Before we get into the day's biggest poker stories, we'd like to congratulate Phil Hellmuth for besting his own record for most name drops in a single Tweet. You've outdone yourself again, Phil. Well done!
With that out of the way, today's Nightly Turbo is bringing you the updated lineup for the upcoming PartyPoker Premier League V, Scotty Nguyen's new position in South Africa, and more.
In Case You Missed It
On Thursday, March 1, One Step Programs will host the 2012 Charity Poker Championship Benefiting Children’s Oncology Services Inc. Chad Holloway took a look into the history of the popular event.
Poker pro Quinn Sivage joined the Strategy with Kristy podcast again this week. Sivage answered listener questions and also explained why min-raising the button in cash games is so profitable.
Jason Mercier regained the top spot in the Global Poker Index this week. What happened to Erik Seidel? Mickey Doft breaks down the rankings.
PokerStars is hosting a pair of charity tournaments for Thor Hansen on Sunday. Find out how you can help.
Patrik Antonius Joins PartyPoker Premier League
What's a good way to boost ratings for a televised poker program? Add Patrik Antonius to the lineup.
PartyPoker announced Thursday that Antonius will join Tony G, Luke "FullFlush" Schwartz, Vanessa Selbst, Sam Trickett, and others for the $125,000 buy-in PartyPoker.com Premier League Poker V Main Event from April 4 through 10 in Vienna.
The 16-player event is part of the World Poker Tour Vienna festivities and will award the winner with entry into the $25,000 WPT World Championship at Bellagio, in addition the league's top cash prize.
Reigning WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger will also be in attendance to defend his PartyPoker Premier League title. Last November, Frankenberger bested Andrew Feldman, Sorel Mizzi and others to win the Premier League Mixed Games Championship for $100,000. The previous Premier League winners are David Benyamine, Andy Black, JC Tran and Juha Helppi.
PartyPoker is offering players a chance to qualify for two seats in April's prestigious event. Visit PartyPoker.com for the details.
The Prince of South Africa
The 2012 World Series of Poker Africa is rolling into Johannesburg on Feb. 21, and five-time WSOP bracelet winner Scotty Nguyen has been named host of the festivities.
The series will be held at the Emerald Resort and Casino from Feb. 21 through 26, and will consist of six events, including a $3,300 Main Event beginning on Friday, Feb. 24. Last year, South African Warren Zackey outlasted 188 players to collect the WSOP ring and the top prize of $222,477.
Nguyen has never been to South Africa and says he's looking forward to his first trip to the country's largest city.
“You know, the Prince has been all over the world baby, you name it: Australia, Asia, Europe, but this is my first time going to South Africa and I’m so excited to come out and share this great game we love with the players there, to get to know them and to just have a good time baby,” Nguyen told Sport24.
“Just make sure the people at the Emerald protect me from any lions and I promise you we’ll have a lot of fun baby!”
Check out the full story at Sport24.
Online Poker Won't Ride Payroll Tax Bill
According to a report at PublicGaming.com, regulated online poker will not be included in the payroll tax bill, which some pundits believe will be the last major piece of legislation passed by the Obama administration before the November elections.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) was rumored to be planning to attach federal online poker to the bill, which is aimed to extend payroll tax breaks and unemployment payments. According to Politico writer David Saleh Rauf, a spokesperson for Reid said that regulating Internet poker will not be part of a tentative deal.
The report was later confirmed by Steve Tetreault of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Straight from @SenatorReid: #Webpoker is NOT in final payroll tax bill.Follow @STetreaultDC
Online poker's exclusion from the final payroll bill could be viewed as the end of the road for federal legislation in the U.S before the lame duck session. Making matters worse, Republican presidential frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have both expressed disapproval of online gaming, which could present a weighty challenge for poker supporters if either candidate supplants Obama as president this November.
PublicGaming.com has more.
Liv Boeree Check-raises for Chipata
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has launched a charity called Check-raise for Chipata dedicated toward bettering the lives of orphans in the nation of Zambia. SOS Children, the world's largest orphan charity, is building a village in Chipata for children who have been abandoned due to poverty and disease, and Boeree is looking to raise enough money to build a home in the village for children to live in.
"Any donation on this site, however big or small will be gratefully received and goes straight to SOS Children," says Boeree. "The current goal is to raise £75,000 which I'm aiming to reach by the summer."
Boeree has already made a contribution of £2,500. To get involved by making a donation, visit Boeree's page at Virgin Giving Money.
€1 Million Freeroll
A new poker rankings website is offering up €1 million to poker players in 2012, and all it takes is a little run-good to cash in.
Okay, a lot of run-good.
SharkRankings.com will give away €1 million to any individual who wins five out of ten of Ireland's "most prestigious" poker tournaments in 2012. Among the tournaments on the list include UKIPT Galway, UKIPT Dublin, Irish Winter Festival, International Poker Open, and European Master of Poker.
"We recognize the talent that is required to capture a title at any single event and so we are prepared to award a cash prize of €1 million to any individual who can secure five victories at the top 10 Irish tournaments this year," said SharkRankings co-founder Breifne Earle.
Earle says SharkRankings is attempting to become Ireland's leader in poker-ranking websites. The site tracks all poker tournaments available in Ireland across each of the clubs and festivals in the country, as well as selected ranking events online.
Read more at Silicon Republic.
PokerStars Hosts APAT National League
On Thursday, our friends over at the newly-titled UK & Ireland PokerNews reported that the Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) has teamed up with PokerStars for the sixth season of its National League.
The league is scheduled to run from March 11 through June 17 and will see players from 12 regions competing for seats to a number of UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) events, as well as the PokerStars Sunday Million and PokerStars Sunday Kickoff. Each of the 15 National League events will take place on Sunday nights at 2000 GMT exclusively at PokerStars.com.
There will also be APAT National Ranking Points available to the leading individual performers, giving players a chance to represent the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish International squads for the fifth annual World Championship of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) that is due to take place at the Dusk Till Dawn poker club later this year.
For more information, check out the APAT website.
UKIPT Galway Main Event Under Way
If you want a shot at the €1 million freeroll at SharkRankings.com, winning the UKIPT Galway Main Event would be a good place to start. The €770 tournament kicked off with the first of two Day 1 flights on Thursday, and early reports from the PokerStars Blog suggested that 145 of the 298 players survived the day.
Some of the big stacks at the end of play belonged to Thomas Finneran (89,600), Emmet Mullin (84,900), George Stoddart (84,400), James Estrop (83,300), and Filip Hanusek (81,600).
We'll be providing daily recaps from the UKIPT Galway in the Nightly Turbo, so check back for the results. For regular updates, visit the PokerStars Blog.
Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.