December 31st – Weekly News Update

Welcome once again to the Poker News Daily weekly news update. I’m your host Sean Gibson and I’ll be delivering the top headlines for the week in the world of poker – and what a week of news it was!!

Our first story rocks the world of online poker as superstars Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke are officially parting ways with for different reasons. Both have been the faces of and represented for nine years. We did get a comment from Annie Duke about HER decision to leave

“After some thought, I made a decision to leave because I would like to explore other avenues of business and personal growth. I realized I needed to spend my time on other things.”

Duke has stated that she has no intentions of signing on with another poker site. She said that she is moving on from to persue other projects on a full time basis. Hellmuth continues to be one of the biggest names in the world of poker and his departure, although rumored in the last few weeks, still comes as a huge shock. As more develops in this story, stay tuned right here at poker news daily for the latest.

Another online poker industry icon is moving on as Lee Jones earlier this week announced his resignation from Cake Poker. Jones posted on the TwoPlusTwo forums on Tuesday:

“This is a brief announcement to let you know that, as of yesterday, I have resigned my position at Cake Poker and will not be making any further posts here. Their management has made some strategic decisions with which I’m not comfortable.”

Jones, who also is a guest columnist here at our site told us that he simply wasn’t comfortable with some of the decisions that the Cake management was making. Jones refused to comment further but added that he hopes to remain in the poker industry and says he has a couple of irons in the fire. Jones rose to fame in the online poker industry originally in roles with PokerStars, the EPT and at CardRunners.

For those of you that can’t get enough Isildur1 action, the next SuperStar Showdown match has been announced. Coming off a loss to Isaac Haxton, Isildur1 will now face the notorious Tony G in a high stakes battle. You might remember that it was Tony G that supposedly staked Isildur1 for a comeback bid and reportedly knows the Swedish player’s identity. The match will take place on Sunday, January 2nd at 4pm eastern time on PokerStars. The game will be half no limit hold’em and half pot limit Omaha at $50-$100 blind stakes. Interested parties can rail the action at PokerStars by looking for tables labeled showdown under the Omaha tab or under the Holdem, No Limit all tables tab.

Jon Friedberg, known online as pokertrip will be debuting a new talk show right here, exclusively on Poker News Daily. Friedberg will host the new show, called “The Showdown” every week here at PND, and promises to feature some of the game’s most prolific names. Set to start during the first week of January, Friedberg’s first guest will be former Survivor castaway Jean-Robert Bellande. When asked about his new home here at PND, he stated:

“I see myself not as a member of the media, but rather a fellow poker player who sees eye-to-eye with players I interview. I don’t have any problems asking questions that other poker media might be scared to address. My passion is to share the lifestyles, strategies, and thought processes of poker players.”

Be sure to catch the first episode of “The Showdown” right here at Poker News Daily next week!

In recent days, Party Gaming and bwin announced merger plans to form a giant online gaming group that will become effective sometime in the first quarter of 2011. It’s expected that this merger will create the biggest largest listed online gambling business. The new company will operate worldwide with its existing brands and both bwin and Party Gaming will retain most of the core of their brands but be operated under a new umbrella company. Bwin’s CEO had this to say:

“Our products and target markets complement one another perfectly, and we can continue to expand our technology lead in all key product segments: sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, and games.”

Now that the year is over, CardPlayer has officially crowned Tom Marchese the 2010 CardPlayer Player of the Year. His epic run in 2010 saw him make 11 final tables in major live tournaments to the tune of over $2 million in profits. The highlight of 2010 for Marchese was the win at the NAPT Venetian Main Event for over eight hundred thousand dollars. He beat out Dwyte Pilgrim, Sorel Mizzi and Vanessa Selbst for the award. Marchese had four six-figure paydays in 2010 with final tables at the European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker.

Well that wraps up a very exciting and busy week in the world of poker as well as our last weekly news report of 2010. Be sure to come back to poker news daily for all the latest poker headlines every single day and as a reminder, be sure to catch John Friedberg’s new show, “The Showdown” right here next week along with another episode of our weekly news recap. I’m Sean Gibson wishing you a very happy and safe new years!

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