DAILY BUZZ: LA Poker Classic, WPT Sale Confirmed, USPC Back on TV

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.

LA Poker Classic schedule released

There are two schools of thought on where the world’s capital of poker is. Some folks say Las Vegas and point to the World Series of Poker as the reason why. The other camp believes that Los Angeles, home of the cavernous Commerce Casino and some of the world’s highest-limit games, is where the real action is. Everyone on the LA side of the coin should be rejoicing this week as the 2010 LA Poker Classic schedule has been announced.

Helmed by tournament director Matt Savage, the 2010 LAPC will run from January 20th to March 4th and feature 50 events that run the gamut of buy-ins and poker disciplines. The first event at Commerce will be a $335 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament with a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool; with three starting days, it’s very similar to the big tourney at the Commerce Hold’em Series last month. Other events of note on the schedule include a $1,065 Badugi tournament, the return of the $10,000 HORSE and Heads-Up tourneys from last year’s LAPC, Commerce’s second “Ironman” tournament, and a new addition, the $25,100 High Rollers event.

If you feel like planning out your conquest of L.A. a little early, you can check out the full schedule at the link below.

(2010 LA Poker Classic schedule released – Poker News Daily)

WPT sale to PartyGaming goes through

The shareholders of WPT Enterprises, the parent company of the World Poker Tour, have approved the sale of most of the company’s assets to Peerless Media, a subsidiary of online gambling giant PartyGaming, for $12.3 million.

The approval of the Peerless deal came despite a separate, last-minute proposal from entertainment company Mandalay Media that would have fetched a total value of $36.5 million. That deal would have included $28.5 million in cash, $5 million in Mandalay common stock, and 5% of future WPTE-related revenues guaranteed to be worth at least $3 million over the next three years.

The total value of the Mandalay package was $1.77 per share, which Mandalay noted was worth 61% more than the Peerless offer and 28% more than the current WPTE stock price. However, it was determined that the Mandalay offer was not a “Superior Proposal” as defined in the agreement to sell to Peerless, and the sale to Peerless was approved by a margin of 85% to 15%.

The deal with Peerless Media is expected to be finalized later this month.

(WPT Officially Sold to ParyGaming – Pokcet Fives)

US Poker Championship returning to TV

After a two-year broadcast hiatus, the United States Poker Championship is preparing to return to television screens around the country thanks to a new deal with Las Vegas-based Compass Entertainment that will see several USPC events air on cable network SpikeTV.

The new deal, which will keep the USPC on Spike for the next five years, was welcome news at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. “It’s hugely exciting to have the U.S.P.C. back on national TV,” said Tom Gitto, the Taj Mahal’s Director of Poker Operations. “We knew that in order to ensure that the USPC would be more attractive to poker players, we would need a solid TV deal. The entire Trump organization is firmly committed to doing something special each year to make the USPC sizzle.”

This year that sizzle will come via a new $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Championship, which will be televised, as well as two High Stakes Cash Game sessions at the Taj on November 15th and November 22nd. And as in years past when the tournament’s TV home was on ESPN, the crown jewel in the deal is the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship.

The first event on the USPC schedule started this afternoon. If seeing your face on SpikeTV is your thing, you’ll want to sign up for either the PLO Championship, which begins on November 16th, or the Main Event, which starts on November 20th. The full 2009 USPC schedule is available as a PDF here.

James Akenhead arrives in Las Vegas

The members of this year’s November Nine are mostly from the United States, but one of the first to make his way to Las Vegas for this weekend’s big event is the lone English player at the table, Full Tilt pro James Akenhead.

Akenhead’s journey to Vegas is being given the full treatment on Black Belt Poker, the site owned by Neil Channing, who has 25% of Akenhead’s action. With diary entries, looks back at his progress through the Main Event, and trivia about his life and career, the features are well worth reading to get a closer look at one of the UK’s rising poker stars.

Says the November Niner about his prep time for resuming play at the final table:

I didn’t see the 2008 final, but I decided to watch it recently and it kind of made me realise that this is actually happening to me. I’m excited, but definitely a little bit nervous. I don’t feel pressure though and won’t have any issues in that sense, I don’t really have a problem with pressure or anything when it comes to playing.

There’s more from Akenhead’s point of view in the first two blogs here and here.

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