Poker News in Brief: Oct. 5-11, 2009

Annie Duke

Peter Eastgate came within one player of claiming his first major poker title since winning the 2008 WSOP Main Event this week.

Instead, U.S. player Aaron Gustavson stole the spotlight by winning EPT London as a three-week long schedule of major tournaments in England finally drew to a close.

Of course, there was plenty of poker news that happened outside of London this week and as part of our ongoing Poker News in Brief feature, we'll try to catch you up with it all.

This week we'll be looking at a new UltimateBet charity tournament, poker players in the buff and France possibly opening up its online gambling market.

UltimateBet introduces Starlight Poker Challenge

Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth and UltimateBet are once again showing their charitable side by hosting the Starlight Poker Challenge in Montreal, Nov. 14-18.

The event will offer a guaranteed first-place prize of $100,000, which is reportedly the most ever offered by a charity poker tournament in Canada.

Proceeds will be going to the Starlight Children's Foundation Canada, which is part of an international non-profit organization dedicated to assisting seriously ill children and their families.

The event will feature a WSOP-style structure with several celebrities set to play, including Hellmuth and Duke.

For more information check out the event's website here.

OktoberFest Returns to Hustler Casino

Hustler Casino in L.A. is celebrating the changing of the seasons with the return of its Oktoberfest Fall Classic Tournament.

This time around the casino will be offering a deep stack series with over $300,000 in guarantees. The 23-day tournament series will begin Oct. 15 and run until Nov. 2.

The centerpiece of the tournament will be the $225 buy-in Liz Flynt Poker Classic, which takes place Oct. 24-26 with a $100,000 guarantee.

Players will be treated to complimentary champagne, buffet and a visit from the Hustler Honeys and Hustler Hunks.

Click here for the complete schedule.

Jennifer Harman
Jennifer Harman will appear in the 'Body' issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Half-naked poker pros in ESPN The Magazine

Poker players are generally not known for their fantastic physiques, so it came as a surprise to many that four poker players were featured in a photo in this month's "Body" issue of ESPN The Magazine.

The photo, which appears to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, features Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth and Scotty Nguyen sitting topless at a poker table.

The Body issue of ESPN The Magazine is meant to highlight some of world's most impressive figures and it features star athletes like Serena Williams, Dwight Howard and Zdeno Chara in varying degrees of undress.

The issue is currently available at newsstands around the world.

French bill to open online gambling market?

It appears the French-government's monopoly on online gambling is at an end.

According to Reuters reports out of Paris, a French bill that would end the state monopoly went before discussion on Wednesday.

Budget Minister Eric Woerth told Parliament he thought they had found middle-ground that would be an efficient way of controlling the market and ending the reign of numerous illegal sites.

France had been feeling pressure from the European Union and private operators to open up their market, which is worth billions.

The new legislation would see private firms obtain permits from a newly created regulator. These firms would then be able to run their own gambling sites.

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