Poker Stars Join Federated S+G Professional Poker League

World poker stars join federated sports gaming professional poker leagueThere are times when you might be browsing through a social network site such as Friends Reunited, and you discover that your childhood sweetheart dumped you to marry an astronaut and now lives in a mansion in Florida. It is not the news you wanted to hear, and you might wish you never found out about it, but there is a good reason to wonder what has happened to the American online poker “stars” who, up until recently, you battled against over the virtual felt.

As a result of closing some of the US poker sites by the Department of Justice (DoJ), also known as “Black Friday”, we have already seen a drastic reduction in the value of guaranteed tournaments on both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The PokerStars “SCOOP 2011” series saw the guaranteed prize pool cut from $45 million to $25 million, with the greatest reductions in the “H (High)” stake tournaments – the ones which you are prepared to go through qualification for because the end result is potentially life-changing. It is not so much the “stars” we are missing, but their money! So, where are they now? And, more importantly, where is their money?

Rumours that there was going to be a mass emigration of poker players to Canada have been, as yet, unfounded and, as there does not look as if there is going to be a quick resolution to the “problem”, the top poker professionals have revealed that they are joining the new Federated Sports and Gaming Professional Poker League (FSGPPL).

The league, which comprises of 218 top professional poker players, will be doing battle in a series of live poker tournament events in August, September, and December – each with a guaranteed Main Event prize pool of $400,000 – and will culminate with a Championship decider in February 2012 which has a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.

A strict qualification process for entry into the league meant that there was no space for WSOP 2010 winner Jonathon Duhamel or Full Tilt/PokerStars high stakes legend Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (both of whom can still play online poker in their native countries), but many of the familiar “names” who were associated with the major online poker sites have been warmly accepted into the league.

Annie Duke, commissioner of the FSGPPL, recently announced the full line up, which includes practically all the American-based sponsored stars from PokerStars and Full Tilt, plus a few names you might have heard of – Phil Helmuth, Annette Obrestad and Doyle Brunson. UK poker players Neil Channing, Dave Ulliot and Sam Tricket also made it into the league which has already offered five year memberships to the most highly qualified players – Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Howard Lederer and Vanessa Selbst among them.

It looks like we won´t be seeing their money for an awful long time!

Full list of players accepted into the Federated Sports and Gaming Professional Poker League:

James Akenhead Randall Flowers Howard Lederer Tobias Reinkemeier
Daniel Alaei Ted Forrest Antony Lellouche David (Chino)  Rheem
Patrik Antonius Jimmy Fricke Toto Leonidas Claudio Rinaldi
Josh Arieh Eric Froehlich Jason Lester Andrew Robl
David Bach Chau Giang Adam Levy Blair Rodman
David Baker Matthew Glantz Andrew Lichtenberger Roberto Romanello
David Baker Alexandre Gomes Kathy Liebert Farzad Rouhani
Eric Baldwin Matthew Graham Erick Lindgren Vanessa Rousso
Praz Bansi Barry Greenstein Jeff Lisandro Sebastian Ruthenberg
Jose Ignacio Barbero Gavin Griffin Jonathan Little Nichlas Saarisilta
Allen Bari Dmitry Gromov Vitaly Lunkin Nick Schulman
Isaac Baron Bertrand Grospellier James Mackey Noah Schwartz
Christopher Bell Antanas  Guoga Jeff Madsen Huck Seed
David Benyamine Hasan Habib Ayaz Mahmood Erik Seidel
Steve Billirakis Joe Hachem Amit Makhija Scott Seiver
Mike Binger Roger Hairabedian Mihai Manole Vanessa Selbst
Nick Binger Dean Hamrick Matt Marafioti Daniel Shak
Chris Bjorin Gus Hansen Thomas Marchese Soheil Shamseddin
Andy Bloch Christian Harder Lee Markholt Shannon Shorr
Salvatore Bonavena Jennifer Harman Michael Martin Barry Shulman
Justin Bonomo Isaac Haxton Matt Matros David Singer
Dutch Boyd Dan Heimiller Arnaud Mattern Gavin Smith
Matthew Brady Phil Hellmuth Mike Matusow Jordan Smith
Steve Brecher Juha Helppi Mike McDonald Justin Smith
Humberto Brenes Rob Hollink Nenad Medic Marty Smyth
Chad Brown Alessio Isaia Jason Mercier Fabrice Soulier
Doyle Brunson Phil Ivey Dario Minieri Mike Sowers
Shawn Buchanan Alex Jacob Michael Mizrachi David Steicke
Eric Buchman Fernando Jacobo Robert Mizrachi Samuel Stein
Olivier    Busquet Martin Per Jacobson Sorel Mizzi Johan Storakers
Erik Cajelais Faraz Jaka Will Molson Surinder Sunar
Brandon Cantu Sirous Jamshidi Scott Montgomery Steve Sung
John Cernuto Peter Jetten Chris Moore Joe Tehan
Johnny Chan Marco    Johnson Carlos Mortensen Mark Teltscher
Neil Channing Theo Jørgensen Greg Mueller Todd Terry
Andrew Chen John Juanda Daniel Negreanu Julian Thew
David Chiu John Kabbaj Men Nguyen Nam Thien Le
Cornel Cimpan Mclean Karr Scotty Nguyen William Thorson
Scott Clements Frank Kassela Annette Obrestad Yevgeniy Timoshenko
Hoyt Corkins Eugene Katchalov Luca Pagano Alec Torelli
Allen Cunningham Matt Keikoan Jeffrey Papola JC Tran
David Daneshgar Bryn Kenney John Brock Parker Sam Trickett
Roland De Wolfe Allen Kessler Jean-Paul Pasqualini Michael Tureniec
Kassem Deeb Hafiz Khan Ralph Perry Dave Ulliott
Ivan Demidov Hevad Khan Max Pescatori James Van Alstyne
Jason DeWitt Davidi Kitai David Pham Tommy Vedes
Quinn Do Chris Klodnicki Thang Pham Ville Wahlbeck
Annie Duke Alexander Kostritsin John Phan Lee Watkinson
Tom Dwan Moritz    Kranich Carter Phillips Michael Watson
Peter Eastgate Andreas Krause Dwyte Pilgrim Mike Wattel
Mike Ellis Alexander Kravchenko John Racener Timothy West
Antonio Esfandiari Valdemar Kwaysser Vivek Rajkumar David Williams
Chris Ferguson Ludovic Lacay Annand  Ramdin Justin Young
Amnon Filippi Florian Langmann Greg Raymer Ryan Young
Layne Flack Ted Lawson