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UIGEA Rules Hearing Set for April 2nd
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wednesday April 2nd has been set as the date for a House of Representatives hearing regarding the rules that will be used to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The hearing is being carried out for the benefit of the Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology subcommittee (SMPTT). Several known opponents of the UIGEA sit on the SMPTT including Rep. Robert Wexler, and Rep. Ron Paul.

Since the submission of the rules proposed to enforce the UIGEA in October 2007, hundreds of letters of concern have been received by the U.S. government; Wednesday will be the first time that these concerns will be discussed in a public forum.
Opponents of the UIGEA support the position that Poker is a skill game and therefore should not be limited under this act. If this opinion is ultimately accepted, the U.S. government will not be able to restrict online poker playing. The hearing will begin at 10a.m. ET.

World Poker Challenge Update
Thursday, March 27, 2008
With day three of the WPT World Poker Challenge about to kick of in Reno, let’s have a quick glance at day 2 to see who stands where.

The second day of the four day tournament started fast, whittling the remaining 75 players of the original 261 down to 45 fairly quickly. The first level saw the end of Eugene Todd, Tom Schneider, and Brandon Cantu whilst Phil Ivey well and truly established himself as chip leader.

The second level retained the fast pace of the first, losing Bell Edler, Huck Seed, Bob Stupak, Peter Feldman and Steve Sung; but going into the third level things started to slow down.

Ivey retained his lead, but had a close brush when Jason Gray overtook him briefly. The elimination of the next 9 players took over 2 hours and the likes of Hasan Habib, David Redlin, and former winner Arnold Speed were lost in the process. The top spot was taken by Jordan Rich, who was toppled by Zach Hyman, who in turn was ousted by Don Dooley.

After nearly 10 hours of play, the final 27 were left: They will be restarting at 2 p.m. PT today. Chip leader going into the penultimate day of the tournament is Jason Potter with 351,700 chips, followed by Jordan Rich with 327,900

From Cards to Cartons - Yang Feeds the Hungary
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The 6th of March marked the beginning of the 2008 World Poker Tour Poker Challenge, and this week marks its climax.

The Championship kicked off yesterday at midday with 261 players paying the $2,500 buy-in. Going into the second day of 4, 117 players remain with Michael Mizrachi leading the pack with 102,000 chips.

Jerry Yang, last year's World Series of Poker $8.2 million bracelet winner, is trailing in position 42. However, come the day after the tournament he’ll be thinking nothing of it: Yang intends to spend next Saturday morning at the Foodbank of Southern California, 1444 San Francisco Avenue, Long Beach, distributing food, toys, and hygiene products to needy families. Yang is personally contributing $72,000 for the 10 truck loads of material. The hope is that up to 4000 families will receive assistance from this single project.

Yang joins the ranks of poker players who have made a difference with their winnings which include Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Tuan Lam, Men Nguyen, Jennifer Harman, and Phil Hellmuth. May their generosity continue.

PPA Provides Poker Advice
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This week saw the launch of the Poker Players Alliance’s newest initiative to assist its members: a Litigation Support Network.

Through the PPA website attorneys may volunteer to assist PPA members who are facing poker related legal issues. PPA Chairman, Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato commented yesterday:

“With the myriad local, state and federal laws impacting poker, the Litigation Support Network is an important service that our members can and should use, and I encourage attorneys who want to defend poker players and this great American game of skill to join this effort”

The idea of the Litigation Support Network is to help poker players find they’re way through the often confusing and regularly shifting laws regarding poker, be that relating to online play, casino betting, charity poker events, basement poker games, or any-thing else poker related.

Basic legal advice will be provided over the phone; however, should more in depth support be required, members will be provided with contact information for local attorneys who are prepared to help. The service is free for PPA members.

Monday Night is Poker Night
Monday, March 24, 2008
Having left its old host, the travel channel, the World Poker Tour can now be found on GSN where airing begins tonight. New episodes will begin this evening at 9 p.m. E.T., with High Stakes Poker beginning an hour before hand to warm things up.

The season will consist of 23 episodes, each lasting two hours featuring the 2007 Mirage Poker Showdown. The season’s schedule is as follows:

March 24 - Mirage Poker Showdown
March 31 - Part one of Bellagio Cup III
April 7 - Part two of Bellagio Cup III
April 14 - Legends of Poker
April 21 - North American Poker Classic
April 28 - Mandalay Bay Poker Championship
May 5 - Borgata Poker Open
May 12 - WPT Ladies Night V
May 19 - Turks and Caicos Poker Classic
May 26 - Gulf Coast Poker Championship
June 2 - WPT Spanish Championship
June 9 - Foxwoods World Poker Finals
June 16 - Doyle Brunson Five-Diamond Poker Classic
June 23 - Part one of the World Poker Open
June 30 - Part two of the World Poker Open
July 7 - Borgata Poker Classic
July 14 - L.A. Poker Classic
July 21 - WPT Celebrity Invitational
July 28 - Bay 101 Shooting Star
August 4 - World Poker Challenge
August 11 - Foxwoods Poker Classic
August 18 - WPT Ladies Championship
August 25 - WPT World Championship

Spellman Set for Irish First?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
With St. Paddy’s Day behind us, all is less than quiet on the Irish front. Today, the Citywest Hotel, Dublin will see 3rd day play of the 2008 Irish Poker Open Main Event commencing at 2 p.m.

The No-limit Holdem Freezeout 4,200 Euro buy-in tournament opened on Thursday with only 667 of the expected 1,000 player capacity registering. Organizers added the differential to elevate the prize pool to the 3 million Euros promised. None the less, play has been exciting; leading the pack going into the third day is Mark Spellman with 337,500 chips, with Lars Hougaard following at quite a distance with 295,500. Spellman will be playing in the third seat of table 5 where his closest competitor is Hassan Mohammed with 250, 000 chips. All of the 52 players still remaining will take home a slice of the prize pool, with 52nd place taking 6,500 Euros.

2008 Wynn Classic Title Won in Twist of Fate
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Despite Ryan Young’s lead coming to the final table it was Chris Moore who took the 2008 Wynn Classic title yesterday and the first place prize of $692,286. Young, a WSOP bracelet winner, held a 3-2 chip-lead at the beginning of heads up play but lost his advantage early on when Moore took the lead with an early double-up. From then it took just 15 minutes for Moore to finish Young off leaving him with the second place prize of $355,020. This was Chris Moore’s second time at the Wynn Classic final table.

Young’s twist of fate was not the only surprise of the day. Jace Markgraf provided a spectacular show when starting the day as the short-stack he managed to clinch the 5th place position and its $71,004 prize.

The Return of WSOP Europe: 2008 Dates Confirmed
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
After last year’s phenomenally successful WSOP Europe, won by 18 year old Norwegian Anette Obrestad, the dates for the 2008 tournament have now been finalized. The tournament will be hosted over the same three London locations as last year, namely London Clubs International – Fifty, Leicester Square, and the Sportsman, and will run from September 19th through October 1st.

The 2007 event literally saw record breaking results with Obrestad become the youngest bracelet winner and the woman to win the most in poker tournament winnings, a record that had been set just one day earlier by Annie Duke. Although the schedule for the events within the 2008 tournament has not yet been finalized, European players are expecting this year’s tournament to be even bigger and better than its maiden year.

Haber Makes the Most of Atlantic City
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Atlantic City’s Caesars Palace saw record crowds this weekend for the 277 entrant $5,000 buy-in no limit hold’em event. Marking the end of the World Series of Poker Circuit in Atlantic City, Eric Haber walked away a happy man with a $431,136 first prize, a circuit ring and entry into the 2008 WSOP main event in the summer.

Haber is more accustomed to internet play where he has won six figure prizes in the past; this however was his biggest live event win. From Syosset, New York, Haber stated last night, “I really cherish the opportunity to play in live tournaments. I am married with kids, and I do not get the opportunity to play in as many events as some others, so I really have to make the most of it when I play live with real people.”

Bet More Than Your Money
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Whilst the debate over poker’s status in Washington rallies strong, southern state New Mexico enlisted the game for its own purposes. New Mexico law dictates that in the event of an election tie break, a game of chance will be played to determine the result. Such an event occurred when the elections for Town Trustee resulted in the two candidates, Josie Richards and Michelle Dunlap, tying. For the third time in a decade the result came down to a game of chance, in this case a one hand game of Five Card Stud. The hand was won by Richards who had a pair of nines, and therefore is now the new Town Trustee.

Amateur Takes EPT Polish Open
Monday, March 17, 2008
The European Poker Tour Polish Open was won yesterday by 40 year old German, Michael Schulze. The four day event was hosted in the Casino Poland, Hyatt Regency, and attracted 359 competitors from across Europe. The 5,750 Euro buy-in combined to make a nearly 2 million Euro pot.
Schulze, a share trader by profession, took the winning prize of 609,782 Euros, as well as a seat at the EPT Grand Final next month. The competition was steep and it took 11 hours of play before Schulze clinched the first place position, seeing off Portuguese professional Ricardo Sousa’s who took the second place prize of 345,779 Euros.

Schulze has been playing poker for only four years and insists that his interest is purely fun, stating that “Even if I win first prize today, it won't affect me too much on the financial side of things” – Let’s see how he gets on in the European Poker Tour Grand Final next month in Monte Carlo!

All Eyes South: The Latin American Poker Tour
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Considering the huge success of the European Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, it should come as no surprise that it would only be a matter of time before Latin America received its own poker tour too. This is the year for the LAPT’s maiden season, and the run up to it is already beginning.
Planned to combine some of the most beautiful locations on earth with many of the most talented players in the world the LAPT season 1 will visit Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay, kicking off on May 3-5 in Rio de Janeiro with a 3 day $2,500 buy-in tournament. The tour will then move to San Jose, Costa Rica at the end of May, and finally Punta Del Este, Uruguay in August. For PokerStars team members Andre Akkari, and Humberto Brenes, this $60,000+ pot will be the biggest they have ever had the opportunity to compete for on home turf.

It is expected that each of the LAPT events will attract in excess of 250 participants from all over the globe. Satellite tournaments will be launched on March 10 on, with buy ins from $2.20. The full prize package amounts to $5,000.

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