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MORE RUSSIAN MOVES TO BLOCK INTERNET GAMBLING BLACKLISTED SITES?
Addressing Russia's top annual technology and security conference - InfoForum 2015 - last week, Russia's Information Policy and Communications Committee chairman Leonid Levin hinted that the national parliament would consider laws designed to prevent anonymous Internet surfing in order to exclude citizens from undesirable websites - including online gambling enterprises - appearing on the nation's federal blacklist.
Roskomnadzor, Russia's federally mandated agency for the supervision of communications, is charged with maintaining the blacklist of undesirable websites, and for identifying sites that do not comply with national laws.
Once Rozkomnadzor has placed a site on the blacklist, the operator-owner is required to stop access from Russian citizens, but this has become increasingly problematic due to the unilateral nature of the process, and allegations that it has been abused by officials to censor content that is not to the liking of political leaders like the autocratic president, Vladimir Putin.
The result has been what many see as undeserved inclusions on the notorious Russian black list, for example the high profile online poker site Pokerstars, which reportedly has a large following in Russia.
Determined Russian punters have resorted to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Tor anonymous technology to continue to access the banned sites, and this circumvention now appears to be the next target for Russian apparatchiks.
Whilst observers point out that it may prove to be a nut difficult to crack for officialdom, given the constantly evolving nature of the sophisticated software available, more restrictive legislation in Russia is not an attractive prospect for either punters or the industry.
The warning signs went up several months ago, when Russian officials were offering monetary rewards for information useful in resolving the Tor problem, perhaps motivated by the need to suppress views on the Ukrainian situation that do not jibe with Putin's rhetoric on his ambitions for territorial expansion.
MISSOURI POKER PRO WINS LAST OF THE PRELIMS AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Missouri poker pro and primarily NFL Odds cash game player Pat Walsh enjoyed a profitable weekend after claiming his first winner's bracelet and the $923,379 first prize in event 64 of the 2014 World Series of Poker, an excellent return for his $10,000 buy-in for the Pot Limit Omaha competition.
The event, which lasted for 29 one hour levels over three days, was the last of the preliminary competitions leading up to the main event, and attracted an entry field of 418, building a prize pool of $3,929,200.
Walsh turned in a polished and successful performance throughout the event, either holding the chip lead or not being far from it as he powered his way onto a talented final table that was populated by Javed Abrahams, Miltiadis Kyriakides, Isaac Baron, Marko Neumann, Matt Marafioti, Michael Shklover, Michal Maryka and Jonas Entin.
On the way he eliminated aces like Alex Kravchenko and Tom Marchese, denying them the opportunity to join the final table action and heading the final nine players in chip counts, an advantage he managed to retain for much of the final phase of the event.
Heads up, Walsh faced Javed Abrahams, who gave the Missouri pro his first serious challenge by briefly taking the chip lead from him, but it was a temporary lapse for the on-form Walsh, who 18 hands later claimed the honours, leaving Abrahams with the still-impressive $570,284 second prize.
Walsh has two other WSOP cashes on his resume...but none paid as much as this victory.
Other final table pay checks were cut for:
Miltiadis Kyriakides $412,408
Isaac Baron $301,369
Marko Neumann $222,549
Matt Marafioti $166,087
Michael Shklover $125,223
Michal Maryka $95,361
Jonas Entin $73,358
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