Poker Pro Canada Classic Online Satellites on UB

The biggest poker tournament in Quebec is back in 2011, the Poker Pro Canada Classic at the Four Aces Poker Club in Montreal. This poker tournament sponsored by both the Poker Pro Canada magazine and online poker site UB will be taking place from January 27-30, 2011. This will be a $1500+150 buyin event. Last April Oliver Baksic took home the title pocketing $118,000 for his efforts.

“The first Poker Pro Canada Classic back in April was a huge success, so we couldn’t wait to hold the second edition,” said Poker Pro Canada Editor-in-Chief John “Johnny Quads” Wenzel. “Four Aces was a terrific venue and I can’t wait to get back there.”

Last year the event attracted 246 players which included famous poker players Mark “P0ker H0″ Kroon, Hollywood Dave Stann, Benjamin Lablond, and many others.

This year online satellites for the poker pro classic will be offered on UB beginning in January.

Sunday, Jan 2nd and 9th 16:05ET Poker Pro Canada Classic $2500 package – 3 packages GTD $200+15 buy-in
Wednesday Jan 5th and 12th 21:00ET Poker Pro Canada Classic $2500 package – 3 packages GTD $200+15 buy-in
Thursday Jan 13th 20:30ET Poker Pro Canada Classic $2500 package – 1 package GTD $300+20 buy-in
Sunday Jan 16th 20:30ET Poker Pro Canada Classic $2500 package – 1 package GTD $300+20 buy-in

There will also be sub satellites to these satellites daily ranging from $10 to $40.

Qualify for the Poker Pro Canada Classic at Four Aces at UB

Win a Four Aces Poker Pro Canada Classic seat at UB

UB (Ultimate Bet) has now become a major sponsor for the inaugural Four Aces Poker Pro Canada Classic tournament take place April 15-18 2010 in Montreal.  Joining Bodog as an online poker site sponsor, UB will be bringing in 50 players through a series of online satellite tournaments beginning March 14.

The Four Aces Montreal tournament will feature a $1,650 buyin and will be a unique tournament in the sense that there will be 2 day 1s with players who bust day 1A can rebuy back in on day 1B.  The original schedule called for 3 day 1s, but that will most likely not happen.  This tournament was put together by Poker Pro Canada magazine and will take place in the Snakes poker room in the heart of Montreal.

Pokerstars buying out the CPT?

Though the press release does not mention Poker Stars by name, there has been a long time rumour that PokerStars was interested in potentially sponsoring the CPT (Canadian Poker Tour).  This would be a wonderful addition to the NAPT (North American Poker Tour).  Hopefully something comes out of this indeed as this would significantly boost poker in Canada.

HeadsUp Entertainment in Negotiations With One of the World’s Largest Online Poker Companies

March 16, 2010: 06:00 AM ET

Any successful consummation of such a transaction is contingent upon the completion of due diligence by both parties and the satisfaction of numerous conditions precedent.

Behind only the United Kingdom, management believes that Canada has become the second largest online poker market in the world. As a result of this market size, several of the largest online poker companies in the world have all contacted Company Chief Executive Officer Kelly Kellner to forge a business relationship.

Management believes that HeadsUp Entertainment represents one of the biggest brand names in the North American poker market today. As the owner of the Canadian Poker Tour, Canadian Poker Player Magazine and the recently launched Canadian Poker Player Television Network, HeadsUp’s market reach is now in excess of 40,000,000 poker players in North America.

Kelly Kellner, Chief Executive Officer of HeadsUp Entertainment commented, “Over the next 12 months, we will manage more than 550 casino-based events in Canada, Costa Rica the Dominican Republic and our Poker Super Cruise, which will attract some of the best poker players in North America. As a result of our relationships with the casinos, some of them exclusive, the online poker companies are realizing that our market reach allows them to market their platforms to players in North America.

Kellner added, “For competitive reasons, the online poker company wishes to go unnamed at this time. As the online poker market becomes more competitive, our brand name and our market become more and more valuable. As a result of these negotiations, the numbers here can get very large, very quickly.”

About HeadsUp Entertainment International Inc.

HeadsUp Entertainment International Inc. is a global media and entertainment company engaged in the creation of branded entertainment through the development, production and marketing of televised programming based on poker and other entertainment themes. For more information see the Company’s website

HeadsUp Entertainment International Inc.
Investor Relations
(403) 269-9039

Tax Law on Poker Winnings

Here’s a great article published in the Globe & Mail regarding tax laws on poker players in Canada.   This is still a huge grey area in Canada with no defined answer, and almost zero historical cases to build off of.  I’m sure the federal government will be interested in putting something concrete together before the provinces move forward with their individual online poker site proposals.

Benjamin Alarie

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2010 7:13PM EDT Last updated on Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010 4:24AM EDT

More and more Canadians are earning tidy sums playing poker on off-shore poker websites. They often practise incessantly, refine their skills using coaches and software programs, and participate in online forums dedicated to strategy. Many of these players spend 30 hours a week online playing against opponents from around the world.

At this time of year, winning poker players are reminded of a confounding tax position. Most Canadians believe, incorrectly, that lottery and gambling winnings are not subject to income tax. The conventional view is correct in that every budding poker player starts out playing casually and with “after tax” dollars. If a casual player wins, he wins without tax consequences; if he loses, he loses without tax consequences. At some point, however, under Canadian law, the tax consequences change for winning players.

Poker winnings are subject to tax if they are “income from a business.” So when does playing winning poker amount to a business? The Income Tax Act doesn’t provide an answer. And there’s no reported case explaining precisely when the net winnings of individual poker players are subject to income tax. In the entire body of reported Canadian case law on the related question of the taxation of gambling winnings more generally, there are only a few cases where individual gamblers have been found to be in the business of gambling. The upshot for poker players is that it’s probably in only unusually active, skillful and financially successful circumstances that they will face Canadian income tax liability on their winnings.

The central legal difficulty arises in determining at which point a taxpayer crosses the line from playing poker casually to playing professionally or as a business. Consider the incentives facing the player, and then the policy-maker.

A winning player would prefer to delay the transition from casual to professional. There’s the “tax free” aspect, of course, and there’s also not wanting to feel like a patsy by paying income tax when it’s not legally required. There’s a conflicting concern, though, facing a winning poker player. If that player takes too long in making the transition to professional, he may end up being subjected to back taxes, interest and penalties associated with not declaring poker winnings as income. That could prove extraordinarily costly and, in some cases, even lead to bankruptcy.

On the other hand, tax authorities shouldn’t be in a hurry to single out winning players. Consider what happens if the casual enthusiast crosses the line to professional player before it’s abundantly clear that he has, in fact, the requisite skill to be a winner. If the tax authorities are too aggressive in exacting income tax from winning players, they run the risk of too many losing players claiming they satisfy the conditions for being considered professional as well.

Under the Income Tax Act, an individual’s losses from a business may be set off against income from other sources, such as salaries or wages. The limited case law shows that tax authorities have indeed been hostile to claims by taxpayers that they are professional gamblers in circumstances where taxpayers are trying to deduct losses from gambling.

The Americans solved the problem by taking a “heads we win, tails you lose” approach. According to the Internal Revenue Code, taxpayers must report net lottery and gambling winnings as income. They can only deduct gambling losses against gambling income. This solution has the advantage of being certain and predictable. What it lacks is fairness; historically, this was embraced because gambling was considered a vice to be discouraged.

The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly insisted that, as a self-assessing system, Canadian income tax law should be certain, predictable and fair. It seems the current unarticulated approach to the taxation of poker winnings is uncertain, unpredictable and unfair.

Benjamin Alarie is an associate law professor at the University of Toronto.

Russell “rdcrsn” Carson finishes 2nd at EPT Snowfest 2010

Russell Carson, or better known for his online nickname “rdcrsn”, from Powell River British Columbia, just finished 2nd at the EPT Snowfest 2010 in Austria.  Snowfest – a European Poker Tour poker tournament taking place at the Alpine Palace in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria last 6 grueling days, was finally won by Allan Baekke, from Copenhagen, Denmark.  There were 546 entries over two days, each paying €3,500 a pop. After deductions, that created a prize pool of €1,853,680.  The final hand headsup was Baekke’s pocket 7s holding up vs the KJs of Carson.

Russell is still searching for his first big live win.  He has had multiple big online wins including the ongame Grand tournament for $121,000, Sunday 500 tournament for $89,000, and various almost victories in big events such as the stars million.  He is current ranked as the 2nd top player in Canada behind Casey “bigdogpckt5s” Jarzebek, and #10 overall in the world overall so far this year.

Congrats to Russell Carson and his 2nd place finish and hopefully he will have even more fun enjoying his €296,000 payout prize!

Canadian Pro Jason Lavallee signs with Victory Poker

Montreal poker pro Jason Lavallee becomes the newest addition to the ever-growing Victory Poker roster. The 23 year old Canadian has various big live and online tournament cashes including taking 2nd in the 2009 Festa al Lago Classic for $795,000 and recently winning a $200k $100rebuy tournament on pokerstars (statusup). Jason now joins the VictoryPoker team which already consists of various big name pros including:

  • Antonio Esfandiari
  • Keith Gipson
  • Brian Rast
  • Andrew Robl
  • Dan Bilzerian
  • Sara Underwood (Playboy playmate of the year)
  • David Chicotsky
  • Lee Markholt
  • Sander Lylloff
  • Paul Wasicka
  • Alec Torelli
  • Danny Wong
  • Steven Weusten
  • James Obst
  • Adam Hourani
  • Jonathan Little

Congrats once again to Canadian Poker Pro Jason Lavallee on his sponsorship deal.

Receive a 300% match bonus of up to $1,500!!!

Mike “Timex” McDonald retires from poker at age 20!

Arguably the best tournament poker player who is till not legal to play in most U.S. casinos has stated on his cardrunners blog that he is now retiring from poker. Mike “Timex / Hit21Hit” McDonald, a canadian poker pro, at age 20 has a huge poker resume. At 18 years of age, McDonald won the EPT German Open in Dortmund, Germany in February 2008 winning €933,600 ($1,370,161). Earlier in January the same year, he also won the A$1,000 PokerPro No Limit Hold’em preliminary event at the Aussie Millions and coming runner up in another preliminary event. Earlier this year he won a $1500 NAPT Caribbean Poker Adventure PokerStars EPT/ Season 6 LAPT/ event $146,804.

Here is some of his blog posts which can be found on the online poker training site Cardrunners in which he is a featured coach there.

Poker came along and fairly quickly I was successful at it, and not too long after that I started to get good. I went to university for a year and really put many other aspects of my life to the side. I went from playing sports 4-10 times a week to maybe once or twice, didn’t really participate in any extracurricular activities, focussed a lot less on school but in spite of all that I think it was most definitely the right thing to do. I had a fantastic opportunity to do something I enjoy, make lots of money and finally have an opportunity to truly excel at something.

After I turned 18 and could play the live circuit I did that, and I really enjoyed the free time, the opportunity to meet lots of people with the same common interest, the ability to see lots of new places. I started to get really good and fortunately after only ~5 months on the live circuit I won EPT Dortmund. I got to the point where I thought I was better than pretty much everyone and along with the success I had in tournaments I was doing extremely well in HU/shorthanded cash. After the 7 figure score I lost a fair bit of motivation to grind and went through a phase of playing very little poker. I was kind of at the point where I had made enough money that unless a couple really bad things happened, I had set myself up to be in a comfortable position for life. At this point I had more or less realized I would never be the best poker player since there were plenty of people who were smarter than me, had bigger egos than me and just legitimately enjoyed playing and learning poker more than I did. I still was very good but probably ~2 years ago is when I came to terms with the fact I would never be viewed as the #1 poker player in the world.

So anyways… at this point I arrive at the “where do I go from here” question that I asked in the title. I honestly don’t know but I think at least setting myself up to be in positions to find things I’m passionate about is probably the right approach. I recently began talking with a friend about a business idea that we’d consider starting in the next few years and although I was originally just thinking my involvement would be limited to investment, I’m now realizing that this is the type of thing that could highly interest me. I think returning to school and trying out a super wide variety of courses, learning new things, meeting new people and just beginning to live a life that is more in touch with everyone else seems aligned with my interests. I currently am trying to get in touch with the university of Waterloo about possibly taking some classes this summer, and depending on how that goes may return to Waterloo or another university in the fall.

My guess is that Mike is just taking an extended break and will come back strong in time for the 2011 WSOP where he will be eligible to play. He’s got money now, is already a smart guy, and will look to find other ways to build his bankroll. Best of luck Mike, and we’ll see you again soon!

$100,000 Freeroll at Carbon Poker and also earn 35% Rakeback

Huge things are happening now at Merge Gaming including their flagship poker site, Carbon Poker. On Sunday May 30th at 14:00 server time, there will be a $100,000 freeroll with $20,000 going to 1st place! There are no buyins for this freeroll, just play for free and you are in. This is not exclusive for Canada, but it is a huge +EV promotion.  There will be 4 ways to qualify:

Option 1 – Daily Freeroll Qualifiers – Pay Absolutely Nothing to Play!

Starting April 15th and running through until the 28th May, we’ll be running five (5) daily qualifying freerolls. Registration is open to all players and since entry is Free, you better not be late for our daily “Step 1 – $100K Freeroll Qualifiers”. Each Step 1 Freeroll will award seats to the Step 2 Qualifier. Where: Tournaments >> Scheduled >> Special.

There is NO Direct entry into the $100,000 Main Event that’s set to take place on Sunday, May 30th at 14:00 (game server time in the poker lobby). Players MUST win their seat into this special freeroll through one of the following FOUR methods:

Freeroll Qualifiers

Starting April 15th and running through to May 28th inclusive, we’ll be running five (5) daily qualifying tournaments. Each tourney will be titled, “Step 1 – $100K Freeroll Qualifier” and will be completely FREE to enter. Only a select number of players will advance through to Step 2. You can find these tournaments listed under the ‘Special’ Tab in the Tournament Lobby.

Step 1 – $100K Freeroll Qualifiers:

Time The Prize
04:05 Top 25 players advance to $100K Freeroll Qualifier Step 2
09:05 Top 50 players advance to $100K Step 2 Qualifier
13:05 Top 50 players advance to $100K Step 2 Qualifier
18:05 Top 75 players advance to $100K Step 2 Qualifier
23:05 Top 50 players advance to $100K Step 2 Qualifier

Step 2 – $100K Freeroll Qualifiers:

When: Saturday, May 29th at 18:30 (Carbon Time)

The Prize: The top 500 players will advance to the $100,000 Freeroll Main Event.

Option 2 – Deposit Bonus Qualifiers

Simply make a real money deposit between April 15th 00:01 and May 28th 23:59 using the code 100MAYPK and you’ll not only receive a 100% (max $500) reload bonus*, BUT you’ll also receive a tournament entry coupon for the ‘$100k Depositor Qualifier’ set to take place on Saturday, May 29th at 17:00 (Carbon Time).

The top 500 players in this tournament will receive a seat into the May 30th $100,000 Freeroll Main Event.

Option 3 – $100k Player Qualifiers

Starting April 15th and running right through until May 29th inclusive, any real money player will have exclusive access to our daily ‘$100K Player Qualifiers’. With 2,250 seats up for grabs in these ‘$100K Player Qualifiers’, save the frustration of large fields and freeroll donks, and earn your daily seat.

Daily “$100K Player Qualifiers (Turbo MTT) will start at the times posted below and will award seats as listed:

Time The Prize
11:30 Top 10 players advance directly to $100,000 main event
16:30 Top 25 players advance directly to $100,000 main event
21:30 Top 15 players advance directly to $100,000 main event

There are only 2 ways to get into one of these ‘$100K Player Qualifiers‘:

  1. Earn 150 VIP points in the previous day and the current day up until the time you attempt to register for the tournament. For example if you want t register for the 11:30 tournament at 11:00 you need to earn the 150 VIP points in the 24 hours of the previous day plus the 11 hours of the current day combined, giving you a total of 35 hours to earn the points.
  2. Buy-in: 500 VIP Points

Seats in these $100k Player Qualifiers will be limited so register early. You may register for all 3 tournaments in a day so long as you have met the qualification requirement.

Option 4 – Earn 45,000 VIP Points

If you’re able to earn 45,000 VIP points between 12:01am April 15th and 11:59pm May 29th you’ll receive a seat directly into the $100,000 Freeroll Main Event. Simply click the register button once you reach the target. Avoid the lines. Avoid the crowds. Start earning today!

Also new Carbon players can now earn 35% rakeback at Carbon Poker!

Win Toronto FC Tickets for FREE at PokerStars

See Toronto FC play live and for FREE! players in Ontario have the chance to win match tickets with the Toronto FC Fans Freerolls. The tournaments run April-October, which means you’ve got plenty of time to get in on the action and take a shot at these great prizes.

Players that finish in the top three in each tournament will win match tickets, plus a food voucher. They’ll be some of the best seats in the house, giving you everything you need for a great trip out for you and your buddies. It’s the ultimate prize for any Toronto FC fan, but even if they aren’t your favourite team it’s still a great way to catch a game. And it’s all completely free to enter.

How to Enter:

There are Toronto FC Fans freerolls running at 19:30 ET on the dates listed below, with prizes awarded as follows in each tournament, and one awarding tickets to a different game.

To register for a free-to-enter tournament, open the lobby, click ‘Tourney’ and ‘Regional’.

Place Prize
1st 4 Toronto FC game tickets + $100 food voucher
2nd 4 Toronto FC game tickets + $50 food voucher
3rd 2 Toronto FC game tickets + $25 food voucher
Freeroll Date Game Game Date
Apr-06 Philadelphia Union Apr-15
Apr-20 Seattle Sounders Apr-25
Apr-27 Chicago Fire May-08
May-11 New England Revolution May-22
May-25 Kansas City Wizards Jun-05
Jun-15 LA Galaxy Jun-26
Jun-29 Colorado Rapids Jul-10
Jul-13 Dallas FC Jul-24
Jul-27 Chivas USA Aug-07
Aug-10 New York Red Bulls Aug-21
Aug-31 D.C. United Sep-11
Sep-14 San Jose Earthquakes Sep-25
Oct-05 Columbus Crew Oct-16

Please Note: This promotion is only open to PokerStars players in Ontario. Prizes have no cash value, and tickets can be collected 1 hour before game time at ‘Will Call’.

Toronto FC tickets are the hotest sporting event tickets in Toronto.  Forget the pitiful Leafs, Raptors who both failed to make the playoffs.  Catch the TorontoFC and hopefully they will make the playoffs for the first time in their existence.  Remember all this is FREE from PokerStars.

Canadian Poker Reality TV Show coming!

Headsup Entertainment, the company that operates both the Canadian Poker Tour and the Canadian Poker Player Magazine is in pre-production stage of a brand new reality tv poker based show.  No other details about the show have been released but they will be eventually casting 12-16 “poker players” for its inaugural season.

Casting calls will screen thousands of potential contestants and HeadsUp producers will choose 12-16 contestants to be part of the reality series’ inaugural season. As part of its business model, HeadsUp has committed to innovate poker television programming and offer viewers what management believes will be one of the highest rated poker programs in the North American and International television markets.

Kellner added, “We are now negotiating with potential sponsors for the series and we believe we can complete production of the series for broadcast in this falls’ television schedule.”

Canada Poker News will be sure to bring you more updates on this new poker reality show as they become available, especially details on how you can be part of this show.