Femme’s find early
success at Bellagio

Apr 24, 2007 2:56 AM

The World Poker Tour’s $25,000 championship event kicked off last weekend with a solid field of 639 players vying for a top prize of $3.9 million. Second and third aren’t bad either at $2 million and $1 million, respectively.

Noticeable by their presence this year are a bevy of female players. At the top of the leader board heading into Monday’s play was Anne Wroblewski.

Also making early good showings were Vanessa Rousso, Jennifer Harmon, Kristy Gazes, Erica Schoenberg and Kathy Liebert.

It’s nice to see so many of these solid distaffers make their presence felt in the poker arena. I’ve played poker with many of them and find them not only delightful, but excellent players.

I unfortunately won’t have a chance to compete with them this year in the Bellagio/WPT’s Five Diamond Classic Tournament, the richest on the WPT tour.

I have had quite a few business commitments, including speaking at this week’s Gaming Operations Summit, which is being held at Wynn Las Vegas.

The session I’ll be hosting is called Poker Room Profitability, something I feel well-qualified to address.

With the advent of poker’s newfound popularity, today’s poker rooms are playing a bigger role in a casino’s profitability, but many casinos haven’t quite figured out how to make the most profit while controlling expenses.

I believe I’ll be able to identify the visible as well as hidden customer value, and point out measures to better control poker room expenses and comps and enhance their profitability. The session is being held on Tuesday, so I welcome any interested parties to stop by the Wynn.

Even though I won’t be able to participate in the WPT’s final event, I was able to enter four previous Bellagio events, in which I cashed in two of them.

Thus I feel pretty good with the World Series coming up shortly.

Toward that end, I’m putting together a few poker seminars in the Las Vegas area, which I’ll be announcing shortly.

Incidentally, the WPT will film its 100th episode and wrap its 5th anniversary season at Bellagio, where the very first WPT episode was shot five years ago.

The television milestones will take place on Friday as WPT tapes the final table of the season’s biggest and richest tournament, WPT World Championship.

If you would like to sit in a television audience to watch the final tables filmed on the WPT set, check in at the Bellagio Ballroom at 3 p.m. to receive free tickets.

The public is also invited to attend for filming a special final table on Saturday (April 28), Poker by the Book, Chapter II, which will pit pros who have authored books on poker instruction against each other to see who is truly worthy of publication.

This intriguing final table will feature top pros Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Harrington, Barry Greenstein, Johnny Chan, and Tom McEvoy. Audience members will receive a copy of the most recent book written by each player.