This week's news from the poker world? We give you some of the high spots – the PartyPoker Premier League V Main Event is already underway in the Austrian capital Vienna, with Phil Laak, Patrik Antonius, and Tony G winning the first three heats with each cashing $32K for the win. The New Jersey online gaming bill passed the Senate committee on Tuesday, however, it still needs to be approved by the Senate and Assembly. Calvin Ayre hired a group of famous lawyers to defend him in the money laundering and illegal online gambling charges case with the lead lawyer being Barry I. Slotnick whose client list includes John “The Teflon Don” Gotti. Daniel Negreanu rants as usual – this time making some serious jokes.
Tony G Wins Premier League Main Event Heat 2
The PartyPoker Premier League V $125K Main Event took off on Wednesday, April 4th with three heats already in the books. Phil Laak took down the competition in Group A's first heat collecting 16 points and a $32,000 cash prize. Then Patrik Antonius did the same in Group B and was followed by Tony G who owned the second heat in Group A. Tony now co-leads Group A with Laak who finished in fifth place in Heat 2 as both now have 20 points in their account.
In the last phase of Heat 2 Tony outplayed Erik Seidel who currently leads the all-time money list with almost $17 million in tournament winnings. The two went all-in on the turn, the river brought a set for Tony G, along with first place and $32 Grand in cash.
The day before Group A's second heat, Patrik Antonius bested Group B's Heat 2 by eliminating Scott Seiver on the last hand and collected first-place points and cash. Dan “Jungleman” Cates came in third place for eight points leaving Tom “durrrr” Dwan in fourth with six.
Check out all the latest Premier League V happenings and updates on the PartyPoker Blog. Also take a look at this video of Tony G finding his animal instinct:
This is what the current Premier League V rankings look like:
GROUP A (through two heats)
GROUP B (through one heat)
New Jersey Senate Committee Approves Online Gaming Bill
On Tuesday, April 3rd, the New Jersey Senate committee passed the bill allowing online gaming in the state. The bill was approved by 11 Senators with the exception of Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) who abstained. The bill will now need to get a full Senate and Assembly vote. However, it is not likely to happen until next month or even June.
It's not the first time such legislation has been passed by the New Jersey Senate. The earlier versions of the bill were vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie due to “legal and constitutional concerns.” The new bill is more likely to pass the Governor due to the Department of Justice's ruling that the Wire Act only applies to online betting.
“I think New Jersey should be in that business,” said Gov. Christie after the DoJ's ruling. “I think we should be an epicenter for that business, but I want to do it right. I do not want to rush and get legislation that either doesn’t pass state constitutional muster, or creates other problems for us.”
North Jersey's John Brenan has his own thoughts about the new legislation – go to NorthJersey.com to find out more.
Calvin Ayre Hires Famous Lawyers
Calvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog Poker and other Bodog brand associated enterprises was indicted a month ago by the US Attorney in Maryland along with three other defendants and charged with alleged money laundering and running an illegal online gambling organization. However, Ayre is not willing to give up easily and therefore hired a team of very expensive lawyers to handle any situation that might arise. The team features defense attorney Barry I. Slotnick, and his son Stuart as well as four lawyers from the New York law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.
Slotnick is best known for defending Bernhard Goetz in the case where he was accused of murdering four young black men who tried to mug him in a New York subway in 1984, and the infamous New York mobster John Gotti. After that the American media started calling him the Teflon Don. During his 50-year career Slotnick has had a number of big cases including those associated with the gaming world like defending the gambling tycoon Steve Wynn of the Wynn Resorts against Lloyd’s of London and others.
Calvin Ayre seems to have hired the right attorney, but does this mean he's going to win the case?
Read more about Ayre's lawyers on CalvinAyre.com.
Former Warrenville Alderman Sentenced for Stealing Poker Charity Money
On Tuesday, April 3rd, Christopher Halley, a former alderman of Warrenville, Illinois was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing $6,000 from two men he promised to help stage a charity poker tournament, reported the Chicago Tribune. Halley pleaded guilty last month for two crimes – stealing the $6,000 he was entrusted with to help organize charity poker tournaments in Naperville – and for stealing a watch from a man in West Chicago.
Halley claimed that his actions were influenced by his alcohol and gambling addictions and asked the court to allow him to continue his recovery. “I made some very poor decisions with my addiction to alcohol and gambling,” Halley said in the court. “I ask that court to give me a chance to continue my recovery.” However, Circuit Court Judge George J. Bakalis argued that Halley was already on probation for other criminal activities at the time and therefore turned down his probation request.
“The defendant was already on probation for related theft and while he was on probation he committed two more,” a DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney William Wu said. “For the defendant to receive probation it doesn't serve as a deterrent.”
Go to Chicago Tribune for more on this.
Max Katz Elected To the Shchukino Municipal Council
A young Russian businessman, casual poker player and professional poker staker, Max Katz, has recently been elected to the municipal council chambers of Moscow district Shchukino. Katz, an independent candidate came in third in the poll which took place on March 4th, the same day as the Russian presidential election which brought back former president Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin for another 6 years in office, which guaranteed Katz a place in the municipal council.
Katz, a 27-year old businessman best known in the poker world for his role in staking players entered the election with a rather straightforward campaign claiming he had no intention of lying to the crowd, as opposed to his opponents. “Everyone told me I should make the same promises other politicians were making, that I would vow to punish corrupt politicians, reduce the costs of gas and water, and so on. But I chose to be honest,” Katz said.
His election campaign only proves the point with the posters urging people to vote for Katz saying: “My name is Max Katz. I am 27 years old. The election for the Shchukino municipal council is being held on March 4. This body is completely useless. It possesses no power whatsoever.” The idea worked and Katz became a member of the municipal council with his next goal being to become the mayor of Shchukino district.
Read more on Telegraph.co.uk.
Negreanu Meets Lederer?
Daniel Negreanu keeps on ranting with this week's topics including him having a conversation with Howard Lederer and Annie Duke. Daniel claims that both of them were explaining themselves to him saying they had nothing to do with the problems concerning Full Tilt Poker and Epic Poker and that they are doing everything they can to make the best out of this situation. And the strangest part is that Daniel honestly believed they were telling the truth. Too weird to be true? Well, the Vlog was released on Monday, just one day after April Fools. Was Daniel late to make the joke? Watch the video and find out.
Other things Negreanu ranted about was Cyndy Violette's vegan dinner party including the video, the schedule issues with the WPT event, PokerStars's SCOOP, and Mother's Day all being at the same time, videos of Daniel playing soccer and golf and the Degen story about Eric Drache. Got the topics, here's the video.
Zynga Dreams of Real Cash Games
Although social gaming giant Zynga is anticipating to introduce their American players to real money gaming, U.S. lawmakers are not so sure if the plan's going to work. Although Zynga is rumored of being in talks with Wynn Resorts to make a deal which would allow Zynga to run real money games in the United States once online gaming is legalized, the lawmakers say that the new legislation's first aim is to provide current casino operators with the ability to offer their services on the internet and not the new ones.
Even if the deal goes through, it would only allow Zynga to operate in Nevada which would be too little to make them notable in the real money gaming market. “Our goal is to help existing casino operators. We don’t know anything about Zynga,” said Ruben Ramos Jr., a New Jersey state Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Chair of the Gaming Committee. Should Zynga fail to exploit the newly arising U.S. market, it would most likely suffer a shares fall of approximately 10 percent due to unfulfilled investor's hopes of the new revenue.
Find out more on the NY Post.
Cantor Gaming to Run The Palms Poker Room
Cantor Gaming reached an agreement with the Palms Casino Resort allowing the company to operate the poker room within the Palm's new sports book scheduled to open on May 3rd. The installment of a new sports book was approved by the state regulators back in January and just a few weeks from now Palms' customers will be able to enjoy the new facilities including an eight-table poker room.
“Our decision to relocate the poker room to the new race and sports book was a natural one given the synergies that exist between poker players and sports bettors,” Joseph Magliarditi, president of the Palms said.
Cantor Gaming will be running the entire sports book section including the poker room which together “will resemble some of Cantor's recent books, but will not have the red carrels” which are common in many other Cantor's sports books throughout Las Vegas, Magliarditi explained.
The president and CEO of Cantor Gaming, Lee Amaitis was also happy about the new facility at the Palms and said it was only natural that the sports book would also include a poker room. “There is a natural overlap between sports bettors and poker plays and by situating poker within the sports book we can offer customers maximum entertainment and convenience,” he said.
Read more about the new poker room in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Tatjana Meets Vanessa
This week one of the sexiest poker players in the field and a TV presenter, Tatjana Pasalic, met up with one of the best – Vanessa Selbst. In a video interview for CalvinAyre.com Tatjana asked Vanessa about her poker career as well as her law studies at Yale Law School. Selbst also talked about wanting to get back on the cash game track and the difficulties of combining law studies with a successful career as a tournament poker player.
Some other questions were discussed as well like which side of the pond Selbst prefers playing in – the United States or Europe. And if Jason Somerville coming out as gay, with Vanessa’s already known preferences, will encourage more poker players to do the same thing. Check out the full interview in the video below.
Image courtesy of PartyPoker Blog.