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The Nightly Turbo: PokerStars Breaks Records, Bwin.Party Settles Tax Dispute, and More

Nightly Turbo

We're only six days away from the exciting start of the 2012 World Series of Poker, but there's still plenty going on around the world of poker. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're bringing you another record for PokerStars, settling a back tax issue with Spain, and more.

In Case You Missed It

The $25,000 World Poker Tour World Championship kicked off on Saturday. After two days of play, Michael Mizrachi led the way.

How did the Sunday Majors play out on PokerStars? Who took down the biggest score? Find out in the Sunday Briefing.

Which rookies should you be keeping an eye on at this summer's WSOP? We're here to tell you. In the latest edition of the 2012 WSOP Rookie Roundup, we take a look at Dominik Nitsche.

The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker Main Event kicked off on Sunday. For a close look at the action, check out our Day 15 SCOOP recap.

Looking for photos to use during the the entire World Series of Poker? PokerNews is the Official Photographer of the WSOP for the second straight year.

How has Terrence Chan's life changed since he started fighting professionally? Find out that and more in the latest edition of Seat Open.

Did you miss Sunday's World Poker Tour coverage on FSN? Read our WPT recap to get caught up.

Bwin.Party Pays Off Back Taxes in Spain

Online gaming giant has announced that it will comply with Spain's demand for back taxes in order to receive an online gambling license in the new regulated market set to open next month.

The company released a report on Monday stating that it has agreed to pay up to €33.6 million to the Spanish tax authority to settle up for two laws that previously were not applied to offshore online gaming. After completing a tax self-assessment, determined it was liable for €25.6m in tax payments and €8 million in interest and surcharges.

As reported by PokerNews last week, the Spanish tax ministry is seeking retroactive taxes from license applicants that offered online betting to Spanish customers since 2008. was one of around 60 companies that reportedly applied for a Spanish license and was facing one of the largest back tax figures among the applicants.

"Together with a number of other operators we have today completed a tax self-assessment in accordance with the Spanish Tax Authority’s requirements and as a result are making a payment of €25.6m plus surcharges and interest of up to €8m," the company said in Monday's report. "Having taken these steps, we believe we have now fulfilled all requirements and look forward to receiving our license and entering the Spanish market."

The first Spanish gaming licenses are expected to be issued early next month. PokerStars, 888, William Hill, Betfair and Ladbrokes are among the operators interested in the new market. PokerStars is rumored to owe as much as €200 million in back taxes.

Once approved for a license, operators can begin offering online gambling services under a "dot-es" domain.

Read the full report at

PokerStars Breaks More Records

Once again, PokerStars has bested its own record for awesomeness.

The world's leading online poker site announced Monday that the 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) has set a new milestone as the richest online poker tournament series ever. When the final two SCOOP events reach their conclusion on Monday, more than $65 million will have been paid out across 40 events (120 tournaments). The previous record of $64,230,010 was set during the 2010 SCOOP.

The 2012 SCOOP also bested the previous record for highest participation ever in a PokerStars ‘Championship of Online Poker’ series with a total of 526,154 entries, easily exceeding the previous record of 461,936 in the 2010 SCOOP. The all-time record holder for highest participation is the PokerStars MicroMillions series, which brought in 1,294,883 entries during its inaugural festival in March.

The 2012 SCOOP marks are astonishing considering PokerStars lost its biggest market when it was forced to exit the U.S. in April 2011. Read more about the SCOOP statistics at

Judge Delays Black Friday Defendant Sentence

According to, the sentencing for Black Friday principal Brent Beckley has hit a snag because of a court order filed by District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

Beckley, the co-founder of Absolute Poker who was indicted by the Department of Justice on April 15, 2011, pleaded guilty last December to violation of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and bank fraud. Under the plea agreement, Beckley was expected to spend up to 18 months behind bars, well below the maximum prison sentence of 30 years he faced for the original charges.

Kaplan, however, has indicated that the court will consider taking harsher action against Beckley on the ground of "aggravating circumstance.” Kaplan's order states that Beckley "deliberately and unlawfully conspired to circumvent, and circumvented, governing laws of the United States in order to conduct or facilitate an unlawful business or businesses involving billions of dollars from which those businesses gained many millions of dollars."

Beckley's sentencing hearing was scheduled for Monday but has been pushed back to June 28. Read for more.

Richard Evans WIns UKIPT Dublin

A winner has been determined at the €700+€70 PokerStars UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Dublin Main Event. After five days of work, Richard Evans outlasted a field of 597 players at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin to win his first UKIPT crown and a top prize of €75,500.

Graeme Crozier entered the final table with the chip lead, but the U.K. amateur was unable to parlay his big stack into a title. Crozier busted in sixth place when his {A-Spades}{J-Hearts} finished second best to the {A-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} of Stephen McGrath after the chips went in on a {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{6-Hearts} flop.

Padraig O'Neill and Vincent Buis were the next to hit the rail, respectively, leaving Seamus Birt, McGrath and Evans three-handed. The men decided on a three-way chop, with each getting €60,000 and the winner receiving an additional €15,500. Evans disposed of Birt a short while later, leaving him heads up against McGrath for the title.

On the final hand of the match, McGrath limped from the small blind and Evans checked to see a flop of {6-Clubs}{5-Spades}{4-Hearts}. Evans check-called a 300,000 bet and the {9-Hearts} hit the turn. Evan checked again, and McGrath moved all-in for 1,350,000. Evans called instantly with {9-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} for top paid and an open-ender, which was ahead of McGrath's {6-Hearts}{2-Hearts} for a second pair, a flush draw and a gutshot. The {A-Clubs} landed on the river, giving Evans the title and the top prize of €75,500.

1Richard Evans€75,500
2Stephen McGrath€60,000
3Seamus Birt€60,000
4Vincent Buis€26,800
5Padraig O'Neill€20,700
6Graeme Crozier€16,400
7Keith Swain€12,600
8Lee Atherton€9,600

For detailed updates from UKIPT Dublin Main Event final table, visit the PokerStars Blog.

Mad Marvin Joins PartyPoker

Well, it didn't take Marvin Rettenmaier long to find a new home. Just weeks after parting ways with Titan Poker, the man known as "Mad Marvin" became the newest member of Team PartyPoker during the World Poker Tour World Championship at Bellagio in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Rettenmaier has emerged into one of Europe's biggest poker stars after cashing for nearly $1.7 million in live tournaments since 2009. The 25-year-old joins Tony G, Mike Sexton, Kara Scott and fellow German Bodo Sbrzesny on PartyPoker's short roster of sponsored pros.

“It is great to have Marvin on board. I have always said he is a player of true character," Tony G said about his new teammate. "He has the Germanic mathematical game and he has "heart, he is winning, he gets drunk, he loses his passport --he is also running good."

For more, read our story at

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