Poker News in Brief: May 9-15, 2011

EPT Champion of Champions Jason Mercier.

With the EPT Grand Final wrapping up in Madrid, the poker world gearing up for the WSOP in Las Vegas and continued fallout from online poker's Black Friday, the front page of PokerListings news section was filled to the brim this week.

A few smaller stories may have slipped through the cracks as a result, but fortunately, we've complied them below in our weekly Poker News in Brief feature.

This week, Jason Mercier wins again, PokerStars pays out, PartyPoker offers more ways in the WSOP and more.

Mercier Wins EPT Champion of Champions

The EPT's seventh season wrapped up this week with Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier taking down the first ever European Poker Tour Champion of Champions event.

Mercier, 24, who beat this year's PCA champion Galen Hall heads-up, won €50,000 in EPT Season 8 buy-ins in the freeroll pitting the EPT main event champions from the first seven seasons against one another.

"I'm extremely happy," he said. "It was a tough tournament. Really good players came out and, when we got deep, I did think at one point that I was going to bubble it."

A total of 50 players took part in the €100,000 freeroll.

Vicky Coren finished fourth, winning €10,000 of buy-ins for next season. Max Lykov came third for €15,000 in EPT8 buy-ins and Hall's runner-up finish netted him €25,000 in Season 8 buy-ins.

LAPT Argentina Moves

The fourth stop of the LAPT season has been moved from Rosario, Argentina to Punta del Este in Uruguay.

The event will run Aug. 3-7 at the Mantra Resort, Spa and Casino - the same location Uruguay events have been held during the first three seasons of the LAPT.

The tournament schedule will feature a $2,300+$200 main event, a $1,100 NLHE two-day event and a $5,000 High Roller turbo freezeout.

The Americas Cup of Poker will also be taking place in Uruguay Aug. 8-9 immediately after the LAPT.

"We strive to provide the best poker experience to our players on the LAPT and Uruguay will be a much better destination than Rosario on all counts," said LAPT President David Carrion.

Players who may have already made travel arrangements for Rosario should contact LAPT support for advice on how to alter bookings.

Commerce Casino Welcomes Facebook Fans

Poker players who "Like" Commerce Casino's Facebook page are being invited to the property's first Facebook Fan Exclusive No-Limit Hold'em Poker Tournament next Saturday May 21.

The $50+$10 1 p.m. event has a guaranteed prize pool of $10,000, and is only open to people who have "Liked" Commerce Casino on Facebook.

Part of Commerce's Cal State Poker Championship tournament series, the event will is also offering technology prizes to the first and second place finishers.

"We are very excited about being able to demonstrate to Commerce Casino's Facebook fans how much we appreciate their support," said Jeff Harris, Casino Manager. "At Commerce, we like to keep our tournament schedule filled with unique new offerings and this Exclusive Facebook Fan tourney fits right in."

PartyPoker Extends WSOP Qualifiers

PartyPoker has decided to extend its daily WSOP main event satellites until May 31, with one $14k package guaranteed every day.

Plus, there's still a chance to qualify for free.

“With the guarantee of one WSOP Main Event $14k package every single day there has been great value through overlays, but we’re sticking our neck out and carrying on and extending the promotion until the 31st May," said a PartyPoker spokesperson. "In fact, the overlay has reached nearly $80,000 since the April 18 so those that have qualified so far have been getting superb value.

"We don’t think you will find a better value way of qualifying for the WSOP Main Event anywhere else so check it out today.”

Daily WSOP Main Event $700+$50 satellites take place at 3:20 p.m. ET every day with freeroll options and sub qualifiers from $2.

PokerStars Returns $100 Million to U.S. Players

PokerStars says it has returned more than $100 million to its former U.S. players dropped from the site after online poker's Black Friday.

The site is continuing operations outside the U.S. and claims it is committed to delivering the highest-quality poker experience in a secure environment that players can trust.

PokerStars also says it is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen in markets around the world operating under license from the Isle of Man Government and paying strict adherence to the laws in countries that regulate online poker.

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