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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Party Poker NJ / Borgata: Grading Deposit, Cashout Methods

Party Poker NJ / Borgata: Grading Deposit, Cashout Methods

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amaya initiates strategic review of Cadillac Jack

Breaking News Is Digital For 80% of Internet Users 10/20/2014

Breaking News Is Digital For 80% of Internet Users 10/20/2014



Breaking News Is Digital For 80% of Internet Users

According to a new study from the Newspaper Association of America, conducted by ComScore, the audience engaged with newspaper digital content reached a new peak in August 2014, rising 18% to 164 million unique visitors (adults 18+) from 139 million in August 2013. That audience level was 25 million larger than a year ago.
Newspaper Digital Audience(Millions of Unique Visitors 18+; August 2013 - August 2014)
2013
Visitors (MM)
   Aug
139
   Sep
141
   Oct
142
   Nov
148
   Dec
147
2014
   Jan
146
   Feb
145
   Mar
161
   Apr
155
   May
153
   Jun
155
   Jul
157
   Aug
164
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
Additional data from the study also revealed that:
  • 80% of U.S. adults who were online in August accessed newspaper digital content, also a new peak.
  • Over the past year, young women (ages 18-24) were the fastest-growing segment of the newspaper digital audience, rising 38%.
  • 92% of women ages 25-34 read newspaper digital content, the greatest reach among any age or gender.
  • Those who use only mobile devices, smartphones or tablets, to access newspaper digital media now exceed those who use only desktop/laptop computers and those who used both kinds of machines during the month.
Along with the rise in unique visitors, the proportion of the total online audience reached by newspaper digital platforms has grown. Eight in 10 adults engaged with newspaper digital content in August 2014. That compares with a reach of two-thirds (65%) of adults in June 2013.
The reach of newspaper digital content was highest among those ages 25-34. More than eight in 10 are also reached in the 35-44 and 45-54 age segments. Both the oldest group (55+) and the youngest group (18-24) have lower reach.
 
Net Reach by Age Group (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014)
Age Group
Digital Audience
18-
0%
18+
80%
25-34
85%
35-44
82%
45-54
81%
55+
77%
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
A more detailed look at the net reach by probing age and gender together sheds additional light on the newspaper digital audience. The fastest-growing segment of the newspaper digital audience over the past 12 months has been with young women, age 18-24, which increased 38%. The groups next highest in growth were men 35-44 and men 45-54, which rose 31% each.
The number of older women, those age 55 and over, using newspaper digital content increased by 21%, above the overall gain reflected in the total adult figure (+18%).
% Change in Unique Visitors by Age & Gender (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014 vs. August 2013)
Segment
Digital Audience
Adults
18%
Men
   18-24
43%
   25-34
16%
   35-44
31%
   45-54
31%
   55+
10%
Women
   18-24
38%
   25-34
18%
   35-44
9%
   45-54
8%
   55+
21%
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
 Different growth rates for age and gender segments over time translate into different levels of net reach for newspaper digital media enterprises. Newspaper digital media have the highest reach among women ages 25-34, with more than nine in 10 (92%) engaged with that content in August 2014.
Net Reach by Age & Gender (Newspaper Digital Audience; August 2014)
Group
Digital Audience
Adults
80%
Men
   18-24
71%
   25-34
78%
   35-44
84%
   45-54
86%
   55+
81%
Women
   18-24
73%
   25-34
92%
   35-44
80%
   45-54
76%
   55+
74%
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
Mobile devices are clearly providing a significant boost to the newspaper digital audience, says the report. Those who use only mobile devices for their newspaper digital access more than doubled in the past year, with their unique visitor count rising 102%. In contrast, the audience that uses only desktop or laptop machines for newspaper digital access dropped by 16%.
US Digital Newspaper Audience Growth (% Change vs. Previous Year)
Audience
% Growth From Previous Year
Total Digital Audience
+18%
Mobile only
+102%
Desktop/laptop only
-16%
Both
+48%
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
As a result of the large increase among those using only mobile for newspaper digital access, that group is now the biggest piece of the three segments, representing 38% of the total. The desktop/laptop group is 34% of the total and those who use both kinds of access platforms are 28% of the total, explains the report.
Young women 18-24 are the segment with the largest increase in using only mobile devices for their newspaper digital access. Compared with August 2013, the number of young women engaged with newspaper digital content only via mobile surged 204%.
Percent Change, Unique Visitors by Age & Gender (Mobile-Only Newspaper; Digital Audience August 2014 vs. August 2013)
Group
Digital Audience
Adults
102%
Men
   18-24
59%
   25-34
119%
   35-44
188%
   45-54
163%
    55+
60%
Women
   18-24
204%
   25-34
80%
   35-44
53%
   45-54
81%
   55+
122%
Source: NAA/ComScore, October 2014
 For access to the complete report from ComScore, please visit here.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Roth Road To Riches

Roth Road To Riches





In 2012 FORBES highlighted a backdoor method for high-income folks to move money into Roth IRAs, where it can grow tax free for retirement. While couples with more than $190,000 in adjusted gross income can’t contribute to Roth IRAs directly, they can put the maximum annual IRA contribution of $5,500 a person ($6,500 for those 50 or older) into an aftertax (meaning nondeductible) IRA, which has no income restrictions, and then immediately convert it into a Roth. (Conveniently, income limits on conversions ended in 2010.)
Now there’s an even bigger-dollar Roth gambit, thanks to new, surprisingly permissive Internal Revenue Service rules governing the rollover of aftertax 401(k) contributions into Roth IRAs.
As a result, some workers may be able to funnel as much as $34,500 extra a year into Roth IRAs, while certain retirees can immediately Rothify hundreds of thousands of dollars in old aftertax 401(k) contributions without paying any conversion tax.
“For people who put aftertax dollars in their plans, it’s a huge windfall,” says New Jersey financial planner Chris Kamnitsis.
Todd Pearson/Getty Images
If you have traditional aftertax money in your 401(k) you can leave it in the plan where it grows tax-deferred or roll it into a Roth IRA where it grows taxfree. (Credit: Todd Pearson/Getty Images)
Retirees in the know are already springing into action. Wayne Grunewald, 62, sat on the 401(k) advisory board in his last job as corporate controller of cigarette-paper maker Schweitzer-Mauduit International SWM 0%. He’s rolling $180,000 of aftertax contributions from that 401(k) into a Roth IRA. “People ought to be looking at this,” urges Grunewald, who now lives in The Villages in Florida with his wife, Mary, a retired occupational therapist. Grunewald keeps busy these days as a volunteer tax preparer for the elderly and math tutor for fifth graders, as well as playing golf and pickleball and on four softball teams.
For those less familiar with arcane tax rules than Grunewald, however, this new Roth deal takes a lot of explaining.
There are three flavors of retirement account contributions: pretax, traditional aftertax and Roth. Pretax contributions cut your current income tax bill, but all withdrawals in retirement are taxed as ordinary income at a current top rate of 39.6%. Traditional aftertax contributions grow tax deferred, but withdrawals of earnings (although not of contributions) are also taxed at high ordinary income rates. Roth contributions are also made aftertax, but all withdrawals in retirement (or by heirs) are income tax free and (at least under current law) don’t raise your adjusted gross income for the purpose of various upper-income gotchas such as extra Medicare premiums (as much as $7,203 per couple this year) and the new ObamaCare 3.8% surcharge on investment income.
The virtue of Roths becomes particularly apparent when retirees turn 70 1/2 and must start taking taxable “required minimum distributions” (RMDs) from their traditional retirement accounts. Mark Lumia, the Grunewalds’ financial planner, notes that the couple, now in the 25% tax bracket, could be pushed back up into the 35% bracket when Wayne Grunewald hits 70, claims delayed Social Security benefits and then is forced to take RMDs from the more than $2.5 million he has in pretax retirement accounts.
You don’t have to take RMDs from a Roth (unless you inherited it from someone other than a spouse), but if you need extra cash–say, $40,000 for a new car or a bucket list safari–you can pull it out without bumping yourself into a higher tax bracket.
So you want Roth dollars. Now here’s how you can get more of them through a 401(k) or a similar plan for nonprofit workers.
In 2014 you can make up to $17,500 ($23,000 if you’re 50 or older) in pretax or Roth employee contributions. Yet the law actually allows more than double that–up to $52,000, or $57,500 if you’re 50-plus–to be put into a 401(k) on your behalf. This higher amount includes what your employer kicks in (always pretax), plus any extra aftertax contributions you yourself make.
Say you’re 50, earning $200,000 and making $23,000 in pretax contributions. Your skinflint employer kicks in $4,000 for a total of $27,000. Theoretically, you can top up your contributions with another $30,500 in aftertax contributions–if your plan permits it. (Unfortunately, the amount you can contribute aftertax is sometimes limited by “nondiscrimination” tests, which reduce the amount workers earning $115,000-plus can sock away if lower-paid
workers don’t save.)
Before the IRS issued its new rules, making aftertax 401(k) contributions arguably wasn’t worth it. That’s because you were only deferring taxes on investment earnings, not eliminating them, and you were converting capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a lower rate in nonretirement accounts, into highly taxed ordinary income.
The new IRS rules make aftertax contributions suddenly sexy. Here’s why: If you have $1 million sitting in traditional IRAs, with $100,000 of it from aftertax contributions and the rest from pretax contributions and tax-deferred earnings, and you want to move $100,000 to a Roth, you must convert both pretax and aftertax money on a pro rata basis, paying taxes now on the pretax part. To Rothify $100,000, you’re taxed on $90,000.
The new IRS rules, however, provide that when you’re moving money from a 401(k) to an IRA, you can separate out the aftertax contributions and roll them to a Roth IRA, without the pro rata bite. That’s true even if your employer didn’t put your pretax money in a separate account. In effect, the IRS is allowing you to roll your aftertax contributions to a Roth IRA while moving your pretax dollars and tax-deferred earnings to a pretax IRA or even to your new company’s 401(k). “You’ll need to report the transaction on your tax return, but it won’t affect the amount of tax you pay,” says Chicago tax lawyer Kaye Thomas, a Roth expert.

If your employer’s plan allows “in-service” withdrawals, you can roll aftertax 401(k) contributions directly to a Roth while you’re still working there. Yes, many plans have restrictions on how often you can do an in-service distribution. But some 401(k)s administered by the Vanguard Group, includingGoogle's GOOGL -1.14%, allow workers to go online as often as they want and move aftertax contributions and their earnings (but, conveniently, not other money) from their 401(k)s to a Roth IRA. If you do this, put your aftertax contributions in a money market fund and go online immediately after each pay period, so you won’t have taxable gains to complicate matters, says IRA expert Ed Slott, a New York CPA.
Presto chango. Old-fashioned aftertax contributions of questionable value have become very valuable Roth dollars. Of course, to get this sweet deal, you have to be in a plan that allows the aftertax contribution top-up. Vanguard reports that 40% of the plans it administers with more than 5,000 participants and 20% of all its plans allow aftertax contributions. If your 401(k) isn’t one of them, start lobbying your boss now.

EPT11 London: On Firm foundations, the future of poker in Ireland - PokerStars

EPT11 London: On Firm foundations, the future of poker in Ireland - PokerStars



EPT11 London: On Firm foundations, the future of poker in Ireland

Poker players pride themselves on their powers of observation, but one of the most significant moments at the UKIPT/EPT London festival this week went unnoticed by all but a very select few.
Up in one of the tertiary tournament areas in the Grand Connaught Rooms, during the late stages of a small buy-in UKIPT side event, a final table of nine was set when a short-stack went broke in a totally standard spot.
There was almost no money jump between tenth and ninth, and almost no discernible reaction from eight of the remaining competitors. However while the tournament organisers began the redraw for the final table, a 25-year-old Irishman named Daragh Davey took himself into the corner of the room to pump his fists in jubilation.
Nobody else in the tournament even saw him, much less would have understood what the fuss was all about. But for Davey that was the moment when he could feel confident that approximately 16 months of obsessive calculating, focus and application would finally bear fruit.
"Everybody was just, 'OK, final table, nothing's changed.'" Davey said. "But for me, it was huge."
At the end of the festival in London this week, Davey will almost certainly be crowned as the Player of the Year for Season 4 of the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). A ninth-place finish or better in that small tournament meant Max Silver, Davey's closest rival in the leader board, would need two sizeable results from only a handful of remaining tournaments to hunt him down. That was difficult even for someone of Silver's abilities.
ukipt4_dublin_day2_daragh_davey.jpg
Daragh Davey running up a stack in the Isle of Man

Davey knew he had taken an almost unassailable lead in a race that started in London in April 2013 and visited Marbella, the Isle of Man, Galway, Dublin, Edinburgh and Nottingham, among other destinations, during a 13-stop marathon.
It tested players' abilities through all poker variants and across about 90 tournaments. It awarded a prize of buy ins and hotel accommodation for every stop of Season 5 on the UKIPT - potentially invaluable for a professional poker player in these volatile times.
"What I think is the greatest achievement of it is that it's not the measure of one bit of luck in one tournament," David Lappin, a friend and colleague of Davey, said. "The person who wins a poker tournament is probably the person who ran best that day. The person who wins a 16-month leader board over 80 or 90 live events, he probably ran decently during that whole period but that's still a bit more of an iron man. It's a bit more of a test."
Davey confirmed the importance of the stability the leader board triumph would offer. "There's huge financial relief because straight away I have my buy-ins for the main tournaments I play every year," he said. "Knowing that I don't have to buy into [the satellites] is a pretty big relief. In terms of winning the leader board, and the notoriety, it's pretty cool."
Arguably the most impressive factor in Davey's run is that in many ways it was only to be expected. Davey is a member of a collective of Irish players known colloquially as "The Firm", along with the aforementioned Lappin and Dara O'Kearney. Despite involvement in a pastime that is by its nature filled with variance, the members of the Firm have spent many years figuring out ways to reduce luck's influence to a bare minimum.
They are involved in coaching promising players, then staking them into tournaments and cash games, both live and online. They spend many hours discussing not only hand strategy but also the most profitable approach to the business of poker as a whole, examining the fine print of leader board promotions, for instance, and honing game selection.
They operate as a small business, analysing applications for new recruits, plugging leaks to optimise returns of existing colleagues, and offering what amounts to a support network for people involved in what can often be one of the most solitary and soul-destroying pursuits.
"Even just the day to day slog of being a poker player can be quite volatile," Lappin said. "There are a lot of chats over coffee, pep talks back and forth to each other. The camaraderie that we get from having this kind of collective is massively valuable because inevitably twice or three times a year you're going to go on a bad run. And when that happens it's a really lonely game, and you do feel very much on your own when you're down-swinging. And to have that kind of collective...it does even out that variance, that we have that sharing policy. It's morale as much as it's anything else."
And here's the thing: it works.
ukipt4_isle of man_day1a_weekes_docherty.jpg
David Lappin: Firm foundations

Lappin and O'Kearney both also had a decent run in the UKIPT Leader Board this year, heading to the season finale in London in sixth and fourth place, respectively. One of the Firm's current horses, Kevin Killeen, won UKIPT Dublin in February and is making a deep run in the EPT Main Event. Jason Tompkins, a former Firm member who now lives in Australia, has also made final tables at both the EPT and WSOP.
And that's just in the live tournament environment. Despite recorded winnings of about $400,000 in bricks and mortar games, O'Kearney is best known in poker as "SlowDoke", the moniker with which he has become an online satellite monster on PokerStars.
Such is his dominance in these particular games that O'Kearney had essentially locked up the UKIPT "Online Qualifier of the Year" prize about six months ago, and had won 87 packages even before UKIPT London, pushing beyond 100 in the past month or so. (His closest challenger, uWannaLoan?, had 53.)
Dara_O'Kearney_ukipt_d2w.jpg
Dara O'Kearney: In less familiar, live, environs

The prize for topping that leader board was an additional package, plus a seat in a special Champion of Champions tournament hosted here in London. Although O'Kearney (and Killeen) both swung and missed in that event, losing out on the chance to lock up a Season 5 passport to Dean Hutchison, their very participation offered further proof of the Firm's merits - and further evidence of their fierce competitive spirit.
"I was gutted," O'Kearney said afterwards. "In terms of equity, this is the biggest tournament that I've played in the last couple of weeks. Apart from the money, I would have loved to have won it just to have that on my CV."
O'Kearney, who is now 49, came to poker relatively late, taking up the game in his early 40s at the end of an somewhat unconventional athletics career. He graduated from running "regular" marathons to races over 50 or 60 kilometres and then to six-hour and eventually 24-hour races. The stamina he built up, both mentally and physically, is now put to use at the poker tables in what can often be formulaic situations.
"I developed an ability to do something really boring for a very long time, which is what poker really becomes beyond a certain point," O'Kearney said. "Poker is much more exciting when you're learning the game and you have to think about more situations, but when you reach a certain level, a lot of the situations are automatic and you're doing the same things over and over again, particularly when you're grinding online. [It's beneficial] just having the mindset that you're actually able to do that without losing your mind."
O'Kearney and Lappin founded the Firm three years ago in Dublin after they were introduced by a friend and fellow poker player Jono Crute. They immediately discovered a shared outlook on the game, content to treat poker as career in which they could hope to make a decent living doing something they enjoyed, rather than chasing the bright lights and unrealistic dreams that have cost many others their livelihood in poker.
Davey, who was a low-to-mid stakes live cash-game grinder -- a "live nit" in his own words -- became the first player O'Kearney staked - and for reasons beyond his raw ability.
"I thought that he had the right temperament, that he would handle the swings, the lifestyle in general, and learn really quickly, not get upset if he had a long bad run," O'Kearney said. "Basically it was just stability of temperament, which a lot of the other guys who would have been seen as really talented players at the time didn't have. And they're gone from the game now because long term that's more important than how good you happen to be at poker at that precise moment."
Lappin agreed. "The amount of guys I've seen come and go over the eight years I'm playing, who were much better poker players than I am, much more creative minds," he said.
Davey added: "It's hard work. Somebody can be a far better player than you and you can make more money than them if you work harder. I don't think any of the three of us claim to be the best. We're not even anywhere close to it."
Yet within their own parameters, the Firm are indeed doing something exceptional. They have managed to develop a safeguard against being chewed up and spat out by an industry that can often be as ruthless as it can be exhilarating.
"That's what I think is brilliant, when you see poker players having ostensibly normal lives," Lappin said. "That's actually the stories that should be championed. If a few hundred people in Ireland and Great Britain can make a living from it, and apply it to making the lives of people around them better, and having a steady life, I think that should be the objective, from my point of view."
Follow our coverage of the EPT London festival via the main EPT London page, where there are hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top and feature pieces below. And, of course, you can follow it all live at EPT Live.