Issue 134
April 7-13, 2003
Volume 3
page 2

Pros Hit Poker Classic

By Jeff Simpson

/Las Vegas Gaming Wire/ - LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas reclaimed its position at the center of the poker universe Wednesday when the Five-Star World Poker Classic opened at Bellagio.

The first-year tournament begins a two-month stretch when the poker world's top pros will be in Las Vegas, culminating with the World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe. "All of the top pros will be here in Las Vegas," said Jack McClelland, Bellagio poker host and tournament director. "It helps our economy, not L. A.'s, not Paris' or anywhere else."

Bellagio's 13-event tourney is highlighted by the $25,300 buy-in World Poker Tour Championship, a no-limit hold'em competition that crowns the Travel Channel-televised tour's inaugural year. The buy-in is the biggest in multi table tournament history, and McClelland predicts 120 to 160 players will fork over the cash, generating a prize pool of as much as $4 million and a first-place prize of almost $1.5 million. The $1,570 buy-in limit hold'em event on April 2nd had 203 entries; the final table is slated to begin play at 4 p.m. April 3rd, with the winner to collect about $118,000, he said.

Mirage Resorts Chief Executive Officer Bobby Baldwin, a former World Series of Poker world champ, arranged for the tournament to be played in Bellagio's table game pit, near the poker room, to allow the room's regular array of low-, mid- and high-limit cash games to be played at the same time as the tournament.

MGM Mirage poker operations director Doug Dalton said the set-up is unparalleled. "It's the prettiest setting for a poker tournament in the world," Dalton said.

McClelland said the war in Iraq hasn't stopped overseas players from entering the Bellagio events. "We've had very few cancellations; none because of the war," he said.

The former World Series of Poker tournament director ran poker's top event when Jack Binion operated the Horseshoe.

McClelland said Bellagio is rooting for the poker world series to have another record-setting year. "We're happy when they're successful," he said, noting that when


Binion's draws many players for its five-week event, Bellagio's city-best live action is
boosted also.

Binion's Horseshoe's director of poker operations George Fisher said the downtown property is expecting a big crowd for the world series' 34th year despite a number of war-related cancellations from overseas players.

"I'm concerned about the war's effect. We've had about 10 cancellations from France, Russia and Ireland," Fisher said. "But I still expect a huge turnout with record crowds," Fisher said.

This year's 36-event schedule begins April 15, with the $10,000 buy-in championship event slated to be crowned on May 23.



Harrah’s New Orleans to Open Steakhouse - NEW ORLEANS, LA – Two years after the Legislature gave Harrah's New Orleans Casino permission to expand its restaurant service, the gambling hall has signed an agreement with a chef to open a steakhouse. Harrah's will own the restaurant. Chef John Besh, who operates another restaurant close to the casino, will design the menu, assemble the kitchen staff, help with promotions and share profits. The casino also will expand its in-house buffet, which also was authorized by the Legislature in 2001 as part of a tax cut package designed to keep the casino from closing.

National Toughman Contest Seeks Local Fighters To Compete at Lucky Eagle Casino - ROCHESTER, WA - The Original Toughman Contest returns this year to the Lucky Eagle Casino May 2-3. The national promoters are encouraging local residents interested in participating to call them toll-free at 1-866-99-TOUGH.

"We expect the event to generate a great deal of local interest," said Lucky Eagle General Manager John Setterstrom. Last year, the Original Toughman Contest sold out both days at the Lucky Eagle Casino.

The Toughman Contest is open to men and women in a variety of weight classes. The local winners move on to compete against the champions of Toughman Contests held in other areas. "We're excited to again host an event of this magnitude," said Lucky Eagle General Manager John Setterstrom. "This event is the same as those you see televised on the FX Network, and will be hosted by Art Dore.

The Lucky Eagle Casino is located just off Highway 12 in Rochester, Washington. In addition to the Toughman Contest, the casino hosts Professional Boxing Fight Nights on a quarterly basis. The public can purchase tickets to the Toughman Contest May 2nd and 3rd at the casino (800-720-1788) and Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket prices are
$15 and $20.

Beastie Boys and
DJ Hurricane

The Beastie Boys and DJ Hurricane will appear at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay Resort Casino April 25, 2003.

$75.00 (General admission), $150.00 (Reserved)

Price Note:
May not include all taxes & fees.

Show Time:
8:00 p.m.

Reservations Recommended

For more information please call: (877) 632-7400
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