Poker News in Brief: Jan. 11-17, 2010

Gavin Smith

The conclusion of the PCA, Kara Scott signing with PartyPoker and Gus Hansen returning to the high stakes online games made waves in the poker industry this week.

But there was plenty of poker news that didn’t make the front page of, and as part of our ongoing Poker News in Brief feature, we’ve compiled a list below.

This week we’ll take a look at Gavin Smith crushing Canadian tournaments, the HPT going to Vegas, a dominant online player quitting poker and more:

Two Final Tables for Smith at Fallsview

Canadian Gavin Smith was dominant at the 2010 Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagara Falls this week.

Fresh off a plane from the Bahamas, Smith outlasted 275 players to win $188,743 in the $2,500 event and then three days later finished fourth in the $5,000 main event.

Smith has historically done very well at tournaments in Canada. In 2008, he finished second at the Fallsview-hosted WPT North American Poker Championship for $542,129. He also made the final table of the 2008 Canadian Open Poker Championship in Calgary the same year.

Heartland Poker Tour Heads to Vegas

The Heartland Poker Tour kicked off its sixth season at Red Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas this week.

It was just the second time the lower buy-in poker tour has made a stop in Las Vegas, as it usually sticks to venues in Midwest. In the past, the tour has hosted tournaments in Indiana, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Michigan and Iowa.

The $1,100 buy-in event drew poker pros Dennis Phillips, Layne Flack, John Vorhaus and Tiffany Michelle.

The final table of the tournament is scheduled to play out later today.

Jonas Danielsson

Jonas "Nebuchad" Danielsson Quits Poker

Online grinder Jonas “Nebuchad” Danielsson, perhaps most well-known for making a verbal slip at the 2008 Scandinavian Poker Awards, has apparently decided to leave poker for the time being.

Danielsson made the announcement on his blog where he wrote that his passion for poker was gone and he was looking forward to experiencing new things. He did not mention how long his self-imposed retirement would last.

The young Swedish pro started playing poker full time in 2005 and in roughly five years of playing made over $3 million in profit.

Danielsson won Online Player of the Year at the Scandinavian Poker Awards in 2008, but was better remembered for accidentally referring to King Nebuchadnezzar as the first king to “deal with the Jewish problem” when explaining the origin of his screen name to host Daniel Negreanu.

English is not Danielson’s first language and he explained afterwards he was deeply sorry about the miscommunication.

Tennis Star John Isner Plays Poker

Apparently Boris Becker isn’t the only tennis celebrity that enjoys playing a little poker.

The New Zealand Herald reported this week that American John Isner can often be found at the poker table when he’s not playing tennis.

The 6’9 giant was making headlines all week in Auckland at the Heineken Open and even pulled off an upset against top seeded Spanish player Tommy Robredo.

Isner joins the aforementioned Becker as well as former tennis world #1 Yvegeny Kafelnikov as tennis players who are also poker enthusiasts.

Borgata Announces 2010 Winter Poker Open

The Borgata in Atlantic City released a schedule for its fifth annual Borgata Winter Poker Open this week.

The tournament series will take place Jan. 20-Feb. 5 with 16 events in a wide range of poker variants including No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Seven-Card Stud and more.

The $3,500 buy-in main event is scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 5 and it will offer a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million.

The Borgata Winter Open used to be a part of the World Poker Tour and in the past crowned champions like Michael Mizrachi, Gavin Griffin and John Hennigan.

Visit the Borgata website for the complete schedule.

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