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888Poker to Host Fifth Iteration of Super XL Series in May

888Poker, which has become the third online poker network to host an elite poker series, will be hosting the fifth iteration of their Super XL Series in May. The Series, consisting of 40 tournaments, is set to take place on May 14th – 22nd, and will offer $3m in guaranteed prize money, and a $1m guaranteed Main Event.

The format of the festival will consist of Mini and Main themed events for low and high rollers, as well as a Turbo theme for players who prefer to avoid any hassle getting in and out.

The Main Event, which will be the star attraction with a $1,050 buy-in, will run on Sunday May 22nd. This will mark the third time in a row that the tournament will feature a $1m guarantee, so it is sure to draw some of the biggest names in the game including 888 ambassadors Jackie Glazier, Nico Villa-Lobos, Bruno “Foster” Politano, Akira Ohyama, Sofia Lövgren, Bruno Kawauti and Kara Scott. With that being said, it’s definitely not to be missed!

The fourth edition of the Super XL Main Event back in January created a $1.2m prize pool, which officially made it the largest prize pool offered so far on 888Poker. Finnish player ‘jnevanli’ defeated UK’s ‘carmen.1957’, winning the top prize of $182,663 after the two had carved out a heads-up deal.

Satellites for the event are already available, starting at as little as a single cent.

Other highlights from the Super XL Series schedule include:

• Event #5: $250,000 Opening Event Multi Chance
• Event #7: $200,000 Whale
• Event #10: $15,000 Omaha
• Event #15: $400,000 High Roller
• Event #18: $30,000 8-Max
• Event #21: $10,000 America’s Event

Commentary Legend Joe Stapleton joins Poker Night

European Poker Tour commentator and comedian Joe Stapleton, known the world over for his quick-witted humour, recently confirmed that he would feature on the 4th season of the widely popular Poker Nights in America.

Stapleton is hailed in the industry as one of the best voices in the business when it comes down to engaging and entertaining audiences. Following a highly successful live stream event last August at Poker Night, ‘Stapes’ was an obvious choice for the job. In an interview with PokerNews, Stapleton said that he was ‘thrilled to be back doing poker on TV in the States […] especially on a show like Poker Night in America’, going on to say that everyone ‘always seemed to be having a blast the first three seasons, and I’m pretty excited to get in on that.’

Stapes will bring his trademark wit along with his ability to rattle some of the biggest names in poker to the show’s new format. With a fair number of TV poker shows stuck in the hazy nostalgia of Later Night Poker, recruiting legends like Stapleton alongside names like Maria Ho, Jason Somerville, Phil Hellmuth, and David Tuchman is a sure-fire way to make Poker Nights in America an even stronger top-quality powerhouse.

Global Poker League Draft List Announced: 203 Players, More Than $550M in Earnings

With Draft Day of the first-ever Global Poker League (GPL) season just around the corner, Mediarex Entertainment has just released the official list of draftable players. The list consists of 203 players that the 12 franchise managers will be able to select from to get on their teams, and it’s headed by Byron Kaverman, the 2015 GPI Player of the Year.

unnamed“The turnout for players signing up for the GPL Draft was much more than we expected, and I see that as a sign of hope,” Mediarex CEO Alex Dreyfus told PokerNews. “When players unite, they can make a real impact on the growth of poker. We’re happy to try and provide a foundation to make that happen.”

33 Countries, More Than $500 Million in Combined Winnings Represented

Each GPL franchise will include five players, three of which will be drafted during GPL Draft Day from those who opted in to be draft eligible from the top 1,000 GPI-ranked players. The other two players left will be selected as “wild cards.”

In order to be draft eligible, players in the top 1,000 of the GPI needed to confirm their availability to join the league. While a handful of big names decided the GPL and The Cube were not in their immediate future, as you can see by the gaps in the list, an impressive number of pros and legends of the game checked the “yes” box to give themselves the chance to be part of a project that aims to bring poker to a new level.

With combined live tournament winnings for an astonishing $562,834,964, the 203 players in the list hail from a total of 33 countries. While the delegation from the United States accounts for nearly half of the total field, the list of draft-eligible players includes names from every corner of the world, including Brazil, China, Canada, Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Who Are the 203 Players?

While the list does not include the names of poker superstars Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth— as they will be busy hosting the GPL’s Draft Day alongside Kara Scott — we can see that an impressive number of top players decided to opt in.

One that is on the list and is likely to end up in one of the 12 teams is Antonio Esfandiari. Sitting second on US all-time money list with live tournament earnings for more than $26 million, Esfandiari is not only a terrific player, but is also one that sure knows how to attract attention and engage the public — two things the league and league franchises will without a doubt need in the inaugural season.

Among the others that may be picked to join the 2016 GPL are big time players such as Jeff Madsen,Jonathan Duhamel, Jason Mercier, Brian Rast, Vanessa Selbst, and Kevin MacPhee.

While Esfandiari is the list’s biggest winner in live tournament poker, Chris Moorman leads the troop in terms of online cashes, as according to PocketFives he’s been able to put together online winnings for nearly $13 million. Also on the list are other great names of the game as Italy’sMustapha Kanit, winner of the first-ever Global Poker Masters with team Italy, Germany’s Dominik Nitsche, Belgium’s Davidi Kitai, and 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson.

About the author: Alex Dreyfus is the CEO and owner of the privately held Mediarex Sports & Entertainment which, in 2012, acquired the GlobalPokerIndex (GPI) and in 2013 TheHendonMob.com. With these acquisitions, the company became a leading digital hub for the poker industry with more than 4 million poker players per year making use of our services. Mediarex owns and operate the 12 year old largest live poker database with more than 270,000 events covered and 450,000 player profiles.Global Poker League Draft List Announced: 203 Players, More Than 0M in Earnings 101

Betsson profits grow, bigger workforce needed

Betsson, whose Malta-base employs a strong 750+ workforce, saw revenue rise by almost 25% in the last quarter of 2014, a new quarterly record of €86 Million. 2014 overall figures leaped forward in part thanks to last February’s acquisition of the Oranje and Kroon Casino brands. Poker profits, in contrast, fell by 20% due to Poker’s declining popularity in Betsson-friendly markets, specifically Scandinavian.

In light of this steady growth, Ulrik Bengtsson (Betsson CEO) argued that the gaming sector in Malta was finding it difficult to hire suitable candidates with the right talent. As a result, with the support from the University of Malta, this summer, paid internships will be offered to University students reading degrees in statistics, computing and data sciences.

Bengtsson went on to elaborate, “We have found it very hard to recruit in this field and can easily absorb those who are qualified. The interesting thing is that many of the students do not realise that these skills are required for i-gaming. It is not intuitive that we also require statisticians and data scientists.”

Internship applications will be open until the 20th February, 2015. The outcome will be announced by March same year. Further information may be collected by emailing Betsson at academy@betssongroup.com.