March 24, 2009

Poker News Review for March, 2009

Pre-registration is open for the 2009 World Series of Poker, to be held once again at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Players who are in Las Vegas can simply go to the Rio with cash or casino chips in hand and register in person. Those who are unable to make it to the casino until the WSOP starts can register from home, either by fax or mail. To do so, visit the WSOP's registration website and complete the appropriate form. Be sure to have your driver's license number and Harrah's Total Rewards number available, as they will be necessary to complete registration. Remote payment can be made with a cashier's check or wire transfer. Pre-registration closes two weeks prior to an event's start and keep in mind that the tournaments actually have maximum capacities, so if you are certain that you will play in a particular event, register early to make sure you get a seat.

Tel Aviv, Israel based CogniSafe announced the release of its new online gambling cheating protection software, PitBoss, last week. Using mathematical processes based on a massive gambling knowledge base, the software can supposedly root out cheaters automatically. It can detect bots, collusion, hackers, prohibited software tools, "superusers" who have information about the cards to be dealt, and disconnect protect abuse. The software can also be updated in order to detect new forms of cheating. If a cheater is detected, not only does the software provide the poker room operator with the appropriate information, but it can also prevent the suspected cheater from doing further damage, such as transferring money to a cohort. According to CogniSafe, while PitBoss obviously gathers information on the games being played, no personal information is collected. The only information sent to the online poker room operator is the username of the suspected cheater and what type of cheat is being perpetrated.

According to a New York Times article, the French government will open up its country to online gambling companies in 2010. In an effort to bring in more tax revenue and establish some control over online gambling, those companies wishing to do business in France will be able to submit applications for licenses starting next year. This would also likely alleviate some of the pressure put on France by the European Union, which has not liked France's attempts at establishing a government monopoly on online gambling. Sports and horse bets would be taxed 7.5 percent under the proposed licensing plan, while poker wagers would be taxed 2 percent.

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