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The Nightly Turbo: Republican Party Backs U.S. Online Poker Ban, PokerStars Radio, & More

Nightly Turbo

Should poker players in the U.S. be concerned about the result of the Presidential election in November? We'll cover that story, plus the return of PokerStars Radio, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

A final table was reached at the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event on Tuesday. Find out which notables are still in contention in our WPT recap.

Last week, Cory Wood won the World Series of Poker Circuit Casino Championship at IP Biloxi. Wood spoke with PokerNews about the win and becoming the first player to qualify for the National Championship.

Did you miss ESPN's coverage of the WSOP on Tuesday night? Get caught up in our weekly recap.

The PokerNews Podcast returned on Wednesday. This week, the crew discussed the latest poker news and chatted with Jason Koon about the professionalism of poker players.

Have you seen the legendary TwoPlusTwo Photoshop thread regarding Jens "Jeans89" Kyllönen's trip to space? If not, you can find the best of the best in The Muck.

GOP Against Online Poker

During Tuesday's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the GOP approved an official platform that contains a plank calling for a ban on online poker. The 54-page document opened with a warning that the "American Dream" of equal opportunity is at risk, and goes on to state its opposition toward Internet gambling.

"Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families," the platform reads. "We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting."

Last December, the Department of Justice changed its position on the Wire Act of 1961, finding that the Wire Act only applies only to sports betting. The decision was considered a huge victory for poker, but it could be for naught if the GOP reclaims the White House from the Democrats later this year.

"As we all know, the DOJ decision the plank calls for reversing is the very one that determined that the scope of the Wire Act does not include poker," Rich Muny, Poker Player's Alliance vice president of player relations, said Wednesday. "Also, as we all know, our opponents are including poker in 'gambling' activities they seek to ban. Some have even taken to calling the activity 'poker gambling.'"

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has gone on record saying he strongly opposes online gambling because of the "social costs and people’s addictive gambling habits.” Ironically, though, you may recall Romney proposing a $10,000 bet against Rick Perry during the GOP debate late last year.

The full text of the 2012 Republican Platform can be seen on the GOP website.

PokerStars WCOOP Radio

With the return of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) this weekend, PokerStars has announced the revival of the popular PokerStars Radio for a second year. The daily broadcast will bring poker fans live coverage of the series from Sept. 2 through 25.

PokerStars Radio will accompany the action on the felts each night at 20:00 BST (15:00 EST). The interactive show will also include quizzes, competitions, interviews, live phone-in discussions, Twitter posts and exclusive online tournaments for listeners, with more than $25,000 up for grabs.

“We saw last year with the WCOOP radio show that poker players and fans love the format and really connect with the live interactive elements,” said WCOOP radio host Joe Stapleton. “It provides a way for the growing poker community worldwide to share in the excitement of the most important festival in online poker.”

Stapleton will be joined by co-hosts Nick Wealthall and Matt Broughton, and they'll be visited on the air by members of Team PokerStars Pro and Team PokerStars Online, as well as past and present WCOOP winners.

The 2012 PokerStars WCOOP will award more than $30 million across 65 tournaments next month. For the full schedule of events and satellite information, visit PokerStars.com.

King Dan Extends Player of the Year Lead

"King" Dan Smith increased his lead in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race this week after another brilliant performance at the PokerStars European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona.

Smith followed up his win in the European Poker Tour Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller with a third-place result in the €10,000 Heads-Up event, increasing his lead over Marvin Rettenmaier to 77.01 points in the GPI POY. Smith is enjoying his best year as a poker pro; he has five major wins and more than $3.3 million in live tournament winnings in 2012 alone.

Jonathan Duhamel climbed past David "ODB" Baker for the No. 3 position this week. Duhamel took 10th place at the EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller, marking his first cash since the World Series of Poker in July. Baker landed at No. 4, and Andrew Lichtenberger jumped four spots into fifth place. Lichtenberger took 11th in the EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller to add more points to his Player of the Year total.

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

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1Dan Smith879.43--
2Marvin Rettenmaier802.42--
3Jonathan Duhamel741.23+1
4David Baker715.90-1
5Andrew Lichtenberger713.68+4
6Daniel Negreanu607.28+2
7Erik Cajelais639.53-2
8Kyle Julius637.63-2
7Phil Ivey629.12-2
10Tommy Vedes598.40--

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, 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 GlobalPokerIndex.com.

888poker Revenue Surges

888 Holdings PLC showed record revenues for the first half of 2012, according to a statement released by CEO Brian Mattingly this week. The company's poker offering, 888poker, put in the strongest performance, showing growth of 72 percent to $41.3 million from $24 million in the same period of 2011.

“This has been an excellent first half of the year," said Mattingly, who took over the chief executive role earlier this year. "The tremendous increase in customer numbers caused by the improvements in our product offering has led to these record results, with the highest revenues in the history of 888. On the back of this performance, the Board has decided to reinstate the interim dividend, while we retain the cash necessary to continue growing the company."

Mattingly added that the company will turn much of its focus toward the Spanish market in the second half of 2012. 888poker has done well in the newly-regulated space in Spain, which opened in June. According to PokerScout.com, 888poker.es ranks second to PokerStars.es in real-money ring-game traffic. Meanwhile, 888poker's dot-com offering ranks fourth overall behind PokerStars, iPoker and PartyPoker.

Check out 888 Holdings' report at 888HoldingsPLC.com.

Why Play WCOOP?

The 2012 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker is just days away. Why should you be taking part in the action? We'll let the pros answer that for you.

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

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