PND Weekly News Update

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Welcome to the Poker News Daily Weekly Update. I’m your host, Sean Gibson and you might notice that I’m wearing some CardRunners gear here. Well, this is me fulfilling my end of the bargain for my prop bet match against Cardrunners pro Taylor Caby. If you haven’t watched the match, check it out in our videos section!

Our lead story this week comes from PokerStars, who dealt its fifty billionth hand with a user by the name of “tbvle” able to parlay pocket queens into a massive payday. It was most assuredly his lucky day, as he played at a table with nickel big blinds and got a payout of fifty-six thousand dollars and a WCOOP Main Event seat. In total, the single hand awarded over seventy thousand dollars to six players plus thirty-one thousand dollars’ worth of WCOOP tickets. Not too shabby.

PokerStars pros like Jason Mercier, Lex Vehduis, and Ville Wahlbeck descended on the table to extend their heartfelt congratulations to the players involved. By the way, the WCOOP Main Event comes your way this Sunday on PokerStars. Don’t miss out!

Congressman Barney Frank was quoted in the Washington D.C. news outlet The Hill as saying that he’s not optimistic about legislation legalizing and regulating online poker passing before the November elections. Frank told The Hill that he “doesn’t have a commitment from House leadership officials that they would move the bill before the lame duck session.”

Therefore, HR 2267 may ultimately be attached to a piece of must-pass legislation in the lame duck session following elections. Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative spokesperson Michael Waxman told The Hill, “The greatest odds for online gambling regulation legislation to be approved this year are for it to get done as part of a larger legislative package, primarily because of the opportunity to dedicate the considerable new revenue generated as an offset for another program or need…This is one of the few issues where broad support can be found on both sides of the aisle.”

Turning to live tournament news, Phil Laak, Jeffrey Lisandro, and Scott Shelley all took down bracelets in World Series of Poker Europe events in recent days. Shelly won a one thousand Pound No Limit Hold’em event and collected over one hundred thirty thousand Pounds. He bested a field of over five hundred players and outlasted J.P. Kelly heads-up. Kelly won the same tournament last year and fell oh-so-short in his title defense this time around. Kelly, who is twenty-four years old, was also gunning to become the youngest player to win three bracelets. The current record-holder in that department is Phil Ivey, who was twenty-six when he won his third gold bracelet.

California State Senator Rod Wright has been indicted on eight counts, including “false declaration of candidacy, voter fraud, and perjury beginning in two thousand seven, when he changed his voter registration to run for the legislature,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Officials allege that Wright did not live in the district he represented.

What’s the significance of Wright’s indictment for poker players? He has been one of the driving forces behind bringing intrastate online poker to California, which would be the first state to do so. California is facing a sizable budget deficit, leading to a search for new revenue. Wright introduced Senate Bill One-Four-Eight-Five to bring online poker to life and, as recently as September Third, the Poker Voters of America released amendments to further the bill’s chances of becoming law. Whether Wright will have to give up his California State Senate seat remains to be seen.

On Sunday, the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge will continue its Season Two run. The first challenger of the new season was Jessica Cupini, a single mom attending West Virginia University who is an aspiring law school student. Cupini’s first round celebrity challenger was “Dancing with the Stars” host Brooke Burke. She easily dispatched of Burke before facing off against reigning WPT Championship winner David Williams.
Cupini ultimately defeated Williams and went on to face Daniel Negreanu heads-up for one hundred thousand dollars. However, she errantly bluffed all-in with Ace-Four on a board of Jack-Ten-Nine-Eight. Negreanu insta-called with Queen-Six for a straight and that was all she wrote for the show’s first challenger last weekend. You can catch the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge before or after NFL football on Fox.

In an exclusive interview with Poker News Daily, Commerce Casino CEO HaigPapaian gave his take on Barney Frank’s HR 2267. Papaian clarified his casino’s position on the bill, telling us,

“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure it doesn’t become law. We’re not against online poker; we only want legalized online poker. We also have an issue with offshore companies coming in and taking over the industry. As President of the Commerce, I am part of a group of card clubs and tribes that are for poker-only bills in the state of California. For the [Poker Players Alliance] to say that we’re against online poker – that’s ridiculous.”

On Tuesday on ESPN, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond took his seat at the feature table for Day Five of the World Series of Poker Main Event. At the start of the two one-hour episodes, five-hundred seventy-four players remained, including two former champs, Scotty Nguyen and Johnny Chan. The bust outs were fast and furious and included Jason Mercier, Adam Schoenfeld, Donny Mizrachi, and Steve Sanders.

Nguyen was crippled after running two pair into James Carroll’s boat. Then, the Poker Hall of Fame nominee committed the rest of his chips pre-flop with Ace-Jack of spades, but ran into pocket kings to bust in two hundred ninth. New episodes of the WSOP on ESPN air every Tuesday at Nine P-M Eastern Time.

Last, but certainly not least, the record books were re-written last weekend, as one thousand forty-two players turned out for the World Poker Tour’s Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City. The four-figure attendance marked the largest WPT field ever assembled. Last year, the tournament, which sports a thirty-five hundred dollar buy-in, drew one thousand eighteen players, meaning that attendance this year was up two percent.

WPT commentator Mike Sexton made a deep run in the Borgata Poker Open, finishing twentieth for fifteen thousand dollars. Also making waves was John D’Agostino, who took fourteenth place for his first WPT in the money finish in three years. Welcome back, John!

Well that does it for this week’s top headlines here at Poker News Daily. Be sure to visit us every day for the latest poker news, interviews and features. Also be sure to add us to your twitter feed at twitter dot com slash poker news daily. I’m Sean Gibson, hoping one of our readers takes down that WCOOP Main Event! I’ll see you next time.

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