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The Nightly Turbo: Zynga Reports $435 Million Loss in Q4, Somerville Opens Up, and More

Jason Somerville

If you're looking for the biggest news stories from around the world, you've come to the right place. In the Wednesday edition of the Nightly Turbo, we bring you Zynga's first financial report as a public company, an inspiring blog from poker pro Jason Somerville, and more.

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Are you planning a trip to Seoul, South Korea, for the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour? Lynn Gilmartin tells you everything you need to know about the city in the latest PokerNews Jet Set.

Eric Crain's aggressive play during the 2006 U.S. Poker Championship earned him a lot of television time. PokerNews recently caught up with Crain to find out what he's been up to since his first exposure to mainstream poker.

Jonathan Duhamel still leads the 2012 Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. Mickey Doft takes a look at how the scoring is formulated, as well as the results for each player in the top 10.

Matt Juttelstad won the 2012 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open on Tuesday. Get the details from the final table in our WPT recap.

Zynga Posts $435 Million Loss in Q4 2011

Online gaming giant Zynga unveiled its first financial report as a public company on Tuesday. Despite a 59 percent jump in revenue to $311.2 million from a year earlier, the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $435 million in income, bringing its losses to $404 million for all of 2011.

The Q4 losses were mostly caused by a $510 million tax charge and other costs related to the company's initial public offering in December 2011. In addition, the company ended the year with 92 percent more employees than at the end of 2010, and it invested in new technology and several new products in 2011.

A Zynga spokesperson said last month that it is in discussions with several partners about a shift into the real-money online gambling market. On Wednesday, Zynga COO John Schappert told eGamingReview that the company is still interested in exploring real-money gambling.

Zynga shares were down about 12 percent in early trades on Wednesday, according to MarketWatch.

Jason Somerville Breaks His Silence

World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jason Somerville opened his heart to the poker community Tuesday by divulging on his blog that he is gay.

Among other things, the 24-year-old discussed the lack of openly gay poker players in the industry, as well as the struggle to balance his private life with his desire to be himself in public and at the poker table.

"I’m noDaniel Negreanu, the royalty of real talk, but I do pride myself on saying what I think and simply being who I am," Somerville wrote. "But I suppose you could say in the past being 'truly myself' has come with a bit of an asterisk. Privately, amongst friends, I can say I’ve been doing that for some amount of time — but publicly, and in poker, that hasn’t completely been the case. I haven’t exactly always been where I am now, though, and haven’t really been ready to share my story publicly. Privacy reasons excepted, that won’t be the case anymore."

Somerville, one of the most admired and respected players in poker, has received an outpouring of support on Twitter, TwoPlusTwo and even YouTube. Negreanu, a close friend of Somerville, even posted a video blog discussing Somerville's decision to "come out" (as well as some harsh words for the board members at Full Tilt):

Read Jason's full blog at jcarver.badbeatscrew.com

Lock Poker Signs Tim West and Jason Lee

On Wednesday, online poker stars Tim West and Jason Lee were announced as the latest members of Lock Poker's LockPRO ELITE team. The two players joined Chris Moorman, Matt Stout, Jason Young and Melanie Weisner as representatives of the site, which resides on the Merge Gaming Network.

“Tim and Jason are both great players and great people! I am very happy to welcome them,” said Jennifer Larson, CEO of Lock Poker. “The goal is to create a global family that is diverse in skill, passion, poker and life. The initial vision I had for Lock is becoming a reality. Our partnership with the player gets stronger every day!”

West has more than $3 million in online tournament earnings to go along with another $1.6 million on the live circuit. The 26-year-old's biggest win came at the Wynn Classic last March when he defeated Annette Obrestad heads-up for the title and $318,738.

Lee has also amassed over $3 million in online tournament winnings and roughly $400,000 in live winnings, including a third-place finish at the European Poker Tour Vilamoura Main Event for $267,165.

Read the full press release at stoutpoker.com.

Bet24 Expands iPhone App

Scandinavian gaming company Bet24 expanded its real-money poker offering on the iPhone into 14 additional countries on Wednesday. The Ongame-powered mobile app is now available to 55 percent of the European Union population, and the company plans to expand to more countries in the near future.

“Mobile has been a true success story for us with thousands of downloads since launch," said Lars Kollind, poker manager for Bet24.com. "I have studied the development carefully since launch and I am proud to say that mobile poker generates growth without cannibalizing on current poker revenues from PC and Mac, we are really glad that the customers like our product and use it on a daily basis.”

Bet24's iPhone application is now available in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Read the story at PokerNews.com for more.

MGM Partners with Ameristar

MGM Resorts International and Ameristar Casinos Inc. have joined forces to bring more visitors to their casinos across the U.S. Under the agreement, the companies will offer reciprocal rewards to target members in their loyalty programs. The deal will begin next month.

MGM has more than a dozen casinos locates across the country including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and Aria in Las Vegas, while Ameristar operates eight casinos across the U.S., but none on the Vegas Strip. The purpose of the deal is to allow both companies to strengthen customer loyalty by providing more access and rewards.

“With our Ameristar alliance, our members can enjoy the high level of experience they have at MGM Resorts’ properties in more destinations across the U.S.,” said Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International. “This also provides Ameristar’s Star Awards/Plateau Players Club members exclusive experiences and offers at our Las Vegas properties that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise."

Read the press release at the Sacramento Bee.

UKIPT Galway Under Way

On Wednesday, the PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) kicked off its third season in Galway, Ireland. The six-day series includes 10 events and features a €700+€70 Main Event, which gets under way on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Last season's UKIPT Galway Main Event attracted 266 players from all over Europe. Ireland's Nick Abou Risk took home the prize of €67,100 and his second UKIPT title. Abou Risk also won the UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event in 2010 for €50,000.

We'll be recapping each day of the Main Event right here in the Nightly Turbo, so check back for updates from UKIPT Galway.

For the full schedule of events, visit PokerNews UK and Ireland.

Crown Melbourne Wins Award

Fresh off of hosting another successful Aussie Million Poker Championship, Crown Melbourne received a prestigious honor at the 2012 International Gaming Awards in London this week. The casino's new VIP salons were judged the best in the world, beating out competitors like Bellagio, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Casino de Monte Carlo, and the Star World Hotel & Casino in Macau.

“Crown is thrilled to have received this prestigious international award,” said Crown Melbourne CEO Greg Hawkins. “The innovative salons have been enthusiastically endorsed by Crown’s international VIP players and have been extremely popular since officially opening last year."

The Nightly Turbo: Zynga Reports 5 Million Loss in Q4, Somerville Opens Up, and More 101

Crown’s new VIP salons occupy the entire top floor of the Crown Towers Hotel and are a showpiece of the AUD$1.5 billion redevelopment of the Crown Melbourne integrated resort, which is scheduled for completion later this year.

For a closer look at Crown's award-winning VIP Salons, visit crownmelbourne.com.

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