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The Nightly Turbo: Rahme Wins WSOP Africa Main Event, Poker After Dark Returns, and More

Major tournaments have been popping up all over the globe this month. We'll bring you highlights from a handful of them, plus a story about the return of Poker After Dark, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Phil Ivey bubbled the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic on Monday, but there were still plenty of notables to keep an eye on going into Day 4. Find out who led the way in our daily LAPC recap.

The race is on for the Republican presidential nomination, and the result could greatly affect online poker legislation. Matthew Kredell takes a look at the four candidates and their views of online gaming.

Did you miss Sunday's World Poker Tour coverage on FSN? Read our WPT recap to get caught up.

Phil Collins took fifth place in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event. The man known as "USCPhildo" talked about that and more in Part 2 of the latest Seat Open series.

Twenty-one players survived Day 2 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event. Roman Valerstein led the way, but Brian Hastings and Jeremy McLaughlin were still in contention.

The Epic Poker League Mix-Max event debuted on CBS over the weekend. If you weren't able to catch the coverage, take a look at our recap.

Joe-Boy Rahme Wins WSOP Africa Main Event

South Africa's Joe-Boy Rahme added his name to the World Series of Poker history books on Monday when he won the $3,300 WSOP Africa Main Event. The Johannesburg based poker pro bested a field of 218, which included names like Scotty Nguyen, Mark Vos, Eric Herschler, and defending champ Warren Zackey.

James Parker began the final table with the chip lead, followed closely by Gregory Ronaldson, who had already won a WSOPA ring at this year's series. Ronaldson and Parker had more than half the chips in play when the day commenced, but the two behemoths ultimately fell in fifth and fourth place, respectively. Jason Strauss, who had also won a WSOPA ring this year, finished third after taking a horrendous beat from Rahme. Strauss' {A-}{J-} failed to stay ahead of Rahme’s {A-}{6-}, leaving Rahme and Ivan Pakkiri to duel for the title.

The heads-up match lasted only a few minutes as Pakkiri was quickly all-in preflop with {Q-}{10-} against Rahme’s pocket jacks. The board provided no help to Pakkiri, and Rahme was awarded $158,595 and the coveted WSOP Circuit Gold ring.

“This feels great, I’ve been working toward a WSOP championship for 25 years," Rahme said after the win. "This is fabulous.”

Here's a look at the final table results:

2012 WSOP Africa Event Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerPrize
1Joe-Boy Rahme$158,595
2Ivan Pakkiri$98,012
3Jason Straus$71,368
4James Parker$52,780
5Gregory Ronaldson$39,649
6Marc Joseph$30,196
7Brad Flynn$23,409
8Matt Mulhall$18,397
9Brian Bouwer$14,654

For a detailed recap of the WSOP Africa Main Event, visit wsop.com.

Poker After Dark Returns

The effects of Black Friday did a number on several televised poker shows in the U.S., including the popular Poker After Dark program on NBC. However, according to various reports, the NBC Sports Network will soon air 24 Poker After Dark episodes that were shot before the show was cancelled last September.

The broadcasts are expected to begin on March 5, featuring four weeks of a cash game and one week (six episodes) of a sit-n-go. There hasn't been an announcement about the taping of future episodes, but this is certainly a good sign that poker could ultimately make a comeback to mainstream television.

PokerNews will be speaking with Mori Eskandani of Poker PROductions on Tuesday, so stay tuned. Read here for more.

Elie, Campos File Another Motion Before Trial

When Black Friday principles John Campos and Chad Elie appear in court next month, they hope they'll be allowed to plead their case to a jury that poker is a game of skill.

According to LegalPokerSites.com, Elie and Campos have filed a motion in limine that requests that they be allowed to present evidence to the jury that online poker is a game of skill. The two men face charges of money laundering, fraud, and violating the Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), among other charges, for their roles in the illegal transactions between offshore poker sites and players in the U.S.

Attorneys for Campos and Elie argue that poker is not gambling; therefore, both men should be excluded from the charges regarding the IGBA and UIGEA.

Early this month, Campos and Elie submitted files to motion for dismiss based on the Department of Justice's opinion that the Wire Act of 1961 pertained only to sports betting. That motion was denied by federal judge Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who said the following: “The defendants’ argument that poker is not gambling fails, at least at this stage.”

Read more at LegalPokerSites.com.

California Introduces Online Poker Bill

California took a big step toward legalizing intrastate online poker last Friday when Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) introduced Senate Bill 1463.

After numerous failed attempts to push an online poker bill through the legislature, this latest effort could see success because of recent changes in the Department of Justice's interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act.

The bill states that only online poker would be permitted for the first two years of regulation. Upon becoming a law, operators will be able to apply for a 10-year license once the regulatory framework is in place. If approved, operators will pay licensing fees of $30 million, credited against gross gaming revenue proceeds for the first three years of operation.

Read more at PokerNews.com.

Chicago Poker Classic Under Way

Last year, the Chicago Poker Classic at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, smashed records by drawing more than 6,700 players and awarding $2.5 million in prizes. If the start of the 2012 series is any indication of things to come, those records will be shattered in no time.

The opening event of the 2012 Chicago Poker Classic saw 2,621 entrants take to the felt — more than double last year's total for the same $240 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event. The massive turnout generated a prize pool of $523,409, and 51-year-old entrepreneur and writer Paul Gibbons went on to take the title and top prize of $97,192.

In the second event of the series, a $350 no-limit hold'em tournament, Paul Han bested an 868-person field to capture the $56,861 first prize. The 26-year-old is a former WSOP Circuit champion but said he was due to win another big tournament.

“It’s about time,” Han said after his victory. “Every year they have this I get far and then run bad at the final table. I’m so happy I shipped one.”

This year’s CPC will award $50,000 cash to the overall points leader of the 12-day series. In addition, a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro V8 will be awarded to the champion of the six-event turbo series, which got under way on Monday.

Check out the Horseshoe Hammond website for the full schedule of events at the Chicago Poker Classic.

Nicky Tao Jin Claims Top Honor at Macau Poker CupMacau Poker Cup

The 2012 Macau Poker Cup came to a close Sunday with the conclusion of the Red Dragon HK$11,000 Main Event. The PokerStars-sponsored event at the Casino Grand Lisboa drew 635 players and, after three days of play, China’s Nicky Tao Jin collected the hardware and top prize of HK$1,092,500.

Jin held a slight lead over Abhishek Goindi when heads-up play began, but the two players took a short break to make a deal. After an agreement was in place, it took only three hands for Jin to put his opponent away. On the final hand of the match, Goindi got his stack in the middle with {4-Clubs}{3-Clubs} on a {4-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} board, but Jin held {2-Spades}{2-Diamonds} for bottom set. The turn and river failed to help Goindi, and Jin was declared the winner of the 4th Annual Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event.

The nine-event Macau Poker Cup set new records for overall player attendance and prize pools as 2,153 players turned up during the nine-day poker festival to create a prize pool worth HK$12.86 million.

The PokerStars Blog has more.

PokerStars Dominates EPT Copenhagen

PokerStars Team Online's Mickey Peterson bested Team PokerStars Pro Pierre Neuville heads up to win the European Poker Tour Copenhagen Main Event during the weekend. PokerNews' Sarah Grant caught up with the online superstar after his big win.

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