Daily 3-Bet: Nada Nadal, Enter StarsDraft, Return to Poker Dome

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Welcome to the Terror... er, Poker Dome.

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a shiny dress shirt, an overworked heart monitor and one spectacular, sweaty moment in the afternoon poker news sun.

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Today in the 3-Bet we find Rafael Nadal off the poker team, an opportunity for Amaya in the DFS world and the once-glorious future of the Mansion Poker Dome.

1) Nadal Out as Sportstar?

When Rafael Nadal signed on as a PokerStars Ambassador/Sportstar in June 2012 it was one of the biggest, most buzzed about happenings in poker since, well, ever.

Nadal
Gone but not forgotten.

His departure from the team sometime over the past couple of months? Not so buzzed about.

No official statement has been released but based on the PokerStars Team Sportstars home page it appears Nadal is no longer officially representing the brand.

All that bluffing practice will go for naught, we guess.

It's more than likely an ending-of-contract thing of course but it's worth taking a short pause to pour one out for perhaps the biggest poker signing in history.

He may have given way to Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar but the association of a major mainstream icon like Nadal to the recovering world of poker back then has more than likely helped push poker on its path back to viability in many markets in the world.

Adios, Rafa. It was a fun ride and your work is appreciated.

2) Window Opens for StarsDraft?

You know the old saying: Whenever God closes a monopoly door via an insider trading scandal, a window opens for a competitor to grab its market share. We're paraphrasing, sure; but that's the gist.

The ongoing #DKLeak affair is wreaking a bit of havoc on the nascent Daily Fantasy Sports market at the moment with industry kingpins DraftKings and FanDuel under the pump for poor "self-regulatory" standards.

Enter one of the most licensed, regulated companies in the world  - and one that has already paid its dues (and massive fines) for operating under a less-than-universal legal framework.

Amaya, the parent company of PokerStars, entered the Fantasy Sports world this summer with the purchase of Victiv. It's yet to make a big push into the market to compete with the Big Two but given its recent approval in New Jersey and the scrambling of DK and Fan Duel to save face this could be the time to make a move.

Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc. and PokerStars, seems to agree:

Good for DFS, good for online poker, too? We'll see soon enough.

3) Are You Ready for the Most Futuristic Poker Super Structure?

Remember the most futuristic poker superstructure ever imagined? How about the most unique, high-tech poker tournament of all time?

Few poker fans among us remember the 43-week(!) MansionPoker Poker Dome Challenge of 2006/7 but, thanks to the memory-jarring GPL Cube and ever vigilant poker historian @Kevmath, we've been rediscovering this gem all morning.

So what was so futuristic and high-tech about it?

  • Played in front of live audience in structure called "The Poker Dome"
  • Audience couldn't be seen or heard by players; players couldn't talk with outside world
  • Table had LED display for dealer button, hole-card cams, RFID cards and built-in LED hand timers (15-second shot clocks).
  • Had two dealers and players were attached to heart monitors w/ heart rates displayed for live/home audience

Which nowadays doesn't sound so futuristic but in 2006, well ... Blockbuster was still a thing so we'll give it a pass. Top prize was $1m and for the life of us we have no idea who won it.

Interesting side notes: Survivor's Boston Rob played and Matt Savage was Tournament Director. Mansion Poker is also still a thing. Check out Episode 1 below:

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