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The Nightly Turbo: Major Changes at iPoker, Rafael Nadal Signs with PokerStars, and More

Nightly Turbo

Tennis champion Rafael Nadal became the newest online poker ambassador on Thursday. How often will we see Rafa at the tables? We'll cover that story, plus big changes coming at the iPoker Network, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Was Phil Ivey finally able to win his ninth World Series of Poker bracelet on Wednesday? Find out in the Day 25 WSOP recap.

If he wins a WSOP bracelet on Thursday, Roberto Romanello would complete the Poker Triple Crown. We take a look at that story and more in Thursday's WSOP What to Watch For.

Shawn Buchanan climbed into the top three of the Global Poker Index this week. Which superstar dropped in the rankings as a result? Mickey Doft breaks down the biggest changes in the GPI.

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!

iPoker Splitting

The iPoker Network has announced a new policy that will see the network divided into two tiers beginning in September.

iPoker is the world's largest online poker network with more than 40 skins, each sharing the same player pool. However, under the new policy, iPoker skins which fail to meet a certain set of criteria will be downgraded to a sub-network, limiting them to a secondary liquidity pool. Beginning July 1, skins will be required to maintain a base of at least 6,000 active players, as well as 850 new real-money players per month. According to Playtech, which operates the iPoker Network, "failing to meet any of these standards will cause a separation of the card room from the network main liquidity pool.”'s online poker traffic rankings have iPoker ranked second worldwide, trailing only PokerStars. William Hill, Titan Poker, Paddy Power Poker and Bet365 are among the bigger skins residing on the network, but only time will tell whether they land in the upper tier come September.

Read more at Pokerfuse.

Poker's New Ambassador

Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal is the newest member of Team PokerStars.

The seven-time French Open winner and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist has joined Boris Becker, Fatima Moreira de Melo and Marcus Hellner on Team SportStars. Nadal will devote time to playing online at PokerStars once his tennis season slows down later this year.

“It’s no secret that I love to compete and try my very best in everything, whether that’s tennis, golf or video games,” Nadal said. “When I discovered the game of poker, I chose to join PokerStars because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions. I’m very happy to be working with them.”

Nadal will no doubt serve as the front man for PokerStars' marketing campaign in Spain. Poker was legalized in Spain earlier this month, and online poker rooms are battling for a share of the burgeoning market. Before signing Nadal, the Team PokerStars Spain roster was made up of Ana Marquez, Juan Manuel Pastor and Poli Rincon. As of Thursday, however, Nadal was listed as a United Kingdom Pro in the PokerStars lobby.

For more, read the story at

Lock Signs Felipe Ramos

Lock Poker expanded its Pro Elite team this week by adding Felipe "Mojave" Ramos, a popular poker pro from Brazil.

Ramos began playing professionally in 2008 and has since compiled more than $2.5 million in tournament cashes online and around the world at live events. Some of his highlights include a fourth place finish at the 2010 English Poker Open Main Event for more than $83,000, and a 10th place finish at the 2011 World Series of Poker $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship for more than $43,000.

Ramos joins an impressive roster of Lock Elite pros, including Annette Obrestad, Chris Moorman, Melanie Weisner, Paul Volpe, Leo Margets, Matt Stout and Eric Lynch.

“I am incredibly happy to be part of the Lock Poker family and join such a great team with the best players in the world," said Ramos. "I started playing poker trying to follow their steps and now I have the privilege to be on their side.

Check out the Lock Pro Elite team at

Kid Poker's Video Blog

Daniel Negreanu's 2012 World Series of Poker hasn't been going well. He's stressed out. He's eating comfort food.

And is he losing hair?

He discusses that and more in his latest check-in from Las Vegas.

Bet on the WSOP Big One at Matchbook has launched a new media content hub where poker enthusiasts can follow their favorite players.

During the World Series of Poker and beyond, Matchbook Media will provide blogs and updates from the Matchbook pros, including Sam Trickett, Roberto Romanello, James Akenhead, Martins Adeniya and JP Kelly. The site will also provide regular columns and articles from respected poker writers "Dr." Pauly McGuire and Jesse May, as well as many others.

To celebrate the launch of the site, Matchbook Media has introduced its first pool centered around the World Series of Poker. A special WSOP One Drop Pool will give away $5,000 to the best handicapper of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop event in Las Vegas beginning July 1. The pool will consist of 12 matchups in a last-longer format, and entrants who pick the winner of each duel will have a shot at the grand prize.

Visit Matchbook Media for more details.

The Straddle

Need a short break from the long grind of the WSOP? Kristy Arnett takes a look at the lighter side of things in her third episode of The Straddle.

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