Marty Derbyshire

A special edition of the Global Poker Sunday Scrimmage tournament with double the guaranteed prize pool turned out to be a dream come true for one California online poker player.

Thomas tdubz224 Walters took down the SC$218 buy-in event and collected an SC$21,617 first-place prize in the process.

Walters told Global Poker it was a big win at just the right time:

“Winning this event really has been a dream come true. I have played poker my whole life and have tried to get more serious at it over the past year. The cash prize could not have come at a better time. I just got married and bought a house in the past six months so this is really helpful for my wife and I.

This win has really motivated and invigorated me to keep working harder and longer at my game and to leave nothing on the table. I would love to see just how far my poker journey can go.”

The Global Poker Sunday Scrimmage guarantee

The Global Poker Sunday Scrimmage usually comes with a SC$50,000 prize pool guarantee. However, the Sunday Scrimmage Special held on Sept. 2 had an SC$100,000 guarantee attached. When all was said and done, the event drew a whopping 578 entries, pushing the prize pool up to a guarantee-smashing SC$115,600.

Ninety players made the money with a minimum cash worth SC$301. Walters took down the title after more than six hours of play.

Walters beat New York’s “punte101” heads up. Fellow Californian “EeeeeAwwww1122” also made the final table, finishing fourth for SC$8,670.

Real-money online poker in California

Global Poker continues to offer one of the only real options for California online poker players. It’s a legal option across the US because it uses its own form of virtual currency and patented Sweepstakes model.

Players don’t buy into Global Poker tournaments and ring games with real money. Instead, they buy Gold Coins that yield specific prizes.

The sweepstakes prizes come in the form of $weeps Cash. Players can buy into various tournaments and ring games on the site using this virtual currency. They can then convert $weeps Cash into real money through payment processor Worldpay. Players cannot directly convert Gold Coins into cash.

Australia’s VGW Holdings Limited owns and operates Global Poker. It is available only to players in the US and Canada.

US online poker legislation

There are currently only three states with legalized and regulated online poker. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware launched legal and regulated online poker in 2013.

Then, Pennsylvania passed online poker legislation in 2017. In late 2018 or early 2019, it will likely become the fourth state to launch online poker operations.

This year marked the first in a decade in which California has not considered at least some kind of online poker legislation. Dealing with companies who previously accepted customers inside the US has proved a sticking point for stakeholders in the state.

The closest California has come to passing online poker legislation was in 2016 when a bill passed through the California Assembly Appropriations Committee. This same operator suitability issue ultimately derailed the bill.

Lawmakers considered banning operators that accepted US customers after 2016 for life, or for five years. However, stakeholders including Native American tribes, California cardrooms, operators like PokerStars, and lawmakers, could not reach an agreement.

Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire - Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including USPoker.com, PlayCA.com, and PlayNJ.com.