Football 12 Oct 12The news from Germany will undoubtedly be a great lift to the poker community. That an established club like SV Arminia Hannover has recognised poker as a mind sport, equal to other sports in its portfolio, is a welcome shot of credibility in a region where the law has been muddled. It will hopefully serve as a catalyst for other clubs to do the same.

“We are pleased that we have the first club in Germany to welcome an independent poker division under its roof,” said Frank Willig, who is on the board of SV Arminia. “Poker as a Mind Sport complements the existing range [and ideals] of SV Arminia Hanover.”

It was a sentiment echoed by another club official Class Kähler who will head the poker division.

“With the inclusion into the SV Arminia Hannover [portfolio] we have the ability to utilize existing structures and to benefit from this great organization,” he said. “We will prove the sports aspect through training and club rankings. In addition we want to offer regular gaming operations with the assistance of
members and sponsors.”

The German poker community added its support for the move, with Stephan Kalhamer, President of the DPSB Stephan Kalhamer expressed his delight.
“I welcome the words of Claas Kähler, in cooperation with Arminia Hannover, to write a piece of poker’s sporting history,” he said. “That this is being done, especially in the complex legal circumstances surrounding the state of Lower Saxony, is particularly pleasing. If you make it there, you make it anywhere.”




The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) dominated the week’s live poker action in the south of France, with five of seven of the Series’ events now complete.

While Ben Manbett won the WPT Borgata Poker Open in the United States, across the Atlantic the WSOP action started in historic fashion, Imed Ben Mahmoud becoming the first Tunisian in WSOP history to win a gold bracelet. Mahmoud topped a field of 227 in Event #1, the €2,700 six-handed no-limit hold’em event, beating Frenchman Yannick Bonnet from France. Roberto Romanello narrowly missed out on a Triple Crown, finishing in fifth. Romanello already has WPT and EPT titles.

There was nothing new about the winner of Event #2, with Antonio Esfandiari earning his third gold bracelet in the €1,000 no-limit hold’em. Esfandiari defeated Remi Bollengier heads-up, topping a field of 626 players.

Roger Hairabedian took honours for France in Event #3, the €5,300 pot-limit Omaha event. It’s Hairabedian’s ninth career title bit first WSOP bracelet, defeating Ville Mattila heads-up. Michael Mizrachi finished in third place while former main event winner Joe Hachem finished sixth. Jason Mercier finished ninth.

There was more success for France in Event #4, the €3,250 no-limit hold’em shootout won, by Giovanni Rosadoni. In Event #6 Francisco Da Costa became the first Portuguese player to win gold in the €1,650 six-handed pot-limit Omaha. The 36-year-old beat Ana Marquez heads up, much to the delight of his countrymen.

It leaves two events to play. Event #5, the €10,450 Mixed Max no-limit hold’em, comes to an end on Monday after the final heads-up phase. Brandon Cantu and Jonathan Aguilar will play for the title. The main event of the WSOPE plays on this week with the final table to take place on Thursday.


Philippines Map SmallThe Philippines is not exactly considered one of live poker’s hotbeds, at least not yet. But an article on the website sets out how poker is becoming more and more popular across the country thanks in many ways to one man’s efforts to establish the Philippines Poker Tour (PPT).

Jojo Allado was a lawyer working at the Department of Justice when he caught the poker bug, starting with play money before undergoing a tough apprenticeship in his local card room where he gradually stopped losing and starting winning, and against tough opposition.

But his love of the game went further than playing. As he described it, he had a brainwave.

His plan was to organize the owners of various card rooms around the country and form the new poker tour. The plan worked. Now the PPT is made up of ten monthly championships, mainly in the capital Manila but also in more and more of the country’s other major cities. The result has been a new and successful tour for poker players across the region, and one that may create a promising future for the game across the Philippines.


Italy Map SmallThe state of Italian online poker has taken a severe downturn after industry figures suggested that revenue had dropped by more than 40 per cent since regulations were put in place.According to the Pokerfuse website, Italian state regulator, L’Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS), released an annual report which illustrated the decline. The figure in January was €41 million and since then revenues have fallen to around €23 million.

Other figures painted a stark picture for the industry, with tournament revenue dropping 75 per cent since regulation. Cash games also are in decline, despite having proved a popular source of revenue when they were first introduced more than a year ago.

It’s thought the problems could centre around two separate issues: high taxes and lower player liquidity.

News taxes take money away from players who are becoming fewer in number with sites only permitting Italian players to sign up. This knock on effect is reduced prize pools and reduced the frequency of games.

Read the full article on the Pokerfuse website.


Football Field SmallIn what is a significant step for poker across Germany, football club SV Arminia Hannover has added poker as an official sport to its portfolio, becoming the first club to do so alongside more established sports such as football.The news, reported on the club’s website and by the German Poker Federation (DPSB) yesterday, will add a further layer of respectability to the game in Germany which has often struggled against unfair stereotype.

As detailed on the SV Arminian Hannover website, the club took the measure to acknowledge the increasing interest in the game, working with the DPSB to connect the game of poker with wider sports.

The aim of the new club is to provide members with a regulated gaming operation. It will also entitle players to attend the German championship and play a leading role in promoting poker as a sport in Germany.

In addition, the division of the club, headed by Claas Kähler, will offer training facilities, club championships and open tournaments which are hoped will generate new interest, bringing new players to the game.

Stephan Kalhamer, the President of the DPSB Stephan Kalhammer expressed his delight with the news.

“I welcome the words of Claas Kähler, in cooperation with Arminia Hannover, to write a piece of poker’s sporting history,” he said. “That this is being done, especially in the complex legal circumstances surrounding the state of Lower Saxony, is particularly pleasing. If you make it there, you make it anywhere.”

Poker becomes one of a number of sports under the SV Arminia umbrella, including football, table tennis, handball, gymnastics, children’s gymnastics, hockey and inline skating.