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The Nightly Turbo: Senate to Hold Online Poker Hearing, WPT Returns to TV, and More

The Nightly Turbo

While all eyes are on Phil Ivey at the Aussie Millions Main Event, the Nightly Turbo is here to bring you some of the other big stories in the world of poker. In this edition, we'll cover the upcoming online poker hearing being held on Capitol Hill, the announcement of the World Poker Tour television schedule, and more.

In Case You Missed It

Phil Ivey was second in chips after Day 2 of the 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event. Find out who he's trailing in our daily Aussie Millions recap.

Is Pennsylvania overtaking New Jersey as the East Coast's gaming leader? Inside Gaming has the latest on why the country's second and third largest gaming markets could switch places this year.

What does it feel like to make the final table of your first Aussie Millions Main Event? Randy Dorfman explains his experience in the latest edition of My First.

Senate to Revisit Online Poker Next Month

A recent decision by the Department of Justice to reverse its position on the Wire Act of 1961 will be one of the topics discussed during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Feb. 9, 2012.

The hearing will be the second of its kind in less than three months. On Nov. 17, a Senate hearing titled, "The Future of Internet Gaming: What's at Stake for Tribes?" focused on testimony from representatives of various tribes and tribal groups. Poker Players Alliance Chairman Al D'Amato was one of the witnesses that testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

In regards to the hearing next month, Poker Players Alliance VP of Player Relations Rich Muny made the following statement in an e-mail sent to PPA members on Tuesday: "These continued hearings are hard evidence of the great work the poker community has been doing to ensure our elected representatives hear from us. I thank everyone for taking the steps necessary to ensure our elected representatives understand that we poker enthusiasts will not back down and will not simply go away!"

A list of witnesses for the upcoming hearing has not yet been announced. PokerNews will provide that information to our readers as soon as it is released.

Information on next month's hearing can be found at indian.senate.gov.

Thor Hansen Diagnosed with Cancer

On Tuesday, the poker world was devastated to learn that Norwegian poker legend Thor Hansen has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hansen, 64, was told by doctors at a Los Angeles hospital that the cancer is untreatable and he likely has less than two years to live.

Poker player Andreas Høivold broke the news on Twitter Tuesday evening:

Andreas HøivoldIt is a very sad day for Norwegian poker. The world's best Thor Hansen has terminal cancer. He is now in a hospital recovering from surgery.

Hansen, nicknamed "The Godfather" in Norway, is one of the most respected poker players in the world. He has amassed more than $3 million in live tournament earnings to go along with two World Series of Poker bracelets, one coming from a seven-card stud event in 1998, and the other in deuce-to-seven lowball in 2002. He was named the Norwegian Poker Player of the Year in 2005.

The news hit the poker community hard on Tuesday. Fellow Norwegian poker player Annette Obrestad said the following in a thread at TwoPlusTwo: "I seriously cried when I read [about] this. I don't know anyone like him. He truly is one of a kind. All the best Thor, ur an inspiration for us all."

Check out the full thread at TwoPlusTwo.

Watch the World Poker Tour on FSN

Season X of the World Poker Tour is still going strong in the U.S. and across Europe, but the action is already set to hit television screens beginning next month. On Wednesday, the WPT announced that all-new episodes will air on Fox Sports Net beginning on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time.

Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten will be back in the booth for the tenth year providing commentary for all 37 episodes of Season X. They will be joined by WPT anchor Kimberly Lansing, Raw Deal analyst Tony Dunst, and the Royal Flush Girls from the sidelines.

“WPT Season IX redefined poker programming and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Season X will see more new elements that we expect the audience will love and will further enhance the timeless appeal of our show,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller. “World Poker Tour’s sustainability is not only a testament to continual innovation, but also to co-hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, who have been the best in the business for an incredible ten years.”

Read more at PokerNews.com.

More TCOOP Winners

The inaugural PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker passed the halfway point on Tuesday as winners were determined in events 24 through 27. Only 23 tournaments remained going into Wednesday, which featured four more events on the slate.

Here's a look at the results from Tuesday:

Event #24: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo($50K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$100+91,321$132,100

A large turnout for Event #24 resulted in a prize pool that almost tripled its guarantee. The UK's "Mongy," who won TCOOP Event #4 last week, reached another final table on Tuesday. However, the cards did not fall in the Brit's favor as he hit the rail in eighth place. Switzerland's "Sir_Don_John," who final tabled TCOOP Event #14, went on to win this one for $22,127.

Event #25: No Limit Hold'em ($500K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$200+153,589$717,800

One of the largest events on the TCOOP schedule attracted more than 3,500 players, leaving $717,800 in prize money up for grabs. A four-way deal at the final table saw all four players walk away with at least $63,600. Mexico's "wcsquad3" claimed victory and the top prize of $85,653.

Event #26: Stud ($25K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$20+23,037$60,740

Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen weaved his way through a field of more than 3,000 players, but the online poker legend fell short of his first TCOOP title, finishing sixth. Canada's "Poker Own U" claimed victory and a prize of $10,327.

Event #27: No Limit Hold'em 2x Turbo w/ Rebuys ($300K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$20+27,818$542,780

Nearly 8,000 players combined to generate a prize pool of $542,780 after the rebuys and add-ons were settled. Brazil's "Mcolombo" cruised through the final table to collect $82,562 and the commemorative 24k gold-played card protector.

For more details on each event, check out the PokerStars Blog.

A Gift From Tony G.

We reported last week that Shane Warne was having problems with cyclists on the road in Melbourne. As a solution, Tony G. presented a special gift to the legendary cricketer during the Aussie Millions Main Event on Wednesday.

Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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