Thursday, September 27, 2007

Japan Casino Update

Time to clean out some of the links that have been piling up about casino gambling in Japan.

Casino Shares Spike on False Japan Rumor

Shares of Las Vegas Sands and Wynn shoot up on a rumor that Japan is about to legalize casino gambling. No one seems to know where the rumor comes from. In the end, it sounds like someone on an LVS conference call mentioned the then-upcoming Japanese election as possible progress on the casino gaming front in Japan. Except he got the date of the election wrong - July 24 instead of July 29. So on the 24th, it looks like someone spread a rumor about legalizing gambling to push up stock prices. Nice.

Wynn, Okada Pact May Thrive When Japan Allows Casinos

Steve Wynn turned to (Aruze Corp. Chairman) Kazuo Okada when the gambling magnate needed cash to fund his namesake Las Vegas casino in 2000. Now, Okada could be the ace up Wynn's sleeve in the Japanese businessman's home market.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost control of the country's upper house in an election on July 29. That could slow down the passage of legislation because of political uncertainly, the 64-year-old Okada said. The LDP and its coalition partner still control the more-powerful lower house with a two-thirds majority and can override the upper house in cases of disagreement.

Not only did they get the date of the election wrong, they also messed up on which way it would go. The Democratic Party of Japan grabbed a lot of seats and wrecked the LDP majority of the upper house. The casino gambling proposition isn't strictly an LDP project as far as I know, but the unexpected DPJ win does throw a lot of uncertainty into things. They were hoping to pass this legislation by July 2008 - now the last I heard they're hoping maybe by the end of 2008.

Goddamn, all I want is casinos in Japan. Do I really have to start paying attention to Japanese politics just to get it?

Wynn, Aruze to Push Japan Casino Potential at Seminar

Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Aruze Corp. will promote the potential of casinos in Japan at a Sept. 11 seminar, as the companies seek to open the gambling market of the world's second-biggest economy.

Ronald Kramer, president of the Las Vegas-based casino company founded by billionaire Steve Wynn, will speak at the Tokyo seminar with Aruze Chief Executive Officer Kunihiko Yogo, according to a statement faxed from Tokyo-based Aruze to Bloomberg News.

I assume this seminar happened but so far I haven't seen any news about it. Maybe there wasn't anything newsworthy about it? I'll try to find out.

The last I heard was that if the legislation passes we may see casinos here open in 2012. But if the legislation isn't pushed through soon, I could see that being pushed back a year or two. Crap, I could be retired by the time they open up Wynn Japan.

I gotta get to Seoul one of these days. Walker Hill ain't exactly the Venetian, but it's a lot closer than Vegas.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Loser or Outsider?

Call me Ponyboy, but maybe I'm not as much of a loser as I thought.

The Loser's Cup was a great success. With a good chunk of the regular players off in Tinian, there was concern that we would not gather enough players to hold a reasonably-sized tournament. I wasn't planning on going, actually, but Dosa-ken worked his nanpa (pick-up) magic on me and lured me in. We actually had about 35 players attend, which is a pretty decent turnout.

As planned, the levels were long at 25 minutes -- our normal Friday night games are usually 10 minute levels, or sometimes 7 minutes. And with deep stacks of 5000 chips, there was a lot of play. We started at 5:30pm and I don't think the first bustout was for at least an hour, if not an hour and a half.

I did pretty well, taking third place. I made the final table with fewer chips than I would have liked, after pushing with JJ and getting called by a smaller stack's AQ. Flop was safe but a Q came on the turn and I lost about half or 2/3 of my stack, and had to rebuild. Still, I had a great time and felt I played well, so what more can you ask for?

I also scored some coin, worth a few thousand yen of credit at the bar, and 10 more Vegas Cup points, pushing me to 20 points this season. Wow! 5 more points than last season! I might last all of 30 minutes at the Vegas Cup final. I only had 39 points at the start when I won the Vegas Cup a year ago, but I doubt I will get so lucky a second time. (I will try, of course.)

Everyone had such a good time there was immediately talk of doing it again, so Psyka-san has scheduled the next event, now rechristened the "Outsider's Cup". We'll be playing on Saturday, November 10, from 1:30pm this time. Levels are still 25 minutes but this time the starting stacks will be 7500 chips, again starting at 25/50 blinds. Wow, even more deep stack play.

If you're interested in a deep-stack no limit holdem tournament, come on down. You don't even have to be a loser this time. We promise not to bust you quickly.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Let's play, losers!

I haven't had much time to play poker recently, even online poker, because of the new mouth to feed in the family. But I'm headed out to Duke tomorrow night for the "EJPC Loser's Cup!"

If you've been following along, you may have noticed that Everest Poker ran the Everest Poker Japan Cup, collecting 30 Japanese over the last few months to fly out to Tinian for a free poker tournament with a $20,000 prize. The winners fly out tomorrow morning for sun, scuba, gamble, and poker.

We losers.... don't.

This rubbed some of us pathetic failures the wrong way, so Psyka-san spearheaded a Loser's Tournament for those of us left behind. Tomorrow night at Duke, starting from 5:30pm, we battle it out to determine the king of the losers. The head failure. The least deficient. The almost-good-enough (but not quite).

You there, are you a loser? Sure you are, you don't have your bags packed for sunny Tinian, do you? I didn't think so. Come on out to Duke tomorrow night and prove it. Unlike most of the weekly tournaments, we're playing with deep stacks of 5000 chips and 25 minute levels, so there will be a lot of play.

If you're interested in attending, let me know or show up at Duke by 5pm or so to be certain of getting signed up in time.

There's even a second-chance tournament tomorrow night at 9:30 as well, just in case you... you know, demonstrate your not-winning abilities by that time in the main event.

Maybe you're not a loser and you have better things to do. But I don't believe you.