The Week That Was: PCA Wrap-Up, Rational Group to Acquire AC Casino

Defending champion Erik Seidel is among the 64 players who will compete in the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship

Poker is in the midst of one of the busiest months of the year, with the PCA coming to an end this week and the opening events at the Aussie Millions just getting underway. The Main Event and $25,000 High Roller ended nearly a week ago, each a big part of a series that saw history made, several big winners crowned and outcomes that will have dramatic effects on both the BLUFF Player of the Year race and the BLUFF Power Rankings.

Then there was the small matter of PokerStars’ and Full Tilt Poker’s parent company, Rational Group, agreeing to acquire a casino in Atlantic City, seen by most as their easiest way back into online poker as legislation progresses. The WSOP had a lot of news this week, announcing the field of 64 for the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which will be played out in the coming week. They also released the schedule for WSOP Asia-Pacific, which will take place this April, and had the first WSOPC Main Event of the Year in LA. Let’s take a look at the week that was.

Vanessa Selbst, Dimitar Danchev Claim Major Titles and Serious Money as PCA Concludes

It’s not often that a High Roller overshadows a Main Event, especially in a tournament as big as the PCA Main Event. When Vanessa Selbst is involved, however, nothing really seems all that far-fetched. To the surprise of almost no one, Selbst added another major title by winning the $25,000 PCA High Roller to earn over $1.4 million. This win officially made Selbst the highest earning female poker player in history, pushing her past the $7 million mark. Her consistency over the last several years also earned Selbst fourth in the latest BLUFF Power Rankings, while Ole Schmion, who also made the $25,000 High Roller final table, jumped 13 spots to seventh.

Nothing should be taken from Dimitar Danchev, though. The Bulgarian Pro won one of the biggest tournaments of the year and $1.86 million in the process, beating out a field of 987 to do it. By winning that prestigious title, Danchev became the first player to grab the lead in the 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year standings, with Selbst and $25,000 High Roller runner-up Vladimir Troyanovsky taking second and third, Main Event runner-up Joel Micka in fourth and Super High Roller champion Scott Seiver rounding out the top five. They haven’t factored in much yet, but BLUFF has made a few minor changes to the way our POY formula is going to work this year, which you can check out here.

Rational Group Agrees to Terms for Purchase of Atlantic Club Casino in New Jersey

Online poker legislation is making serious progress in several states, including New Jersey. Rational Group, the parent company of both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has seen an opportunity for potential re-entry into the US market and has claimed it, reaching an agreement this week to buy the struggling Atlantic Club Casino. The sale of the casino, which sits on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, is pending approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which could take up to 120 total to be processed.

This week’s edition of ‘The Fight’ delved deeper into Rational’s motivation for this deal, as well as how the future of any potential online gaming in New Jersey, Nevada and beyond might be affected by their entry into one of the most prominent US gaming jurisdictions.

Field of 64 Announced for the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship

After a year off, the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship is returning in 2013. Scheduled to play out from Thursday, January 24 through Saturday, January 26, the tournament will feature a field of 64 players battling it out in a heads-up format to crown the event’s eighth champion. A lot has changed since the last NHUPC, with nearly half of this year’s field playing for the first time and only three of the seven previous champions in the mix. The first half of the field was revealed on Tuesday and the rest were confirmed Friday, with just a qualifier left to fill out the bracket.

WSOP Reveals Schedule for First Ever WSOP Asia-Pacific

It’s still more than two months away, but the first ever World Series of Poker outside of Las Vegas and Europe now has a concrete schedule, which was announced Tuesday. Five bracelets will be awarded over two weeks, with a $50,000 High Roller on the schedule as well. A lot of the discussion surrounding the event focused on the new “Accumulator” format, which will be in play for the first event, an $1,100 No Limit Hold’em tournament with three starting days.

Baptiste Chavaillaz Wins first WSOPC Main Event of 2013 at The Bike

While the PCA kicked off the year in poker, the tournament circuit took a few extra days to get started. Series’ at Choctaw in Oklahoma and the Borgata are each underway, with the second longest series of the year, the LAPC, beginning its 68 event schedule this week as well. The first major US series of the year is in the books though, with Baptiste Chavaillaz claiming the Main Event title and $216,275 at the WSOP Circuit’s stop at The Bike. Chavaillaz and Nathan Bjerno were the first two people in 2013 to punch their ticket to the upcoming National Championship in New Orleans.

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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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