Sunday, December 27, 2009

TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers Raises More Than $550,000 From the 2009 "Hold'em for Heroes" Celebrity Weekend - 21st December 2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2009 - The TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers generated more than $550,000 in gross donations during its fifth annual "Hold'em for Heroes" celebrity tournament weekend held November 19-21, 2009.

The weekend's events featured three days of poker tournaments at the Fort McDowell Casino, including a "high roller" event filled with more than 35 celebrities from: the World Series of Poker(R) (WSOP), professional sports teams, television, movies, and artists from the country and hip hop genres. Many of these same players also participated in the charity's first celebrity golf tournament played at the beautiful WeKoPa Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

The returning hosts for the events were the 11-time WSOP Champion, Phil Hellmuth and Country Music Recording Artist, Mark Wills.

During the weekend's activities, local players had the opportunity to golf with celebrities like Richard Karn of "Home Improvement" and play their best poker hands against champions like Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Layne Flack, and local poker hero Tom Schneider for the chance to win a $10,000 seat in the 2010 World Series of Poker tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mark Rubin, a local player, won the event, with Jeff Madsen, one of the WSOP celebrity players, taking second.

Kathy Hanrahan, the CEO for the TASER Foundation, commented, "The results achieved for the 2009 'Hold'em for Heroes' event was a great way to end the year. We were encouraged by the level of support achieved in such a tough economy."

"We would like to thank the local community for their continued support of this very worthwhile cause, and our premium corporate sponsors: Fort McDowell Casino, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, Hillard Heintze, TASER International, the Poker Players' Alliance, and Hogue Printing Solutions for underwriting the key expenses and making the event possible," added Hanrahan. "A special thank you is also necessary for the men and women of law enforcement who attended the event, and to the very special family members of our fallen Arizona officers. This weekend was to honor these heroes, and to remind them that the TASER Foundation will be here to help law enforcement and its families in their time of need."

For more information on the event, or to see or purchase photographs from the tournament weekend, please email

To learn more about how you can assist the TASER Foundation in its mission to help these families during their time of need, please visit, or call 1-800-978-2737, extension 2012. Every dollar raised makes a difference in their lives, and lets the families know how grateful we are for their sacrifice.

About the TASER Foundation

The TASER Foundation distributes financial memorial grants to the families of fallen officers in the United States and Canada through donations and an initial endowment of $1,000,000. More than half of the initial endowment came in direct contribution from TASER International employees with the balance contributed by the company. Onetime grants are available only upon request by chiefs of police and sheriffs as well as federal law enforcement executives in the name of sworn officers killed in the line of duty since August 1, 2004. The TASER Foundation's mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers in the United States and Canada lost in the line of duty by providing financial support to their families. TASER International bears all of the administrative costs of the TASER Foundation in order to ensure 100 percent of all donations are distributed to the families of fallen officers. For further information contact Kathy Hanrahan, President and CEO of the TASER Foundation, at or call 800-978-2737, extension 2012. Visit the TASER Foundation website at for facts and video.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

2010 World Series of Poker Schedule: Player Reaction, by Brett Collson - 20th December 2009

The 41st annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is still months away, but the schedule of events was released this week. Poker players have been quick to give their opinions on the changes made by Harrah's and the Player’s Advisory Council for 2010.

The biggest modification to the WSOP schedule was the removal of the prestigious $50,000 HORSE tournament, which will be replaced by a $50,000 Mixed Event. The game will rotate among Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split Eight or Better, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High-Low Split Eight or Better, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. Then, much like the first year of the $50,000 HORSE event, the final table will be strictly No Limit Hold’em and broadcast by ESPN.

Harrah's also decided to do away with a mid-level buy-in for the Stud High, Stud 8, and Omaha 8 events in 2010, leaving only $1,500 and $10,000 versions of each game. The decision has generated negative feedback from many players, including poker pro and commentator Bart Hanson, who was upset with the lack of non-Hold'em events on the 2010 schedule. "Kind of sucks, I always like other game events at the WSOP," Hanson said. "Still had great value up to a $3,000 buy in. Now, the vast majority of players will only be able to play the small event where starting chips are a joke."

With the elimination of several of the less popular tournaments, a handful of No Limit Hold'em events were added. Last year's $1,000 Stimulus Special attracted 6,102 players, a record for a non-Main Event tournament. In 2010, there are six $1,000 No Limit Hold'em events on the schedule, including five on consecutive weekends from May 29th to June 27th and another on Thursday, July 1st.

Frank Calo, a poker pro who spends the entire summer in Las Vegas for the WSOP, seemed displeased with the changes. "I'm kind of unhappy that there's so many $1Ks and $1.5Ks," uttered Calo. "It causes the WSOP as a whole to be less profitable in terms of the hourly rate. I wish they stuck with one or two $1Ks, some other $1.5Ks, and then added more $2K to $5Ks.”

Two Plus Two member "fanliorel" had a differing view: "Last year, the $1K was new and novel and on the first weekend - everybody and their dog was there. I don't see them getting 6,000 entrants for all six $1Ks this year, just like they don't quite sell out all of the $1,500s either. Still, it's too cheap to not get at least 5,000 players per tourney. I'd guess they sell out the $1Ks on the first and last weekend; the rest range around 5,000 to 5,500. They'll be some great tourneys; last year's $1K was a blast."

Another issue that has the community concerned is the rake increase in the $1,000 and $1,500 buy-in events. Harrah's will take 10% from each of the $1,000 and $1,500 entry fees, compared to 9% from last year. "I guess Harrah's is operating in a different economic environment," said Zac "traction" Gilbert, who finished sixth at the 2009 WSOP Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Event. "I guess the only way players can voice their disgust is not play. Unfortunately, that won't happen."

The 2010 WSOP gets underway on May 27 with the $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold'em Event and will culminate in November with the final table of the $10,000 Main Event. (Credit: Poker News Daily).

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Thursday, December 10, 2009



Gibraltar – 10th December 2009 – This weekend marks the last chance to qualify online at for the 2010 Aussie Millions in Melbourne. Seen as one of poker’s majors, the Main Event is a highlight of the world live circuit and the leading online poker room is going completely Aussie crazy this Sunday! is offering the chance to win one of 25 luxury Aussie Millions main event packages. These fantastic dream trips will be up for grabs in two amazing $600+40 satellites on Sunday 13th December. One will be timed to suit Australia and New Zealand-based players at 02.45ET with FIVE packages guaranteed worth $12,000, while the other is scheduled at 14.30ET to give players from the rest of the world the chance to win one of 20 guaranteed packages worth $15,000. Australia Ambassador Stewart Scott is the defending champion and there is a chance to emulate his success in Melbourne next year. Stewart said: “I’ve been playing at for five years. These great packages are an amazing opportunity for other players to play in this huge tournament. Claiming the Aussie Millions title has been the highlight of my career and I’d love to see another player take the title.”

Scott, 37, from Queensland, Australia, made history in January 2009 by becoming the first Australian in the modern era to take down the Aussie Millions Main Event, scooping US$1,865,724. Scott is a loyal member of’s VIP club the Palladium Lounge. He made his debut representing the leading online poker room at the PokerNews Cup in Melbourne earlier this month.

Scott is married with one daughter and started life as a gourmet chef in Adelaide, with a period running a small IT business as he honed his skills online. He made his first impact on the live circuit in 2006 by winning a satellite series at SkyCity Casino in Adelaide that awarded him a $30,000 package for the WSOP Main Event. Stewart is a popular figure on the Australian poker circuit and is well known for his relaxed attitude but killer instinct at the table.

® AUSSIE MILLIONS, AUSSIE MILLIONS POKER CHAMPIONSHIP and CROWN Device and associated trade marks are trade marks of Crown Melbourne Limited. No license, affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement, is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. PartyGaming is not affiliated, licensed, by, or otherwise affiliated with Crown Melbourne Limited in any way.

World Series of Poker”® and “WSOP”®, WSOPE”® are registered trade marks of Harrah’s License Company LLC. No license, affiliation, sponsorship, or endorsement is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. PartyGaming is not licensed by or otherwise affiliated with Harrah’s License Company LLC or the World Series of Poker®, in any way.

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