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by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jun 25, 2010


House Hearing Highlights Tax Benefits of Online-Poker Regulation
Rep. Frank Says His Committee Will Vote on the Issue in July

Barney FrankThe tax implications of a hypothetically regulated U.S. online-poker market was the topic of conversation for the House Ways and Means Committee on May 19, as the committee went over the tax revenue that the federal government would bring in if Rep. Jim McDermott’s (D-Wash.) and Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) two poker-related bills were passed into law.

“Prohibition hasn’t prevented millions of Americans who want to gamble online from doing it,” McDermott said in the hearing. “It has forced Internet gambling operators to work offshore, it has put consumers at risk, and it sends billions of dollars in revenue to other nations.”

McDermott estimated that online-gaming regulation could bring in as much as $72 billion over the next 10 years.

Rep. Sander Levin, chairman of the committee, said the May hearing was crucial, in order “to get a sense of the size and scope” of the industry and potential benefits.

While most people spoke in support of online poker in the hearing, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was one of the leading voices against the proposed legislation.

“It is unfathomable that Congress would consider legalizing a currently illegal activity that imposes harm on the most vulnerable members of our society just to raise money for more big government spending,” said Goodlatte.

Jim McDermottAccording to most gaming experts, there is no applicable federal law that makes playing online poker illegal. However, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 puts responsibility on the banks to prevent transfers to and from companies associated with illegal gambling. The UIGEA fails to define what is and isn’t
considered illegal gambling.

Frank, who has introduced legislation to explicitly legalize the industry, spoke on behalf of online-poker supporters.

“We don’t believe that this is a case where prohibition works,” Frank said. “We are talking about a decision by adults to do what they want to do with their own money.”

Frank announced in the hearing that the House Financial Services Committee would likely vote on his bill in July.

There was no vote or markup of the bill in this hearing, as the meeting was strictly informational.

Rep. Frank’s bill currently has 69 co-sponsors. Spade Suit

2010 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker

PokerStars Spring Championship of Online PokerThe 2010 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) was an overwhelming success. The second installment of the annual series featured something for all bankrolls, with small, medium, and large buy-ins for each of the 38 events.

A Look at the Numbers

A grand total of 130,746 unique players participated in the series, which culminated with three versions of the main event. An astounding 174 countries were represented, with 133 of them having players make the money. Leading the way with the most cashes was the United States with 24,200. Germany was second with 7,341, and Canada rounded out the top three with 4,882.

There were 461,936 total buy-ins, and more than $63 million was awarded in prize money. Roughly half of that money went to American players, who made 395 final tables.

Player of the Series — George “Jorj95” Lind

Throughout all 114 events played, PokerStars maintained a Player of the Series leader board, tracking player cashes and awarding points based on finishes. The highest-ranking player at the end of the series would be awarded a trophy, a 2010 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) main-event seat, and prize packages to both the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and EPT Monte Carlo.

With an astounding 27 cashes in the series, that honor easily went to George “Jorj95” Lind. He picked up more than $105,000 in combined earnings in addition to his free tournament seats, but the Arizona player will probably have to push those entries back a year, since he already was awarded those seats when he became the first PokerStars Supernova Elite player of 2010.

While it usually takes players the entire calendar year to achieve that status, Lind managed to accumulate the required 1 million VIP Player Points (VPPs) by March 30. That feat would have been the fastest in PokerStars history, had he not already accomplished it by March 18 in 2008. Since Lind is on a pace to claim more than 3 million VPPs, he has the option of trading them in for cash, tournament buy-ins, and even cars if he so chooses. With the tournament entries and cash bonuses, it’s no wonder that Lind doesn’t mind the 50-hour weeks of grinding.

A Near Double Final-Table Appearance for Benjamin “delaney_kid” Delaney

As the final table of the main event drew near, the rail was buzzing about Benjamin “delaney_kid” Delaney, who was a contender not only in the large buy-in event, but in the medium buy-in event, as well.

Unfortunately for the Aussie, he was the first player to be knocked off the large buy-in event final table when his pocket tens failed to improve against pocket queens, and he finished ninth. Just a few moments later, Delaney was eliminated in 10th place in the medium buy-in event when, once again, his pocket tens failed to bring him a double-up. He picked up a total of $116,000 for his double cash, but it was a far cry from the nearly $1.75 million that was awaiting him if he had managed to win both tournaments.

Main-Event Winner — Ryan “toetagU” Fair

Ryan FairAlthough there were many notable winners and interesting story lines throughout the series, all eyes were glued to the main event — specifically, the $10,000 no-limit hold’em tournament that brought the two-week online poker festival to a close.

The tournament featured a whopping $5 million guarantee, but that number was shattered when 615 of the best players in the world signed up. Just 72 players made the money, and 27 of them remained after the first day of play.

The chip leader going to the final table was Ryan “toetagU” Fair, who was fortunate enough to have his A-K suited take down another player’s A-K with just 19 players remaining. That pot put him in a position to wait out the field a bit and move up the pay ladder.

When play got down to three-handed, talk of a deal arose, but Kristoffer “Sumpas” Thorsson refused. Brad “BradL” Libson was then eliminated, setting Thorsson up with Fair for the title. Thorsson had run hot in major PokerStars events leading up to this tournament, but his pocket sevens couldn’t catch up against Fair’s pocket jacks, and his runner-up finish earned him $851,775. Fair, a longtime online grinder known for his deep run in the 2009 World Series of Poker main event, won the title and enjoyed a nice $1,162,350 payday.

Here are the final-table results:

1 Ryan “toetagU” Fair $1,162,350
2 Kristoffer “Sumpas” Thorsson $851,775
3 Brad “BradL” Libson $627,300
4 Greg “DuckU” Hobson $473,550
5 Danny “cpfactor” Smith $332,100
6 Konstantin “BongBob” Bücherl $261,375
7 Sam “siola” Iola $199,875
8 Joe “jpmetalman” Patrick $138,375
9 Ben “delaney_kid” Delaney $94,095

Notable Winners of the Series

Event No. 1 $2,100 NLH (no-limit hold’em) Raj “BadcardsAA” Vohra $240,026
Event No. 2 $2,100 NLH Alex “ags104” Santiago $387,720
Event No. 3 $530 NLH Corey “Comandr_Cool” Burbick $183,060
Event No. 8 $1,050 NLH Bryn “BrynKenney” Kenney $200,146
Event No. 11 $2,100 PLO (pot-limit Omaha) Brent “Astrolux85” Roberts $87,690
Event No. 13 $1,575 NLH James “” Mackey $90,558
Event No. 15 $1,575 NLH Peter “Belabacsi” Traply $196,080
Event No. 17 $162 PLO Shaun “shaundeeb” Deeb $62,251
Event No. 17 $1,575 PLO Alexey “LuckyGump” Makarov $150,930
Event No. 20 $215 NLH Shaun “jakehekejnr” Goldsbury $294,200
Event No. 20 $2,100 NLH Mohsin “sms9231” Charania $380,364
Event No. 22 $3,150 NLH Adam “squee451” Sherman $210,000
Event No. 23 $1,050 NLH Alex “mistakool” Keating $245,164
Event No. 25 $2,100 seven-card stud David “Gunslinger3” Bach $65,400
Event No. 27 $2,100 razz Francis “teacuppoker” Cagney $56,680
Event No. 28 $109 NLH Mike “Bonzo9876” Katz $103,856
Event No. 28 $1,050 NLH Jay “shaihulud” Kinkade $205,110
Event No. 31 $2,100 NLH Kevin “BeL0WaB0Ve” Saul $239,940
Event No. 32 $5,200 NLH Sorel “zangbezan24” Mizzi $118,500
Event No. 35 $25,500 NLH Michael “Skammes” Tureniec $360,000
Event No. 36 $2,100 H.O.R.S.E. Steve “muggylicious” Sung $65,660
Event No. 37 $2,100 NLH Jason “Taknapotin” Somerville $234,333
Main Event $10,300 NLH Ryan “toetagU” Fair $1,162,350

PokerStars Announces Season Seven EPT Schedule
Schedule Features a New Stop in Tallinn, Estonia

EPT Season SevenPokerStars has announced the dates and destinations for season seven of the European Poker Tour. The schedule consists of 12 stops, with one new one in Tallinn, Estonia, Aug. 11-16, to kick off the season. Tallinn was previously the host city for the PokerStars Baltic Festival in October of last year, which attracted more than 300 participants.

John Duthie, CEO and EPT founder, said: “The EPT just gets bigger and better every season, and it shows the passion and enthusiasm players feel for our events. Season six had a thousand more players than season five, and we expect the numbers to keep on growing. The prize pool last season was well over €56 million — a €4 million increase on the previous year. Side events also proved a major attraction in season six, and we expect participation in them to increase even more next season.”

EPTSome new events from season six are featured on the new schedule. The popular golf destination of Vilamoura, Portugal, will host the second event of the season from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2. EPT Snowfest will once again take place in late March at the ski village of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria. EPT Berlin also will be back in 2011, and it has been moved from the beginning of March to early April.

Events from season six that are not part of the season-seven schedule include EPT Kiev and EPT Warsaw, which drew 296 players and 203 players, respectively. EPT favorites that are once again on the schedule include tour staples Barcelona, Prague, Deauville, Copenhagen, and San Remo, and the festivals of poker that take place in London and at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Here is a look at the full season-seven schedule:

Aug. 11-16, 2010 EPT Tallinn (€4,250 main event)
Aug. 28-Sept. 2, 2010 EPT Vilamoura (€5,300 main event)
Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 2010 EPT London (€5,250 main event)
Nov. 22-27, 2010 EPT Barcelona (€5,300 main event)
Dec. 13-18, 2010 EPT Prague (€5,300 main event)
Jan. 8-14, 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure ($10,300 main event)
Jan. 26-31, 2011 EPT Deauville (€5,300 main event)
Feb. 17-22, 2011 EPT Copenhagen (37,750 DKK main event)
March 20-25, 2011 EPT Snowfest (€3,750 main event)
April 5-10, 2011 EPT Berlin (€5,300 main event)
TBD EPT San Remo (€5,300 main event)
TBD EPT Grand Final (€10,600 main event)

Andrew Lichtenberger Signs With Full Tilt Poker
“Luckychewy” Becomes Newest Red Pro

Andrew LichtenbergerThanks to Andrew Lichtenberger’s deep run in last year’s World Series of Poker main event — in which he benefited from a lot of ESPN air time en route to his 18th-place finish — he is one of the few online pros to make it into the mainstream-poker public eye.

Now, he has signed with Full Tilt Poker, becoming the site’s latest Red Pro.
“I became a Full Tilt Red Pro today, so now I stand out in the chat box. Hopefully, I will get both my avatar and first commercial soon,” Lichtenberger joked in his blog.

Lichtenberger, more commonly known as “luckychewy” online, achieved success on the virtual felts before becoming a legitimate force on the live-tournament trail. In the 2009 WSOP, he cashed in five events, including a second-place finish in the $5,000 no-limit hold’em shootout for $215,403. But that was only his second-biggest score of the summer, due to the $500,557 he earned for his main-event run.

Since then, Lichtenberger has continued to post impressive results — highlighted by his 10th-place finish in the North American Poker Tour Venetian main event for $44,195, and his victory in April’s WSOP Circuit event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for $190,137.

The New York pro has been highly regarded for his online-poker accolades, which include a third-place finish in a Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) event for $107,226, a runner-up finish in the Sunday Million for $127,386, and a victory in a Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event for $172,800. Spade Suit