The presents have been opened, champagne bottles have been emptied, and Antonio Esfandiari has survived two New Year's Eve parties. Now, it's time to get back to the daily grind here at PokerNews. In the first Nightly Turbo of 2013, we're covering a proposed Texas bill that would ban online poker, the nominations for the European Poker Awards, and more.
In Case You Missed It:
The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is set to kick off later this week. Chad Holloway takes an all-inclusive look at the first 10 years of the Main Event.
What can the poker world expect in 2013? Rich Ryan makes 10 bold predictions for the coming year.
Another year is in the books, and little progress was made in legalizing online poker in the U.S. Matthew Kredell examines in his 2012 Legislative Year in Review.
A number of 2012 Player of the Year awards are being handed out this week. Dan Sun received the honor from the Mid-States Poker Tour.
Texas Considers Online Poker Ban
The Texas Gaming Act of 2013 will be up for discussion once again when the state’s legislation reconvenes on Jan. 8, 2013.
Originally proposed in December 2012, the revised bill would regulate land-based poker rooms while banning online poker. The measure also prohibits electronic poker tables, which were supported in the earlier bill.
Sponsored by State Sen. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), the Texas Lottery Commission would get a new poker division that would permit licenses to existing pari-mutuel facilities, bingo halls and tribes. Tribes and pari-mutuels could offer poker around the clock, while bingo halls would be limited to having poker games only during normal hours of operation.
In the proposed bill, tournaments would have a suggested $100 max buy-in that would eliminate any major series from passing through the state. Also included are provisions for bad-beat and promotional jackpots.
According to the bill, operators would be taxed a mere maximum of 18 percent of gross revenues with a portion going to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to aid homeless and low-income residents of the state.
Having similar proposals in the past, Texas remains conservative to gambling interests despite the state lending its name to poker’s most popular game.
CalvinAyre.com has more.
Mad Marvin Leads European Poker Awards Nominations
The nominations for the 2013 European Poker Awards have been announced and the list is loaded with talented poker pros.
Marvin Rettenmaier, who already won the honor of 2012 European Global Poker Index Player of the Year, tops the list with nominations for Best Tournament Performance and Poker Personality of the Year.
Also receiving nods for various awards are Chris Moorman, Viktor Blom, Gus Hansen, Bertrand Grospellier, and Tony G.
Hosted by Kara Scott, who is also up for Poker Personality of the Year, the ceremony will take place at the Elysee Biarritz in Paris on Jan. 22, 2013 as part of the Euro Finals of Poker Series in the French capital. The ceremony will be sponsored by the Global Poker Index, which partnered with the European Poker Awards in the latter half of 2012.
The winners will be selected by a panel chaired by Nic Szeremeta, creator of the event. The panel will also include Stephan Gollubits, Jérôme Schmidt, Barry Carter, Joe Beevers, Alexandre Dreyfus, Michael Michelin and Jesse May.
The full list of nominations is as follows:
Rookie of the Year - Gaëlle Baumann, Lucille Cailly, Aubin Cazals, Ole Schemion
Best Tournament Performance - Davidi Kitai, Rocco Palumbo, Marvin Rettenmaier, Ole Schemion, Sam Trickett
Europe's Leading Lady - Gaëlle Baumann, Liv Boeree, Lucille Cailly, Elisabeth Hille
Internet Player of the Year - Viktor Blom, Jens Kyllönen, Chris Moorman, Ilari Sahamies
Poker Staff Person of the Year - Dave Brannan, Nicolas Fraioli, Neil Johnson, Simon Trumper
Rob Gardner Memorial Award for the Poker Personality of the Year -
Neil Channing, Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier, Tony Guoga, Gus Hansen, Marvin Rettenmaier, Kara Scott
Best European Event of the Year - EPT Barcelona, Irish Poker Open, Prague Poker Festival, WSOPE Cannes
Read more about the event at GlobalPokerIndex.com.
PokerStars Launches Zoom Poker Tournaments
Zoom Poker tournaments are the new craze at PokerStars after the world's leading online poker room launched a beta test of the new format on New Year’s Day.
Similar to Full Tilt Poker's Rush Poker tables, Zoom Poker is a fast-paced poker format that allows players to play hundreds of hands per hour and (potentially) increase profits. The game plays exactly the same way as any other online cash game except for one huge difference — as soon as you fold, you are removed from the table you were seated at and placed at a new table with different players. You can fold at any point when you are facing a bet, or click "Fast Fold" to fold even when it is not your turn to act.
While Zoom tournaments are still in the developmental stage, the events offered since New Year’s Day proved to be a hit among players. As many as 12 real-money Zoom Poker tournaments are on the daily schedule throughout this week. All of them can be found in the Micro stakes tab in the PokerStars lobby.
Zoom Poker has been very popular since it launched last spring. Said Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu: “Zoom Poker offers people a different way to play poker. Recreational players, who want more constant action, will be able to fold instantly and wait for better hands, while pro grinders will be able to get in hundreds of more hands an hour and win more. On top of all that, it’s just so much fun to play!”
More Records in Macau
Macau's casinos set more records in 2012, raking in $38 billion in gambling revenue — a 13.5 percent increase over 2011 ($33 million).
The number was boosted by a monthly revenue growth of 19.6 percent in December, a new record for the Chinese gambling mecca. According to the Macau government, the $3.43 million generated in December was the highest ever.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the $38 billion yearly figure is higher than the $35.64 billion collected by the entire U.S. commercial casino industry in 2011. Last year, Macau pulled in about 5.5 times the gaming revenue of Las Vegas.
Macau has been the home to many of poker's biggest cash games and tournaments over the past two years. Top pros like Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen and Sam Trickett have been regulars at the Poker King Club, playing cash games as high as HKD $30,000/$60,000 (USD $3,850/$7,700). In August 2012, Stanley Choi won the biggest-ever buy-in tournament in Asia, the $260,000 buy-in Macau High Stakes Challenge, for $6.5 million.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has more.
PPC at Aruba
In May, the DeepStacks Poker Tour will make its first trip outside the U.S. for the 2013 DeepStacks Poker Tour Players Poker Championship at Aruba. The $2,500 Main Event will run from May 6 through 9 and boasts a $200,000 guarantee.
On Wednesday, the PPC unveiled a promo for the event: