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The Nightly Turbo: Betfair Moving to iPoker Network, Jake Cody Joins Team PokerStars

Jake Cody

Two high-stakes poker players signed deals with online poker sites this week. We'll tell you who they are, plus bring you news about Betfair's move to the iPoker Network, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It:

What was life like for Jeff Sarwer growing up as a chess prodigy? Find out that and more in the latest Seat Open.

Scott Seiver added another huge win to his resume by taking down the Super High Roller at the PCA on Monday. Get the full story of his path to victory in our Super High Roller recap.

While Seiver was adding millions to his bankroll, Day 1a of the PCA Main Event was going strong. We provide all of the highlights in our Main Event recap.

Not to be forgotten, the first-ever Open Face Chinese tournament took place at the PCA on Monday. Get the results from that and more in Chad Holloway's look at the PCA side events.

Betfair Migrating to iPoker

On Monday, online gaming and sportsbook operator Betfair announced that its poker room will join the iPoker Network later this this month and will ultimately leave the Ongame Network after a two-year partnership.

According to a press release, New Betfair Poker will launch later this month on the iPoker Network and run alongside Ongame's Classic Betfair Poker, offering customers a "varied, feature-rich poker playing experience on the two leading poker networks."

All of Betfair's poker players will then transfer to iPoker in July 2013, according to a Playtech press release issued Monday.

"We're delighted to announce Betfair's migration to iPoker.com," said Roei Gavish, head of Playtech's iPoker Network. "Our network continues to see positive development from both a liquidity and technological standpoint, which not only benefits a large operator like Betfair but also secures Playtech's leadership in the Poker B2B market."

Betfair Poker will likely join Bet365, Everest Poker, Paddy Bower, Poker770, Titan Poker, William Hill and Winner Poker on iPoker's top tier. iPoker divided into two tiers last September, sending the larger skins into the top level and smaller skins into the lower level.

"Our intention has always been to offer our customers a rewarding and varied poker experience," said Sam Hobcraft, Betfair's director of gaming launching. "New Betfair Poker on Playtech's platform will help us to continue to achieve this goal. It's a world-class product, offering unique and innovative features. This coupled with Betfair Poker's renowned community and loyalty offerings will help us better retain our existing player base and attract a new audience to Betfair poker."

Read more at the Betfair Poker blog.

PokerStars' New Triple Crown Winner

Negreanu and Cody
Negreanu and Cody

PokerStars unveiled Jake Cody as the newest member of Team PokerStars on Tuesday. The Triple Crown winner from the U.K. was introduced by fellow PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu shortly before the start of Day 1b of the PCA Main Event.

“Team Pokerstars Pro is the holy grail of poker sponsorship," Cody said in a press release. "It has been a long term goal for a while now and for it to finally happen feels like a dream come true.”

Cody has major wins at the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour, and boasts career live tournament winnings of more than $3 million. In addition to his live success, Cody won a $2,100 buy-in event at the 2011 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) for $235,000.

Cody entered the free agent market in November after parting ways with PKR.com, where he was a sponsored pro for a year. A number of U.K. pros split with PokerStars over the past year, including J.P. Kelly and Jude Ainsworth, but the country is still well represented by Cody, Liv Boeree and Victoria Coren.

“Jake is such great ambassador for poker in the UK – he’s a great player but he’s also a humble guy," said Boeree. "He’s incredibly competitive, and is always striving to improve his game. With so many titles under his belt at such a young age, he’s going to have a very long and successful career ahead of him.”

Read more about Cody at the PokerStars Blog.

Ivey Recruits Dan Shak

Phil Ivey has added yet another top player to his list of high-caliber pros at IveyPoker.com. Millionaire hedge fund manager and poker enthusiast Dan Shak will join the roster of instructors for the site, which is being designed to teach people how to play poker the “right way.”

Dan Shak at the PCA
Dan Shak at the PCA

“I have always insisted that poker is a hobby for me and have consistently turned down any business offers related to it," Shak said in a statement at IveyPoker.com. "But when Phil asked me if I wanted to join Team Ivey, I was more than prepared to make an exception. Phil is not only a good friend but also the best poker player in the world if you ask me. So it is an honour to be part of this team and everything that it represents. Another reason I accepted to sign was the education aspect of poker and I feel that I may have something useful to give back to the community”

Shak was recently donning the IveyPoker logo at the PCA's $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller, where he made his way to the final table and finished eighth for $228,960. It was Shak's second straight trip to the final table. Last year, he was runner-up to Viktor Blom for $846,700.

Shak first made his mark in the poker world with a first place finish at the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship $100,000 Challenge, earning just over $1 million. It was there that Shak caught Ivey's eye, defeating Ivey heads-up to take the title.

With nearly $4 million in total cashes, Shak is nice addition to IveyPoker.com, which is expected to launch Jan. 14 according to IveyPoker pro John Eames.

For more, visit IveyPoker.com.

Russia Continues Crackdown on Gambling

Russian president Vladimir Putin has approved amendments to a law that rules gambling addicts "incompetent."

RT.com reported this week that the country’s lawmakers recently adopted amendments that would restrict the rights of individuals deemed as having alcohol, drug, or gambling addictions. The amendment refers to people who put their families into difficult financial situations because of addiction. Those who fall under the language of the law would require a guardian to handle the addict's income.

Russia has long been opposed to gambling, and in 2009 lawmakers banned all casinos and gambling halls in the country, as well as online poker. Residents of the country have since been able to access online poker site offshore, but last November the Russian legislature passed a law that forces Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block "illegal content" from entering the country.

Get the full story at RT.com.

Open Face Chinese Poker Tourney!

The firs Open Face Chinese poker tournament was held at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Monday. PokerNews' Kristy Arnett caught up with Daniel Negreanu, Brian Hastings, and Victor Ramdin to get their thoughts on the new format.

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