The Week That Was: Busy Week for Black Friday Defendants

There’s been increased speculation this week about the potential of a PokerStars acquisition of FullTilt and its assets, but for now the Black Friday news is centered around the fates of several payment processors involved in the indictments. Action is about to heat up on the felt as well as the post-WSOP schedule is heating up, but the second half of the World Series of Poker has already affected the BLUFF Power Rankings in a big way.

The WSOP Circuit announced their schedule as well, with the post-WSOP lull nearly over. Let’s take a look back at what made headlines this week.

Absolute Poker Payment Processing Head Brent Beckley Sentenced

After pleading guilty to Black Friday charges in December of 2011, Brent Beckley finally received his sentence this week. After cooperating with the investigation, the former head of payment processing for Absolute Poker got 14 months in prison Monday afternoon. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan wanted to send a clear message with Beckley’s sentencing.

“The sentence has to make clear that the government of the United States means business in these types of cases,” said Kaplan. The charges against Beckley are related to bank fraud, wire fraud, and violation of the UIGEA.

Ira Rubin Receives Sentence as Well

Ira Rubin was not directly employed by PokerStars, FullTilt, or Absolute/UB, but helped all three companies disguise gambling transactions in order for them to be illegally processed. Judge Kaplan decided Rubin’s fate this week as well, sentencing him to three years in prison despite recommendations for something less severe. While the sentencing guidelines called for 18 months to two years, Kaplan pointed to Rubin as a career criminal who had a high likelihood of being a repeat offender.

Rubin also faces a staggering $13 million owed due to a forfeiture owner and a Federal Trade Commission judgement.

Vanessa Selbst Closing In on Marvin Rettenmaier for Top Spot in Power Rankings

After putting together two big runs late in the 2012 WSOP, Vanessa Selbst has jumped up to second in the BLUFF Power Rankings. Selbst added her second career bracelet in the 10-Game event late in the summer, and to top it off she made Day 6 of the Main Event and finished 73rd. While he didn’t have a signature performance during the 2012 WSOP, current number one Marvin Rettenmaier had six cashes to follow his pre-WSOP World Poker Tour Championship victory to carry a lead of over 100 points into August.

There was a lot of movement throughout the top 20, with five new faces and jumps from repeat bracelet winners Michael Mizrachi and Oleksii Kovalchuk. Current BLUFF Player of the Year leader Dan Smith continued to shine in $5,000 No Limit Hold’em events, and his third place finish at the WSOP brought him into the top 10 of the Power Rankings.

WSOP Circuit Schedule Released

With all but the final table of the Main Event already in the books at the 2012 WSOP, the schedule for the ninth season of the WSOP Circuit was released this week. There will be 20 events across 14 states, with new destinations including the River Rock Casino in Vancouver and Foxwoods, as well as stops in Cleveland and Cherokee, North Carolina. Instead of holding the National Championship during the 2013 WSOP, it will be held immediately following the last stop of the season in New Orleans.

There will be 40 automatic qualifiers to the National Championship, with the Main Event winner and the biggest points accumulator at each stop advancing. There will be 60 at-large spots that will allow people to qualify for free, and, like in the 2012, the top 100 WSOP POY from 2011 and 2012 combined will be able to buy in for $10,000.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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