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In an unexpected twist, Luke Arora won the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Running Aces Main Event, beating tournament regulars. While this makes for our first story, the second is about World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2012 Main event Champion Jonathan Duhamel getting signed by a Canadian Casino, while the WSOP Circuit returns to the country after years. The third story is about the ban of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in two more American states.
A local $40/$80 mixed cash games grinder, Aalok ‘Luke’ Arora won the MPST Running Aces Main Event for $83,773. While the Indian-origin Arora, who admitted that he was not a tournament regular won his first MPST title, he denied MPST Team Pro Matt Alexander his first, though the latter has made four final tables this season.
Arora spoke highly of Alexander, “He’s a really good play, I just ran hot against him. I had ace-high starting hands a bunch. I made three aces when he made three pair.”
Prior to this win Arora had just five tournament cashes, with his best being a ninth place finish for $5,966 in the 2011 Borgata Poker Open $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max.
“I feel very fortunate,” Arora later admitted. “I ran really hot for long periods of time. I ran very much above expectation. I think I played many hands poorly, but I just ran hot.”
30-year old Arora overcame a final table flooded with several past MPST final table regulars, such as Jeff Fielder, Mark Sandness, Jeremy Dresch, and Tyler Caspers.
347 runners lined up for the 2-day, $200,000 guaranteed event, expanding it to a $347,000 prize pool, with only the top 36 making the money.
The final table saw Arora persevere and an interesting heads up play with Alexander, where the former insisted on showing all the hands. In the final hand, Arora rasied to 200,000 from the button with , while Alexander had. The flop ran out and Alexander checked, while Arora bet 175,000, and Alexander check-raised to 350,000. Arora raised to 800,000 then snap-called and Alexander moved all in. The turn left Alexander empty as did the river and Arora was crowned the champion.
Final Table Results
1. Aalok Arora – $83,773
2. Matt Alexander – $50,264
3. Nathan Baum – $32,604
4. Mark Sandness – $22,786
5. Jeff Fielder – $17,090
6. Jeremy Dresch – $13,403
7. Tyler Caspers – $11,393
8. Andy Beberg – $9,383
9. Dave Soderstrom – $8,042
10. Steve Goody Vang – $6,367
Jonathan Duhamel Signed By Canadian Casino as WSOP Circuit Stop Resumes
Canada will see the WSOP Circuit play out in the country after two and a half years and as part of the celebrations, the Société des Casinos du Québec (SCQ) has signed up country-man Jonathan Duhamel to play a key role.
Duhamel will take part in the upcoming WSOP Circuit event at the Casino de Montréal, which runs from April 20 to May 1, as well as in two additional events taking place online at Espacejeux on May 7 and 8.
The Espacejeux is the only Canadian licensed and regulated online poker site run by the SCQ.
François Hanchay, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Québec’s Casinos told the press, “We are very proud to have the privilege of organizing the WSOP’s only Canadian stop and to have Jonathan Duhamel, one of Québec’s best-known and most respected poker players, be part of it.”
Duhamel is the only Canadian to have ever claimed the WSOP Main Event title, which he won in 2012 for almost $9 million. He currently has three WSOP bracelets and several prestigious scores to his credit.
Besides the WSOP Circuit event, Duhamel will also act as honorary chairman of the Montreal SCQ and be part of the WSOP Circuit ring awarding ceremony.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) continue to face rough weather in American states, with Tennessee and Alabama considering these games illegal.
Going the New York, Massachusetts and Nevada way, Alabama also deemed DFS illegal as per state laws and Attorney General Luther Strange issued ‘cease and desist’ letters to DraftKings and FanDuel, the two leading operators in the state.
Strange admitted that DFS requires “skill” but according to a state law, any activity where a person stakes something of value on a contest is considered gambling. With this, Alabama has become the 12th state to ban DFS.
A day later, Tennessee long hostile towards all forms of gambling saw the Attorney General declare all fantasy sports activities as illegal. Like Strange, Herbert Slatery also admitted that DFS required skill, but added that there was an element of chance that made it illegal.
The 13th state to ban DFS, Tennessee only allows lotteries, which are 100% chance.
Even as the bans came, both the states are in process of finalizing bills that will legalize these games shortly. Other states also seeking to legalize DFS include California, Mississippi, Maryland and New York.
The DFS market is set to touch $2.5 billion by 2020, if it is allowed in certain states, according to Eilers Research.