The Nightly Turbo: Poker Pro Killed in Brazil Fire, PPA Calls for Action in New Jersey
Miss any of the day's biggest poker stories? You've come to the right place. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're covering a poker player killed in a horrific fire in Brazil, the Poker Player's Alliance calling for action on the Internet gambling bill in New Jersey, and more.
In Case You Missed It:
Patrik Antonius had the biggest stack after Day 1c of the Aussie Millions Main Event. Phil Ivey, Joe Hachem and other big names also advanced to Day 2.
The 2013 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open resumed Monday with Day 1b. Mark Ketteringham led the way, but poker pros Jordan Young, Jonathan Little and Jamie Kerstetter also finished the day with big stacks.
Alex "awesemo" Baker is a poker instructor at CardRunners. In his latest miniseries called "The Quickie," Baker plays four tables of $100NL full-ring Zoom poker on PokerStars and discusses his thoughts.
Poker Pro Tom Jeffrey Dies in Brazil Fire
Early Sunday morning at around 2:30 a.m., a pyrotechnics show inside a Santa Maria, Brazil nightclub ignited a fire that killed more than 200 people and injured hundreds more.
The tragedy made worldwide headlines and has since touched the poker community. According to TwoPlusTwo poster “PokerMikie,” his friend and online poker pro Tom Jeffrey was present at the club and did not escape. Jeffrey was among one of the 231 people who died at the horrific scene.
Like many other online poker pros based in the U.S., Jeffrey moved out of the States after the three major poker rooms were force to cease operations by the Department of Justice, and relocated to Brazil to continue playing poker online.
Members of the poker community have offered heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Jeffrey after learning the terrible news.
More on the fire in Brazil can be found at CNN.com.
PPA Lobbies Gov. Chris Christie
Time is running out for Gov. Chris Christie to act on a New Jersey Internet gambling bill, and the Poker Players Alliance is now asking its members to urge Christie to sign the bill into law before the Feb. 4 deadline.
“The New Jersey legislature voted in near unanimity to revive the state’s gaming economy by making New Jersey an epicenter for online gaming and poker,” the PPA said in a statement on Monday.
“Thousands of New Jersey residents have contacted the Governor urging him to sign the bill into law,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. “In addition to providing New Jersey poker players with a safe and regulated online poker market, this important legislation will add millions in state revenue and thousands of jobs to the state. New Jersey has the opportunity to be a leader in a vibrant and thriving 21st Century industry, and we hope Governor Christie recognizes the many benefits this bill will bring to this state and its citizens.”
Christie has until Feb. 4 to sign, veto, or allow the legislation to go through without action. Christie vetoed a similar bill in 2011 and remains undecided on the issue. In an interview with a New Jersey radio station last week, Christie expressed his concerns about online gambling driving traffic away from Atlantic City, as well as the potential creation of a new generation of problem gamblers.
New Jersey Sen. Ray Lesniak, the main sponsor of the bill, responded to Christie's comments by telling PokerNews that the governor is "clueless" about online gambling. “He thinks he knows better than all the Atlantic City casinos, because they know it will help their bottom line and keep their jobs and money going," Lesniak said. "There are economic studies that this will generate business and doesn't drive traffic away.”
Read the full PPA statement about New Jersey at theppa.org.
Atlantic Club Files Layoff Notice
While New Jersey awaits the next move by Gov. Chris Christie, the Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City has warned employees that they may lose their jobs by the end of March. On Monday, the casino filed a mass-layoff notice with the New Jersey Department of Labor, a move which the company said is a legal formality connected to the property's pending sale to Rational Group, the parent company of online poker giants PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Earlier this month, Rational Group agreed to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino for an undisclosed amount, potentially paving the way for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to re-enter the U.S. The transaction is pending a grant of an Interim Casino Authorization by the relevant New Jersey authorities, according to Eric Hollreiser, Rational Group's head of corporate communication.
But according to a PokerNews source, the deal between Rational Group and the Atlantic Club may be contingent on Christie's allowing the pending Internet gambling bill to pass.
Following the agreement with Rational Group, Atlantic Club has warned that 1,729 workers may lose their jobs effective March 29. Michael Frawley, Atlantic Club’s chief operating officer, said the layoff notices are required by New Jersey law.
“While there is no anticipation of layoffs or cessation of operations, as our company moves through this transaction process, the issuance of notices under WARN and N.J. WARN is a necessary legal requirement," Frawley said in a statement on Monday.
Press of Atlantic City has more.
Multi-Prize Pool Poker Grows
Earlier this month, U.K. PokerNews editor Matthew Pitt was at the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club for the debut of Multi-Prize Pool Poker (MPP), a format created by poker pro Roberto Romanello. The inaugural event attracted 177 players and generated a prize pool of £10,400 — more than double the £5,000 guarantee.
Romanello trademarked Multi-Prize Pool poker, which offers three buy-in levels and three separate prize pools, allowing low-stakes players to compete with the higher-stakes pros, and vice versa.
As explained by Pitt, "Each MPP tournament offers three buy-in levels, which creates three prize pools. If the buy-ins were £25/£50/£100, players could choose to buy into Prize Pool 1, Prize Pool 2, or Prize Pool 3. In this example, Prize Pool 1 is the default prize pool, and the first £25 from any buy-in goes into this prize pool. Any player buying into Prize Pool 2 (£50) will first have £25 invested in Prize Pool 1 and £25 invested in Prize Pool 2. Finally, any player buying into Prize Pool 3 will have £25 invested in the first prize pool, £25 in the second prize pool, and £50 invested in Prize Pool 3."
After a successful launch of MPP in early January, Dusk Till Dawn hosted a second MPP tournament over the weekend, this time with increased buy-in options. Players were given the choice to buy in for £50, £100, or £200. The event attracted 248 players to create a prize pool of £29,500, just £500 shy of the £30,000 guarantee.
Mickey Wernick, who bought into Prize Pool 3 (£200 to enter), scooped all three first-place prizes to collect £8,254.99. Wernick was full of praise for MPP poker, calling it “revolutionary,” and “the best thing to ever happen to live tournament poker.”
Final table results and more can be found at UK PokerNews.
Online Poker Traffic
Full Tilt Poker no longer sits alone in second place in PokerScout's Online Poker Traffic Rankings. FTP's real-money cash-game traffic has been steadily declining since early January, and this week FTP is neck-and-neck with PartyPoker, which received a jolt in traffic totals last week after an undercount of Omaha players was corrected. Promotions may lead to a numbers change in the short term with FTP’s Rush Week promotion under way and PartyPoker bringing back World Domination in February.
The iPoker Network saw a rise of 3 percent after Betfair joined the network, but it wasn't enough to move from the fourth place spot. Betfair migrated to iPoker last week and joined Bet365, Paddy Power, Poker770, Titan Poker, William Hill, Winner Poker, and Everest Poker on the network.
Overall, worldwide traffic fell 3 percent last week, marking a 5 percent decrease from this time last year. Here's a look at the top 10 in the PokerScout rankings as of Tuesday:
|Rank||Site||7-Day Average (Real-money ring players)|
|2||Full Tilt Poker||3,750|
For a full look at the traffic report, check out PokerScout.com.
Party at the Aussie Millions
Crown Casino recently hosted an impressive party at Lumia to celebrate the launch of the Aussie Millions Main Event. PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin was there to check out the madness.