Zynga Passes, Kagawa Busted, Ultimate Poker Hits 10 Mill
Legal news dominated the poker headlines the second part of this week.
Zynga decided to abandon plans to enter the US gambling market while Ultimate Poker is about to celebrate its 10 millionth hand. Well-known high stakes player Masa Kagawa is also in legal hot water after being accused of masterminding a malware ring.
Zynga to Abandon the US - For Now
Zynga released its second quarter 2013 figures on Thursday and while the company beat estimates one bit of news sent the stock plunging in post-day trading.
The company announced it is abandoning plans to pursue US online gambling licenses, pointing to a need to rebuild its core social gaming business.
According to the company report "Zynga believes its biggest opportunity is to focus on free-to-play social games. While the Company continues to evaluate its real-money gaming products in the United Kingdom test, Zynga is making the focused choice not to pursue a license for real-money gaming in the United States.
"Zynga will continue to evaluate all of its priorities against the growing market opportunity in free, social gaming, including social casino offerings."
The company had figured to be a player in the US online poker market but with only three states having legalized the game, only one state actually hosting games at present, and no federal solution on the horizon, the odds of such a venture being profitable seems unlikely at this time.
Masa Kagawa Charged with Running Malware Ring
Masa Kagawa and eight other men were arrested earlier this week in connection with an Android malware ring. Kagawa was President of Koei Planning, a company that distributed Android Enesoluty.
Authorities accuse the firm of planting malware in the software that collected personal data from Android devices. Kagawa is alleged to be the mastermind behind the ring.
From September of last year until April of this year, the software collected over 37 million email addresses and used that to send spam messages for a fake dating site. The site earned over $3 million.
Kagawa is a regular on the tournament circuit and has even been featured on High Stakes Poker on GSN. He finished 3rd earlier this year in the $100k Challenge at the Aussie Millions where he earned $337,824.
Ultimate Poker Deals 10 Millionth Hand
Nevada's first -- and so far only -- active licensed online poker room is about to reach its first milestone.
The site is currently on the road to its 10-millionth hand and is giving away cash to players at each milestone hand starting with hand nine million.
For each milestone hand players at the table will get at least $100 with the winner getting $1,000. For the 10-millionth hand players will each get at least $500 and the winner gets $5,000.
If by chance the hand is at a ring game of $1/$2 or higher or a tournament with a $20 buy-in or greater, the prize will be doubled.
Ultimate Poker became the first legal real-money online poker site in the United States earlier this year and has reached this milestone in just three short months. Recent news claims that at least one other online poker site based in Nevada will open soon.
Online poker is expected to go live in Delaware as early as September and Atlantic City is scheduled to go live in late November.