The Nightly Turbo: Judge Rules Poker a Skill Game, €50K High Roller at WSOPE, and More

Nightly Turbo

A U.S. federal judge provided some great news for poker advocates on Tuesday. We'll bring you that story, plus a massive event coming to the World Series of Poker Europe, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Kyle Cartwright made history Monday at the World Series of Poker Circuit IP Biloxi Main Event. Read about Cartwright's record-tying fifth WSOPC ring in our recap of the event.

Day 1b of the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event saw more than 600 players post the €5,000 buy-in. For details from the flight, check out our daily EPT recap.

Dan Smith is destroying live tournaments this year. But is his run as good as Erik Seidel's heater in 2011? Rich Ryan discusses that topic and more in his latest Five Thoughts piece.

Kathy Raymond was recently selected to be inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame. Raymond spoke with Chad Holloway about the honor and her contributions to the industry.

The PokerNews Podcast crew is in Barcelona, Spain covering the European Poker Tour. This week, the team added some girl power and also spoke with EPT High Roller champ Dan Smith.

Jennifer Harman is the latest poker pro to make the jump into reality television. Read about her upcoming show in The Muck.

Poker is a Skill Game

Poker players in the U.S. received some uplifting news on Tuesday after a federal judge in New York declared that poker is a game of skill and does not fall under the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA).

In a 120-page opinion, Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that poker is not gambling under federal law because it is not a game of chance. Last month, Weinstein heard the testimony of defense expert Dr. Randal Heeb, a professor at Yale who analyzed poker hands from on Internet poker site to show that poker is a skill game. Heeb's defense testimony was meant to help dismiss the trial of Lawrence DiChristina, who was charged with helping run an illegal gambling ring on Staten Island.

Weinstein's ruling on Tuesday freed DiChristina from the charges.

Tuesday's ruling is a big win for poker advocates in the U.S. The following statement was issued by Executive Director John Pappas of the Poker Player's Alliance after Weinstein's decision was made public:

“As we worked for years defending players against vague gambling laws, we have patiently waited for the right opportunity to raise the issue in federal court. Today’s federal court ruling is a major victory for the game of poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy playing it. Judge Weinstein’s thoughtful decision recognizes what we have consistently argued for years: poker is not a crime, it is a game of skill. As the judge’s opinion aptly notes, poker is an American pastime that is deeply embedded in the history and fabric of our nation and his decision sets aside the notion that the vague laws render the game criminal.”

We'll have more on Weinstein's ruling and what it means later this week. In the meantime, check out the story at the Wall Street Journal.

WSOPE High Roller

When the World Series of Poker Europe Presented by Barriè returns to Cannes, France next month, there will be seven gold bracelet events plus an additional 69 side events and cash games for players to feast on during the two-week poker festival.

On Tuesday, the WSOP announced the addition of a €50,000 Re-entry No-Limit Hold’em High Rollers event to the schedule. While the High Rollers tournament won't award a bracelet to the winner, it is sure to attract many of the game's top players already in town for the festivities.

The event will begin on Oct. 2 and run for three days, with registration open until the second level of play on Day 2. Asian businessmen Richard Yong and Paul Phua are the first players confirmed for the event.

“We can’t wait to get back to Cannes for WSOP Europe, where the stars of poker come to shine," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "We truly believe 2012 is the year we accomplish our goal to make WSOPE the richest and most prestigious event on the European calendar.”

The seven bracelet events up for grabs in Cannes include two six-handed events, a mixed-max event, a shootout event, two pot-limit Omaha events, and the €10,000 buy-in WSOP Europe Main Event beginning on Sept. 30. Last year, Elio Fox bested a talented final table to win the Main Event and €1,400,000.

For a look at the schedule of WSOPE events, check out

Run It Twice!

PokerStars is always looking for innovate features to enhance its industry-leading software, and it appears the site is preparing to unveil a "run it twice" option for cash games.

The concept is a popular one among high-stakes pros as it reduces variance in a single hand (you've probably seen it done in television shows like the PokerStars Big Game). When two players agree to "run it twice" in a heads-up situation, the remaining community cards are dealt twice. This is can be agreed to pre-flop or post-flop. The winner of each board will win 50 percent of the pot.

PokerStars is beta testing the "run it twice" option, but a poker room manager for the site said at TwoPlusTwo that there is no timetable for the release date: "We actually expect a prototype on test PokerStars to be available later in August for player testing (subject to changes). Based on stability of the feature it might be released soon to main clients or might stay on Test PokerStars only for a longer period of time."

PokerFuse has more.

DeepStacks Heads to Los Angeles

The DeepStacks Poker Tour has again teamed up with the Breeders' Cup to form the 2nd Annual DeepStacks Poker Tour Breeders' Cup Celebrity Invitational. The event will be held at the Commerce Casino near Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 30, 2012.

Among the DeepStacks Pros taking part in the charity tournament will be Mike Matusow, Tristan Wade, Randal Flowers, Robert Mizrachi, and Michael Mizrachi, who will host the event. Last year’s DeepStacks Poker Tour Breeders' Cup Celebrity Invitational raised more than $15,000 for the Jimmy V Foundation.

"The Breeders’ Cup is a world class organization that has made our partnership a pleasure to be a part of,” said DeepStacks CEO Chris Torina. "Having the opportunity to work with Breeders’ Cup for a second year in a row on an event of this magnitude is truly an honor for our company.”

The DeepStacks Poker Tour Breeders' Cup Celebrity Invitational will feature a $200 buy-in with unlimited $100 rebuys for the first three levels. All proceeds from the event will go to the California Retirement Agency (CARMA). The winner will earn an automatic $10,000 entry into the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge held during the Breeders Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park from Nov. 2 through 3, 2012.

Read more about the event at


ESPN's coverage of the 2012 World Series of Poker returns Tuesday night with more action from Day 3 of the Main Event. The broadcast begins at 8:00 p.m. ET with commentary from Lon McEachern and Norman Chad. Tuesday's show will highlight the athletes and celebrities still alive and making their way toward the money bubble.

If you happened to miss any of the action during our Day 3 coverage last month (spoiler), here's a teaser of tonight's broadcast:

The Girls Confess Their Pet Peeves

What are some of the worst things about interviewing poker players? The ladies of the European Poker Tour revealed some of their pet peeves, with a little help from EPT commentator Joe Stapleton.

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

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