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Online Poker News: August 2012

August is turning into a busy month for the poker world and the online poker business. Here are a few of the top poker news stories that card players are following.
Judge Rules Poker a Game of Skill
A Federal judge has ruled that poker is a game of skill, and not a game of chance in what’s being called, “major victory for the game of poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy it.”
The decision came as part of an appeal by a man who had been convicted by a jury of running an illegal poker operation. A major part of the defense relied on a study of over 100 million poker hands that showed 75% of them ended with most players folding.
Carbon Poker Drops Bad Beat Jackpots
Carbon Poker is shutting down its player-friendly Bad Beat Jackpot tables as soon as the next Jackpot goes off. Currently the jackpot is floating at around $313,000 and has sometimes gone as high as $1 million.
Company officials explained the move as follows, “This change is to ensure a healthier poker room ecology, while providing players with a better ring game selection and increased players at the stakes the BBJ tables use to be.”
Bad Beat Jackpots went to players with nearly unbeatable hands who were beat out players with odds-defying, even better, hands. The jackpot was funded with a 20% rake from the tables. That rake will be redistributed to players at the table where the final jackpot is won.
Bluff Gaming Closes
Bluff gaming, a poker site operating on the Enet Poker Network has announced that it’s going out of business at the end of the month. The Malta based outfit will be honoring all rakeback deals and is giving players an opportunity to fulfill all deposit bonus offers.
While Bluff is honoring its end of the deal, they’re also making sure that players don’t take advantage of their waning days. They’ve made it very clear that chip dumping will not be tolerated.
Bluff has skins on other networks which, so far, appear to be open for business. Remaining player funds from the soon-to-be-shuttered site will be transferred to the Enet Poker Site.
CelebPoker and Titan Poker Merging
The iPoker Network will be getting a major face lift at the end of the month when CelebPoker and Titan Poker merge. The merger will be the basis of the new iPoker 2 Network.
iPoker 2 is being structured as a two-tiered network with distinct areas for casual and professional players. Playtech has set up some pretty high standards for companies wanting in on the action. They’ll need to have at least 6,000 players now and be ready to add another 850 each month.
The move could potentially be bad news for remaining skins on the network who don’t make the cut.