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Let California Play: PokerStars launches celebrity poker tour in California

6 July 2015

(PRESS RELEASE) -- PokerStars, the Amaya Inc. brand, has announced that some of the world’s best-known poker players will tour around California this summer meeting with fans, playing in tournaments and games and raising money for charity as part of a campaign to create awareness and support for legislation to authorize and regulate online poker in California.

PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world, is partnering with select California cardrooms for a series of special Texas Hold’em poker tournaments and games in which members of Team PokerStars Pro will play against local poker players.

Cardroom patrons will have an opportunity to test their poker skills against PokerStars-sponsored celebrity poker players Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Somerville or Liv Boeree at the special events held at the participating cardrooms.

The Let California Play! PokerStars Pro Tour is an effort to demonstrate to poker players and cardrooms that if online poker is authorized and regulated in California, both consumers and land-based casinos, like cardrooms, will benefit.

“It’s really important for poker players to make their voices heard among the decision makers in California and tell them ‘Let California Play’,” said PokerStars Team Pro member Daniel Negreanu, who was recently named Global Poker Index ‘Player of the Decade’.

Millions of people in California play poker in their homes, in cardrooms and in licensed casinos, but are unable to play online in a regulated environment. Many times they end up playing online poker on sites that are not overseen or accountable to regulators in any way. Consumers are left without protection.

“Poker players can play an important role in shaping the debate around iPoker in California so we’re looking to spark conversations in poker rooms up and down the state,” said Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc. and PokerStars. “We have a simple message: Let California Play!”

The Let California Play! PokerStars Pro Tour will begin on July 17 and will continue through the summer. The Pro Tour dates and cardrooms include:
· Friday July 17: Palomar Card Club, San Diego
· Saturday July 18: Lake Elsinore Casino, Lake Elsinore
· Sunday, July 19: Seven Mile Casino, Chula Vista
· Saturday, July 25: Napa Valley Casino, American Canyon
· Sunday, Aug 2: Stones Gambling Hall, Citrus Heights
· Thursday, Aug 6: The Aviator Casino, Delano
· Friday, Aug 7: Diamond Jim's Casino, Rosamond
· Sunday, Aug 9: Turlock Poker Room, Turlock

Additional Pro Tour dates will be announced in coming weeks.

“We are thrilled to be the first stop of the PokerStars Pro Tour,” said Nick Salem, General Manager of the Palomar Card Club in San Diego. “We anticipate a packed cardroom and we’ve heard from our players who are excited to test their skills against Jason Somerville and Liv Boeree. Long term we want to see online poker authorized in California to raise the profile of poker and build a new generation of poker players that will help land based poker rooms thrive.”

Consumers benefit by having a heavily regulated online poker marketplace in which to safely play the game they love with strong consumer protection and strict regulations in place. Multiple studies have shown that online poker increases interest in poker in general, which in turn increases business at cardrooms and brick and mortar casinos.

The state of California also stands to benefit financially. Estimates are that if online poker is approved in California taxes generated could infuse the state general fund with hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pro Tour tournament players, the general public and cardrooms will have the option to join Californians for Responsible iPoker , a free grassroots coalition created by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, three cardrooms – Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Commerce Casino and Bicycle Casino – and Amaya Inc. and PokerStars. The site will function as the portal through which people can get updates about legislative action in California and learn ways they can engage in the policy-making process in Sacramento.

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