DAILY BUZZ: France Legalizes, Krantz vs. Viffer, Sexton & Stuey

Welcome to the BLUFF Daily Buzz, where we scour the entire internet for all the latest news in and around the world of poker. If it involves chips and cards, or people known to associate with chips and cards, we’re there.

Government kills liberalizes French online poker market

The French parliament passed a bill this week to legalize online poker. Given that such legalization is exactly what lots of people in the U.S. are hoping for you might think this would be universally hailed as a good thing for France – but there are plenty of people who are unhappy with the development.

The bill pushed through by French budget minister Eric Woerth would close off the French market to outside operators and limit the total number of legal, regulated online gambling companies to about 50 – much less than the more than 1,000 companies who currently allow French citizens to place bets in violation of current law. There is a provision in the law that discriminates against operators from other EU countries, as well as another that would give preference to the current state-sponsored gambling duopoly of Pari Mutuel Urbain and Francaise des Jeux by requiring new operators to shut down their services for six months before being granted a license by the French government.

In a French-language blog post this morning called “Trumpets of the Apocalypse,” poker journalist Benjamin Gallen characterized the law as a “reactionary step backward.”

“Those who have discovered the joys of poker online in a globalized world, playing every hour against opponents live from New York, Stockholm and Singapore, will now have to get used to tournaments and cash games between French players only, with reduced player pool,” wrote Gallen. “The few pros who have not yet moved to London and elsewhere are currently packing their suitcases. And the rest, the vast majority of online players, they are screwed.”

(Les trompettes de l’Apocalypse – Las Vegas, off the record)

2M2MM: Inside Krantz vs. Viffer

If you weren’t watching 2 Months, 2 Million on G4TV this week you missed a roller coaster Lockdown session between Jay Rosenkrantz and David “Viffer” Peat that ended with Krantz up more than $350,000. In the early going things weren’t looking so good as Krantz took a beating from Peat, erasing everything he’d won in a big lockdown session and driving the show’s producers up the wall.

“The producers had their heads in their hands, they didn’t know what to do, and they’re not from poker, so they were just lamenting why I didn’t stop when I was up on him,” Krantz told Poker News Daily. “Not only that, [one of the producers named] Brandon was feeling awful that he set me up to get crushed by this live shark and our chances of coming anywhere close to the goal were basically shot.”

Once Peat gave up a big tell and Krantz started running up a decent-sized win, the producers still wanted him to quit. “Of course, we’re all poker players and there was a drought of nosebleed action this summer, so all of a sudden I had this insanely profitable spot and there was absolutely no way in hell any of us were stopping,” said Krantz.  “There’s all of this great rough footage of Paul and Terry (the Executive Producers) begging me to pick up and go relax with the guaranteed win outside the war room and the four of us just berating the hell out of them for being huge donkeys.  I think Brian threatened to cut off someone’s pinky finger.”

(Jay Rosenkrantz Recaps 2 Months, $2 Million – Poker News Daily)

Stuey’s best friend

Everyone is posting a story today about Mike Sexton’s selection to the Poker Hall of Fame. (We’ve got one – click here if you missed it.) Most everything is an overview of his career, but my favorite Sexton story of all of them on the web today comes courtesy of Paul McGuire at the Tao of Poker, who tells about Sexton’s overlooked role as the friend of three-time WSOP champ Stu Unger:

“Sexton was at home fast asleep. 4:20am. The phone rang. It was Stuey who was plastered, broke, and trying to dodge drug dealers whom he owed a sh*tload of money. That summed up the 1990s for Stuey Ungar. Same sh*t. Different day. That night, Stuey was wandering the streets of Downtown with the rest of the derelicts. Sexton’s girlfriend begged him not to help pull Stuey out of the gutter for the umpteenth thime. Sexton did not listen to her and he drove downtown.”

Check out the rest of the story at the Tao through the link below.

(Welcome to the Poker Hall of Fame…Mike Sexton – Tao of Poker)

Marrakech express

The first World Poker Tour stop in the North African nation of Morocco is well underway and a full contingent of European players is battling it out over the preliminary events on the schedule. Two small tournaments have crowned winners, but the biggest news so far was in the €9,000 High Roller event. Ross Boatman of the Hendon Mob emerged the champion from the 45-player field, taking down €135,535 for the win. Another side event, the €1,800 No Limit Hold’em, is down to a final table at the moment. The action really gets going tomorrow when the WPT Marrakech Main Event begins, with a €4,500 buy-in getting players the chance to enter the history books as the first WPT winner on the African continent.

Bluff.com News Contributors

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