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The agency’s new chief spent 43 of 92 days from March through May in Oklahoma or traveling to or from the state, a watchdog group found.
(LAS VEGAS) — A New Jersey man with a degree in accounting is this year’s World Series of Poker champion.
Scott Blumstein won the series’ marquee no-limit Texas Hold ’em main event early Sunday in Las Vegas surrounded by dozens of supporters including relatives and college friends. He is now more than $8.1 million richer after eliminating Pennsylvania’s Daniel Ott on the 246th hand of the final table, more than 60 hands with just the two of them with bricks of bills and a gold bracelet separating them.
“I’m really happy about how I played tonight,” said Blumstein, who’s 25. “… This is just one poker tournament. It takes variance and luck and playing your best, and all those things came together, and I’m happy to be the winner.”
Blumstein’s final hand of an ace of hearts and a two of diamonds ended up being stronger than that of Ott, who went all in with an ace of diamonds and an eight of diamonds. The community cards were a jack of spades, a six of spades, a five of hearts, a seven of hearts and a two of hearts. It was the last card that prompted Blumstein’s supporters to erupt.
“I’m really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce because I was playing good, but I’m pretty tired of poker at this point honestly, and to have to go back and battle pretty deep again, I wasn’t looking forward to it,” said Blumstein, who fell to his knees near his supporters after the two of hearts was revealed.
Blumstein, Ott and seven other players reached the final table after having bested more than 7,200 participants. Unlike the past several years, the final nine players didn’t have to wait until November to take their spots at the final table. Each of them was guaranteed at least $1 million.
The famed tournament marked the end of this year’s series, in which dozens of tournaments drew 120,995 entrants from around the world, shattering attendance records. The men who made the final table represented the United States, Argentina, France and Britain. Earlier, on Saturday night, Frenchman Benjamin Pollak was eliminated in third place.
Ott, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, earned $4.7 million. Neither he nor Blumstein, of Brigantine, New Jersey, had previously played at the main event. Both had dozens of supporters who cheered and gasped — depending on the hand — throughout the night. Some in Team Blumstein sported T-shirts that wondered “Is this real” and others that declared “I don’t like folding.”
Ott said overall he was satisfied with how he performed and the result.
“At the end the chips didn’t go my way,” Ott told PokerNews.com after the event. “The cards didn’t go my way. But I got second place in the third largest Main Event ever. I can’t complain about that.”
Blumstein, a graduate of Temple University, is a regular on New Jersey online poker sites but had never cashed in the World Series of Poker. His total live winnings stood at more than $300,000 before Sunday. Besides his multimillion-dollar payout, he also took home a bracelet made from white and yellow gold, diamonds and rubies.
The millions of dollars Blumstein earned probably won’t go toward buy-ins at high-roller poker tournaments, though. Blumstein said money is not what motivates him to play, but his payout will allow him to do “whatever” he wants to do whether that is play more poker, go into business or return to school.
The champion’s home state is one of three states where online poker is legal. After the tournament ended, he credited his many hours on the online felt for helping him win the main event.
“The best way to get better at anything is through repetition and practice,” he said. “When you play online in New Jersey, it’s hard for any live pro to see even close to the amount of hands I’ve probably seen in the last two years.”
(WASHINGTON) — The White House indicated Sunday President Donald Trump would sign a sweeping Russia sanctions measure, which the House could take up this week, that requires him to get Congress’ permission before lifting or easing the economic penalties against Moscow.
Lawmakers are scheduled to consider the sanctions package as early as Tuesday, and the bill could be sent to Trump before Congress breaks for the August recess. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the newly appointed White House press secretary, said the administration is supportive of being tough on Russia and “particularly putting these sanctions in place.”
“We support where the legislation is now, and will continue to work with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Congressional Republicans and Democrats announced Saturday that they’d settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to Trump’s persistent push for warmer relations with President Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.
“North Korea, Iran and Russia have in different ways all threatened their neighbors and actively sought to undermine American interests,” according to a joint statement by California Republicans Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, and Ed Royce of California, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman. The bill the House will vote, they said, “will now exclusively focus on these nations and hold them accountable for their dangerous actions.”
The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump attempts to terminate the sanctions against Moscow. Top administration officials said the provisions infringed on the president’s executive authority and tied his hands as he explores avenues of cooperation between the two former Cold War foes. But Sanders said the White House was able to work with the House and Senate to “make those changes that were necessary.” She didn’t specify what those changes were, however. The congressional review section wasn’t altered substantially and Democrats were satisfied with the results.
Lawmakers included the review because of wariness in both parties over Trump’s affinity for Putin. Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Trump has been unwilling to respond seriously to Russia’s belligerence, “leaving Congress with the urgent responsibility to hold Vladimir Putin accountable.”
McCarthy had pushed to add the North Korea sanctions to the package. The House had overwhelmingly passed legislation in May to hit Pyongyang with additional economic penalties, but the Senate had yet to take up the bill.
The Senate last month passed sanctions legislation that targeted only Russia and Iran. Congressional aides said Senate Republicans may resist adding the North Korea penalties, but it remained unclear whether those concerns would derail the legislation. The aides were not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Although the legislation has widespread support, the bill stalled after clearing the Senate more than five weeks ago due to constitutional questions and bickering over technical details.
The House and Senate negotiators addressed concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raises the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.
McCarthy and Royce said other revisions resolved concerns that the sanctions could have unintentionally complicated the ability of America’s European allies to maintain access to energy resources outside of Russia.
The congressional review requirement in the sanctions bill is styled after 2015 legislation pushed by Republicans and approved in the Senate that gave Congress a vote on whether then-President Barack Obama could lift sanctions against Iran. That measure reflected Republican complaints that Obama had overstepped the power of the presidency and needed to be checked by Congress.
According to the bill, Trump is required to send Congress a report explaining why he wants to suspend or terminate a particular set of sanctions. Lawmakers would then have 30 days to decide whether to allow the move or reject it.
The North Korea sanctions bill included in the package bill cleared the House by a 419-1 vote, and House Republicans became frustrated the Senate didn’t move quickly on the measure given the vast bipartisan support it received. The measure bars ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against it from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea’s forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States.
The sanctions package imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country’s Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.
The second episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season saw Missandei and Grey Worm finally act on their feelings for each other, fulfilling a longtime wish for fans of the star-crossed pair.
Daenerys’ interpreter and commander have been pining for one another since season four of the HBO drama. However, because Grey Worm is Unsullied — meaning he was castrated as an infant — some wondered if the pair would ever act on their feelings.
Luckily, when Missandei showed up to say goodbye to Grey Worm on the night before he set sail for Casterly Rock, it was finally on.
“It is hard for me to say goodbye to you,” Grey Worm told her before kissing her. “You are my weakness…When Unsullied are young, the masters learn their fears…But I had no fears. I was never the biggest, never the strongest, but I was bravest, always…Until I meet Missandei from the isle of Naath. Now I have fear.”
Of course, fans couldn’t stop talking about the steamy scene.
“The Queen’s Justice,” the third episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season airs July 30 at 9 p.m. on HBO.