- Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com
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September is one of the best times of the year for the poker industry, as momentum continues to build leading up to the WSOP main event final table on Nov. 4. While Anthony Zinno's World Poker Tour victory at the Borgata stole many headlines, the beginning of the Full Tilt Poker remission process is what has moved the needle most.
Some quick hits:
After essentially two years of frustration, players were notified via e-mail last week by the Garden City Group about the ability to file a Petition for Remission. By doing so, former FTP players are requesting the return of their money, which has been frozen in their FTP account since April 15, 2011. Petitions for Remissions can be filed until Nov. 16, but a firm date for the return of funds has not been set. If you believe you should've received an email but did not, you should first check your spam folder, and if it's not there, head here for more information.
In New Jersey, Zinno earned his first WPT title and $825,099 at the Borgata Poker Open. He defeated Vanessa Selbst heads-up for the title, getting in with the best hand and holding during their two major all-in confrontations. Zinno's previous best live cash was for $86,964. Selbst earned $492,569, giving her $2.3 million in tournament earnings in 2013. Other notable finishers in this event include Cong Pham (third), Jeremy Kottler (fourth), David Randall (fifth), Eric Fields (sixth) and Cliff Josephy (ninth). November Niner Ryan Riess finished 68th. The $3,500 re-entry event offered a $3 million guaranteed prize pool that was easily eclipsed with the 1,189 entries ($3.8M total).
Earlier this year, the World Series of Poker announced that their Circuit National Championship would take place in New Jersey. Now, the World Poker Tour is following suit. For the first time in the tour's existence, the WPT Championship event will take place at the Borgata. There's a pretty clear reason for this, as both are banking on the online poker market in the state opening strong this December.
The World Championship of Online Poker continues on PokerStars and will conclude this weekend with a $5,200 buy-in, $8 million guaranteed main event. After the first 50 events, "-Rebus1980-" is in great shape to win the best overall player award, as he's got one win, three final tables and 14 cashes. Over the past week, Jonathan Jaffe and Darren Elias both earned their second career WCOOP titles.
The 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is beginning to take shape, and the site announced on Wednesday that the $10,300 main event will include a $10 million guarantee. Given their ability to run online satellites, plus utilize the Full Tilt brand, plus potentially offer satellites in New Jersey later this year, that number should be easily attainable. The tournament series will also include a $100,000 Super High Roller and $25,000 High Roller event.
WSOP.com launched last week in Nevada to much fanfare but a limited player base. Expect the buzz around that site to grow in the coming weeks with the debut of their first online poker tournament series that includes a live final table tie-in. Additionally, the eight tournaments that make up the WSOP Online Championships all include added money to the prize pool.
888 has partnered with Wynn Resorts to operate its online poker offerings in Nevada and New Jersey as part of the "All American Poker Network." On a strange note, according to Bloomberg, Wynn's hardware will be hosted on a Caesars' property in Atlantic City in order for them to operate in New Jersey. Caesars will probably be its biggest competitor in both states.
WSOP Europe begins on Oct. 11 with the newly-added Ladies Event, which will be the first of eight bracelet events at the Casino Barriere in Enghien-les-Bains. The tournament series will conclude with a 25,600 euro high roller event.
One of the biggest stops each year on the European Poker Tour, EPT London, begins in early October and concludes on the first day of WSOPE. Smart timing by both parties will allow for players to go from one event to the next with ease and should boost participation.
The WSOP main event final table. The two-day live event on ESPN and ESPN2 should be one of the best yet.