Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beachley Classic Women's World Tour Surfing: Dee Why, Sydney, Australia - 21st April 2012

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Courtney Conlogue Claims the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Crown...

DEE WHY, Sydney NSW/AUS (Saturday, April 21, 2012) – Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, has won the prestigious 2012 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, over Malia Manuel (HAW), 18, at Dee Why beach today. In clean, but challenging two-to-three foot (1.5 meter) waves, the world’s best female surfers battled head-to-head for the biggest prize purse on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, with Conlogue taking home USD$30,000.

Stop No. 4 of 7 on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, run by seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley, has caused some interesting twists and turns in the race for the coveted ASP Women’s World Title. Yesterday saw the early exit of reigning ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), 19. Then today the current ASP Women’s World No. 1 and 2 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, both bowed out in the Quarterfinals.

Conlogue who has won multiple ASP 6-Star events, today claimed her maiden win on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, a feat that sees her jump to 4th on the ratings. Conlogue and Manuel battled through the stacked field of competitors to reach the Final. The dying swell made conditions difficult, but Conlogue found the best waves that allowed her to execute multiple powerful turns.

“I’m speechless right now!” Conlogue said. “It’s been two years on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour where I kept losing in the Quarterfinals. Then today after winning my Quarterfinal I just tried to go and win the thing. Malia (Manuel) was surfing great in the Final, even though the waves were tricky. I’m really stoked to have won this event! I love Steph (Gilmore) and Sally (Fitzgibbons) and to have them chair me up the beach was absolutely amazing!”

Manuel’s run to the Final wasn’t easy, defeating Gilmore and Tyler Wright (AUS), 18, in the morning’s Quarterfinal and Semifinal. Manuel’s smooth style and tail drifting turns saw her earn big scores and new fans all event. Her red-hot run was only ended by Conlogue’s superior wave selection. Manuel is now equal 6th on the ASP World Championship Tour, and she is now the highest ranked 2012 rookie.

“I’m really relieved to get a good result here at Dee Why,” Manuel said. “I’m happy to move up the ratings. It’s a great confidence boost going into the next three events. I’m really stoked to make a final in my rookie year. I hope the battle for ASP Rookie Of The Year goes down to the last contest. It’s really close between me and Lakey (Peterson). I’m not going to count her out.”

Rebecca Woods (AUS), 28, and Wright were the highest placed Australian surfers, both finishing equal 3rd place. Wright has placed 3rd three times this year, but this is Woods’ best result of the 2012 season and is sure to help her requalification campaign.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling at the moment,” Woods said. “I’ve had a few last places this year, so in some regards I was just happy to put it together for a few heats. I’ve made about nine Semifinals in my life and still never made it into that elusive Final. It’s good to be pushed by the younger girls. I woke up this morning and thought Courtney (Conlogue) was going to win today, then she was on my side of the draw and I cursed myself for putting that in my head. Then she beat me and won the contest, so I was right.”

Gilmore, four-time ASP Women’s World Champion, suffered a shock early exit at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic today. Gilmore has had three final appearances in the first three events of the year, and today added a respectable equal 5th place finish to her tally. In testing conditions Gilmore was bested by an in-form Manuel, who also defeated her in their non-elimination Round 3 match-up yesterday.

“It’s disappointing,” Gilmore said. “But it’s not a terrible result for me. I feel really strong. When there’s great waves on offer I feel like I’m surfing great. It’s just a matter of getting those waves and I didn’t get them today. I’m looking forward to heading over to Brazil and finding the form I had in the first few events.”

Fitzgibbons went down in the Quarterfinals to eventual event winner Conlogue. Fitzgibbons held an early lead with two mid-range scores, but Conlogue snared the best wave of the heat and tore it apart with some impressive turns, netting a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) and won the heat.

“This is the worst part about what we do,” Fitzgibbons said. “Today I just wasn’t good enough. When you’re feeling strong, you really want to progress through to that Final. I got some early scores and it was really challenging out there. That one wave popped up for Courtney (Conlogue) and she grabbed a 9.00, which is the highest score of the day. I’m really happy for her. She’s a good friend and she trains and surfs really hard and that paid off today.”

More info www.ASPWorldTour.com

COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC FINAL RESULTS:
1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.17
2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.56

COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.67 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.33 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.10

COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.43 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.50
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.47
QF 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.73 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.73
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.97 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.34

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR TOP 6 (after the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic):
1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
3: Tyler Wright (AUS)
4: Courtney Conlogue (USA)
5: Carissa Moore (HAW)
6: Laura Enever (AUS)
6: Malia Manuel (HAW)

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Identity of The Star's casino whale gamblers suppressed - 21st April 2012

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Gambling Casinos The Star Echo Entertainment World Casino Directory





The identities of the Star casino's biggest international high-roller whales and their gambling histories have been suppressed by the Supreme Court after the casino's owner, Echo Entertainment, won an interim order prohibiting their publication.

The court also suppressed publication of reports by casino staff and government inspectors about alleged incidents at the Star.

The details were broadcast on Monday by the ABC's 7.30 program, which named the two biggest high-rollers and the amounts they have gambled, based on leaked information.

On Thursday, Echo Entertainment won a temporary injunction, forcing removal from the ABC website of details of the high-rollers and information contained in the reports.

It is understood a letter of demand from Echo sought surrender all the documents by the ABC and a guarantee it would not use them in future stories.

The interim court order has forced the ABC to censor the transcript of its program online and edit out reference to the high-rollers and the reports from its archived story until a full hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing is expected to decide if the incident reports and reports by government inspectors should be returned to the casino. The documents also have been subpoenaed by the inquiry into the Star being conducted by Gail Furness, SC, for the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

The inquiry was launched after the sacking of the Star's managing director, Sid Vaikunta, in February for sexually harassing two women managers.

The inquiry has also heard allegations that bad behaviour by high-rollers is tolerated at the Star because of how much they gamble. The inquiry is due to report by April 30.

The 7.30 program aired claims by a former government casino inspector, Thomas Lin, who left the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority in 2008, that the authority had not acted on incident reports prepared by inspectors.

The authority said its records show it has acted on all recommendation since July 2010.

A spokesman for Echo Entertainment said, "Echo believes it is important to take steps to protect its confidential customer information."

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Delta Goodrem performing artist appearance at Westfield, Miranda, Sydney - 18th April 2012

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Today Australian singer - songwriter Delta Goodrem performed her latest single in centre at Westfield Miranda, ahead of the much anticipated release of her fourth album.

The singer, songwriter, pianist, actress and most recently coach of Channel 9’s The Voice, is one of the most accomplished female performers of the last decade, having achieved multi-platinum selling status, eight number-one singles and three number-one albums.

The Australian public first met Delta during her role on Neighbours during which she launched her debut album Innocent Eyes, spending a record-breaking 29 weeks at No.1 in Australia.

In 2010 she was declared ARIA Albums Artist of The Decade after each of the albums five singles reached no.1 in Australia, breaking a record held by Kylie Minogue and the Beatles.

The recordings from her latest album are expected to provide an insight into the place she feels the most at home, barefoot at the piano, in song.

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Seal performs at Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia - 19th April 2012

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Tonight the legendary Seal played to an appreciative audience at the soon to be demolished Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Seal sounded and looked great, but at times was a little hard to see, as the background was quite dark in places.

The song that many came to hear live was 'Kiss from a Rose', which appeared in the soundtrack to the 1995 comic book movie 'Batman Forever'.

As you would expect, most of the fans went home very happy.

We wish Seal well with the rest of his tour and stay in Australia.

Other news

Speculation whether or not Seal and Australian singer - songwriter, and co judge on 'The Voice', Delta Goodrem are at item, however Seal tells news media that they are just good friends.

On March 10, 2012, Seal shared the stage with Kanye West, Soul Rebels Brass Band and Snoop Dogg at Brad Pitt’s Night to Make It Right Foundation New Orleans after-party, hosted by comedian Aziz Ansari. The charity event, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, raised money to build homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Seal has cancelled some of his Australian dates via promoter Dainty Group.

The Dainty website states: We are sad to announce that Seal’s scheduled shows in Perth and Canberra will unfortunately not proceed, due to ongoing scheduling conflicts with Seal’s international and Australian work schedule.

A spokesman for Seal said: "Due to further adjustments to Seal’s hectic touring and filming schedule while in Australia, we’ve had to make the difficult decision not to proceed with these two shows.  However, the remaining shows in Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Sydney will definitely proceed as scheduled.:

Thank you to those involved with making tonight a success.

Stay tuned to this station for updates.

About Seal

Seal (Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) was born 19 February 1963 in Paddington, London, England).

His stage name is Seal and he is a British soul and R&B singer-songwriter, of Nigerian and Brazilian background. Seal has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1992, four Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award. Seal is known for his numerous international hits; the best known being "Kiss from a Rose", which appeared in the soundtrack to the 1995 film Batman Forever. He has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. He is a coach on The Voice Australia.

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Superhero Film The Avengers Divides Comic Fans; Stan Lee to host 'Avengers' screening at Catalina Film Festival...

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Promotion: PartyCasino.com Marvel Slot Games - $3000 sign up bonus

Superhero Film The Avengers Divides Comic Fans...

The latest film from the Marvel superhero franchise has premiered in London and although it is expected to be a mega hit at the box office some comic book fans are already critical.

Marvel Avengers Assemble not only features an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson, it also brings together superheroes including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

Downey Jr said it was "a blast" to be in London, saying: "It's been five years since our last adventure so I'm happy and humbled to be here."

But for some hardcore devotees of the comics, it is yet another film which "dumbs down" the Marvel books.

Comic book expert, Chris Thompson, told media that although the films help bring the comics to a wider audience, they harm the Marvel legacy.

He said: "One of the down sides is that they often to pander to this market and almost try to dumb down and take away what is great about the comics to cater to the audience.

"So it is very disappointing that you get a glut of very mediocre film titles that come out that don't show comics at their best."

Early reviews, though, indicate this is not one of the "mediocre" movies.

Influential industry magazine Variety tweeted: "Not a false note. Innovative. Brutal. And goddamn funny. Hype = believe it. It's the bomb. I could not possibly say enough."

Written and directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, the film is based on Marvel series The Avengers, first published in 1963.

Johansson said she enjoyed reprising the role of the feisty Black Widow, originally seen in Iron Man 2, despite the injuries she suffered doing her own stunts.

"It's nice to be able to play a female character that's not a damsel in distress or some woman in waiting but to actually play someone who's got a lot of conviction and who is really ready to kick some booty," she said.

It is part of a number of superhero films to be released in the past few years, including Thor, the Iron Man films, Captain America and the forthcoming Spiderman movie starring Brit actor Andrew Garfield.

The Avengers was made following the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment by Walt Disney studios in 2009, with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 also in development.

Marvel Avengers Assemble also stars Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston.

The 3D film is released in cinemas on April 26.


Stan Lee to host 'Avengers' screening at Catalina Film Festival...

If you want to do brunch with comic book king, Stan Lee, it will cost you -- right now about $1,550.

That's the current minimum bid for a shot at attending a VIP brunch at the Catalina Film Festival on May 5 with the co-creator of Spider-man, the Hulk and a slew of other famous characters. The winning bidder gets a seat at the table and other cool stuff, including passes to the film festival in Avalon on Catalina Island, two autographed comic books and ferry tickets to get there and back.

Bidding ends noon Pacific time Thursday, and of course it's all for charity. Proceeds benefit the film festival and the Catalina Island Conservancy.

But brunch isn't the only Lee-centric event at the three-day festival. The former Marvel Comics president, who co-founded the new POW! Entertainment company, also will host a special screening of "The Avengers" on the film's opening weekend. He'll introduce a showing of the documentary "With Great Power -- The Stan Lee Story" and appear on a panel to answer questions about his work and his life.

And on opening night (May 4), he will be presented with the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Award, which  gives a nod to films and filmmakers who espouse "a philosophy of individual opportunity, optimism and pride," a film festival statement says.

The festival, May 4-6, will feature 75 films and present awards for animation (Lee will present this award), feature, documentary, student, short and other categories. Films will be shown at the Avalon Casino Theater and other venues. Tickets range from $8 for students and seniors to individual screenings to $150 for a weekend pass to $2,000 for two VIP guests.


Marvel's IRON MAN 3 to Be Co-Produced in China; The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment to Bring Super Hero to China...

SHANGHAI & BEIJING & LOS ANGELES, Apr 16, 2012 - The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment today announced the intention to co-produce IRON MAN 3 in China. Under the arrangement, DMG Entertainment will make an investment in the production of IRON MAN 3, manage the Chinese co-production process, and jointly produce the film in China. The Chinese portion of IRON MAN 3's production will run through DMG Entertainment in coordination with Marvel Studios' production and creative teams. DMG will also distribute IRON MAN 3 in China in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company China.

IRON MAN 3 will be the third movie in the billion-dollar plus franchise from Marvel and stars a returning cast including Robert Downey Jr. (as billionaire inventor Tony Stark) Gwyneth Paltrow (as Pepper Potts) and Don Cheadle (as James "Rhodey" Rhodes). IRON MAN 3 is produced by Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D'Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard and Dan Mintz. The film is being directed by Shane Black who is working on the script with Drew Pearce. The film releases in the United States on May 3, 2013, and is being distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in all territories worldwide other than in China (which is being distributed by DMG Entertainment) and Germany/Austria (which is being distributed by the Tele Munchen Group).

"The popularity of the Marvel franchise globally creates a huge opportunity to deliver fans yet another action packed film," said Stanley Cheung, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company, Greater China. "The co-production of IRON MAN 3 in China is testimony to the importance of this audience to Disney and the local industry capability to deliver a blockbuster title," he added.

"We look forward to working alongside DMG to bring IRON MAN to the Chinese marketplace in a significant way. We are confident that Marvel's stories will continue to be enjoyed by Chinese audiences, and adding a local flavor, and working with our new local partner, will enhance the appeal and relevance of our characters in China's fast-growing film marketplace," said Rob Steffens, General Manager of Operations and Finance for Marvel Studios.

"Our collaboration with Disney and Marvel marks a milestone in the global entertainment landscape, as this signifies the first multi-billion dollar franchise to be produced between Hollywood and China," said Dan Mintz, CEO of DMG Entertainment. "The IRON MAN franchise has been a major success worldwide, and we look forward to pushing the series to new heights with IRON MAN 3. The movie will further build upon its compelling storyline, and feature the hottest A-list stars, and spectacular action, which will resonate well both globally and in China, the second largest box office market in the world."

The first installment of IRON MAN lifted off with high-speed, high-flying action when jet-setting industrialist Tony Stark survives an unexpected attack and escapes by building a high-tech robotic suit of armor. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man. Straight from the pages of the legendary comic book, Iron Man is a hero who is built--not born--to be unlike any other and made US$581 million at the global box office when released in 2008. Based on Marvel's iconic Super Hero, IRON MAN 2 continued the story of the 2008 summer box office blockbuster IRON MAN, and made US$624 million at the global box office when released in 2010. Now, IRON MAN 3 continues the story with a new chapter that will deliver more heart-pounding action than ever before. Marvel Studios' IRON MAN 3 will find Tony Stark with his back against the wall, facing his most fearsome foes yet.

Shooting is expected to commence in May in the United States and begin location filming in China in late summer 2012.

About The Walt Disney Company in China

The Walt Disney Company DIS -0.45%, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified international family entertainment enterprise with five business segments and is a Dow 30 company with revenues of $41 billion in its most recently reported fiscal year. Disney's first animation screened in China in the 1930s and today our long association continues with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with over 1000 employees. The Company has a broad range of businesses including publishing, broadcast, mobile, web, retail and its English language program, Disney English, which launched in 2008. Nearly 24 hours of Disney television programming is now available in China every week, reaching 300-360 million people each month. In September 2005, Disney opened its doors to its first theme park in China, Hong Kong Disneyland and in 2011 announced ground breaking for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, a joint venture with Shanghai Shendi Group.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com . Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.

About DMG Entertainment

Founded in China in 1993, DMG owns and operates a premier entertainment company (DMG Entertainment), and an award-winning communications agency (DMG Media), possessing nearly 20 years of experience. DMG Entertainment is a leader in China's film market through the production of a diverse portfolio of commercially driven films, including 2009's The Founding of a Republic, 2010's Go Lala Go!, and 2011's Beginning of the Great Revival, as well as through the distribution of Hollywood titles such as Twilight, Knowing, Killers, Resident Evil: Afterlife, RED, The Eagle, and Priest. DMG Entertainment has also produced Hollywood/China films including Looper set for release in 2012. DMG Media has provided strategic and creative campaigns for international brands looking to connect with Chinese consumers through DMG's all-encompassing platform. SOURCE: The Walt Disney Company China

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Friday, April 20, 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.

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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.

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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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Thursday, April 19, 2012

IGT Sex and The City - Human Statue Bodyart

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Today was a important day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's the third and final day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been brighter or so politically red hot.  My company, Human Statue Bodyart, was delighted to be in the thick of the action. Enter the events world of the Gaming Technologies Association...

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day three at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally.

Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. It appeared they're were more exhibitors than "punters".

It's a huge production, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear.

While big name companies like IGT somewhat dominated the event, it was impossible not to also recognise some of the smaller operations, as well as a few of IGT's competitors of sorts, thanks to their considerable branding and marketing efforts.

Here's the list of all of entities I was blessed to be able to speak with and photograph:

IGT
Aristocrat Technologies Australia
Ainsworth
Bally
Maxgaming
Keno
Paynter Dixon Hospitality
Tenrod Australia
Rohrig
Choice Paper & Imaging
Allpride Signs & Marketing
Paltronics Australasia
Maximun Light

As you can see from our photographs showcased on our Flickr, a great time was had by all, and the event was largely a success for all involved.

For the record, some of my personal favorite games are 'Sex And The City', 'The Phantom', 'Queen Of The Nile', 'Aussie Gold', 'Rose Tattoo', 'Jaws', 'Wheel Of Fortune' and Keno.

It's going to be interesting to see what poker machine manufacture is the one that will step up to battle with the red hot IGT slot - 'Sex And The City'. Will it be Australia's own Aristocrat or an international entrant.

Good on the organisers for also having coffee and bites on hand. 4.5 stars out of 5 for an excellent event, and we'll look forward to being on hand next year for more of the fun and games that is the Australasian Gaming Expo.

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Wrestling News Media: 'Wrestlemania' sets PPV record for WWE, Australia; Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brock Lesnar, Australian Wrestling Promotions

Wrestling News Media: 'Wrestlemania' sets PPV record for WWE, Australia; Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brock Lesnar, Australian Wrestling Promotions...

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Wrestling fans aka sports entertainment fans out there. Here's your latest fix of pro wrestling news Australian style...

WrestleMania 28 sets PPV record for WWE...

April 1 event drew 1.3 million pay-per-view buys...

WrestleMania 28 set a new record for WWE, generating 1.3 million pay-per-view buys for the event, held April 1 at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

The company earned $67 million from the event, its largest PPV offering each year. The number combines PPV and live-event revenue from ticket sales and merchandise. Event also set a new attendance record for the stadium, with 78,363 filled seats.

Last year's show, hosted in Atlanta, generated revenue of $35.9 million for the company on more than 1 million PPV buys -- a mark WWE had been keen to reach after years of declines. The 2010 event, from Phoenix, counted 885,000 buys.

The rocket in buys this year is being attributed to the main match-up between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena, which WWE promoted for a year.

The Rock was brought in for the mega event, and so was Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker wrestled his first match in about a year, and Chris Jericho returned for a classic WWE Championship match and with CM Punk.

"WrestleMania 28" was available as a PPV event in more than 105 countries.

Australia is understood to have been "An origin of an usually high amount of buys for WrestleMania", according to the Media Man agency commentator, who has been doing the ring around to those in the know.

"WrestleMania 29" is scheduled to take place April 7, 2013, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

WWE Superstar and Hollywood mega movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has already committed to WrestleMania 29, and its expected that his likely opponent will be either Brock Lesnar or John Cena, but WWE could throw fans a swerve, with numerous former WWE wrestlers (and other top talent) currently being in negotiation with the company.

Thus far 2012 is shaping up to be an awesome year for WWE fans, and let's hope they keep up the great work.


Australian Wrestling Fans: WrestleMania 28 Foxtel Main Event PPV...

Fans, you did it. We understand WrestleMania 28 was the most popular pro wrestling PPV in terms of buy rates ever for Australia.

In a few short weeks WWE will present its next PPV 'Extreme Rules', headlined by Brock Lesnar VS John Cena, as well as CM Punk VS Chris Jericho (Chicago Street Fight), and Sheamus VS Daniel Bryan in 2/3 falls.

Traditionally, 'Extreme Rules' hasn't been a very popular PPV for the sports entertainment giant, but this years Cena VS Lesnar main event is expected to draw massive interest and numbers.


Brock Lesnar Returns To WWE RAW; Potential WrestleMania 29 Appearance?!

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has returned to WWE RAW, the night after WrestleMania 28 no less!

The crowd pop was similar in off the planet reaction - not unlike when Hulk Hogan first defeated The Iron Sheik for the title at the world's most famous arena - Madison Square Garden, way back on the 23rd January 1984.

Wrestling experts the world over have been having their say regarding Lesnar's return, with Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor, Dave Meltzer leading the charge as is usually the case...

"Brock will never go full time to pro wrestling," Meltzer said. "Brock will do a WrestleMania for a huge payoff, maybe he'll do two or three more pro wrestling matches and it will wear off."

Meltzer was only half right. Lesnar did not participate at WrestleMania, and but did confront John Cena in the ring and deliver the F5 to him on RAW.

That episode screened on Australian TV via Foxtel's FOX8 last week.


Pro Wrestling In Perth, West Australia...

All Action Wrestling: Anniversary 6 - Featuring Orlando Jordan and Paul London

Western Australia's All Action Wrestling (AAW) presents it Anniversary VI Event April 14 2012. ANNIVERSARY VI is AAW's biggest show ever produced and promises to bring fans in Perth what could be the biggest show in Australian Wrestling History! Two former WWE Superstars in Paul London and current AAW World Champion Orlando Jordan, A Main Event Steel Cage Match, Money in the Bank, and a possable career ending match for Wayne "The Maniac" Mattei! You dont want to miss this HUGE Event!

AAW have announced the following Event Card.

* Main Event *
- STEEL CAGE MATCH
- AAW World Heavyweight Championship -
Orlando Jordan (c) vs "The Australian Sensation" Craven

* International Challange *
Paul London vs James Grace

* Possable Career Ending Match *
Wayne "The Maniac" Mattei vs The Shark
-If Maniac looses he must retire

* Money in the Bank Ladder Match *
JC Blade v Corvus v Joey Angel v Viper v Tyler Throne v Danny Andrews

* AAW Women's Championship *
Imogen Jane (c) vs PWAQ's Storm (with AV)

* AAW Tag Team Championship *
Australia's Most Wanted vs B-Money & Josh Page

* Australian Championship *
Julian Ross (c) vs Casey Hanson

Card Subject to Change without notice.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT SHAVER SHOP IN ROCKINGHAM OR ONLINE AT www.allactionwrestling.com​.au
$15 for single or $50 for a family pass (4 People)

LOP will feature the results of the show on April 16.


AWF SUPANOVA MELBOURNE 2012 DAY 1; MELBOURNE, VIC - SAT 14 APR, 2012...

Royal Showgrounds
Melbourne, VIC

2 huge days of AWF - 3 times daily! Will be a massive weekend!!

AWF Wrestling @ Supanova Pop Culture Expo Melbourne
Shows: Sat 14 & Sun 15 April: 12am, 2pm, 4pm daily
Melbourne Showgrounds, Epsom Road, Ascot Vale, Victoria

Details on Supanova Pop Culture Expo & tickets on sale from 1 March can be found at www.supanova.com.au


AWF AUSTRALIA VS THE WORLD; SYDNEY, NSW - SAT 12 MAY, 2012...

Parramatta RSL Club
Parramatta
Sydney, NSW

Australia Versus The World

Saturday 12 May - 7pm
Parramatta RSL, Parramatta, NSW

Best of 7 Australia Vs The World Theme - Will be a great night!

Scheduled Card:
Esteban Molina Vs Iron Ben Coles
Mad Turk Hussain Vs Aussie Ozbone
Apollo Vs Powerhouse Theo
Island Tribe Vs Party Trix
Diego Del Fuego Vs Spaceboy Dacey
Aroura Vs Mighty Mel
TBC Vs Jack Tasman

All ages event - book early and be there!

Keep checking Street Corner, Wrestling News Media and the official WWE network for more on these developing news stories and more.

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$1 Million WSOP Event up to 30 Entrants; Scott Seiver Wins PartyPoker Premier League V

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$1 Million WSOP Event up to 30 Entrants...

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, along with the World Series of Poker (WSOP), announced Thursday that this summer’s $1,000,000 buy-in WSOP event has added eight more entrants, increasing the field to a stout 30 players. The tournament, called the Big One for ONE DROP, is now on pace to feature the largest first prize in poker history.

In December, it was announced that 22 players had been confirmed for the event, just shy of half the 48-player maximum. Joining such poker luminaries as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Bobby Baldwin, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius are:

Bob Bright – CEO, Bright Trading
Cary Katz – CEO, College Loan Corporation
Arnaud Mimran – French businessman
Paul Newey – Co-founder, New Wave Ventures, LLP. (UK)
Paul Phua – Asian businessman
Erik Seidel – Poker pro
Justin Smith – Poker pro
Richard Yong – Asian businessman

With $111,111 of the $1,000,000 dollar buy-in going to ONE DROP, the 30-player field brings the total prize pool to $26,666,670. According to a payout structure table provided by the WSOP, the winner of the tournament at its current size will earn $12,266,668.20, or 46 percent of the prize pool. That would break the record for the largest prize ever awarded in a poker tournament, live or online. The current record is $12,000,000, won by Jamie Gold in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

ONE DROP is a charitable organization which seeks to provide access to clean, drinkable water to people around the world. In a press release, Laliberté, who himself is participating in the tournament, said, “It is an exciting moment and it is wonderful to see the poker community’s generosity, where organizations, players and fans are all coming together to support ONE DROP. Whether entering the BIG ONE for ONE DROP, becoming a poker ambassador, making a donation, or simply changing their water consumption habits, everyone can get involved and everyone should be concerned, because a child dies every 20 seconds from a water related disease and that together we can beat the odds.”

As it stands now, over $3.33 million from the tournament is earmarked for ONE DROP. And while 30 players signing up for a $1 million buy-in event is phenomenal, WSOP officials expect the tournament to reach its cap of 48 players. Should that happen, the prize pool will hit $40,000,000, with $17,200,002.15 going to the winner.

The continued growth of the Big One for ONE DROP will be aided by live satellites scheduled to be held at casinos around the country. The next satellite will be at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The direct buy-in for the “Main Event” satellite is $500 with 40 percent of the prize pool going to the winner. That first prize is guaranteed to include at least the $25,300 buy-in to the Official World Series of Poker the Big One Satellite on Saturday, June 30th in Las Vegas, where at least one $1,000,000 seat in the Big One will be awarded. Also included in the Canterbury Park prize packages is airfare and lodging. Qualifiers for the Canterbury Park $500 satellite will run May 7th through May 12th and will feature both $65 and $125 buy-ins. (Credit: Poker News Daily)


Scott Seiver Wins PartyPoker Premier League V...

Going into the final table of the PartyPoker Premier League V, many in the poker community were hoping the Mathew Frankland’s Cinderella story would continue for one more day. Frankland, one of two players in the field who had to qualify to get into the game, began Tuesday with the largest chip stack, a reward for earning the most points in the preliminary heats. It was not to be for Frankland against an all-star table, though, as he bowed out in 7th place. Emerging triumphant just a few days shy of his 27th birthday was Scott Seiver, who gave himself a sweet early birthday gift of half a million dollars.

Though there were seasoned vets such as Erik Seidel, Phil Laak, and Tony G at the table, it came down to two of the young guns, Seiver and 22-year old online phenom Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, for the championship. The two started heads-up play in almost a dead heat in chips – Cates with 1.295 million and Seiver with 1.245 million. Within minutes, though, Seiver took a 500,000 chip lead, picking up many of those when he moved all-in with pocket Kings, forcing Cates to fold after a three-bet.

Just minutes later, Seiver stretched his lead to 2-to-1. With blinds at 20,000/40,000, Cates had to make a move quickly. A pocket pair was as good a hand as many with which to make that move, so Cates got it all-in pre-flop with 7-7. Seiver was all-in, as well (having Cates covered, of course), settling for a coin flip with K-Q. Cates had to have been happy with the flop, as it came down T-T-4, which both denied Seiver a pair and severely limited any straight possibilities. The 3 on the turn was fantastic, too, as Seiver now had just six outs. Unless you skipped everything to this point, you already know that the percentages were not with Cates on the river. Seiver spiked a King to give him the title and the $500,000 first prize.

Here is a look at the final table standings and prize payouts:

1.    Scott Seiver – $500,000
2.    Daniel Cates – $300,000
3.    Phil Laak – $175,000
4.    Patrik Antonius – $125,000
5.    Tony G – $100,000
6.    Tom Dwan – $80,000
7.    Mathew Frankland – $65,000
8.    Sam Trickett – $55,000

But that’s not all. Each player in the PartyPoker Premier League V received $2,000 for each point earned in the preliminary heats. The standings based on total winnings remained almost the same after including the bonus money. The only change was Frankland moving up from 7th to 6th in the money rankings, the result of his winning $80,000 in the preliminary rounds. All 16 players won prize money, though only Seiver, Cates, Laak, Patrik Antonius, Tony G, Frankland, and Tom Dwan made enough to cover the $125,000 buy-in. Because Frankland won his seat, though, his winnings were all profit. The same was true for Ben Wilinofsky, which is fortunate, as he took home just $2,000. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

2012 PartyPoker Premier League V – Final Payouts

Scott Seiver – $560,000
Daniel Cates – $376,000
Phil Laak – $233,000
Patrik Antonius – $189,000
Tony G – $160,000
Mathew Frankland – $145,000
Tom Dwan – $136,000
Sam Trickett – $121,000
Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $58,000
Andy Frankenberger – $56,000
Erik Seidel – $48,000
Vanessa Selbst – $46,000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – $36,000
Eugene Katchalov – $18,000
Luke Schwartz – $14,000
Ben Wilinofsky – $4,000


Star investigator dismisses 'Sniffing Sid' rumours...

An investigator at Sydney's Star casino has told an inquiry he does not believe his former boss Sid Vaikunta was using drugs while in charge of the business.

Kevin Houlahan, the casino's investigations manager, is giving evidence this morning at a public hearing by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Gail Furness SC is presiding over the inquiry to examine the sacking of Mr Vaikunta, as well as claims of sexual harassment and a culture of bullying at the Star.

The inquiry heard yesterday from former staff member Elizabeth Ward, who believed Mr Vaikunta used drugs.

Ms Ward said that the casino's general manager came to be known to staff by the nickname "Sniffing Sid".

Mr Houlahan has told the hearing he had heard of the nickname and rumours that Mr Vaikunta used cocaine.

But the former policeman said Mr Vaikunta never showed any signs of being a drug user in his dealings with him.

"Mr Vaikunta made it very clear to me that he was against drug use, that he had been subjected to drug testing whilst he worked previously in the United States and that he was more than happy to introduce drug testing within the workplace here," Mr Houlahan told the inquiry.

Star spokesman Brad Schmidt yesterday condemned the claims of Mr Vaikunta's drug use.

The inquiry heard yesterday that a five centimetre line of fine white powder was found in a bathroom in a high roller section of the casino.

Ms Ward said she believed the powder was cocaine, but that it was switched for cement dust before it was tested.

Security questioned

Mr Houlahan has told the inquiry he was on annual leave when the powder was discovered in December.

He said when he returned to work and was updated on the matter he felt that several steps had been missed.

Mr Houlahan said the powder should have been photographed in situ, and it should have been appropriately bagged.

The inquiry into the casino also heard details of an anonymous report suggesting staff wiped evidence of Mr Vaidunka being drunk on the premises.

Mr Houlahan said he had no reason to believe security staff had deleted video footage showing Mr Vaikunta being removed from the building.

He says he questioned two security workers and he believes their responses.

"I interviewed two other staff members within the surveillance department to which I expressed the concerns about how or why the system works, can footage be deleted, have they ever been requested to delete footage, to which they both returned that no they'd never been asked and there is no way that you can delete footage," he said.

Counsel assisting the inquiry Michael Wigney put an allegation to Mr Houlahan, that he had once told a high roller, "You need to stay off the drugs".

But Mr Houlahan flatly dismissed the suggestion.

"I deny that conversation ever took place," he said.

The casino's chief executive, Larry Mullin, also faced questioning today.

Mr Mullin worked with Mr Vaikunta in the United States before they came to work at the Star.

Mr Wigney asked Mr Mullin about claims he and Mr Vaikunta were once at a bar in the casino where a female colleague was drinking.

Mr Vaikunta allegedly told bar staff to keep serving the woman shots, despite the fact she was drunk.

Mr Mullin told the inquiry he had no memory of the alleged incident.

Mr Wigney also asked if the casino put its business interests ahead of rules, but Mr Mullin said that was not the case.

"(We) keep them happy within the framework of what's legal," he said.

Mr Mullin said the media has misrepresented the casino.


Asian operators give Vegas casino titans run for their money...

MACAU/LAS VEGAS - Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who became one of the world's richest men by creating a casino empire in Las Vegas and Macau, is doubling down on his bets in Asia, the hottest gambling market on the planet where his Singapore operation made $1 billion the first year it was opened.

The 78-year chairman of Las Vegas Sands, the world's biggest gambling company by market capitalisation, looked supremely confident when he opened his new $4.4 billion casino last week in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, the world's largest gambling destination where bettors spent $33.5 billion last year compared to Las Vegas, which took in $6 billion.

Speaking at the opening of his Sands Cotai Central on April 11, Adelson outlined plans to spend billions more developing casinos in Vietnam, Korea and Japan, in addition to the $35 billion he plans to spend on a Spanish casino-resort complex.

Rivals Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are also staking their own claims throughout Asia for growth.

It's not all an American story however. Asian players like Malaysia's Genting, Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Crown, are aggressively raising the ante as they expand on their home turf.

Rise of the Asian titan

The race to conquer the Asian casino world is already heating up in the Philippines where Asian brokerage CLSA forecasts gambling revenue to grow from US$1.3 billion in 2011 to US$3 billion in 2015 once three new resorts are completed.

Genting, controlled by Malaysian businessman Lim Kok Thay, controls and is developing casinos in the Philippines through its Genting Hong Kong unit, while parent Genting Group is developing a casino in Vietnam with local asset management group VinaCapital, according to Vietnamese media.

Galaxy and Melco, which both sit on prime real estate on Macau's coveted casino strip, are also interested in investing in the Philippines, Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp, told Reuters in February.

The firms currently developing or operating casinos in the Philippines include Belle Corp, Bloomberry Resorts, Universal Entertainment and Travellers, a joint venture between Genting and Alliance Global.

"Countries like Singapore have provided a very good template for emerging jurisdictions looking to liberalize gaming entertainment," said Steven Tight, president of international development for U.S. giant Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Caesars does not operate a casino in Macau, but is itself expanding in Asia and is building a luxury resort in China's southern tourist destination, Hainan, where gambling is illegal.

Genting Singapore, armed with a hefty cash reserve of some S$3.9 billion ($3.1 billion) as of March 2012, has in the past two months raised around S$2.3 billion in debt, suggesting it is likely to push ahead with expansion plans and global acquisitions in the near term, analysts said.

Loss of face

The Asian expansion by U.S. operators has not been without controversy. Government officials in several potential Asian gambling jurisdictions considering which operators will be awarded a license are growing weary of the negative headline risk that Las Vegas operators bring with them, executives said.

Sands and Wynn are both embroiled in legal battles in the United States and Macau. Sands is fighting lawsuits filed against it by its former Macau chief executive and a former Taiwanese business partner while Wynn is being investigated for a HK$1 billion ($130 million) donation to the University of Macau.

Alleged bribes for Philippine regulators became the centerpiece of litigation in the United States between Wynn and its largest shareholder, Kazuo Okada. The case is now before a federal court in Nevada.

Okada, one of Japan's richest men whose Universal Entertainment manufactures pachinko machines, is building a casino resort in the Philippines and is reported to be investing in South Korea.

"Since entering Macau, all three Las Vegas-based operators have had international headlines that have caused humiliation and 'loss of face' for their Chinese partners and government officials," said Matthew Ossolinski, chairman of Ossolinski Holdings, a global emerging markets fund that invests in casinos and other gambling-related companies. "Some government officials in Asia are now wondering: is it worth it?"

Leaving Las Vegas?

Meanwhile, U.S. operators committed to a future in Asia could make a bold move to leave Las Vegas by delisting and selling their U.S. properties, which could free them from various U.S. legal constraints.

"It would be creating a sort of international hybrid gaming company: an established, world-class operator without the American legal baggage," said fund manager Ossolinski, who predicts the next five years will determine who dominates Asian gambling for the next 20 years.

U.S. operators are also on guard against Asian companies muscling in on their territory in the United States. Genting has been buying waterfront real estate in downtown Miami over the past year, including buying the Miami Herald building, in the hopes the state will legalise gambling.

As Asian firms look to dominate in Asia by relying on their local networks and knowledge, they are also tapping the intellectual resources of Las Vegas by hiring Las Vegas-based lawyers, architects, live entertainment producers and information technology companies.

"It won't be long before Asian firms start acquiring and developing properties in Las Vegas as a part of creating a global footprint," said Jonathan Galaviz, managing director and chief economist at Galaviz and Company LLC, an economic research and government strategies firm.

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ADNEC Brings ’The Rat Pack - Vegas Spectacular’ To Abu Dhabi 8 June

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Golden age of Las Vegas comes to Abu Dhabi with magnificent big band show featuring Ol’ Blue Eyes, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr hits

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) today announced it is bringing to Abu Dhabi for one night only the toe tapping, foxtrotting, ever-popular ‘Rat Pack – Vegas Spectacular’ show to ADNEC on Friday 8 June, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday.

Organised by ADNEC and in the region for the first time, the show is a tribute to the incredible musical gift of three friends, the world famous entertainers, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin.

Christina Anthony, ADNEC’s Sales Director / Exhibitions said: “The Rat Pack show promises to be a fantastic, memorable night out. Sinatra, Martin and Davis have sung some of the most renowned songs of all time. But what many people don’t know is how they performed together, sharing jokes with each other and the audience, and having unscripted fun. The joy of performance shines through in this show, and it is one not to miss. This is the first show of its kind to come to this region, so I recommend getting tickets early.”

Set in the 1960s at the legendary Las Vegas venue, Sands Hotel, the show recreates the golden era of Las Vegas with three talented performers bringing to life not only their voices, but also their personalities and friendship as they perform some of the trio’s greatest hits. Timeless classics such as Mr Bojangles, Come Fly With Me, One for My Baby, King of the Road, and That’s Amore performed by a traditional big band and accompanied by talented dancing showgirls will keep the audience spellbound throughout the two hour show.

The story of the Rat Pack began in 1960 when Frank Sinatra spontaneously joined Dean Martin for a number onstage at the Sands Casino. This was followed by many more similar incidences, and when one of the stars was booked to perform, the others would frequently turn up. Banners would promote “Dean Martin, Maybe Frank, maybe Sammy”, and sold out shows were filled with Hollywood stars.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, The Rat Pack – Vegas Spectacular gives the audience a chance to experience what it was like to be part of this bygone era of cool cats and glamorous gals, and ADNEC is encouraging people to dress up and look sharp.

Concert-goers can extend the fun into the early hours at Relax@12 at the Aloft Abu Dhabi. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday on BoxOfficeME.com and start from AED 125. Hotel packages are also available starting AED 545 including two silver tickets to the show.

Show partners include OSN, Aloft Abu Dhabi, Radio 2, Abu Dhabi Week and Expat Woman. For more information log onto www.facebook.com/adnecliveevents.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gaming and Gambling News: NZ PM comfortable with more pokies; $1 Million WSOP Event up to 30 Entrants...

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NZ PM comfortable with more pokies...

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says he is comfortable with an increase in the number of pokie machines at SkyCity as part of a possible deal with the casino operator to build and run a $NZ350 million ($A279.25 million) national convention centre in Auckland.

Mr Key told media in Jakarta on Tuesday he believed the increase would be "extremely modest in number and overall the number of pokie machines is reducing across Auckland and New Zealand".

Negotiations were continuing but Mr Key rejected suggestions public opposition to a deal was growing.

Explaining his dealings with SkyCity, Mr Key said he was looking for a deal to build and run the convention centre in which the government did not put up any cash.

SkyCity had presented a credible option but that was subject to negotiation and did not include any dilution of techniques to reduce the harm from gambling.

"They have the room to do it, they have integration with their hotels, they have integration with their other entertainment facilities and they are good operators running what is already a convention centre, but just one that is not big enough."

Accusations of some sort of underhand deal between the government and the company were just "nonsense", Mr Key said.

"I've been extremely upfront the whole way through. I have said I want to build a convention centre as minister of tourism."

Critics have charged the extra pokies will lead to more problem gamblers.

The Labour Party has said SkyCity wants an extra 500 machines and are being offered about 350.


$1 Million WSOP Event up to 30 Entrants...

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, along with the World Series of Poker (WSOP), announced Thursday that this summer’s $1,000,000 buy-in WSOP event has added eight more entrants, increasing the field to a stout 30 players. The tournament, called the Big One for ONE DROP, is now on pace to feature the largest first prize in poker history.

In December, it was announced that 22 players had been confirmed for the event, just shy of half the 48-player maximum. Joining such poker luminaries as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, Bobby Baldwin, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius are:

Bob Bright – CEO, Bright Trading
Cary Katz – CEO, College Loan Corporation
Arnaud Mimran – French businessman
Paul Newey – Co-founder, New Wave Ventures, LLP. (UK)
Paul Phua – Asian businessman
Erik Seidel – Poker pro
Justin Smith – Poker pro
Richard Yong – Asian businessman

With $111,111 of the $1,000,000 dollar buy-in going to ONE DROP, the 30-player field brings the total prize pool to $26,666,670. According to a payout structure table provided by the WSOP, the winner of the tournament at its current size will earn $12,266,668.20, or 46 percent of the prize pool. That would break the record for the largest prize ever awarded in a poker tournament, live or online. The current record is $12,000,000, won by Jamie Gold in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

ONE DROP is a charitable organization which seeks to provide access to clean, drinkable water to people around the world. In a press release, Laliberté, who himself is participating in the tournament, said, “It is an exciting moment and it is wonderful to see the poker community’s generosity, where organizations, players and fans are all coming together to support ONE DROP. Whether entering the BIG ONE for ONE DROP, becoming a poker ambassador, making a donation, or simply changing their water consumption habits, everyone can get involved and everyone should be concerned, because a child dies every 20 seconds from a water related disease and that together we can beat the odds.”

As it stands now, over $3.33 million from the tournament is earmarked for ONE DROP. And while 30 players signing up for a $1 million buy-in event is phenomenal, WSOP officials expect the tournament to reach its cap of 48 players. Should that happen, the prize pool will hit $40,000,000, with $17,200,002.15 going to the winner.

The continued growth of the Big One for ONE DROP will be aided by live satellites scheduled to be held at casinos around the country. The next satellite will be at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The direct buy-in for the “Main Event” satellite is $500 with 40 percent of the prize pool going to the winner. That first prize is guaranteed to include at least the $25,300 buy-in to the Official World Series of Poker the Big One Satellite on Saturday, June 30th in Las Vegas, where at least one $1,000,000 seat in the Big One will be awarded. Also included in the Canterbury Park prize packages is airfare and lodging. Qualifiers for the Canterbury Park $500 satellite will run May 7th through May 12th and will feature both $65 and $125 buy-ins. (Credit: Poker News Daily)


Scott Seiver Wins PartyPoker Premier League V...

Going into the final table of the PartyPoker Premier League V, many in the poker community were hoping the Mathew Frankland’s Cinderella story would continue for one more day. Frankland, one of two players in the field who had to qualify to get into the game, began Tuesday with the largest chip stack, a reward for earning the most points in the preliminary heats. It was not to be for Frankland against an all-star table, though, as he bowed out in 7th place. Emerging triumphant just a few days shy of his 27th birthday was Scott Seiver, who gave himself a sweet early birthday gift of half a million dollars.

Though there were seasoned vets such as Erik Seidel, Phil Laak, and Tony G at the table, it came down to two of the young guns, Seiver and 22-year old online phenom Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, for the championship. The two started heads-up play in almost a dead heat in chips – Cates with 1.295 million and Seiver with 1.245 million. Within minutes, though, Seiver took a 500,000 chip lead, picking up many of those when he moved all-in with pocket Kings, forcing Cates to fold after a three-bet.

Just minutes later, Seiver stretched his lead to 2-to-1. With blinds at 20,000/40,000, Cates had to make a move quickly. A pocket pair was as good a hand as many with which to make that move, so Cates got it all-in pre-flop with 7-7. Seiver was all-in, as well (having Cates covered, of course), settling for a coin flip with K-Q. Cates had to have been happy with the flop, as it came down T-T-4, which both denied Seiver a pair and severely limited any straight possibilities. The 3 on the turn was fantastic, too, as Seiver now had just six outs. Unless you skipped everything to this point, you already know that the percentages were not with Cates on the river. Seiver spiked a King to give him the title and the $500,000 first prize.

Here is a look at the final table standings and prize payouts:

1.    Scott Seiver – $500,000
2.    Daniel Cates – $300,000
3.    Phil Laak – $175,000
4.    Patrik Antonius – $125,000
5.    Tony G – $100,000
6.    Tom Dwan – $80,000
7.    Mathew Frankland – $65,000
8.    Sam Trickett – $55,000

But that’s not all. Each player in the PartyPoker Premier League V received $2,000 for each point earned in the preliminary heats. The standings based on total winnings remained almost the same after including the bonus money. The only change was Frankland moving up from 7th to 6th in the money rankings, the result of his winning $80,000 in the preliminary rounds. All 16 players won prize money, though only Seiver, Cates, Laak, Patrik Antonius, Tony G, Frankland, and Tom Dwan made enough to cover the $125,000 buy-in. Because Frankland won his seat, though, his winnings were all profit. The same was true for Ben Wilinofsky, which is fortunate, as he took home just $2,000. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

2012 PartyPoker Premier League V – Final Payouts

Scott Seiver – $560,000
Daniel Cates – $376,000
Phil Laak – $233,000
Patrik Antonius – $189,000
Tony G – $160,000
Mathew Frankland – $145,000
Tom Dwan – $136,000
Sam Trickett – $121,000
Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $58,000
Andy Frankenberger – $56,000
Erik Seidel – $48,000
Vanessa Selbst – $46,000
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – $36,000
Eugene Katchalov – $18,000
Luke Schwartz – $14,000
Ben Wilinofsky – $4,000


Star investigator dismisses 'Sniffing Sid' rumours...

An investigator at Sydney's Star casino has told an inquiry he does not believe his former boss Sid Vaikunta was using drugs while in charge of the business.

Kevin Houlahan, the casino's investigations manager, is giving evidence this morning at a public hearing by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Gail Furness SC is presiding over the inquiry to examine the sacking of Mr Vaikunta, as well as claims of sexual harassment and a culture of bullying at the Star.

The inquiry heard yesterday from former staff member Elizabeth Ward, who believed Mr Vaikunta used drugs.

Ms Ward said that the casino's general manager came to be known to staff by the nickname "Sniffing Sid".

Mr Houlahan has told the hearing he had heard of the nickname and rumours that Mr Vaikunta used cocaine.

But the former policeman said Mr Vaikunta never showed any signs of being a drug user in his dealings with him.

"Mr Vaikunta made it very clear to me that he was against drug use, that he had been subjected to drug testing whilst he worked previously in the United States and that he was more than happy to introduce drug testing within the workplace here," Mr Houlahan told the inquiry.

Star spokesman Brad Schmidt yesterday condemned the claims of Mr Vaikunta's drug use.

The inquiry heard yesterday that a five centimetre line of fine white powder was found in a bathroom in a high roller section of the casino.

Ms Ward said she believed the powder was cocaine, but that it was switched for cement dust before it was tested.

Security questioned

Mr Houlahan has told the inquiry he was on annual leave when the powder was discovered in December.

He said when he returned to work and was updated on the matter he felt that several steps had been missed.

Mr Houlahan said the powder should have been photographed in situ, and it should have been appropriately bagged.

The inquiry into the casino also heard details of an anonymous report suggesting staff wiped evidence of Mr Vaidunka being drunk on the premises.

Mr Houlahan said he had no reason to believe security staff had deleted video footage showing Mr Vaikunta being removed from the building.

He says he questioned two security workers and he believes their responses.

"I interviewed two other staff members within the surveillance department to which I expressed the concerns about how or why the system works, can footage be deleted, have they ever been requested to delete footage, to which they both returned that no they'd never been asked and there is no way that you can delete footage," he said.

Counsel assisting the inquiry Michael Wigney put an allegation to Mr Houlahan, that he had once told a high roller, "You need to stay off the drugs".

But Mr Houlahan flatly dismissed the suggestion.

"I deny that conversation ever took place," he said.

The casino's chief executive, Larry Mullin, also faced questioning today.

Mr Mullin worked with Mr Vaikunta in the United States before they came to work at the Star.

Mr Wigney asked Mr Mullin about claims he and Mr Vaikunta were once at a bar in the casino where a female colleague was drinking.

Mr Vaikunta allegedly told bar staff to keep serving the woman shots, despite the fact she was drunk.

Mr Mullin told the inquiry he had no memory of the alleged incident.

Mr Wigney also asked if the casino put its business interests ahead of rules, but Mr Mullin said that was not the case.

"(We) keep them happy within the framework of what's legal," he said.

Mr Mullin said the media has misrepresented the casino.


Asian operators give Vegas casino titans run for their money...

MACAU/LAS VEGAS - Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who became one of the world's richest men by creating a casino empire in Las Vegas and Macau, is doubling down on his bets in Asia, the hottest gambling market on the planet where his Singapore operation made $1 billion the first year it was opened.

The 78-year chairman of Las Vegas Sands, the world's biggest gambling company by market capitalisation, looked supremely confident when he opened his new $4.4 billion casino last week in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, the world's largest gambling destination where bettors spent $33.5 billion last year compared to Las Vegas, which took in $6 billion.

Speaking at the opening of his Sands Cotai Central on April 11, Adelson outlined plans to spend billions more developing casinos in Vietnam, Korea and Japan, in addition to the $35 billion he plans to spend on a Spanish casino-resort complex.

Rivals Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts are also staking their own claims throughout Asia for growth.

It's not all an American story however. Asian players like Malaysia's Genting, Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Crown, are aggressively raising the ante as they expand on their home turf.

Rise of the Asian titan

The race to conquer the Asian casino world is already heating up in the Philippines where Asian brokerage CLSA forecasts gambling revenue to grow from US$1.3 billion in 2011 to US$3 billion in 2015 once three new resorts are completed.

Genting, controlled by Malaysian businessman Lim Kok Thay, controls and is developing casinos in the Philippines through its Genting Hong Kong unit, while parent Genting Group is developing a casino in Vietnam with local asset management group VinaCapital, according to Vietnamese media.

Galaxy and Melco, which both sit on prime real estate on Macau's coveted casino strip, are also interested in investing in the Philippines, Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp, told Reuters in February.

The firms currently developing or operating casinos in the Philippines include Belle Corp, Bloomberry Resorts, Universal Entertainment and Travellers, a joint venture between Genting and Alliance Global.

"Countries like Singapore have provided a very good template for emerging jurisdictions looking to liberalize gaming entertainment," said Steven Tight, president of international development for U.S. giant Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Caesars does not operate a casino in Macau, but is itself expanding in Asia and is building a luxury resort in China's southern tourist destination, Hainan, where gambling is illegal.

Genting Singapore, armed with a hefty cash reserve of some S$3.9 billion ($3.1 billion) as of March 2012, has in the past two months raised around S$2.3 billion in debt, suggesting it is likely to push ahead with expansion plans and global acquisitions in the near term, analysts said.

Loss of face

The Asian expansion by U.S. operators has not been without controversy. Government officials in several potential Asian gambling jurisdictions considering which operators will be awarded a license are growing weary of the negative headline risk that Las Vegas operators bring with them, executives said.

Sands and Wynn are both embroiled in legal battles in the United States and Macau. Sands is fighting lawsuits filed against it by its former Macau chief executive and a former Taiwanese business partner while Wynn is being investigated for a HK$1 billion ($130 million) donation to the University of Macau.

Alleged bribes for Philippine regulators became the centerpiece of litigation in the United States between Wynn and its largest shareholder, Kazuo Okada. The case is now before a federal court in Nevada.

Okada, one of Japan's richest men whose Universal Entertainment manufactures pachinko machines, is building a casino resort in the Philippines and is reported to be investing in South Korea.

"Since entering Macau, all three Las Vegas-based operators have had international headlines that have caused humiliation and 'loss of face' for their Chinese partners and government officials," said Matthew Ossolinski, chairman of Ossolinski Holdings, a global emerging markets fund that invests in casinos and other gambling-related companies. "Some government officials in Asia are now wondering: is it worth it?"

Leaving Las Vegas?

Meanwhile, U.S. operators committed to a future in Asia could make a bold move to leave Las Vegas by delisting and selling their U.S. properties, which could free them from various U.S. legal constraints.

"It would be creating a sort of international hybrid gaming company: an established, world-class operator without the American legal baggage," said fund manager Ossolinski, who predicts the next five years will determine who dominates Asian gambling for the next 20 years.

U.S. operators are also on guard against Asian companies muscling in on their territory in the United States. Genting has been buying waterfront real estate in downtown Miami over the past year, including buying the Miami Herald building, in the hopes the state will legalise gambling.

As Asian firms look to dominate in Asia by relying on their local networks and knowledge, they are also tapping the intellectual resources of Las Vegas by hiring Las Vegas-based lawyers, architects, live entertainment producers and information technology companies.

"It won't be long before Asian firms start acquiring and developing properties in Las Vegas as a part of creating a global footprint," said Jonathan Galaviz, managing director and chief economist at Galaviz and Company LLC, an economic research and government strategies firm.

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Sydney Entertainment Centre may be demolished; Profit before people and history, by Greg Tingle

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Let's get one thing clear from the get go... knocking down the historic Sydney Entertainment Centre to make way for a new development is not the same as knocking down or revamping its neighbour across the water - Star City Casino (which become the much nicer 'The Star').

Can you imagine the outrage in the United States if they were to announce a proposal to demolish New York's Madison Square Garden aka MSG.

I bet that is a survey of Sydney-siders, or even say Australians across the board were taken, that close to 100 percent of they would not want the Sydney Entertainment Centre demolished, due to its historical importance to the arts and entertainment industry down under.

"Sin City" Sydney media, especially the arts and entertainment niche, are expected to get all over this topic and the Media Man agency is not going to see this iconic hub of Aussie entertainment die without a hell of a fight.

I don't know about you but the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell might meet with a tidal wave of opposition against its proposed destruction.

Some of the blub coming out of the NSW Government, no doubt with some cleaver spin added by the proposed developer, goes like this...

The Sydney Entertainment Centre will be demolished and the convention and exhibition centres at Darling Harbour closed for up to three years as the precinct undergoes a $1 billion makeover.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell today announced the development of an integrated exhibition and entertainment precinct in the city's CBD.

The fully integrated convention centre will increase the size of the existing precinct by two thirds to 20 hectares and will include the largest exhibition space in Australia at 40,000 square metres.

"The project will mean a complete face lift for Darling Harbour - as well as the world-class facilities," Mr O'Farrell said today.

Up to 3500 jobs are expected to be created during the construction (but what about the job losses at the Sydney Entertainment Centre)?

The 30-year-old Sydney Entertainment Centre is to be demolished while the exhibition and convention facilities will be closed from late 2013 to late 2016.

The project is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the major events industry in the state, particularly in terms of the Asia-Pacific.

"They will bring NSW an economic benefit of more than $1 billion over five years," Mr O'Farrell said.

"NSW has already lost $150 million in economic benefit over the four years to 2010-11 because the current facilities have not been able to accommodate 169 conventions and 12 exhibitions," Mr O'Farrell said.

The new facilities will include the biggest meeting room space in Australia at 6000sq m and the biggest Australian convention hall capacity.

There will be a red-carpet premium entertainment facility with a capacity of at least 8000 people, suitable for international entertainment events and 'mega' conferences.

"The NSW government is creating a vibrant world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour that will keep Sydney centre stage as Australia's global city," Mr O'Farrell said.

Infrastructure NSW (INSW) will lead the delivery of the new facilities as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) tailored for the project.

During the three-year construction period, Sydney's major events industry will remain open for business, Mr O'Farrell said.

Sydney Olympic Park, Moore Park, the Australian Technology Park at Eveleigh and various Sydney hotels will play an expanded role in hosting events during the construction period.

A Media Man agency entertainment commentar was overheard "Just how much money had been dangled in front of the NSW Government to get green light to demolish one of Australia's greatest landmarks. You have the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Crown Casino, Ayres Rock, and then you have the Entertainment Centre in Sydney. I think its likely that a good chuck of Australia's entertainment industry will be vocal in telling the NSW government to save the iconic entertainment venue. We think another proposal for development of Darling Harbour needs to be executed - one that does not include the destruction of the SEC."

Many folks in the Australian entertainment industry are already telling media that they are not "anti development" full stop - they are just against the part of the development proposal that includes the destruction of one Australia's greatest entertainment and arts landmarks.

Those opposing the development of the Sydney Entertainment Centre are encouraged to be vocal and contact media, their local MPs, Minster of the Arts, and another other Australian government department who will listen to reason.

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

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