Poker News in Brief: Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2009

Guy Laliberte
Guy Laliberte takes the circus show into space.

Barry Shulman dominated the last week in poker, beating arguably the toughest final table of the year to win the 2009 WSOPE main event.

Plus, by finishing second, Daniel Negreanu became poker's all-time leading money winner.

With all the news out of London, it was easy to forget about the rest of the poker world. Fortunately, as part of our ongoing Poker News in Brief feature, we've broken down some of the lesser-known stories below.

This week we'll take a look at a renowned poker player going cosmic, five poker players getting a big relief and a new WSOP promotion from Milwaukee's Best Light.

Guy Laliberte blasts off

Cirque du Soleil founder and alleged high-stakes fish Guy Laliberte became the first Canadian space-tourist on Wednesday.

Laliberte, along with a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut, successfully blasted into space aboard a Soyuz spacecraft headed for the International Space Station.

The French-Canadian billionaire is isn't just along for the ride and on Oct. 9, if all goes according to plan, he will be the master of ceremonies for a global performance involving 14 cities and noted celebrities like Bono, Shakira, David Suzuki and former vice-president Al Gore.

The show is to promote the One Drop Foundation for access to clean water.

Laliberte is scheduled to return to earth on Oct. 11.

Hello Hello
Milwaukee's Best Light girls at the 2007 WSOP.

Milwaukee's Best Light starts poker promotion

Milwaukee's Best Light, the official beer sponsor of the WSOP, is giving their customers a chance to win a seat in the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

The promotion is part of the brand's two-month "Online Poker Challenge" which will see two seats awarded to the 2010 Main Event.

From now through Nov. 22, those 21 and older can visit and click the Milwaukee's Best Light banner to register and compete in Texas Hold'em online.

At the end of each week, the 1,000 participants with the highest point totals will be eligible to participate in that week's final tournament, which will determine the top 100 point holders.  Those top 100 qualifiers will advance to the month-ending grand prize tournament.

Players will also have the opportunity to earn bonus points by referring friends, answering trivia and obtaining codes inside specially marked boxes of Milwaukee's Best and Milwaukee's Best Ice.

Pro-online poker bill hits 60 co-sponsors

Rep. Barney Frank's Internet Gambling, Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act of 2009 reached 60 co-sponsors this week. Among the newest to sign on board with the bill are Rep. Lyn Woolsey, William Clay, Adam Schiff and Christopher Murphy.

The bill is currently waiting to be heard before committee, but support is starting to grow in the Republican Party.

Frank originally said the bill would be heard by Easter this year, but it was pushed back to July and then September. It's now likely the bill won't be discussed until the new year.

In the meantime, Frank has introduced a second bill that would postpone the coming enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Dec. 1, 2009.

Justice scales
Poker players go free.

Judge dismisses case against Mt. Pleasant poker players

The decision to convict five South Carolinian poker players has been reversed.

Bob Chimento, Jeremy Brestel, Michael Williamson, Scott Richards and John T. Willis were originally found guilty of violating South Carolina's anti-gambling laws for running a private Texas No-Limit Hold'em game in 2006.

The group didn't profit from running the games, but money was raked from the pot to help cover expenses.

Earlier this year, South Carolina Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis ruled that poker was a game of skill, not chance, but the five were still found guilty of operating a gambling house.

Thursday Dennis released a letter stating he had decided to reverse the convictions of all five players. The municipal court found the evidence "overwhelming" that Texas Hold'em is a game of skill.

Poker advocacy groups like the Poker Player's Alliance are touting it as a victory for poker players in the U.S.

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