Poker News

One day prior to Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, officials from Victory Poker will celebrate the site’s launch at a party at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. The online poker room will open for business on February 1st.

Victory Poker will make its home on the merged Everleaf/UPN network, which has yet to take on an official name. According to, the newly created network will boast traffic similar to that of Betfair, which has a seven-day running average of 610 real money ring game players. A press release announcing the Trash Talk Championship of the World Straddle Tournament at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas on February 6th revealed that the Victory Poker launch party would occur at 10:00pm following the festivities.

UFC’s Randy Couture will be sporting a Victory Poker logo when he takes to the ring in UFC 109 against Mark Coleman. The bout emanates from the Mandalay Bay Events Center near the Hard Rock and will also feature Nate Marquardt facing off against Chael Sonnen and Matt Serra fighting Frank Trigg. The first brawl takes place at 4:45pm, while televised matches start at 7:00pm. Couture will don a dot-net logo for the new online poker room.

Antonio Esfandiari headlines the Victory Poker stable of pros. A World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Esfandiari has become widely known for his insatiable appetite for prop bets. He even co-starred with his close friend Phil Laak on the MOJO show “I Bet You,” which ran for two seasons on the cable station. Esfandiari has three WPT final tables to his credit and one title, which came in the Season 2 L.A. Poker Classic. At the tender age of 31, Esfandiari is one of the veterans of the game.

Jumping over from DoylesRoom to be a part of Victory Poker is Alec “traheho” Torelli. The Cake Poker Network site and Torelli severed ties two weeks ago. Torelli has made two WPT final tables, finishing fourth in both the Bellagio Cup V and Solvakia events. The former will air its finale at 11:00pm ET on Fox Sports Net this Sunday in a one-hour episode. Poker Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton and actor Vince Van Patten will once again provide commentary for Season 8 of the WPT.

Coming over from Full Tilt Poker are Paul Wasicka and Lee Markholt. The latter was removed in recent days as a Full Tilt Red Pro and finished fourth in the WSOP Circuit Championship in Tunica four years ago for $183,000. In addition, Markholt won the WPT Season 6 World Poker Challenge in Reno for $493,000 and owns $1.3 million in career earnings from the roving tournament series. Wasicka was the runner-up to Jamie Gold in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, earning a colossal $6.1 million.

Also appearing in the Victory Poker pro lineup is Chinese Poker sensation Danny Wong. Owning the moniker “Chinese Poker Wizard,” Wong learned to play the game’s variation at age five. Despite his success in Chinese Poker, he’s also excelled in No Limit Texas Hold’em, making three WPT final tables. Joining Wong will be online poker pro Brian “tsarrast” Rast.

Those who watched the 2009 WSOP Main Event on ESPN will recall the deep run of the “Flying” Bilzerian brothers. Dan Bilzerian, who finished 180th, will become part of the Victory Poker cast. In his final hand of the $10,000 buy-in feature tournament, Bilzerian committed his stack with A-6, but could not best Jonathan “driverseati” Tamayo’s pocket tens. His brother, Adam Bilzerian, renounced his U.S. citizenship and is now a passport holder of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Other Victory Poker pros include Andrew “good2cu” Robl, Keith Gipson, David “The Maven” Chicotsky, Sander Lylloff., and 2007 Playboy Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood. The site is scheduled to launch on February 1st and will accept players from the United States.

The Trash Talk Championship is a $1,000 buy-in charity poker tournament benefiting the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program and Cedars-Sinai.

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