Poker News in Brief: Dec. 27, 2010- Jan. 2, 2011

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey returns with Poker After Dark on NBC this week.

This week, PokerListings' front page was filled with our Top Five Stories of 2010 and a few high stakes pros last ditch efforts to make the year an even more memorable one.

That meant a few of poker's smaller stories may have slipped through the cracks.

Fortunately, we caught them and compiled them in our weekly Poker News in Brief feature below.

This week, Poker After Dark returns, the World Cup captains are named, UB goes back to Montreal and more.

Poker After Dark Returns

The new season of POKER PROductions' Poker After Dark returns to NBC this week.

POKER PROductions inked an agreement with NBC Universal extending the late-night poker show through 2014 in 2010 and the seventh season, filmed at the new Aria Resort and Casino at the City Center complex in Las Vegas, begins airing Jan. 3.

This season will feature more cash games than ever before. Most will be no-limit hold'em, but two weeks will also be devoted to Pot-Limit Omaha with a lineup that should impress fans.

Names like Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, Michael Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Eli Elezra, Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and David Oppenheim will all appear this season.

There will only be three weeks following the traditional Freezout format this season, including this week's "Big Heat," a $100,000 buy-in event featuring John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Huckleberry Seed, Ivey, Dwan, and Galfond.

Leeann Tweeden will once again serve as the show's host with Ali Nejad providing commentary.

Fifty50 Sit & Go's

PokerStars has launched a new online poker Sit & Go format called Fifty50.

Although the tournaments end when half of the entrants have been eliminated, Fifty50's differ from the Double or Nothing format in that half of the prize pool gets split between the winning players equally and the other half is awarded based on chip counts.

Fifty50 events are currently running at the $10 level, but will soon be available at many different stakes.

World Cup of Poker Captains Named

The identities of the team captains for the seventh annual World Cup of Poker have been announced.

Last year, Chinese Taipei took the title. This year it will be Argentina, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, France, Ukraine and the United States battling it out for a $100,000 first prize at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Slovakia’s team will be led by Team PokerStars Pro’s newest member Dag Palovic. EPT San Remo winner Liv Boeree will lead the UK team while Argentina’s captain is back-to-back LAPT champ Nacho Barbero.

2009 APT champion Neil Arce will lead the team from the Philippines while the Spain squad will be headed up by Team PokerStars Pro Juan Manuel Pastor.

Luca Pagano leads Italy and Arnaud Mattern will captain the team from France.

And Finally, Vanessa Selbst will lead the USA while EPT Kiev runner-up Alexander Dovzhenko captains the Ukrainian side.

The action gets underway in the Bahamas Jan 14.

UB Returns to Poker Pro Canada Classic

For the second straight year, UB will be sending over twenty players to compete in the running of Montreal's biggest poker event, the Poker Pro Canada Classic.

The $1500+150 buy-in No Limit Hold 'em event runs Jan. 27-30, 2011 at the Four Aces Poker Club.

UB is running a series of super satellites and freerolls Jan. 2-16 giving players a chance to win a $2500 prize package that includes a seat plus $850 for travel expenses.

300-plus players and prize pool of $500,000 is expected in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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