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Poker News | World Poker News

Federated Sports and Gaming Announces New Executive Website Editor

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Federated Sports and Gaming (FS+G) has recently announced that author and poker player Michael Craig has been hired as executive editor of the website supporting their new professional poker league.

Michael Craig's new role

Being one of poker’s most world-renowned authors, Craig’s books The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time and Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition, have sold thousands of copies in several different languages, bringing him world acclaim. Craig has also proven he can hold his own in the live poker arena when he leaves the keyboard behind for a spin on the green felt. Not only has he made three final table appearances at the World Series of Poker, but added a runner-up finish in the Razz event in 2009 to his long list of accomplishments.
“I’m thrilled to have a platform to leverage all of my poker knowledge and writing and bring it to a new level and even wider audience,” said Craig. “The poker world is long overdue for its own professional league, and I’m honored to be part of the team launching what I believe is the future of the game.”

When the announcement came, Annie Duke, Commissioner of the league commented, “Michael’s reputation and distinguished background as a serious and highly-regarded writer made him a perfect fit for our company and league.” Welcoming Craig, she added, “He shares our commitment to celebrating the best live tournament players and we welcome Michael to the team.”

FS+G debuts in August

The FS+G new professional poker league will debut August 5th with events running through August 12th at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The highlight of this inaugural week of events will be the first of the poker league’s four rake-free $20,000 buy-in Main Event tournaments, with $2,600,000 in Added Prize Money Guaranteed for the four Main Events in the first year. Each stop on the tournament trail will start with a Pro-Am event, move on to a charity tournament and end with a League Main Event.  The first season of the professional poker league will culminate on February 13, 2012, when the 27 players with the highest earnings during the regular season meet to face-off in a championship $1 Million FreeRoll event.

The league is a venue for top players

When the league was announced, Annie Duke described the league as providing something currently lacking on the tourney circuit, namely, a venue for top players to compete directly against one another minus the presence of amateurs. "This is the one piece that's kind of missing from the poker landscape right now," said Duke, describing the league as providing a unique opportunity "for the best players in the world to compete against the best players in the world."

The involvement of the highly respected former WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack as a co-founder and Chairman of FS+G was enough to intrigue many professional poker players. Add Annie Duke as League Commissioner and the new league seemed destined for success. In spite of the high regard for Pollack and Duke, some poker players voiced their dislike of the league's intention to only count live tournament successes when determining which players would qualify for league membership. Qualification for membership in the Federated poker league is based on an individual player's adjusted lifetime earnings in qualifying tournaments; the number of major poker titles he or she has won; and the number of cashes and amount earned since 2008 - well before the withdrawal of the three major online poker sites from the US market.

Another concern was whether the poker pros would want to even play in the FS+G events due to so many other competing tournaments with softer fields. The fact that 218 of the world’s best live tournament players have qualified for the league thus far, shows that the pros are indeed interested in this new poker league and all it has to offer.

FS+G could benefit from Black Friday

Although there are few upsides to the April 15th U.S. Department of Justice's indictment/civil complaint against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and UB; the FS+G series could benefit from the events of Black Friday. Immediately after the DOJ took action, Full Tilt Poker cancelled their Onyx Cup series which could have drawn both professional players and fans away from FS+G events. Along with the Onyx Cup being pulled, several site-sponsored poker shows in the U.S. such as The PokerStars Big Game and PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge were also scratched, which could leave a void and draw both professional poker players and fans to the FS+G tournament series.

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