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The Nightly Turbo: Dan Cates Challenges Brian Rast, Playboy Returns to Online Poker

Brian Rast

Miss any of the day's biggest poker stories? You've come to the right place. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering a heads-up match between two of poker's high rollers, the return of a Playboy-branded online poker room, and more.

In Case You Missed It

The Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) resumed on Thursday. Which well-known pro won his second FTOPS jersey? Find out in our FTOPS XXI Day 12 recap.

How was the high-stakes action at the online tables this week? Read the Online Railbird Report to find out the week's biggest winners and losers.

Did you miss anything from the past week? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Kristy Arnett and Sarah Grant broke down all the big stories from the tournament circuit in the PokerNews Weekly.

Need advice about how to play ZOOM Poker at PokerStars? In the latest CardRunners teaser video, instructor Dylan "dintyo" Tollemache plays four tables while commentating on his decision making.

The 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Rincon Main Event kicked off on Friday. Chad Holloway took a look back at the winners of the preliminary events at Rincon.

Cates Versus Rast

Daniel “Jungleman” Cates is regarded as one of the best NLHE heads-up players in the world. The 23-year-old poker pro has won more than $5 million playing high-stakes cash games online, and is possibly best known for leading Tom “durrrr” Dwan by more than $1 million in the second Durrrr Challenge match prior to Black Friday.

Last October, Cates even issued an open challenge to anyone willing to go heads-up for a minimum of €100,000 at the Prague Poker Festival. No one accepted in Prague, but Cates has finally found a challenger in the U.S.

The Dover Downs Poker Room in Delaware announced this week that Cates will participate in a live heads-up match with Brian “tsarrast” Rast on Feb. 1, 2013. The match will be a $100,000 buy-in with $100/$200 limits and will be open to the public.

Rast is recognized for his tournament success, having won two bracelets at the 2011 World Series of Poker and making the final table at this summer's Big One For One Drop. But ring games are his bread and butter, and there's no doubt he has more live game experience than Cates.

These two also have some history against each other, as you'll see in the following video (action starts at the 1:35 mark):

For more on the showdown, check out the Dover Downs website.

Playboy Brand Returns to Poker

Amaya Gaming Group Inc., a technology-based gaming provider and new owner of the Ongame Network, has signed a global licensing agreement with Playboy Enterprises to assist in creating a variety of poker and lottery “Playboy” branded products beginning in 2013. With its brand stamped on products in retail stores and entertainment venues, the iconic Playboy trademark will now be growing into digital areas including online gaming.

"This is a giant global brand for Amaya to partner with online,” said David Baazov, CEO of the Amaya Gaming Group. “With its tremendous online audience and boasting one of the highest unaided global awareness and social media user engagements of any brand, we’re confident that our collaboration with Playboy will be a recipe for success and look forward to guiding them in their online endeavors.”

"The Playboy lifestyle is about indulging our passions, and we are focused on bringing content, products and experiences to consumers around the globe that define this lifestyle,” said Scott Flanders, CEO of Playboy Enterprises. “Gaming is an ideal fit with our strategy and we're delighted to partner with Amaya on this project, combining a leading global brand with a strong technology partner to offer what we believe will be exciting online gaming experiences."

This isn't Playboy's first run at online gaming. In 2006, Playboy signed a three-year deal with Cryptologic to offer a Playboy-branded Internet casino powered by CryptoLogic's casino software. The deal ended in 2009, and Playboy elected to exit the online gaming industry after enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The full press release can be found at Yahoo.com.

Bwin.party Enters Belgium Legally

Online gambling firm bwin.party digital entertainment has entered an agreement that will allow it to operate legally in Belgium. On Friday, bwin.party announced a partnership with Partouche-owned gambling company Belcasinos in which the two companies will collaborate to offer online sports betting, poker and casino games to consumers in the country.

The announcement comes just weeks after bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger was summoned for questioning by Belgian authorities while attending the Responsible Gaming Day conference in Brussels. Teufelberger's detainment stemmed from the Belgium Gambling Commission's (BGC) view that bwin.party was in breach of the country's gambling legislation. The company was placed on Belgium's gambling blacklist in May but continued offering its services in the country.

“We are excited to have reached an agreement with Partouche to offer our market-leading products under license to consumers in Belgium," said bwin.party co-CEOs Teufelberger and Jim Ryan. "Following recent developments in Belgium and after further dialogue with the local regulator, we have put our differences of opinion behind us and are now focused on the immediate commercial opportunity.

“Together with our new partner we are now in the process of securing the necessary approvals to meet the requirements set by the BGC and do not expect any interruption to our service for customers in Belgium.”

Bwin.party said in a press release that after the deal with Partouche, the BGC agreed to drop all pending legal disputes and will lift bwin's websites from its blacklist. Bwin.party added that it has begun to adapt its systems to comply fully with the current licensing regime.

Read the full press release at bwinparty.com.

Bernard Lee Gives Back

Bernard Lee, an established New England player, will offer the gift of giving again this holiday season. Lee will be donating 20 holiday packages to 27 families with 53 children in the Lawrence, Massachusetts’s area as part of The Full House Charity Program.

Each family will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant and a cheddar sampler pack from Cabot Cheese. Children will receive a holiday package that includes winter clothing, a hat and gloves, books, toys, ball/game, art supplies, holiday sweets, a stuffed animal and a Cabot Cheese children’s fun pack.

“In the spirit of the holiday season, my hope is that these packages bring joy to struggling families. I feel so grateful for my family that I want to share some holiday cheer with families other than my own,” said Lee. “Giving back to the community is the mission of the Full House Charity Program.”

Read the full press release here.

Prague Knows How To Party

PokerStars is known for throwing some crazy parties at each European Poker Tour stop. Sarah Grant caught up with some poker players during the latest soirée in Prague.

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

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