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The Nightly Turbo: PokerStars Partners with Football Club, Matros Dissects Debt Ceiling

Matt Matros

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 PokerStars' partnership with a French football club, Matt Matros' unique take on the U.S. debt ceiling, and more.

In Case You Missed It:

New Betfair Poker made its debut on the iPoker Network on Tuesday. What does the site have in store for players? We spoke with head of Betfair Poker Matt Mowlam to find out.

The Aussie Millions Poker Championship will have a special guest this week. Read about Nate Silver's upcoming trip to the Crown Casino.

Rick Mask, also known as "Rask," is a poker instructor at In a new video series, Mask helps a fellow CardRunners member to find leaks in his cash game.

The 2013 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event ended late Monday night. Read about Jeff Fielder's path to victory in our WSOP Circuit recap.

Poker and Football

PokerStars has inked a sponsorship deal with Olympique Lyonnais, one of the top football clubs in France.

The deal will see host special online tournaments for fans of the French Ligue 1 football club, with winners receiving VIP access to Olympique Lyonnais matches and merchandise signed by players.

PokerStars will also provide advertising at the Stade de Gerland, home stadium of Olympique Lyonnais, and at the club's television network.

“During the season, many more activities will take place between PokerStars and Olympique Lyonnais,” PokerStars spokesman Mark Stuart said in a press release.

Olympique Lyonnais was formed in 1899 and didn't win its first Ligue 1 championship until 2002. However, that title ignited a record-breaking streak of seven successive titles. Naturally, the club is a good fit for the world's leading online poker site.

Poker Terms IRL: Matt Matros on the Debt Ceiling

Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Matt Matros has combined his expertise in poker with his interest in politics to create an interesting piece for CNN Money, breaking down the U.S. debt ceiling using poker terms.

Matros, a Yale University graduate, poker pro, and esteemed author, wrote a piece called Debt ceiling poker: The worst bluffers and the biggest ‘nits.’ Using a unique style to describe his thoughts on the matter, Matros uses poker terms such as "bluff" and "nit" to explain the recent actions taken by the government.

In the article, the "worst bluff" is given to House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the House Republicans for threatening to not raise the debt ceiling.

Matros goes on to describe Mitch McConnell, senior Republican of the Senate, as the "most adept at the ‘float,’' which explains how McConnell made a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. According to Matros, McConnell's plan appeared as a big win for Obama with tax hikes on the rich and no spending cuts, but in reality, he is using the deal to prolong the debate into 2013, allowing Republicans time to “gauge public reaction before solidifying their stance.”

Matros called Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the "best railbird," someone who is on the sidelines ready to give his input on the game but not acting as the player taking the risks.

He even went as far as to describe President Barack Obama as the "biggest nit," adding him to the rest of the politicians who avoid solutions to “remain safe within party lines.”

With more than 100 comments on this piece as of press time, it is clear Matros created a solid debate. More can be read at

PokerStars TCOOP Winners

The PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) is nearing the midway point after four more champions were crowned on Monday. Twenty-three of the 50 events are in the books, with more than $9 million handed out to players thus far.

Monday's biggest winner was Mexico's "sanpri," who earned nearly $74,000 after a three-way chop in Event #23, a $215 no-limit hold'em hyper-turbo. "Comeback2008" and "kokynho" each locked up at least $68,000 as part of the deal. The event lasted 2 hours and 24 minutes.

With a final table appearance in Event #20, Denmark's "Tjepan" took the lead on the TCOOP leaderboard. His fourth-place finish in that event moved him past Allan "Yaba" Drake and into the top spot. The TCOOP leaderboard winner will earn a Champion’s Trophy and a 2014 PCA prize package worth $16,500.

Here's a look at the results from Monday:

Event #20: Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max ($125k Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Event #21: No-Limit Hold'em Four-Max ($75k Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Event #22: Omaha Hi/Lo ($50k Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
2Matt "Plattsburgh" Vengrin$10,124*
5Oleg A2222$4,260

*Denotes three-way deal

Event #23: No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max ($400k Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

*Denotes three-way deal

For a full look at every tournament, check out the recaps in the PokerStars Blog.

Vakili Wins Aussie Millions Event #2

Event #2 of the Aussie Millions Poker Championship came to a close Tuesday when Sam Vakili took down the $1,100 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event for $53,600.

Vakili faced an interesting situation at the final table as six short-stacked opponents busted within just 45 minutes of play. That left him playing heads-up against John Messina with the blinds starting at 12,000/24,000.

Sam Vakili – 1,300,000 (54 big blinds)
John Messina – 1,025,000 (42 big blinds)

According to the Aussie Millions Live Reports, Vakili “kept his pots small, value-bet with the goods and made plenty of big lay-downs when it appeared that the luck was going the way of Messina.”

Following a dominant performance, Vakili took the title and the prize money to improve his career earnings to just over $100,000. Messina earned $37,300 for his runner-up finish.

Final Table Results

1Sam Valiki$53,600

2John Messina$37,300

3Trung Tran$29,125
4Nick Nicolaou$22,125

5Simon Twaites$17,440

6Vadmin Pinsky$13,950

7Minh Nguyen$10,500
8Graeme Putt$7,000

PokerNews' live coverage of the 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championships will begin on Jan. 27 with the $10,000 buy-in Main Event. More information on Event #2 and other preliminary events can be found at the Aussie Millions Live Reporting page.

Jarzabek's Back-to-Back Run

On Jan. 20, Casey "bigdogpckt5s" Jarzabek made the final table of the PokerStars Sunday Million for the second consecutive week. Jarzabek is on the heater of a lifetime, having also won the PokerStars Super Tuesday event earlier this month. How is he doing it? You might be able to pick up some tips in the Sunday Million highlight show — with hole cards — provided by

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