The poker tournament season hit the ground running in 2009 with packed events at The Venetian, Caesars Palace and Wynn Las Vegas.
But the action really heats up next week as the Five Star World Poker Classic returns to Bellagio, April 1-25.
The month-long event features 13 No Limit Hold’em tournaments, culminating with the $25,000 World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship.
"Our no limit tournaments and satellite events always have been well-attended and we hope to continue the trend this year," said Jack McClelland, Bellagio’s director of poker operations. "We anticipate more than 500 participants in this year’s championship, including a heavy international contingent from countries including England, France, Denmark, Germany and Turkey, among others."
The WPT World Championship begins on the weekend of April 18-19 with two separate flights. The event continues the following Monday with all players who survived the opening round, and concludes with the televised final table on Saturday, April 25.
Other popular events in the Five Star World Poker Classic include the Seniors No Limit Hold’em tournament, April 13-15, and the Club WPT No Limit Hold’em tournament, April 23.
Entry fees for all the tournaments, except the WPT World Championship, range from $500 to $5,000. Buy-in for the championship event is $25,000, though players can win their way in through one of seven satellites to be held during the first three weeks of the tournament.
Last year, California resident David Chiu captured the 2008 WPT World Championship in what was one of the largest comebacks in poker tournament history.
Chiu earned his first WPT title and the first place prize of nearly $3.4 million after 2½ hours of heads-up play against three-time WPT champion Gus Hansen.