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Three new records set in Las Vegas

Fears that the 40th World Series of Poker might be adversely affected by the global economic recession have failed thus far to materialise, with organisers Harrah’s Entertainment reporting that three notable new records have so far been set.

The company points to the 40th Anniversary Event, where a massive buy-in of $40 000 was taken up by 201 players to generate a new non-Main Event prize pool of $7 718 400 – considerably more that the previous record of $7.10 million.

Then there is Event 3, the $1 500 buy-in Omaha Hi Lo which at 918 registrations overtook the previous entry field record of 833 and in doing so became the biggest Omaha tournament entry field yet.

Event 4 is also on track to become a new record, offering players a relatively low cost buy-in of $1 000 in a NLHE competition that has been marketed as a “Stimulus Special” and saluting the economy stimulation packages around the globe. Entries were fast approaching the maximum permitted entry limit of 6 000 players as InfoPowa went to press – already far surpassing previous entry fields for $1 500 buy-in events of 3929 players. The huge field means there will be two starting heats for the event, and a prize pool of over $5 million…. guaranteeing six-figure paydays for every player who makes the final table.

All eyes were on Event 2 as the week drew to a close – that $40 000 buy-in 40th Anniversary Tournament, where the 89 players who survived an original field of 201 of some of the best players on the planet started Day 2 but only 23 completed it, with Internet whizz kid Justin Bonomo holding the chip lead, closely pursued by veteran Ted Forrest.

Eliminations included Bill Chen, Hoyt Corkins, EPT founder John Duthie, Doyle Brunson, Michael DeMichele, Marco Johnson, Nam Le, Kirill Gerasimov, Sami Kelopuro, Humberto Brenes, Chris Moneymaker, Steve Zolotow, Phil Galfond and Neil Chriss, who just missed the money bubble when he was eliminated at 28th.

Chriss’s exit occurred only 10 minutes from the end of play for the day, but it was decided to play a further 6 hands, which saw four more players bite the dust, including Vanessa Rousso, J.C. Tran, Sorel Mizzi and David Pham – all of whom collected checks for $71 858 for their efforts.

With just 23 players left and that huge main prize now in sight, Justin Bonomo has the chip lead but has Ted Forrest treading on his heels and a little further back Greg Raymer and David Baker. Other Day 2 survivors are Tony G, Brian Townsend, and Lex Veldhuis.

Spreadbetting is the name of the game

Spreadbetting is the name of the game, it appeared this week as newly released figures showed a 134 percent increase in the number of trades.

According to a UK Wealth Management Industry report produced by ComPeer, a research company, there was also a dramatic increase in the number of spread betting accounts opened. The total grew by almost two and a half times from 7 427 at the end of 2007 to 18 012 a year later. At the beginning of 2006 there were fewer than 1 500 accounts.

Among execution-only stockbrokers, which allow traders to make their own decisions without advice, 1.4 million spreadbet trades were transacted in 2008, over double 2007’s volume of just under 600 000.

Spreadbetting has become increasingly popular in recent years as traders take advantage of tax-free gains, lack of stamp duty and the fact that, by comparison with traditional share trading, smaller stakes are needed to make large gains.

“During the last three years, spreadbetting has emerged and thrived among clients of execution-only stockbrokers,” the report said. “Investors have been attracted by their characteristics – no direct commission or stamp duty, the ability to profit on markets going down as well as up, freedom from capital gains tax and the ability to deposit only a proportion of the contract value – especially given recent market volatility.”

Trading in contracts for difference, another type of “leveraged” trading that allows large profits to be made from small stakes, also rose. The number of trades increased by 30.5 percent last year and by 12.3 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2009, the report found.

It added that since the start of 2007 the number of CFD accounts had risen in every quarter. Between the end of 2007 and the end of 2008, the number of CFD accounts increased by 22.3 percent to just under 14 000. The trend continued in the first quarter of this year.

The figures reflect the boom in the online “day trading” phenomenon: individuals, often former City professionals, buying and selling at home using broadband Internet connections.

“With over 60 percent of households having access to the Internet and with execution-only firms offering cheap, fast and content rich trading facilities, online trading has become by far the most popular trading medium, well ahead of telephone and postal dealing,” ComPeer said.

“In 2008, 7.7 million execution-only trades were transacted online. To put the rise of online trading into perspective, in 2000, when trading reached its peak, there were 2.7 million online trades.”

Springbok Casino Honors Wildlife in November

Springbok Casino will honor the wildlife of South Africa with its Big 5 Sundays event in November packed with deposit bonuses, no-deposit bonuses and five freeroll slot tournaments.

Players can look forward to a wild R2500 freeroll slot tournament every Sunday in November plus a 150% up to R3000 deposit bonus and a $1500 no-deposit bonus. There will be R12,500 in tourney prizes up for grabs and R15,000 in deposit bonuses and R7500 in free bonuses.

“One of the greatest things about living in South Africa is the absolutely amazing wildlife that surrounds us,” said Daniel van Wyk, Springbok’s casino manager. “So we’ve dedicated our November slots tournaments and casino bonuses to these magnificent creatures.”

The Big 5 Sundays promotion kicks off on Sunday, November 2nd with the R2500 Elephant Free Roll Slot Tournament. Entry is absolutely free except players must have deposited the prior month. Use coupon code “ELEPHANT150” to claim a R3000 deposit bonus followed by a no deposit bonus of up to R1500 with coupon code “ELEPHANTFREE”.

The second week in November will be dedicated to the leopard. Claim a deposit bonus of 150% up to $3000 using code “LEOPARD150” followed by R1500 free with code “LEOPARDFREE”.

The lion will roar on Sunday November 16th, rhinos will be featured on November 23 and finally, the Water Buffalo are celebrated on November 30.

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