Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010 WSOP Rules Permit Twittering at the Table, by Tom Jenkins - 17th January 2010

The official rules for the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) were handed down this week, with tournament organizers adopting a cell phone rule that permits text messaging and Twittering at the table.

All cell phones must be turned off during play. However, as the WSOP regulations note, “Players not involved in a hand (cards in muck) shall be permitted to text/email at the table, but shall not be permitted to text/email any other player at the table.” Twittering of chip counts and memorable hands were staples of the 2009 WSOP, when the social media outlet exploded in popularity. Even poker legends like 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson have become engulfed in Twitter, with “Texas Dolly” now able to spit out additional blonde jokes while seated at the table of any 2010 WSOP event.

Any players who wish to talk on their cell phones must be at least one table length away from their seats while gabbing. Meanwhile, the WSOP logo policy in 2010 will remain the same as it was in 2009. No logo will be permitted that promotes drugs, handguns, lotteries, obscene material, pornography, libel, or “advertises any online gaming site that conducts business with U.S. residents.” Nearly every logo shown on ESPN television cameras in 2009 featured the dot-net version of the site’s URL. Meanwhile, Everest Poker, which had sponsored pro Antoine Saout at the final table of the 2010 Main Event, serves as the on-felt sponsor of the tournament series. Everest Poker does not accept players from the United States.

Posters on TwoPlusTwo were quick to critique the 2010 WSOP rules, which incorporated revisions made by the Tournament Directors Association. One point of contention concerned late registration. The rule reads, “Any player registering for an event after all initial tables allocated for that tournament have been filled will begin play at the start of the subsequent level.” In the WSOP Main Event, for example, that could mean a player sitting out as long as two hours, the length of one blind level.

Fans of UB.com poker bad boy Phil Hellmuth may see the 11-time bracelet winner show up on time in 2010 thanks to a rule that governs “no shows,” players who fail to show up by the start of the third level of play. The rule mandates, “These players will have their chips removed from play and will not be eligible to participate in that event. The buy-ins for ‘no shows’ will be removed from the prize pool and placed on safekeeping in that player’s name at the main WSOP registration cage after the second level of play.”

Some posters on TwoPlusTwo questioned whether the “no show” clause meant that if a player saw they had a tough table draw, they could simply un-register by not showing up. Member “pineapple888” explained the dilemma: “It seems like you can register, wander by your table an hour into the event, and if there are too many pros/tough players for your liking, or there aren't enough chips on the table, or whatever (no hot chicks at the table or railbirding), just wander away and claim your refund later without penalty.”

The action gets underway in the 2010 WSOP with the annual $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em event on May 28th. Also to be held on that date is the brand new $50,000 buy-in Player’s Championship, an Eight-Game mix of 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. It takes the place of the $50,000 HORSE Championship, which drew a meager 95 players in 2009 after having 148 in 2008.

Also new on the docket in 2010 is a $25,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event that starts on June 30th. Many in the industry have questioned WSOP officials introducing a richer No Limit Hold’em tournament than the Main Event, whose buy-in is only $10,000. Nevertheless, the $25,000 Six-Handed contest is sure to attract some of the top names in the worlds of live and online poker.

Check out the official 2010 WSOP rules. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

PokerStars Announces North American Poker Tour, by Dan Cypra - 7th January 2010

Look out, North America! Long absent poker events sponsored by PokerStars, the continent will host the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) beginning on January 20th at the Venetian, with another stop planned for Mohegan Sun.

Model Joanna Krupa, who was introduced to the PokerStars family during the fourth installment of the “PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge,” will serve as the NAPT’s on-screen host. A television deal is in the works and PokerStars officials have employed 411, the same company that produces the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on ESPN, to create each episode. The identity of a television partner should be released in the next two weeks.

PokerStars players from the United States and Canada currently have to hop on an airplane and travel to far away lands for PokerStars-sponsored tournaments. PokerStars-backed series include the European Poker Tour (EPT), Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT), Russian Poker Tour (RPT), Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), Italian Poker Tour (IPT) Czech-Slovak Poker Tour (CSPT), Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), and U.K. and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT).

At the Venetian in Las Vegas, the final tournament of the casino’s Deep Stack Extravaganza will be the $5,000 buy-in NAPT Main Event. The fun in Sin City will take place from February 20th to 24th and side events will also play out. From Las Vegas, PokerStars NAPT officials will travel 2,600 miles due east to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The tournament series in the popular East Coast casino will see its Main Event held from April 7th to 11th as the kickoff of a brand new poker festival.

Negreanu commented in a press release furnished by the world’s largest online poker site, “I'm really looking forward to the launch of the NAPT. PokerStars.net has done an excellent job sponsoring meaningful tournaments around the world with the EPT, LAPT, APPT, and various other local tours – and it’s exciting to see them coming to my home town of Las Vegas! With the addition of the NAPT, I'll have a chance to play some tournaments on home soil and I'm very excited about that.” 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada and Team PokerStars Pro member Vanessa Rousso are among the bevy of site pros who are expected to turn out.

Technically, the first tournament of the NAPT was the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is ongoing from the Atlantis Resort and Casino across the harbor from Nassau in the Bahamas. Satellites to the Venetian and Mohegan Sun tournaments will take place on PokerStars, which happily accepts players from the United States. Besides Cada, other WSOP Main Event champions to call the site home include Chris Moneymaker (2003), Greg Raymer (2004), Joe Hachem (2005), Peter Eastgate (2008), and Tom McEvoy (1983).

In North America, the NAPT will compete against several longstanding brands such as the World Poker Tour (WPT) and WSOP Circuit. The WPT is in the midst of filming its eighth season, the first with the backing of Party Gaming, which purchased the rights to the series in October. Poker Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton and actor Vince Van Patten continue to bring the WPT to life each week on Fox Sports Net. The WSOP Circuit has been crisscrossing the United States since 2004, stopping at various Harrah’s properties along the way. Circuit staffers are now camped out in Tunica, Mississippi for the fifth stop of the 2009-2010 season. The series gets underway in the Deep South on January 20th from Harrah’s Tunica.

Krupa has graced the covers of a handful of brand-name magazines, including “FHM,” “Maxim,” “Playboy,” and “Stuff.” She appeared on Season 9 of the ABC reality series “Dancing with the Stars” and also tested her sports skills in the network’s “Superstars.” Krupa defeated 9/11 first responder Mike Kosowski on the fourth episode of the “Million Dollar Challenge;” Kosowski would later go on to defeat Negreanu and earn the $1 million grand prize.

Additional stops for Season 1 of the NAPT will also be announced. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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