Time to tune-up for
big-time tourneys

Feb 27, 2007 1:04 AM

J As we approach March, I can say with conviction that we are truly into the poker tournament season.

For those with aspirations to playing in the World Series, now’s the time to hone your skills or seek a spot in some type of satellite tourney.

As noted last week, here in Las Vegas we have many fine poker rooms that offer tournament play that can be used as a springboard for major tourney action, such as the World Poker Tour or the aforementioned World Series of Poker.

The Sahara has some nice and affordable tourneys, while the Venetian and Golden Nugget also offer great games, especially for the more experienced players.

In addition, some rooms such as the Golden Nugget and others are offering chances to win a seat in the $10,000 WSOP world championship event.

In order to help prepare for the World Series (or any other tournaments, for that matter), I’ll be conducting some free seminars in the upcoming weeks. More about those are they’re confirmed.

Also, Harrah’s has launched the World Series of Poker Academy, a new instructional camp that offers players an opportunity to learn first-hand from some of the poker world’s greatest players.

WSOP Academy instructors include 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr., 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem, 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer, former FBI agent Joe Navarro — an expert on nonverbal behavior — and WSOP bracelet winners Scott Fischman and Mark Seif, among others.

"School is in session at the World Series of Poker Academy," said Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the WSOP. "Our new academy is a tremendous value. Participants will learn from the best minds in poker and have a chance to win a seat in the 2007 WSOP Main Event.

"If you want to learn the basics or master the game, the WSOP Academy is for you," Pollack said.

The first season of the WSOP Academy will be capped by a three-day Main Event Primer at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The Main Event Primer begins July 3 and ends July 5 - the eve of the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em World Championship at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, home of the 2007 World Series of Poker.

Hellmuth, Hachem, Raymer, Navarro, Fischman, Seif, Alex Outhred and other top professional players are scheduled to help Main Event Primer participants prepare for the game’s most prestigious competition, which last year awarded more than $82.5 million to the WSOP Main Event alone.

All sessions of the WSOP Academy provide participants with in-depth seminars, interactive workshops and customized handbooks. Each session will also include a tournament that awards a seat in the $10,000 buy-in 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event.

The first WSOP Academy was held at Grand Casino Tunica in January. The second is scheduled for Caesars Indiana April 7-8. The third - a Ladies Only WSOP Academy taught by poker pro Annie Duke, who won $2 million in the 2005 Tournament of Champions - is set for Caesars Palace on June 8-9, the eve of the World Championship Ladies No-Limit Hold’em tournament at the 2007 World Series of Poker. Details for all WSOP Academy sessions are available at www.wsopacademy.com.