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The Nightly Turbo: Massachusetts Eyes Online Poker, Full Tilt License Hearing, and More

The Nightly Turbo

It was a busy Thursday in the world of poker. The AGCC set a hearing to discuss a Full Tilt Poker gaming license, PokerStars ended its long feud with a data mining site, and a Massachusetts lawmaker is urging the state to adopt an Internet poker platform. We'll cover those stories and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

The World Poker Tour returned to Hollwood, Florida, on Wednesday. For a look at Day 1 of the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, check out our daily WPT recap.

All In: The Poker Movie is still generating buzz in theaters across the world. Writer and producer Doug Tirola recently sat down with PokerWorks' Linda Geenen to discuss the documentary.

Looking for some podcasts to help your day move along quicker? You're in luck. The PokerNews Podcast and Strategy With Kristy both hit the airwaves on Thursday. You can find them both, along with all of our other podcasts in the PokerNews Podcast archives.

Day 3 of the 2012 PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event came to a close on Thursday evening. Only 24 players remain, and several notables are still in contention for the €825,000 top prize.

For the first time since the inception of the Global Poker Index, Erik Seidel was not ranked in the Top 20. Mickey Doft breaks down this week's shift in the rankings.

The Big One for One Drop at the upcoming World Series of Poker will be stacked with wealthy amateurs. Rich Ryan explains why poker pros should be harvesting funds together to compete in the $1 million buy-in event.

Before Black Friday, Blair Hinkle won the FTOPS XIX Main Event for more than $1.1 million. How much was he able to cash out before the site was seized? We asked him that and more in the Black Friday Chronicles.

Massachusetts Lawmaker Pushes for Online Poker

Nevada, New Jersey, California, and Delaware are currently in the process of developing intrastate online poker platforms. Is Massachusetts next?

On Thursday, the Boston Herald reported that Rep. Dan Winslow is urging Massachusetts to create three licenses for intrastate internet poker. Winslow is promoting the idea that online poker will infuse revenue and new jobs into the state. He hopes the recent Department of Justice opinion on the Wire Act will allow his plan to gain traction before Congress breaks for recess.

The Herald reports that each license would require a minimum $10 million, and operators would pay a 25 percent tax on proceeds.

"Internet poker is a game of skill that fits our high tech job profile perfectly,” Winslow said in a statement, according to the Herald. "We can create new, high paying tech jobs by leading the launch of this new industry in the United States."

The Boston Herald has more.

AGCC Hearing on Full Tilt Poker License

Laurent's Tapie's goal to re-launch Full Tilt Poker by the end of this month may have been a pipe dream. But his vision might not be far off.

Over the past few months, Tapie has been working with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) to resurrect FTP's operating license. On Thursday, the AGCC set a public hearing for a Category 2 license application submitted by Full Tilt Poker subsidiary Orinic Limited. Orinic had its non-operating Category 1 license suspended for six months last year. A Category 2 license would allow the new Full Tilt Poker to operate a gambling business.

The hearing will take place on Thursday, May 3 at the Braye Beach Hotel in Alderney.

With the pending deal between Groupe Bernard Tapie and FTP growing closer by the day, many are wondering what Full Tilt Poker will look like under new management. Daniel Negreanu gave his take on the latest news over at Full Contact Poker on Thursday.

For more on the license hearing, check out the story at PokerNews.com.

Advantage: PokerStars

The legal battle between PokerStars and data-mining website PokerTableRatings.com has apparently come to a close. On Wednesday, Poker Table Ratings announced in a blog that it will fully comply with the cease and desist order issued by PokerStars. All PokerStars player profiles and statistics have been removed from the website, and searches are met with the following message:

“Stars has requested that you not view your poker player profile on PokerTableRatings.com. Please contact Stars support if you would like to see your profile made public again on PTR.”

The decision ends a multi-year war between the two sides. PTR tracked millions of hands on PokerStars and provided data that gives its users an advantage at the online poker table. After it failed to block PTR's data mining at a technical level, PokerStars enforced legal action against PTR, which resulted in the decision to adhere to the cease-and-desist order.

Read more at PokerNews.com.

Judge Accepts John Campos' Guilty Plea

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan accepted the guilty plea of Utah banker John Campos, one of the 11 men indicted by the Department of Justice on Black Friday. Campos pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor bank gambling charge last month, but Kaplan refused to accept the plea until the prosecution explained why they let Campos plead guilty to a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

The judge accepted the plea agreement after prosecutors submitted a letter saying Campos' involvement in illegal online poker transactions was minor. Campos was facing six charges and up to 35 years in prison, but he entered a last-second plea agreement with prosecutors in March.

Campos is the sixth Black Friday defendant to enter a guilty plea. The others are Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Beckley and payment processors Ira Rubin, Ryan Lang, Bradley Franzen, and Chad Elie, who was set to go to trial with Campos this month.

Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune.

Voting is Open!

Season 8 of the European Poker Tour will wrap up in Monaco next month, which means the EPT awards are right around the corner. This week, the EPT released its short list of nominees for the Players Choice Award, which will be voted on by players who competed on the tour throughout the season.

The nominees include a number of Team PokerStars Pros, as well as several others who had success on the EPT during the past year. Here's a look:

Ondrej VinklarekRoberto RomanelloMartin Finger
Steve O'DwyerLuca PaganoMickey Petersen
Jonathan DuhamelEugene KatchalovNicolas Levi
Benny SpindlerAndrey PateychukMike McDonald
Olivier BusquetVadim KursevichPierre Neuville

If you played any events on the EPT during Season 8 (including side events), you're eligible to vote! Voting is open until April 23, the first day of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final Festival of Poker. Visit the EPT Awards ballot website to submit your vote.

Stacked Final Table at Borgata

The 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open $2,500 Championship Event played down to the final table on Wednesday evening. From the starting field of 520, there were just 10 players remaining vying for the $312,483 first-place prize. Jia Liu held the chip lead heading into Thursday's final table, and he was joined by notables Chad Batista, Matt Woodward and Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy.

Borgata Spring Poker Open Final Table Seat Draw

SeatPlayerHometownChips
1Matt WoodwardLas Vegas, NV1,420,000
2Cameron CornellInterlaken, NJ851,000
3Mike BorovetzPittsburgh, PA1,261,000
4Russ DykshteynBrooklyn, NY2,400,000
5Larry AbramsFairlawn, NJ1,543,000
6Cliff JosephyQueens, NY1,033,000
7Mike MeskinBoston, MA429,000
8Jia LiuBrooklyn, NY4,219,000
9Robert PardoMt. Vernon, NY770,400
10Chad BatistaFort Lauderdale, FL1,600,000

Everyone at the final table locked up a minimum payday of $16,315. Last year, Russell Crane won the event for $276,949 after besting a field of 447 entries.

For more information, please visit the Borgata Spring Poker Open blog.

Pierre Neuville's Poker Champs

Team PokerStars Pro Pierre Neuville busted from the EPT Berlin Main Event on Day 2. So, why was he roaming the halls with board games on Day 3? PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin found out.

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

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