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The Nightly Turbo: Brandon Cantu Exacts Revenge, Brian Townsend's Amazing Race, & More

Brandon Cantu

How did Brandon Cantu exact revenge on Jon Aguiar this week? We're bringing you that story, plus the latest on former high-stakes poker legend Brian Townsend, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

John Crncic won the inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit River Rock Main Event on Wednesday. Read about his road to victory in our WSOPC recap.

Day 2 of the APPT Macau: Asia Championship of Poker wrapped up Thursday. Read the full recap here at PokerNews.

In 2007, Lee Childs made the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event. What's he been up to lately? Childs sat down with Chad Holloway for the latest Where Are They Now piece.

Dan Smith maintained his lead in the Global Poker Index this week. Will anyone be able to catch him soon? Mickey Doft takes a look at the latest GPI rankings.

In 2006, Mark Stephen Edwards decided to give a career in poker a try. Six years later, Edwards has a WSOP Circuit ring and a WPT Regional title to his credit. PokerWorks recently caught up with Edwards to chat about his success at the tables.

Cantu Beats Aguiar

Brandon Cantu felt he had a score to settle, and on Wednesday, he got even.

With several pros watching, Cantu beat Jon Aguiar in a $130,000 heads-up sit-and-go at the Aria Poker Room. The two poker pros agreed to the no-limit hold'em grudge match after Aguiar defeated Cantu for a bracelet in the €10,000 Mixed Max event at the World Series of Poker Europe in September. Cantu claimed the WSOP "robbed" him of the victory after a controversial decision to delay the match two days. Cantu proposed that they play heads-up again for the money difference ($130,000) at a later date, and Aguiar accepted.

The Nightly Turbo: Brandon Cantu Exacts Revenge, Brian Townsend's Amazing Race, & More 101
Cantu vs. Aguiar at Aria (photo courtesy of Jean-Robert Bellande)

The date came and went Wednesday, with Cantu fighting back from an early deficit to exact his revenge. According to Aguiar, who was tweeting updates during the match, Cantu won the final hand when his pocket sixes held up against Aguiar's pocket fives.

Cantu hit Twitter later in the evening, saying, "This teaches me a lesson that crying and complaining really does work in poker."

If you haven't seen the "crying and complaining" Cantu is referring to, check out his interview with PokerNews' Sarah Grant.

Brian Townsend Runs Well

In a race that began Oct. 28, former high-stakes poker pro Brian Townsend took on a challenge that he could only describe as “one of my proudest accomplishments.”

Townsend has since completed the Sahara Race, a five-day event in Egypt running 155 miles through the Sahara sand dunes. He faced every struggle imaginable along the way — both mentally and physically — including intense heat and small amounts of food.

In a blog, Townsend said that in preparation for the race he would be running as much as 98 miles with a 15-pound pack consuming 2,500 calories a day and figured that during the race he would lose 5,000-7,000 calories a day by running with 16.5 pounds of equipment on his back without water.

It was Day 5 and the final 54 miles of a 25-hour run when Townsend had felt the weakest. “(It) was the hardest thing I have ever done physically but beyond that mentally," he said. "I never considered the mental challenge coming into this race but in the past 36 hours I was in some very dark places in my head.”

Through many tribulations, having mentally given up at one point and considering dropping himself from the race because of exhaustion, 115-degree heat, foot pains and the lack of mental capacity, he pushed forward and excelled, completing the race 78th of 146 participants.

“I never considered that my biggest weakness would by in my head and not in my body.” Townsend went on to say, “The highlight was day five check point nine with very special people watching the sun rise over the desert. That was a moment I will remember forever.”

Read Townsend's full blog at

iPoker Traffic Soars

The iPoker Network may have dropped to No. 3 in the online poker traffic rankings after the relaunch of Full Tilt Poker, but it is quickly gaining steam after adding French poker site Everest Poker to its network last week.

According to PokerScout, iPoker's traffic climbed 15 percent since Everest Poker joined the network's top tier of skins. It joins Bet365, Paddy Power, Poker770, Titan Poker, William Hill and Winner Poker on Tier 1. The iPoker Network divided into two tiers in September based on each skin's liquidity pool.

"We anticipate that the enlarged liquidity pools on and will attract further brands to the growing stable of well-established operators and contribute to our future success," said Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech, which provides the software platform for iPoker.

For a complete look at the online poker traffic rankings, visit

Selbst vs. MacPhee

What happens when two friends — and two great poker minds — have a leveling war deep in a major poker tournament? We saw an example of that in the most recent episode of the 2012 European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event.

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst and Kevin MacPhee played an unbelievable hand that recently made its way to The always aggressive Selbst put in a six-bet shove with pocket fours, was disgusted when MacPhee tank-called and turned over a pedestrian {A-Clubs}{9-Hearts}.

As you'll see from the video, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree got caught in the middle of the crossfire. Boeree is good friends with Selbst, and the girlfriend of MacPhee. Yikes.

Read more at the PokerStars Blog.

We're Here to Party!

This week's PokerStars welcome party at the APPT Asia Championship of Poker in Macau got a little crazy. PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin and Donnie Peters were there to partake in the madness:

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