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by Stephen A. Murphy |  Published: Oct 16, 2009


World Series to Add Several $1,000 Events in 2010
New Schedule Expected to be Released This Fall

World Series of Poker Communications Director Seth Palansky recently told Card Player that players can expect a few changes in next year’s WSOP, starting with the addition of a number of $1,000 bracelet events.
WSOP Bracelets
Here are the five major changes that players can expect to see:
1. More $1,000 Events: In 2009, the “Stimulus Special” debuted. This $1,000 no-limit hold’em event was a rousing success, easily selling out its two starting days for a field of more than 6,000 players. WSOP tournament organizers took notice, and are planning to add several — in the neighborhood of six, according to Palansky — to the 2010 schedule.

2. $40,000 Event Not Likely, and No “Champions Invitational” Event: While most people deemed the $40,000 no-limit hold’em event that commemorated the 40th-annual WSOP a success, it was not intended to be an annual event. Palansky said it would likely not return next year, and the “Champions Invitational,” which welcomed back past main-event winners for a special tourney, would not return.

3. A Bigger “Physical Footprint”: This year, the WSOP sold out 10.25 events — the 0.25, of course, a painful reminder of the day 1D sellout at the main event. Palansky stressed that it isn’t the WSOP’s intent to sell out events, and it is looking for more space — potentially the room in which “Poker Palooza” was held this year — to alleviate that problem.

4. A Solution to the Day 1D Problem: Knowing that poker players sometimes like to procrastinate and enter tournaments at the last possible moment, the WSOP is considering once again assigning starting days to players. However, it is far from finalized. Palansky emphasized that the WSOP would like to keep that control in the players’ hands, if possible.

5. An Earlier-Released Schedule: In 2009, the WSOP schedule wasn’t announced until late January. While Palansky hesitated to give a firm date, he said that players could expect to see the new schedule “in the fall, for sure.”

Things that players shouldn’t expect to change in 2010 are the triple-the-buy-in starting stacks and the absence of rebuys. Palansky said that both the starting stacks and the replacement of rebuys with the triple-chance event were well-received. Spade Suit

UIGEA Upheld by 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
iMEGA Chairman Says Ruling May Open Door to Intrastate Poker

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is here to stay, at least for now.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the UIGEA in September, rejecting the argument that the law should be repealed because it is unconstitutional.

While the decision is seen as a blow to poker advocates who hoped this case could initiate the immediate removal of a law that severely hampers the online gaming industry, iMEGA (Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association) Chairman Joe Brennan Jr. believes that this ruling opens the door for the potential regulation of legalized poker in the U.S.

“The court made it clear — gambling on the Internet is unlawful where state law says so,” said Brennan. “But there are only a half-dozen states which have laws against Internet gambling, leaving 44 states where it is potentially lawful. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start.”

While Brennan expressed disappointment that the court didn’t agree with the arguments that his organization presented — that the UIGEA is unconstitutional due to vagueness, privacy concerns, and First Amendment issues, and because it is counter to U.S. treaty obligations — he said that, in a way, this levels the playing field.

With the focus now on the individual states, iMEGA hopes to spend its time and resources on local issues to try to regulate the industry.

“States have always held the power to regulate gambling in this country, not the federal government,” said Brennan. “The court’s ruling seems to say ‘back to the future’ when it comes to regulating Internet gambling, so we will turn our attention to the states to make the case that this industry can be properly regulated and produce badly needed tax revenue.” Spade Suit

PokerStars Signs ‘November Nine’ Member Joe Cada
Will be PokerStars’ Third Player at the Final Table

And then there was one — one player at this year’s World Series of Poker main-event final table who hasn’t associated himself with an online poker room.

Joe Cada, the youngest player at the final table, has signed with PokerStars to be its third final-table representative in November. That leaves chip leader Darvin Moon as the only player at the final table who is still not associated with an online poker room.
Joe Cada
“I’m proud to have been chosen to represent PokerStars. Their reputation and prestige are second to none,” said Cada, who at 21 has a shot to break Peter Eastgate’s record as the youngest player ever to win the WSOP main event. “I look forward to bringing even more accolades to their already decorated team.”

Cada will join Eric Buchman, who’s second in chips, and Kevin Schaffel, sixth in chips, as PokerStars representatives at the final table. Cada has the fifth-largest chip stack.

Due to a new WSOP rule that prohibits more than three players from wearing the logo of any one site at a televised final table, it appears that PokerStars has completed its selection of representatives for this year’s final table.

Last year, PokerStars had six sponsored players at the final table: Eastgate, Ivan Demidov, Dennis Phillips, Ylon Schwartz, Darus Suharto, and Chino Rheem.

Perhaps looking for a way not to appear to be a PokerStars infomercial, the WSOP created Rule 43-B-i, which states: “No more than three (3) players at the Final Table — and all other tables featured for television coverage — will be allowed to wear apparel with logos, patches or promotional language from the same entity.”

Of course, PokerStars could sign a fourth player in the “November Nine,” but then one of its players would have to either “remove or cover his logos,” per WSOP rules.

Full Tilt Poker has already signed its three November Nine representatives, with longtime Team Full Tilt member Phil Ivey leading the pack. Along with Ivey, new Full Tilt pros Steven Begleiter and James Akenhead will also wear the site’s gear at the final table.

Jeff Shulman, fourth in chips, is the CEO of SpadeClub, the subscription-based online poker site that is powered by Card Player. France’s Antoine Saout, eighth in chips, recently signed with Everest Poker — an online poker room that does not currently accept American players.

Moon, the logger from rural Maryland, told Card Player that he’s never played online poker, and he appears to be content with sporting his New Orleans Saints cap rather than any poker site gear. Spade Suit

Bellagio Debuts Two New $10,000 Events at Festa al Lago
H.O.R.S.E. and Pot-Limit Omaha Tourneys Offered in New Schedule

Hold’em may still be king, but Bellagio has recognized that H.O.R.S.E. and pot-limit Omaha are joining the royalty of the poker games offered in major tournaments these days.

For the first time in recent memory, Bellagio will host two $10,000 tournaments in events other than no-limit hold’em in its 2009 Festa al Lago tournament series, which runs Oct. 2-26.

A $10,000 + $300 H.O.R.S.E. event will kick off on Oct. 13 at noon, while a $10,000 + $300 pot-limit Omaha event will begin on Oct. 16 at noon. Players will receive 40,000 in chips to start the tournaments, with 90-minute levels. Both are three-day tournaments.
The tournament series will be highlighted by its $15,000 + $400 WPT Championship, which runs Oct. 21-26.

Of course, at that time, the Festa al Lago isn’t the only show in town. Running concurrently with Bellagio’s series will be Harrah’s Caesars Palace Classic, Oct. 17-30.

This tournament series, held in the Caesars Palace poker room, will feature a variety of events — including hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, a heads-up tourney, a ladies event, Omaha eight-or-better, and the $10,000 main event, which will begin on Oct. 28. Spade Suit