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The Nightly Turbo: Steve Zolotow's Legal Battle, Einhorn Confirmed for Big One, and More

Steve Zolotow

Happy Friday, everyone! Before you get your weekend started, we're here to bring you the day's biggest poker stories. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering the latest in Steve Zolotow's legal battle with the Canadian government, plus David Einhorn's participation in the WSOP Big One for One Drop, and more.

In Case You Missed It

A rowdy British rail helped carry Craig McCorkell to his first World Series of Poker bracelet on Thursday. Read about the madness in the Day 26 WSOP recap.

Can Greg Mueller pick up his third WSOP title on Friday? Read about that story and more in the WSOP What to Watch For.

Why is poker so tough to play? Do our brains get in the way? Nick Wealthall explains why we all struggle with the game and offers some tips to help with your focus.

How was the high-stakes action at the PokerStars tables this week? Read the Online Railbird Report to find out the week's biggest winners and losers.

It's Friday, which means @AsianSpa is back with a new blog. This week, he writes the toughest blog he's ever written, about dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Ever wonder what your heart rate was during a huge bluff? Try out the new BluffCam app to find out!

Looking for a fun, behind-the-scenes perspective of life at the WSOP? The Muck has daily stories from inside the Rio, so check it out!

Zolotow's Lost Diamonds

Poker pro Steve Zolotow's 12-year legal dispute with the Canadian government came to a close on Thursday. Unfortunately for Zolotow, it didn't end like he had hoped.

Zolotow was suing the Canadian government over $886,000 in diamonds that were seized by customs for not being properly declared at a Toronto airport. On April 13, 2000, Zolotow was preparing to board a flight from Toronto to New York with 20 uncut diamonds in his pocket. When asked by customs if he was concealing anything, Zolotow revealed the stones. Both he and the diamonds were turned over to Canadian authorities, and Zolotow was charged with two offenses.

Zolotow hired lawyers to fight the charges and get his diamonds back. His claim for the diamonds was unsuccessful, and, when he tried to file an appeal, his attorneys failed to meet the 30-day deadline.

The government of Canada then sold the diamonds at auction for $250,225. Zolotow sued the government to recoup the value of the diamonds, but last week the Federal Court of Appeals rejected his request to have the case reconsidered.

Zolotow says he purchased the diamonds from a dealer in New York after learning about their investment value. He left them in a safety deposit box for seven years before attempting to move them to New York where he lived.

“This was a governmental theft,” Zolotow told the National Post this week. “Canada figured out a legal way to steal my diamonds and I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in a Toronto jail.”

Read more at the National Post.

David Einhorn Enters Big One for One Drop

David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager from New York, has been confirmed as one of the entrants in next month's $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker.

Einhorn is the founder and President of Greenlight Capital, a $7.8 billion hedge fund in Manhattan. Bloomberg News reported Friday that Einhorn is one of at least 42 confirmed participants in the One Drop event, and he plans to donate all of his winnings in the tournament to City Year, a charity focused on keeping kids in school and on track to graduate.

The prize pool for the Big One for One Drop sits at more than $37,000,000. The event is expected to meet its 48-player cap, with the winner receiving more than $16 million.

You may remember Einhorn from his 18th-place finish at the 2006 WSOP Main Event when he donated all of his $659,730 in winnings to charity. Einhorn also landed on the sports media radar in 2011 when he attempted to buy a minority share in the New York Mets, but negotiations with the club ended after a few months.

Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Cantor Eyes Macau License

Cantor Fitzgerald, which owns sports books and poker rooms in seven Las Vegas casinos, is in the process of expanding its gambling business into Asia.

Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick told Bloomberg this week that the company is seeking a gaming license in Macau, where gambling revenue rose 7.3 percent in May compared with a year earlier. Macau is the only city in China where gambling is legal, and Lutnick says Cantor would run sports betting operations in Macau casinos if and when it is granted a license.

"We're in the process of getting licensed in Macau," Lutnick told Bloomberg. "When you have these big casinos as your partners, it makes it much more easy."

Cantor operates the race and sports books at the Venetian and the Palazzo in Las Vegas. Both of those casinos are owned by Las Vegas Sands, which already has properties in Macau. Lutnick expects that relationship to help Cantor break into the burgeoning Macau marketplace.

Bloomberg has more.

Big Steps for Nevada

Nevada is making progress in achieving real-money online poker in the near future.

On Thursday, slot machine developers Bally Technologies and International Game Technology (IGT) were approved for online gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission. The licenses were the first of their kind in U.S. history, and the door is now open for more operators to receive licenses in the state.

Bally and IGT will offer online poker and other interactive games to Nevada casinos looking to compete in the market. First, though, the companies need to have their technology tested by the board and the state before being given authorization to provide real-money games.

"We are grateful to the State of Nevada for this opportunity," said Bally Technologies CEO Richard Haddrill on Thursday. "We look forward to Bally expanding its leadership role in this exciting new arena of online gaming."


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