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Poker News | World Poker News

Poker News Nuggets 09/17: Phelps Plays Borgata, Funds Seized in AZ

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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

WSOP Europe:  When the World Series of Poker Europe gets going, it doesn’t waste any time. Event 1, the £2650 six-handed no-limit holdem tournament, got underway on September 14 with 244 players and a £610,000 prize pool. Two days later, it had a final table that boasted of names like Chris Bjorin and Andrew Pantling, but it was Phil Laak who came from behind, battled back from a deficit in heads-up action against Pantling, and won the title. His first WSOP bracelet came with £170,802 in prize money. By the time that happened, Event 2 was in the works, as the £5,250 pot-limit Omaha tournament drew 120 players, which made for a £600,000 prize pool. The second day was in motion with players heading through the money bubble and on toward the final table, when lo and behold Event 3 got started. The £1,075 NLHE event launched the first of its three starting days, and the whirlwind WSOPE was in full swing.

APPT Auckland:  The PokerStars-sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour was in the midst of its fourth season with the most recent stop in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Skycity Casino hosted that third stop on the tour. The NZD$3,250 buy-in NLHE tournament drew a total of 218 players over the two starting days, and that morphed into a NZD$654,000 prize pool. When the event played down to the money, the top 24 players looked to get paid, and the winner was set to take home NZD$170,000. Day 2 started with only 96 players and thinned the field to 28, so Day 3 was prepared to burst that money bubble.

Who’s Playing

  As the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) deals with members of Congress throughout the year in its efforts to legalize and regulate online poker, the lobbyists get a feel for who they’re dealing with. The PPA then rates them based on several criteria: co-sponsorship of pro-poker legislation, votes for or against said legislation in committees or on the floor, letters sent to defend the rights of poker players, and public statements made on the issue. Some of those who earned an A grade included Linda Sanchez, John Campbell, and Adam Schiff of CA, Alan Grayson of FL, Luis Gutierrez and Judy Biggert of IL, John Conyers of MI, William Clay and Russ Carnahan of MO, Tom Udall of NM, Peter King and Anthony Weiner of NY, Joe Sestak of PA, Joe Barton and Ron Paul of TX, and Jim McDermott of WA. Only a few received A+ grades, and they were Barney Frank of MA, Robert Menendez of NJ, Shelley Berkley of NV, and Steve Cohen of TN. To find out how all of the Senators and Representatives ranked, visit the site.

Michael Phelps:  The Olympic gold medal swimmer hasn’t been in the news as much of late, but it doesn’t make Michael Phelps any less recognizable when he sits at a poker table. Recently, he made another of several trips to the Borgata  in Atlantic City, where he plopped down $2,150 to play in the heads-up double-elimination tournament that is part of the Borgata Poker Open. Though he didn’t run deep in the event, he admitted he may try his hand at the $1500 NLHE tournament this week or even the World Poker Tour Main Event that begins on Saturday. Since training for the 2011 World Championships in China begins soon and swimming will soon be the sole focus of Phelps’ life, he decided to play some poker during his time off. He told a writer at Borgata, “I really need to get back to training and start doing my real profession and stay out of these guys’ world.” But speaking for poker, his presence is more than welcome at the tables.

Where They’re Playing

  The U.S. Department of Justice is at it again. Goldwater Bank in Arizona is one of thousands in America that has processed online gaming transactions and paid customers the money they’re owed. But the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York deemed those funds to be complicit in money laundering, and since Goldwater Bank was one of the many recipients of TARP funds, the DoJ has ordered those gaming funds seized, and the bank agreed to comply. The funds in question were processed through Allied Wallet and Allied Systems between January and May of 2009, and the total of more than $13 million was traced back to PokerStars. Owner of the payment processing companies, Ahmad Khawaja, agreed to the money seizure for fear of further prosecution. Goldwater Bank also forfeited more than $733K, which was reportedly the fees it received to process the transactions.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

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