GLOBAL GOSS: Caesars Cup returns for 2011

After a year’s break, the Caesars Cup is returning as part of the 2011 WSOP Europe schedule. This unique Ryder Cup-style poker tournament pits teams of the best players from both sides of the Atlantic against each other. The event will be played on Wednesday, October 19.
The event was last played in London during the 2009 WSOP Europe. Team Europe, captained by former WSOPE Main Event champion Annette Obrestad, easily defeated Team Americas, captained by Daniel Negreanu.
The Caesars Cup will feature two teams of five doing battle over a series of unique partner and heads up formats, with points awarded for each victory. The unique formats will include alternate betting and other non-traditional elements as players aim to win points for their respective teams.
The Americas team will be captained by 2011 WSOP Player of the Year leader Phil Hellmuth while the Europeans are to be skippered by the Bertrand “ElKY” Grospellier (pictured left).

• While the Epic Poker League (EPL) has been well received by the poker community at large, organisers have been thrown a couple of PR curve balls to keep them on their toes.
The winner of the first EPL Main Event, David “Chino” Rheem, was placed on probation for his failure to repay debts in the poker community. However, that paled into insignificance compared to the latest controversy surrounding Michael DiVita. After finishing the EPL Pro/Am in eighth place, DiVita secured a seat into the $20,000 buy-in EPL Main Event.
However, when DiVita attempted to register for the Main Event he was promptly told that he was not welcome to participate and was escorted off of the Palms Casino property after it was discovered that he had been convicted of a number of criminal offences and is a registered sex offender. Bullet dodged … just.

• Matthew Waxman became the first American player to win the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris after dominating final table action at the Aviation Club de France last weekend.
The Floridian went into heads-up play with a more than 5:1 chip lead and needed just three hands to defeat France’s Hugo Lemaire, winning USD $729,866. It was Waxman’s 11th WPT event, but his first final table.
The 26-year-old Waxman outlasted a tough international field of 312 players that included numerous former WPT champions, as well as WPT’s Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst. Youth prevailed again on World Poker Tour, as five of the six players at the final table were 26 or younger.
The next two World Poker Tour events in September are both repechage affairs – WPT Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City on September 18-23; WPT Malta at The Casino at Portomaso will be played September 20-24.

Results ($USD)

1 Matthew Waxman $729,866
2 Hugo Lemaire $442,645
3 Fred Magen $299,834
4 Byron Kaverman $218,860
5 Mikko Sundell $187,597
6 Martin Jacobson $125,083

• The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker has announced plans to axe 250 jobs at its Dublin marketing and tech headquarters (operated as Pocket Kings) to help cut costs by €12 million. The company also said that it is “fully committed” to returning the $150 million estimated to be owed to US players.
“This program is intended to streamline the company’s operations in order to better position itself for future growth and profitability in Full Tilt Poker’s markets outside of the US,” a company statement read.
After having its licensed suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission on June 29, Full Tilt will be hoping that the decision is reversed at a closed hearing on Monday.
In more Black Friday news, PokerStars has dumped three US-based Team Pros – 1983 WSOP champion Tom McEvoy, dual WSOP bracelet winner Bill Chen and 2008 November Niner Dennis Phillips.

• Wynn Macau is recognised as the home of cash games in Macau, and there may soon be a second Wynn property for players to sample. Wynn Resorts’ Macau enterprise announced it had reached a deal with the government of the world’s most profitable gaming market to build its second brick-and-mortar casino.
According to the Associated Press, Wynn CEO Steve Wynn has said that he wants the $2.5 billion investment to be open by 2015. The resort is set to include about 1500 hotel rooms, 500 table games and 1300 slot machines, with 12 acres left over for further development and expansion.
In other news from Macau, the next major tournament series is the Macau Poker Cup Championship, which will be played at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino on October 7-16.

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