DAILY BUZZ: Pa. Passes Poker, $500K Jackpot, Bonomo Leaves Bodog

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.

Poker bill passes in Pennsylvania

After months of back-and-forth politicking, the Pennsylvania state legislature finally passed a table games bill yesterday that will legalize poker and other games like blackjack at the state’s 14 licensed casinos. The bill passed just before a deadline imposed by the state’s governor, Ed Rendell, who threatened to layoff 1,000 government workers due to budget shortfalls if the table games bill didn’t reach his desk on time.

The first live, legal games of poker in Pennsylvania probably won’t get going for at least six months, but the licensing fees the casinos will pay to host table games will begin pouring in immediately. That means legislators can get back to other business – including maybe a poker game or two of their own, as politicians have been known to enjoy.

(Pa. Legalizes Poker, Blackjack at Slots Casinos – ABC News)

AC bad beat jackpot reaches half-million-dollar mark

While Pennsyvlania’s poker players wait for live games to open up in their home state, they might consider heading to the Caesars Atlantic City poker room to claim a share of its record $500,000 bad beat jackpot.

The last time the jackpot hit was on September 29th of last year, and according to Caesars table games manager Thomas McDonough the dry spell is completely without precedent in the three years the room has offered players a chance to get rich on a bad beat. Normally the jackpot hits every three weeks or so.

With so much at stake –  whoever loses the key hand will win 50% of the jackpot’s total – Caesars is drawing business from other rooms in town. Novice players are turning up to take their shot at the big prize, which in turn is drawing the sharks who prey on the fish. Even out-of-state players are keeping tabs on the jackpot’s status. “I live in Columbia, (Md.), and I call in every day to see what it’s up to,” player Joe Loftus told the Press of Atlantic City. “You have more of a chance with this than you do a lottery.”

(Caesars poker players look for winning losing hand – Press of Atlantic City)

Bonomo back on the market

The next time you see Justin Bonomo, he will most likely not be wearing this shirt.

The next time you see Justin Bonomo, he will most likely not be wearing this shirt.

While the Buzz was away enjoying the last fleeting moments of holiday cheer, online poker room Bodog and young superstar Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo parted ways. The split appears to be amicable, with Bonomo thanking Bodog on his blog for the opportunity to be part of their team for the last two years.

Despite leaving his sponsor, the future should be bright for Bonomo, who is currently ranked 22nd in the Bluff Power Ranking has amassed more than $2 million in live tournament winnings in his young career. “I have already been involved in conversations regarding new sponsorship opportunities,” he wrote on his blog. “Moving forward, I will be focusing my attention on aligning with a sponsor who will better utilize my play and media presence. I am looking forward to evaluating a potential new home. Although, any decision regarding new sponsorship will not be rushed.”

Bonomo’s departure comes on the heels of the room splitting with Jean-Robert Bellande in November and leaves it with only two pros on its sponsored roster, Evelyn Ng and David Williams.

(Addressing Bodog Sponsorship Reports – JustinBonomo.com)

Around the Table:

The newest justice of the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is apparently a poker fan: she once invited her Second Circuit Court clerks to her apartment in Greenwich Village for a game of Texas hold’em that lasted until the early hours of the morning … Actor Mel Gibson is apparently such a horrible poker player that he resorts to strange superstitions to improve his game … If you’re traveling to Asia in the near future and want to get a game in, check out CNN’s guide to poker in Hong Kong and Macau … The National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets have banned gambling among their players on team flights after the league’s Washington Wizards saw their leading scorer, Gilbert Arenas, suspended by the league indefinitely for a gun case stemming from a poker debt dispute with a teammate … The National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings Alumni Association is hosting a $200 poker tournament tomorrow night at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino outside LA.

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