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The Nightly Turbo: Ben Lamb Enters One Drop, Poker Coming to North Carolina, and More

Ben Lamb

Thursday was a busy day in the world of poker. Outside of the major happenings at the World Series of Poker, two companies were recommended for online gambling licenses in Nevada, and a bill was passed in North Carolina to allow live poker at a Harrah's-owned casino. We'll cover those stories and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Phil Ivey earned his first cash of the World Series of Poker on Wednesday. We break down that story and more in the Day 11 WSOP recap.

Which pros were making deep runs in tournaments on Thursday? Read about the day's biggest story lines in the WSOP What to Watch For.

As you might expect, the action was crazy in the first week of the WSOP. Chad Holloway takes a look at some of the most memorable hands our live reporting team has come across so far.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier still occupied the top spot in the Global Poker Index this week. Mickey Doft takes a look at the biggest movers and shakers in the GPI rankings.

Looking for a fun, behind-the-scenes perspective of life at the WSOP? The Muck is providing several daily stories from inside the Rio, so check it out!

Benba Spends Some Main Event Winnings

2011 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Ben Lamb has announced that he will be putting up the $1 million buy-in for the Big One for One Drop at this year's WSOP. Lamb, who's spent more time at the WSOP Live Action games than the tournaments so far this summer, announced his intentions via Twitter on Thursday.

Last year, Lamb put together one of the most incredible performances ever at the WSOP. In just seven events, Lamb made five final tables and scooped his first bracelet in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship for $814,436. He also took third in the Main Event for more than $4 million.

The World Series of Poker announced 12 new additions to the One Drop lineup on Thursday, not including Lamb or Jean-Robert Bellande, who announced his intentions to play on Tuesday.

You can find the full list of entrants in our article at PokerNews.com.

Welcome to the Party, North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has approved a bill that would sanction the Harrah's Cherokee Casino to offer Vegas-style card games like poker and blackjack. Perdue signed the bill into law about an hour after the measure was given final approval by the Senate on Wednesday, according to CBS News.

Live-dealer games are illegal everywhere in North Carolina, but Harrah's Cherokee Casino has been seeking permission to offer live card games since the casino opened in 1997. The new legislation will bring up to 400 additional jobs to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. A percentage of the revenues from the casino will be sent to the North Carolina education department.

"It's a deal that I think puts money in the classroom of North Carolina for our kids," Perdue said, according to CBS News. "It helps us get 400 new jobs in the west. And the derivatives from the economic development activities from the tribe will be remarkable to us. I'm happy with the deal."

Many of the video machines offered by Harrah's Cherokee Casino will be replaced by live dealers. Chief Mitchell Hicks says he hopes the live games to be up and running by July 4.

CBS News has more.

William Hill, IGT Recommended for Nevada Licenses

On Thursday, slot machine company International Game Technology (IGT) and online bookmaker William Hill were recommended for licensing ahead of the Nevada's intrastate online gambling market.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Gaming Control Board in Carson City gave a unanimous ruling in favor of both companies to receive a license. On Wednesday, Bally Technologies was the first operator to be recommended for a license by the control board. All three companies will next meet with the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 21 for final license approval.

William Hill made headlines this week when it pulled its sportsbook out of Australia. Online gambling is illegal in Australia per the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, but no offshore operators have been charged with any crimes since the bill was enforced. It's believed William Hill exited Australia in order to gain favor with the NGCB.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dwan Still in Macau

The live cash games at the Rio in Las Vegas have been thriving since the World Series of Poker kicked off last month, but the nosebleed games in Macau are still king so far this summer.

Several players have confirmed to PokerNews that Tom Dwan's absence at the WSOP is due to the large cash game action at the Poker King Club in Macau, where no-limit hold'em games have been running as high as HKD $30,000/$60,000 (USD $3850/$7700). Dwan posted via Twitter that he was headed to Macau on May 18, and he has yet to return to Vegas to play in the WSOP.

On Thursday, new Poker King Club COO AJ Brock told Poker Portal Asia that the Big Game has been going strong during the WSOP, but it will likely go on hiatus early next month when Dwan and a handful of Chinese businessmen jet off to Las Vegas for the Big One for One Drop. Dwan and Macau regulars Richard Yong and Paul Phua have already registered for the $1 million buy-in event which kicks off July 1 at the Rio.

To get a closer look at the Big Game in Macau, read Gus Hansen's recent interview with ekstrabladet.dk (Google Translate is your friend).

From the Road to the Felt

NASCAR drivers, celebrities and race fans will be participating in the Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown on Thursday evening in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The event will take place ahead of the Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 and benefit the NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Forces Foundation.

Among the drivers taking part in the event are Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Travis Kvapil. NASCAR president Mike Helton and Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky will also take a seat at the felt.

Race fans can put down a $250 donation and receive a pre-tournament, VIP meet-and-greet with drivers and celebrities on hand, as well as entry to participate in the Poker Showdown. A $150 donation reserves a seat in the poker tournament, and a $50 donation allows for fans to attend the event as spectators.

"Both the NASCAR Foundation and Armed Forces Foundation do a lot of work to help their respective communities and in order to do that they depend greatly on the generosity of people who can contribute," said Burton, who is on the board of directors for the Armed Forces Foundation. "It's great that Pocono Raceway is helping in this way with the poker tournament. It's just a fun way to raise money and draw attention to the work of the two groups."

Former Sprint Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch was scheduled to participate in the Poker Showdown, but Busch was given a one-week suspension by NASCAR for verbally abusing a media member on Saturday. Hmmm ... sound like someone you know?

Read more about the event at NASCAR.com.

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Obrestad Versus Karr

Annette Obrestad and McLean Karr were seated across from each other in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout on Thursday. Naturally, Sarah Grant pitted them against each other in the latest edition of Versus.

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