What do Alex Rodriguez, Matt Damon and Gabe Kaplan have in common? And where is the World Poker Tour headed next year? Find out the answers to those questions and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.
In Case You Missed It
Shaun Deeb won another PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker title on Tuesday. Get the details from his record fourth career SCOOP victory in our Day 10 recap.
The 2011-12 World Series of Poker Circuit is coming to a close. Which of the 17 stops were the best this season? Members of the PokerNews Live Reporting Team give their take.
Daniel Negreanu was back with his Weekly Rant on Wednesday. This week, Negreanu discusses the recent WSOP rule changes, the psychology of golf, and his true feelings for Jeffrey Pollack.
Hollywood Celebs Dodge Poker Court Battle
The Hollywood A-listers linked to the legal troubles of former poker buddy Bradley Ruderman can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that the case has been settled out of court.
Howard Ehrenberg, the bankruptcy trustee seeking to recoup as much as $5.2 million for investors that had been conned by Ruderman, told Celebuzz.com that all 22 defendants involved in Ruderman's Hollywood poker game have settled for a total of $1.75 million. Among the celebs being sued by Ehrenberg were actor Tobey Maguire, film director Nick Cassavettes, and former High Stakes Poker host Gabe Kaplan.
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alex Rodriguez were also rumored to be a part of the underground game but were not facing legal action. With all 22 settlements secured, details of the illegal high-stakes games will stay out of the court room.
Ruderman is serving a 10-year prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme to pay off debts. Ruderman operated a wire-fraud and investment-adviser fraud scheme that lost investors $25 million, and then allegedly lost another $5.2 million in the high-stakes poker games trying to win the money back.
Celebuzz.com has more.
Get Ready for Season XI
The World Poker Tour unveiled the first portion of its Season XI schedule on Wednesday. In addition to nearly a dozen stops in the regular WPT slate so far, there will be at least 13 tournaments on the WPT Regional and National schedule around the globe.
Season XI kicks off in Cyprus on Aug. 4 for the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic. The tour will then make stops in Pennsylvania, California, Paris, Malta, and many other destinations in the U.S. and Europe. The 11 Main Events on the schedule thus far feature buy-ins ranging from $3,500 to $10,300.
Before Season XI kicks off, the World Poker Tour is gearing up for the WPT Championship at Bellagio this weekend. The season X finale features a $25,500 Main Event plus the $100,000 re-entry WPT Super High Roller, both of which will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
For more information on the Season XI schedule, read the article here at PokerNews.com.
Bwin.Party Poker Revenues Slump
Bwin.party's poker revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was down 3 percent to €52.2 million from last year's €54 million, according to a statement released by the company on Wednesday.
"The poker market remains challenging across Europe," said co-CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger. "While the number of unique players in our bingo business has started to grow again during the first quarter, this was not enough to reverse the impact of a drop in market share that took place in 2011."
Average daily poker revenue increased by 1 percent over the previous quarter, but daily revenue fell by 4 percent from the prior year to €573,600. Average daily players dropped 15 percent year-on-year to 96,700, which the company blamed on "low value affiliates towards direct marketing"
Last week, bwin.party joined forces with an Indian Tribe to provide online poker services in California once the activity is legalized. The company has also applied for a Nevada gaming license with the Nevada Gaming Control Board following the state's approval of online poker regulations.
"In the United States, we continue to ensure we are well-positioned should regulation take place at either a state or a federal level," the company said in Wednesday's statement. "In California, where we announced an agreement with United Auburn Indian Community last week, the debate over a bill to regulate intrastate online poker continues and we expect its first hearing later this month or early next."
You can find the complete financial statement at bwinparty.com.
Duhamel Still Leading Global Poker Index Player of the Year
There were no changes in the top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings this week, meaning Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel maintained the top spot for the 12th consecutive week. The award, which is presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has the strongest performance in live tournaments during the calendar year, according to the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.
Duhamel kept his lead over the rest of the world with 595.68 points, 61 points more than American pro Dan Smith, who climbed to No. 2 last week after a productive trip to Monaco for the 2012 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. Andrew Badecker, Samuel Chartier and Bertrand Grospellier rounded out the top five in the rankings, respectively.
Faraz Jaka fell just shy of a return to the top 10. Jaka moved up 18 spots to No. 11 this week after a pair of cashes at Pokerstars IPT San Remo. Borge Dypvik (up 68 spots to No. 29), Scott Baumstein (up 51 spots to No. 35) and Igor Kurganov (up 48 spots to No. 43) were among the other big movers this week.
Here's a look at the Top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings:
GPI Player of the Year Top 10
|Place||Player||Total Score||Change in Rank from Last Week|
For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to EpicPoker.com.
Which female poker players have the credentials to join an elite group with the likes of Linda Johnson, Jen Harman, Cyndy Violette and Kathy Liebert? Well, it's up to you to decide!
The 2012 Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WIPHOF) nominations have begun, and you can cast your selections online at the WIPHOF website. Candidates must be at least 35 years of age and an active industry leader for a minimum of 10 years. Last year's inductees were Kristy Gazes, Margie Heintz and Phyllis Caro.
After the nomination process is finished, the induction ceremony will take place on Friday, August 31 at the Golden Nugget Casino Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.
To make your nominations, visit womenspokerhalloffame.com.
Online Poker Traffic Report
Online poker traffic plunged by 8.2 percent last week, according to tracking site PokerScout.com. The decline was mostly because of the end of PokerStars' 80 Billionth Hand promotion, which attracted as many as 80,000 real-money cash game players at a single time.
Not surprisingly, PokerStars took a 15 percent hit last week, but the world's leading poker site continued its stranglehold on the competition. PokerStars has seen an 18 percent traffic increase since this time last year, an impressive feat in the wake of Black Friday. While PokerStars has thrived, No. 2 iPokerNetwork (down 6 percent) and No. 3 PartyPoker (down 20 percent) have seen falloffs since last May.
As for the year-over-year numbers worldwide, online poker traffic has declined by 18 percent over the past year. After the virtual extinction of Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, sites like 888poker (up 42 percent) and Winamax.fr (up 28 percent) have taken advantage by scooping up some of the available business.
Read the full report at PokerScout.com.
This makes two days in a row with a Tom Dwan interview in The Nightly Turbo. But when "durrrr" speaks, the world listens. And his latest interview with the PartyPoker Blog is particularly amusing.
During the PartyPoker Premier League V in Vienna, Dwan chatted about the talents (or lack thereof) of several of his competitors, including Tony G, Erik Seidel, Bertrand Grospellier, Patrik Antonius and Luke Schwartz. We're still anxiously awaiting a Dwan versus Schwartz heads-up-for-rolls match.