The August doldrums are over and fall is in full swing. This past week was a busy one with good news, bad news, and big paydays online and on the East Coast. We’ve got the scoop on all the big stories of the past seven days in this edition of The Week That Was:
Full Tilt, Warrants, and Ponzi Schemes? Oh My!
The folks within the poker world are referring to 9/20 as Terrible Tuesday. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara’s condemnation of the online poker room as a “Ponzi scheme” set off a domino effect of responses and charges, including a response from the previously silent Rafe Furst and Tom Dwan making a media appearance on Fox Business. Even the mainstream news sources are running with the story, including a New York Times piece in which a Full Tilt attorney clarifies what exactly a Ponzi scheme entails and why the statement from the US Attorneys Office was both inflammatory and factually incorrect.
Epic Poker Takes Preemptive Action, Suspends Lederer and Ferguson
One of the fallouts for Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer following Bharara’s announcement is that they will be suspended from Epic Poker League play until their pending civil suits are resolved.
The suspension comes after a number of fans and members of the poker community drew attention to the fact that no action had been taken against the duo from Epic’s Standards and Conduct Committee despite action being taken against Chino Rheem and Pro/Am qualifier, Michael DiVita.
Epic’s own Stephen Martin spoke with BLUFF to give some insight as to what the suspension entails and why action was taken. Neither Lederer nor Ferguson have played in either of the two Epic series.
WCOOP Breaking Guarantees and Big Names Scoring Big Too
The 2011 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is wrapping up this weekend. While the event wasn’t up to the same financial standards of past years, the series did manage to cover the guarantees on all of their more than 60 events, including the $5 million guarantee Main Event. The last full week of action saw Dan “djk123″ Kelly tie the record for most WCOOP bracelets with three, then saw Anders “Donald” Berg come up just short of nabbing his fourth.
The Main Event drew over 1,600 runners, generating a more than $8 million prize pool. Both the first and second place finishers in the event are scheduled to earn seven figures.
We’ll have a recap from the last batch of events up on Monday and results from the Main Event and the Player of the Series race available on Tuesday.
Bobby Oboodi Beats Big Borgata Field
Full Tilt Poker may be on the ropes, but East Coast poker is alive and well. The annual World Poker Tour stop in Atlantic City for the Borgata Poker Open shattered the record for biggest field WPT event ever with 1,313 runners in the $3,500 buy-in event. Thanks to re-entries, there was more than $4 million up for grabs, including over $922,000 that went to winner Bobby Oboodi. The 24 year-old bested a final table that included longtime online poker player Darren Elias, 2006 WSOP Main Event 10th place finisher Fred Goldberg, and local grinder Daniel Buzgon.
Will Failla looked poised to make his second consecutive WPT final table, but his miracle run at his home casino came up just short. He finished in 11th place.
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