Acting Attorney General defends the DOJ’s new Wire Act opinion. Run It Once Poker gets high marks in first week. Check out these stories and more in the Friday Hit and Run.

Matt Whitaker responds to Wire Act question

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker fielded questions from the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. While the Special Counsel investigation dominated the proceedings on Friday, the subject of the new Wire Act opinion also came up in the questioning. The new opinion, which was released in mid-January, could impact the future of online gambling in the United States, especially as it relates to interstate gambling.

In a response to a question from Rep. Jaime Raskin, Whitaker said he had recused himself from the decision, but defended the opinion by saying that any suggestion the decision was corrupted by outside influence was “absolutely wrong.”

Whitaker will be leaving his post as Acting Attorney General after the confirmation of AG nominee William Barr, which could happen as early as next week. Barr, a strong advocate of state’s rights, may be more sympathetic to state regulation of online gambling. The Department of Justice has given online gambling entities until April 15th to be in compliance of the new opinion, while the debate rages on what exactly they need to comply to.

Quick hitters

Run it Once continues to attract hundreds of simultaneous players in its first week of its beta launch. While the bugs are there — it is a beta launch, after all — PokerScout says the new poker room “looks awesome,” even if Americans can’t play.

“Miami” John Cernuto has overtaken Men Nguyen as the leader for all-time largest number of tournament cashes with 490, according to the Hendon Mob. Cernuto’s recorded cashes go back to January 1987. During his career, Cernuto has won $5,852,602 in live tournament cashes including three WSOP bracelets, one each in 1996, 1997 and 2002.

– Sports betting legalization updates from across the United States: Indiana sports betting bill passes through the Senate Public Policy Committee, where he will move to the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee to be addressed on February 14th. Meanwhile, in Ohio, the sponsor of that state’s sports betting bill says that the chances of it passing this year are “better than 50-50.”

– Brett and Josh Reichard, father and son earned WSOP Circuit Rings in Milwaukee at the WSOP Circuit Potawatomi. With Josh Reihcard’s win, he earned his 11th ring of his poker career, which ties Maurice Hawkins for 2nd most all time. In other notable tournament news, Martin Gaudreault-Remillard took down the WPT Deepstackes Montreal to win CA$186,600).

– The Michigan Lottery has introduced a new feature called “Double Play” on Lotto 47 and Fantasy 5 draw games, which allow lottery players to use the same numbers for a second drawing.

– Thursday’s featured Grinderschool poker training continues Carroters’ “6 Max NL By Position” series, 10 episodes covering the nuances of the game based on your position. In this video, Carroters focuses on defending your blinds out of position.

Notable poker videos on YouTube

– High stakes poker player Andrew Robl is the subject of the last episode of “I Am High Stakes Poker,” where he discusses his rise in the poker ranks including the part of his life when everyone close to him questioned his ambitions (h/t High Stakes Poker DB):

Andrew Neeme’s latest vlog highlights a meetup game in Texas at the Rounders Card Club featuring Brad Owen and a long session of $5/$5 No Limit Hold’em:

Jaime Staples makes the final table for the first time since breaking ties with PokerStars.