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Venetian to debut game show with poker twist

Jul 22, 2008 7:02 PM

By GT Staff | The Venetian in Las Vegas is betting The Real Deal! – a live, interactive poker-themed stage show – will appeal to both poker players and entertainment seekers alike when it debuts this fall.

Working in partnership with the world’s most renowned poker professionals, the show will introduce a new paradigm in entertainment – establishing a completely original live show format that combines humor, the latest in wireless technology, and abundant prizes in fast-paced action that will entertain poker enthusiasts and non-players alike.

"The Venetian sets the standard for entertainment in Las Vegas and we are excited to add The Real Deal! to our existing line-up of world-class shows," said Jason Gastwirth, vice president of entertainment for Las Vegas Sands Corp. "When looking for a new concept to add to our entertainment lineup, we searched for an entirely new experience that would promote audience participation while incorporating well-known personalities that shine beyond the bright lights of the Strip – we found that in The Real Deal!"

Staged in The Venetian Showroom, The Real Deal! will empower the audience to participate both on-stage and from their seats through the use of wireless touch screen devices. The Real Deal! will use a revolutionary multi-player platform with interactive content in conjunction with technology from TimePlay Entertainment, Inc.

Playing both against and alongside the poker pros, audience members will earn points to vie for prizes ranging from merchandise to spectacular home electronics and more, including a chance to win a $1 million grand prize.

The roster of poker pros represents a Who’s Who of the sport and includes Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen, and Todd Brunson.

The pros will participate in shows each month, taking on Vegas visitors of all poker skills and experience.

Combined, the poker professionals have won eight World Poker Tour Championships (WPT) and 35 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, amassing over $48,000,000 in tournament prize money.

"Never before has poker been so integrated with entertainment," said Merv Adelson, the inspiration behind The Real Deal!. "The popularity of poker is unquestioned, as is the viability of live game show experiences in Las Vegas. The Real Deal! will keep guests laughing and give them the unique chance to get into the heads of the world’s best pros as they share tips and strategy throughout the fast-paced game."

Casting is underway for the show host, and the producers are talking with well-known comedians who they feel will bring an energized blend of humor and poker information to the audience while keeping the action moving.

The chance to take on poker’s superstars without having to risk big money is more than enough to drive interest, but show goes far beyond the action on the stage, appealing to both poker aficionados and those who have never thrown a chip in a pot.

Participating audience members will play along during the on-stage game with a wireless handheld console. The large collection of prizes will be awarded to individuals based on their game performance, such as their play of the virtual "ninth hand."