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The Nightly Turbo: Phil Galfond and Dan Cates Post Big Wins, MicroMillions III, & More

Phil Galfond

Still feeling the hangover from the World Series of Poker final table marathon? So are we. But we're still here to bring you the day's biggest news stories. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering the latest action from the PokerStars All-Star Challenge, another MicroMillions series, and more.

In Case You Missed It

Dan Smith is the new man to catch in the Global Poker Index rankings. PokerNews' Mickey Doft says to get used to seeing Smith atop the GPI.

MGM Resorts International is closing in on an interactive gaming license in Nevada. Get the latest in our article here at PokerNews.com.

Full Tilt Poker is still set to relaunch on Nov. 6. But on Wednesday, the site allowed players to sit down at the play money tables, view their balances and even transfer their funds to PokerStars.

The DeepStacks Poker Tour continues to line up stops for 2013. The latest will take place at Oregon's Chinook Winds Casino for the PacWest Poker Classic.

Galfond, Cates Advance to Semifinals

The four first-round matches of the PokerStars All-Star Challenge are in the books after Daniel “w00ki3z” Cates (aka jungleman12) and Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond booked wins this week. Cates beat NLHE specialist Alexander “Sussie Smith” Roumeliotis on Wednesday, and Galfond bested Ben “Ben86” Tollerene on Thursday.

According to the PokerStars Blog, Cates and Roumeliotis went into attack mode early on Wednesday as both players went all-in multiple times in the first few minutes, resulting in an early lead for Cates. However, it took a flopped set for Roumeliotis to gain control in the second hour, and he extended that lead to $30k when he rivered a gut-shot straight.

It became a back-and-forth match until Cates took the reins and grinded down his opponent to $6.5k of his original $100k stack. Roumeliotis fought back to $35k, but it all ended on Hand No. 3,294 when Roumeliotis shoved his remaining stack in with {4-}{4-} and Cates woke up with {K-}{K-}. The bigger pair held, allowing Cates to advance to the semifinals against Galfond on Saturday.

It took nearly 15 hours and 4,341 hands to end the heads-up match between Galfond and Ben “Ben86” Tollerene. The first hundred hands were dead even before Galfond picked up two five-figure pots to give him an early lead.

In hour two, Tollerene built a $25k lead after both players flopped a straight draw with only Tollerene completing.

Galfond hit a huge rut in the fifth hour, leaving Tollerene with a nearly $56k chip lead. But Galfond hit a rush he so desperately needed after the two took a dinner break together [tweet]. He picked up a $27,700 pot when Tollerene’s {K-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} flopped top pair against his {A-Diamonds}{A-Spades}. After nine hours and more than 3,100 hands, they were both back where they started — pretty much even.

Then, approaching 15 hours of play, the two were only playing on one table after Galfond took a $73k lead. Tollerene then lost the remainder of his stack holding {J-Hearts}{2-Hearts} on a {Q-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}{9-Clubs} board. Galfond had the lead with {Q-Spades}{5-Clubs} for top pair, and the {A-Spades} and {5-Spades} gave Galfond two pair and the win.

In the other semifinal match, set to take place on Friday, Ike Haxton will take on Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky. The championship match will be held on Nov. 4, with the winner taking home $550,000.

For more on the All-Star Showdown, visit the PokerStars Blog.

For the Micro Grinders

On Thursday, PokerStars announced $5 million in guaranteed prize pools for the third installment of MicroMillions, a popular tournament series designed for recreational and micro-stakes players. The online poker festival takes place from Nov. 15 through 25 and features affordable buy-ins from 11 cents up to $22 across 100 tournaments.

Events will run around the clock during the 11-day series, which will culminate with a $22 MicroMillions Main Event with a $1 million prize pool — with $150,000 guaranteed to the winner — on Sunday, Nov. 25. The series will feature all of your favorite poker variants, plus a wide variety of formats like turbos, rebuys, shootouts, knockouts, and big-ante events.

The most recent MicroMillions series in July was extremely popular with low-stakes recreational players and online grinders alike, generating a staggering 1,288,221 entries and total prize pools adding up to $7,966,209.85. The $22 buy-in Main Event was won by SoyDelGlobo who walked away with $157,218.68.

For a complete look at the MicroMillions III schedule, visit PokerStars.com.

Dan Smith Leads GPI Player of the Year Race

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings were released on Wednesday with Dan Smith leading the way for the tenth consecutive week.

It's been a year for the ages for Smith, who also recently took the lead in the GPI's overall rankings. Smith has six wins in 2012, including four at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final in April. With only two months remaining, Smith is the clear favorite to become the first-ever Global Poker Index Player of the Year.

The only change in the top 10 this week came from Marvin Rettenmaier, who moved past Kyle Julius into second place. Rettenmaier recently finished 10th at the $10,000 buy-in Festa al Lago Main Event in Las Vegas, earning $16,188. Rettenmaier's GPI score is boosted by the back-to-back World Poker Tour titles he won over the summer. He also cashed six times at the World Series of Poker.

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

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1Dan Smith1098.79--
2Marvin Rettenmaier966.63+1
3Kyle Julius906.02-1
4Phil Hellmuth846.83--
5Andrew Lichtenberger819.75--
6Justin Bonomo798.33--
7David Baker790.71--
8Daniel Negreanu768.40--
9Jason Mercier766.71--
10Bertrand Grospellier752.53--

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.

LexVeldhuis.com Goes Live

Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis has officially launched his new website, which will host his latest news, blogs, competitions, and more.

With a visually pleasing background and simple navigation, LexVeldhuis.com is very well designed. The site offers his Twitter feed and social media links, as well as a brief story of how he came into poker by being introduced to PokerStars by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.

The Poker Tips section isn't quite what you'd expect — not yet, anyway. Those hoping for hand analysis or strategy will instead find tidbits like “make sure you are happy” — a great tip nonetheless. You can also follow his blog, which provides his tales from poker events like the WCOOP and EPT London.

You can also find off-the-felt reads like his kickboxing match versus Grospellier, as well as videos featuring interviews and hands televised during tournament events.

Check it out at LexVeldhuis.com.

HOFers

Eric Drache and Brian "Sailor" Roberts were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame just before the start of Day 2 of the WSOP Main Event final table. Kristy Arnett was there for the press conference.

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

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