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Daily 3-Bet: Negreanu Power, Real-Money Zynga, Cyprus Nuts
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a late-afternoon raid on the back alley cardrooms of the poker news world.
Any suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to drop a note in the comments.
Today in the 3-Bet we find Daniel Negreanu making his presence felt among poker's power brokers, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus steering even closer to real-money gaming and the peculiarity of the Cyprus police.
1) BLUFF Magazine Names Poker Power 20, Negreanu Only Pro
BLUFF magazine released its annual list of the “most powerful and influential people” in poker today and, given the events of Black Friday, it was a decidedly different looking list than last year.
Gone of course are the villains of Full Tilt Poker including previous #1 Howard Lederer and fan favorite Phil Ivey.
So much has changed in fact that only one true poker “pro,” who predominately makes his living player poker, is even on the list.
That pro? Daniel Negreanu, voted by the panel of media and industry insiders as the ninth-most powerful person in poker.
We think he's been undersold a bit, but on a list dominated by casino CEOs and US government representatives, Negreanu stands out even more.
Love him or hate him, you can't deny he's someone who genuinely represents the poker community and has its best interest at heart.
PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg, despite being under federal indictment, topped the list.
See the full list of the BLUFF Power 20 here.
2) Zynga Circling Real-Money Gaming Market, US Partnership
Speaking of potential power players in the real-money poker market, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus made it pretty clear the social media gaming leviathan has its eye on being one of them when the US market regulates.
Speaking at a media & telecom conference in San Francisco yesterday, Business Insider reported Pincus as saying:
“I think it's a good natural fit. I think, philosophically, the part people haven't noticed yet, real money gaming is the perfect [fit] with virtual goods and social games.”
Pincus also told Dow Jones newswire a US partnership deal with a land-based casino was a high priority and the Wynn Casino group a specific target.
“We have incredible respect and admiration for brands and groups like the Wynn,” Pincus said.
“I would expect that you'll see a lot of these players kind of figure out their go-to-market partnerships for sure before the end of this year.”
A lot more than poker is on his radar as well:
"We're interested, but you should expect to see us do a lot more than what you've seen in offshore casinos."
Read more here. Randomly complain about your Zynga play chips being stolen here, apparently.
In related news, Zynga has also launched its own independent website, Zynga.com, where user can play its games without having to go through Facebook.
3) Cyprus Police Officially Lose Their Minds
Any sort of “raid” on a poker game anywhere in the world is pretty ludicrous, but the island of Cyprus took it to the next level yesterday according to a report from the Associated Press.
Two years ago, police in the coastal town of Limassol raided a poker-and-bridge home game held by a group of ladies mostly in their 70s because they had small sums of money on the line.
If that wasn't bad enough, they've now compounded that mistake and summoned 40+ elderly women to court to face gambling charges.
Included are a 98-year-old and two women in a nursing home. Two of the other participants are also now dead.
In the understatement of the year, the daughter of the 98-year-old woman told AP:
"They were playing with only very small sums of money, just to make it interesting. It's silly for police to concern themselves with such trivial games when there are more serious things they should pursue."
Technically, it seems gambling is illegal in Cyprus and can carry a punishment of up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
UPDATE: CYprus has come to its senses and dropped the charges.