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The Nightly Turbo: Sands CEO Opposes Online Poker, High Stakes Poker Axed, and More

Nightly Turbo

The end of an era is upon us. The Game Show Network has released its lineup of shows for the 2012 season, and High Stakes Poker is nowhere to be found. Good news, though, GSN will begin syndicating Dancing With the Stars beginning next year. Fist pump!

We'll bring you more on that story, as well as the latest stance taken by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

What does it feel like to win your first World Series of Poker bracelet? Tristan Wade explains his experience in the latest edition of My First.

Anas Tadini won the €1,200 Main Event at PokerStars France Poker Series Sunfest Mazagan in Morocco. Get all the details in our tournament recap.

The World Poker Tour is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this week at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Defending champ Antonio Esfandiari got out of the gate quickly, and Vanessa Selbst led the way after Day 1.

Poker players (and writers) spend a lot of time staring at their computer screens. Lynn Gilmartin takes a look at the ways you can avoid Computer Vision Syndrome in the latest Stay Stacked series.

Sands CEO Opposes Online Poker

According to Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is opposed to legalizing online poker, putting him in the vast minority of Nevada casino operators who believe Congress should license and regulate poker on the Internet.

Adelson told the American Gaming Association that he is "morally opposed" to web gaming. A source told Ralston that Adelson believes the technology to prevent minors from logging on to an online poker site is untested, and the issue will be an "unnecessary distraction" in 2012.

Adelson's sudden stance differs greatly from his views of online poker earlier this year. An August article in the New York Post stated that Adelson was in full support of online poker at the federal level, telling a source that he saw the move as a "window of opportunity to grow sales."

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns and operates properties such as The Venetian andThe Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip.

For more, read Ralston's blog at the Las Vegas Sun.

GSN Removes High Stakes Poker from 2012 Schedule

It appears GSN's High Stakes Poker is the latest victim of Black Friday. The popular cash game will not return for an eighth season according to a report by, which revealed that High Stakes Poker is not included in the network's 2012 schedule.

High Stakes Poker initially survived Black Friday in April 2011 as it continued airing on GSN for its seventh season. However, ratings plummeted with new host Norm MacDonald and a diluted lineup of players and businessmen, and a large amount of advertising was lost from PokerStars and Full Tilt, which pulled their presenting sponsorships brand integrations from the program.

HSP now joins the likes of Fox's PokerStars Big Game and NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship and Poker After Dark as Black Friday casualties. It will be replaced by Catch 21 and Lingo in the 3 a.m. Saturday slot on GSN, in case you're interested.

For nostalgia's sake, here's one of our all-time favorite hands from High Stakes Poker:


AGCC Launches Independent Review of Full Tilt Poker Debacle

The Alderney Gaming Control Commission has announced it will be launching an independent external review of its processes leading up to the suspension and eventual revocation of licenses owned by Full Tilt Poker. The upcoming review will be conducted by former Chairman of the British Gambling Commission Peter Dean, who will focus on the "appropriateness, timeliness and fairness of the actions undertaken" by the AGCC.

The AGCC says the decision has been taken to provide full transparency of the actions taken against Full Tilt Poker, which had its license revoked on Sept. 29, 2011, and still owes as much as $330 million to customers.

"As soon as we became aware that there were possible irregularities in relation to FTP’s operational integrity AGCC acted to discharge fully our statutory obligations," said André Wilsenach, AGCC’s executive director. "We believe we acted appropriately and fairly at all times but, following our own internal assessment and the inevitable questions that have been raised by third parties, the Commission decided that it is in the best interests of players, license holders and AGCC itself to commission an independent review and to make the outcome public."

Get more on the story at

Online Poker Traffic Report

The online poker traffic numbers from last week have been released. reported a worldwide increase of 1.3 percent as all of the top 10 sites saw traffic growth over the previous week.

PokerStars has been the place to be in December with the celebration of its 10th Anniversary. The site broke its own Guinness World Record on Sunday by drawing 200,000 players for a single tournament, and has several promotions planned for the next couple weeks. Sunday's traffic rise was evident as PokerStars hit a peak of nearly 54,000 cash-game players, which was 25 percent higher than the previous Sunday.

Bodog had climbed all the way to No. 11 in last week's rankings, but the site released a software update last week that resulted in a few lost days of traffic data. The update features Bodog's new anonymous poker tables, and PokerScout's early indications are that traffic has been largely unaffected since the poker room introduced the update.

As for year-over-year numbers, PokerScout's ACES indicator reports that online poker traffic (with the exception of Italy) has decreased by29 percent over last year. Aside from the disappearance of Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, the Entraction Network (down 45%) and the International Poker Network (down 38%) have also seen significant drops since November 2010. The biggest climbers in the past year are 888poker (up 77%), Bodog (up 76%), and the Merge Gaming Network (up 71%).

Get the full report at

Day 2 Ends at EPT Prague

The largest-ever poker tournament in the Czech Republic is being held right now at the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event. Between the two Day 1 flights, 722 players took to the felt but only 136 survived Day 2 on Wednesday. The winner will take home €775,000 when the tournament comes to a close on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Garri Tevosov was the overall leader after Day 2, and poker pros Mads Wissing, Rupert Elder, Chris Moorman, Ari Engel and Jude Ainsworth were among the leaders when players bagged their chips.

Day 3 will resume at 1200 CET (0300 PST). Here's a look at the top 10 stacks heading into the day:

European Poker Tour Prague Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Garri Tevosov764,000
2Martin Finger612,600
3Mads Wissing565,200
4Guillem Cavaller557,800
4Calvin Anderson414,900
6Andre Klebanov397,000
7Ty Mullins383,700
8Pontus Khosravi360,700
9Mauri Dorbek360,400
10Rasmus Vogt360,000

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team is providing up-to-the-minute updates for all of the action in Prague.

Qualify for the Aussie Millions

The 2012 Aussie Millions is a little more than a month away, and there are still several ways to qualify for one of the biggest events of the year. The Main Event runs from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28, 2012, leaving lots of time to win a tournament package worth as much as $16,000.

Crown Poker, which hosts the Aussie Millions each year, is offering a handful of different avenues to the Main Event: a direct entry event, a "Fast Track Satellite, a $550 Deepstack qualifier, or a Phase 3 Supershot Satellite. With the Phase 3 qualifiers, players can parlay a $65 Phase 1 buy-in into a Main Event seat by advancing through each of the steps.

Online players can also win Main Event seats at PokerStars, PartyPoker, 888poker, Titan Poker, Mansion Poker, Winner Poker, and Poker770. Satellites are running for as little as $2, and some sites are even offering the chance to win a package via freeroll!

Learn more about the satellites to the 2012 Aussie Millions at

You Know What They Say About Opinions?

PokerNews' Kristy Arnett caught up with Lex Veldhuis to get his take on the fighting skills of Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, taking shots at the bar, and more.

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