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The Nightly Turbo: PokerStars Pro Sued By The Wynn, Campos and Elie Respond, and More

Leo Fernandez

While cards were in the air at the PokerStars European Poker Tour in London over the weekend, news of another major event from across the pond hit the poker community. Apparently, a tournament with a $30 million guarantee is in the works for next May, and you'll never believe who's behind it. In other news, two of the men indicted by the Department of Justice on Black Friday have filed motions to dismiss, The Wynn is suing a member of Team PokerStars, and more.

In Case You Missed It

We all know what poker players do on the felt, but what about "normal" life? In the latest from the Off the Felt series, we talk to Kristy Arnett about traveling the world, her hobbies away from the table, and more.

Day 2 of the PokerStars European Poker Tour London Main Event wrapped up on Sunday. Find out who the leaders were and how Doyle Brunson continued accumulating chips in his first EPT event.

Thinking about moving out of the United States to continue playing online poker? Have a look at Vancouver.Brian Hastings, Randy “nanonoko” Lew and Maria Ho are among the players who moved to the City of Glass since Black Friday. Find out what they think about their new home.

McLean "PureProfitFo" Karr and Dave "SexSeen" Sands had big scores Sunday on PokerStars. Want to check out the results? The Sunday Briefing has them all.

A Craps Story Not Involving T.J. Cloutier

Two poker pros from Argentina have been sued byThe Wynn Casino in Las Vegas for their illicit methods at the craps table. Team PokerStars member Leo Fernandez and former PokerStars sponsored pro Veronica Dabul were arrested on July 18 for illegally winning close to $700,000, and the Wynn has filed papers to recoup its losses.

The duo, which frequently visited the crap tables at The Wynn, has been accused of “dice sliding,” a technique in which a thrower supposedly slides the dice down the table so that the desired number, generally a six, remains face up. They are suspected of working with several unidentified customers, possibly as part of a team, who placed bets or distracted dealers to increase their chances of winning.

According to the suit, Wynn surveillance tapes from July 17 show Dabul and Fernandez playing craps from 10:37 p.m. to midnight, with Fernandez allegedly sliding the dice at least seven times without placing a single bet.

"It's not a common form of cheating because it involves a considerable amount of skill and practice," said Jerry Markling of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Dabul was released after two days in the Clark County Detention Center. Fernandez spent about a week in custody before being turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service.

Get the full story at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Campos and Elie File Motions to Dismiss

Two of the men indicted by federal prosecutors on Black Friday for their involvement in the online poker industry are fighting their charges in federal court.

Forbes reported Monday that Chad Elie, a former payment processor forPokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, and John Campos, the vice chairman of a Utah Bank that processed payments for the three sites, are arguing that the companies they worked for were not gambling businesses under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA).

Campos and Elie were arrested on April 19, four days after being indicted by the Department of Justice. Elie was being charged on all nine counts in the DOJ indictment, which included violation of the UIGEA, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and money laundering. However, Elie’s attorney now claims that the UIGEA does not apply to poker, a game of skill rather than chance. One of the court filings reads, “Online poker is a game in which the outcome depends to at least some degree on skill.”

Elie’s attorney also claims that his client should fall under the exemption for financial transaction providers as a payment processor. Campos filed a separate motion to dismiss all counts filed against him, but his lawyers are arguing his claims in a very similar manner to Elie’s team.

Read more about their case at Forbes.

The Biggest Poker Event Ever?

An impressive advertisement for a $30 million guaranteed poker tournament made its way to TwoPlusTwo over the weekend, and the community has already begun speculating.

International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) is being billed as the “biggest poker event ever.” Although very few details about the event have been announced, the organization’s website says that the tournament is scheduled to take place from May 10 through 12, 2012, at Wembley Stadium in London. Given the name, it appears Wembley would be the first of many stadiums to host events on the international tour.

The advert is phenomenal, and our interest is piqued. Have a look:

Interestingly, we discovered that one of the forces behind the ISPT is Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT), which signed an acquisition agreement with Full Tilt Poker last week to purchase the embattled poker site. Bernard Tapie reportedly teamed up with French television producer Prosper Masquelier last year to create the ISPT, in which GBT owns a 30 percent stake. This could ultimately lead to a collaboration with Full Tilt Poker, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Obviously, several questions still need to be answered and we’re extremely skeptical about this even getting off the ground. But if it does — wow. Stay tuned.

Visit the ISPT website to find out absolutely nothing more about the organization.

What About Ivey?

The latest edition ofESPN's The Nuts was released late last week. The monthly blog post ranks the best poker players in the world at the moment. The 10-person panel includes PokerNews' Editor-in-Chief Elaine Chaivarlis, PokerNews' Tournament Reporting Manager Don Peters, ESPN'sAndrew Feldman, Gary Wise, and Bernard Lee, among others.

The biggest change on the list was the removal of Phil Ivey, who was also dismissed from another popular list last week. Ivey had dominated The Nuts since the list’s inception in 2009 but his recent absence from the game resulted in his eviction.

Jason Mercier retained the top spot this month, holding a slight lead over Erik Seidel, who added another final table to his brilliant year at the Epic Poker Tour in September. Eugene Katchalov held firm at the No. 3 spot, even picking up a first-place vote, and Wise commented that the Team PokerStars member is “closer to the top two than I would've thought possible.”

The U.K.’sJake Cody made his debut on the list, replacing Ivey at No. 10. Cody became the third player to win poker’s Triple Crown in June (Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, No. 7 on the list, became the fourth to accomplish the feat weeks later) and is finally getting some long-deserved notice. Just 23 years old, Cody already has nearly $3 million in live tournament earnings and was recently named "Best Tournament Player" at the 2011 British Poker Awards.

If you want to find out what the rest of the list looks, take a gander at

The Buffoons, the Arrogant Idiots

Daniel Negreanu has never been known to shy away from controversy and you can always count on him to speak his mind — no matter what. caught up with Negreanu while he was in Hungary and asked him his thoughts on having to move to Canada to continue to play online poker and what he thought about the Full Tilt Poker saga.

White House Changes Petition Requirements

On Sept. 22, a petition was created to bring online poker regulation to the attention of the Obama administration. The platform, calledWe The People, required 5,000 or more people to sign a petition within 30 days in order to have an issue looked into by the White House staff.

The poker community stepped up and hit the required total in just a few days, and the number of signatures stood at 7,703 at the time of this writing.

On, Monday, the White House made a change to its We The People parameters by increasing the number of required signatures to 25,000 in 30 days.


However, as the Poker Player’s Alliance pointed out via Twitter, the change only affects petitions from this point forward, meaning the online poker petition will be unaffected.

OK. Exhale.

Let’s do everything we can to make sure this issue isn’t overlooked.Be heard and sign the petition.

Rapid Fire With Jason Mercier

During a break at the European Poker Tour London Main Event, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier stepped away from his Jersey Shore episode to play a game of word association with PokerNews hostess Sarah Grant. Find out what he says about Kate Middleton, The Full Monty, and more.

Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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