The Nightly Turbo: Phil Hellmuth at WPT China, BOOM Documentary Lockdown, and More

Phil Hellmuth

The World Poker Tour made its first stop to China last week. We're covering the results from that event, plus the latest on the BOOM Documentary, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It:

Didn’t get a chance to sweat all of the big online tournaments this weekend? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this week’s edition of the Sunday Briefing.

The Full Tilt Poker Online Poker Series wrapped up on Sunday. Find out who won the Main Event in our FTOPS XXI Day 15 recap.

The World Series of Poker Europe is heading to Paris, France in 2013. We spoke with WSOP exec Ty Stewart about the move and the future of the series.

Hometown hero Chris Klodnicki is the chip leader of the final 16 players in the 2012 Sands Bethlehem DeepStack Extravaganza. See who else is battling it out for the top prize here.

The World Series of Poker Circuit Rincon Main Event has reached a final table. Check out who will be fighting for the coveted ring and a seat in the National Championship here.

On Monday, a New Jersey Assembly passed a bill that allow Atlantic City casinos to offer online gambling. Get the full story here at

The Seat Open series continues this week with a former WSOP Main Event champion. See how Jonathan Duhamel got into poker, and more.

Zheng Hua Lei Wins WPT National China

Mainland China welcomed the World Poker Tour this past weekend for a very historic event. Never before had the country hosted such a large buy-in ($1,500), no-limit hold’em tournament, and never before had they seen a star like Phil Hellmuth compete on the felt in the mainland.

The Nightly Turbo: Phil Hellmuth at WPT China, BOOM Documentary Lockdown, and More 101

The WPT National China Tournament Sanya was held right off the tropical beaches of Sanya, Hainan Island China, and attracted 542 players. Hellmuth wasn’t the only notable poker player to make the trip; he was joined by high profile players like Johnny Chan, David Chiu, McLean Karr, and Wang Feng. In the end, the winner was Zheng Hua Lei, who took down $192,406. He bested You Jia Wang heads up, while poker pro Sam Razavi finished third. Here’s a look at the entire final table:

1Zheng Hua Lei$192,406
2You Jia Wang$96,203
3Sam Razavi$48,101
4Yue Cao$32,067
5Lei Xu$24,050
6Li Fu Liu$19,240
7Xue Yi Lin$15,232
8Zhi Yong Li$12,827
9Ji Wei Deng$11,223

Hellmuth spoke glowingly about China, and the tournament itself, but he was a bit upset about how he busted:

With the arrival of the network, which offers 30 different types of games, including poker, and the presence of the WPT, perhaps poker is on the rise in mainland China.

For more, head on over to the WPT Blog.

BOOM Documentary: LOCKDOWN!

The highly-anticipated BOOM Documentary is only months away from release according to co-producer Jay Rosenkrantz, who updated the poker community about the film's progress in a blog post over the weekend.

Rosenkrantz said he is in editing lockdown, living in the editing room for a week to put the finishing touches on the long-awaited documentary. He added that the film isn't quite where it needs to be to meet the expectations it established in the first trailer, seen below:

Said Rosenktantz, "It's important to understand that we (and I mean we as a poker community, as enthusiasts of the game, of people who experienced the crazy thrills and spills of the past 10 years in this wild world) only have one shot to have a movie we can love and share that truly captures the spirit of what it was like to be a part of the online poker boom in the 2000s. The road to that movie may have been long and circuitous, but your continued support and enthusiasm for this project has really been a major driving force in getting us to the finish line with something we are confident that we will all be proud of."

Rosekrantz is co-producing the documentary with former high-stakes poker pro Taylor Caby. The feature-length film, directed by Ryan Firpo, captures the growth of poker during the "boom" of the Chris Moneymaker era, and then the trials and tribulations of Black Friday. The film includes interviews with several poker pros who have long been involved with the game.

Read Rosenkrantz's full blog at

PokerStars Partners with Casino Gran Madrid

PokerStars has reportedly inked a deal with the Casino Gran Madrid in Spain, Azar Plus reports. There is a plan in place for a complete makeover in the poker room starting in early 2013, which will enhance the live poker tournament experience.

The Casino Gran Madrid will join the Hippodrome in London’s West End, the Circus Groupe in Belgium, and the Grand Waldo in Macau as members of PokerStars’ land-based casino partners. Just last week, rumors began circulating that PokerStars is also interested in purchasing the Atlantic Club Casino in New Jersey, which would potentially assist them in returning fully to the U.S. market.

In Spain, PokerStars dominates online gaming, making up approximately 70 percent of the market share. The Casino Gran Madrid, located 18 miles outside of the capital city, is the largest casino in Spain.

For more, head on over to

Hollywood Stars Raise for Charity

In an exclusive, online-only event, will attempt to raise $25,000 for charity. Celebrities like Dennis Quaid, Mekhi Phifer, James Woods, Adrian Paul, and Quinton Aaron will compete for the charity of their choosing using the Facebook application.

Fans will be able to watch the celebrities play using the “Celebrity Spectator Mode.” You can also chat with them using this feature and watch as they compete against their celebrity opponents. Fans can also get in on the action themselves, competing with their favorite Hollywood stars for prize packages including trips to star-studded events.

Woods, a former winner of this event, earned $10,000 for his charity in November. According to, the event drew thousands of virtual spectators.

“I always enjoy a good game of poker – but this tournament took it to a whole different level,” Woods told the site. “Competing with so many celebrity friends, connecting with fans worldwide and raising funds for a worthwhile charity was nothing short of amazing.”

The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. PST. Find out more here.

EPT Prague Recap

The European Poker Tour stop in Prague wrapped up over the weekend. PokerNews' Sarah Grant took a look back at the highlights from the week.

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