DAILY BUZZ: NJ Online Bill, Cada For Charity, ESPN’s Biggest Hands

Welcome to the BLUFF Daily Buzz, where we scour the entire internet for all the latest news in and around the world of poker. If it involves chips and cards, or people known to associate with chips and cards, we’re there.

New Jersey senator introduces nation’s first intrastate online poker bill

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few months about California introducing an intrastate online poker bill sometime in the near future, but the Golden State has been beaten to the punch by another gambling-friendly state: New Jersey.

State Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union) introduced legislation today that would allow for poker and other games currently offered in New Jersey casinos to be played online. The new intrastate gambling system would be overseen by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which already oversees the casinos operating within the state and would open a new Division of Internet Wagering if the bill were passed. There would also be competition within the market, as opposed to the monopoly model discussed in California. Lesniak also introduced a bill today that would allow voters to choose whether or not to amend the state constitution to allow sports betting.

“We’re happy that New Jersey has taken this issue into their own hands,” said Joe Brennan, Jr., chairman of the Internet Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, which helped to craft the legislation. “New Jersey is recognized as having the toughest gaming regulators in the US, but as a leading gaming state with a long track record of doing things the right way, Internet gambling will have a great home here and the opportunity to begin normalizing the industry.”

(New Jersey Introduces In-State Internet Gambling Legislation – iMEGA.org)

World champ Joe Cada plans to lace up with some big-time athletes this month for a good cause.

World champ Joe Cada plans to lace up with some big-time athletes this month for a good cause.

Cada chips in for charity – away from the table

Usually athletes play in charity poker games rather than poker players taking part in charity sports events, but reigning WSOP champ Main Event Joe Cada is turning that stereotype on its head thanks to an invitation to play in pro baseball player Curtis Granderson’s Celebrity All-Star basketball game.

Granderson, who played for the Detroit Tigers for four years before being traded to the New York Yankees last month, is raising money for his Grand Kids Foundation, which purchases supplies and books for underfunded schools and underprivileged families. He invited Cada to play because of his Michigan connection, the same reason that former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, NBC’s To Catch A Predator host Chris Hansen, former NBA star Jalen Rose, and ex-Detroit Lion T.J. Duckett will be lacing up their high-tops and hitting the hardwood. Coaching Cada and his teammates and opponents will be former University of Michigan basketball coach Lloyd Carr and former Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon.

The game is scheduled to go off at Seaholm High School in Brimingham, Mich., on Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. If you’ll be in the area you can pick up a ticket for $30.

(Former Tiger Curtis Granderson to Bring Celeb Pals to Seaholm for Charity Hoops Game – Seaholm Highlander)

ESPN’s biggest hands of the decade

With the last decade now officially behind us, ESPN columnist Bernard Lee takes a look back at the ten biggest hands of the last ten years. From Chris Ferguson’s and Carlos Mortensen’s amazing heads-up suckouts in 2000 and 2001, to Chris Moneymaker’s giant bluff on Sammy Farha in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, to Billy Kopp’s implosion against Darvin Moon six years later, Lee covers a lot of memorable ground in his column.

If you know your poker history none of these hands will come as a surprise, but it’s still a list worth looking at to relive the moments that defined poker’s biggest decade ever. And if you don’t consider yourself a poker history aficionado, this is a great place to start work on your doctoral degree in felt science before moving on to something like Jim McManusCowboys Full: The Story of Poker.

(The top 10 hands of the decade – ESPN)

Doyle Brunson wants your help pitching in for disaster relief in Haiti.

Doyle Brunson wants your help pitching in for disaster relief in Haiti.

Doyle’s Room pitches in to Haiti relief effort

Yesterday we told you about the efforts underway at a number of poker rooms to help send much-needed aid to the Caribbean nation of Haiti, which was hit by a disastrous earthquake this week. Now Doyle’s Room is stepping up to the plate by turning its regular Wednesday $50,000 Bounty Tournament into a chance for players to help those in need. The tournament sports a $25+$2.50 entry, and all of the rake will be donated to a relief organization on the ground in Haiti.

Besides the rake, there will be plenty of opportunities to get more money flowing to the affected areas: Doyle’s Room is matching the amount of every celebrity bounty collected up to $50,000. With bounties on Doyle Brunson, his Brunson 10, and celebrities like The Wrestler’s Mickey Rourke, Entourage star Kevin Connolly, and socialite Nicky Hilton, players will have plenty of targets for matching funds. Any player who knocks out a celebrity will get $1,000, with the amount going up to $10,000 for two celebs and $50,000 for three. The management is also donating $27.50 for every first-time player in the Bounty Tournament, as well as rebating that buy-in to the player and encouraging them to donate that rebate to the relief effort.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the earthquake and the families of those affected by the disaster in Haiti,” said Brunson. “It’s times like these that make you realize how lucky all of us really are.It really puts things in perspective.”

The tournament action gets going at Doyle’s Room next Wednesday, January 20th, at 9:30 p.m.

Around the Table

California’s Indian tribes are banding together this week in an effort to present a united front before pushing for intrastate online poker … WSOP owner Harrah’s Entertainment will assume management of Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood hotel and casino, effective midnight tonight … Joe Cada isn’t the only November Niner pitching in for charity; Steve Begleiter is hosting a charity poker tournament later this month to benefit American war veterans suffering traumatic brain injuries … The already-incomplete Brunson 10 is light one member after the amicable departure of Alec Torelli … Details are scant right now, but someone hit the half-million-dollar bad beat jackpot at Caesars Atlantic City at about 4:30 p.m. today.

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