February 18 – Weekly News Update

Welcome to the Poker News Daily Weekly Update. I’m Sean Gibson and I’ll be covering this week in the world of poker. Let’s get right down to it.

Our first story is about Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who has been one of the biggest opponents of online poker since the industry begun so many years ago. Kyl was one of the authors of the UIGEA and last week, announced that he is retiring from Congress in 2012.

The Poker Players Alliance declined to comment about the matter, but plenty of people in the industry are happy to see him go. Who will replace Kyl, and if that person hailing from ultra-conservative Arizona will be any friendlier to online poker, remains to be seen.

And speaking of online poker and gaming within the United States, Rumors out of the recent International Casino Exhibition conference, which was held in late January in London, seem to point to a new era in online gaming in the United States, if and when the government legalizes and regulates online gaming. The rumor reads that Party Gaming,
which is preparing for its merger with bwin by the end of March, signed a deal on the first day of the conference to team up with two major U.S. casino companies to provide an online gaming portal if and when the country’s government licenses and regulates the online gaming industry. Two of the four firms mentioned in the rumor are MGM Reorts and Caesars Entertainment.

Professional poker player and media personality Bernard Lee has teamed up with Cabot Cheese to create the Full House Charity Program, which will donate a minimum of $20,000 to children’s organizations around New England each year. Lee will donate $500 to the charity for each full house he makes while playing tournaments all over the world. Last year, Lee cashed in 10 tournaments on the live circuit, including a third place finish at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit Regional Championship for $236,000. He has more than $1.75 million in career earnings, his biggest score coming at the 2005 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, where he took 13th place for $400,000. We asked Lee about his program and he said:

“The Full House Charity Program was born out of a desire to combine my greatest loves — poker and my son and daughter – into a fundraiser that will aid youth throughout New England … I’ve been so fortunate in the world of poker, it’s only natural that I give back to the community.”

Lee is also a poker columnist here at Poker News Daily and writes for the Boston Herald, ESPN.com, All-In Magazine, and other media outlets. For those of you that say that lightning can’t strike twice in the same place … well … here’s one that might debunk that theory. The Bad Beat Jackpot at the Microgaming network was hit not once but TWICE in a 24 hour period. After not being hit for several weeks, the Microgaming Network’s Bad Beat Jackpot had climbed to $558,296.27 as of late last week.

The hit came early on Saturday morning during action on the tables at NordicBet and for having quad tens cracked,
the jackpot winner took down a staggering $195,403.70! Less than 24 hours later another player hit the jackpot when his quad jacks ran into a straight flush winning him a hair under forty thousand dollars.

News from Pokerstars brings us the results of the latest isildur1 Superstar showdown, and the Swedish phenom easily dispatched Eugene Katchalov. This improved Blom’s record to three and one, with this victory showing the largest margin of profit at $111,000. At the end of the match, the two shared some words:

MyRabbiFoo: gg man… u obv played really well
Isildur1: i ran really crazy…
MyRabbiFoo: yea i ran bad couple times :/…but u still played really well

Don’t feel too bad for Katachalov’s bankroll, according to various online databases, he’s made over $6 million in just live tournament earnings. The next contestant in the showdown matchup hasn’t been announced yet but the big rumor is that it just might be PokerStars frontman Daniel Negreanu.

Moving to other news from PokerStars, it looks like they continue to flush out some names from their roster while at the same time they announced additions to their online pro team. Both Julian Threw and former November Nine member Darius Suharto have been removed from the sponsored team. The news comes less than three weeks after the departure of WSOP Main Event Champ, Greg Raymer.

Well, that does it for this week in the world of poker. We appreciate you tuning in every Friday here at our site. I’m heading over to Commerce Casino this weekend and next to cover the LAPC and World Poker Tour events, so we’ll be getting some great interviews and features to air right here at Poker News Daily. I’m Sean Gibson and I’ll see you next week and until then, crush those fish at the tables!

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