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The Nightly Turbo: Bellande Playing $1 Million Event, Brad Booth Comes Clean, and More

Jean-Robert Bellande

The $1 million Big One for One Drop is nearing its 48-player cap. Who's the latest player to confirm his participation? We're bringing you that story, plus Brad Booth's apology to the poker community, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

John Monnette won his second World Series of Poker bracelet on Tuesday. We break down his victory and more in the Day 10 WSOP recap.

Brian Rast and Greg Mueller are eyeing their third WSOP bracelet on Wednesday. Read about the day's biggest story line in the WSOP What to Watch For.

Jonathan Duhamel still leads the GPI Player of the Year race, but a talented German pro is making a move toward the top spot. Find out who it is in the GPI POY monthly report.

Need a new book to read at the tables? Chad Holloway takes a look at That’s Poker Baby!, the first in a series of personally written volumes by Scotty Nguyen.

On Wednesday, Bally Technologies was recommended by Nevada gaming regulators to receive an interactive gaming license. Read more about the story right here at PokerNews.

PokerNews released a new mobile app for iPhone and Android devices! Read all about it here!

Broke Living? Not So Much

This one certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Jean-Robert Bellande, infamous for his massive bankroll swings and degen lifestyle, announced Tuesday that he will be playing the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker next month. Bellande broke the news on his "BrokeLivingJRB" Twitter account Tuesday afternoon after teasing a major announcement earlier in the week.

While Bellande seems to have locked up a spot in poker's richest event ever created, several of the game's top talents are trying to put enough funds together to play. Justin Bonomo, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari and others have said they'd like to sell action for the event, but none have confirmed their participation.

WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky told PokerNews on Wednesday that an updated One Drop list will "hopefully" be released later this week. Sources have told us that 46 spots have been filled, meaning there are only two remaining before the event is capped.

The official list of 30 can be found at

Coming Clean

On Tuesday, we covered the latest scandal involving Brad Booth and the $28,000 he allegedly stole from poker pro Douglas “WCGrider” Polk.

One day later, Booth came clean about his inability to repay Polk and several others he's borrowed money from. Sitting in front of a webcam, an emotional Booth took full responsibility for the money he took from Polk and makes a promise that he will make good with himself, his debtors, and the entire poker community. The video was recorded on June 4 and uploaded to YouTube on June 6.

Said Booth, "The only way I know how to make right out of this is to publicly make a promise to myself, to the people I owe money to, to the poker community that I will not gamble in the pit, I will not drink alcohol, I will not play online until I get back on my feet and get control of my life."

"The last four years have been so super difficult and I've had many chances to get my life back together after the UB scandal. And I've seemed to fail in every opportunity."

Booth's life was turned upside down four years ago when he was a victim of the infamous Ultimate Bet super-user scandal, during which Booth claims to have lost more than $2 million. Booth says he had recently rebuilt his bankroll to around $55,000, but he blew all of it during a one-night gambling binge.

Watch the complete apology right here:

Online Poker Hearing in California

A California bill that would allow online gambling within state lines has been amended ahead of a Senate committee hearing on June 12.

The Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012, also known as SB 1463, was introduced in February by California Sens. Darrell Steinberg and Roderick Wright. Under the original framework, operators could apply for a 10-year license to offer authorized games to players within the state. The measure initially only applied to the offering of poker and any violation was deemed a misdemeanor by law.

New revisions to the bill call for a five-year license period instead of the original 10 years. The bill will also require the Bureau of State Audits, four years after the issue date of any license by the state, but no later than five years after that date, to issue a report to the Legislature detailing the implementation of the measure.

SB 1463 seeks to generate "hundreds of millions of dollars" for the state in the fiscal year 2012-13. The state has been split on the issue, from tribes fearing competition from industry giants, to residents concerned about problem gamblers setting a bad example for young people.

Read the full amendment of SB 1463 at

PokerStars Macau Event Cancelled

On Wednesday, PokerStars announced that the PokerStars Macau Cup scheduled for August 11 through 20 has been cancelled. The news comes less than a month after the same event was rescheduled by tournament organizers.

“Due to events beyond our reasonable control, the Macau Poker Cup scheduled for August is, regrettably, being cancelled," said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars’ director of live poker operations for the Asia-Pacific. "We cannot yet confirm the scheduling of PokerStars Macau special events for the rest of 2012, but hope to do so as soon as possible. However, what I can promise is an amazing Macau Poker Cup from June 9-18 which is going ahead as planned.”

“I assure all our loyal players and partners that PokerStars Macau is still deeply committed to creating the best poker experience in the world and my team is focused on showing that commitment this upcoming week at the Macau Poker Cup.”

The first Red Dragon series will kick off on June 9 at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex. The series is highlighted by an HDK$11,000 Red Dragon Main Event.

For more information, check out

Gigi Levy Leaves 888

According to Totally Gaming, former 888 Holdings CEO Gigi Levy has stepped down from the company's board of directors.

Levy served as 888's CEO for four years before resigning in April 2011. He was instrumental in boosting 888's poker brand into one of the industry's leaders. As of Wednesday, 888poker was the No. 4 ranked online poker online poker room according to, trailing only PokerStars, Party Poker and iPoker.

Levy's CEO position was filled by Brian Mattingly, who spoke with PokerNews earlier this year to discuss the company's direction under his guidance.

Read the story at Totally Gaming.

Opinions with Greg Mueller

Greg Mueller is always good for a quote. Or two. Or 12. PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin caught up with the Canadian poker pro to find out his opinion on mansages, Twitter, and more.

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

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  • thegimp9 thegimp9

    Brad Booth same old same old....too bad seems like a nice guy but just can't get his sheet together!

  • flintsword flintsword

    Don, While it is true that the entertainment value is paramount for this record-setting event ... on a poker level, the money in play is extremely serious. The entry fee is also serious money.

    I am with you on the idea of having animated participants ... I would say ... bring on the clowns to make the tournament as audience-friendly as possible.

    Phil Hellmuth is a marketing machine & my argument that he *has* to play is pretty sound. The chance of a huge score is going to bring well-connected poker players in droves (with backers in tow if necessary) and "the Phil" is as connected (& annoying ....) as you get.

    Although we all like to speculate on various player's poker bankrolls, the reality is that serious businessmen that have built businesses have much, much bigger bankrolls. Understanding money, they are not afraid to use it to make a statement. If they love to play poker and are worth a hundred million or so ... why not play and in fact they are here in droves ... tasty hor d'oeuvres for the Daniel Negreanu's of the world. Obviously these businessmen are hot to trot to bag a few pros en route to making history and that Don will be the litmus test of this tournament.

    The best thing that could happen for poker is that some unknown goes heads up with Phil Hellmuth and crushes him, like that amazing story in the last chapter of Gordon's poker book "The Real Deal" (admittedly not Phil Hellmuth's favourite poker book ... lol) to create another Moneymaker effect, although considering the online poker prohibition in the U.S. even that effect would be muted, alas.

    A live feed with commentary for $111 all of it going to charity is a great idea, and if PokerNews can swing it, count me in. In the unlikely event that Tony G gets knocked out before the final table, he can join the commentary.

    Also, it costs little with the WSOP resources to get a good editor to cobble together the entire event including all of the live feed into a BluRay disc or download format, again for $111 going to the charity. This is the richest poker game in history and should be treated as such.

    Lastly, the WSOP should have a contest where people can donate a small sum (say $1) and put all of the players in finish order (amateurs that wish to be anonymous are identified a Amateur1, Amateur2, Pro1, etc). The person that gets it perfect or closest wins ...

    Businessmen understand money and one has too much of it, this kind of event when a businessman has a lot of money, a tournament like this

  • donpeters donpeters

    There will be a solid amount of businessmen playing in the One Drop, which most of the pros like to see. I think it'd be great for poker if JRB could make a run at this thing. He's a great personality for poker. He really plays to the fans, loves both his fans and the haters, and is overall good for the game. Plus, could you imagine his bankroll tweets if he were to win $20 million? Those would be very, very entertaining!

    The idea of having a live feed that costs money would probably sell and is a great idea. I'm going to see if I can check with some of the WSOP and see if this was something they have considered. Or even having a ticker on the page somewhere that would allow people to donate to One Drop if they would like could raise some extra money. Good input there, flintsword.

    One thing about the One Drop that it will need are charismatic pros. The Hellmuths, Negreanus, JRBs, etc are all the ones who drive poker as entertainment to the common fan. That's who they want to see on TV and those will get the best ratings. Sure, seeing the best of the best is great, too, but many people want entertainment to go along with the poker playing.

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