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Poker News | World Poker News

Poker News Nuggets 07/30: Gaming Giants Merge and Legends Gets Underway

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Poker News Nuggets are presented on PokerWorks each week to give readers a glance at some of the big news stories in and around the poker industry. From international poker tournaments to player prop bets, from political happenings to sponsorship deals, game enthusiasts can stay informed with these weekly tidbits of information.

What They’re Playing

Commerce Summer Tournament: One of the first opportunities for reasonably-priced live tournament poker action after the World Series of Poker was the Guaranteed Million Dollar Summer Tournament at Commerce Casino in the Los Angeles area. There were 3,300 players, many of whom entered on the various first flights and reentered after busting out. But the $2,200 buy-ins were still short of the $1 million prize pool, so Commerce added nearly $60K in overlay money to complete the pool. Ultimately, the last 135 players standing were paid, and it was on the final day of action that Rick Bakovic came out on top and took the first prize of $173,500.

Legends of Poker: It’s the time of year again that big tournament series get underway and produce grand endings. The Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino will offer a month’s worth of tournaments, everything from no-limit holdem tournaments to mixed games with buy-ins as low as $200, and it will all lead up to the $5,000 World Poker Tour Main Event and feature some significant IPPA events as well. Players will be traveling from all over the United States, as well as from other parts of the world, to sunny Southern California for the tournaments and the opportunity for a WPT title.

Who’s Playing

Bruce Buffer:
  It seems that after years of work put into his tournament poker game, the elusive victory has been claimed. Bruce Buffer, the official announcer of the MMA, won the Grand Slam of Poker Main Event at the Hustler Casino in Los Angeles. It was a $200K guarantee with a $225 buy-in, and after four starting days, there were 1,484 players. Buffer came out on top on July 27, grabbing his first major tournament title and the $75K that went with it.

PartyGaming and Bwin:  Two of the biggest online betting/gaming companies in the world have officially merged, and the news made business publications worldwide. After quite a few months of rumored talks, the merger was finally announced in the form of a reverse takeover that will find PartyGaming acquiring Bwin to become the world’s largest online gaming company on the publicly traded market. Bwin will still maintain more than 50 percent ownership. The value of the combined companies is set at approximately $1.76 billion, and the merger should be finalized just into the 2011 calendar year.

Orel Hershiser:  A lifetime of competition has made Orel Hershiser a legend in the game of baseball, but he has made quite the reputation as a poker player as well. Not only does the poker industry recognize him as a serious contender at any table, in addition to PokerStars naming him as a sponsored player, but the non-poker world knows of his abilities in the game as well. A recent New York Times interview questioned him about a variety of topics, but poker was one of them. His answer about his poker success? “It’s like pitching. It’s the same outline… And at 51 years old, competing on my rear end when my body is shutting down is not bad.”

Where They’re Playing

It was a long time coming. But after a hearing in the Financial Services Committee on July 21 and a mark-up session on July 28, Rep. Barney Frank’s piece of online gaming regulation has finally moved forward and passed Committee. The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, also known as H.R. 2267, added a number of amendments to enforce consumer protections and enhance the bill before it ultimately passed the Committee chaired by Frank himself. The vote was 41 - 22 and crossed party lines for its passage. Though many more changes could be in the works for the bill, it now has the ability to be presented to the House of Representatives for a vote.

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