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.

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.

Ontario joins the online gambling craze

To follow in the footsteps of BC, the Atlantic provinces, and Quebec, Ontario will now enter the online gambling foray. From the looks of things this will also include Ontario online poker.

Canadians wager over a billion dollars annually through online gaming sites and the Ontario government believe that opening up an online casino will bring in over $100 million annually. The OLG will be taking the reigns on this project and hopefully they won’t act as slow as they have been know

“Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gambling and growing its marketplace in the future,” OLG chairman Paul Godfrey said.

One thing is for sure, online poker in ontario will surely be easier to win at than the $50 million lotto max that has teased Canadians in 2010.

Claiming back your Withholding Tax

With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) only days away, this is a very popular time for Canadians to make their way to Las Vegas and jump into the massive pool of tournament action.  Along with the WSOP at the Rio, there is also the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza, Caesar’s Palace Mega Stack Series, Wynn Poker Classic, Golden Nugget Grand Series, plus a few other smaller poker tournament series.  Now if you are lucky enough to cash in any of these tournaments, you will most likely be subject to a 30% withholding tax.  The minimum amount cashed before a withholding tax is applied to differs from casino to casino, so it is best to check with the pit bosses before you start playing.

Though all is not lost in regards to the 30% gambling withholding tax.  A company called RMS (previously Refund Management Systems) can assist you in the recovery of taxes on US gaming wins.  They are the most reputable casino and gaming tax recovery service in the industry.  Headquartered in Toronto, and with additional offices in Vancouver and Las Vegas, the staff of qualified accountants will help you get your money back!

You can claim your withheld taxes back on various casino games such as Slot machines, Poker Tournaments, Blackjack Tournaments, Dog and Horse Racing, Keno, plus other jackpot wins.  Also non casino activities such as Lotteries and Game show wins can be reclaimed.

You can contact RMS by

Phone: 1-888-272-5559 (TOLL FREE US and Canada)



Grinders Documentary World Broadcast Premiere Nov 2

On November 2 at 9 pm est, TVO will have the world broadcast premiere of the documentary Grinders, a poker documentary about film director Matt Gallagher’s personal, behind-the-scenes look at the underground poker scene in Toronto. The film repeats at midnight on November 2 and Sunday November 6 at 11 pm.

Grinders – World Broadcast Premiere
Wednesday November 2, 2011 at 9 pm ET
75 minutes
Produced by Border City Pictures in Association with TVO

Here is a quick synopsis about the poker film Grinders:

With a new baby and wife to support, out-of-work filmmaker Matt Gallagher (The Rise and Fall of Grumpy Burger) tries his hand – and some would say “luck” – at playing poker for a living. Grinders is the director’s inside journey into the unconventional, often bizarre, underground world of illegal poker clubs. It’s a world populated by colourful characters, straight out of central casting. A world where the workday starts at midnight, runs strictly on cash, and can change forever with the simple flip of a card.

Playing poker to pay the bills means living side by side with risk. But, as Matt soon discovers, the real meaning of risk lies far outside the poker room – and can strike in the most personal way. Matt’s intimate, first-person narrative is joined by the voices of other grinders with stories that range from tales of ultimate success to personal disaster.

 Free Download

Also for those that can’t wait and want to download it now, Grinders is also available today for iPad users who subscribe to TVO’s free Doc Studio app.

About TVO
TVO is Ontario’s public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO’s vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit

Where to Find TVO

On air:
Cable channel 2 (may vary in some areas)
Bell TV channel 265
Bell Fibe TV TVO HD channel 1265
Rogers TVO HD channel 580
Rogers-On-Demand Channel 100
Shaw Direct channel 353

Stay tuned for a Canada Poker New Grinders Poker documentary review. Also post if you have any questions for director Matt Gallagher, we will direct them to him and hopefully here can answer your inquiries.

Canada Poker News – Jan 2012

The first month of 2012 has come and gone, and January was a pretty good month for several Canadian Poker Players.  Here is what happened in January 2012 with regards to Canada Poker.

The first major tournament of 2012 was the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).

Xuan Liu of Toronto finished 4th in the main event and took home $600,000, the biggest of her career. On the same final table, Mark Drover of St.John’s NF finished 5th for $468,000 and David Bernstein finished 7th for $260,000.

Jonathan Duhamel finished 2nd in the $25k 8max NLHE event for $634,550, 4th in the $100k super high roller for $300k+, and a 5th in a $5k turbo event.  Plus he also won a $5k NLHE event for $239,830.  Also Quebec police have also recovered over half of his stolen money back.  Not a bad PCA and January in general for Mr. Duhamel.

Other Canadians with great showings at the 2012 PCA include Shawn Buchananwith a win, Andrew Chen, and Daniel Negreanu.

At the WSOP circuit event at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Gregory Hartwick of Bolton, and a member of the Orangeville Poker Tour, finished 1st in event #3 the $560 NLHE.  He took home $26,106 and a gold WSOP ring for that win.

At the 2012 Aussie Millions, Yann Dion of Quebec City, final tabled the main event and finished in 7th for $175,000

Good job to all Canadian Poker Players and lets continue the winning ways in February. Remember one of the biggest tournament series in Canada occurs in February, the Fallsview Poker Classic. With 3 events and big prize pools, this is Ontario’s premier event. It should be fun, good luck and post if you will be playing. Canada Poker News will be there to post the results.

PokerStars Mobile now available in Canada

PokerStars launched their mobile application earlier this year, but unfortunately real money play was only available for Europeans.  Now you can join in the fun, as PokerStars Mobile is now available in Canada for real money.  Play online poker on your iphone, ipad, or android phone, with a free download from itunes or in the app store.

Mobile poker available include tournaments (available soon), sitngos, cash games, and zoom poker.  Mostly microstake cash games at the moment, but as this becomes more popular, more higher stake tables will soon be open.

Get entered in the PokerStars VIP Club Mobile Freeroll.  Also any time you pay ring game rake or a tournament fee on the Mobile client, you’ll earn VIP Player Points (VPPs). Earn just 100 VPPs while playing real money games on Mobile from July 9 – August 15 and you’ll get a ticket to an exclusive $100,000 freeroll!

Play Mobile Poker on Poker Stars Today!  Sign up here

PokerStars Top 1o Mobile Tips

  1. Find the same Hold’em and Omaha games you are used to playing on your computer
  2. Only have a few minutes to spare? Play Zoom poker games on the go
  3. Multi-table by tapping the table you want to jump, or by swiping left or right
  4. Play Multi-table tournaments (MTTs), Sit &Go’s and satellites –  anytime, anywhere
  5. Queuing for lunch? Waiting for a train? Hit ‘Play Now’ to fire up a quick game in seconds
  6. Chat with your friends and other poker players at the table
  7. Improve your skills by viewing and requesting your hand histories from the app itself
  8. Play Mobile poker in over 15 languages
  9. Use the ‘Search’ function to easily find your friends at the tables
  10. Use Advanced Filters to set your preferred game type, buy-in and much more, for ring games and tournaments

Canada Poker News

Welcome to Canada Poker News, the place where you can find everything that is happening for Canadian Poker Players and Poker in Canada.  Whether it be information on poker tournaments on Canadian soil, or exclusive online poker tournaments and promotions for Canadian players, we will bring you that information, now in either English or French.  Find out which Online Poker Rooms are the best for Canadians, and why you should play there!  This is Canada, and we own the poker world, eh!Welcome to Canada Poker News, the place where you can find everything that is happening for Canadian Poker Players and Poker in Canada.  Whether it be information on poker tournaments on Canadian soil, or exclusive online poker tournaments and promotions for Canadian players, we will bring you that information.  Find out which Online Poker Rooms are the best for Canadians, and why you should play there!  This is Canada, and we own the poker world, eh!

Loto Quebec Online Casino and Online Poker Room opens Dec 1

Its official, the Quebec government opens its doors to online casino and online poker action on Dec 1, 2010. is the website where the online casino will run off of.  The online poker network will use the BOSS software and network, the same as the BC Playnow network, setting the tone for a future Canada Poker Network.

The Loto Quebec online poker room will hit off with a bang in the form of a $250,000 freeroll that takes place on Feb 13, 2011.  Qualifying satellites are free and take place daily/weekly through a 2 stage qualification process.  There is also a Espace Poker bad beat jackpot that will start off at $100,000

Espacejeux new members can also get a $20 free bet with the use of Espacejeux promo code Casino

The following deposit options are available at Espacejeux – Interac online, Visa, and MasterCard

It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the provinces get their act together and form the Canada Poker Network.