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Poker News | World Poker News

Splashing the Pot – Las Vegas Loses Money, FBI Targets Full Tilt Users , Poker Pros Play Celebrity Tourney, Freerolls…More

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Splashing the Pot captures the foam created by the disturbance and turbulence of action, action, action, and is filled with tidbits above and beyond the victories and beats and adds a little spice to the game of poker.

Las Vegas Casinos Lose Money for Only Second Time in History

For only the second time in history Las Vegas casinos didn’t make any money.  In fact, they lost a lot.  The 260 major casinos in Nevada posted a loss of $6.7 billion dollars for the fiscal year of 2009, with $4.1 billion of that coming from casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. 

The most predictable reason for this loss is the downturn in the economy, but there are also some other reasons attributed to the loss.  More and more states, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia are now allowing table games, while a number of other states may also be close to allowing gambling.  As full-service casinos (meaning the full array of table games, including poker) continue to pop up on the east coast, less and less people will travel to Las Vegas.

The only spot where there was an improvement was in the sales of alcohol, which saw an increase of 2.5%.  After all, the casino executives had to drown their sorrows somehow.

FBI Questions Online Poker Players in Washington State, Full Tilt Pros/Owners in Violation?

While nobody has really ever been penalized for playing online poker in America, there always seems an underlying threat that it could happen.  That threat became reality this week when a handful of poker players in Washington State were questioned by the FBI about their role in online poker on the poker room Full Tilt.

It’s been assumed that the FBI targeted these players in Washington State, because Washington State is the only state in America that has laws in place that actually target individual players, meaning they could question them with the threat of charges if they didn’t cooperate. 

However, it seems the majority of these questions the players faced had to do with financial transactions with Full Tilt.  It seems that the FBI was more interesting in building a case between online gambling companies and the third parties they use to facilitate financial interactions.

Others suggested that the FBI is getting a head-start on gearing up for the regulations that would be set in place if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act does indeed become law, which it is scheduled to do in June of 2010. 

Additionally, many in the poker world have wondered if the highly publicized owners of Full Tilt Poker living in the United States (Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, among others) are going to be questioned soon for their role in the popular poker room.   Many feel that the FBI would have a case against these players simply because they live in the United States and own a portion on an online gambling room, which is technically illegal.   To date this has yet to happen, but it could only be a matter of time.

Poker Pros Enjoy Spotlight with Hollywood Stars at World Poker Tour’s Celebrity Invitational

This past week the best poker players and the biggest stars in Hollywood got together for the World Poker Tour’s Celebrity Invitational.  While it sometimes appears that poker players are in their own little world, they can get excited when they are surrounded by stars.

Professional Yuval “Yuvee04” Bronshtein showed his excitement on Twitter when he tweeted, “Just jumped in the celeb tourney. Jenny McCarthy and Toto Leonidas at my table. Pretty fun last few days for me!”

Other professional showed that they at least knew they were sitting next to an actor even if they didn’t know their names, when Matthew Glantz tweeted, “Dr Hunt from Grey's Anatomy [actor Kevin McKidd] and Carlton Banks from Bel Air [actor Antonio Ribero from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”] at the table now.”

Others were less impressed with the celebrities.  Before the event started Mike “The Mouth” Matusow tweeted, “About to relax for a bit before I bust all these celebrity idiots in the invitational tonight.”

The final table of the WPT Celebrity International has been determined, and will be played on March 3rd. 

2010 NAPT Concludes, LAPT Punta del Esta Down to Five Tables

Tom Marchese recovered from a nearly 2-to-1 chip deficit to become the 2010 North American Poker Tour’s Venetian main event Champion.  Second place finisher Sam Stein had controlled the action all the way to the heads-up portion, but a series of badly timed calls left him with second place money.  Over a series of about five hands Stein made huge calls on the river holding nothing but 4th best pair both times.  The second of those two hands eliminated him when Stein held nothing but a pair of two’s while Marchese tabled a set of tens.  Stein earned $522,306 for his efforts, while the champion walked away with $827,648.

In other live action, the Latin America Poker Tour stop in Punta del Esta is well into their main event, with five tables remaining as of this writing.  Local fan favorite Humberto “The Shark” Brenes is sitting in the middle of the pack, while PokerStars pros Jose Ignacio Barbero and Veronica Dabul are sitting a little better with top ten stacks.  The person lucky enough to be standing at the end of this event will walk away with $279,330.

PokerWorks Presents PokerStars Freeroll This Sunday

This coming Sunday PokerWorks brings you a freeroll on PokerStars at 6:30 pm ET.  The freeroll, a part of PokerWorks continuing series, has a generous prize pool of $2,000.  For a complete list of upcoming freerolls coming up on Pokerworks and to find out how to qualify please visit our Weekly Freeroll page.

*Read Billy Monroe's Blog*

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