It’s Lago at Bellagio

Oct 2, 2006 3:18 AM

Last week, I had the opportunity to play in a celebrity poker tournament that benefited the homeless in Las Vegas.

It was part of the festivities surrounding the topping off of the beautiful Sky Las Vegas condominiums, located just north of Circus Circus on the Las Vegas Strip.

A special thanks to all those who showed their generosity, and to my fellow poker players Sean Sheikhan and Jack Zwerner, former governor Bob Miller and the other local business and professional people who contributed.

The poker action turns serious this week with the fifth annual Festa al Lago Classic (a World Poker Tour event) at the beautiful Bellagio in Las Vegas. I’ll be playing in some of the events, including the $10,000 championship tournament to be held Oct. 15-19.

I know there are a lot of solid players in Las Vegas who might want to come out and test their skills. The name of the game is no limit hold’em for all 12 events, which feature buy-ins ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.

For those of you who want to go to the head of the class, there are $5,000 buy-in events on Friday and Wednesday, Oct. 11, as well as a seniors’ event scheduled for Oct. 12 ($1,500 buy-in).

As I noted, this is a World Poker Tour event and promises to generate plenty of great poker action.

The Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles just announced the addition of six electronic poker tables to its roster of games.

These tables manufactured by PokerTek are completely automated and computer-managed — no dealers need apply!

I’ve seen these machines (they were on display at the World Series earlier this summer) and they’re pretty fascinating. It’s kind-of like playing poker on the Internet. The game moves very quickly as you make your bets, call, fold or whatever on a touchtone screen (each player has his own screen/station).

I’m sure in today’s environment there will be interest in these games, especially among the younger, more computer-friendly players, but for me I enjoy the social interaction of playing against other players with a dealer.

I realize the emerging technology can possibly fuel a resurgence in poker play, there’s no comparison to the camaraderie, action and entertainment of playing with other human beings. It’s no fun going "tilt" or blowing your stack at a computer screen!

We’re close to putting together a poker seminar at the Palms in Las Vegas. This is one of the cutting-edge casinos in the world and I’m excited about hosting a poker seminar there. I hope to have an announcement very shortly.

Until then, keep playing and enjoying your game.