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The Nightly Turbo: U.K. Adjusts Gambling Tax, "ElkY" Joins Premier League V, and More

Nightly Turbo

The Tim Tebow trade drama nearly broke the internet on Wednesday, but we were still able to gather the day's biggest poker stories. In tonight's Nightly Turbo, we're covering the changes being made to the U.K.'s tax regime, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier joining the PartyPoker Premier League V, and more.

In Case You Missed It

This week, Poker Royalty announced a new innovative poker event called iSeriesLIVE. Chad Holloway breaks down the series and why it has poker fans excited.

What does Matt Waxman think about his draw in the PokerNews Fan Bracket? Rich Ryan and Donnie Peters spoke to Waxman about that topic and more in this week's PokerNews Podcast.

Playing poker for a living involves long days of sitting around in a chair. In the latest from the Stay Stacked series, Lynn Gilmartin explains why stretching exercises should be a part of every poker player's routine.

Daniel Negreanu released his "Weekly Rant" on Wednesday. Check out The Muck to hear Daniel talk about iSeriesLIVE, Scotty Nguyen, and more.

U.K. Changes Gambling Tax

In an attempt to encourage offshore operators to return to the United Kingdom, chancellor George Osborne announced Wednesday that online betting operators around the world will be forced to pay taxes on gross profits generated from customers based in the U.K.

The U.K. tax regime currently in place allows offshore gambling operators like Ladbrokes and William Hill to avoid paying duties. The new system will enforce taxes on a point of consumption, meaning operators will no longer benefit from their offshore locations.

“Ninety percent of online gambling consumed by our citizens is now supplied from outside the UK, and the remaining UK operations are under pressure to leave," the chancellor said. “This is clearly not fair — and not a sensible way to support jobs in Britain."

It's important to note that the new tax regime will not affect online poker players in the U.K. who do not pay any tax on winnings.

The Financial Times has more.

Premier League Gets French Flavor

Didn't think the lineup for the upcoming PartyPoker Premier League V could get any stronger? Think again.

Triple Crown winner Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier added his name to the mix on Wednesday. The no-limit hold'em specialist with more than $8.7 million in live tournament earnings joins superstars like Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Vanessa Selbst, Sam Trickett, Tony G, Luke "FullFlush" Schwartz, and Erik Seidel who are putting up the $125,000 buy-in when the event kicks off on April 4 in Vienna, Austria.

“This will be the first time I have taken part in the Premier League and I’m super excited to compete with all those great players in such a unique and interesting format,” Grospellier told the PartyPoker Blog on Wednesday.


Tzvetkoff to Testify

The Australian entrepreneur accused of bringing down online poker in the U.S. is set to testify in the trial of two Black Friday principals.

Daniel Tzvetkoff, whose company InstaBill processed more than $1 billion in illegal online poker transactions in the U.S., is set to appear as a witness in the trial of John Campos and Chad Elie on April 9 in New York. The 29-year-old businessman was facing up to 75 years in prison after his arrest in Las Vegas in 2010, but he struck a plea bargain with prosecutors and provided vital evidence incriminating PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. He has since been living in hiding under FBI protection as the star informant in the case.

According to the Australian Associated Press, Tzvetkoff has handed more than 90,000 documents over to prosecutors, including confidential emails to and from Elie, a former business partner. Elie is facing up to 85 years in prison on nine charges, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Campos, meanwhile, could spend 35 years in jail on six charges.

Get the full story at

Duhamel Still Leading Global Poker Index Player of the Year

Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel maintained his big edge in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings this week. The award, which is presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has the strongest performance in live tournaments during the calendar year, according to the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.

Duhamel's score stayed at 595.68 this week, but he still has a sizable lead over his nearest competitor Erik Cajelais. Bruno Lopez jumped 12 spots to No. 3 this week after finishing fourth place at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Madrid Main Event for $183,660. He also won Euro Finals of Poker 2012 in January for $127,514 and took seventh at the World Poker Tour National Series event in Mauritius.

Juha Helppi also joined the top 10 in the GPI POY rankings this week. The Finnish pro won a side event at EPT Madrid for $144,042, marking his third final table of the year.

Here's a look at the rest of the Top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings:

GPI Player of the Year Top 10

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
1Jonathan Duhamel595.68--
2Erik Cajelais342.87--
3Bruno Lopes337.27+12
4Noah Schwartz326.05-1
5Faraz Jaka308.34-1
6Samuel Chartier305.79-1
7Jason Koon284.24-1
8Ruben Visser258.03-1
9Stephen Chidwick248.77-1
10Juha Helppi247.27+71

For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to

Leave Your Cash at Home

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cantor Gaming has become the first sportsbook operator in Las Vegas to accept most credit and debit cards to fund wagering accounts.

The move was approved by gaming regulators in time for the start of the NCAA Tournament, which got under way on March 15. Gamblers can fund their betting account by using a card but won't be able to place bets with it, according to the report.

Cantor Gaming says the process is similar to getting a cash advance on a credit card from a bank and transferring the money into an account. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are accepted, but American Express is not.

"It's a convenience for our customers ... because a lot of people don't have a lot of cash on hand," said Mike Colbert, risk director at Cantor Gaming. "I think accepting credit and debit cards will increase the handle and our business."

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

We're Hiring!

Interested in joining Team PokerNews? We just might have a position perfect for your particular skill set.

PokerNews is looking to hire a number of motivated people with a passion for poker, including bloggers and interns for the 2012 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. We're also seeking an operations assistant, an ad sales associate, and affiliate managers from around the world.

Check out the PokerNews Career page for more information.

Welcome to Viña del Mar

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team is in Chile for the Latin American Poker Tour. Kristy Arnett took a tour around Viña del Mar to check out the sights and sounds of the city.

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