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The Nightly Turbo: Another Federal Online Poker Bill in the U.S., More Scandal at Partouche

Nightly Turbo

Some new legislative news made poker headlines on Wednesday. We'll bring you those stories, plus the latest accusations regarding the owners of the Partouche Poker Tour, in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.

In Case You Missed It:

Season 5 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) began on Wednesday. Peter Woodworth led the way after Day 1a of ANZPT Perth.

Matt Giannetti won his second World Poker Tour title last week. The PokerNews Podcast crew caught up with Giannetti to discuss his success, his newborn, and more.

Digging through the PokerNews strategy archives can lead to buried treasure. This week, we found an old strategy article featuring Vinny Pahuja explaining how and when to turn your hand into a bluff.

World Poker Tour Baden kicked off on Tuesday. Check out the highlights from Day 1 in our WPT Baden recap.

What's the No. 1 secret to being a winning poker player? Nick Wealthall offers his advice in a series of training videos.

Federal Bill Back on the Table?

Efforts to legalize online poker at the federal level subsided late in 2012, but another federal bill could soon be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

During an interview with Jim Ralston of Ralston Reports on Tuesday, American Gaming Association Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf said that we may see a federal online poker bill reach Capitol Hill in the next few weeks. Fahrenkopf's comments came as a bit of a surprise after a federal effort spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stalled just two months ago.

"There's still an effort in the House," Fahrenkopf said. "Plus, I think the activity of a number of states — particularly Delaware where they authorized all forms of casino games — could (result in) the largest expansion of legal gaming in this country's history if states start to emulate what Delaware did."

Fahrenkopf believes Congressman Joe Barton will "probably" carry the federal bill again. Barton introduced federal measures during two legislative sessions in the past but failed to get the necessary support from Congress. Said Fahrenkopf, "I've talked to the congressman and he's doing a little spadework with the members. We'll just have to wait and see. It's a little early."

Check out Fahrenkopf's full interview with Ralston here (federal bill discussion begins five minutes in):

Christie Aims to Move Quickly on Internet Gambling

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he intends to quickly sign an Internet gambling bill if lawmakers make the appropriate changes to a measure presented to him earlier this month.

On Feb. 7, Christie filed a 31-page conditional veto on the bill, recommending a number of changes that need to be made before he can sign off on it. These recommendations include a tax increase from 10 to 15 percent, with part of the additional proceeds going to compulsive gambling programs, and a time limit of 10 years for the authorization of Internet gaming unless re-established by law.

During an appearance in Lavallette, NJ, Christie said he could sign the bill the same day the Legislature approved those changes, "depending on how my day is going." State legislators said last week that they are planning to vote on amendments to the bill on Feb. 26 before putting it back on Christie's desk for signature.

"There's no reason not to sign it quickly," Christie said Tuesday, according to

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, the chief sponsor of the bill, told PokerNews this month that he anticipates the launch of real-money online poker in New Jersey this fall. That would throw the state back into the race with Nevada and Delaware to become the first to offer regulated online poker in the U.S. has more.

Partouche Problems

The allegations continue to mount for French gaming and entertainment giant Groupe Partouche. Just weeks after a video released by Nordine Bouya showed incriminating evidence of cheating at the 2009 Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, French online news source Mediapart has reported that Partouche is now under investigation by French gaming regulator ARJEL for a separate issue.

According to the report, ARJEL is looking into 40 online poker accounts linked to Partouche family members which allegedly received money and entry fees for online poker tournaments. Mediapart claims it was given documents which reveal that one of the accounts belongs to Yhan Zenou, a relative of Partouche board member Katy Zenou. The documents show that Zenou deposited €175 into his account in 2011, and subsequently received more than €63,000 in cash and tournament entries from the site.

ARJEL regulations forbid employees — and their family members — from playing on the poker site they work for.

Groupe Partouche also faced scrutiny in 2012 when its founder and chairman, Patrick Partouche, reneged on a €5 million guaranteed prize pool for the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event when the tournament failed to come close to the guarantee. After being lambasted by many players and media members, Partouche finally agreed to meet the €5 million, but said it would be the last year of the event.

Read more at (use Google Translate if needed).

SirWatts Stays On Top

There wasn't much change atop the 2013 Global Poker Index Player of the Year rankings this week. Last week, Mike "SirWatts" Watson displaced Dan Shak as the frontrunner, and Watson held the top spot again this week ahead of Vladimir Troyanovskiy.

The only shakeup in the top 10 involved Shak and Tim Reilly, who swapped the sixth and fifth positions, respectively. Reilly added more points to his total after finishing second in the €10,000 High Roller at the European Poker Tour Deauville. That marks his only final table so far this year, but he has three other cashes to his name.

Landing directly on the top 10 bubble this week was reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Joe Serock, who already has two more WPT cashes in 2013 to go along with a third-place finish at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Serock took 14th place at the WPT Borgata Winter Open Main Event in January, and finished 14th again at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open earlier this month.

Others who moved up in the standings this week were Konstantin Puchkov (up 22 spots to No. 26), Matt Salsberg (up 175 spots to No. 43), Anton Wigg (up 62 stops to No. 51), and Danny Shiff (up 306 spots to No. 52).

Here's a look at the top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race:

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1Mike Watson342.96--
2Vladimir Troyanovskiy324.43--
3Bryn Kenney307.77--
4Ole Schemion290.11--
5Tim Reilly288.35+1
6Dan Shak284.75-1
7Igor Kurganov280.73--
8Michael Mizrachi275.10--
9Micah Raskin265.60--
10Mike Telker256.46--

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has a strong performance as calculated by the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.

For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to

More DeepStacks Events!

The DeepStacks Poker Tour has announced a new event for its second season. The 2013 Patriot Poker Classic will kick off Wednesday, March 27, at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The six-event series begins March 27 with a $300 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament with a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool, and culminates April 1 with the live-streamed final table of the $1,500 buy-in Main Event, which will be hosted right here on PokerNews. The Main Event features a $200,000 Guaranteed and will be hosted by DeepStacks Pros Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Tristan "Cre8ive" Wade and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

Here's a look at the complete schedule:

Date (Time)EventBuy-in
March 27 (11 a.m.)No-Limit Hold'em$300 ($30K Guaranteed)
March 27 (6 p.m.)No-Limit Hold'em$150
March 28 (11 a.m.)No-Limit Hold'em$400 ($40K Guaranteed)
March 28 (6 p.m.)No-Limit Hold'em$150
March 29 (11 a.m.)No-Limit Hold'em Main Event Day 1a$1,500 ($200K Guaranteed)
March 30 (11 a.m.)No-Limit Hold'em Main Event Day 1b$1,500 ($200K Guaranteed)
March 31 (12 p.m.)No-Limit Hold'em Main Event Day 2 
March 31 (2 p.m.)No-Limit Hold'em Bounty$250
April 1 (12 p.m.)No-Limit Hold'em Main Event Final Table 

For more, visit

A Tour of Perth

The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Perth Main Event kicked off on Wednesday. PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin showed off some of the key attractions of Western Australia's sunny capital.

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