We apologize for taking a day off from writing the Nightly Turbo on Tuesday. We were a little busy covering a few other things. But we're back! In this edition, we're covering the shocking death of a popular high-stakes poker pro, more news on the Full Tilt Poker front, and more.
In Case You Missed It
The PokerNews Podcast returned on Tuesday, which happened to be one of the most chaotic and exciting days in recent memory for this industry. The crew talked with Phil Galfond, Jason Somerville, and others about PokerStars' deal with the Department of Justice.
There was a lot of information to take in about PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker on Tuesday. In case you don't feel like navigating through all the stories, we've created The Lazy Person’s Guide to PokerStars’ Acquisition of Full Tilt Poker.
Did you miss Tuesday's coverage of the World Series of Poker on ESPN? Read about what happened in our WSOP recap.
The poker tournament scene really heats up on the East Coast this month. If you plan on playing some events, check out the East Coast Grinder to help figure out your schedule.
Poker pro Blair Hinkle had more than $1 million frozen on Full Tilt Poker for 16 months. Needless to say, Hinkle was a happy man on Tuesday. He told PokerNews about his reaction to the news that all FTP players would be repaid.
Another Win for the DOJ
Nelson Burtnick, former director of payments for Full Tilt Poker, was arrested on Tuesday after arriving in New Jersey from his home in Dublin.
Burtnick was one of the 11 defendants in the civil indictment issued by the Department of Justice on April 15, 2011. He surrendered to authorities Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and bank fraud in connection with the illegal activities conducted at Full Tilt Poker. Like his former colleague Ray Bitar, Burtnick posted bail and was released.
The news of Burtnick's arrest was overshadowed by the deal between PokerStars and the DOJ on Tuesday. PokerStars forfeited $547 million to acquire all of Full Tilt Poker's assets and help clean up the mess created by Burtnick, Bitar and others at FTP. It will pay another $184 million to all non-U.S. FTP customers within 90 days of the close of the deal.
Read more about Burtnick right here at PokerNews.com.
Far Too Young
Poker pro Ryan Young of Torrance, Calif., passed away on Monday, according to many of his close friends in the poker community. Young was 28.
Details of Young's death are limited, but several sources close to Young said he died in a car accident. Young was beloved by many of his peers in the poker community, several of whom shared their thoughts via social media on Monday.
"So incredibly torn up about Ryan Young's car accident," said Amit Makhija. "Was in disbelief when I read the news this morning was praying it was a bad joke. I was quite close to him for many years, and it's really so sad, he was definitely an amazing friend, and a great person. My heart and prayers go out to his family."
"Very sad day," Bryn Kenney wrote on his own Facebook page. "A good friend of mine Ryan Young passed away. He was such a good hearted kid. You will be missed, I love you buddy."
"This is such a shock," David Benefield wrote on Young's Facebook wall. "You were a great friend, an awesome person, and a damn good poker player. I have known you for as long as I have known almost anyone in the poker world, and I will miss you dearly."
Even those who didn't know Young well had wonderful things to say about him.
"We only met a few times, but I can echo the thoughts of so many others — poker, and the rest of the world, needs more truly nice guys like you," said poker pro Jon Turner.
Young burst onto the live poker scene in 2007 when he won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event for $615,955. He amassed more than $1.6 million in live tournament cashes in his short career. Young was also a feared player on the virtual felts, where he played high-stakes sit-and-gos and tournaments under the name "youngluck."
Our deepest condolences go out to Young's family and friends.
Bloopers and Highlights!
It wouldn't be an official tournament wrap without a collection of all the blunders and highlights. Check out the latest PokerNews blooper reel from the 2012 ANZPT Snowfest Queenstown Main Event.
Crabcakes, Football, and ... Gambling?
On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment Corp. received a license from Maryland gaming authorities that will allow for the development of a $300 million casino in downtown Baltimore.
The property, named Harrah's Baltimore, will have 3,750 slot machines, as well as a fine dining steakhouse and signature casual dining restaurants. Harrah's Baltimore is expected to open in 2014.
"We are pleased to have been awarded the license to operate a VLT facility in Baltimore, and look forward to building a unique entertainment experience that will attract customers from across the country," said Gary Loveman, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment. "The development of Harrah's Baltimore is part of our plan to develop casinos in urban areas that integrate into and support the surrounding communities.
The license initially allows Caesars to offer slots within the casino. Maryland's General Assembly will discuss in a special session next week whether Caesars can offer table games like poker. If approved, Loveman says it will "add to the customer experiences the property will provide."
Caesars rival MGM Resorts International recently signed a deal to develop and run a hotel-casino property near Washington, D.C. The property would be located at the National Harbor waterfront complex in southern Maryland and feature 250 table games, 4,500 slot machines, retail outlets, restaurants and a luxury hotel.
Read more in Caesars' press release.
Raymer Back in the Winner's Circle
Greg "Fossilman" Raymer has added a Heartland Poker Tour trophy to his World Series of Poker bracelet.
On Monday, Raymer won the $1,500 HPT Route 66 championship event for $71,875. Raymer bested a field of 131 players in the tournament, which fell short of its $250,000 guaranteed prize pool by $53,500. It marked Raymer's first victory in a televised event since he won the WSOP Main Event in 2004 for $5 million.
Heartfelt thx to everyone for the many kind tweets and texts. Super pumped to have won another TV event. @HPTPoker @RT66CasinoHotelFollow @FossilMan
Others taking part in the event at the Route 66 Casino were Kathey Liebert, Allen Kessler, and former HPT champs Craig Casino, John Sacha, and Rob “veeRob” Perelman. Raymer's victory came in the 200th HPT event.
Here's a look at the final table results from the Heartland Poker Tour Route 66 championship event:
For more details from the event, check out the Heartland Poker Tour website.