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The Nightly Turbo: Online Poker in Illinois, Sam Trickett Enters $125K Premier League

Sam Trickett

Miss any of the day's top poker stories? You've come to the right place. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're bringing you another U.S. state interested in legalizing online poker, Sam Trickett entering the PartyPoker Premier League, and more.

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Online Poker in Illinois?

On Wednesday, an Illinois Senate committee approved a revised bill that intends to legalize online gambling and expand the state's brick-and-mortar casino offerings.

Sen. Terry Link, the sponsor of Senate Bill 1739, said that online gambling could generate about $150 million a year, and that several land-based gambling offerings could bring in another $400 million to $1 billion. The bill calls for the number of physical gambling locations to increase from 10 to 23.

The measure also includes text regarding a "bad actor" clause that would prohibit companies that accepted real-money bets in violation of U.S. law in the past 10 years. This would exclude companies like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker from entering the market.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has shot down attempts at online gambling in the past, but in his budget proposal to lawmakers Wednesday, Quinn proposed new ways in which gambling could help the state. Quinn suggested that money from new Illinois casinos could help pay for schools and the state's nearly $100 billion in pension debt.

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware were the first states to legalize online poker in the U.S., and now others are looking to follow. California, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Illinois are showing an interest in the market.

The full Illinois bill can be found here.

Trickett Enters Premier League

On Thursday, Europe's all-time winning tournament player added his name to the list of superstars playing in the PartyPoker Premier League VI from March 17 through 23. Sam Trickett, who recently won the $250,000 Challenge at the 2013 Aussie Millions, will be putting up the $125,000 buy-in for the televised event at Aspers Casino in London.

“It’s an incredibly challenging format that is completely unique and different to all other tournaments but I’m going to have a blast,” Trickett told the PartyPoker Blog.

Trickett has become a worldwide poker star, thanks to a number of impressive tournament results over the past two years. In January 2011, he won the $100,000 buy-in High Roller event at the Aussie Millions for $1.5 million and followed that up a few days later with a second-place result in the $250,000 Aussie Millions Super High Roller.

In November 2011, Trickett won the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event in Cannes for $1.3 million. He then placed second at the World Series of Poker $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, earning $10.1 million to make him Europe's all-time money winner in tournaments with $19,581,679. He is second on the all-time worldwide money list behind Antonio Esfandiari, who will be playing in the Premier League event for the first time this month.

Also participating in Premier League VI will be Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Scott Seiver, Phil Laak, Tony G, Daniel Cates, Luke Schwartz, Jonathan Duhamel, Marvin Rettenmaier, Dan Shak and Jennifer Tilly. There are still three spots open on the 16-player lineup.

The PartyPoker Blog has more.

UKIPT London

PokerStars qualifier Luke Bird finished atop the Day 1b leaderboard of the UKIPT Main Event at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London. The second of three Day 1 starting flights had 414 entries, but less than 100 advanced to Day 2.

Bird, who works in the travel industry, doubled up early in the day after he turned a straight flush against opponent Khalick Mohanngee who was all-in with jacks. He continued to heighten his stack and ended the day with 196,800 – 900 chips behind Day 1a chip leader Ben Jackson.

Thomas Hall wasn’t far behind, ending the day with 181,600. Hall is currently in the running for Season 3 UKIPT Player of the Year and could improve his chances if good run continues in London.

Other players advancing comfortably on Day 1b were David Vamplew (99,800), Andrew Teng (119,200), and William Tann (78,300). They'll be joined by notables Kevin MacPhee, Kari Mahrenholz and PokerStars Team Online's Dale Philip on Friday.

The newest Team PokerStars Pro, Leo Margets, busted late in the day, along with Luke Schwartz, Steve O’Dwyer, Martin Jacobsen, Richard Ashby, and John Duthie, who busted on the very first hand when his {A-}{K-} failed to improve against an opponent's aces..

End of Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts

1Luke Bird196,800
2Thomas Hall181,600
3Daniel Rudd161,500
4Patryk Slusarek159,100
5Paul Kerr150,000
6Gabriel Carter132,300
7Nils Hedin131,600
8Andrew Teng119,300
9Simon Trowse114,000
10Ashley Thompson112,900

The EPT London Main Event begins March 10 and PokerNews will be providing live coverage from the Grosvenor Victoria Casino. The £5,250 championship event will conclude when a champion is crowned on Saturday, March 16.

Until then, follow the PokerStars Blog for live coverage of the PokerStars European Poker Tour London Poker Festival.

First Poker Hand Dealt in Maryland Casino

Tuesday night marked the debut of Maryland’s first table games, including the first hand of poker dealt inside a casino in the state. The Hollywood Casino Perryville opened its doors to local media, invited guests and representatives of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to participate in the unveiling of the casino’s 20 table games.

About 100 people were invited to Tuesday’s event to play craps, roulette, blackjack, and various forms of poker. Portions of the proceeds were donated to charity groups like Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, the Cecil County Help Center and the Cecil College Foundation.

Last November, Maryland voters passed Question 7, or the Gaming Expansion Question, legalizing table games like poker in the state’s casinos. The games had to be observed in operation by the commission before they could be approved to open to the public on Thursday.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the approval from the Maryland Lottery and Control Agency came at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday after announcing that Director Stephen Martino had signed the casinos license, allowing games to open to the public.

"Hollywood Casino Perryville is going live with Table Games RIGHT NOW!" the casino posted on Facebook shortly after the approval. "There's even more GREAT news, we're also 24-hours, 7days a week starting now!! Come in for your chance to play the hottest table games!! You don't want to miss this!!"

For more, check out the Baltimore Sun.

Watch the Third Largest Sunday Million Ever

On Sunday, PokerStars hosted the third largest Sunday Million ever as more than 49,000 players generated a prize pool of $9,857,400. In case you haven't seen the results, we won't post any spoilers, because you can watch all of the final table highlights below courtesy of

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