You can win a seat into the World Series

Jun 12, 2006 3:32 AM

You can almost feel the electricity in the air as we move closer to the World Series of Poker, which kicks off in less than two weeks at The Rio in Las Vegas.

This year’s WSOP is expected to be the biggest ever with upwards of 9,000 players coughing up the $10,000 buy-in for the championship event.

In addition, there will be dozens of "minor" events in which budding card sharks can take their collective shots at the coveted gold bracelet.

You say you don’t have the $10,000 buy-in for the big event? Or you don’t even have the $1,500 needed to enter one of the smaller games?

No problem as several Las Vegas poker rooms are hosting satellite-like tournaments and/or promotions that will award WSOP seats at the fraction of the usual cost.

For instance, the Gold Coast has a great promotion — "No Seat No Problem" — that not only awards cash for high hands, but seats for the WSOP.

First, the cash part. Now through Thursday at 7 p.m., the poker room is giving away $50 every half hour to the player with the highest hand in any live cash game. Along with the cash is a drawing ticket for a shot at one of four WSOP seats.

An additional drawing ticket will be awarded to any player who hits one of the Gold Coast’s High Hand Bonuses during the promotional hours.

The drawing will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m., Thursday (June 15), in the Gold Coast poker room. Up for grabs will be seats into a selection of Limit and No Limit Hold’em events (all three-day events), featuring buy-ins of $1,500 and $1,000.

At Caesars Palace, players can win a $10,000 seat into the WSOP championship event, as well as contribute to a very worthy cause.

On Saturday, June 24, the Caesars poker room will host the inaugural Opportunity Village Celebrity Poker Tournament, co-sponsored by legendary Las Vegas showmen, Siegfried & Roy.

The No Limit Texas Hold’em tourney will be held at Caesars Palace from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., with all proceeds to support construction of a third Opportunity Village campus in Southwest Las Vegas.

The tournament is open to anyone who contributes $500, which includes a seat in the tournament and access to the catered VIP reception and "loser’s lounge" at Pure nightclub.

More than $100,000 will be awarded in prizes, including a seat in the WSOP as well as jewelry from M.J. Christensen Diamond Centers.

In addition to playing in a great tournament for a noble cause, there will be some top notch entertainment at the reception, including Siegfried & Roy, Lance Burton, Clint Holmes, Frankie Scinta, David Brenner and more.

Just a reminder about our free poker seminar to be held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the beautiful new poker room at The Venetian.

A special thanks to poker director Kathy Raymond for her graciousness in allowing us to get together in her outstanding poker room.

I’m looking forward to the many players who have registered to participate. We will be examining strategy for use in tournaments — big ones such as the upcoming World Series, as well as the day-to-day sit-and-go tourneys that many local players enjoy entering.

Finally, there has been some outstanding poker played by the world’s best players at the Palms, and you can finally see it all on CBS TV.

The Intercontinental Poker Championship featuring 21 world-class players, each representing his home country, will be televised in eight episodes, from June 17 to July 22. The Saturday broadcasts (and one Sunday, July 2), will air in the late afternoon (check local listings).

The players, who include Johnny Chan (China), Daniel Negreanu (Canada), Doyle Brunson (USA), Sammy Farha (Lebanon), Yosh Nakano (Japan) and Carlos Mortensen (Spain), will compete in a series of matches, culminating in a heads-up confrontation for a winner-take-all prize of $500,000.

In addition to the aforementioned players, the rest of the field includes:

Antanas Guoga (Australia)

Humberto Brenes (Costa Rica)

Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott (England)

David Benyamine (France)

Do O’Dea (Ireland)

Eli Elezra (Israel)

Marco Traniello (Italy)

Refugio Quintero (Mexico)

Thor Hansen (Norway)

Hasan Habib (Pakistan)

Ralph Perry (Russia)

Stephen Wolff (South Africa)

Jimmy Cha (South Korea)

Chris Bjorin (Sweden)

Chau Giang (Vietnam)