Despite Group Bernard Tapie's lawyer Behnam Dayanim's statement that Mike Matusow and 18 other poker pros owe Full Tilt Poker a total of $16.5 million, Matusow denies he's in debt and claims he has no idea why he's on the list. The District of Columbia Council has ended the debates about online gambling legalization by voting 10-2 to repeal the legislation. With the U.S. Presidential election still nine months away, the campaign is only growing stronger – which candidate is best for the poker community? Poker pro Dan O'Brien has an answer. Find all this and more in the latest edition of PokerWorks' Inside Shuffle.
Matusow Denies He Owes Full Tilt Money
Last week Group Bernard Tapie’s (GBT) (a company which is currently in the process of acquiring Full Tilt Poker), attorney Behnam Dayanim made an announcement claiming that a number of poker pros owe Full Tilt money and gave out a number of $10 to $20 million and a couple of names. Recently Dayanim specified the names and the numbers – according to him, 19 poker pros owe the site $16.5 million. While many players on the list are former members of the Full Tilt Pro Team, some of them are not, like Barry Greenstein, who admitted he was in Full Tilt's debt, although he is a Team PokerStars player.
However, not all of the pros seem to agree with GBT's attorney. Former Full Tilt team member Mike Matusow denied his $700,000 debt to the site via his Twitter account: “For all my fans out there just to let u all know I don’t owe Full Tilt Poker anything why my name is mentioned I don’t know.” On the other side, Dayanim claimed in an interview with PokerUpdate that Matusow is avoiding him and does not respond to Dayanim's attempts to contact him.
Find the full story on HighStakesDB.
World Team Poker Celebrity/Pro Am Knockout Tournament at The Bicycle
On the first weekend of spring, March 3rd to 4th, a group of the world's top – and most famous poker players – World Team Poker (WTP) will gather at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California. Johnny Chan, David Chiu, Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Jeff Lisandro, Tony Guoga, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Jean-Robert Bellande, Freddy Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari, Carlos Mortensen, and Thor Hansen will all be there to compete in a two-day Celebrity/Pro Am Knockout Tournament.
The event which will start the Bike’s 23rd annual Winnin’ O’ the Green tournament series will feature a guaranteed first place cash prize of $30,000, plus a $100 bounty on each poker celebrity's head. As the pro-packed tournament is going to be a real challenge for the amateur players, WTP will reward the last amateur standing with a unique opportunity to join World Team Poker’s Celebrity Team at the next World Team Poker Championship Event.
“We are pleased to bring this event to the Bicycle Casino, for what we hope to be an annual event”
said Michael A. Christian, World Team Poker’s CEO. “It gives players a chance to play with some of the best in the world in their backyard.”
Find all the tournament details on WorldTeamPoker.com.
Thor Hansen Diagnosed with Cancer
One of the World Team Poker members, Thor Hansen appeared in the news yesterday, February 8th, however, the news was not good. The poker community was overwhelmed to learn that the living Norwegian poker legend known as the “Godfather of Nordic Poker” has developed terminal cancer. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner, who now resides in the United States, is expected to face huge medical bills, so the poker industry decided to show the customary good will and help Hansen in the most important heads-up battle of his life – the battle against cancer.
Betfair Poker announced it's going to host a special tournament in order to raise money for the Thor Hansen Fund. The $1-$10 buy-in event will donate the $10 rake from each entry to help Thor Hansen, plus Betfair will double the tournament fees collected up to $2,500. The tournament runs TODAY, February 9th at 21:30 CET and features 1 rebuy during the first three levels and a 3,000 chip add-on at the break. The winner of the tournament will receive a $1,400 Betfair Poker London LIVE package.
To play the Thor Hansen support tournament join Betfair Poker.
CardPlayer Player of the Year Race
With poker players already counting millions in 2012 tournament winnings, CardPlayer's Player of the Year rankings see the most winningest pros taking the top positions in the race for the title. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event winner John Dibella is currently leading the field with $1,781,418 in 2012 live tournament earnings and 2,512 POY points. He maintained the #1 position thanks to his 3rd place finish at the $400 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty event at the Borgata Winter Open last week.
Just a few points behind in second place is the Aussie Millions Main Event champion Oliver Speidel. However, the Millions title is not the only reason Speidel stands so high in the rankings as he made another two final tables in Aussie Millions side events - finishing in second and sixth place and collecting a couple of additional POY points.
The 2012 European Poker Tour Deauville €5,000 Main Event winner Vadzim Kursevich from Belarus stormed into the sixth place of the Player of the Year rankings just behind 2010 WSOP champion Jonathan Duhamel who currently stands fifth after crashing the PCA and finishing in eighth place in one of the EPT Deauville side events.
See the full 2012 POY rankings on CardPlayer.com.
PokerNews and FS+G Introduce their Player of the Year Award
PokerNews, along with Federated Sports + Gaming (FS+G) have launched their own Player of the Year rankings following the USA Today Global Poker Index point system. The player to finish the year at the top of the POY rankings will receive the Global Poker Index Player of the Year Award. The winner will also be rewarded with a custom 18K gold GPI POY ring created by Josh Warner who designed the Epic Poker League Champion rings and Lifetime Member rings.
“PokerNews is excited to be an integral part of launching the GPI POY and making it the official Player of the Year formula for the PokerNews network,” said Matthew Parvis, COO of PokerNews. “We're sure that the race to the top will include the world's best poker players and will be extremely compelling to follow from year to year.”
After a month of live tournament action Jonathan Duhamel is leading the GPI Player of the Year rankings with 465.55 points. Jason Koon, who scored one Aussie Millions and two PCA cashes is in second place with 284.24 points and the PCA Main Event final tablist Ruben Visser ranks third with 258.03 points
Find the rest of the GPI Player of the Year Top10 on PokerNews.com.
DC Repeals Online Gambling Legislation
What happens when you don't pay attention at the DC Council meetings and vote for something you're not quite sure what it is, but you still vote for it to pass? You then realize that you were against the thing you voted for and then you say you want to start things over and therefore ten months later you vote against something you voted for. Sound confusing? Well it shouldn't, but since the District of Columbia Council members got so confused about the internet gambling legislation, maybe you should be a little confused too just so you don't offend any of the Council members by saying it's all just too simple to be confused about.
Last week we told you about DC planning to revoke their decision to legalize online gambling in the district and now it's official: the online gambling legislation has been repealed in the District of Columbia.
“They didn’t even use the word ‘Internet gambling’, they used word ‘I-gambling’...We voted as a city, and decided as a city, that we didn’t want slots....It has to go through a public process. This didn’t go through a public process, but it’s slots,” explained council member Tommy Wells when asked why should the Council revoke its own decision.
“What kind of legislature are you?” asked Marion Barry, one of the two councilmembers to vote against the recall of online gambling legislation. “You giving the public the impression, you didn't know what you voted for. This council already has a low approval rating... and you are telling me, you didn’t know you voted on something?”
Read the full story: Online Gambling Legislation Repealed in District of Columbia.
WPT Venice Grand Prix Day 3
After three days of World Poker Tour Venice Main Event action it was Simon Ravnsbaek who led the remaining field of nine players with a 795,000 chip stack. Ravnsbaek started the day in the tail section of the 27 player-field when Day 3 began, but due to his aggressive play, managed to win a whole bunch of hands and gather enough chips to finish the day in the lead. Alessandro Longobardi was just behind Ravnsbaek when the play ended with 783,000 chips in his stack. However, unlike his opponent, Longobardi didn't play his best game and only at the very end of the day did he fast-boost into second place.
The fourth place finisher of the WPT Venice Main Event last December, Andrea Dato ended the day in third place with 726,000 chips while Jason Wheeler with 699,000 finished fourth. Gianluca Trebbi (474,000), Andrea Carini (430,000), Jeremie Sochet (402,000) and Rinat Bogdanov (201,000) have also survived Day 3 of the event to come back for more of the WPT Venice action.
Starting tomorrow, February 10th at 14:30 CET, you can enjoy the WPT Venice live via an online stream. All you need to do is follow this registration link. The live stream is absolutely free, the only requirement is you have to be a registered user.
Poker Player? Vote Ron Paul!
Ron Paul is the only one of the five Presidential candidates, including the four Republicans and President Obama, who openly support the legalization of online poker. Not only does he think that online gaming should be legalized, he also believes in the elimination of income tax, legalizing marijuana, and reducing the federal government's power over U.S. citizens in general.
Poker pro Dan O'Brien published a piece on the upcoming presidential election measuring the candidates by their ability to apply logic and reason when it comes to making important decisions. O'Brien claims that Paul is the best choice in the election for all those who are actually looking for more freedom and less government power and spending.
“Paul believes that we should be free to play online poker because, well, we're supposed to be free!” O'Brien says. He also puts emphasis on other important issues like taxes and inflation both of which are very important to poker players as well as the rest of the nation. “The only candidate with any real understanding of the monetary system is Ron Paul,” claims O'Brien. “He understands that sound money is paramount to a healthy economy and fair to the lower classes.”
Read the full article on the Epic Poker Blog.
PPA Calls for Facebook Action
This week the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) addressed its members by encouraging them to exploit the possibilities of contacting the United States' lawmakers via social media and let them know that there are millions of poker players around the country who want their voice to be heard. According to the PPA more and more American lawmakers use Facebook to communicate with their voters and therefore asks poker players to make the best of it.
You can also visit the official US Congress Facebook page which is operated by the Facebook staff and brings you all the necessary information about U.S. Congress and its members. All Poker fans and players are also welcome to visit and like the official PPA Facebook page and receive all the latest news and updates from the Poker Players Alliance.