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For the Love of Poker: Dusk Till Dawn Founder Rob Yong Over a decade has passed since Rob Yong and his mate Nick Whiten were turned away from their local card room for running late. It resulted in Whiten flippantly remarking, 'Why don't we build our own?'

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  • According to live cast commentary provided by the Dusk Till Dawn Nottingham casino and poker room owner and current partypoker shot-caller, partypoker hand history restrictions could be implemented as soon as June 18th, 2019.
  • Bwin.party Digital Entertainment was an online gambling company, formed by the March 2011 merger of PartyGaming plc and bwin Interactive Entertainment AG.Formerly the world's largest publicly traded online gambling firm, it was best known for its online poker room PartyPoker, World Poker Tour and its sports betting brand bwin (officially styled bwin).
  • “I first met Rob when we filmed the partypoker Big Game around 7-8 years ago,' says former WPT General Manager Neil Barrett. 'I heard he was the owner and all the pros liked to play with him as he was an all-action gambler. 'Sure enough, the biggest pot of the night ended up with him and Tony G involved in a pot worth over £100k.'

Players logging into partypoker on Monday were greeting with a significant client update, designed with the goal of making casual players have more fun and feel more comfortable on the site.

As previewed a few weeks ago, partypoker is putting the kibosh on most “third-party tracking tools,” things like PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager. These tools read a player’s downloaded hand histories and feed the data into a local database. The software user can than turn this data into useful information to help them analyze their play and plug holes in their game.

The information is also used to create profiles on opponents; those profiles are then often overlaid onto the tables using a heads-up display (HUD). Those that use HUDs can help a player make decision in game by giving them an idea of how their opponents play – is that person tight, do they always raise pre-flop when folded to, do they fold to pressure on the turn, etc.

These profiles are also used by seating scripts, which searches the lobby for players the software user targets (presumably players designated as weak based on their data), then seats the user with those targets automatically if there are open spots at the table. Seating scripts are generally despised, as they allow seasoned players to hunt and pick on lesser players. Those players might be weaker, but they aren’t dumb, and they can figure out they are being followed, which hurts the fun they are having and often causes them to leave the poker room (not to mention lose their money to the stronger players).

This is why partypoker is trying to eliminate third-party software. The poker room sees its use as predatory and wants to protect recreational players, which, in turn, will protect partypoker’s revenues.

partypoker Taking Drastic Steps

One step partypoker is taking – and one that all players will see immediately upon logging in after the update – is making its players change their screen names. The reason for this is with all new screen names, the data tracking software users have won’t be useful. There will be no names to match the data.

In addition, hand histories are no longer saved or downloadable onto hard drives. Without the hand histories, poker tracking software won’t have information to read.

Max Value Software LLC, the owner of PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager, has been particularly critical of the move by partypoker. The company believes – as do many poker players – that poker tracking tools are vital to the poker community by aiding in the detection of cheaters.

Said a company rep on Two Plus Two:

Hand histories have a long track record of being the most important tool to help players themselves ensure game integrity yet partypoker is removing them “to protect players”. Poker hand histories are often downloaded into a local database such as those provided by PokerTracker and Holdem Manager software. Once a player has a database of their hand histories, the analytics tools in the software are instrumental in allowing customers to:

(A) filter/sort/analyze key playing results/trends/patterns that can be instrumental in flagging potential cheating, chip dumping or bots.

(B) review and verify the integrity of card distributions across large samples of their hand histories.

Downloadable poker hand histories also allow you to send a hand to a friend or post it on a forum to publicly discuss it with others.

The company also says that partypoker’s initiatives will not stop third party software from working, that there will always be developers who will be able to get around restrictions to give players an advantage over those who do not have the resources.

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GVC Holdings is set to become the latest major gambling brand to change its name. It management team plan to scrap the GVC Holdings name and rebrand as simply Entain.

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The move, which is subject to shareholder approval, is to reflect the company’s ambition to become number one in sports betting and gambling-related entertainment.

GVC Chief Executive Shay Segev explained the thought process behind changing a long-standing name to Entain in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

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“Under our new corporate identity, we will continue to use our unique technology platform to build on the exceptionally strong momentum that we have in our existing markets, grow into new markets, reach new audiences, enhance the customer experience, and provide industry-leading levels of player protection.”

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“We are absolutely committed to pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance, to providing outstanding career development opportunities for our colleagues, and to supporting the communities in which we operate. Our clear strategy of prioritising sustainability and growth will allow us to achieve these goals, thereby providing long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”

Entain Aims For 100% Revenue From Regulated Markets

Segev also revealed Entain plc is committed to drawing 99% of its revenue from nationally regulated markets by the end of 2020. The aim is for this to increase to 100% by the end of 2023. Currently, 95% of the group’s revenue stems from these regulated channels.

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Entain’s teams are working hard behind the scenes to take the lead on responsible gambling. They’ve launched the Advanced Responsibility & Care programme, which proactively implements a number of additional checks at various thresholds of a customer’s journey.

The company has also launched the Entain Foundation and plans to donate £100 million over the next five years to help the wider communities in which the group operates in. This includes the Pitching In programme aimed at supporting grassroots sports and sports people.

It appears investors aren’t overly happy about the proposed name change when you look at how the stock market reacted. Shares in GVC Holdings traded at 1,019 pence per share the day before the announcement. The fell to 1,000 pence on the day of the announcements before falling to 960.40 pence a week later. They’ve since recovered and are trading at 955.40 pence at the time of writing.

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Other Gambling Firms Who Have Changed Their Names

GVC isn’t the first major gambling company to have a change in direction when it comes to their name. When Paddy Power and Betfair merged, they simply stuck their two names and became Paddy Power Betfair. Hardly awe-inspiring.

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They then rebranded as Flutter Entertainment, although everyone just calls them Flutter. This, of course, is a term for placing a bet, but it is also a doff of the cap to a company Betfair took over during its relative infancy.

Bwin is another big brand that changed its name successfully. The Austrian online betting brand used to be called betandwin when it launched before opting for bwin. T launched in 1997 with only 12 employees and launched its first gambling site a year later. Bwin became its name in 2006.

Ironically, bwin is owned by GVC Holdings, or should that be Entain?

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