American Poker Award finalists revealed. A new online poker bill is introduced in New York. iPoker Network raises the rake, poker community has standard reaction.  And more.

APA finalists announced

On Wednesday the finalists for the 2015 American Poker Awards were revealed, with Jason Somerville, Kevin Mathers, Anthony Zinno, Phil Hellmuth, and Jow McKeehen making the short-list of potential APA winners.

You can see all of the finalists here.

The APA’s will be held at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 25. The award ceremony will be part of a larger festival that includes the American Poker Conference and the inaugural Global Poker League draft.

Here is a look at the tentative panel discussions for the American Poker Conference.

Quick Hitters

– New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow reintroduced his online poker bill on Thursday. Pretlow has introduced online poker bills in the past, but with a poker-only approach, it will be hard for advocates to convince legislators that the potential revenue is worth the likely political hassle.

– Perhaps upset that PokerStars has a monopoly on player outrage at the 2+2 poker forum, iPoker quietly rolled out some rake increases on January 1, and needless to say, the poker community is not impressed, leading to the creation of a forum petition.

– After being hit with a bazillion dollar settlement in Kentucky, PokerStars got some good news on the legal front this week, as an Illinois court has ruled that PokerStars is not on the hook for losses incurred by players at the site.

– Looking at the fines handed out by gaming regulators in New Jersey, it’s no contest, online gaming sites do a much better job of prohibiting underage and problem gamblers.

– New Jersey’s casino industry saw annual revenue tick down for the ninth consecutive year, but there was also some good news, as the current operators posted a 3% year-over-over increase.

– James Guill sat down with Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson to get her thoughts on the women in poker, and the Women in Poker Hall of Fame class of 2016.