Poker News in Brief: Sept. 21-27

Phil Hellmuth

The 2009 WSOPE is in full swing this week with J.P. Kelly, Erik Cajelais and Jani Vilmunen all taking down gold bracelets.

But despite the focus on London there was even more going in the poker world with Hardcore Poker Show, Hellmuth mentioned he thought there was a potential battle brewing between Harrah's and established online rooms like UltimateBet, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

Hellmuth went on to say that if Harrah's decided to restrict competing poker room logos from its competitions there was a possibility that all the players from the major sites would form their own WSOP-style event.

Bertrand Grospellier
Isn't ElkY an online pro team by himself?

PokerStars adding Online Pro division?

It appears that PokerStars will be adding a primarily online section of its Team Pro roster.

The employee that runs the official PokerStars twitter account tweeted the following Friday:

"Team PokerStars Online Pro is a new branch of our team who'll be playing mainly online not live. Anyone will be able to apply in due course."

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu re-Tweeted the message.

PokerStars already has some very respectable online players with Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Jason "treysfull21" Mercier and Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan all in the Team PokerStars Pro fold.

Bobb Barr speaks out on Internet Gambling

Former House Representative Bob Barr is the latest public figure to comment on the state of online gambling in his Atlanta Journal-Constitution column - the Barr Code.

Barr mentioned that the potentially revenue generated from legalizing, regulating and taxing online poker was becoming harder for the government to ignore.

Barr went on to say it was very likely that Barney Frank's pro-online gambling bill would go before a hearing this fall.

Earlier this year, conservative columnist George Will wrote in his Washington Post column that he supported the legalization of online poker.

Harrah's extends contract with IMG Sports & Entertainment

Harrah's Interactive Entertainment and IMG Sports & Entertainment announced a four-year contract extension for global representation of the WSOP property this week.

According to the agreement, IMG will continue to use its international network to help establish the brand in areas beyond Las Vegas and London.

"We are looking to emphasize the 'World' in World Series of Poker as our vision of the brand extends beyond the annual events in Las Vegas and London," said Mitch Garber, CEO of Harrah's Interactive Entertainment.

"By tapping the global reach and expertise of IMG, we are confident that together we can take the brand to new levels on the international stage through new international bracelet events and other WSOP licensed poker events."

IMG has worked with the WSOP since 2005 and helped attract corporate sponsors like Jack Link's, Hershey's and Planters.

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