Saturday, March 24, 2012

World's Biggest Gamblers; History Of Bets At Casinos - Kerry Packer, David Walsh Et Al

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Lloyd Williams plays blackjack with the late Kerry Packer at Melbourne's Crown Casino

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Want to try your luck at a casino? ... Land based or online - there's all sorts of options out that, but first here's some real life stories regarding whales aka VIP high rollers at casinos, the racetrack and elsewhere.

PS: how about those Aussies - they will bet on anything won't they. World's biggest gamblers we heard.

Zeljko Ranogajec – Bookies beware! Allegedly, the world’s biggest gambler is an Australian billionaire of Croatian descent. After studying law in Tasmania, Ranogajec got a job in a casino where he learnt the tricks of the trade. Starting with an initial stake of hundreds, he went on to win millions on casino betting before turning his attention to horses. He now employs a full staff to compare odds and find him the best bets, putting around $1 billion a year on races around the world.

Kerry Packer – Staying Down Under, the late Kerry Packer was the media-mogul who was a thorn in Rupert Murdoch’s side – and a prolific gambler. This was the man who would happily walk into casinos and wager millions, supposedly losing $28 million in three weeks of gambling while in London. Another time he lost $15 million on the roulette tables, the staff saying he walked out with "no regrets". However, on his better days he has won up to $7 million in one casino betting session. There’s even a legend that Packer made a bet of $100 million dollars on the toss of a coin, but his opponent backed down.

Akio Kashiwagi – Known as ‘The Warrior’, this Japanese businessman became a casino legend before meeting a violent end. A master of baccarat, he regularly wagered $200,000 a time in US casinos, once winning $6 million in one night. However, he wasn’t always so lucky; he died in 1992 after being stabbed 150 times with a samurai sword while still owing casinos millions.

Archie Karas - Perhaps the most extraordinary of recent legendary streaks is possessed by Mr. Archie Karas, a Greek immigrant, who in 1992-1993 had one of the greatest runs in Vegas history. Starting with a borrowed stake of ten thousand dollars, Archie went on a rampage of poker at Binion's Horseshoe, defeating 15 of the world's greatest poker players in head-to-head competition, including World Champions Chip Reese, Stu Unger, Puggy Pearson, and Johnny Chan. When he ran out of poker competitors, Archie headed to the Horseshoe's craps tables where he won millions more. At one point in his run, Archie possessed all of the Horseshoe's $5,000 chips -- over 11 million dollars worth. When the run was over, Archie was up over 17 million dollars between poker and craps, all at the Horseshoe.

Betfred vs Betvictor – The names behind two of the biggest high street bookies were involved in what may have been the biggest sports betting wager in British history. Fred Done of Betfred fame and Victor Chandler of Betvictor bet on the outcome of the Premier League in 2005. Fred and Victor supported Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, so they wagered £1 million, as you do. It was Chelsea who came out on top and Done paid up in one of the best bets we’ve seen; what could be better than two sports betting giants walking it like they talk it?

Steve Whitely – Arriving by bus with a free ticket to watch racing at Exeter, 61-year-old heating engineer Steve Whitely turned a couple of quid into millions back in March last year. He didn’t bother to compare odds or make an effort to find the best bets, he just used his two pounds to make a Tote bet. A few hours later and he was minted after winning the jackpot when he correctly predicted all six of the winners. So, what is Steve’s sage advice to budding punters who want to win millions? “I like racing, yeah, but I don’t know nothing about it, do I?” Cheers Steve.

David Walsh - Not a great deal is know about this Tasmanian - Australian, but he founded MONA - (Museum of Old and New Art). Australian press has described him in a few colourful ways, such as - "multi-millionaire professional gambler and one of the nation's leading art collectors - dismisses himself as "just a privileged guy with a megaphone". He might be right. But the world is about to discover just how wonderful, disturbing, beautiful and occasionally challenging that megaphone is". In the second year of his science degree at the University of Tasmania, he was asked by friends to develop a model that would enable them to win at blackjack in the nearby Wrest Point Casino. When he discovered that the scope for winning at card games was limited he dropped out of his degree and, for most of the ’80s and early ’90s, spent 100 or more hours per week developing a mathematical model that would enable him and his partners to win at other forms of gambling, especially horseracing. This he now pursues on a large scale in a number of countries. There is a network of people involved in Walsh’s outfit, most notably his business partner of 30 years, Zeljko Ranogajec. Walsh met Ranogajec at university where the latter studied law and economics before he too dropped out to pursue a career in gambling. Walsh describes Ranogajec as a “relentless motivator and a loyal friend” who, despite not sharing his interest in art, has provided financial support for his collecting mania “whenever my cashflow dried to a trickle”. As Walsh inelegantly puts it: "I am throwing the shit, he is happy to be the fan. And he doesn’t even like the shit."

Other names whose win/loss positions move in the multiple millions in a single night include Malaysian tycoons Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and Quek Leng Chan, Indonesia’s Putera Sampoerna, and Hustler founder Larry Flynt.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Release Poker iPad App - 21st March 2012

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has launched a real money poker application for the iPad.

The new iPad poker client is based on the same easy to use mobile interface that was first introduced for the iPhone in January 2011 and for Android in July 2011, a spokesman has announced.

The Bwin iPad Poker app gives customers unrestricted access to their Bwin poker account now with the full iPad resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels, Berthold Kao, who is Head of the Mobile, Touch & Video department at Bwin.Party explained.

"Users need only download the update once from the iTunes Store to get on both devices. The app is available for free download from the iTunes Store or at: www.bwin.com/ipadpoker"

The new app offers a new way to play for poker players. The combination of the most popular poker game, Texas Hold’em, and the intuitive user interface, multiple features and easy registration will appeal to poker players, and the optimised game design allows easy navigation and a clear image. A player’s best hand is displayed automatically and hand histories from the current session are shown at a touch.

Online gamblers can of course still enjoy play for money or play for free casino games at PartyCasino.com and online poker at PartyPoker.com

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a multi award winning igaming company.

Gamblers are reminded to bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

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Kerry Packer Aussie Legend Live On Via Art And TV - 12th May 2010

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Media Man revisits one of their most popular news stories from 2010...

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, media magnates, journalists, historians and art lovers. Art lovers?! Yes, today we bring you a special Kerry Packer special. The legend lives on, not only here, but now at an Australian artists exhibition, and of course 'Our James' (James Packer) continues to fly the flag and do the family legacy proud with his Crown Limited empire. Not only that, we also cover the pending return of KP to Australian television in an ABC mini series tipped to hit the jackpot, and Network Nine is bringing back 'Underbelly', complete with gambling themes. Media Man and Gambling911 present The Kerry Packer Special...

Kerry Packer & Friends...

Kerry Packer & Friends - NG Art Gallery - 7th Dec - 24th Dec 2010

3 Little Queen Street

Chippendale, NSW Sydney  AUSTRALIA

Tuesday - Saturday 11.00am - 5.30pm

Ok punters, here's the rundown.  The artist - storyteller is Gina Sinozich. She's an 80 year old, Croat, Sydney based artist who paints in order to help recycle memory. Sinozich's latest exhibition, Kerry Packer and Friends, is her first solo commercial effort in Sydney and is tells the story of the legendary Kerry Packer. She covers the unique personality and complexities of a legend who was known for his astronomical wealth, super whale gambling exploits, running his business with an iron fist, and colourful run ins with the Australian government, amongst other things.

Sinozich migrated down under to Australia is 1956 and began to paint at the age of 75, now having work in Australian and New Zealand corporate and public collections. Her show showcases Packer as 'one of us' rather than the untouchable media tycoon. Sinozich was inspired to tell the story on the premise that we often hear bad before good. This tribute to KP is generous and reveals alot of the most powerful men in the world, who in 2004, was estimated to have a net worth of AUD 6.5 billion. The work of Sinozich will be showcased at NG Art Gallery from the 7th-24th of December and is certain to excite audiences, punters, art lovers or both. A fews Aussie commentator think this blows away much of the art that American gambling tycoon Steve Wynn shows off. Maybe Wynn might like to make a purchase of some classic Packer creations.

Sinozich says Packer gave back to society in a meaningful way and the series was intended to stand as a testament for this man's intrinsic goodwill after his death in December 2005. She recites a story that fuelled her initial interest in Packer, "...one lady said that she was on George Street with two little kids behind her and she was running...running to go on the train, and he (Packer) stopped her and said, 'don't you have a car?' and he wrote a cheque for her and said here, 'buy yourself a car'." Sinozich also fondly recalls, "...when he was playing in casino in Perth he won so much money and the girl who was serving wine...he asked her, 'do you have a mortgage on the house?' she said 'yes', then he wrote a cheque for AUD 600,000."

The talented, even cunning, artist worked like a Trojan horse for a fortnight and managed to produce 26 paintings that deeply explore her subject's nature, removing much of the mystic of Packer as an uncompromising media mogul. All the characters in Sinozich's work have a yarn to tell, and most aspects of his life are covered... birth, death, and much of the in between. Make no mistake, the works are smart, and unique, and are tipped to become collectors items.

The work is relatively simple, but full of life, and has been described as "traditional representational painting", which one may argue is a dying art. We think KP would have liked the tribute, and we await word to see what living members of the Packer clan think of the works.


Kerry Packer Legend To Return To Australian TV In Cleo Mini Series...

Packer is to return to life on Aussie TV via new ABC drama Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo (not to be confused with the Cleopatra slot game).

Australian readers may recall the public backlash to the introduction of the super sexy womens’ title in 1972. There were Cleo lovers and haters, but we're still talking about it today, so it made an impact, which is better than many of today's rags.

Rob Carlton will play a young Packer opposite Asher Keddie as publishing pioneer, the sexy and smart Ita Buttrose.

Rumours of a sexual relationship between Packer and Ita around the time of Cleo magazine's start off, but this won't be a focus on the mini-series, due to air next year.

Buttrose, who first made her mark as the magazine's editor, was a consultant on the production.

"If there was a supposed affair it didn't happen in this timeframe. I have no idea if there was, we didn't raise it with her," Edwards said.

There ABC publicity brief has whet our appetite for lots of Packer classic stuff and enough scandal to keep us coming back for more.

"It's 1972. Skirts are up, pants are down. Girls can have anything: Fabulous careers, fashionable clothes and oral sex," spruiks the promo.

The drama cleverly follows the death of Sir Frank Packer and the rise of his second son, who defies even family expectation to succeed, in a way no one could have expected.

"It was a real turning point in Kerry's career. It was a period when he made his first big move and it was an astonishing success and one against the odds in some respects," Edwards said.

Cleo magazine itself was a fine, yet controversial work, and introduced the nude male centrefold and sexual hits, tips, tricks and more for women. Media Man friend, actor Jack Thompson, is tipped to have his racy centrefold recreated. Something about a 6th finger, down there.

ABC TV by all accounts have taken a calculated risk on the series. Most quarters of society, both insiders and outsiders we've chatted with believe the gamble will pay off with a tidy jackpot, and whispers already circulate as to how many awards the show and actors will pick up.


Nine's David Gyngell Respects Packer History; PBL Becomes Nine Entertainment Co...

KP put Publishing & Broadcasting Media on the map and grew it to become arguably the biggest media brands in Australia.

PBL - the name, is now history, since Bondi Beach based chief executive, David Gyngell, rebranded it with Nine Entertainment Co.

Gyngell, who announced the rebranding at Nine's 2011 program launch in Sydney on Friday, advised the new name would be more recognisable to the public and large and went on to emphasise Nine's broad range of businesses, which sport Nine, ACP Magazines, Ticketek and NineMSN.

The recognition factor is important since the firm is likely to be floated on the Australian Stock Exchange by its private equity owners, CVC Asia Pacific, in the first half of next year.

It's understood that a strong level of support from a host of retail investors will be key to the $5 billion-plus float's chances of a jackpot.

Gyngell wisely acknowledged it was not an easy decision given he is the late Kerry Packer's godson and great mate of James Packer. History buffs, just in case you wondered, PBL was formed way back in 1994 when KP merged Nine with ACP (Australian Consolidated Press).

"PBL has a long association with the Packers so personally I don't take that lightly. But it's modernising a business that needs to be publicly known. We don't have the luxury of having James Packer or another mogul giving the company real gravitas."

Other media updates down under include Network Seven being backed by Kerry Stokes and Network Ten's board now has James Packer, News Corporation director Lachlan Murdoch, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and WIN TV owner Bruce Gordon.

"Nine is the biggest thing that we have and it is also the thing that supports all the other companies in the best possible way," Gyngell said. "It will be a new year. We are starting again.

Nine confirmed its crime drama Underbelly would come back with a series set in the roaring 20s in Sydney as well as 3 Underbelly movies! And, get this, a good spot of gambling will also be featured.

Greg Tingle is a Special Contributor to the Gambling911.com website and Runs Media Man International.

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Fallen Aussie tycoon and FBI's net-bet supergrass to star in US trial - 21st March 2012...

Daniel Tzvetkoff, the one-time high-flying Queensland internet whiz who brought down America's multibillion-dollar online poker industry, will come out of hiding next month.

The 29-year-old faced a sentence of 75 years in a US federal prison but in 2010, while languishing in a New York jail, he struck a secret deal with prosecutors and has become a star informant for the US government in its bid to prosecute the kingpins of three of the world's largest online gambling companies: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

AAP can reveal that Tzvetkoff, whose Queensland-based company Intabill allegedly processed more than $US1 billion ($957 million) worth of illegal transactions between US gamblers and internet gaming websites based offshore, has handed more than 90,000 documents over to prosecutors.

The inside information includes confidential emails.

Tzvetkoff's first public test as a prosecution witness will come on April 9 in a New York courtroom when a former Las Vegas-based business partner, Chad Elie, and a Utah banker, John Campos, go on trial.

Elie, 31, is charged with nine offences including conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering and faces a maximum jail sentence of 85 years if convicted.

Campos, a 57-year-old executive at Utah's SunFirst Bank who allegedly agreed to process gambling transactions, is charged with six offences and could be jailed for 35 years.

This week, Elie's lawyers complained to the judge handling the case that, on the eve of the trial, prosecutors dumped a "mountain of documents" on them, including Tzvetkoff's emails.

"For example, although the government had previously produced emails for Daniel Tzvetkoff, one of the government's main witnesses in this case, the material we recently received revealed that Mr Tzvetkoff had deleted his emails from the Intabill server, which had previously been made available to the defence, and that the Tzvetkoff emails that were included in prior productions were therefore ones that Mr Tzvetkoff had cherry-picked for the government," Monday's filing from Elie's lawyers, Barry Berke and Dani James, stated.

"Only after we pointed this out to the government did we receive a full set of Mr Tzvetkoff's materials, which included more than 90,000 documents and which we were able to access for the first time only yesterday."

Tzvetkoff was once a media darling in Australia, flaunting his wealth - estimated at $82 million just a few years ago - with a $27 million home on the Gold Coast, a garage filled with Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and as a sponsor of V8 Supercar racing team, Team IntaRacing.

His world came crashing down in 2009 when the internet poker companies, for which he allegedly helped launder $US1 billion, accused him of stealing about $US100 million.

Tzvetkoff was arrested at Las Vegas's upmarket Encore casino in April 2010 and charged with money laundering, bank fraud and other charges.

US federal prosecutors vigorously fought to keep Tzvetkoff in jail after his arrest, including successfully overturning a Las Vegas judge's decision to grant Tzvetkoff bail.

Tzvetkoff was transferred to a New York jail and sat there until June 2010 but, in secret dealings, sealed by judges, Tzvetkoff disappeared.

"He's turned the corner, seen the light and is co-operating," former FBI agent Harold Copus, after reviewing the details of the case, told AAP.

On April 15, 2011, Tzvetkoff's inside knowledge led to what has been dubbed in the US as "Black Friday", the day tens of thousands of US poker players logged on to their computers and discovered three top gambling sites - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker - had been shut down in the US by authorities.

The FBI and prosecutors also announced that day internet gambling kingpins Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars, Raymond Bitar and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker, and Scott Tom and Brent Beckley of Absolute Poker, were charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offences.

Elie and Campos were also charged in the sweep.

Prosecutors alleged Elie, as Tzvetkoff's Intabill was crumbling in 2009, fleeced $US4 million from PokerStars.

"Intabill's founder, Daniel Tzvetkoff, who processed over $US1 billion for the poker companies, ended up owing tens of millions to PokerStars," prosecutor Arlo Deviln-Brown wrote in a recent court filing.

"While Tzvetkoff's lifestyle is squarely responsible for much of the missing money ($US25 million on a house, for example), the fact is that 'sub-processors' that Tzvetkoff relied on - including Elie - also failed to remit and indeed simply made off with the money PokerStars was missing." (AAP)


Auckland High Court grants Kim Dotcom $46,700 a month expenses...

A NEW Zealand court has granted Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom $46,700 a month in living expenses as he awaits a US bid to extradite him on online piracy charges.

The German national reportedly applied for $171,240 a month to cover his costs when he was freed on bail last month, including funds to pay for luxuries such as a butler and nannies.

The High Court in Auckland ruled Dotcom, who US authorities allege violated piracy laws to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, could have $46,700 a month, Fairfax Media reported.

It also gave the internet tycoon - a keen car enthusiast - access to a 2011 Mercedes Benz, The New Zealand Herald reported.

The 38-year-old's assets were frozen after New Zealand police, cooperating with a major US probe, raided his sprawling Auckland mansion on January 20, seizing artworks and luxury cars including a pink Cadillac.

Megaupload was founded in 2005 but shut down in January after the Auckland raid.

A US application for Dotcom's extradition is expected to be heard on August 20. US authorities have said they will seek the maximum penalty of 20 years in jail if he is brought before an American court.

Dotcom, who legally changed his name from Kim Schmitz, has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight extradition, labelling the case against him "misleading and malicious."


Casino rewards cards examined in hunt for cheats...

CASINO rewards cards could be the next secret weapon used by Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office to take down frauds and welfare cheats.

The Absolute Rewards program, which is available through Queensland's three major casinos, is being considered by investigators as a way to nab dodgy individuals suspected of breaking the law.

Absolute Rewards allows members through its Absolute Assist function to set a daily gambling limit of their choice and tracks their spending to ensure machines lock users out when their limit is reached.

A Treasury Casino spokeswoman confirmed members were able to ask for summaries of their spending history.

By cross-referencing the spending with other documents, investigators could potentially determine whether fraud had taken place.

Section 264 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 allows officers to obtain documents or data they require to further their probe.

An ATO spokeswoman said the office "would not rule out" using Absolute Rewards and Absolute Assist information to investigate targets.

"From time to time, we do use our powers under S264 to obtain information on individuals from third parties (such as casinos and other businesses) which may assist us to identify undisclosed income," she said.

"We would not rule out the possibility of using such a system to access information in the future."

Centrelink may also begin using rewards cards to track down welfare cheats.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said while information hadn't so far been obtained through the system, it was a possibility.

"Based on the available information, the department would only seek to access details through the Absolute Assist program on an individual basis during an investigation into a customer's undisclosed wealth," he said.

A Treasury Casino spokeswoman said the casino had provided government agencies with information at their request.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said he couldn't foresee any privacy issues provided the method was used only to investigate those already under suspicion. (News Limited)


Sports betting growing gambling...

The Aussie tradition of taking a punt is reaching new heights with online gambling leading to an explosion in sports betting.

Although still dwarfed by other forms of gambling, sports betting is gaining popularity, according to industry research group IBISWorld.

Sports betting was the fastest growing market segment, with annual growth of 14.7 per cent for the last five years.

IBISWorld Australian general manager Karen Dobie said sports betters were mostly young, single professionals with disposable income. They did not view it as a serious form of gambling.

'Sports betting is most accessible online. Given this demographic is particularly comfortable in the online environment, this is another factor driving growth,' Ms Dobie said in a statement on Wednesday.

The diversity of bets on offer, including who leads at half time and shoots the first goal was also driving spending.

Despite its rising popularity, sports betting accounts for only 1.6 per cent, or $360.5 million, of gambling spend.

Casino gambling accounts for 20 per cent of total expenditure, the research found.

Pokies, lotteries and racing were in decline, but pokies still took the lion's share of the market with 60.2 per cent.

Australians are among the most prolific gamblers in the world with the research predicting gambling expenditure to reach $22.5 billion or an average of $1,256 per person in 2011/12.

'More than 70 per cent of us have a flutter at least once a year, especially in line with key cultural events such as Anzac Day and the Melbourne Cup,' Ms Dobie said.

NSW had the most gamblers, making up 38 per cent of gambling spending, followed by Victoria and Queensland.


bwin.party sells Ongame to Shuffle Master - 6th March 2012...

bwin.party digital entertainment has agreed to sell Ongame, its business-to-business online poker network, to Shuffle Master for up to €29.5m.

bwin.party says the agreement is consistent with the group's stated strategy and follows its announced intention to sell Ongame last June.

An initial consideration of €19.5m is payable in cash on completion, subject to a post-completion working capital adjustment.

A further consideration of up to €10.0m payable in cash in the event that regulated online poker starts in the United States on either a federal or intra-state basis within five years from completion.

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Katy Perry New Music Video 'Part Of Me' Goes Live; Worldwide Buzz

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Pop music sensation Katy Perry has just released her new music video for 'Part Of Me' live over the internet via YouTube, and the reaction has largely been very positive, with internet click counters going crazy.

Analysts at agency firms such as Hitwise and Media Man believe the latest Katy Perry music video will have a strong chance of "breaking internet and television records."

To no great surprise, the song and video are about a relationship break-up, with art once again reflecting life in a performing artists release.

While the song itself was written many years before Katy even met Russell Brand, she did alter some of the lyrics to reflect her current situation, singing:

"So you can keep the diamond ring, It don't mean anything, In fact you can keep everything, yeah yeah, Except for me."

In the music video, Katy catches out her boyfriend messing around with another woman, and to help get over it she joins the army. She even cuts off her hair, starts training for battle, and goes into the combat zone.

Don't change your dial and we'll have more Katy Perry news for you really soon, plus more scoops from the world of music and entertainment.

Well done Katy, and we look forward to seeing you back down under in Australia again soon.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month" award.

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both Virgin Casino, PKR Casino and Captain Cooks Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co-CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasinowill soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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EPIX Celebrates Superheroes and the Legendary Stan Lee With Marvel Heroes Weekend April 27-29 - Hosted by Stan Lee

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Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics and true believers... here's some excelsior news you've been waiting for.

The Marvel Heroes Weekend is coming up in late April, so mark it down.

The comics world has been buzzing about this - from Bondi Beach, Sydney, to Hollywood, to manga crazy Japan and all points in between...

EPIX Celebrates Superheroes and the Legendary Stan Lee With Marvel Heroes Weekend April 27-29
--Hosted by Lee, Event Features World Television Premieres of Captain America: The First Avenger & EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story --National Free Preview Makes Marvel Heroes Weekend Available to Subscribers of Affiliated Partners...

NEW YORK, March 19, 2012 - EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service, will present Marvel Heroes Weekend, April 27 - 29, a marathon of superhero movies including Iron Man 2, Thor, the world television premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger and the EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. Hosted by legendary comic book creator Stan Lee, the marathon also includes EPIX Extra: Mighty Movie Superheroes, examining the origins and fan following of the mighty team. The weekend celebration of Marvel's famed superheroes and their creator features the movies that have led up to the highly anticipated theatrical release of The Avengers on May 4.

The EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story follows the life and creations of Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and over 200 other characters that can be found in Marvel comic books, on movie screens and in retail stores around the world.

"These action-packed superhero films are some of the most highly viewed titles among EPIX audiences across all platforms," said EPIX CEO and President Mark Greenberg. "We're excited to give fans more access than ever before to the mastermind behind it all, Stan Lee."

Marvel Heroes Weekend is part of a free preview of EPIX for all subscribers of affiliate partners, which will also showcase Hollywood blockbusters Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Rango, Conan the Barbarian, True Grit, The Lincoln Lawyer and more, along with EPIX original comedy and music events Lewis Black: In God We Rust, Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell and Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball. Over 30 million homes nationwide will have access to the free preview, including over 150 titles available On Demand and more than 3000 movie titles available online at EpixHD.com and through EPIX apps.

*please note: Australian residents may not be able to access all functionality from EPIX. If you have any issues please contact EPIX technical support.

The weekend event and free preview will be supported by television, print, online and out of home advertising and a national contest hosted by EPIX which will send winners to the Hollywood premiere of The Avengers. For more information or to enter, visit the EPIX Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EpixHD. Additionally, EPIX has partnered with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for Avengers-themed sweepstakes promoted across Ryan Seacrest's nationally syndicated radio shows and website and across several local Clear Channel stations in the top 10 media markets.

EPIX is the first all screen network, available anytime, anywhere, on any screen.

Studio: Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM

About
EPIX delivers instant access to thousands of Hollywood Blockbusters

Plot Outline

WHAT IS EPIX?
EPIX, a joint venture between Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate, is a next-generation premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service launched on October 30, 2009. With access to more than 15,000 motion pictures spanning the vast libraries of its partners and other studios, EPIX provides a powerful entertainment experience with more feature films on demand and online and more HD movies than any other service. It is the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up of new Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series, music and comedy specials through the linear channel, video-on-demand and online at EpixHD.com, the leading online destination for movies. EPIX has made the commitment to deliver the industry’s most expansive online collection of movies, making more than 3,000 titles available on EpixHD.com. The service is available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.

That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.

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Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries and Wolfmother Perform At Sydney Entertainment Centre - 21st March 2012

Profiles

Music Sydney Entertainment Centre Celebrities Events Sydney





Tonight's the night. McManus Entertainment and the Sydney Entertainment Centre have brought together three of the greatest bands on the planet - under the one roof. Enter legendary Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries and Australia's own Wolfmother.

The anticipation of music lovers in Sydney has been building and was further fuelled along by the announcement of promoter Andrew McManus...

"Not only will rock fans around Australia get to enjoy these three great artists, highlights of Lenny’s performance will be broadcast around the world via the F1 Rocks network to a huge international audience. It’s been 18 years since Lenny Kravitz last toured Australia. Lenny is an international superstar and it’s a pleasure to bring him back here. And it’s perfect timing for those that are at the Grand Prix in Melbourne. Fans can conveniently walk over from the track to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and enjoy a great night of rock in Melbourne".

Promo...

Get ready to rock Australia! McManus Entertainment in association with F1 Rocks is thrilled to announce the return of rock icon Lenny Kravitz to Australia in March 2012. Marking his first concert appearance in the country in 18 years, Lenny will be joined by Irish chart-toppers The Cranberries, and Aussie rockers Wolfmother. In addition to playing Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries and Wolfmother will also be playing shows in Sydney, Wollongong, Brisbane and Perth.

“Not only will rock fans around Australia get to enjoy these three great artists, highlights of Lenny’s performance will be broadcast around the world via the F1 Rocks network to a huge international audience. It’s been 18 years since Lenny Kravitz last toured Australia. Lenny is an international superstar and it’s a pleasure to bring him back here. And it’s perfect timing for those that are at the Grand Prix in Melbourne. Fans can conveniently walk over from the track to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and enjoy a great night of rock in Melbourne,” says promoter Andrew McManus.

Regarded as one of the preeminent rock musicians of our time, Lenny Kravitz has transcended genre, style and class into a 20-year musical career, one which revels in the rich influences of '60s and '70s soul, rock and funk. Lenny Kravitz is a four-time GRAMMY Award winner and has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide. The artist’s multiple talents as a writer, producer and multiinstrumentalist have resonated through eight studio albums into a timeless catalogue. Lenny Kravitz released his ninth studio album earlier this year, Black and White America (out now through Roadrunner Records). Marking his first release of new material in three years, Black and White America is a rich rock and funk-infused collection filled with Lenny’s signature guitar riffs, compelling melodies and the undeniable anthemic lyricism that has been his trademark over the course of his 20-year career. In addition to the release of his new album, Lenny Kravitz will appear in the upcoming motion picture "The Hunger Games" set for release in March 2012.

“I am excited to return to Australia after so many years away,” says Lenny. “It's going to a great show and I cannot wait to see all my fans there. We are going to bring it!”

The Cranberries, fronted by Dolores O’Riordan, lit up the charts around the world for more than a decade with classics such as Linger, Dreams and Zombie. They have sold more than 30 million records and have had two number one albums in Australia, No Need To Argue (1994) and To The Faithful Departed (1996). Other live favourites include Free To Decide, When You’re Gone, Salvation, Ode To My Family and Ridiculous Thoughts. After taking a few years off to raise their families, the band are thrilled to be back with their new album, Roses (released next year through Shock Records on February 10), their first record in more than ten years since Wake Up And Smell The Coffee in 2001.

In 2007 Aussie rockers Wolfmother won a GRAMMY Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for their single Woman. This followed ARIA Award wins for Best Group, Best Breakthrough Album and Best Rock Album for their debut self-titled album. The album Wolfmother has been certified 5 x Platinum in Australia (as well as Gold in the US, UK and Canada). Their latest album, Cosmic Egg, was released in 2009 and debuted at number three in the Australian charts (as well as charting in Europe and US).

Thank yous...

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been diligently working away in putting this awesome concert together... especially the good folks at Flourish PR and McManus Entertainment.

News Update...

Near capacity crowd

Stay tuned for a full report, review and some exclusive photos from Sydney in a few short hours.

We'll see you back at the Sydney Entertainment Centre again really soon.

Websites

Lenny Kravitz

The Cranberries

Wolfmother

Sydney Entertainment Centre

McManus Entertainment

Flourish PR

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

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Casinos Of The World: Land Based And Online; Media Man And Casino News Media Awards, by Greg Tingle



Sin City Cleopatra Rambo The Godfather Sinatra The Terminator Thor Saturday Night Fever Unicorn Legend Palladium Slot

World Directory Global Gaming Directory World Casino Directory

Punters, here's 10 of the world's top land based casinos for you to mark down in your travel plans.

Monte Carlo, Monaco: Perched above the Mediterranean and bounded by the French
and Italian coastlines on either side, Monaco provides a spectacular and luxurious setting for the wealthy and the wannabees. Home to the Monaco Grand Prix and the legendary Casino de Monte Carlo, this isn't the place for those on a tight budget. The magnificent Casino hosts the annual European Poker Tour and was also the scene of several James Bond Films, including the original "Casino Royale" and "Golden Eye".

Paradise Island, Bahamas: Located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, Paradise
Island is best known for its sprawling 'Vegas-by-the-sea' resort, Atlantis. The resort spans seven acres along a lagoon, where guests can soak up the Caribbean sun and choose from a variety of outdoor gaming areas. When in need of a break from the tables, guests can enjoy the private beach or one of the resorts 20 sunlit pools.

Melbourne, Australia: As Australia's sporting and entertainment capital, Melbourne
offers the perfect option for high rollers looking for a local break. Aussies need look no further than Crown Casino on the southern bank of the Yarra River, which is one of the largest casino complexes in the southern hemisphere. The main gambling floor stretches more than half a kilometre and the casino was the first to introduce the new game Rapid Roulette, which allows players to place bets on a personal electronic touch screen connected to a central roulette wheel.

Macau, China: Known as the 'Monte Carlo of the Orient,' and the gambling capital of Asia, Macau now rivals Monaco and Las Vegas as one of the premier gambling destinations in the world. With no less than 33 casinos, in addition to local horse and greyhound racing venues, Macau is perfect for the betting junkie. The Wynn Macau casino is a standout, highlighted by 24-carat gold 'Tree of Prosperity' at the entrance, extravagant water displays and Moon Jellyfish Aquarium at reception.

Baden-Baden, Germany: Situated on the western foothills of the Black Forest and on the banks of the Oos River, Baden-Baden is not your typical casino town. However, in addition to its hot springs and picturesque countryside, the town is also known for its 200-year-old 'Spielbank' casino - the oldest of its type in Germany. With French chateau-style salons rooms named after historical figures such as Madame Pompadour and Louis XV's mistress, the quirky casino provides visitors with a very unique gaming experience.

Las Vegas, United States: With over 1700 licensed casinos in operation, Las Vegas offers the ultimate package for travellers who fancy a flutter. A visit to the famous 'Strip' is a must for any player, whether they're looking for a spin on the roulette table or a game of blackjack - this city has it all. The iconic Caesar's Palace hotel and casino offers 129,000 square feet of casino space plus an endless smorgasbord of entertainment, shopping and fine dining options, including Cleopatra's barge, a floating lounge perfect for a relaxing drink after a jam-packed night on the casino floor.

Manila, The Philippines: With a favourable exchange rate, Manila provides great value for Aussies wanting to live the high-life overseas. The city offers a range of shopping and entertainment options, along with a world-class casino at the Hyatt Hotel. Spread across three levels, the sparkling casino offers the newest in gaming facilities for both hotel guests and visitors, and is just a short distance from Manila's tourist hub.

Sun City, South Africa:  Known as 'Africa's Kingdom of Pleasure,' this luxury resort and casino complex, just two hours from Johannesburg, boasts two large casinos, two 18-hole golf courses and a wildlife reserve. At the extravagant yet picturesque Palace of the Lost City, guests are treated to stunning valley views from the guestrooms, along with exclusive access to the Grand Pool. The nearby Sun City Casino is the entertainment Mecca of the resort, featuring a myriad of gaming options as well as an indoor jungle of native foliage and water fountains.

Atlantic City, United States: Regarded as the US's 'Las Vegas of the East', Atlantic City in New Jersey is renowned for its gambling, shopping and fine dining. Towering above the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, the Trump Taj Mahal casino is an icon of the city, with an on-site shopping district and an abundance of restaurants and bars. The 157,000 square-foot casino is also hard to miss, with 3,500 slot machines and 200 table games. Unveiled in 1990 by a number of celebrities, including the late Michael Jackson, the casino is the second-largest in Atlantic City and well worth a visit.

Genting Highlands, Malaysia: Nestled on the Titiwangsa mountain range, just an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur and 6,000 feet above sea level, the Resorts World Genting offers 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. This spectacular resort has first-class accommodation, dining and entertainment, while avoiding the hustle and bustle of a capital city. The on-site casino, which covers 200,000 square feet, is Malaysia's sole gaming venue and is divided into separate themed areas, such as Hollywood and Monte Carlo, for the ultimate gambling experience.

Online Casinos:

PartyCasino.com : The world's leading online casino brand and part of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Play for free or play for money at PartyCasino.com New players get up to $3000 sign up bonus via Media Man.

VirginCasino.com : Virgin Casino is part of Virgin Games. The parent company is Virgin Enterprises Limited, the creation of the world's most famous and celebrated entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson. Unfortunately the casino does not accept players from many countries due to what is known in legal circles as "grey areas".  Most European players can play, but no Americans, Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders.

Captain Cooks Casino : Was once a very popular online casino with Australians and New Zealanders, however we understand these days they can only accept players from a few regions such as Europe, South Africa, Canada and South America.

PKR : Once only a 2D online poker room, they are now more 3D and offer online poker and a good range of online casino games, including classics, Marvel slots and table games.

Media Man's top online casino choice:  PartyCasino.com  PartyCasino is a multi-time Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' winner and have also won awards from EGR. Earlier this year PartyGaming merged with Bwin to create the worlds leading igaming company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

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PartyCasino Gets New Games...

Aztec Gold, Atomic Fruit, Nag's To Riches and Fairies Forest. Check out the new games here.

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Lenny Kravitz Headlines Sydney Entertainment Centre; The Cranberries and Wolfmother Support - 21st March 2012

Profiles

Music Sydney Entertainment Centre Celebrities Events Sydney





Tonight's the night.

Hungry for some Lenny Kravitz news? Wait not longer... no time for games fans.

McManus Entertainment and the world famous Sydney Entertainment Centre have brought together three of the greatest bands anywhere - Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries and Australia's own Wolfmother.

The anticipation of music lovers in Sydney has been building and was further fuelled along by the announcement of promoter Andrew McManus...

"Not only will rock fans around Australia get to enjoy these three great artists, highlights of Lenny’s performance will be broadcast around the world via the F1 Rocks network to a huge international audience. It’s been 18 years since Lenny Kravitz last toured Australia. Lenny is an international superstar and it’s a pleasure to bring him back here. And it’s perfect timing for those that are at the Grand Prix in Melbourne. Fans can conveniently walk over from the track to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and enjoy a great night of rock in Melbourne".

Lenny Kravitz Song List...

Come On Get It
Always On The Run
American Woman
It's Over Till It's Over
Mr. Cab Driver
Black And White America
Fields Of Joy
Stand By My Woman
Believe
Stand
Rock And Roll is Dead
Rock Star City Life
Where Are We Running
Fly Away
Are You Gonna Go My Way
Let Love Rule

Promo...

Get ready to rock Australia! McManus Entertainment in association with F1 Rocks is thrilled to announce the return of rock icon Lenny Kravitz to Australia in March 2012. Marking his first concert appearance in the country in 18 years, Lenny will be joined by Irish chart-toppers The Cranberries, and Aussie rockers Wolfmother. In addition to playing Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries and Wolfmother will also be playing shows in Sydney, Wollongong, Brisbane and Perth.

“Not only will rock fans around Australia get to enjoy these three great artists, highlights of Lenny’s performance will be broadcast around the world via the F1 Rocks network to a huge international audience. It’s been 18 years since Lenny Kravitz last toured Australia. Lenny is an international superstar and it’s a pleasure to bring him back here. And it’s perfect timing for those that are at the Grand Prix in Melbourne. Fans can conveniently walk over from the track to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and enjoy a great night of rock in Melbourne,” says promoter Andrew McManus.

Regarded as one of the preeminent rock musicians of our time, Lenny Kravitz has transcended genre, style and class into a 20-year musical career, one which revels in the rich influences of '60s and '70s soul, rock and funk. Lenny Kravitz is a four-time GRAMMY Award winner and has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide. The artist’s multiple talents as a writer, producer and multiinstrumentalist have resonated through eight studio albums into a timeless catalogue. Lenny Kravitz released his ninth studio album earlier this year, Black and White America (out now through Roadrunner Records). Marking his first release of new material in three years, Black and White America is a rich rock and funk-infused collection filled with Lenny’s signature guitar riffs, compelling melodies and the undeniable anthemic lyricism that has been his trademark over the course of his 20-year career. In addition to the release of his new album, Lenny Kravitz will appear in the upcoming motion picture "The Hunger Games" set for release in March 2012.

“I am excited to return to Australia after so many years away,” says Lenny. “It's going to a great show and I cannot wait to see all my fans there. We are going to bring it!”

The Cranberries, fronted by Dolores O’Riordan, lit up the charts around the world for more than a decade with classics such as Linger, Dreams and Zombie. They have sold more than 30 million records and have had two number one albums in Australia, No Need To Argue (1994) and To The Faithful Departed (1996). Other live favourites include Free To Decide, When You’re Gone, Salvation, Ode To My Family and Ridiculous Thoughts. After taking a few years off to raise their families, the band are thrilled to be back with their new album, Roses (released next year through Shock Records on February 10), their first record in more than ten years since Wake Up And Smell The Coffee in 2001.

In 2007 Aussie rockers Wolfmother won a GRAMMY Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for their single Woman. This followed ARIA Award wins for Best Group, Best Breakthrough Album and Best Rock Album for their debut self-titled album. The album Wolfmother has been certified 5 x Platinum in Australia (as well as Gold in the US, UK and Canada). Their latest album, Cosmic Egg, was released in 2009 and debuted at number three in the Australian charts (as well as charting in Europe and US).

News Scoop...

Lenny Kravitz Discusses His Hunger Games Character's Sexuality...

Lenny Kravitz opened up about his character in The Hunger Games, and he explained why wanted to play the role of Cinna. Lenny further opens up further about his role, and the man who inspired his performance!

"I actually have a friend who is a dancer who is bisexual, and he was a lot of inspiration for my speech pattern and my rhythm, and kind of the way I sauntered in and out a little bit."

"I'll be quite frank with you — I didn’t know about Hunger Games — so when I'm telling kids and they say, 'Who are you playing?' and I say Cinna, they go, 'Oh you're playing the gay guy.' That was an actual answer. I've never brought that up yet. That's how they perceived it. So I thought about it, and I read the book and I don’t see that he is or isn't [gay]. He's a designer, he's a stylist, he has gold eyeliner—that doesn't mean anything either way."

"The question was how far do we go with him. The idea was to pull it back and create a character that's more like a Tom Ford or an Yves Saint Laurent so he wouldn’t be too outrageous. He's classic, he's got his gold. I kind of played him in the middle."

Thank yous...

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been diligently working away in putting this awesome concert together... especially the good folks at Flourish PR and McManus Entertainment.

Websites

Lenny Kravitz

The Cranberries

Wolfmother

Sydney Entertainment Centre

McManus Entertainment

Flourish PR

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Music News Australia

Media Man News

Website Network

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia Relaunch - 20th March 2012

Profiles

Hotels Sydney Australia World Directory





Last week the Park Hyatt Sydney hosted the TV Week Logies Nominatations, but today it was all about the relaunch of the luxurious hotel.

Dozens of Australian media folks attended tonight to help celebrate the hotel's makeover.

A larger day spa, restaurant, bars, private dining rooms, enhanced and larger conference facilities, gym and recreational spaces feature in the revamped hotel.

Among the novel attractions is The Dining Room, led by Australian-born chef Andrew McKee.

Original Sydney Sandstone and local woods were incorporated in the rebuild and the hotel commissioned a number of Australian artists including sculptors, painters and photographers.

Australian hotel design firm, BARstudio, has created a new intimate and stylish interior, featuring an art gallery of interior pieces, including artefacts, books and artworks on the bedroom shelves and walls in all 155 bedrooms.

There's also lots of eco-friendly elements...

The hotel has introduced a new in-room energy management system which comprises ‘Smart Room Controllers’ that monitor air-conditioning output, in addition to occupancy sensors that automatically dim lights when guests leave the room. Auto blinds adjust to certain times of the day, reducing heat penetration during summer months. LED lighting has also been introduced to cut energy output.

The hotel also now meets the ‘Water Efficiency Labelling & Standards’ (WELS) for water conservation, including waste and recycling.

The speed of the water pumps is now regulated depending on how hot the water is, and the water is pumped from the harbour through the heat exchange for natural low-energy usage water cooling.

Overall the hotel is expecting a 30% reduction in energy use.

The environmental enhancements form part of Park Hyatt Sydney’s multi-million dollar rebuild which also includes revamped rooms, spa, restaurant and bars, and the addition of three rooftop suites.

Park Hyatt Sydney’s General Manager, Andrew Mensforth, said: "Having undertaken a total rebuild, with only the external walls remaining, we look forward to showcasing the new hotel to our discerning local and international guests."

Press Release...


Park Hyatt Exemplifies Tourism Investment
Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The renovations carried out at the Park Hyatt are a superb example of the investment Australian tourism needs to improve its international competitiveness, according to peak national industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

The iconic Sydney waterfront hotel celebrates its official relaunch today, after its extension and complete refurbishment.

TTF Chief Executive John Lee said Australia needs top quality accommodation to compete.

“It’s vital we continue to improve our product offering to ensure we can deliver a quality experience for visitors,” Mr Lee said.

“High construction, real estate, labour and operating costs make it difficult for Australia to compete on price with other destinations in our region, especially with the dollar so high.

“So we have to be able to offer levels of service and luxury which present a compelling value proposition.

“The transformed Park Hyatt delivers absolute luxury in an incredible harbourside location, offering world-class standards and unparalleled views of the Sydney Opera House.”

Mr Lee said tax reform could help to facilitate further investment in tourism product.

"We are calling on the federal government to allow tax loss carry backs for tourism businesses, acknowledging the seasonal nature of the industry and the impact of natural disasters.

"We were encouraged by comments from Treasurer Wayne Swan in weekend media reports suggesting that such reforms may be announced in the 2012-13 federal budget.

"A 50 per cent capital works deduction bonus for tourism properties would also help to stimulate necessary investment in new accommodation development."

Websites

Park Hyatt Sydney

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

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Music News Australia

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hunger Games Sydney Premiere And Review; Better Than Twilight - 20th March 2012

Profiles

Movies Hollywood The Hunger Games Television Sydney Australia





The Hunger Games enjoyed it's Sydney, Australia premiere tonight, and let me tell you...this film rocks.

Don't confuse it with 'Twilight' - it's tons better, or about 2 stars better if you follow.

Movie and entertainment critics around the global have been all very positive - most unusual.

The movie is based upon Suzanne Collins' trilogy of books.

Led by rising movie stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Australia's Liam Hemsworth, the flick is about a broadcast for TV fight to the death in a post-apocalyptic America.

"What's remarkable is the lack of cheese," said UK magazine Total Film, rating The Hunger Games four stars. "Tacky effects, corny dialogue and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new Twilight."

Hollywood bible Variety writes "nearly 2 1/2 hour event picture should satiate fans, entertain the uninitiated and take an early lead among the year's top-grossing films".

Total Film criticised the loss of the novel's "blistering pace" regarding the film's long running time.

In another four-star review, British paper The Guardian wrote: "The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty."

The Hollywood Reporter notifies the film had been watered down to ensure a PG-13 rating in the US (rated M in Australia): "Most noticeable ... is the film's lack of hunting instinct. The novel conveyed a heady sense of blood-scent ... One senses that the filmmakers wanted to avoid showing much hunting onscreen, for fear of offending certain sensibilities."

But it also stated that the central character, Lawrence's cool-headed hunter Katniss, is so "compelling" that the film "can't go wrong".

21-year-old Oscar nominee Lawrence has been getting rave reviews and should be up for some awards. She embodies Katniss "just as one might imagine her from the novel," said The Hollywood Reporter.

"Lawrence is perfect as Katniss," writes film magazine Empire. "There's very little softness about her, more a melancholy determination that good must be done even if that requires bad things."

The only other star to really be singled out for his performance is rocker Lenny Kravitz, whose one previous movie role was in Precious.

"The young men on hand can't measure up to (Lawrence's) standards," said The Hollywood Reporter. "Making a decided impression here is Lenny Kravitz, who will probably field more acting offers after his turn as Katniss' charismatic stylist Cinna."

Total Film said while not "wholly true to Collins words", The Hunger Games "gets the spirit bang on".

"As thrilling and smart as it is terrifying," concluded Empire. "There have been a number of big-gun literary series brought to screen over the past decade. This slays them all."

The movie opens to the Australian public with midnight screenings this Wednesday night.

Entertainment industry commentators in the US are predicting a $75 million to $100 million opening for the film. At the Australian box office that translates into a $10 million-plus opening weekend down under.

Websites

The Hunger Games

Event Cinemas

Lionsgate Films

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Eva Rinaldi Photography

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Australian And Hollywood Entertainment, Celebrity and Gaming News; Jackman, Crowe, WWE...

News

News Entertainment News Casino News





Hugh "The Wolverine" Jackman punches Russell "The Gladiator" Crowe in play...

Hugh Jackman tried to punch Russell Crowe as many times as possible during rehearsals for theatre production Les Miserables.

The Australian star keeps asking to re-shoot fight scenes where he knocks Crowe out, because he enjoys it so much.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "The crew find it hilarious as Crowe would obviously sweep the floor with Jackman in real life.

"Hugh keeps ribbing Russell and winding him up but he's been getting his own back by calling Hugh a twirlie, which is showbiz speak for a singer/dancer."

Although Jackman has always had to be in good shape to play muscular superhero Wolverine in the X-Men films, he was recently told he had to bulk up to play the character in the next movie, The Wolverine, as he had lost so many pounds while appearing in Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway.

He said: "The studio wants me to bulk up. Singing and dancing makes the suits nervous because weight just falls off me, but I'd rather sing and dance on Broadway than make movies."

Crowe is also no stranger to long fight scenes, having undergone gruelling shoots against Michael Shannon in Superman: Man of Steel, in which he played the titular superhero's father.

He tweeted: "15km bike ride, umpteen hours fighting Michael Shannon. He's very hard to put down. Hard to tell who wins, we are still fighting tomorrow. (sic)"


Bruce Willis and his heavily-pregnant wife make the most of their freedom on a double date with Sylvester Stallone...

They may be two of Hollywood's biggest action stars but recently Bruce Willis and Sylvester "Rambo" Stallone showed off their softer sides.

The actors enjoyed a double date with one another and their wives as they met up for dinner in Los Angeles.

As they emerged from Craig's Restaurant, Willis and his wife Emma Heming looked in good spirits following their meal, as they were making the most of their freedom before the birth of their first child.

Perhaps Stallone and his wife of almost 15 years, Jennifer Flavin, had been giving Heming some parenting advice.

Willis and Heming announced that they were expecting their first child together last year, and judging by the brunette's large bump, it won't be long until the baby arrives.

The model was glowing as she left the restaurant holding her husband's hand and smiled for the cameras.

She wore a black and white printed dress that highlighted her stomach with a waist belt, and completed her look with a black jacket and matching flats.

Die Hard star Willis had also dressed for the occasion and wore a smart dark suit and a shirt but looked less enthusiastic as he left the building.

Stallone followed closely behind the couple wearing a red two-tone blazer with grey trousers and a shirt.

His wife dressed down in a pair of jeans and a blue leather jacket, but she did make sure she was taller than her husband by wearing a pair of black knee-high boots.

Willis and Stallone recently reunited with one another to star in the upcoming action sequel, The Expendables 2.

The film, which is due for release in August this year, features an array of well-known action stars including Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Are Bruce Willis And Sylvester Stallone’s Wives Joining Season 3 Of Real Housewives of Beverly Wills?...

Maybe! There has been many rumors that Sylvester Stallone’s wife, Jennifer Flavin was asked to join season 3 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but no confirmation just yet. The National Enquirer is now reporting that Jennifer is "heavily recruiting" close friend and Bruce Willis wife Emma Heming to join the show as well! A hollywood pal told The Enquirer, "They know each other from their modeling days, and Jen thinks the two of them together can ‘take over’ the show – and she loves that their hubbies are friends too!"

So how exactly does Bruce and Sly feel about this? The leak says, "While Jennifer says Sly is totally supportive of the idea, she’s trying to get Emma to convince Bruce that this would be a good thing. He’s wary because Emma is about to become a first-time mom. He’s also not thrilled about having a reality TV crew following them everywhere." The two couples were seen having dinner last week and apparently "Bruce told Jennifer he would consider the idea. But first he wants to get past the impending arrival of his new baby."


Jagger and Richards mend relationship...

We all need someone to lean on, and the founding duo of the Rolling Stones say they are doing just that after overcoming three decades of misunderstandings with a year of that including some heavy conversation.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards said they rebuilt their friendship after guitarist Richards's best-selling 2011 memoirs Life laid bare his pent-up frustration with the snake-hipped frontman.

"In the 1980s, for instance, Keith and I were not communicating very well," Jagger told the pop culture magazine, which celebrates the band's 50th anniversary in its current issue.

"I got very involved with the business side of the Stones, mainly because I felt no one else was interested - but it's plain now from the book that Keith felt excluded, which is a pity. Time I reckon to move on."

"Mick's right," said Richards. The pair the Stones in 1962 after they met in a London train station and discovered their mutual love for American blues music.

"He and I have had conversations over the last year of a kind we have not had for an extremely long time and that has been incredibly important to me," Richards said.

"As far as the book goes, it was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be - but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that."

Rolling Stone reported earlier this week that the Stones are planning no concert tour for its 50th anniversary, although it quoted Richards as suggesting that 2013 was a "more realistic" target for hitting the road. (AFP)


Souris in the dark about casino sackings...

The New South Wales Gaming Minister George Souris says he knows nothing about the latest sackings at Sydney's Star casino.

An official inquiry is underway into the sacking last month of Star's managing director Sid Vaikunta, for allegedly inappropriate behaviour.

Now, the casino has reportedly sacked three mid-level managers for breaches of its internet and email policies.

One manager is believed to have forwarded an email explaining why responsible gambling rules do not apply to international guests.

Mr Souris says it is news to him.

"Whatever matters relating to the operation of the casino that arise during this inquiry are matters not for me," he said.

"They are matters for the independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, and are specially in the hands of the independent inquiry that has been commissioned by the authority in the hands of Gail Furness SC."

Mr Souris was confronting a media pack for the first time since allegations were raised about the government's involvement in the Sid Vaikunta episode.

The state opposition has claimed the Premier's former communications director Peter Grimshaw used his position and his friendship with George Souris to conduct a personal vendetta against the casino operators.

Mr Souris says he has done nothing to compromise the government over the affair.

He has confirmed that he spoke to Peter Grimshaw about keeping some information secret, but said it had nothing to do with government policy.

"The conversation was deeply personal." he said.

"It had nothing to do with any decision the government was considering or any matter of policy whatsoever - nothing reflected or compromised the government."

Peter Grimshaw has was stood down from his role pending an investigation into allegations he forwarded confidential work emails.


Souris fronts media over Star allegations...

NSW Tourism Minister George Souris has defended his role in The Star casino scandal a week after being accused of hiding from the media.

Mr Souris has distanced himself from the widening scandal that began with the sacking of the The Star's boss Sid Vaikunta in February.

"This whole issue of the casino really does not reflect on anything I have done," Mr Souris said, speaking to journalists at the launch of the Sydney Racing Carnival at Bondi.

"There is nothing whatsoever that I have compromised - everything that I have done has been proper."

Mr Souris has become the lightning rod for opposition attacks over the casino, with Labor Leader John Robertson saying he had breached the ministerial code of conduct by withholding information from Premier Barry O'Farrell about an investigation into The Star.

In a text leaked to the media, Mr Souris told Mr O'Farrell's communications director Peter Grimshaw he hadn't informed the premier that one of Mr Vaikunta's alleged harassment victims was in fact Mr Grimshaw's partner.

Mr Grimshaw - who has been stood down by Mr O'Farrell over another matter - has been accused of waging a secret campaign against the casino, his former employer.

Mr Souris has been grilled in question time for two weeks over his dealings with Mr Grimshaw, with the opposition calling for him to be sacked.

He has also been accused of hiding from the media after refusing to do interviews about The Star and being absent at major announcements such as Thursday's launch of the Vivid Sydney festival.

On Monday, Mr Souris said the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) inquiry into Mr Vaikunta's sacking would focus on the "real substance of the matter".

"Matters concerning the operation of the casino itself, that is the true focus," Mr Souris told reporters.

"I can assure you not one breach of the public trust has occurred in anything that I have been involved in. No government decisions whatsoever have been compromised."

Mr Souris once again defended his decision not to tell Mr O'Farrell that Mr Grimshaw's partner was one of the casino boss's alleged victims.

"The conversation was deeply personal. It had nothing to do with any decision the government was considering, or any matter of policy whatsoever," he said.

"Nothing reflected or compromised the government. They were deeply personal, and I believe I was able to offer him a personal hearing board from which I respected the confidentiality of it."

Mr Souris's comments came as three more managers, including one who forwarded an email revealing that the casino allowed international high rollers to gamble non-stop for more than 24 hours, were sacked from the casino, Fairfax reported on Monday.

"I just don't even know anything about that," Mr Souris said.

Mr O'Farrell said he was concerned about the latest alleged breaches at The Star but was confident ILGA would investigate.

"That authority is independent, doesn't operate at the direction of government, but has shown itself proactive in the past on these issues," he told reporters in Sydney.


EPIX Celebrates Superheroes and the Legendary Stan Lee With Marvel Heroes Weekend April 27-29
--Hosted by Lee, Event Features World Television Premieres of Captain America: The First Avenger & EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story --National Free Preview Makes Marvel Heroes Weekend Available to Subscribers of Affiliated Partners...

NEW YORK, March 19, 2012 - EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service, will present Marvel Heroes Weekend, April 27 - 29, a marathon of superhero movies including Iron Man 2, Thor, the world television premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger and the EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. Hosted by legendary comic book creator Stan Lee, the marathon also includes EPIX Extra: Mighty Movie Superheroes, examining the origins and fan following of the mighty team. The weekend celebration of Marvel's famed superheroes and their creator features the movies that have led up to the highly anticipated theatrical release of The Avengers on May 4.

The EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story follows the life and creations of Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and over 200 other characters that can be found in Marvel comic books, on movie screens and in retail stores around the world.

"These action-packed superhero films are some of the most highly viewed titles among EPIX audiences across all platforms," said EPIX CEO and President Mark Greenberg. "We're excited to give fans more access than ever before to the mastermind behind it all, Stan Lee."

Marvel Heroes Weekend is part of a free preview of EPIX for all subscribers of affiliate partners, which will also showcase Hollywood blockbusters Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Rango, Conan the Barbarian, True Grit, The Lincoln Lawyer and more, along with EPIX original comedy and music events Lewis Black: In God We Rust, Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell and Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball. Over 30 million homes nationwide will have access to the free preview, including over 150 titles available On Demand and more than 3000 movie titles available online at EpixHD.com and through EPIX apps.

The weekend event and free preview will be supported by television, print, online and out of home advertising and a national contest hosted by EPIX which will send winners to the Hollywood premiere of The Avengers. For more information or to enter, visit the EPIX Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EpixHD . Additionally, EPIX has partnered with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for Avengers-themed sweepstakes promoted across Ryan Seacrest's nationally syndicated radio shows and website and across several local Clear Channel stations in the top 10 media markets.


Disney in the red after film flop John Carter...

This film has got a mixed bag of reviews. Most American media are panning it and most Australian media love it, so go figure!

John Carter is expected to lose $US200 million for Disney, dragging the studio's whole movie budget into the red.

Disney says it will take the huge operating loss on the movie, made by Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton about a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars, in its second fiscal quarter.

"In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($US184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $US200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31," Disney said in a statement.

"As a result, our current expectation is that the studio segment will have an operating loss of between $US80 and $US120 million for the second quarter."

Starring Taylor Kitsch and Willem Dafoe, the movie cost an estimated $US250 million, but was met with a mixed bag of reviews from critics when it was released earlier this month.

It was the first live action movie for Stanton, who won best animated film Oscars for Finding Nemo in 2004 and Wall-E in 2009.

He also wrote for all three Toy Story movies as well as Monsters Inc.


2013 Oscars date set...

The annual Academy Awards will be held on February 24 next year, organisers say.

And nominations for those shortlisted for prizes on Hollywood's biggest night will be unveiled on January 15.

"The ceremony will take place at the Hollywood and Highland Centre ... and will be televised live by the ABC (America) Television Network to more than 225 countries," the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement.

The name of the show's venue - the Kodak Theatre, in the heart of Hollywood - was changed at the last minute this year after the bankrupt photo company negotiated an end to its sponsorship deal.

It is unclear if the name will change by next February or remain the Hollywood and Highland Centre.

French-directed silent movie The Artist was crowned best picture at this year's show.


Theron talks about motherhood...

Actress Charlize Theron has opened up about motherhood, while promoting her new sci-fi thriller 'Prometheus' at California's 'wonder-con' convention.

The 36 year-old says it is everything she wanted, after adopting her son Jackson four months ago.

'Prometheus' is set for release later this year, marking Ridley Scott's return to the sci-fi film-making industry.

Australian actor Guy Pearce also stars in the film. Early buzz is that the film will be a hit.


Stacy Keibler to judge X Factor?...

Stacy Keibler is in talks to join 'The X Factor'.

The former professional wrestler - who is the main squeeze aka girlfriend of actor George Clooney - has reportedly been involved in a series of secret meetings about the possibility of becoming a judge on the upcoming second series of the US version of Simon Cowell's pop star search TV show.

While the blonde beauty and pop superstar Britney Spears are believed to be filling the two panel slots left vacant by axed judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, insiders have suggested Stacy's "lack of experience" in the music industry means she could be more likely to take over from former host Steve Jones.

An leak said: "Stacy Keibler is also in talks to join the show, but her lack of experience in the music business may make her more appropriate as a host. She looks fantastic and has bags of charisma."

Although Britney is believed to have been offered a deal worth $10 million to become a judge, it is alleged she is demanding "a lot more money".

A source added to the New York Post newspaper: "Talks are still ongoing with Britney and she is asking for a lot more money than was originally offered. But producers are confident Britney will realise this is a great opportunity for her to reinvent herself and accept their deal."

Show boss Simon - who is joined on the judging panel by record label chief L.A. Reid - has previously admitted he is keen for the presenter of the series to not come from a hosting background.

He said: "I always wanted a boy and a girl to host the show. And I like hosts who don't kind of have a hosting background, it's a different kind of dynamic."


HBO cancels Luck after horse deaths...

It's Dustin Hoffman's television series Luck, which earned some of its critical acclaim for its portrayal of thoroughbreds racing around the racetracks of southern California.

Off camera however the show has had some very bad luck.

The horseracing drama series Luck has been cancelled after the deaths of three horses, TV network HBO and producers say.

HBO, which is currently filming the drama's second series, has abruptly suspended the use of horses on its set following the sudden death of yet another one of its equine performers.

The series won't return for the second season run that began production last month, it said.

A horse was put down on Tuesday after it reared, fell over backwards, and hit its head.

The incident, which occurred on location at Santa Anita racetrack north of Los Angeles, was the third fatal accident involving horses in Luck's short history.

Animal rights activists are understood to be outraged by the development, and have called for police to launch an investigation into possible breaches of welfare laws.

They blamed the "outrageous" deaths on "sloppy oversights" by the makers of the show, created by the Hollywood director, Michael Mann.

HBO, for its part, can barely afford more negative publicity for the expensive show, which recently debuted in the UK on Sky.

Though heavily marketed, and despite receiving positive reviews, Luck has underperformed commercially, attracting just 625,000 viewers in the US.

In a statement, the network said it was "deeply saddened" by the horse's death.

It promised "full co-operation" with an investigation by the American Humane Association [AHA].

"Recent assertions of lax attitudes or negligence could not be further from the truth," it read.

"We will not be filming horses until AHA completes its inquiry."

This week's fatal accident was witnessed by Gary Beck, a vet.

"The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground," he said, in a statement.

Since the injury was too serious to respond to treatment, euthanasia the only appropriate move, he added.

The California Horse Racing Board, which has allowed HBO to use Santa Anita during its off-season, said that a full post mortem will now be carried out on the creature.

"Unfortunately, we see several of these injuries in the stable area every year," said its equine medical director, Rick Arthur.

"They are more common than people realise."

Hollywood's local animal welfare lobby is unlikely to be impressed with the statement.

Even before this week's events, they were investigating Luck's treatment of its equine stars, alleging that two other horses who suffered fatal accidents during the filming of the show's first series should never have been allowed on set.

The first season of Luck premiered in Australia on Showcase last Sunday.


Australian TV Ratings - Sunday 18th March 2012

1 My Kitchen Rules 1,710,000 2 Aust FIA Formula One 1,399,000 3 Sunday Night 1,304,000 4 60 Minutes 1,187,000 5 Seven News 1,179,000


Australian Box Office...

This Week TITLE Weeks In Release Last Weekend ($) Total Gross ($)

1. John Carter NEW 3,092,526 3,092,526

2. Project X 2 1,098,478 2,920,967

3. Contraband 3 727,100 4,474,648

4. This Means War 4 673,397 7,263,919

5. The Vow 5 550,206 10,439,780

6. Safe House 5 429,402 8,131,194

7. The Artist 6 406,205 3,375,922

8. The Devil Inside 2 380,884 1,339,572

9. Hugo 9 296,163 9,830,145

10. My Week With Marilyn 4 228,551 2,161,960

11. Headhunters NEW 190,187 222,992

12. A Separation 2 173,093 563,630

13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 3 145,330 1,187,455

14. The Grey 4 132,988 2,295,195

15. The Descendants 9 120,235 14,930,061


Taylor Swift Unveils Hunger Games Song "Eyes Open"...

Taylor Swift fans who can't wait to see The Hunger Games got a special treat over the weekend.

The country pop princess performed, for the first time ever, "Eyes Open," the tune she contributed to the would-be blockbuster hitting theaters this weekend.

Listen here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7b-3MhTbJU&feature=player_embedded

"I'm really excited about it…but, I mean, you don't think I'd get in trouble if I played it now? Probably not, right?" Swift teased the thousands of screaming concertgoers who packed Auckland, New Zealand's Vector Arena last night.

She then launched into a solo acoustic rendition of "Eyes Open" that began with the refrain: "Everybody's waiting/Everybody's watching/Even when you're sleeping/Keep your eye-eyes open."

The song is one of the best cuts off the Hunger Games soundtrack, which hits stores tomorrow and also includes "Safe & Sound," which Swift wrote and performed with the singer-songwriter duo Civil Wars, along with ditties from Arcade Fire, Maroon 5 and Miranda Lambert among others.

"Do you like it?" Swift asked the crowd, and her fans do nuts.


WWE Sheamus Visit To Sydney On St. Patrick's Day News...

It was great to see WWE make the effort to bring Sheamus to Sydney, Australia this past Saturday. Sheamus was friendly to all of the fans (he got to meet). What wasn't so great was the way many fans missed out on the opp to meet him, and the miscommunication of information about the visit. One DVD - music distribution company published the wrong venue in their media and fan send outs, so some fans and media ended up going to Blacktown Big W instead of Bankstown Big W. Many fans and a number of media were also treated poorly by some security guards. It's a shame that one or two bad apples can spoil the show and put a black mark on the event. Media Man is hopeful that Sheamus goes on to win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 28 as he faces champion Daniel Bryan. By the way, check out the revamped WWE website which is very social media focused and looks fantastic.


WWE signs Australian Wrestler...
 
WWE has signed an Aussie! Sonny Elliot (formally Danny Bolton). Sonny was South Australian based and trained with Lance Storm in Canada. He was recently added to the main FCW roster. We wish Sonny well as his career continues.

That's it fans. Stay tuned to Media Man and Street Corner for more entertainment news and scoops daily.

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