New BJ tour hits Strip

Nov 27, 2006 1:51 AM

For the first time ever, the Ultimate Blackjack Tour (UBT) last weekend brought its all-new version of the world’s most popular casino game to the Las Vegas Strip as The Venetian signed on as a UBT charter member.

The Venetian Invitational, the first-ever Elimination Blackjack tournament to hit the Strip, took place Nov. 24-26 and included a prize pool of over $100,000.

The final six players at the Venetian Invitational received round-trip airfare to Los Angeles in January to compete in a taped UBT event that will air on CBS in 2007.

The winner of the event also received a $10,000 buy-in to UBT’s year-end Tournament of Champions which boasts a $1 million guaranteed first prize and an estimated $2 to $3 million total prize pool.

The Venetian will also host a UBT tour stop in July 2007 that will be open to the public for a buy-in of $2,700.

"It’s great to partner with a world-class casino such as The Venetian to give UBT’s Elimination Blackjack tournaments a home on Las Vegas Boulevard," said UBT founder, 1994 World Series of Poker Main Event winner and gaming expert Russ Hamilton. "Since the show has started airing on CBS, UBT has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the gaming world, and we know our new relationship with The Venetian will be a win-win for everyone involved."

Strong TV ratings and a continued spike in online play at are indicators that UBT has made an indelible imprint in the gaming world in only a few months since its launch.

UBT’s worldwide tour kicked off on Sept. 23 at the Radisson Resort and Casino in Aruba and continued on to St. Kitts’ Royal Beach Casino on Oct. 28. Along with the Palms Casino Resort, which held its first UBT Invitation Nov. 17-19, The Venetian rounds out UBT’s Las Vegas leg.

Barona Valley Ranch Casino Resort in Southern California, also a charter member, will host a UBT Invitational next weekend, Dec. 1-3.

"Thanks to our exclusive partnership with the UBT, The Venetian has a great opportunity to showcase our property while enhancing each guest’s experience in gaming and entertainment," said Rob Goldstein, president and COO of The Venetian.

The 10-episode first season of Ultimate Blackjack Tour, currently airing Saturdays on CBS, features the world’s best professional gamblers in action against the dealer and one another.

The hybrid game — underscored by forced eliminations, secret bets and smash mouth trash talking —showcases pro poker players Annie Duke, Antonio Esfandiari, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Jennifer Tilly, Robert Williamson III, along with blackjack legends Ken Einiger, Anthony Curtis and Sanford Wong, and many other gaming greats.

Additionally, Ultimate Blackjack Tour is holding free online tournaments where winners earn seats to the UBT season two final tables to be televised on CBS in 2007. The site also provides Elimination Blackjack playing tips, in-depth analysis of the televised events, and detailed information on all UBT tour stops.