December 23rd – Weekly News Update

Welcome to your weekly fix for this week’s poker news, I’m Sean Gibson and in our PND weekly update, I’ll be recapping the hottest headlines for this week.

We start out with maybe the biggest name in poker… and MORE exposure of’s Phil Hellmuth is just what the poker world needs. In recent days, Hellmuth potentially dropped a bombshell by Tweeting:

“OMG! Phil Hellmuth (me!) on ‘Dancing with the Stars!’ Outrageous! Might make a fool out of myself on worldwide television one more time.”

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” is entering its twelfth season, which is set to hit television airwaves in the beginning of Two Thousand Eleven.

Despite multiple media outlets asserting that Hellmuth is a lock for “Dancing with the Stars,” let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The cast for the new cycle has not yet been announced, but is apparently due out in January.

According to Politco, Senator Jon Kyl is keeping his Two Thousand Twelve reelection plans close to the vest, which is creating uncertainty about the future hierarchy of his party’s leadership. Kyl is the Senate Minority Whip, the second ranking position in the Republican Party.

Poker players know Kyl as Capitol Hill’s current public enemy number one to online poker. He was one of the key players behind the UIGEA four years ago. The bill, which aimed to stop the flow of funds to offshore internet gambling sites, was attached to the must-pass SAFE Port Act in the middle of the night just before Congress adjourned for the year.

Since Two Thousand Six, Kyl has continued to fight against online poker. Earlier this year, he blocked the appointment of several of President Barack Obama‘s nominees to the United States Treasury because he was upset that the UIGEA implementation deadline had been pushed back six months. This month, he was the most vocal opponent of Senator Harry Reid’s failed attempts to legalize and regulate online poker.

The sixth Online Championship, or UBOC, will kick off on Sunday, January Sixteenth. A record-setting twenty nine events will comprise the new series, culminating in a one thousand fifty dollar buy-in No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack Championship on January Thirtieth. All told, at least five million bucks will be shelled out to faithful during UBOC Six.

Running concurrently with UBOC Six is Mini UBOC Six, which offers the same slate of events, but with buy-ins that are one-tenth as large. This allows players of all bankrolls to compete in the wide range of tournaments on the docket. In addition, the entire UBOC Six schedule is open to players from’s CEREUS Network sister site Absolute Poker.

The very first PokerStars SuperStar Showdown took place on Sunday and featured Isaac Haxton squaring off against Isildur1. In the end, Haxton boosted his bankroll by forty-one thousand dollars over the twenty five hundred hand match and was declared the winner. Both Haxton and Isildur1 bought in for one hundred fifty thousand dollars.

According to the PokerStars Blog, the lively rail for the very first SuperStar Showdown match featured high-stakes pros like Kevin MacPhee and Chad Batista. The group watched one of their own battle against an unknown Swedish online pro who many believe to be Viktor Blom. Four No Limit Hold’em tables at fifty/one-hundred blinds served as the battleground for the Showdown.

The next SuperStar Showdown opponent for Isildur1 has not yet been announced and interested players are encouraged to e-mail [email protected] On its blog, PokerStars claims that a match may take place at the upcoming PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, although whether Isildur1’s true identity would be revealed at that time remains to be seen.

Looking to expand its brand further into the global marketplace, Caesars Interactive Entertainment has entered into a joint venture with one of Italy’s top online poker companies, Microgame.

In an announcement last Friday, Caesars Interactive and Microgame revealed a long-term agreement to co-brand Microgame’s online poker outlet,, with the World Series of Poker name and logo. Through the agreement, Caesars Interactive and Microgame will offer online and live events to the Italian market prominently featuring the WSOP brand. Additionally, Microgame will become the official satellite outlet for Italian players entering the WSOP.

The movie that helped spark the poker boom is returning to fire a second barrel. Miramax Films announced this week that it will be teaming up with the Weinstein Company to produce “Rounders Two,” a sequel to the cult favorite that was released more than a decade ago.

According to IMDB, “Rounders Two” is currently in development and scheduled to hit theaters in Two Thousand Twelve. The cast and crew have not been announced, but Matt Damon and Edward Norton have supposedly signed on for the project, as has original director John Dahl. It’s unknown whether John Malkovich or John Turturro will return for the sequel, leaving fans to speculate where the story will take the lead characters this time around. Miramax broke the exciting news in press release late last week.

That does it for this week’s top headlines in the world of poker. We thank you for watching our Weekly News Update and encourage you to visit our site every day for the latest in poker news. I’m Sean Gibson, wishing you a very happy holiday season and of course … for you to crush the games for a late year heater. See you next time!

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