Exciting news, poker fans. The World Series of Poker schedule was released on Thursday. But that wasn't the only story making headlines. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're bringing you the huge charitable donations made by the poker community, Tony G and Phil Laak joining the PartyPoker Premier League, and more.
In Case You Missed It:
There are 62 bracelet events on the 2013 World Series of Poker schedule, which was released on Thursday. Check out the details here at PokerNews.com.
The Global Poker Index removed two players from its ranking system this week. Find out why in our interview with GPI CEO Alex Dreyfus.
Kyle Julius recently finished runner-up in the PokerStars Sunday Million. He discussed that and more on the latest PokerNews Podcast.
Negreanu Exceeds Charity Goal
On Saturday, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu announced his plan to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization which assists cancer children in need.
Negreanu's initial goal was to raise $100,000 in seven days. However, as of Thursday evening, more than $158,000 had been donated to the organization, most of it from the pockets of the poker community. According to Negreanu's fundraising page, for every donation of $2,500 or more, four people will be selected at random to attend a dinner with him in Las Vegas, followed by a poker lesson and an evening with him at his newly renovated home.
In addition, he also matched every donation made — up to $50,000 total.
Some well-known poker pros have contributed to the great cause, including Mario Ho, Brian Hastings, Kara Scott, and Phil Ivey. Dan Shak vowed to contribute $25,000 on Tuesday, and held true to his word the next day.
Negreanu has already maxed out on his $50,000 pledge, but he's still looking for more contributions. To make a donation, visit Daniel Negreanu’s donation page.
Tony G and Phil Laak Heading to London
The lineup for the upcoming PartyPoker Premier League VI event in London is nearly half full after two more players threw their hats into the ring on Thursday. PartyPoker announced that Tony G and Phil Laak will join Daniel Negreanu, Scott Seiver, Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandari when the event kicks off at Aspers Casino in London on March 17.
The 16-player event is part of the World Poker Tour National Series London festivities and will award the winner a cash prize of $450,000.
Said Tony G, “I have played every season of the PartyPoker.com Premier League – I would never miss it as it is one of the best events in poker in my eyes and I am going for the win. I am very happy that Phil Hellmuth is back this season – it still wouldn’t surprise me if he pulls out once he knows I am in though as he said he never wanted to play poker with me again – can you blame him?”
Esfandiari is the only newcomer to the Premier League VI lineup thus far. Seiver made his debut last year and went on to win it, defeating top talents like Laak, Dan Cates, Sam Trickett and Patrik Antonius at the final table. Other previous Premier League winners are David Benyamine, Andy Black, JC Tran, Juha Helppi and Andy Frankenberger.
Laak entered the Premier League IV final table as the overwhelming chip leader but was unable to seal the deal, eventually succumbing in sixth place for $146,000. After finishing third last year, he's is ready to take another shot at a title: "Nothing better than getting together with the best of the best of degen central! Hello Premier League! It is that time of year! Let’s go!”
For more, check out the PartyPoker Blog.
Clash in Nevada
A new online gambling bill in Nevada is creating some tension between Gov. Brian Sandoval and state legislators.
On Wednesday, Assembly Bill 114 was referred to the Judiciary Committee, seeking to double online gambling license fees from $500,000 to $1,000,000 and the renewal fees from $250,000 to $500,000. It also contains language that would prohibit companies from receiving a license for 10 years if they took real-money bets in the U.S. after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006. That would include companies like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Sandoval is pushing to remove much of the text from the revised bill. "Governor Sandoval does not support the increased fee and will work to resolve this issue before the legislation is passed into law," Sandoval spokesperson Mary-Sarah Kinner said on Wednesday.
Last month, after Gov. Chris Christie showed his support of online gambling in New Jersey, Sandoval stressed to Nevada lawmakers that the state's online gambling be passed within 30 days. Sandoval said it is "critical" that Nevada move quickly on the bill now that other states are making progress on the issue.
Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
PokerStars Goes Live
PokerStars, the world’s leading online poker site, announced in December that it was teaming up with Casino Gran Madrid to build a PokerStars-branded poker room inside the casino. Well, the PokerStars LIVE room opened for business earlier this month, becoming the first brick-and-mortar poker room branded under the PokerStars name in Europe.
"The new poker room will house many live tournaments and special events," said Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor. "With its excellent poker offering and the innovative and comfortable facilities at Casino Grand Madrid, I believe that the PokerStars Madrid poker room will become a leading poker destination in Spain and across Europe.”
The new poker room accommodates more than 200 players with over 20 tables. The room hosts cash games and a regular schedule of live tournaments with a range of buy-ins including online satellites for live play. PokerStars Madrid will also host events like the Estrellas Poker Tour, as well as educational sessions and high roller events.
Deputy General Director at Casino Gran Madrid Paula Arriaga said: “The poker room, with an innovative interior design, has been created to take poker to a new level – this extra dimension will catch the interest of all national and international players. Our ambition is to create an amazing atmosphere to play poker, adapting the lighting, the seats and the audiovisual support to the needs of the poker player.”
Buy-ins for the daily tournaments range from €60 to €140. A daily tournament schedule can be found at PokerStarsMadrid.com.
Rousso's Aggressive Calls
The European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event came to a close last week. If you missed any of the live feed at PokerStars.tv, check out this crazy hand between Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso and Tim Reilly.