Full house: Wynn, Caesars poker’s hub

Feb 26, 2008 1:13 AM

This week, poker takes center stage in Las Vegas as the Wynn Classic poker tourney kicks off Tuesday, and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship takes place at Caesars Palace beginning Thursday.

Now in its second season, the Wynn Classic at Wynn Las Vegas will be held through March 19. The tourney features a variety of poker events at various buy-ins, leading up to the $10,000 buy-in main event, beginning March 16. Along the way, there will be No Limit and Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Pot Limit Omaha and H.O.S.E. tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $500 to $3,000.

The Classic debuted last year with a bang, attracting nearly 2,600 players and awarding just over $4.5 million in prize money.

For those who want to play their way into the events, the Classic features single table satellites and super satellites, as well as second chance tournaments in the evening (all regular tourneys begin at noon).

A full schedule of events can be found at wynnpoker.com.

For the fourth straight year, a field of 64 of the world’s most elite poker players will converge on Caesars Palace for the National Heads-Up Poker Championship.

Returning to compete are several of the world’s top poker pros, including defending champion Paul Wasicka; 2006 champion Ted Forrest; 2005 champion Phil Hellmuth and 2007 World Series of Poker (No Limit Texas Hold’em) Champion Jerry Yang.

Also competing will be Chad Brown, Johnny Chan, Allen Cunningham, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, Phil Laak, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer and Gavin Smith, among many others.

New to the championship will be model and television personality Leeann Tweeden, who will serve as the sideline reporter/interviewer.

The tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball’s March Madness championship tournament, except that the finals are the best of three.

The first round opponents for the brackets will be chosen at random during the tournament’s Draw Party held at PURE Nightclub at Caesars Palace on Thursday.

The single-elimination competition begins Friday and continues through Sunday, when a two-out-of-three championship match will determine the winner.