Poker News Roundup: WPT Sold, Micon Returning To US

June 22nd, 2015 | by Kaycee James
WPT Bryan Micon Max Pescatori

Max Pescatori won his fourth career WSOP bracelet on Sunday, the second time he has scored a victory at this year’s World Series. (Image: WSOP)

The World Poker Tour has been sold to Ourgame International Holdings for $35 million, a move that may be in line with bwin.party’s ongoing search for potential mergers and sales of all or part of their business operations.

Bwin.party has owned the World Poker Tour (WPT) since 2009, and had already agreed to a licensing agreement with Ourgame to allow the gaming company to license WPT products and tournaments in most Asian nations.

“Having already established an exciting partnership with Ourgame, we are delighted to now become a fully-integrated member of the Ourgame family,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska in a statement.

The sale was made entirely in cash, and won’t add any debt to Ourgame’s balance sheets.

While Ourgame CEO Frank Ng hasn’t made any definitive statements about how the move could impact future WPT operations, the company’s background would suggest that the WPT could continue to improve its presence in Asia, presumably while still offering a strong tournament poker product in Europe and North America.

“World Poker Tour is unquestionably the global leader in organizing world-class poker events, and we are very proud to acquire one of the world’s greatest brands,” Ng said in a statement. “WPT, with Ourgame as its new owner, will continue to expand its already impressive global presence.”

Micon to Make Nevada Court Appearance

Bryan Micon, the alleged operator of Bitcoin-based poker site Seals with Clubs, is expected to return to the United States from Antigua next week in order to make a scheduled court appearance.

Micon was the target of a raid in February, after which a warrant for his arrest was issued alleging that he operated an unlicensed interactive gaming system from Nevada.

According to court records, Micon is likely to face a brief booking at the Clark County Detention Center, after he will be released on his own recognizance.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board apparently first head about Seals with Clubs in 2013, after receiving a complaint from a Belgian resident.

According to an affidavit, agents later conducted surveillance on Micon, including observing conversations that he had over Skype.

Those conversations included one in which Micon expressed a desire to relaunch Lock Poker and honor the account balances of players who held accounts there.

Lock Poker famously shut down this April after years of payments that were first slow, and then not made at all.

Micon is being represented by defense lawyer David Chesnoff, who recently orchestrated the defense for Paul Phua when he was accused of helping to operate an illegal sports betting ring out of a Caesars Palace villa.

Pescatori Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet

Max Pescatori won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship event on Sunday, becoming the second player this year (along with Brian Hastings) to capture two bracelets during the series. Pescatori won a prize of $292,158 for his triumph, and also claimed the fourth bracelet of his storied career.

The Italian poker pro had to face off with some of the legends of the game at the final table, including Daniel Negreanu, who ultimately finished in 3rd place.

But Pescatori said that he felt much more confident heading into this tournament than he did in the $1,500 Razz event, which he won earlier in the 2015 WSOP.

“Coming into the series, I thought this event was my best shot to win another gold bracelet,” Pescatori said. “The win in Razz wasn’t the event I necessarily thought was my best chance, so that was nice to get it here. But I always thought Stud was the game where I could go deep.”

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