Tournament action returns to Binion’s

Apr 17, 2006 1:33 AM

Many of us players cut our tournament teeth playing in the World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe, which hosted the classic tournament from 1970 to 2004.

And, while the facilities were modest at best, there was a certain historical charm to playing in the legendary poker tournament, which really set the stage for the new era of poker.

Well, the Horseshoe is gone (at least the name and original owner), and Harrah’s now runs the World Series, but this spring, big time poker will return to Binion’s in the form of the American Poker Player Championship.

The tournament, which will feature 29 individual events culminating in the $5,000 buy-in championship main event, will be held from May 10 through May 24.

The tournament is being co-sponsored by Omni Media & Entertainment.

"The American Poker Player Championship is a response to the tremendous popularity of poker in America today," said Omni President Cary Davis. "We are proud to provide this new venue and anticipate great success because it will be a multi-event tournament, with cash prizes in each event, and the main event will be an affordable $5,000 buy-in championship."

Davis added that the tourney has already added a Ladies No Limit Hold’em event, as well as a Gamblers Golf Tournament at Las Vegas National Golf Club.

The addition of a Ladies Tournament should be welcome news for tournament co-host Susie Isaacs, who won back-to-back Ladies championships in 1996 and 1997 at the World Series of Poker.

Susie will provide expert play-by-play commentary, and she will be joined by co-host Tom McEvoy, who won the World Series championship event in 1983. Tom, in fact, made history when he won his $10,000 seat in the World Series after entering a satellite tournament. He parlayed that win into the WSOP Championship and became the first player to win from a satellite seat. Tom has since won an additional three bracelets at the WSOP, giving him a total of four.

In addition to the Ladies event, the golf tournament is a nice touch. "Because we want to maintain the strong tradition and hospitality at Binion’s casino that helped make the WSOP famous, we are inviting the American Poker Player Championship poker players and their guests to a Gambler’s Golf Tournament," Davis said.

The Gambler’s Golf Tournament will be held on May 17 and Binion’s will provide bus service for participants. Entry fee for the 18 hole event will be $300 (limited to 144 entrants), and will include breakfast, golf cart, green fees, complimentary beverages during play, and an award ceremonies luncheon after the golf tournament in which a possible prize pool of $25,000 will be awarded to the top finishers.

Even though this is a new tournament, there should be plenty of entries, especially in light of the skyrocketing popularity of poker.

Plus, its schedule doesn’t conflict with Harrah’s World Series, so tourney players will have additional games to hone their skills.

Moreover, there are plenty of events with buy-ins in the $300 to $500 range, making it an easy entry for players who might not be up to the higher stakes tourneys.

The range of events include No Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Omaha, Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, and several satellites.

"The response to Binion’s American Poker Player Championship is exceeding our expectations, and we are especially pleased to have so many talented poker players entering the field of competition," David said. "The American Poker Player Championship is going to be a highly competitive event where amateur, professional, and former WSOP champion poker players will match their skills in hopes of winning the first American Poker Player Championship."

You can get a schedule of events and other information at the tourney’s web site: americanpokerplayerchampionship.com.