The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas recently hosted its first Mirage Poker Showdown, a World Poker Tour event. There were three no-limit hold’em events, and all were packed with players. The trend in major poker tournaments seems to be heading toward more no-limit or all no-limit events. The fact is that everyone wants to play no-limit hold’em, as that is where the largest prize pools are.
A total of 281 players competed for the first-place prize money of more than $1 million. Eli Elezra was the chip leader for the first two days, and went to the final table in second place after crowd pleaser Scotty Nguyen went on a tear during the third day. Those who made the final day were Jim Meehan, Scotty Nguyen, John Juanda, Gabe Kaplin (of Welcome Back Kotter fame), Lee Watkinson, and Elezra. Elezra got heads up against Watkinson and won his first major poker tournament. Rarely in a tournament does one start as the chip leader, stay the chip leader, and then go on to win. Elezra had to play his big stack to perfection.
Harrah’s has changed the dates of the 2005 Bola88 World Series of Poker from April and May to June and July. Due to this change, Bellagio has changed the dates for Festa al Lago III from June 2005 to Oct. 9-21, 2004. Bellagio will hold 10 no-limit hold’em events with buy-ins ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Satellites will begin Oct. 8. The $10,000 championship event will run Oct. 19-21.
Larry Grossman’s radio show “You Can Bet on It!” has been on the air for 15 years. Originating from Las Vegas, this popular show deals mostly with football and other forms of sports betting. This year, Larry has taken a gamble and changed the format of his show so that the second half of every Wednesday show is devoted only to poker. We are streaming the show on Cardplayer.com so that poker players will have a chance to listen to what the stars of poker have to say. The show is on every weekday from now until the end of football season. You can also listen to the archives of great poker interviews from the past few years at cardplayer.com.
The Legends of Poker tournament at The Bicycle Casino should have a huge championship event. Most events on the WPT have a $10,000 buy-in, but The Bicycle Casino has kept its WPT championship event buy-in at $5,000. It should draw well over 500 players, and I have heard some players predict more than 750. The championship event begins on Saturday, Aug. 28. See you there.