The Nightly Turbo: Negreanu Wins WPT Charity Event, Mississippi Bill Dies, and More
While Todd Brunson and other poker pros debate Snooki's outer beauty, we're here to bring you the biggest news around the poker world. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering Daniel Negreanu's victory at the WPT charity event, the death of Mississippi's online gambling bill, and more.
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Negreanu Wins WPT Foundation Charity Event
On Sunday, poker pros Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Barry Greenstein, Liv Boeree and Maria Ho joined actress Maria Bello, Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol, and others for the inaugural WPT Playing for a Better World charity poker tournament, benefitting the new WPT Foundation.
The event, held at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, drew hundreds of players and featured a $500 buy-in round-robin style poker tournament, a raffle and a silent auction to raise money for the WPT Foundations' charitable partners. The invite-only tournament was won by Daniel Negreanu, who apparently had a blast at the event.
The WPT Foundation will be hosting several charity events in the future. In addition to the many pros expected to participate in each event, celebrities like Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Eva Longoria, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven and Good Charlotte's Joel Madden are on the host committee.
“As the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment, World Poker Tour is dedicated to using our extensive reach to affect positive change,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller. “The launch of WPT Foundation at the beautiful SLS Hotel was a night to remember thanks to support of attending celebrities, the poker community and our fantastic charity partners and we look forward to many further fundraising events in the near future.”
The World Poker Tour Blog has more.
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour Blog.
Mississippi Internet Gaming Bill Dies
A bill aimed at legalizing intrastate online gambling in Mississippi died on the table last week, ending any hopes of the bill becoming a law.
The Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012, proposed by Rep. Bobby Moak on Feb. 20, intended to legalize and regulate online gambling, including poker, within Mississippi state lines. The bill would have allowed licensed casino operators like Caesars and MGM to offer online poker to residents in the state.
However, the bill was defeated by the Ways and Means committee and the Gaming committee on March 6. There's no word on whether Moak plans to introduce another measure in the near future, but it seems Mississippi will fall behind other states like Nevada, New Jersey, California and Iowa in the race for an intrastate online poker platform.
Read more at PokerNews.com.
Online Poker Traffic Report
On Monday, PokerScout.com released its online poker traffic rankings for the previous week. The tracking site reported a drop of 1.1 percent, marking the fifth straight week of losses at online poker rooms worldwide.
The top 10 in the rankings stayed the same from the previous week. PokerStars, PartyPoker and iPoker continued their dominance in the market and occupied the top three spots in the rankings, respectively. 888poker and the Ongame Network rounded out the top five, while PokerStars.it, Winamax.fr, the Merge Gaming Network, PokerStars.fr and Microgaming finished sixth through 10th.
One of the big stories in recent weeks has been the seizure of the Bodog.com domain name and the indictment of the brand's founder, Calvin Ayre. Bodog moved its global domain to Bodog.eu last year, but the poker network has seen its traffic drop 13 percent since its dot-com domain was seized by the U.S. government. Bodog dropped two spots to No. 16 in the rankings this week.
As for year-over-year traffic numbers, online poker has seen a worldwide decline of 31 percent since this time last year. Along with drop off at Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, the International Poker Network (down 44 percent) has seen a significant decline. PokerStars' traffic is also down 17 percent since this time last year.
The biggest movers over the past year were the Merge Gaming Network (up 84 percent), 888poker (up 74 percent) and Bodog (up 39 percent). However, as mentioned earlier, Bodog's numbers have dropped significantly since last month.
The full report can be found at PokerScout.com.
Epic Poker Compared to United Football League
Several poker media pundits have given their take on the recent financial troubles of Federated Sport + Gaming (FS+G). On Sunday, Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal chimed in, comparing FS+G's Epic Poker League to the United Football League, which lost more than $100 million in its first two seasons in 2010 and 2011.
According to Stutz, the downfall of the Epic Poker League had nothing to do with a lack of popularity. Much like football, the game continues to grow around the world as evidenced by the numbers at the World Series of Poker and beyond. But Stutz says that despite some early promise, the league was in way over its head from the start.
"The Epic Poker League failed on several fronts; it tried to grow too quickly and it couldn't attract enough participants," Stutz wrote. "In an effort to spur attendance, the league added $400,000 in prize money to each of three main event final tables. That move only drained resources."
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy documents filed by Federated Sports + Gaming were recently published by Wicked Chops Poker. Wicked Chops believes that, with as much as $7 million in debt and only $15,000 in cash on hand, Epic Poker's chances of finishing its inaugural season as planned are "somewhere between negative zero-and-zero percent."
Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
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