December 10th – Weekly News Update
Welcome back to the Poker News Daily Weekly update where we highlight the biggest stories in the world of poker. I’m your host, Sean Gibson, and let’s get to the news.
Well, It’s shaping up to be an interesting last few days of the current Congressional session for members of the online poker community. On Tuesday, Politico published an article revealing that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was attempting to add a bill legalizing online poker to the measure extending tax cuts.
Politico confirmed Reid’s desires with Senator Orrin Hatch. Senator Jon Kyl, one of the masterminds of the original UIGEA, would not allow the plan to come to fruition. Kyl told Politico,
“[There is] zero chance – no chance whatsoever that would be part of the tax deal. I don’t think it would be the right thing to do.”
We’ll keep you posted on this constantly changing story.
Nearly leading the tournament wire-to-wire, Antonio Esfandiari took down the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a stop on the World Poker Tour. Esfandiari, a Victory Poker pro, banked eight hundred seventy thousand dollars for his efforts. The tournament can be seen as part of Season Nine of the WPT on Fox Sports Net next year.
Esfandiari edged out fellow Victory Poker pro Andrew Robl heads-up when “The Magician’s” King Jack held against Robl’s Queen Ten on the final hand. Here’s how the final group of six cashed out in the ten thousand dollar buy-in tournament:
Earlier this week, PokerStars took the unexpected step of signing Isildur1. The Swede gained fame by multi-tabling against the world’s best players including Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and Tom Dwan. The signing is atypical for PokerStars, which usually aims to ink established pros who have had a ton of television face time. This time around, they’ve gone with a player without an identity who has yet to play on TV.
As part of his sponsorship deal, Isildur1 will be taking part in high-stakes heads-up SuperStar Showdown matches exclusively played at PokerStars. These matches are feature a format of twenty five hundred hands at stakes no lower than fifty, one hundred. The official word from PokerStars is that these SuperStar Showdown matches will be played either as No Limit Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha.
Poker News Daily polled the online poker industry to see what reaction several pros had to Isildur1’s signing. CardRunners founder Taylor Caby had this to say:
“I’m definitely excited to see Isildur1 back in the spotlight. As a poker fan, I’ve enjoyed watching him play and I’ll be on the rail when he starts playing again.”
Jay Rosenkrantz, founder of DeucesCracked said:
“Seems like a good move for PokerStars, creating a bit of a distraction too amidst all these legislative happenings. Watching Isildur1 play nosebleeds was better entertainment than anything on television and if they can create that kind of spectacle again, I’m sure it will be a good thing for their business and for poker.”
Unleashed Poker is handing out presents to all of its players this holiday season. Players on the site will have the opportunity to earn numerous prizes as part of Unleashed Poker’s Christmas Giveaways. From now until December Twenty-First, players can pick up exclusive Unleashed Poker swag along with high-end electronics. For those partial to Apple products, iPod Shuffles, iPod Touches, and iPads will be given away.
Players on the virtual felts at Unleashed Poker will earn Frequent Player Points, which can be used for the Christmas Giveaway prizes. Unleashed Poker will give out one FPP for each dollar raked at the tables and every prize has an associated FPP level. Unleashed Poker makes its home on the USA-friendly Cake Poker Network.
Actress Cheryl Hines of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and former World Series of Poker Main Event champ Joe Cada will host the third annual All In For Cerebral Palsy celebrity charity poker tournament at the Venetian’s poker room on Saturday. Proceeds from the event will benefit the One Step Closer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose main goal is to ease the lives of those who suffer from cerebral palsy through financial freedom and social acceptance.
The No Limit Hold’em charity tournament will have a five hundred forty dollar buy-in with unlimited two hundred dollar rebuys for ninety minutes. Half of the prize pool will go for the tournament’s payouts, with the other half going to the foundation. There will also be sports and Hollywood memorabilia available through auctions and an after-party with free drinks courtesy of the One Step Closer Foundation. Players can register at the Venetian Poker Room cage until the end of the rebuy period.
Finally, Full Tilt Poker released a software update on Monday that addressed many of its customers’ requests. Among the new features to the software were an “Auto Add-On” button for rebuys and a “Quick Fold to Any Bet” option for Rush Poker players.
The “Auto Add-On” button was probably the most asked-for feature that Full Tilt’s software was missing up until this latest upgrade. After PokerStars inserted a clickable “Auto Add-On” box for its rebuy tournaments in June of last year, Full Tilt players requested the same. It took well over a year, but the site came through for its multi-tablers who were frustrated about forgetting to add on after the rebuy hour. Full Tilt happily accepts players from the United States.
Well, that does it for a very busy and exciting week in the world of poker. Be sure to stay tuned in to Poker News Daily for the absolute latest in poker news and be sure to follow us at twitter dot com slash poker news daily. I’m Sean Gibson, thanking you for watching and wishing you a sick run this weekend at the tables!