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The Nightly Turbo: Antonius Wins Heads-up Duel, Hollywood Home Game Exposed, and More

Patrik Antonius

Patrik Antonius played a heads-up match against an amateur on Tuesday. Did you miss the live feed? Well, we'll recap the highlights, plus bring you news about the infamous Hollywood home game, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

The World Series of Poker made some major changes to the 2012-13 Circuit schedule. Donnie Peters discusses whether the alterations will make the tour better.

Many of poker's best online players never get a chance to shine in the spotlight. We're here to change that. In this edition of Online Chat, Ignat "0Human0" Liviu discusses playing online poker, moving up in stakes, and more.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will meet Thursday on Capitol Hill to discuss online poker for the third time. PokerNews' Matthew Kredell believes Indian tribes may be preparing their own federal bill addressing Internet poker.

The 2012 PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Snowfest Main Event got under way on Tuesday. Find out which pros survived the day in our daily recap.

Online Poker Traffic Report

PokerScout.com released its weekly traffic rankings on Monday. The online poker tracking site reported a slight climb of 0.1 percent, marking the fourth straight week of increases worldwide.

The big story last week was PartyPoker's removal of high-stakes cash games. All no-limit and pot-limit games above $5/10 were eliminated, as well as limit games above $30/60. According to PokerScout, the high-stakes games constituted just 0.6 percent of total player counts, so the removal had a small impact on the overall traffic.

PartyPoker saw a 0.8 percent drop from the previous week and was unable to regain the No. 2 spot from the iPoker Network. The only change in the top 10 was Revolution Gaming, which surged ahead of PokerStars.fr to take the eighth position.

Here's a look at the top 10 as of Tuesday:

RankSite7-Day Average (Real-money cash players)
1PokerStars20,400
2iPoker2,700
3PartyPoker2,500
4888Poker1,980
5PokerStars.it1,660
6Ongame Network1,620
7Winamax.fr1,380
8Revolution Gaming1,220
9PokerStars.fr1,200
10Merge Gaming Network1,200

As for year-over-year numbers, online poker has seen a 22 percent decline since July 2011. The three largest sites have all dropped significantly; PokerStars still maintains a sizable lead over the competition despite dropping 26 percent, and the iPoker Network (down 36%) and PartyPoker (down 44%) have struggled to keep pace. On the flip side, Revolution Gaming (up 47 has seen positive growth since this time last year.

Check out the full report at PokerScout.com.

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

Happy Hour at PokerStars

Raise your glass, poker players. PokerStars has reintroduced its Ring Game Happy Hour, giving players a chance to earn 50 percent more VIP Player Points and Frequent Player Points during designated times of the day.

The Ring Game Happy Hour will run three times daily from now through Aug. 2. The promotion is open to all ring games, including the fast-paced Zoom Poker.

PokerStars Ring Game Hours

  • 06:00 - 07:00 ET
  • 12:00 - 13:00 ET
  • 21:00 - 22:00 ET

The Ring Game Happy Hour is the "the best way to give your PokerStars VIP Club status a quick boost," according to the PokerStars website. "The more VPPs you earn, the higher your status gets, and the more exclusive player rewards you’ll be entitled to - including special tournaments and VIP Stellar Rewards. You can also use the Happy Hours to save FPPs and spend them on the latest items from the VIP Store."

The PokerStars Blog has more.

Mizrachi Endorses ISPT

The International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) is set to debut at Wembley Stadium next May, and on Tuesday it was announced that Michael Mizrachi will be the official ambassador for the Europe-based tournament series.

Michael MizrachiI just want to announce I will be @ispt_poker official ambassador. Will be one of the Biggest tournaments ever held May 31, 2013!

Mizrachi, one of the game's all-time winningest players, is coming off another productive World Series of Poker in which he won his second Poker Players Championship in three years. One thing to note about the ISPT is that it will likely kick off during the start of the 2013 WSOP, meaning Mizrachi would miss at least a week of action in Las Vegas. Mizrachi, howewer, doesn't seem concerned with the conflict.

Michael Mizrachi@MazeOrBowie @ispt_poker not sure on dates for Wsop yet! Might be early June!

We'll have more on Mizrachi's deal as it becomes available. For more on the ISPT, visit ISPT.com.

Inside The Hollywood Home Game

According to the Associated Press, Molly Bloom will soon be releasing a memoir that chronicles the illegal high-stakes Hollywood poker games that took place for seven years across the country.

Bloom's book, currently untitled, will be published by It Books and is tentatively scheduled to hit stands in the summer of 2013. The memoir will take readers through the illegal high-stakes games Bloom arranged in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas. Among the celebrities rumored to participate in the games include Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Alex Rodriguez and Matt Damon.

Bloom said in a statement that she "reigned supreme" over the secret world of the underground games, but her business came crashing down last year when she was one of 22 people sued for their winnings in a poker game organized by criminal Beverly Hills hedge fund manager Brad Ruderman. Ruderman, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence, 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 cash games trying to win the money back.

All 22 defendants involved in the case settled out of court for a total of $1.75 million to avoid a trial. Bloom's book will give an inside look at the games that the trial would've given us.

Read more in the story by the Associated Press.

Heads-up With Patrik

Last month, Patrik Antonius signed a sponsorship deal with new online poker site iGame, making him the first former member of Team Full Tilt Poker to join a poker room after Black Friday. As part of his deal, the Fin agreed to face off against one lucky player in a no-limit hold'em heads-up match with as much as €20,000 on the line.

The heads-up bout took place on Tuesday against Rui Faria from Portugal, an amateur poker player who qualified to play Antonius via iGame. Under the rules of the promotion, if Faria won two consecutive matches against Antonius, he'd pocket €20,000. One victory would net him €5,000, and if he lost the first match he'd walk away with a €2,000 VIP Package.

After showing up 30 minutes late, it took Antonius only 81 hands to eliminate Faria. The two players exchanged the lead numerous times in their lone match, but Antonius took control and then won a key pot to secure the victory. With the blinds at 800/1,600, ANtonius limped the button and Faria checked his option to see a flop of {5-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{2-Diamonds}. Faria checked to Antonius, who bet 2,400. Faria then check-raised to 6,400, and Antonius moved all in. Faria called off his remaining 15,175 chips with {Q-Spades}{5-Spades} which was slightly ahead of Patrik's {A-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. The {K-Clubs} on the turn changed nothing, but the {3-Diamonds} river gave Antonius the winning nut flush.

Faria earned the €2,000 package for his efforts, and, according to the commentators for the live stream, Antonius was headed back to his high-stakes cash games in Vienna.

You can watch the full heads-up match at iGame.com.

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