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The Nightly Turbo: Gus Hansen Eyes Racketlon Title, Germany Wins Nations Cup, & More

Gus Hansen

Where has Gus Hansen been lately? Not at the high-stakes cash games, that's for sure. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we bring you the latest venture from the Great Dane, the results of the inaugural IFP Nations Cup, and more.

In Case You Missed It

Ever wonder how some of the top poker pros got their start in poker? Mark "P0ker H0" Kroon tells us about the first time he realized he wanted to be an online pro in the inaugural My First piece.

How was the high-stakes action at the PokerStars tables this week? Read the Online Railbird Report to find out the week's biggest winners and losers.

Who's leading the way at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Loutraki Main Event? Find out in our Day 3 recap.

Sunday is almost here and that means football. We tell you why every NFL team is what we thought it was in the latest Pigskin Diaries.

Miss anything this week? Sarah Grant and Laura Cornelius get you caught up on the latest news, views and gossip in the PokerNews Weekly.

*Photo courtesy of

Gus Hansen Squashing the Competition

We all know Gus Hansen to be a world-class poker and backgammon player. Now, the Great Dane is attempting to become world champion in a sport we'd never heard of.

According to his blog, Hansen has been training to compete in next week's Racketlon World Championships in Austria. The sport, which we learned is one of the fastest growing in the world, combines the four most popular racket games — table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis — with each match consisting of four sets, one in each aforementioned game. The winner is determined by the player that scores the most overall points over the course of the match.

Hansen, 37, was a youth tennis champion back in the day, but he admits on his blog that he's not very good at badminton or table tennis. Actually, he says he "really sucks" at badminton, which leads us to believe he doesn't stand a chance at a world championship event. However, he did say that he beat Racketlon World No. 1 Christoph Krenn at squash last month, so who knows.

We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this when the Racketlon World Championships begin on Nov. 24. Check out Hansen's blog for more about his latest venture.

Germany Wins IFP Nations Cup

On Friday, the International Federation of Poker (IFP) crowned a champion at the inaugural Nations Cup in London. The event, which was featured as part of theLondon Mind Sports Festival, consisted of 12 teams with some of the best players in the world facing off in a unique variant called "duplicate poker."

After two days of play, team Germany secured the cup by earning 24 points in the final round. The team was anchored by superstars Tobias Reinkemeier, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Moritz Kranch, Hans Martin Vogl and Sandra Naujoks.

Brazil and France took second and third place, respectively, while the surprising Team Zynga took fourth place. The Zynga team was made up of six members of the Zynga community and fared better than the likes of the U.S., Ireland, and the U.K., which were represented by some of the game's most successful figures.

The tournament was played in a format intended to minimize the luck involved in poker. Each table was dealt the same hands, with players receiving points for how successful they were in a hand when compared to those with the same cards.

Said IFP President Anthony Holden, "With all players in a particular seat given the same allocation of cards the only determining factor in the result of the tournament is how skillfully each player uses them."

Many of the players who competed in the Nations Cup will now compete in the IFP World Championship on Nov. 19. More than 130 of the world's top players are expected to square off for a top prize of $250,000. The event, known as "The Table," will be filmed for a worldwide audience.

Details on the Nations Cup and the IPF World Champions can be found at the International Federation of Poker's website.

Winning, duh

If you're in the Santa Monica, Calif. area on Saturday, you won't want to miss this: The one and only Charlie Sheen will be participating in a charity poker tournament at the Santa Monica Moose Lodge from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., giving guests an opportunity to rub elbows with the famed actor and self-proclaimed "warlock."

For a buy-in of just $85, anyone can have a seat with Sheen and a handful athletes and celebrities like Michael Strahan, Kenny Lofton and Morris Chestnut. The event will raise money for the Santa Monica High School baseball team. Sheen was a star pitcher there (before his days as Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn).

Sheen also donated $10,000 to his former high school team, according to The school's baseball program is run by Sheen's best friend, Tony Todd, who told RadarOnline that Sheen "wanted to give more, but I said that is way too much."

For more information on the event, visit the event's official website.

No More Money Bubbles

Tired of bubbling the money in your online tournaments? A new Las Vegas company has a solution to help reduce variance along with the tilt that comes with falling just short of the money.

With Bubble Protection, players can purchase insurance against busting on the money bubble for a "modest" fee. Rather than the money bubble being one static position, the Bubble Protection “Bubble Range” will be 10 percent of the total number of entrants in a tournament. For example, if there are 1,000 players in the tournament, the bubble will be 100 places. If you finish in one of those positions, your buy-in (and rake) will be returned to you.

Bubble Protection will be available to all non-U.S. players for all regularly scheduled tournaments on PokerStars, Party Poker and the iPoker Network. The site is endorsed by British poker superstar Chris Moorman, the all-time winningest player in online tournament history.

“Bubble Protection’s genesis was the asking of a simple question, what is the single most effective way to help online poker players improve their poker results?” said Eugene Castro, Bubble Protection CEO.

“We want to give players the ability to enjoy the game they love more often and more profitably through bankroll preservation, and variance reduction through the use of our proprietary Bubble Protection technology.”

Learn more about how to reduce your variance at

UKIPT Schedule Announced

PokerStars has announced the first four stops of the 2012 U.K. and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). The third season of the UKIPT will get under way in Galway, Ireland, from Feb. 16 through 20, with the other three confirmed stops taking place in Nottingham (April 12-16), Dublin (May 17-21) and Newcastle (Sept. 6-10).

The buy-ins for each event will see a rise from last year, with the two Ireland stops increasing from €550 to €770, and the events in England increasing from £550 to £770. The Galway event will take place at the Radisson Hotel and features a €100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Satellites for the opening stop in Galway are already available in the PokerStars lobby.

There will be more events added in the coming months, so be sure to check the UKIPT website for more info.

World Series of Poker Announces Circuit Stop at the Bicycle Casino

On Friday, the World Series of Poker announced it will be making a stop at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles for the first time ever in January. The event will run from Jan. 1 through 12, 2012, and feature 34 tournaments culminating with a $1,500 Main Event.

“With the WSOP Circuit Tour breaking records at every stop, it was finally the right time to come to LA for a signature mid-season event,” said Ty Stewart, executive director of the WSOP. “We’re pleased to enter a multi-year agreement with the Bicycle Casino for what is certain to be one of our largest annual events.”

Read more about the inaugural WSOP stop in Los Angeles at

I Wear My Sunglasses at...the Table

Should sunglasses be allowed at the poker table? PokerNews' Sarah Grant caught up with some players in Loutraki, Greece, to get their opinion.

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