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The Nightly Turbo: Viktor Blom Up $4 Million in 2013, MiniFTOPS Winners, and More

Viktor Blom

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom decided not to defend his title in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller this week. Turns out it was a very smart decision. We'll bring you that story, plus the latest results of Full Tilt Poker's MiniFTOPS, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It:

On Tuesday, Michael Phelps advanced to Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. Find out which other top pros survived Day 1 in our PCA Main Event recap.

The 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship kicks off Jan. 17 at Crown Casino in Melbourne. PokerNews will be covering the series from start to finish, so check out the schedule and get in on the action!

Where are online poker lobbyists going to focus their efforts now that the Reid/Kyl bill missed its chance to move through Congress? Matthew Kredell discusses in his latest article here at PokerNews.com.

On Tuesday, Dan Smith was named the 2012 Global Poker Index Player of the Year. Smith barely edged out Marvin Rettenmaier after a close finish at the Prague Poker Festival.

The PokerNews Podcast crew is in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. This week, the team discussed Erick Lindgren going to rehab, and spoke with the chip leader heading into Day 2 of the Main Event — Ashton Griffin.

Open Face Chinese Poker is the latest obsession for high-stakes poker pros. Shaun Deeb taught PokerNews' Kristy Arnett how to play poker's popular new format.

Ever wonder how your opponents at the poker table always seem to know what you are doing? It's likely because they're taking notes on you at the table. EZ Poker Notes is a tool you can use for successful note-taking, making it quick and easy to jot down your opponent's tendencies at a live game.

Viktor Crushing on Full Tilt Poker

Earlier this month, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom elected to skip the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in order to play online and rest up before the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

It may end up being one of the best business decisions of Blom's life.

After profiting $2.7 million at Full Tilt Poker's high-stakes tables during the first week of 2013, Blom's incredible run continued Tuesday when he took a combined $1,356,296 from two of 2012's biggest earners, Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond and Ben "Sauce1234" Sulsky. It was Blom's biggest daily win since Black Friday.

Viktor Blomi am on the sickest run of cards ever! had one of biggest winning days of my life today. i'm having fun too :)

First, Blom scooped $317,000 from Galfond at two tables of heads-up PLO in just over an hour. Galfond accepted his loss graciously, telling Blom, “You win this time Viktor.” Galfond then returned later to face off against the Swede, only to lose an additional $132,000 in just over a half hour at two tables of heads-up 2-7 triple draw.

Phil GalfondBad first "real" session on FTP. Got beat up by my friend, @ViktorBlom. Glad it was to him, but very disappointed w/ how I played. #ohwell

It was during a three-table session of $400/$800 heads-up PLO with Sulsky that Blom scored his biggest pots of the night, collecting $743,000 in two hours. Feeling the rush, Blom ended the night taking $89,200 from "Alexonmoon" during 90-minute session of triple draw.

Blom playing against "cottonseed1" on Wednesday
Blom playing against "cottonseed1" on Wednesday

Only eight days into the New Year, Blom profited $4.1 million, easily topping the entire 2012 high-stakes leaderboard. Blom was back in action Wednesday playing $2,000/4,000 Omaha Hi/Lo. We'll recap his biggest hands and more in Friday's edition of the Online Railbird Report.

HighStakesDB.com has more on Blom's incredible run.

MiniFTOPS Results

Full Tilt Poker's MiniFTOPS XXI continued Tuesday with three more events on the 35-tournament schedule. Events 5 through 7 each eclipsed their respective guarantees, with more than $170,000 handed out during the day's festivities.

Ukranian poker pro Ivan "Shepa777" Sheptytskyi was among the day's big winners. Sheptytskyi outlasted a field of 1,727 to win Event #5, the $22 Pot-Limit HA Six-Max tournament. He collected $5,203.70 after a four-way chop at the final table. Tuesday's other winners were "adonisbob" (Event #6) and "OMGCrackedACES" (Event #7).

Here's a complete look at the results:

Event #5: $22 Pot-Limit HA Six-Max ($25K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$20+21,727$34,540
PlacePlayerPrize
1Ivan "Shepa777" Sheptytskyi$5,203.70*
2Romanicco$4,338.12*
31_HandOfDoom_1$4,913.17*
41FCKoeln82$2,314.18
5Violetta$1,657.92
6Stud_King87$1,122.55

*Denotes three-way deal

Event #6: $22 HORSE ($10K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$20+21,314$26,280
PlacePlayerPrize
1adonisbob$5,256.00
2Heuburger$3,442.68
3didi4825$2,391.48
4andromeda19$1,550.52
5esp979$1,011.78
6lufc 1961$722.70
7Udav6914$496.69
8Bodychecker85$328.50

Event #7: $33 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Knockout ($50K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$31+24,468$112,200
PlacePlayerPrize
1OMGCrackedACES$14,096.00*
23p3nipa$15,626.58*
3PsIQNic$16,055.02*
4theroofer24$6,956.40
5StandardDfing$5,049.00
6Caetana80$3,366.00
7RainmakerLG$2,244.00
8Adam KK1$1,570.80
9fradie$1,122.00

*Denotes three-way deal

The MiniFTOPS action resumed Wednesday with two tournaments: Event #8, $22 Pot-Limit Omaha Rush, and Event #9, $11 No-Limit Hold'em Rush with Rebuys. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews.com for all the results from each event, and play on Full Tilt Poker to claim your share of at least $3 million in this month's MiniFTOPS series!

Trickett Signs with Poker Royalty

It was announced Wednesday that high-stakes poker superstar Sam Trickett signed on with Poker Royalty, one of the most powerful poker agencies in the industry. The deal will see Poker Royalty take over worldwide management of Trickett's business dealings, potentially lining Trickett up with an online poker sponsorship in the near future.

Trickett, who is the U.K.'s all-time money leader with more than $17.4 million in live tournament winnings, joins Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Doyle Brunson, Eugene Katchalov, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and many others on the Poker Royalty roster.

“Poker Royalty works with some of the biggest names in poker allowing them to create the best opportunities no other company can provide," said Trickett. “I am very excited and honored to be working with them.”

During his career, Trickett has represented a number of online poker-related sites, including Titan Poker and Matchbook, but he's currently a free agent looking to sign on with a major brand. Poker Royalty Founder and CEO Brian Balsbaugh believes Trickett deserves to have his name attached to one of the industry's leading companies.

“Sam is an immensely talented poker pro who is living the dream of every young poker player," Balsbaugh said in a statement. "Given our strong relationships with the world’s biggest gaming companies, Poker Royalty is ideally situated to identify the numerous poker-related sponsorship opportunities available to someone with Sam’s outstanding poker accomplishments."

Read more at PokerRoyalty.com.

MGM Expanding in Macau

MGM Resorts International recently received approval to build a $2.5 billion hotel-casino on the Cotai Strip region of Macau. After producing an industry-high of $38 billion in gaming revenue in 2012, MGM decided to expand to a second hotel-casino, the MGM Grand Macau.

The high-profile project carries an initial 25-year lease with the government of Macau and will feature a 1,600-room hotel and a casino with 500 table games and 2,500 slot machines.

"Now that the official transfer of real estate in Cotai has occurred, we will focus our full energies on the commencement of construction of our Cotai resort and casino," MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren said in a statement. "Our design is in its advanced stage and will bring a new level of excitement, sophistication and entertainment to Macau."

According to Grant Govertsen, managing director of Union Gaming Group, it is estimated that MGM Resorts could begin development by mid-2016.

Steven Wieczynsky, a gaming analyst for Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets, predicts that this project should boost shares of MGM Resorts. Said Wieczynsky, "News of the formal gazetting is a clear positive for MGM shares, as it brings a greater degree of certainty to the Cotai project."

With the poker industry booming in the Macau region, five other casino operators are also planning further developments and projects on Cotai.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Michael Phelps Performing Well in First Major Tournament

Despite being "a little nervous" entering his first $10,000 buy-in poker tournament, 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is thriving at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. Phelps and poker pro Jeff Gross chatted with PokerNews' Kristy Arnett during a break in play.

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