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The Nightly Turbo: PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final Headed to Madrid, WPT Celebrity Invitational Final Table, and More


We know you were waiting with bated breath for the announcement of where the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final would be held. Well, the wait is over. Call your travel agent (if you're going), because you're headed to Spain. We'll give you all the details on the when and where for the Grand Final, an update of the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational, and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

The Latin American Poker Tour Sao Paulo crowned a winner over the weekend and the PokerNews Team was there catching all the action. If you didn't follow along in the Live Blog, check out the LAPT recap.

If you missed any of last week's episodes of Poker After Dark, you're in luck, because we didn't. If you were wondering how week two of Cash Game Week went, this PAD recap will tell you.

The second episode of the coverage of the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup VI aired Sunday night. Our WPT recap brings you all the big hands from the episode - and the winner of course.

Sunday night was a big night on the virtual felt, with the FTOPS XIX Main Event smashing it's guarantee. You can find out all you need to know in the Sunday Briefing.

The new season of High Stakes Poker premieres this weekend on GSN. Norm Macdonald is the new HSP host and we recently sat down with him to discuss how he got into poker and his new gig.

Hola Madrid!

Last April, the season seven schedule of the PokerStars European Poker Tour was announced. Since then, we've been wondering where the Grand Final would be held. Well wonder no more, the EPT Grand Final is headed to Madrid, Spain.

“It is with the greatest pleasure that we are able to announce Casino Gran Madrid as the new venue for the EPT Grand Final. We wanted somewhere new, dynamic and inspiring, and knew that Madrid would tick all the boxes for the travelling poker player, regardless of age or desires. The same familiar team will be running the event and the schedule will, I am sure, provide something for everyone. All the usual qualifying satellites will be held on and other regional versions of the site, giving all players of all nationalities the opportunity to join us in launching from our new home. Hasta la vista," chief executive of the EPT John Duthie said.

The Grand Final well run from May 7 to 12 at the Casino Gran Madrid. There will be a full schedule of events, including a €25,000 high roller.

In addition to the announcement on the Grand Final, the dates for the San Remo stop of the EPT were also released. San Remo will take place April 27 through May 3, giving players four days to relax in between the two events.

Satellites are running now, but you can't win your seat without having an account, so sign up for a PokerStars account today!

World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational - Final Table Set

Over the weekend the World Poker Tour's Celebrity Invitational took place, getting together over 500 celebrities and poker players to raise money for the Chrysalis organization. Over $95,000 was raised for the charity and after two days of play, a final table is set. When play was stopped Sunday night with six players left, Damon Schramm was leading the way with 865,000. The final table will be played out Wednesday, March 2.

Plenty of celebrities attended the event, including Randy Couture, Jerry Buss, Don Cheadle, Shannon Elizabeth, Trishelle Cannatella, Michael Vartan, Sam Simon and Bruce Buffer.

Only 115 players were left at the end of play on Day 1 with Linda Johnson leading the way. Phil Laak and Barry Greenstein sat in second and third respectively. Also still in the mix was Scotty Nguyen, Vince Van Patten, Liv Boeree, Lauren Kling, and Antonio Esfandiari, just to name a few.

After about 25 minutes of play on Day 2, the field size had already dropped to 80. Laak's stack (yes, stack; Laak had to abandon his stack because of a previous engagement in Las Vegas) finished in 24th place, while start-of-day chip leader, Johnson was eliminated in 13th place, and Esfandiari was sent packing in 12th. The final table was set around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night with the elimination of Tom Christopher.

WPT Celebrity Invitational Final Table

Seat 1: Dinara Khaziyeva - 670,000
Seat 2: Damon Schramm - 865,000
Seat 3: George Rechnitzer - 660,000
Seat 4: Dan Heimiller - 700,000
Seat 5: Davidi Kitai - 845,000
Seat 6: Almira Skripchenko - 710,000

Check out all the updates from the event at

NFL Players Benched

The Raise Your Hand for Africa charity poker event benefiting the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Pros for Africa was held in Las Vegas over the weekend. Poker players, celebrities and sports stars were invited to take part in the event, including Phil Hellmuth, Steve Martin, and Lou Ferrigno.

Plenty of NFL stars were invited, as well, including Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald Jr., Roy Williams, and Larry Johnson. The NFL, had other plans for their players, however, issuing an injunction on the players who were going to take part in the event. The players were not allowed to play; they were only allowed to watch. While the players weren't allowed to play, they stayed and cheered on the event that was hosted by Hellmuth.


To Dance, Or Not to Dance

On Sunday, Phil Hellmuth tweeted a link to an article on the Examiner regarding the cast of the next season of Dancing with the Stars.

Back on February 2, he tweeted, "I Took dancing lessons for a week ("1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2"); Thought I was going to be on "Dancing With The Stars!" I had a few skilz!"

While nothing is official yet (the season 12 cast announcement will be made on February 28 during The Bachelor), the rumors are still circling that the "Poker Brat" will be one of the contestants.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see. The has more.

Poker Pros Network Launches

Last weekend, the Poker Pros Network (PPN) launched on the Cake Poker Network and recently announced a stable of pros to represent the site.

Perhaps the most recognizable name is that of Poker Hall of Famer and six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner T.J. Cloutier. Joining him is Barbara Enright, the only woman to be inducted into both the Women in Poker Hall of Fame and Poker Hall of Famer, as well as Women in Poker Hall of Famer, Marsha Waggoner. While these are some established poker veterans, they’re joined by some up-and-coming players including Jonathan “driverseati” Tamayo, Josh Brikis, Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh and actress Jennifer Elise Cox.

Check out the full team roster in the press release.

Catching Up with Eastgate

Sarah Grant caught up with the unretired Peter Eastgate at the European Poker Tour Copenhagen to discuss coming out of retirement, auctioning his World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet, and more.

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