MGM has been busy making plans with Bwin.Party for when online poker can be legally offered in Nevada. And in Copenhagen day three of the WPT main event has seen the money bubble burst and play is down to the last two tables.
MGM and Bwin.Party gearing up for online partnership
For a while now several bricks and mortar casinos have been pairing themselves with online poker operators in anticipation of licenses one day becoming available to serve the American market again. Back in October 2011 MGM Resorts International joined forces with Boyd Gaming and Bwin.Party in what MGM chief executive called an “anticipatory move to be prepared should online gambling be legalised.” That anticipation looks to have been well founded as today the group gained approval for a real money online poker site by the Nevada Gaming Commission to offer games in that state.
Bwin.Party has yet to receive a license as a service provider but the expectation is that their application will be approved and games will be hosted on the Bwin.Party client. Seeing as MGM owns many different properties in Las Vegas it wouldn’t be surprising to see several different skins operating with the same player pool on the Bwin.Party software, each with graphics specific to Bellagio, Luxor, Excalibur etc. Play money games are expected to be launched in early 2013 until the license is approved for Bwin.Party to host games, after which real money play can commence.
Meanwhile in Denmark, day three of WPT Copenhagen has drawn to a close with the final 18 players having been reached. Ukrainian Sergii Baranov (runner up to Hellmuth at this year’s WSOPE main event) was the one making waves early on in day three as his unorthodox style paid dividends. Take for example the hand where Rasmus Nielsen hit top two pair on a flop of KT8 and found that Baranov was sticking around for both the 4 turn and 6 river. At that point all the money went in and to Nielsen’s chagrin Baranov turned over 75 for the runner runner straight.
It could not last for Baranov though and he went from chip leader to busto for a min cash in quick time. Current chip leader is American Stanislav Barshak who has 830,000 with blinds at 3,000/6,000 and average stack at 381,666. Other notable players still in the hunt include Peter Jepsen on 250,000 and Steve O’Dwyer (110,000) who is looking for his second tournament win in Denmark this year after winning a WPT National Series event in March.
Further updates to follow soon.