DAILY BUZZ: PA Poker Robbery, Dikshit Bails, WSOP Circuit Chicago

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.

Pennsylvania poker players robbed at gunpoint

If anyone in the Pennsylvania government needs more convincing that legalized poker in their state’s casinos is a good thing, they got a clear example of how important security can be when a poker game at a Volunteer Fire Department hall last night outside Pittsburgh was robbed by three armed intruders.

Two of the robbers gained access to the VFD hall in Heidelberg, Penn., when a player was leaving the building and later let their accomplice inside. Witnesses on hand said the robbers were armed with guns and a baton, and one witness claimed that a gun was held to his head. He claimed that the players were robbed of as much as $6,000. The only person injured was a woman, said to be one of the game’s organizers, who was pistol-whipped and received treatment for a concussion at a local hospital. Heidelberg police chief Vernon Barkley said that some 15 to 20 players were in the game at the time of the robbery. He said the investigation is ongoing, and that Heidelberg police think the intruders were familiar with the area and the set-up of the game.

(Inside Job? Late-Night Poker Game Violently Robbed At Fire Hall – WTAE Pittsburgh)

Dikshit leaving the Party

Anurag Dikshit, the fabulous PartyGaming founder with the funny name, offloaded the bulk of his stake in the company to a group of “institutional investors” today, according to the Financial Times. “He has had nothing to do with the company from a management point of view for many years now,” said Dikshit’s spokesman. “He has had little involvement other than being a significant shareholder, and it is time to move on.”

Dikshit sold about 19% of the total ownership of PartyGaming this morning for a little more than $300 million, leaving himself with another 9% of the company in his portfolio. But his spokesman said that stake is also set to be sold. Dikshit’s price on today’s sale was £188 million (US $308 million) – or $8 million dollars more than the value of the settlement Dikshit voluntarily entered into with the U.S. Justice Department to avoid prosecution for violating American gambling laws. After accounting for the DOJ settlement, the Financial Times estimates that Dikshit has still made £540 million (US $884 million) off of his initial stake in the company that helped to ignite the online poker boom.

PartyGaming shares dipped slightly on news of the sale but were expected to stay steady. Dikshit’s fellow founders, Ruth Parasol and Russ DeLeon, still retain a 28% stake in the company and are said to be in for the long haul.

(PartyGaming founder reduces stake in group – Financial Times)

Chicagoland WSOP Circuit crowns three new winners

The WSOP Circuit continues at Horseshoe Casino Chicagoland this week, and as of this morning three more players have won events to earn their first gold championship rings.

Event #3, the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em event, drew 223 players compared with last year’s field of 162. Justin “Fluffdog” Filtz of Stevens Point, Wisc., emerged victorious, overcoming an 18-to-1 chip deficit at the beginning of heads-up play to seal the $51,727 win. “I knew when I was down that I was going to get it in 60-40 or 40-60 and had to win that,” Filtz said of his comeback. “He wins that, and it’s over. But I won the first one, and then another.”

Event #4, the $225 Ladies Championship , saw Nadya Magnus of Palatine, Ill., take down the tournament over a field of 183 players after finishing in 11th place the previous year. The Russian-born Magnus, who learned how to win tournaments from Gus Hansen’s book Every Hand Revealed and says that she’s obsessed with poker, earned $8,877 for her victory.

Meanwhile Event #6, the $2,125 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, sported the largest buy-in of any WSOPC Omaha tournament ever held. It also drew one of the smallest fields in WSOPC history at just 24 players. The last four players chopped the prize pool equally, but Josh Mandel of Chicago walked away with the gold ring in the deal. Despite the small attendance for Event #6, overall attendance at this year’s Chicagoland WSOPC is up more than 11%.

WSOP on ESPN, plus Joe Cada on Inside Deal

It’s Tuesday night and as usual that means it’s WSOP time on ESPN. The network’s in-depth coverage of the 2009 Main Event picks up with just 64 players left in contention for the biggest prize in poker, and only 27 will remain by the time tonight’s second hour is over. Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Darvin Moon, and last woman standing Leo Margets will all get some face time tonight, while the tournament will end for Tom Schneider, Prahlad Friedman, Dennis Phillips, and Joe Sebok.

One of those 27 players who will remain at the end of tonight’s WSOP broadcast is November Niner Joe Cada, who’s doing double duty as this week’s guest on ESPN Inside Deal. Hosts Laura Lane and Bernard Lee talk with Cada about his chances of becoming the youngest Main Event winner in history, his association with PokerStars, and finding a backer in the world of tournament poker. ESPN Inside Deal regular Andrew Feldman also stops in to talk about Dream Team Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, picking his dream teams of young guns, old guard, and women along with Cada and the hosts.

Two hours of the 2009 Main Event begin on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET tonight, while you can watch Inside Deal at any time right here.

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