Online poker 2008

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2007 was a profitable time for poker in Europe. More places were opened, more festivals were held than before. Online poker is still legal and booming. Despite the fact that some countries, such as Norway, have more hard line position towards Internet poker, most countries can to wait impatiently for 2008 without thinking of government’s interference in the things they can't understand.

All the same, possible new tax measures worry the UK gaming operators. New premier Gordon Brown increased taxes on the bingo industry, killing one of the favourite pastimes of most British housewives. He reversed Tony Blair’s plans made for a Vegas style super casino, by having stamped his mark on the gambling industry of this country.

Will poker be the next to be hit. All we can do is to wait. But now online poker gets becoming more and more popular in the UK that has helped to increase the live poker popularity. The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) and Gala Casinos Great Britain Poker Tour (GBPT) think to return this year with bigger and better schedules than in 2007. Stanley Casinos are turning to the poker bandwagon by starting the National Poker Championships.

The National Poker Championships will be held at the end of March. At the same time some festivals will take place in three of the chain's casinos: in the north, in the south, and in the centre of the country. The main events at each of them will be 500 pounds and there isn’t any entrance fee and deductions from the prize pools.

It will be very important for players. In January the GUKPT continues at Brighton, on the south coast of Britain, with 200,000 pounds contributed by tour sponsor Blue Square. All events seem to be well attended this year with 300-400 players in the nine 1,000 pounds main events. All the winners will meet at the end of the year in a 3,000 pounds buy-in grand final, got last year by Londoner Michael Ellis. The GBPT has to begin in February with at least seven 500 pounds events, and with the EPT that also must return this year, the UK is probably to remain the best place in Europe to play live poker.

Other outstanding event is the European Deep Stack Championships in Drogheda, Ireland, run and sponsored by Green Joker Poker. This online poker site is comparatively new but up and coming, the events all feature great structures with large numbers of starting chips. The =C1,500 main event will see players start with an opening blind level of 25-50 and 50,000 chips.

The Irish Open starts in Dublin in March. It is most likely to be as good as it has always been. The prize pool at 3,000,000 pounds is guaranteed by sponsor Paddy Power bookmakers for this 4,000 pounds event. Last year it set a record for the largest number of participants in a major European event. They are going to break it again this year. Good luck everybody playing poker this year!

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