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The Nightly Turbo: Absolute Poker Founder Pleads Guilty, WSOP Circuit Thriving, & More

Nightly Turbo

While major tournament series from around the globe have ceased for the holidays, the Nightly Turbo is still here to bring you the latest from the poker world as it happens. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we bring you a plea agreement from the co-founder of Absolute Poker, some great news from the World Series of Poker Circuit, and more.

In Case You Missed It

Which poker player is the most likely to succeed? The best dressed? Who's the most talkative? Find out in the 2011 Poker Player Class Superlatives.

What does it feel like to get your first World Series of Poker cash? Phil Hellmuth explains his experience in the latest edition of My First.

Who were some of the breakout players of 2011? We put together a list of some young guns that made names for themselves this year.

Absolute Poker Co-Founder Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges

On Tuesday, one of the 11 men indicted by the Department of Justice on Black Friday pleaded guilty to criminal charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. According to a report by the Associated Press, Brent Beckley, co-founder of Absolute Poker, admitted in Manhattan federal court to violating terms of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

Beckley, 31, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis that from 2006 to 2011 he accepted credit cards from players at Absolute Poker so they could make bets for real money. He then disguised the purpose of the transactions to prevent any red flags.

"I knew it was illegal to deceive the banks in this way," Beckley told the judge. The plea deal could see Beckley serve a year and a half in jail, but sentencing won't take place until April 19, 2012.

More on this developing story can be found at PokerNews.com.

WSOP Circuit On Pace for Biggest Year Ever

With the close of the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah's Atlantic City last week, six of the 17 stops on the 2011-2012 WSOPC are in the books. That means 12 of the 100 seats to the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship have been secured by each stop’s Main Event champion and overall points earner.

The WSOP announced Monday that overall attendance is up more than 25 percent over the same six Circuit stops last year, with the prize pools increasing by 33 percent. The opening event at Horseshoe Hammond set a record by attracting 3,001 players, obliterating the previous mark of 1,611 set in 2010.

The 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit Event resumes on New Years Day 2012 with the first-ever event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Following the stop at the Bike, the WSOP will head to the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla. The season concludes at Harrah’s New Orleans, which takes place May 10-21, 2012.

Get more information about the WSOP Circuit at wsop.com.

Atlantic City's Newest Poker Spot

A new poker room in Atlantic City will be opening its doors just in time for Christmas. The Golden Nugget Atlantic City announced Tuesday that its new room will be unveiled on Dec. 24, 2011, with 20 smoke-free tables offering a variety of different games.

“We have been very eager to bring this new poker room to the Golden Nugget and we look forward to offering players all of the best games a full-service casino has to offer,” said Tom Pohlman, Executive Vice President and General Manager.

To celebrate the grand opening, the Golden Nugget will offer players a chance to cash in on promotions and special events, including multiple daily tournaments with low buy-ins and deep stacks.

Get more information at the Golden Nugget's website.

Online Poker Traffic Report

The online poker traffic numbers from last week have been released. PokerScout.com reported a worldwide decline of 3.5 percent, mostly due to a significant drop at PokerStars in the wake of its 72 Billionth Hand promotion.

PokerStars saw its traffic slump 6.4 percent over the previous week but still maintained its stranglehold over the competition. On Sunday, Dec. 18, more than 60,000 players participated in the largest Sunday Million ever, generating a prize pool of more than $12 million.

PartyPoker's traffic increased by 1 percent over the previous week, good enough to move past the iPoker Network to No. 2 in the rankings. iPoker dropped to third, while 888poker and the Ongame Network landed in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Bodog's traffic steadied after a lousy week dropped the poker room three spots to No. 14 last week. The company rebranded its U.S.-facing business to Bovada.lv last week, but traffic dropped only 1.7 percent from the previous week as the two sites share all of their tables and tournaments.

As for year-over-year numbers, PokerScout's ACES indicator reports that online poker traffic (with the exception of Italy) has decreased by 28 in the past year. In addition to the obvious deteriorations at Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, the Entraction Network (down 52 percent) and the International Poker Network (down 45 percent) have seen significant drops since last year. Meanwhile, 888poker (up 78 percent) and the Merge Gaming Network (up 74 percent) were among the biggest climbers since December 2010.

Get the full report at PokerScout.com.

Changes to Aussie Millions Registration

On Tuesday, Crown Poker announced changes to the registration process for the 2012 Aussie Millions. With the exception of a few select tournaments, all Championship events will have late registration available until the second break.

Also, for the first time, registration for the $10,600 Main Event will be open until the second level of Day 2. Crown Poker made this change in order to minimize scheduling conflicts with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and the Chinese New Year.

If you're still looking to make the trip to Melbourne in January, several online poker rooms are offering satellites for as little as $2 to win a $16,000 package. In addition, Crown Poker is offering a handful of daily satellites to win an entry into the Main Event.

Learn more about the satellites to the 2012 Aussie Millions here at PokerNews.com.

World Poker Tour Hits Florida Again

Another stop was added to Season X of the World Poker Tour this week. The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open will run from February 10 through 14, 2012, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. The stop features a $3,500 buy-in Main Event with a re-entry option for players that bust on Day 1a.

The new addition precedes another WPT event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in April. In total, four WPT events will hit Florida in Season X, three more than there were in Season IX. The Jacksonville Poker Room will also be hosting a pair of events this season.

For a look at the remaining Season X schedule on the World Poker Tour, check out PokerNews.com.

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