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Top News – Maria Ho Finds New Job, Brunson Leaves DoylesRoom

Top News – Maria Ho Finds New Job, Brunson Leaves DoylesRoom

More than a month had passed since the events of 04.15 and the world of online poker is healing its wounds and trying to recover after one of the biggest impacts it had to experience in the short years of its existence. And while the US-based poker players are getting their funds back from PokerStars and waiting for the same to happen at Full Tilt, UB and Absolute, poker is still played both live and online and players are trying to adjust to the changed conditions.

Some of them appeared to be rather quick – Maria Ho who's just been sacked by the UB has already signed a new deal with WinStar World Casino and became their celebrity spokesperson. Doyle Brunson has left the online poker room carrying his name, Isaac Haxton and Justin Bonomo are getting ready to leave the States and go to live and grind in some more online-poker-friendly environment and Andy Frankenberger is now perhaps the happiest amongst the pros as he's just been rewarded with the WPT Player of the Year trophy.

Maria Ho Joins WinStar World Casino

Just over a week ago Maria Ho along with 9 other members of Team UB was laid off as Blanca Games, the company running UB and Absolute Poker brands, announced it had to take drastic measures so that to keep at least their non-US operations valid. However, some of the former UB pros did not just sit around and wait for other poker sites to hire them. Maria Ho, who was one of the latest additions to the UB team has now signed a new sponsorship deal. However, not with an online poker room, but rather a brick and mortar casino – WinStar.

On board at the WinStar World Casino is already the 2006 World Series of Poker champion and a former team PokerStars pro Greg “Fossilman” Raymer. Ho has taken the position of the celebrity spokesperson for the casino and will be the company's second poker endorser. She will appear in WinStar's ad campaigns and play in their poker tournaments and satellites, including the annual River Poker Series.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to work with WinStar. Their casino is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I could stay there for days without ever stepping outside! From my past experiences, the people who I’ve met and played with at the tables have a warmth and love for the game that is refreshing and reminds me why I love to play. I’m looking forward to spending more time there,” said Ho.

“We are honored to have Maria Ho represent WinStar World Casino in the 2011 Guaranteed $3,000,000 River Poker Series. She is a well-respected and often emulated poker player who we feel will be relatable to our patrons and to players across the nation,” said assistant general manager of WinStar World Casino, Michael McEwan.

Here's a video of Maria Ho shooting for a new WinStar World Casino ad, enjoy!

Frankenberger's the WPT Player of the Year

Day 5 of the World Poker Tour World Championship saw one of the most important moments of the WPT Season IX – the announcement of the Player of the Year. Before the start of the tournament the season leader Andy Frankenberger had a 100 point advantage over his closest opponent, but could not feel secure of the title as there were still some players who could overtake the #1 position. Frankenberger himself dropped out on Day 4, while two other contenders for the Player of the Year reward were still in play – Shannon Shorr and Sam El Sayed had to finish higher than 5th place to win the race.

However, the task appeared to be to hard to accomplish for both Shorr and El Sayed who hit the rail in 9th and 8th place respectively which meant only one thing – Andy Frankenberger became the Season IX World Poker Tour Player of the Year. “THRILLED (!!!), humbled, and honored to be @WorldPokerTour Season 9 Player of the Year!!!,” was Frankenberger's Twitter reaction to the big news on Wednesday.

Grinders Leaving US?

Since the whole Black Friday thing many American online grinders had to ask themselves a question: “So what's next?” PokerStars and Full Tilt are out of the States leaving almost no alternative of where to play high stakes online and, most importantly, no ways of making a living out of playing online.

Rumor has it that the most popular destination is the closest one – Canada,. However, the tax policy up there is not that online-poker-player-friendly, so other places in the world and though of as well. Recently TIME has published an article by Matt Villano where he talked to Justin Bonomo and Isaac Haxton about their online poker plans.

Haxton said he had three destinations in mind – Madrid, Melbourne and Malta. “Ultimately, it doesn't really matter where I end up. So long as I can get myself to a country with good Internet connections, a country that allows me to earn a living again, I'm there,” he said in an interview. Haxton and Bonomo have already come up with the plan of leaving the country and living abroad along with 5 other friends. However, not all is as easy as it might seem – Bonomo said he'll likely have to break up with his girlfriend before the move and, of course, there is also the visa obstacle.

“It's not like you can get a work visa if you're playing online poker full-time. When [your paperwork] expires, you've got to leave the country and get it renewed; it's not a big deal, but it isn't something you can ignore,” Bonomo said. Faraz Jaka and his caster-board company are thinking of relocating as well, along with a bunch of other poker pros. You can find the full article on Time.com.

Doyle Brunson Leaves His Poker Site

What will be left of DoylesRoom if you take Doyle Brunson away? Guess we'll just have to wait and see 'cause that's exactly what happened. The long-time icon of poker and one of the most recognized players in the business, the owner of 10 WSOP bracelets and two-time consecutive World Series champion, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson has left the online poker site carrying both his name and the image – DoylesRoom.com.

Last Friday Brunson had issued an official statement on the matter saying: “Reluctantly, I have decided to terminate my endorsement contract with DoylesRoom.com. It pains me to leave at this time. I have aspirations of reentering the online poker business when the United States government passes legislation, that officially legalizes online poker sites. DoylesRoom management has decided to continue to serve U.S. customers. Although they believe they have the right to market the name DoylesRoom and to use my name and likeness for a period of time, I have asked them not to. Good luck. Shuffle up and deal.”

And that's about that we had for the week, join us next time for more top poker news.

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