Daniel Tzvetkoff has been incognito since his arrest in 2010, leading many industry insiders to believe he's acting as an FBI informant in the witness protection program. In this edition of The Nightly Turbo, we bring you the latest on Tzvetkoff's story, how you can multi-table the PokerStars Sunday Million this weekend, and more.
In Case You Missed It
The days until the 2011 November Nine are dwindling, and we're always curious to find out how the members of the prestigious WSOP Final Table are spending their time. We recently talked to Badih Bounahra to find out how he's preparing for poker's biggest stage.
Jon "apestyles" Van Fleet took down a big score Sunday on PokerStars. Find out the other winners in The Sunday Briefing.
The 2011 PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour came to a close in Darwin over the weekend. Find out who won the top prize, and which ANZPT superstar secured Player of the Year honors.
A final table has been reached at theWSOP Circuit Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event. Aaron Massey led the way going into the final day, but Mark "Pegasus" Smith stole the headlines.
This week's edition of Sin City Series is back in Las Vegas. PokerNews' Sarah Grant heads to the Boom Boom Room at Boomers Bar and chats with teachers at the Las Vegas Burlesque School.
The first bracelet of the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe was awarded on Sunday. Find out who won in our daily WSOPE recap.
Where in the World is Daniel Tzvetkoff?
That's the question many have asked since Australian entrepreneur Daniel Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas last year for allegedly laundering more than $500 million in internet gambling revenue.
Tzvetkoff reportedly provided vital evidence incriminatingPokerStars, Full Tilt Poker andAbsolute Poker as part of a plea bargain after his arrest in April 2010. He was facing up to 75 years in prison, but Tzvetkoff became an informant and is living under FBI witness protection, according to friends. His whereabouts are unknown.
Now, Tzvetkoff is expected to act as a star witness in the trial of 10 men charged in connection with the operation of three major online poker sites. Among the 10 men indicted on Black Friday were payment processor Chad Elie and banker John Campos, both arrested on April 19. The two men filed motions to dismiss the counts included in the DOJ indictment in court last week, claiming their charges don't apply because poker is a game of skill rather than chance.
The Sydney Morning Herald ran an in-depth piece about Tzvetkoff on Sunday.
This Sunday, PokerStars is doing something it has never done before: run its two biggest weekly tournaments — the Sunday Million and Sunday Warm-up — twice. At the same time.
The tournaments will run at their regular starting time with the same weekly guarantee, but an identical event will begin 30 minutes later. The Sunday Warm-up ($500K Guaranteed) starts at 1100 EST (1800 BST), with the bonus Warm-Up starting at 1130 EST (1830 BST). Then, the flagship Sunday Million ($1 Million Guaranteed) kicks off at 1430 EST (2130 BST), with the second version beginning 30 minutes later.
As usual, PokerStars will be running satellites to each event, so don't miss out on the first-ever PokerStarsDouble Vision Sunday.
For more information, visit the PokerStars Blog.
Push to Legalize Online Poker?
The shutdown of the three major poker sites by the Department of Justice on Black Friday caused uproar from poker enthusiasts across the U.S., and major media outlets have taken notice. On Saturday, the New York Times published a piece about the current state of online poker and the need for legislation.
Among the topics discussed by writerJanet Morrissey include the recent problems of Full Tilt Poker, and the ongoing argument of skill-versus-chance in poker (in which Morrissey adds some laughable points made byFocus on the Family spokesperson Chad Hills). While there are a few inaccuracies in the article, including a line that states Absolute Poker is in the process of paying back players (not true for those of us in the States), Morrissey does make the strongest and most logical reason for regulating online poker in the U.S.:
"Whatever the qualms about online gambling — nightmare situations, real and potential, are many — Uncle Sam is leaving a lot of money on the table. Over 10 years, legal online gambling could generate $42 billion in tax revenue, according to the Congressional Committee on Taxation."
Read the complete article at the New York Times.
Not So Fast, My Friend
While The Times article suggests that online poker legislation could be on the horizon, an article in Monday's Las Vegas Sun leads us to believe otherwise.
The Poker Player's Alliance has recently been pushing for an online poker provision to be included within the deficit reduction bill. However, Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the deficit committee, tells The Sun, “I don’t think that would happen. And I wouldn’t support it.”
To make matters worse, Sen. Harry Reid, whose support is considered necessary for any poker legislation to push through, has apparently put the issue on hold. “Online poker, frankly, is way back in my head,” Reid told The Sun.
Read the full story at the Las Vegas Sun.
World Poker Tour Expansion
The World Poker Tour has partnered up with gaming giant bwin for its first ever stop in the Czech Republic in December. As part of the inaugural Prague Poker Festival, WPT Prague will feature a €3,500 re-entry Main Event at Corinthia Hotel Prague from Dec. 1 through 5, 2011.
“WPT continues its commitment to expand throughout Europe. WPT Prague presented by bwin.com demonstrates our resolve to bring poker’s premier tour to exceptional venues in major European cities,” said Adam Pliska, President of the World Poker Tour. “The action promises to be lively on and off the felt as the famous party city is always a popular destination in the month leading up to Christmas.”
As part of its expansion overseas, the WPT will also be hosting upcoming events in Amneville (Nov. 1 through 6), Marrakech (Nov. 24 through 27) and Ireland (Jan. 5 through 8, 2012). Winners will be awarded a $25,500 seat in the 2012 WPT World Championship at Bellagio in Las Vegas in addition to the top prize at each event.
Visit the World Poker Tour website for more information.
PokerNews Does the Cannes-Cannes
The 2011 World Series of Poker Europe kicked off last week and the PokerNews live reporting team has been bringing you all the action. Kristy Arnett arrived in Cannes Monday and recapped the events from the first few days.