Poker News in Brief: Aug 10-16, 2009

Vivek Rajkumar
Vivek Rajkumar's WPT Borgata title defence just got a little cheaper.

With a little bit of a break in the live tournament schedule following the 2009 WSOP, one would think it would be a slow time for news in poker.

One would be wrong.

It's been as busy as ever and as part of PokerListings' ongoing News in Brief feature, we've compiled a list of stories that didn't quite make the front page this week, but are worth mentioning to the hardcore poker enthusiast.

This week we find the Borgata has dropped the buy-in for its WPT event, the Party Poker team is expanding and players at PKR and Everest Poker are finding life a little more enjoyable.

WPT Borgata buy-in drops

The buy-in for the World Poker Tour's Borgata Poker Open has been dropped from $10k to $3,500, but with a guaranteed prized pool of $2 million, organizers expect it to be as big as ever.

"With a $3,500 buy-in, televised WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship event and a guaranteed $2 million prize pool, anyone has the chance to take home the trophy and championship money," Borgata's Senior VP of Operations Joe Lupo said.

The 7th annual Borgata Poker Open is actually a 16-day series featuring a wide array of tournaments beginning Sept. 9 and culminating with the televised championship event Sept. 19-24.

To view the event schedule or for more information visit theborgata.com.

Mike Sexton
Making friends all over.

Party Poker signs German gamer

29-year-old Palladium Elite player Bodo Sbrzesny, a former semi-professional tennis player and professional video gamer from Bruchsal, Germany, has been signed to Party Poker's grassroots team.

In creating a grassroots team Party Poker is now sponsoring players with emphasis on VIPs, player loyalty and historic links to PartyPoker.com.

Sbrzesny joins France's Remy Biechel, Brazil's Felipe Ramos, the UK's Ian Frazer and the legendary Mike Sexton on the team.

PKR aims to Xhilirate

PKR.com is partnering with the pioneers of poker massage.

The online poker site has signed a deal to make Xhilarate the exclusive massage supplier for all PKR Live tournaments and PR functions.

Xhilarate's massage team has worked the World Series of Poker Europe and the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour in the past.

"Nothing quite compares to the glamour and style of the Xhilarate girls and their massages," Marketing Manager Erika Schwartz said.

Antoine Saout
You may find Antoine at the top.

Reach the summit

Everest Poker has made a series of improvements to its VIP Summit Club frequent player program.

It's now 40% easier to reach the first "Base Camp" level where players can take part in a $5k freeroll and turn points directly into cash.

The climb beyond Base Camp will also go much quicker with reduced tier thresholds.

Players who reach "The Summit", the top tier of the program, will also be rewarded with a 900% Summit Point bonus, 20% higher than before.

Kiev hosts gaming expo

EPT Moscow isn't the only thing moving to Kiev these days.

The two-day EELEX iGaming expo is headed to Kiev, Ukraine Sept. 10-11.

The aim of the expo is to answer questions regarding gaming in Russia and the Ukraine.

Mini booths will be equipped where visitors can get acquainted with solutions for Internet poker, casinos, sportsbooks and payment systems.

EPT Moscow was previously moved to Kiev due to a shift in poker's legal status in Russia.

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