Duke, Pollack and Palms Create Pro Poker League

Annie Duke
'A unified league is something we have been talking about in the industry for years .'

Some of the biggest names in the poker industry have banded together to create a new professional poker league.

Former World Series of Poker president and commissioner Jeffrey Pollack and his company Federated Sports and Gaming (FS+G) has joined with the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas to create the new pro poker league, with Annie Duke taking on the job as Commissioner.

The initial FS+G schedule will include three tournaments from August to December 2011, with a fourth championship tournament to take place in January 2012 at the Palms.

The world’s top 200 players, according to the league's own ranking system based on an eligibility formula using historic statistics similar to those governing professional golf and tennis, will be invited to play.

The tournaments will be rake-free for the poker pros and feature generous prize pool overlays.

There are plans to televise each event.

“A unified league is something we have been talking about in the industry for years and I’m really looking forward to bringing this vision to life,” said Duke, who recently parted ways with online poker site UB.

FS+G itself was formed last year by Pollack and Youbet.com executives Michael Brodsky, David Goldberg and Jeffrey Grosman.

Pollack says they have now created a pro poker league designed to provide a unique series of televised events putting the spotlight on the game’s brightest stars.

“I’ve long believed that the top professional poker players create enormous value for the industry and are skilled in a way that is worthy of star treatment,” he said.

“Our new league will celebrate poker professionals like never before and provide a tournament experience at the Palms that is first-class at every turn.”

At least one player sure to be ranked in the top 200, 2010 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Erik Seidel, is on board already.

“It has been a long time coming for a poker league on par with other professional sports,” said Seidel, an eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner.

“I am looking forward to true excellence in the game being rewarded.”

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