The Nightly Turbo: Duhamel's Ex Goes to Court, New Jersey Online Gambling Bill, & More
Poker's biggest ballers hit the felt for the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Thursday. Among the 30-plus players in attendance was Team PokerStars member Jonathan Duhamel, who made headlines for entirely different reasons on Thursday. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we bring you the latest in Duhamel's home invasion case, New Jersey's outlook for online gambling, and more.
In Case You Missed It
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicked off in the Bahamas on Thursday. We took a deeper look into the event by breaking down history of the PCA.
The Global Poker Index released its first rankings of 2012. Jason Mercier remained at No. 1, but there was some major movement in the bottom half of the GPI Top 10.
Online poker in the United States came to a crashing halt in 2011. Is 2012 the year that online poker gets federally legislated in the United States? Matthew Kredell discusses what to look for.
The PokerNews Podcast team touched down in Atlantis this week. In the first podcast of the year, the crew sat down with Daniel Negreanu to talk about the PCA, his hidden skill, and more.
New Jersey Governor Not Ready for Online Gambling — Yet
An attempt to push an online gaming bill through the New Jersey legislature by next week hit a roadblock on Wednesday because the state constitution may require the issue to be voted on by New Jersey residents. The bill was scheduled to be heard in Assembly and Senate committees on Thursday, but it will have to wait until after the legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
New Jersey state Sen. Raymond Lesniak was trying to push the online gaming bill onto Gov. Chris Christie's desk before the current session ends on Jan. 9, 2012. Christie recently voiced his support for intrastate online gambling, but questioned this week whether voters had the final say on the online gaming issue.
“Speaking with Governor Christie, I’ve agreed to reintroduce Internet gaming in the next legislative session, and I expect that we can get it through the legislature and signed by the Governor within the first few weeks of the new session,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak said in a statement.
Gov. Christie vetoed a similar bill in 2011, but his position changed when the Department of Justice reversed its stance on the Wire Act of 1961 last month.
Read more at www.NJ.com.
Ex-Girlfriend of Jonathan Duhamel Appears in Court
Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, the ex-girlfriend of 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel, appeared in Longueuil, Quebec, court for a bail hearing on Wednesday. Rojas-Latraverse will reportedly plead not guilty to five charges stemming from her alleged involvement in the invasion of Duhamel's home on Dec. 21, 2011.
Longueuil police Det. Jean François Lapolice testified Wednesday that, according to a witness, Rojas-Latraverse planned to rob Duhamel three weeks before the invasion happened. The witness told Lapolice that she received texts from Rojas-Latraverse seven hours before the robbery. One of the alleged texts said, "Everything is planned. We even have a driver if I choke."
Lapolice also testified that Duhamel said he was certain his former girlfriend was involved in the robbery.
The bail hearing resumed on Thursday. Check out PokerNews.com for more on the story.
Sommerfeld Says Goodbye to WSOP
On Thursday, respected tournament director Jimmy Sommerfeld announced his imminent resignation from the World Series of Poker. Sommerfeld handed in his resignation papers to the WSOP on Wednesday, but he will serve as the tournament director at the upcoming World Series of Poker Circuit events at Choctaw, Tunica, and Palm Beach, before officially resigning on March 1, 2012.
Said Sommerfeld, "This decision was based solely on the fact that I want to spend more time with my wife, three daughters and my first grandchild that was born this morning. I want to thank Ken Lambert, Jack McClelland, Jack Effel, all the staff and dealers that work for Poker Tournament Consultants (PTC) and a special thanks to all of the players that have supported me and PTC."
Sommerfeld entered the poker industry 18 years ago, starting out as a dealer, and years later was taken under McClelland's wing to learn the ropes of live tournaments. Since then, Sommerfeld has displayed his knowledge and experience at tournaments across the country.
Sommerfeld's announcement and the heartfelt response from the community can be found at TwoPlusTwo.com.
Indian Tribes Split on Intrastate Online Gaming
With the prospect of intrastate online gaming in the U.S. improving by the day, the race for a share of the market is beginning to heat up. Casino properties, state lotteries and Indian tribes figure to cash in once a structure is in place, but the tribes appear to be divided on the issue.
Politico.com reported Thursday that while some tribes are open to an intrastate online gambling platform, others fear that they won't be able to compete with the flashy Las Vegas-based companies such as Caesars and MGM. In states where population is low, tribes are “not going to see the same economic benefit,” said Penny Coleman, a lawyer who represents tribal nations.
“A few sites and tribes will benefit and whole bunch won’t,” Coleman said.
Read the full story at Politico.com.
WPT Magazine Awards
The beginning of 2012 marks the traditional time to roll out the red carpet and present awards across the poker community. As it has done in recent years, WPT Magazine has unveiled its list of nominees for the 2011 Poker Readers’ Awards, allowing poker fans to vote on the best U.K. poker player, best international player, best online player, and best poker forum, among other categories.
Our own Tony G was given a nod for "Best Poker Personality." He's lined up against Mike Sexton, Daniel Negreanu, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Liv Boeree, Tony Dunst, Tatjana Pasalic, Scott Seiver, Kara Scott, and even the Royal Flush Girls.
Last year, Phil Laak edged out Negreanu to win the honor, but nobody on this year's list is as qualified as Mr. G.
Voting closes on Feb. 20, so be sure to make your selections at wptmag.com.
Welcome to Paradise!
The PokerNews Live Reporting team is in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The event got off to a blazing start Thursday with the $100,000 Super High Roller, and Sarah Grant was on the tournament floor to get a glimpse of the action on Day 1.
Follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.