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The Nightly Turbo: Jason Senti Fights for Online Poker, GPI Player of the Year

Jason Senti

The clock is running out for a federal online poker bill in the U.S this year. What can you to do make a difference? We're bringing you that story, plus the latest shift in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

The PokerStars.net EPT Prague Main Event played down to 55 players on Day 3. Ramzi Jelassi led the way, but notables Chris Brammer and Jeff Sarwer were right on his heels.

888 Holdings has entered into an agreement to offer real-money gambling on Facebook starting next year. Get the full story here at PokerNews.com.

The Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) continued on Tuesday. Find out which big-name players won events in our FTOPS XXI Day 10 recap.

Alex Masek captured a record-tying fifth WSOP Circuit ring last week. Chad Holloway spoke with Masek about the accomplishment and his plans for 2013.

The inaugural Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event kicks off this week, and PokerNews will be there providing live updates. Donnie Peters breaks down everything you need to know about the $2,500 buy-in event.

Senti Fights for Online Poker

Today is 12/12/12, a date we will only see once in our lifetime. While some are using the day to brace for the Mayan apocalypse, former World Series of Poker November Niner Jason Senti is using it for the good of online poker by promoting “Fight for Online Poker Rights Day.”

Last week, Senti posted a thread on TwoPlusTwo.com in an effort to create a mass community voice for politicians to listen up and do something about online poker in the U.S. As the lame-duck session comes to a close in the next couple of weeks, the opportunity to pass a federal bill to regulate online poker will also come to an end as the session has been deemed the last effort for a federal bill to move through Congress in 2012.

Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller are two of the men working on passing the legislation. Reid and Sen. Jon Kyl drafted the bill, which would allow for the legalization of online poker but restrict other forms of online gambling like slot machines.

To make the process easier for poker players, Senti has created prefilled tweets to various bigwigs such as President Barack Obama, Steny Hoyer, Kevin McCarthy, Eric Cantor, Gov. Chris Christie, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Dean Heller, Harry Reid, and Jon Kyl, all of whom have influence on passing the bill.

Jason Senti@BarackObama I encourage you to support my right to play online #poker in my own home on my own computer. Thank you!

Said Senti: “Online poker is easy for politicians to ignore, but I hope we can get loud enough for one day that we can show this issue is important to us. Please spread the word about this to other poker players on Twitter, Facebook, and any other way you can think of.”

In addition to Twitter, Senti has also listed a link to contact other lawmakers through email or phone and encourages everyone to post to Facebook to support the effort.

Check out the thread at TwoPlusTwo to learn how to make your voice heard by lawmakers.

Catching Dan Smith

He hasn't made a live final table since September, but Dan Smith has all but locked up the inaugural Global Poker Index Player of the Year honor.

Smith (1098.79 points) has led the rankings for 16 consecutive weeks despite cooling off in the final quarter of the year. Still, he holds a sizable lead over his next closest competitor Marvin Rettenmaier (966.63), who would need a huge score in the final few weeks of 2012 to claim the No. 1 spot. Some of the others chasing Smith are Kyle Julius (906.02), Joseph Cheong (848.90), and Phil Hellmuth (846.83).

The only change in the top 10 this week came from Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who climbed five spots to No. 8. Grospellier's lone win this year came in a side event at EPT Berlin, but he earned his biggest score the Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final Super High Roller, where he placed third for $819,878. Grospellier's return to the top 10 knocked fellow Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu back to 11th and 12th, respectively.

Here's a look at the top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race:

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1Dan Smith1098.79--
2Marvin Rettenmaier966.63--
3Kyle Julius906.02--
4Joseph Cheong848.90--
5Phil Hellmuth846.83--
6Andrew Lichtenberger819.75--
7Justin Bonomo798.33--
8Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier797.43+5
9David Baker790.71-1
10Mohsin Charania788.15-1

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has a strong performance as calculated by the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.

For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to GlobalPokerIndex.com.

Harry Reid Sounds Off

While addressing the media in a press conference on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid grew a bit ornery about the prospects of his federal online poker bill.

Reid, who drafted the bill with Sen. Jon Kyl, told the Las Vegas Sun earlier this month that the measure would need 15 to 17 Republican votes to come to the floor. At that time, Reid said he'd gotten "none."

When asked Tuesday whether Reid's bill had enough Republican support to move through Congress, Reid threw his hands into the air and questioned how he could pass it before the lame-duck session ends.

"Everyone, listen to this," he said. "We suddenly have Republican votes on Internet poker, two weeks before Christmas. Without being vulgar, what the hell would I put it on?"

Reid and fellow Nevada Senator Dean Heller have been working hard on passing the federal online poker legislation, but the issue doesn't appear to be high enough on the priority list in Washington. "It’s just hard getting it to the forefront so that we can make it an issue and get it moving,” Heller said earlier this month.

You can view Reid's press conference at c-span.org; Reid comments about online poker begin shortly after the 4:00 mark.

Cincinnati's WSOP Poker Room

On Wednesday, Rock Ohio Caesars announced that the new Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is scheduled to open on March 4, 2013. The casino, in downtown Cincinnati, will be the fourth to open in Ohio in less than a year.

The $400 million project will have 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games, and a 31-table World Series of Poker-branded poker room.

“We expect final work inside and out to wrap up next month," said Steve Rosenthal, a principal of Rock Gaming. "To date, more than 2,000 construction workers have contributed to make this development a first-class destination.”

Kevin Kline, casino’s senior vice president and general manager, added, “Our casino operations team is 'all in' and will be ready to debut our legendary Horseshoe brand to the Cincinnati community in 82 days.”

Casino developer and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert opened Ohio’s first casino, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, in May. That establishment also features a WSOP-branded poker room and was scheduled to host a WSOP Circuit stop in March, but the event was cancelled because of gaming restrictions. Organizers are working on staging a WSOP Circuit event at a later date.

For more on Cincinnati's new poker room, visit whiotv.com.

The End of the World?

There is a lot of talk about the end of the Mayan Calendar next week. During a break at EPT Prague, Sarah Grant investigated the poker community's position on the topic.

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