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The Nightly Turbo: Rafa Nadal's Thoughts on Poker, Pinnacle's Plans for HPT, and More

Nightly Turbo

Looking for the day's biggest poker news? You've come to the right place. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're bringing you Victoria Coren's interview with Rafael Nadal, Pinnacle Entertainment's plans to expand the Heartland Poker Tour, and more.

In Case You Missed It

With two women bubbling the Main Event final table, what are the top stories left from the October Nine? Rich Ryan discusses that and more in his latest Five Thoughts piece.

The PokerNews Podcast crew assembled for the first time since the WSOP. This week, they talk to Amit Makhija about his deep run in the Main Event and his move to Vancouver.

In 1989, Don Zewin finished third place in the WSOP Main Event behind Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan. What has Zewin been up to lately? Find out in the the latest edition of Where Are They Now.

Day 1b of the 2012 Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Snowfest Main Event came to a close on Wednesday. Read about all of the action in our ANZPT recap.

Can you imagine a game that combines Scrabble and poker? Take a close look at Aspyr Media's Poker Pals App.

We saw hundreds of different card protectors during the 2012 World Series of Poker. Which ones were the best? We bring you the top 10 in the latest edition of All Mucked Up.

Welcome to Queenstown!

Queenstown is one of the most popular stops on the on the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour. Nicki Pickering took a look around at the top attractions the city has to offer.

Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

Baker Leads Player of the Year

The aftereffects of the World Series of Poker had little impact on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race this week. Very few tournaments were taking place around the world, and as a result, there were no changes in the top 10 of the standings.

David Baker occupied the top spot for the second consecutive week. He overtook Jonathan Duhamel for the top spot last week after cashing eight times at the 2012 WSOP for nearly $800,000. He won the $2,500 8-Game Mixed event in June, and followed that up with three more final tables before placing 56th in the Main Event for $128,384.

Some of the big movers outside of the top 10 this week were Scott Baumstein (up 15 spots to No. 13), Shannon Shorr (up 40 spots to No. 25), David Sands (up 35 spots to No. 38) and Galen Hall (up43 spots to No. 44). Baumstein added another cash to his productive 2012 when he took fourth place in the $5,000 Bellagio Cup VIII event on July 10 for $22,404.

Here's a look at the Top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings:

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1David Baker715.90--
2Marvin Rettenmaier682.08--
3Jonathan Duhamel668.79--
4Dan Smith662.47--
5Kyle Julius637.63--
6Phil Ivey629.12--
7Daniel Negreanu607.28--
8Andrew Lichtenberger605.49--
9Samuel Chartier583.37--
10Erik Cajelais559.60--

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

LAPT Goes To Panama

On Wednesday, PokerStars announced the addition of a new stop to the Season 5 Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). From Sept. 26 through 30, the LAPT will hold a series of events at the Veneto Hotel and Casino in Panama City, Panama, marking the first time the tour has visited the country in five years.

LAPT Panama will feature nine events, culminating with a $2,500 Main Event from Sept. 27 through 30. There will also be a $5,000 High Roller and the America's Cup of Poker, which pits players from several nations against each other in a team format.

Before the LAPT hits Panama, the tour will make its way to Medellín, Colombia from Aug. 7 through 12. Be sure to follow the Nightly Turbo for daily updates from the LAPT.

Remaining LAPT Season 5 Schedule

DestinationMain Event DateBuy-In
Medellín, ColombiaAug. 7 - 12, 2012COL$ 3,820,000 +380,000 (≈USD$2,300)
Panama City, PanamaSept.26 - 30, 2012USD$2,300 + 200
LAPT Grand Final in Lima, PeruNov. 14 - 18, 2012USD$2,300 +200

The PokerStars Blog has more.

Plans for Heartland

When Pinnacle Entertainment acquired the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) and assets of Federated Sports + Gaming Inc. (FS + G) at a bankruptcy auction last month, the poker community was left wondering about the fate of the popular HPT tournament circuit.

On Wednesday, Pinnacle announced in its Q2 financial statement that it has big plans for the HPT in the future. Anthony Sanfilippo, president and chief executive officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, said that Pinnacle intends to "expand the Heartland Poker Tour and more extensively integrate its events into our property portfolio." Pinnacle operates six casinos in St. Louis, Louisiana and Indiana.

"In July, we extended our development strategy and growth pipeline with the acquisition of the assets of Federated Sports and Gaming, Inc. and Federated Heartland Inc," Sanfilippo said. "Through the Heartland Poker Tour purchase, we acquired an impressive portfolio of brands and intellectual property that will help us advance a new line of business and our online gaming strategy ... We expect the Heartland acquisition to be accretive."

Pinnacle was one of at least four groups bidding on the HPT and FS+G in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland last month. The highest bid for the HTP went for $4.2 million, and FS+G's assets went for $300,000. Those assets included the Epic Poker League, Global Poker Index, and the website, which had been taken down as of Wednesday morning.

The HPT is in its eighth season. In 2011, the HPT made 17 stops in 15 states. Two of the tournaments were held at Pinnacle-owned casinos.

For more, read Pinnacle's quarterly financial statement.

Nadal on Poker

Tennis superstar and new Team PokerStars Pro Rafael Nadal recently pulled out of the London Olympic Games because of continuing knee problems. Will he spend some of his down time learning how to play poker at PokerStars? Fellow Team PokerStars Pro Victoria Coren sat down with Nadal to ask him about poker, tennis, and competition.

For the full interview, check out the Huffington Post UK.

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