News, Views, and Gossip – September 6th, 2011

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As summer cools down, the talk surrounding the poker and gaming world is heating up. There are various names that should look familiar in this week’s N.V.G., and we’re here to help you catch up on the latest scoop.

Bellagio Robber Sentenced

Remember back in December when an armed robber sped away on a motorcycle after looting a craps table at the Bellagio Casino & Hotel? Well, he’s back in headlines, but this time for different reasons.

Most recently, Anthony Carleo, 30, has been sentenced to 3-11 years in prison for his actions at the Las Vegas strip casino suite.

Wearing a white full-face helmet and dark clothing, Carleo managed to escape with over $1.5 million in $25,000 denomination chips after robbing a nearby craps table. Seen distinctly on film, Carleo was arrested in early February after being caught by undercover Las Vegas police, while trying to sell some of the stolen chips to an undercover officer.

Facing multiple felony charges, in June Carleo plead guilty in front of a Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge to armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, as part of an arranged plea bargain that would allow him to avoid further detrimental charges to his criminal record.

Still awaiting hearings in regards to another linked robbery at the Suncoast Casino in Northwest Las Vegas, Carleo has his work cut out for him, with possible repayment of the Bellagio’s $1.5 million as another potential punishment.

The lesson of this story is kids, you’ll get caught stealing regardless of whether or not you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet, or, don’t attempt to steal dozens of chips that are the rarest form of redeemed chip denomination.

Daniel Cates “Durrrr Challenge” Update

With Full Tilt Poker still rescinding player funds, it will be tough for Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Daniel “jungleman12” Cates to resume their exciting heads-up duel. It may be a mistake to call the contest exciting, however, since Cates has been in control from the start.

Cates appears to be headed towards a $1.5 million dollar payday, which is the amount agreed upon in the challenge’s 3-to-1 wager clause, and ironically exactly what the “Bellagio Bandit” thought he would inherit. But all jokes aside, there’s just over half of the challenge remaining, and Cates has steadily seemed confident in his approach. He doesn’t appear to be looking for more action from Dwan, however, at least in the immediate future.

“Regarding the Durrrr Challenge, @Tom_Dwan and I have decided to wait until we know the fate of Full Tilt Poker and then decide,” Cates said on his Twitter account.

In the most recent statement released by Full Tilt Poker, they’ve admitted that they’ve run into problems not only with the U.S. Department of Justice and Alderney Gambling Control Commission, but also previous payment processors, one of which allegedly stole over $42 million from the online poker conglomerate.

In the wake of these actions, FTP is still seeking new potential investors, and despite previously having an investor who was in exclusive agreements with the company, that relationship just recently expired and they’re now searching for several other potential buyers.

It seems to be the most necessary step in allowing players to regain control of their FTP accounts.

On a disappointing note, just last week the attorneys who previous represented Full Tilt Poker during these motions, Jeff Ifrah and David Deitch, have stepped down. Stating that the “continued representation of the Defendants would create unreasonable difficulty for us to carry our employment effectively,” their statement doesn’t look to be a bright spot for FTP players who have tons of their equity stuck within the company.

The new hearing, which was originally scheduled to occur “no later than the 15th Sept,” has now been set for September 19th.

Hopefully if things move quickly in regards to new management and equity ownership, the September 19th meeting can go a long way towards the reinstatement of Full Tilt Poker’s software platform, and the Durrrr Challenge.

Cates currently leads their challenge by $1,251,059, and they’ve progressed through 19,335 of the necessary 50,000 hands.

Sahamies’ Million Dollar Loss & Viktor Blom’s Progression

Despite their differences at the virtual felt, the players of Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom have a lot in common. They both play Pot-Limit Omaha at extremely high levels, they’re both from Scandinavia, and they both led the leaderboard for the biggest online winners on PokerStars for the month of August.

They’ve also both devoured through their bankrolls this past month, with Sahamies’ month-long roller coaster ride being much steeper and bumpier than that of Blom’s. Once surpassing his fellow comrades in overall August profits by nearly $1 million, Sahamies squandered those seven-figures right back to, who else — Viktor Blom.

Viktor Blom heated up late, winning the bulk of his share from Sahamies, but also dominating consistent veterans Andreas “skjervoy” Torbergsen, Rui “PepperoniF” Cao and Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky. Beating his competitors to the tune of over $400K, it was a nice start to an incredible upswing that saw Blom finish the month with nearly $900,000 in earnings.

Blom has been on top of his game as of late, and few people (aside from players named Galfond and Sahamies) have been willing to stand toe-to-toe with the bankroll and fearlessness of the swingy Swede.

In terms of overall standings for the year, Torbergsen takes the cake with $1.95 million in online earnings, followed by Cao with $1.44 million, Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane at $1.24 million, and Blom with $1.2 million.

“Boy Did I Miss Online Poker!”

Daniel Negreanu’s latest blog post is titled as above, and in it he comments on his ability to once again return to the world of online play. Negreanu, who’s had a hectic schedule the past few months, has been busier than ever taking vacations, playing in the WSOP, making a European Poker Tour Barcelona stop, and currently taking part in the huge WCOOP series that is sponsored by his online employer PokerStars.

In the meantime, however, Negreanu has found time to relocate to Toronto, in order to jump back into virtual competition. Gaining traction in terms of his online aptitude, Negreanu feels comfortable jumping back into the $25/$50 PLO games on ‘Stars and “grinding it up” a bit.

“I’m probably just going to jump into whatever games seem the most lively, which at this point looks to be pot limit Omaha which is a fun, swingy, gambling game with high variance,” stated Negreanu, in a post on Full Contact Poker.

“I’m going to stick to the $25-$50 game for now until I get used to playing online again. I’m hoping to play a bit of everything really, [it’s] just fun to have that option again.”

Unfortunately for him, his first return was unsuccessful. He dropped $5,000 within the first 5 hands, shipping it in with an open-ended straight flush draw against top set and missing his outs.

Oh Omaha, how you can torture even the most talented individuals.

If you’re interested in all of the latest news coming from the poker community, check back with the crew here on regularly for juicy info.

U.S. players jump into action on Luvin Poker! International players: You can still sign up for many 2011 WCOOP events, so do so right away!

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