MANAGEMENT SHUFFLE AT PADDY POWER
Andy McCue, chief executive designate for Irish gaming firm Paddy Power announced three senior management appointments Tuesday effective January 1, 2015.
Peter ODonovan has been appointed chief product officer in a newly created position that will link the technology and product development teams across Paddy Power and Cayetano in Bulgaria.
He will also oversee the technology department of Sportsbet Australia and will coordinate global product innovation.
Paddy Power Online has a new managing director in Johnny Hartnett whose responsibility covers paddypower.com, paddypower.it, Dial-a-Bet and Customer Operations.
Hartnett is currently Director of Operations at Paddy Power and was previously COO in Sportsbet, prior to which he served as Head of Sports Risk & Trading in Paddy Power.
Christian Woolfenden has been appointed managing director Retail (UK & Ireland) moving from his current position of global marketing director. The company will appointed a new marketing director in due course.
Andy McCue, Chief Executive Designate, commented:
"These appointments reflect a strategic emphasis on customer and product. I am delighted to be filling these positions with high calibre individuals with a proven track record of success in the Group."
POKER ACES GO UNDERGROUND ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL
The Discovery television channel is set to launch a new poker program titled Underground Poker on September 11, starring colourful US poker pros Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak.
The show is part of the network's series of gambling-themed programs under the All-in All-Night series, and will follow the two poker players as they roam New Orleans searching for underground poker games.
New Orleans was chosen for the locale because, the publicity hacks claim, the city has the richest private poker games, to which Laak and Esfandiari has access through their many contacts.
The show is part-poker action, part-travelogue as the entertaining duo explore the city's attractions, restaurants and history, and share amusing incidents and information.
BODOG LAUNCH ZONE POKER ON MOBILE AND TABLET
Bodog Poker revealed the launch of its Zone Poker product on mobile and tablet, catering for customers' more popular device option when playing the fast-fold game.
The company said PC's and MACS lend themselves to tournament style play while handheld devices are unsurprisingly more popular with fast-fold poker game play.
VISIONARY IGAMING EXPANSION INTO LATIN AMERICA
Live dealer casino game provider, Visionary iGaming has fully integrated its live games and gone live with Juega EnLinea across Latin American markets.
ViG's live dealer offering in English and Spanish is "by far the most localized live offering in LATAM", said Gerardo Alcega, chief operating officer of JeugaEnLinea.
Live dealer games have driven top line growth in JuegaEnLinea's existing markets which it expects to continue as it expands into Mexico, Chile, Panama, Peru, Brazil and The Dominican Republic.
James Olsen, chief operating officer of Visionary iGaming said, Our localized solutions result in outstanding player retention and ultimately higher client revenue generation. We look forward to servicing JuegeEnLinea as they expand and grow throughout the emerging LATAM online gaming markets.
POKER ACES TURN OUT FOR MAIN EVENT DAY 1B AT THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Official World Series of Poker main event numbers show that at 1,942 entries, starting day 1B is impressive, but on the low side compared with last year's 2,114 players, continuing the trend set on Day 1A.
Tournament observers will therefore be watching the final day 1C registrations with interest to see how it shapes against 2012 Day 1 C entries of 3,418.
The current total for Days 1A and 1B is 2,885 - a long way short of the hoped-for total of 7,000 players in this year's main event.
The all-time entrance record was in 2006, when registrations reached 8,773 and Jamie Gold won over $12 million.
Regardless of the numbers, this year's turnout on the second entry day was impressive in terms of international poker star presence.
Celeb and big-name loggers noted a slew of top online and live tourney players taking their seats that included Scott 'mastrblastr' Seiver, former November Niners Matt Jarvis and Dennis Phillips, David Bach, Bob Bright, George Danzer; Chris Bjorin; Oliver Gill, Peter Hedlund, EPT Grand Final winner Nicholas Chouity and former WSOPE Main Event winner Annette Obrestad.
Also spotted were Liv Boeree, Jamie Burland, international cricket star Shane Warne, Vitaly Lunkin, Natalie Hof, John Juanda, Barry Greenstein, Juha Helppi, Ryan DAngelo, Hollywood writer and WPT player of the year, Matt Salsberg, Erik Seidel, Kevin Saul, Tim Ulrich, Galen Hall, John Monnette, Martin Finger, Terrence Chan, Ross Boatman, Jonathan Aguiar, Jesse Martin, Randy Dorfman, Erik Lindgren, Lex Veldhuis, Dario Alioto, Mike Sowers, Gaelle Bauman, Greg Mueller, Sorel Mizzi, Salvatore Bonavena, Andy Frankenberger, Dan Smith, Tyron Krost, Anthony Gregg and Steve ODwyer.
Ten years back amateur online player Chris Moneymaker took down the main event, an achievement that is widely credited with putting online poker on the map; he was seen celebrating the decade since then by entering this year's spectacular, whilst 2004 champ, Greg Raymer, was spotted just a few tables away from the 1998 champion, Scotty Nguyen.
Elizabeth Hille created a stir last year in company with Gaelle Baumann when the two just missed the final table nine (see previous InfoPowa report. Both of these female aces are in the field again this year.
888 POKER NOW THE FOURTH LARGEST NETWORK
The independent online poker monitor Pokerscout reports that for the first time yet, 888Poker has overtaken rival network PartyPoker in the Bwin.Digital group to position itself as the fourth largest online poker network globally.
Pokerscout bases its competitive positioning on a 7-day moving average of active players in cash game tables.
The lead is slim, with current numbers showing 888Poker at 2,062 players, and PartyPoker at 2,025.
2013 NFL Draft features boom-or-bust prospects like Ziggy Ansah
QUARTERBACK: Mike Glennon, N.C. State -- Glennon has outstanding size and arm strength, and he flashes the ability to accurately squeeze the football into very tight windows. However, he can generate turnovers in bunches when things start to go downhill. Will he end up being the next Joe Flacco, or will his career path mirror that of Derek Anderson?
RUNNING BACK: Christine Michael, Texas A&M -- Michael is probably the most physically gifted running back in this draft class. However, he's had some off-the-field issues and a plethora of injuries that have scared off more than a few teams. He could emerge as the steal of the draft -- or he could be out of the league in a few seasons.
WIDE RECEIVER: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee -- I love the raw tools that Patterson possesses. He is a vertical weapon and an electric playmaker with the ball in his hands. However, he only has one year of Division I experience, and teams have been less than impressed with him during the interview process.
TIGHT END: Vance McDonald, Rice -- McDonald doesn't carry the off-the-field risk that most on this list do. His biggest issue is that he isn't a natural pass catcher. At the Senior Bowl, he dropped or double-caught numerous passes during the practice sessions. That is his only issue; otherwise, he is an outstanding athlete who could emerge as the top tight end in this draft class.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Menelik Watson, Florida State -- Watson grew up in England, and basketball was his sport of choice. He played hoops at Marist College before transferring to a junior college to play football. After one season, he transferred to Florida State. He only spent one season there before declaring early for the 2013 NFL Draft. He has the size and foot quickness to be a solid NFL tackle, but his inexperience and passion for the game has several teams concerned.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE: Dallas Thomas, Tennessee -- There isn't an ideal boom-or-bust candidate among the interior offensive linemen. However, if I had to choose one, I would go with Thomas. He has the tools to be one of the top interior blockers in this class, but he's very inconsistent on tape. He dominates in some moments and has mental lapses -- leading him to give up pressures -- in others.
DEFENSIVE END: Ziggy Ansah, BYU -- Ansah could hear his name called as high as fifth overall by the Detroit Lions. They should know him better than the other 31 teams after coaching him at the Senior Bowl. Ansah's output that week in Mobile shows exactly why he's on this list. He struggled mightily during the week of practices before putting together a dominant performance in the Senior Bowl game. Ansah has the tools to be a double-digit sack artist at the next level, but his lack of college experience (he only started one year at BYU) and production are major concerns.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: John Jenkins, Georgia -- Jenkins is an enormous man with the power and strength to develop into a dominant 3-4 nose tackle. However, his motor isn't consistently running, and teams are concerned he will struggle to keep his weight in check.
LINEBACKER: Zaviar Gooden, Missouri -- There hasn't been much chatter about Gooden, but he's one of the most athletic prospects in the entire draft class. He ran a blazing 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, and that speed shows up when you study his tape. The concern with Gooden is his lack of ideal instincts. It doesn't matter how fast you're moving if you can't locate the football.
CORNERBACK: Darius Slay, Mississippi State -- Slay is one of the fastest risers in this draft class. He put on a show at the combine by running an impressive 4.36 40. He played in the shadow of Johnthan Banks at Mississippi State, but he's surpassed the Thorpe Award winner on several draft boards since the end of the college season. I love his tools, but his footwork is very raw and he'll need some time to develop.
SAFETY: Duke Williams, Nevada -- Williams is a fun player to watch on tape. He flies around and delivers some impressive hits while flashing range and ball skills in the back end. He has the skill set to be a solid starter at the next level, but there are some concerns regarding his off-the-field troubles. Some teams are convinced that he has matured and can be trusted, while others aren't so sure.