Friday News Update

March 2, 2012, Posted by Daniel.Smyth

Friday News Update

In today’s news update we see who holds the cards in the poker industry, why the Epic Poker League is in trouble and how the amateur bested the pros at the LAPC. All that plus a humorous glimpse into the world of poker blogging.

They’ve Got the Power

Last year Howard Lederer topped the power podium but thanks to the dramatic fall from grace he’s suffered in the past few months the former Full Tilt honcho is now nowhere to been seen in Bluff’s Power 20.

The annual list of influential figures in the poker industry was published yesterday with PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg heading the pack.

Compiled from the votes of 51 industry insiders, the Bluff Power 20 names the movers and shakers who are helping to shape the future of the poker world.

Joining Scheinberg on the list is a host of other industry impresarios, including: Senator Harry Reid, CEO of Caesars Interactive Mitch Garber, CEO Dominik Kofert and Congressman Joe Barton.

Months of political and legal turmoil mean that the listed is heavily populated by various US senators and lawyers. Indeed, US citizens dominated the list as a whole with only 4 Europeans – Tony G, Dominik Kofert, Bernard Tapie and Scheinberg – making the list.


Bluff Power 20 Rankings






Isai Scheinberg



Jim Ryan


Harry Reid

U.S. Senator


Mitch Garber

Caesars Interactive


Preet Bharara

U.S. Attorney


Ty Stewart



Gary Loveman

Caesars Entertainment


Mark Lipparelli

Nevada Gaming Control


Daniel Negreanu

Poker Professional


Mark Pincus



Tony G


Dominik Kofert


Bernard Tapie

Groupe Bernard Tapie


Brain Balsbaugh

Poker Royalty


Matt Savage



Joe Barton

U.S. Congressman


Jon Kyl

U.S. Senator


Annie Duke

Epic Poker League


Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta

Fertitta Interactive


Virginia Seitz

Assistant Attorney General

Epic Failure

The Epic Poker League suffered its most serious setback in recent months following its parent company, Federated Sports and Gaming, filed for bankruptcy.

The announcement is sure to hurt the EPL which has already suffered a number of controversies in its short existence; including allowing, then subsequently banning convicted sex offender Michael Divita from the League.

However, despite the seemingly damning news, the Epic Poker League will remain active. In a statement on the FS+G websites it says:

This reorganization filing is an important first step in that direction and our goal is to keep the Epic Poker League and all of our key initiatives – including the Global Poker Index,, the Epic Poker game on Facebook, and the Heartland Poker Tour – moving forward with a continued spirit of innovation.”

Annie Duke addressed EPL members with a letter promising that season one will continue as planned, however the exact date and location of the fourth event are as yet unknown.

What this news means for the League is uncertain but there’s no doubt that the company will find it hard to recover after this latest blow.

Annie Duke

Jazayeri Wins LAPC

He was the underdog at the start of the final table but that didn’t stop Sean Jazayeri taking down the WPT L.A. Poker Classic title.

Flanked by some of the game’s best players, including Dan “DJK123” Kelly, Jason Somerville and David Sands, it seemed as though Jazayeri didn’t have a chance, despite holding the chip lead.

The early detractors had to soon realign their opinions, though, as the wily old player executed a perfect plan. Knowing that he was in a comfortable position, Jazayeri sat tight in the early stages of the final, content to let the short stacks knock themselves out.

Next Jazayeri picked up some well timed hands and eventually eliminated Noah Schwartz in 4th place to extend his chip lead.

Three handed it was David Sands who took the initiative and before long he’d accumulated enough chips to oust Dan Kelly when the pair got all their money in. With his pocket deuces holding against Kelly’s A-J it was Sands who went into the finale with the slight chip lead.

Jazayeri managed to find hands at the right time, though, and within minutes his A-K out-raced Sand’s pocket queens. Now crippled it was all but over and once Jazayeri’s K-Q found a way past Sand’s A-5 he became the new owner of a WPT trophy and $1,370,240.


Side Action

Sometimes poker players say the funniest things, but sometimes poker bloggers say even funnier things. Indeed, with so much air constantly filling media rooms around the world it was time for Jesse May to put the cooler on things.

Sit back and enjoy Mr. May’s jocular take on “The Shit Poker Bloggers Say”:


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