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The Nightly Turbo: ESPN's The Nuts, Sorel Mizzi's Health Challenge and More

Sorel Mizzi

In the this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we take a look at ESPN’s latest edition of The Nuts, Sorel Mizzi’s health challenge, and more. It may only be Tuesday, but there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

In Case You Missed It

The World Series of Poker announced that it was expanding its brand into a new market. Find out more about WSOP APAC and its five bracelet events here.

There’s a new European Poker Tour Grand Final Champion, but he isn’t from Europe. Learn how a guy from Chicago managed to top one of the year’s toughest fields in our EPT Grand Final recap.

The 2012 Asian Pacific Poker Tour Cebu Main Event wrapped up recently. Who won? Find out who conquered a 246-player field in our recap.

How has life changed for poker pros Mike Ziemba and Spencer Hudson talk after Black Friday? Find out in our latest edition of the Black Friday Chronicles.

Adam Friedman, whom you may remember from an infamous hand on ESPN's broadcast of the 2005 WSOP, was kind enough to sit down with us for another edition of Where Are They Now.

In his latest Five Thoughts, Rich Ryan retells a story of the first time he was around Amarillo Slim. He also discusses the TwoPlusTwo hacking, WSOP APAC, and more, but you'll have to read the article to get the goods.

The parking garage at O'Sheas Casino in Las Vegas was imploded Tuesday morning. Want to watch it? We thought so, that's why we added the video to The Muck.

Season 8 of the European Poker Tour came to a close on Tuesday with the conclusion of the €25,000 High Roller at the and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. To find out who won, check out our recap of the event.


The latest edition of ESPN's The Nuts has been released. The monthly blog post ranks the best poker players in the world at the moment. The 10-person panel includes PokerNews' Editor in Chief Elaine Chaivarlis, PokerNews' Tournament Reporting Manager Don Peters, ESPN's Andrew Feldman, Gary Wise, and Bernard Lee, among others.

Jason Mercier, who has been sitting pretty since June of 2011, is still on the top of the list. Jonathan Duhamel finds himself in the No. 2 spot again on the leaderboard this month.

Eugene Katchalov, Erik Seidel, and Shawn Buchanan all dropped in the rankings this month, coming in at seventh, eighth and tenth.

Bertrand “ElKY” Grospellier was the player who made the biggest splash on The Nuts this month. His recent run on the PokerStars European Poker Tour helped him move from seventh to fourth.

To see who else made the list, and who just missed the cut, check out

Mizzi Issues Health Challenge to Poker Community

Sorel Mizzi is tackling an 84-day fitness program, which has inspired him to issue a challenge to the poker world. He is urging players to start a three-month fitness program of their choosing and document their experience along the way. He is offering every participant the chance to have one online tournament hand history reviewed for every three weeks they’re in the program, with an extra special prize for the winner of his challenge.

As Mizzi explains:

“I will take the winner of this challenge under my wing and do everything I can to help them improve their poker game. It can be anyone. I will help a losing player become a winning player and a winning player increase their ROI and feel more comfortable at higher stakes. This will include reviewing hand histories, sending hand histories of past online tournaments I’ve played, discussing online/live tournament strategy in-depth and making myself available for questions. I’ll do this for at least a year and probably longer on a less time consuming scale. I’m basically using this challenge to find a student that I can teach everything I know about poker to. There is also a future possibility of a staking arrangement. The idea of teaching someone everything I know about poker and helping them fix their leaks and improve their game drastically is very appealing to me.”

Participants will be rated by four judges — Mizzi, Julie Powers, All American Dave and Christina Lindley — in three categories: transformation, blogging and stats. That means you’ll need to take some “before” pictures, keep track of your diet, and document your journey.

To learn how you can participate in the health challenge, visit Mizzi’s blog.

Naz Al Scores Largest Poker Victory in Minnesota History

On Monday, Naz Al won the Heartland Poker Tour Canterbury Main Event and captured a $118,482 first-place prize, the largest ever awarded in Minnesota in a poker tournament. “There are things you learn in poker that you can take with you to real life,” said the 29-year-old student from Mankato after his win.

Al defeated Dr. Gary “Lambo” Lambert in heads-up play, though the latter’s performance gave him the lead in HPT’s race for Player of the Year. “I’m going to do all the HPT tournaments I can,” said Lambert, who took fourth at HPT’s St. Louis stop, “My heart is with HPT . . . We’ll definitely see you in Chicago for your next event.”

Heartland Poker Tour Canterbury Final Table Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Naz AlMankota, MN$118,482
2Dr. Gary LambertQuincy, IL$67,061
3Eric WorreChanhassen, MN$42,654
4Paul RatajczykTerre Haute, IN$36,729
5Edward JanezochMinneapolis, MN$28,436
6Dan ConwayGrand Rapids, MI$23,222

For more information on the event, visit

Partouche Poker Tour Releases Season 5 Schedule

The Partouche Poker Tour has announced dates for its Season 5 final, which will run from Sept. 3 through 9, 2012, at the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes, France. The €8,500 Main Event will feature two starting flights, with Day 1a casualties given the option to reenter on Day 1b.

In addition, the series will feature two side pot-limit Omaha tournaments, a €25,000 High Roller and five side events more than 2011. Speaking of last year’s event, you may recall that tournament drew 579 players and created a prize pool of 4,307,760 Euros. The final table included Roger Hairabedian, Ilan Boujenah and Alexandre Coussy, but was eventually won by Englishman Sam Trickett for €1.5 million

For a look at the entire Partouche Poker Tour Season 5 Final schedule, visit

A.P. Phahurat Wins the Chad Brown Poker Challenge

On Monday, the 2012 Chad Brown Challenge $2,000 Main Event concluded at the Choctaw Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. The 258-player event attracted some big names in Chad Brown, Dennis Phillips, Layne Flack, Gavin Smith and Robert Williamson, though none managed to make the final table.

Instead, it was a pair of World Series of Poker Circuit regulars — A.P. Phahurat and Seneca Easley who battled for the title. The two friends gave it their all, and when the dust settled, Phahurat emerged victorious to capture the $116,449 first-place prize.

2012 Chad Brown Poker Challenge Final Table Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$1,900 + $100258$475,494
1AP PhahuratRogers, AR$116,449
2Seneca EasleyFort Worth, TX$71,980
3Nghia TruongPlano, TX$52,005
4Andy PhilachackGarland, TX$38,273
5Jared JaffeeBrooklyn, NY$28,672
6Bahman JahanguiriPlano, TX$21,849
7Mark DunavinGrand Prairie, TX$16,928
8Val WoodDurant, OK$13,328
9Jeffrey WatterworthTemple, TX$10,661

Highest Paid Athletes in 31 Sports

On Tuesday, ESPN released a list of the top paid athletes for 31 sports. Boxer Manny Pacquiao topped the list by making $50,000,000 last year, which is a guaranteed minimum for two 2011 WBO title bouts.

The name on the list that you're probably most interested in is 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Pius Heinz, who scoring $8,876,067 for his winnings in land-based tournaments from April 9, 2011 through April 8, 2012.

Also making the list was basketball star Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers $25,244,000), defensive end Charles Johnson (Carolina Panthers $34,000,000), third baseman Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees, $30,000,000), and golfer Luke Donald ($9,509,604 for European and PGA Golf Tours in 2011).

To see the whole list head on over to


Before the PokerStars & Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final $25,000 High Roller ended on Tuesday, Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Justin Bonomo and Daniel Negreanu to play a little game we like to call Versus. Who runs better? What's the worst hand they've played? You'll have to watch the video below to find out.

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