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The Nightly Turbo: New Jersey's Online Gaming Hurdle, Isildur1's SCOOP Success, and More

Nightly Turbo

In case you didn't hear, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom is pretty good at poker. The talented Swede won two SCOOP events in two days and has been the talk of the entire poker community. We've got video from one of his big wins, plus legislative news from the U.S. and Spain in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

The WSOP conference call was the main topic of this week's PokerNews Podcast. "Crazy" Mike Thorpe also joined the program to talk about the big mixed game in Vegas.

PocketFives.com launched a new community-themed website last week. Chad Holloway spoke to PocketFives' Cal Spears to learn about the site's latest innovation.

Will you forgive Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson if you get your Full Tilt Poker funds back? Rich Ryan posed that question in an article over at The Muck.

The European Poker Tour is already gearing up for its ninth season. With that in mind, Lynn Gilmartin takes a look at four more Season 9 stops in the latest PokerNews Jet Set.

Viktor Blom won his second PokerStars SCOOP title on Tuesday. Martin Harris and Mickey Doft provide the details in the Day 3 SCOOP recap.

New Jersey Has a Situation

Earlier this year, New Jersey Sen. Raymond Lesniak told PokerNews that the state would have online poker up and running in the state by the end of 2012.

Now, it seems, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has thrown another wrench into Lesniak's plans.

According to Philly.com, Christie's political ambitions could prevent the state from approving online gambling anytime soon. Christie is a major supporter of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Romney in this year's election. Romney, meanwhile, is believed to be courting the support of casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is stubbornly opposed to online poker legislation on the U.S.

That set of circumstances doesn't bode well for the online gaming industry or casinos in Atlantic City.

"Christie is putting the future of A.C. in jeopardy because of his overriding concern for support from [Sheldon] Adelson," Lesniak told Philly.com last week. "Atlantic City casino revenues have declined 29 of the 30 months since Gov. Christie's been in office. Internet gaming will add $200 million a year to their revenues, and likely will make the difference between some closing or staying open and saving hundreds of jobs."

Read more at Philly.com.

Spain's Regulated Gaming Market Set for June

After months of delays, Spain's new regulated online gambling market will open on June 1, 2012. The country is following the lead of European nations like Italy, Denmark and France by introducing a new set of standards for the industry.

PokerNews Spain reports that Spanish gaming licenses are expected to be handed out by the end of June. More than 60 operators submitted applications for licenses late last year, according to numerous reports. Among the rumored online poker rooms interested in the space were PokerStars, bwin.party, 888, and Ladbrokes. Once operators are approved for the license they can begin operating under a "dot-es" domain.

Under the new market regulations, the online poker player pool will initially be segregated, but changes could be made beginning next year to allow players to compete against other nations of the European Union.

All operators without a license will be prohibited from offering their services to Spanish gamblers. Bodog was among a handful of sites that recently exited the market ahead of the country's new gambling regulations.

PokerNews Spain has more.

Duhamel's Lead Shrinks

Dan Smith's brilliant performance at the 2012 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final wasn't enough to overtake Jonathan Duhamel for the top spot in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings this week. However, Smith closed the gap enough to give Duhamel his first sweat since the award was introduced 11 weeks ago.

Smith won three events in Monaco for nearly $700,000, boosting him from No. 155 to No. 2 in the GPI POY standings. Smith is still 61 points shy of Duhamel's 595.68, but the 2010 world champ's lead has been slipping since his last cash at the WPT Bay 101 Main Event in March.

Justin Bonomo, Noah Schwartz and Leonid Bilokur earned their way into the Top 10 this week, replacing Jason Koon, Steve O'Dwyer and Sergio Castelluccio. Bonomo won the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller in Monaco last month for more than $2.1 million and followed it up with a fourth place finish in the $25,000 buy-in high roller just a few days later. He climbed 48 spots to No. 9 in the rankings.

Here's a look at the rest of the Top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings:

GPI Player of the Year Top 10

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
1Jonathan Duhamel595.68--
2Dan Smith534.42+153
3Andrew Badecker511.97-1
4Samuel Chartier478.70--
5Bertrand Grospellier454.83-2
6Noah Schwartz444.21+9
7Martin Jacobson412.22-1
8Vyacheslav Igin382.19-3
9Justin Bonomo374.75+48
10Leonid Bilokur374.38+28

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year 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.

For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to EpicPoker.com.

Trickett, Robl Enter the "Big One"

High-stakes superstars Sam Trickett and Andrew Robl have said they will play the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament at the 2012 World Series of Poker.

Trickett and Robl announced their participation via Twitter this week:

Sam TrickettJust sent my form off to register for the $1m buy inn tournament.Now im excited for the WSOP...........
Andrew RoblExcited to play poker for big money and help charity by playing the $1,000,000 tournament for @ONEDROPdotorg at the WSOP this summer.

During Tuesday's conference call, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said the total number of confirmed participants is around 40, and he stands firm on the event being capped at 48 players. Assuming their registration is completed before the event reaches the cap, Trickett and Robl will play alongside Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Daniel Negreanu, Tony G and several other pros at the highly anticipated event this summer. They'll be joined by more than a dozen wealthy businessmen when the action begins on July 1.

As announced by ESPN on Tuesday, the final table of the Big One will be aired with hole cards on a 15-minute delay by ESPN on July 3.

Dual SCOOP Viktories

Is 2012 the Year of Blom? After his impressive win at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller in January, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom scooped two wins in the first three days of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker! If you weren't able to catch any of the action, PokerStars.tv is replaying his win in Event 2 - $215 NL Hold'em. We'll embed it here for you to enjoy:

For more on Blom's incredible run, check out Brad Willis' article at the PokerStars Blog.

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

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