Poker News in Brief: May 2-8, 2011

Jose Barbero
Jose “Nacho” Barbero.

With even more fallout from online poker's Black Friday and live events wrapping up on the WSOPC, EPT and WPT, it was yet another busy week in the PokerListings news room.

A few smaller stories may have slipped through the cracks, but as usual, we snatched them up and compiled them below in our weekly Poker News in Brief feature.

This week the WPT takes over the Premier League, the PPA plans a march on Washington, SCOOP begins and more.

Premier League Joins WPT

World Poker Tour and Matchroom Sport have announced the upcoming season of Premier League Poker will be renamed the World Poker Tour Premier League Poker.

The PartyPoker sponsored event will take place later in the year and will be filmed for broadcast in Europe with the number of players also increasing from 12 to 16.

The $125,000 buy-in will give players a shot at $250,000 in added money and a total prizepool of $2,275,000.

"WPT and Premier League Poker both represent top class poker competition and high quality television," said Steve Heller, CEO of World Poker Tour. "The Premier League structure is one of the most unique in the world. WPT has always been an innovator, and this is a perfect fit."

The annual event traditionally draws some of the biggest names in the game to compete in its unique preliminary heat and finals Sit & Go structure.

"This association not only gives Premier League Poker extra credibility amongst players and guarantees them extensive global coverage, it also cements the winner as one of poker’s true greats when he or she joins the ranks of WPT Champions," said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport.

888poker Hits the Bullseye

Each Thursday the eight players of Premier League Darts battle it out live on National TV moving ever closer to their place in the finals.

Now online poker players can get in on the action through the 888 Poker Premier League Darts Team tournaments while they watch.

Teams Poker Tournaments are like regular poker tournaments, but the prizepool is split between the winning poker players and those who picked the winner of that week's Premier League Darts match.

So, even if your favorite player misses too many 180s, you could still win at the poker table on his behalf.

The tournaments feature a $2 buy-in and have a $501 guarantee.

Last Call for WPT Barcelona Seats

Sunday marks the last chance to qualify at PartyPoker for the WPT Spanish Championship €3,200+€300 main event.

The event will take place between May 25-29 at Casino Barcelona and packages including the buy-in, spending money, six night’s hotel accommodation and hospitality are up for grabs in the last main online satellite May 8.

The final $400 +$20 weekly online satellite will go off at 1:45 p.m. ET with one package guaranteed and one package awarded for every 20 players.

In 2010 there was a record 326 players at the WPT Spanish Championship with a total prize pool of €1,043,200).

SCOOP Begins

The first Spring Championship of Online Poker without U.S. players gets under way Sunday on PokerStars.

Once again, SCOOP offers action for all bankrolls, with 38 events set to take place at low, medium and high stakes.

The Championship will go on for the next 15 days featuring a total guaranteed prize pool of $25 million.

The series culminates with the $10,300 main event May 22, boasting a guaranteed prize pool of $2.5 million with at least $500,000 reserved for the winner.

“I can’t wait for SCOOP to start," said 2010 SCOOP title holder and Team PokerStars Pro Jose “Nacho” Barbero.

"There are so many tournaments, with buy-ins to suit every bankroll. Winning my first title last year was a dream and I’m determined to get a second one over the next couple of weeks.

PPA Heads to Washington

Members of the advocacy group the Poker Players Alliance will travel to Washington, D.C., May 23-24 to tell Congress it needs to pass legislation to establish regulated online poker in the U.S. this year.

“Our members are anxious to get to Washington and tell their lawmakers to restore their freedom to play poker on the Internet,” said PPA Chairman and Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

“During our fly in, members of Congress will meet firsthand with constituents who have been impacted by the lack of clarity in the law and the recent actions taken by the Department of Justice to shutdown Internet poker.

”The PPA will be hosting approximately 30 of its volunteer State Directors, who are PPA members designated as the lead for their state, as well as some professional poker players. These individuals will meet with targeted lawmakers and make the case for regulated online poker."

The PPA is also encouraging its entire membership to come to Washington and meet with their Congressional representatives.

“Given the events of April 15th and the beginning of the World Series of Poker in late May, now is thetime for PPA members to make their voices heard in the offices of their elected officials," added D’Amato. "Now is the time for Congress to act and protect Americans’ freedom to play poker online."

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