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The Nightly Turbo: Olympic Poker Players, Million Dollar Challenge, and More

The Nightly Turbo: Olympic Poker Players, Million Dollar Challenge, and More 0001

Wondering what has been going on in the world of poker since you read the Nightly Turbo yesterday? Well you're in luck. We're back at it again today. Now start reading, you might learn something.

In Case You Missed It

The Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas is known for the grungy rock star style that celebrities and wannabes are into, which is why it's no trouble getting lots of celebrities to play poker there, but more so, it's for a good cause. The All In for CP charity poker tournament will be held at the Hard Rock on Dec. 12 and if we told you any more, there would have been no reason to write this.

"Poker2Nite" hit TV screens across the country last night for its premiere. Did you watch it? Maybe you didn't and wanted our take on it. Well, we read your mind (and that will be the last time we do that - eww!). Does Poker2Nite Have What it Takes to Flourish has our thoughts. If you feel like forming your own opinions, but your DVR decided not to record it (it's never the operator's fault), you can head over to and watch it.

For a while there, the World Poker Tour had a new buyer every time we turned our heads. PartyGaming, however, successfully sealed the deal with the WPT to the tune of $12.3 million. We sat with the suits at the WPT and PartyGaming to take a Closer Look at the PartyGaming Acquisition of the World Poker Tour.

While most of the U.S. is too cold to step outside in flip-flops, our Live Reporting Teams are enjoying fun in the sun in Portugal and Costa Rica for the European Poker Tour and Latin American Poker Tour. There is plenty of action going on in both places and our Live Reporting page has the play-by-play for both stops.

He's Everywhere

Joe Cada is definitely on the interview circuit after his World Series of Poker win. Letterman, ESPN, in the audience of the WWE, and most recently talking with Bloomberg's Pimm Fox. We learned that Cada wanted to be a stock broker when he was younger and may even dabble in it now.

Want to know what the champ has to say? Watch the interview at

Online Poker in the UK

Between 2004 and 2007, the British online poker market grew 72 percent. In 2008, growth was stunted and the British online poker market had a gross gaming yield of £265 million (that's $440,643,863.66 US). According to a study by Mintel, a market research agency, the yield will shrink by seven percent for 2009 to £247 million ($410,713,337.07 US).

The study attributes the economy and recession as a reason why U.K. players are playing less often and for smaller stakes. Average spending per year among British online players has dropped almost 20 percent over the past two years from £345 ($573.67 US) to £281 ($467.25 US).

"Poker revenues have clearly peaked. The recession is the most obvious culprit, with around a third of poker players now playing less often or for lower stakes because of the economic downturn," said Mintel senior analyst Matt King.

Although revenues are in decline, the U.K. customer base is loyal. About one-third of online players play once a week or more.


Million Dollar Challenge Round 2

Tom "durrrr" Dwan took on Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies in round two of the Million Dollar Challenge in London yesterday. The game of choice: pot-limit Omaha. Both players bought in for the cost of a decent sized house, $250,000, and the blinds started at $500/$1,000, eventually increasing to $2,000/$4,000. Each player rebought once, bringing the grand total of dollars on the table to one million by the end of play.

When all was said and done, Dwan emerged victorious by $68,000, which covers his loss and then some from to his first opponent, Marcello "luckexpress" Marigliano. Round three will pit Dwan against Sammy "Any Two" George.

PokerKing has more and MatchroomSports has the updates, live.

EPT Vilamoura

Gloria Balding tried to talk to Andy Black about poker, but he wasn't having any of it. They're hanging out at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Vilamoura and all Black can think of is a statue and Gloria's arms.

We tell you everyday and today is no different. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

Olympic Grind

Jason Gunnlaugson, 25-year-old Olympic curling hopeful, has more than one game on his mind. When asked what he does for a living, he replied, "I curl and I play cards."

His curling team is seeded eighth for the Olympic qualifying event in Edmonton and team members hope to become Team Canada. Gunnlaugson splits his time between the ice and the felt. He has afternoon curling practice and then in the late afternoon he curls up by the virtual felt. He says he took up cards because most employers aren't keen about all the time off he has to take to devote himself to curling, so poker just fit his need to earn a living.

"I make a little bit of money. Nothing fancy. It kind of becomes like a normal job where you sit at the computer for a couple of hours and you make like an hourly wage. It's better than anything else I could do."


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