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The Nightly Turbo: Tapie Says Ferguson Rumors are False, 2012 WSOP Schedule, and More

Chris Ferguson

The poker community rejoiced Wednesday as the official schedule for the 2012 World Series of Poker was released. We also learned some surprising news about the November Nine. We'll cover that story and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

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Tapie: Ferguson Didn't Threaten to Block FTP Deal

Laurent Tapie, the managing director of French investment firm Groupe Bernard Tapie, has strongly denied the Subject:Poker report that Full Tilt Poker shareholder Chris Ferguson has threatened to obstruct the pending deal between GBT and FTP.

Subject:Poker reported last week that Ferguson funneled approximately $60 million of his FTP payments into his own bank accounts beginning in at least 2007, and he withdrew or spent around $45 million of the funneled money. The article said that Ferguson is seeking to recover the remaining $14.3 million he used to cover the company's expenses after Black Friday, and he was prepared to block the acquisition if that money wasn't returned.

"This [story] is totally false," Tapie told iGamingFrance about the report. "Chris Ferguson has no problem with regard to the completion of the takeover agreement, which is now imminent. Even if Chris Ferguson wanted to oppose it, he would not be able to because the agreement has already been validated."

Tapie added that barring any last-minute surprises, the firm hopes to complete the deal by the end of this month. Tapie told Gaming Intelligence last week that GBT is in negotiations with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) to reactivate the Full Tilt Poker gambling license that was revoked last September.

iGamingFrance has more on this story.

November Nine Still On ... Sort of

On Tuesday, the World Series of Poker hinted on Twitter that there wouldn't be a November Nine in 2012. We took that as meaning the November Nine format would be scrapped completely. Well, we were duped.

The WSOP released the 2012 schedule on Wednesday, and with it came the news that the final table of the Main Event will be moved up a week to accommodate the U.S. presidential election. Rather than taking place in November, as it has in each of the past four years, the final table will be held on Oct. 28 and Oct. 30.

The 2012 WSOP will feature 61 events from May 27 through July 16, 2012, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas. In addition to the highly anticipated $10,000 Main Event and $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the WSOP will unveil the $1 million buy-in One Drop event on July 1, as well as some other new tournaments to the schedule.

For more on the 2012 WSOP schedule, check out the article at

Utah Stands Alone

Utah could soon be the only state opposed to any form of gambling within its borders. While Hawaii, the only other state without gambling, is considering a bill to legalize it, Utah Rep. Stephen Sandstrom has introduced H.B. 108 Internet Gambling, which is intended to prevent online gaming in the state.

The bill would not only prevent Internet gambling on computers and handheld devices, but it would also prohibit Indian casinos from entering the Utah market.

"Utah is only one of two states that prohibit any form of gambling, Hawaii being the other,” Sandstrom said. “Unfortunately, this could change soon because Hawaii is currently considering legalizing gaming, leaving Utah to fight the principled fight against legalized gambling on its own."


ANZPT Announces Season IV Schedule

The World Series of Poker wasn't the only tournament series to announce a new schedule this week. The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) recently announced it will open its Season IV schedule in March with an AUD$2,200 buy-in event in Sydney, Australia.

The ANZPT will also be making stops in Queenstown and Melbourne in 2012, with one event still yet to be determined. In Season III, a total of 1,746 players took part in the four-event series, creating a total prize pool of AUD$3,692,040.

The full schedule for Season IV of the ANZPT can be found at

Washington, D.C. Moves Closer Toward Gambling Repeal

Poker players in Washington, D.C. received discouraging news Wednesday: the Finance and Revenue Committee voted 3-2 to send the jurisdiction's Internet gambling legislation to a full council vote for repeal.

"It gives [council members] an opportunity to vote up or down with full knowledge of what they're voting for," Council member Jack Evans told The Washington Post. Evans, who has long opposed online gambling legislation, voted to repeal on Wednesday.

The full council vote could happen as early as next week. The council remains divided on the issue, but nine of the 12 council members have reportedly told The Washington Post that they will vote or are leaning toward voting for the repeal.

Check out for more.

Phil Ivey Returns to The Nuts

The latest edition of ESPN's The Nuts was released Tuesday. 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's Andrew Feldman, Gary Wise, and Bernard Lee, among others.

The biggest change in the Top 10 was the return of Phil Ivey. The eight-time WSOP bracelet winner was the first to sit atop The Nuts rankings back in 2009, but his lengthy absence from the game in 2011 resulted in his removal form the list. Ivey reappeared on the tournament circuit last November, and a 12th-place finish at the Aussie Millions Main Event and a victory in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Super High Roller vaulted him to No. 4 in the rankings this month.

Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier held the No. 1 spot for the eighth straight month, having received seven of the 10 first-place votes from the panel. Erik Seidel received one first-place vote and landed at No. 2, and Eugene Katchalov remained at No. 3. Ivey and Sam Trickett rounded out the top five.

If you want to find out what the rest of the list looks, check it out at

WPT on FSN Schedule Announced

As we reported last week, Season X of the World Poker Tour kicks off on Fox Sports Net on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. local time.

What we didn't tell you is that the first episode of the new season will be a special preview of the 12 WPT stops featured in the Season X coverage. Then, each of the subsequent tournaments will be broken into three separate episodes. They will air on Sundays on FSN and will show viewers more action leading up to the final table, and a look at some of the behind-the-scenes footage.

Here's a look at the complete WPT Season X television schedule:

Feb. 12Season X Preview Special
Feb. 19-Mar. 4Legends of Poker
Mar. 11-25WPT Grand Prix de Paris
Apr. 1-15Borgata Poker Open
Apr. 22-May 6World Poker Finals
May 13-27Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic
June 3-17WPT Venice Grand Prix
June 24-July 8LA Poker Classic
July 15-29Bay 101 Shooting Star
Aug. 5-19Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Aug. 26-Sep. 9WPT Jacksonville
Sep. 16-30WPT World Championship Super High Roller
Oct. 7-21WPT World Championship

For more information, visit the World Poker Tour Blog.

Team Poker Hits Scandanavia

On Wednesday, Poker Icons announced a new poker tour aimed for the best team of poker players in the Nordic Region. The inaugural event, called Nordic 2012, will take place at the Reval Park Hotel & Casino in Tallinn, Estonia, from May 18 through 20.

The event will feature teams of four players facing off in no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. With a buy-in of €900 per team, the total prize pool is expected to be around €30,000, and the winning team can expect to take home €10,000.

On May 18, each team member will play one event in each discipline. The combined results of the four team members will determine which teams play in the finals on May 20. There will also be an individual no-limit hold'em tournament on Saturday, May 19 that any player can participate in.

For more information on the event, visit

Sh#t Poker Players Say

The "Sh#t People Say" craze has taken over YouTube during the past couple of months. Here's our contribution:

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