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Today in the 3-Bet we find Facebook breaking the seal on its real-money gambling foray, a defacto eulogy for the entity known as EpicPoker.com and poker pro Matt Glantz tabling an interesting take on the US DOJ and Black Friday.
1) Facebook Launches First Real-Money App in UK
It's just a Bingo app, but still.
Poker players who think social media sites like Facebook and Zynga will shepherd in poker boom 2.0 once they enter the real-money gaming market are one step closer today as Facebook launched its first-real-money gaming app in the UK.
Called Bingo & Slots Friendzy, the new app allows UK players 18+ to play real cash games and win jackpots with their friends for the first time ever.
Powered by Gamesys software, a series of controls will be in place to keep underage and "vulnerable people" from being able to access the software, but if you clear the age-gating and geo-location technology, you're good to gamble.
Does it mean real-money Facebook poker is around the corner?
Time will tell, but it's definitely looking closer than it was yesterday.
Read the full release if you want to try and read betwen the lines for hints in the canned quotes.
2) www.EpicPoker.com Cannot Be Found
The rise and fall of the Epic Poker League. from the business-side to the pro-side to the Negreanu-hates Annie-Duke-and-Jeffrey-Pollack side, has been documented six ways to Sunday.
Even the pop culture column wasn't safe from Pollack.
One aspect that hasn't been covered much, however, is the demise of the much ballyhooed EpicPoker.com website.
Announced a year ago as a "new resource for the global poker community," EpicPoker.com was supposed to be a central spot for all kinds of insider poker content including live tourney reports, videos, interviews with EPL players and more.
As we know now, the freelancers who provided that content were another group left holding the bag when the EPL shut and ran from its creditors.
One of those freelancers, Martin Harris, writes in a new post on his own blog that the final slap in the face has arrived with the erasing of the EpicPoker.com site including 26 of his "Pop Culture and Poker" columns.
While he says he didn't lose much money in the end and his connection to EPL was only tangential, it still hurts to see his hard work and others' disappear:
"... many did get burned badly, and the image of poker as a whole took yet another significant hit thanks to the blundering management and poor choices made by those running the show at FS&G.
"... for me, the website and blog getting scrubbed away is probably the biggest bummer. I suppose those who ran the EPL would like it if the whole experiment could be deleted away so easily, but there are many who’ll remember it."
Epic's loss has been PokerListings gain, however, as we're now lucky enough to host Martin's Pop Poker column every two weeks.
Check out his latest on poker in the movie Kaleidoscope and read his "eulogy" of EpicPoker.com here.
3) Glantz Happy to Be Wrong, Says DOJ Saved Player Balances
Happy to be wrong this time.
The always outspoken and thoughtful Matt Glantz has written another great new post for his blog dealing with the FUll Tilt Poker/PokerStars deal.
Originally skeptical the deal would ever go through -- even in the face of inside information from a major FTP shareholder suggesting it was a done deal -- Glantz has now stepped up and said he's glad he was wrong.
He also, surprisingly, found a new and intriguing angle on Black Friday that makes the DOJ look like the hero in all of this:
"The ironic thing about this entire FTP mess is that had the DOJ not shut them down on Black Friday, the situation could have been much worse for FTP account holders.
"It is apparent that at the time of Black Friday FTP was at risk of corporate bankruptcy due mostly to their exuberant marketing budget, uncollectible deposits in the mutli-millions, and the consistent monthly dividends paid out to FTP shareholders at an alarming rate.
"It is important to realize that even though we haven’t been able to play online poker within the US for the last year and a half, if the DOJ had not shut them down, it is quite possible and even likely that FTP was going to crumble under its own mismanagement."
It's just so crazy it might be true.