WSOP 2018

The Nightly Turbo: Phil Galfond's Poker Training Site, PokerStars Eyes Return to U.S.

Nightly Turbo

Can U.S. poker players look forward to playing on PokerStars again in the future? We're bringing you the latest on that story, plus Phil Galfond's new training site, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It

Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic concluded with just 60 players remaining on Thursday. Former champion Antonio Esfandiari was the massive chip leader heading into Day 4.

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

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Prague Main Event ended just shy of the money bubble on Thursday. Marco Lang led the way, but Jason Mercier and several other notables advanced to Day 3.

The Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) resumed on Thursday. Which well-known pro took down the biggest score? Find out in our FTOPS XXI Day 5 recap.

It's Friday, which means we're only two days away from Sunday's Week 14 schedule of NFL games. Rich Ryan offers his picks for each game and some fantasy advice in the Pigskin Diaries.

Learn From Phil

It has been more than 12 months since Phil Galfond departed Blue Fire Poker, the site he helped build for several years. Now, Galfond is back into training mode with the debut of his new site,

His site comes with a powerhouse team of instructors, including Di and Hac Dang, Steve Gross, James Obst, Jason Koon, and a handful of others who will provide instruction in no-limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha, and tournaments. The pros are divided into two categories — essential and elite — which will play a role in the subscription package each customer selects.

Galfond tweeted the release of his first video, offered free to everyone, to help launch his site. The video features him playing a $200/400 PLO session against Ben “Sauce 123” Slusky, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, and Gus “Broski” Hansen.

You can see his first training video at, along with other features like a community discussion board where members can discuss hands, bad beats, or anything poker-related. Players can also use the video-recorder feature where they can upload their own sessions, hand reviews, and more, and can create their own custom playlists of the videos they want saved in their library.

Check it out at

PokerStars on the Jersey Shore?

Less than 20 months after being booted out of the U.S., PokerStars may have discovered a way back in. On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that PokerStars has shown interest in purchasing the Atlantic Club casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, paving the way for a potential return to the poker market in the States.

The move would coincide with New Jersey's push for legalized online gambling. A New Jersey assembly recently approved an amended bill that would allow for licensed casinos in Atlantic City to offer authorized games — including poker — to state residents. If approved for a license from the state, PokerStars could eventually use The Atlantic Club poker room as a platform to rebuild its online customer base in the U.S.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak told PokerNews this week that he thinks the bill could signed by Gov. Chris Christie by the end of the year.

PokerStars settled with the Department of Justice in August, forfeiting $731 million to the U.S. government while acquiring the assets of Full Tilt Poker. PokerStars also admitted no wrongdoing as part of the deal, allowing for Stars to apply for a gaming license once the applicable laws are passed.

For more, read the story here at

Online Poker Traffic Gets a Boost

PokerStars' 90 Billionth Hand promotion was the main reason behind the rise in online poker traffic last week, reflecting a 3 percent increase across all sites worldwide, according to

When the site’s 90 billionth hand was dealt on Nov. 29, more than 93,168 real-money cash game players were at the tables, resulting in an 11 percent boost in PokerStars traffic for the week. After the promotion ended, the site’s numbers dropped back to normal. We expect to see a significant drop in next week's traffic totals.

PokerStars expects to deal its 95 billionth hand sometime in March and the 100 billionth hand in June.

Full Tilt Poker averaged about 4,800 real-money ring-game players over the past week, good enough for second place in the international rankings. However, the site's traffic dropped another 19 percent last week, contributing to a 55 percent loss post-relaunch. FTP is currently hosting its popular Full Tilt Online Poker Series, but PokerScout reports that the series typically has never been a factor in cash-game traffic.

Here's a look at the online poker traffic rankings as of Friday:

RankSite7-Day Average (Real-money ring players)
2Full Tilt Poker4,750

Check out the full report at

Dream Day with Rafael Nadal

The Rafa Dream Day experience took place on Dec. 1-2 in Majorca, bringing Team PokerStars SportsPro Rafael Nadal together with six winners from the exciting promotion run by PokerStars in September and October. The winners met Nadal in Spain, spent time with him on the tennis court, and received poker lessons from his personal poker coach.

Here's a look at some of the highlights:

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