This also happened in Kolkata where police raided, arrested 32 people and seized tokens and the money. The major raid however occurred in China where police shut down the Asia Poker League (APL) in November 2016, causing a huge loss to players and organizers alike. What went on was very humiliating and caused a huge loss to all stakeholders.
2.Online Poker Bill for Pennsylvania Fell into Trouble
This year, poker has also been targeted in Pennsylvania, US, where poker is practically a national sport. Actually, Pennsylvania is home to ever-increasing number of professional poker players, but the lawmakers have been playing with the heart of players all through the year 2016. Though some reports say that poker is inching close to be a regulated game there, the final say from the lawmakers is awaited. There is still a doubt if the Pennsylvania authorities will consider the legality of online poker. The bad news is that online gambling has been omitted from the final bill. However, the good news is that most analysts say that the bill, which includes online poker, is very likely to pass shortly.
3.’Poker not a game of skill’, Said Matt King
In 2016, we also got to hear the shocking statement of FanDuel CFO Matt King, who said ‘poker is not a game of skill, while daily fantasy sports contests are’. He drew a huge criticism from poker players and fans across the world. Poker players felt unhappy with the statement as it sent a wrong notion about poker, which millions of people play and regard poker as the game of skill than a game of luck. In fact, the skill vs luck question has been one of the most argued one between lawmakers and poker promoters in 2016. We saw many controversial statements wherein poker was called a game of chance.
4.The Eighth Wonder of the World ‘Trump’s Taj Mahal’ Shut Down
The year 2016 also brought the shocking story of Trump’s Taj Mahal that closed down after 26 years of its operations. Reports said that it was 5th Atlantic City Casino to go out of business. Following some money troubles and strikes by staff, the gaming destinations ceased its operations back in October this year, leaving thousands of people unemployed and the whole poker community despaired.
5.Full Tilt Poker Debacle- Biggest Poker Scandal
Full Tilt Poker scandal this year was the biggest scandal of the year. The whole world poker when it was discovered that the company had squandered $400 million of player funds worldwide and that it had less than $10 million in assets. In July 2012, Full Tilt Poker was purchased by PokerStars and they promised to repay players worldwide. However, it shocked the poker community when Howard Lederer, the founder and former head of the company, apologized and took full responsibility for failing to protect the $400 million in player deposits worldwide. He claimed that he wasn’t running operations, but his inattention in the years leading to Black Friday resulted in player’s bankroll deficit.
To keep updated with the biggest poker stories of the year 2016, stay tuned in to onlinepokernews.in.