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Annie Duke named commissioner of new poker league

18 Jan 2011

LOS ANGELES, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Federated Sports and Gaming (FS+G) today announced its alliance with the Palms Casino Resort to showcase a new, revolutionary professional poker league in 2011, with an initial schedule of four marquee tournaments and one championship event in Las Vegas. In addition, Annie Duke will take on a new role in her career as Commissioner of the league.

"We are committed to growing our poker business and were looking to align with a best-in-class venture"

"A unified league is something we have been talking about in the industry for years and I'm really looking forward to bringing this vision to life," said Annie Duke, Commissioner of FS+G.

The new poker league led by Duke will be comprised of the world's top 200 players and the events will be rake-free for poker professionals and feature generous prize pool overlays. The league will have a proprietary ranking system based on an eligibility formula that is driven by mathematics and proven historic achievement. This system will rank the top professional poker players with guidelines similar to those governing professional golf and tennis.

FS+G was formed last year by sports, digital media and gaming industry leaders Jeffrey Pollack, the former President and Commissioner of the World Series of Poker, Michael Brodsky, David Goldberg and Jeffrey Grosman, who together recently ran, the largest legal US-based online gaming company - which was recently acquired by Churchill Downs. This team has partnered with Duke to create a league and unique series of televised events that will put a dedicated spotlight on the game's brightest stars. The executive management team behind FS+G has unparalleled senior experience in gaming, sports programming, media and e-commerce. The company's initial focus will be on developing and merchandising new forms of premium poker entertainment.

"I've long believed that the top professional poker players create enormous value for the industry and are skilled in a way that is worthy of star treatment," said Jeffrey Pollack, Chairman and Co-Founder FS+G. "Our new league will celebrate poker professionals like never before and provide a tournament experience at the Palms that is first-class at every turn."

"We are committed to growing our poker business and were looking to align with a best-in-class venture," said George Maloof, owner of Palms Casino Resort. "A professional poker league celebrating iconic poker legends and the next generation of poker celebrity is a perfect fit for our property."

This association with Palms Casino Resort will include three initial tournaments to be played from August to December in 2011, with a fourth event and a championship tournament to take place in January 2012.

"It has been a long time coming for a poker league on par with other professional sports," said Erik Seidel, eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, WPT Champion and 2010 Hall of Fame inductee. "I am looking forward to true excellence in the game being rewarded."

In addition to launching a new league with televised tournaments for poker professionals, in 2011 FS+G will enter the social media gaming market to engage poker enthusiasts at home and will soon roll out a unified consumer brand name to support all of these initiatives.
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