World Series of Poker Europe

The Nightly Turbo: Failed Bellagio Heist, Online Gambling Licenses in Germany, and More

Nightly Turbo

Two numbskulls tried to rob the Bellagio on Saturday. Needless to say, it didn't end well for them. We're covering that story, plus the latest in Germany's efforts to legalize online poker, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

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Operators Near Online Poker Licenses in Germany

On Wednesday, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein granted online sports betting licenses to Bet365,, bet-at-home and Tipico. The licenses will be valid for six years, and each operator will be taxed 20 percent on gross gaming revenue within the state. released a statement Wednesday saying that it has submitted separate applications to offer online poker and casino games in Schleswig-Holstein. The company expects to receive the licenses in "due course."

"Schleswig-Holstein's regulatory regime represents an important step in building a vibrant and competitive German online gaming market, CEO Norbert Teufelberger said in a statement on Wednesday. This EU-compliant regime is a fundamentally important step to protect consumers and keep out black market operators in Germany."

Schleswig-Holstein passed legislation last September to allow sports betting and online poker as long as the sites were established in the European Union. Germany's other 15 states signed a State Treaty last December that would ban all online poker and casinos, but many believe the treaty does not comply with EU laws.

Schleswig-Holstein awarded online gambling licenses to Betfair, Mybet and Oddset earlier this month. More than a dozen other online poker operators have licenses pending.


Another Heist Gone Awry

The start of the $25,000 World Poker Tour World Championship wasn't the only excitement taking place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas over the weekend. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, two men wearing black wigs and sunglasses attempted to rob a high-stakes blackjack table on Saturday night, but their plot was foiled by casino employees.

Michael Belton, 24, and a person identified as "Carlos" entered the blackjack area with pepper spray and snatched $115,000 in casino chips at approximately 10:45 p.m. Saturday. According to witnesses, Belton was tackled by casino employees shortly after the attempted heist. His partner in crime escaped the scene, but all the stolen chips were recovered by the casino.

Belton was arrested Sunday morning on three felony charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary.

Saturday's robbery comes 18 months after Anthony Carleo, infamously dubbed the “Biker Bandit,” walked off with $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio floor. Carlos foolishly tried to sell the $25,000 denomination chips to a high-stakes poker player on the TwoPlusTwo forums and was arrested by undercover cops after he arranged to sell the "cranberry" chips to the poker player.

For more on the latest attempted robbery, check out the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

No Changes in Global Poker Index Player of the Year

There were no changes in the top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings for the second straight week. Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel maintained the top spot for the 13th straight, but we expect some major swings in the rankings during the World Series of Poker over the next eight weeks.

Duhamel was followed by Dan Smith, Andrew Badecker, Samuel Chartier and Bertrand Grospellier in the rankings, respectively. Outside of the top 10, Ognjen Sekularac moved up 18 sports to No. 14 in the rankings this week. Sekularac has four final tables in 2012, including a fourth place finish at the World Poker Tour Vienna Main Event for $112,973.

Among the other big movers were Heinz Kamutzki (up 42 sports to No. 51), Joe Kuether (up 85 spots to No. 82), Sebastian Winkler (up 55 spots to No. 87) and David Peters (up 87 spots to No. 99).

Here's a look at 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--
2Dan Smith534.42--
3Andrew Badecker511.97--
4Samuel Chartier478.70--
5Bertrand Grospellier454.83--
6Noah Schwartz444.21--
7Martin Jacobson412.22--
8Vyacheslav Igin382.19--
9Justin Bonomo374.75--
10Leonid Bilokur374.38

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, 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.

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

In His Grip

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker wrapped up on Monday night, but not before Nick “GripsDsNutz” Grippo put on an awesome display at the $10,000 buy-in Main Event-H final table. Watch Grippo's dominating performance right here, courtesy of

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