It’s tourney time!

Oct 16, 2006 3:23 AM

This week, I’ll be playing in the the Festa al Lago World Poker Tour tournament at Bellagio.

Minh Ly is scheduled to defend his title and take a shot at adding to the $1,000,000 he pocketed in his second career WPT final table appearance in 2005.

Last year’s Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship attracted 420 players for a total prize pool of $4,074,000. Dan Harrington finished in second place and Las Vegas resident Gavin Smith took home the third place prize.

"The Festa al Lago tournaments at Bellagio have been a tremendous success over the years," said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations for Bellagio. "We pride ourselves on offering the premier poker tournaments in the world. Last year’s Doyle Brunson Championship delivered a spectacular tournament field and we anticipate another strong turnout this year."

The big event kicked off on Monday with an entry fee of $10,000. The champion receives the first place prize money as well as an entry into the April 2007 WPT World Championship at Bellagio. All professional and amateur players can register at Bellagio’s poker room.

Good luck to everyone and I hope to see you there!

Circuit stop at
Caesars Indiana

The World Series of Poker Circuit wends its way into Caesars Indiana, kicking off with satellites on Thursday and a $300 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event on Friday, and continuing through Nov. 2.

Last year we saw the debut of the WSOP Circuit tournaments and they’ve become very popular. Much like the original WSOP, each stop on the Circuit offers tournaments at various buy-in levels in mostly No-Limit events. Winners receive gold WSOP Circuit championship rings instead of WSOP bracelets.

The winner of the $5,000 buy-in the WSOP Circuit Championship Event at each tournament wins an automatic entry into the $10,000 WSOP championship in Las Vegas.

There will be 12 events at the Circuit tourney at Caesars Indiana. Players can choose from a range of buy-ins, from $300 to $2,000, plus the aforementioned $5,000 championship on November 1. The Ladies Only event on October 25 has a $200 buy-in, and there are second chance events as well.

Located in Elizabeth, Caesars Indiana is one of the premier poker rooms in the Midwest. In fact, with its 33 tables, it’s the largest venue between Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Elizabeth is near Evansville and just a short drive from Louisville, Kentucky.

High Stakes at
the South Coast

Last week proved to be exciting out at the South Coast as the popular TV show, "High Stakes Poker," taped their third season for broadcast this fall.

The poker show, which airs on the Game Show Network (GSN), features some of the greatest players in the game competing in a cash game. Each player brings a minimum of $100,000 to the No-Limit Texas Hold ”˜Em competition.

Blinds are set for the program at $300/$600, but pots often climb into the tens of thousands of dollars as the professionals and select amateurs take money from each other over the span of the program.

This is the third different location used for the program, after starting at the Golden Nugget for the first year and moving to the Palms for the second season.

Along with highlighting the new South Coast poker facilities, "High Stakes Poker" will also bring some familiar names to poker fans as well.

Previous games have featured Barry Greenstein, Sammy Farha and current Player of the Year leader Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi taking part in the game. Other top players to participate include Doyle Brunson (always a player who is ready for a big game), Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harman, who have all taken part in the previous shows.

Players making their debuts on the show include Howard "The Professor" Lederer, 2005 World Champion Joseph Hachem, "High Stakes Poker" host Gabe Kaplan and 2006 World Series of Poker runner up Paul Wasicka.

The series has been very entertaining for the players and the viewers alike, so it is exciting to see the third season unfolding at the South Coast. Broadcast dates haven’t been announced yet, but more than likely we’ll see it either in late 2006 or January or February of 2007. Whenever it comes on, there will be fans that are waiting patiently for the third season of "High Stakes Poker" to hit the airwaves.