Poker News in Brief: April 24- May 1, 2011

Mike Sexton
With the WPT expanding and PartyPoker bringing back its Gladiator promotion, Mike Sexton's calendar is filling up.

With the EPT in San Remo, the WPT in Florida, the WSOPC in Las Vegas and the high-stakes action continuing online despite the absence of U.S. players, it was a busy week in the PokerListings news room.

As a result, a few smaller stories may have fallen through the cracks.

But fortunately, we've compiled them below in our weekly Poker News in Brief feature.

This week, the Melbourne Poker Championships begin, the WPT expands, Cake Poker extends its promotions and more.

Melbourne Poker Championships Begin

Crown’s Melbourne Poker Championships kicks off Sunday inside Australia's biggest poker room.

One of the most prestigious and sought-after titles on the Australian poker calendar, this year’s Championship boasts twenty tournaments highlighted by a $240 No-Limit Hold'em event with a $100k Guarantee, a 10-player $100,000 winner-takes-all Challenge and the $1,100 Melbourne Poker Championships main event.

The first Melbourne Poker Championship was held in 2002 where a modest field of 66 players took their seats in the $300 buy-in main event.

Last year’s main event drew 520 players with Brendan Rubie emerging victorious and walking away with $118,000.

WPT Expands in Florida

In the midst of the World Poker Tour's first event in the State of Florida, the tour announced it will be returning to the Sunshine State next year with three new tournaments.

The WPT will welcome Jacksonville Greyhound Racing & Poker as its newest partner and the Jacksonville Poker Rooms as host sites for a televised WPT Main Event, a first ever domestic non-televised Main Event and one Regional Event during its Season X schedule.

With the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown bringing the first ever $10,000 buy-in event to Florida, this new partnership gives the WPT a foothold in both north and south Florida and positions them as the dominate poker force in this emerging market.

Event dates will be announced closer to the start of the season.

"Florida is a growing poker market with a huge imprint on the U.S. poker scene," said WPT CEO Steve Heller.

"The WPT is focused on growth and we are very excited about our new stops in North Florida."

Maximus Partypointus is Back

The Gladiator promotion returns to PartyPoker for the month of May and, onece again, only the strongest will survive.

From May 1-31 all players have to do is opt-in and hit the minimum daily points target and they will claim entry into a $2,500 freeroll on ParyyPoker. Plus, daily targets have been slashes and now start at only five points.

“The more days you earn points on, the bigger your prize," said a partypoker spokesperson. "There’s up to $4,000 in cash to be won and anyone who wins a cash prize will also claim a seat in a $25,000 freeroll, giving you even more chances to win.

“Finally, we've added a massive incentive for the most dedicated players. Earn 1,200 points on 30 days and you’ll win a seat at this year's World Series of Poker Main Event. With May having 31 days that also means there's an extra day's rest that could prove vital for those dedicated to reaching the very top prizes.”

Cake Poker Extends Promotions

Cake Poker has extended its popular Match & Win and Turbo Gold Card promotions through the month of May.

Plus, qualifiers for this year’s World Series of Poker continue.

Both of these promotions are built around Cake Poker’s Gold Card Rewards Program where ring game players earn randomly released Gold Cards as they play. Players can collect these cards until they choose to redeem them in one of Cake Poker’s daily Gold Card tournaments or sell them for cash at The Exchange, a player-to-player marketplace in which players can buy and sell Gold Cards.

Also in May, Cake Poker continues its qualifiers for this year’s WSOP.

At Cake, players can build their very own ultimate Las Vegas experience with two ways to win. The first is a series of multi-table tournaments with a final that awards the winner a $13,000 prize package. The second way is through daily Sit-n-Go step tournaments.


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