World Poker Tour lands at Bellagio

Apr 7, 2009 5:05 PM
The Inside Straight by Joe Awada |

Plus, free live tour heading to Hard Rock

Big time tournament action hit Las Vegas last week as the World Poker Tour landed at Bellagio for a month-long run.

The WPT’s Five Star World Poker Classic features 13 No Limit Hold’em events, culminating with the $25,000 WPT World Championship, which is set to shuffle up beginning April 18-19.

Other significant 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.

My good friend at the Bellagio poker room, Doug Dalton, reports that the first event attracted a field of less than 200 players, though he expects the fields to grow as we get deeper into the tournament.

Also last week, The Venetian kicked off its Deep Stack Extravaganza II tournament, which features 24 events, mostly No Limit Hold’em, but also featuring H.O.R.S.E., Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha 8 or Better events.

The buy-ins at The Venetian start at $300 and range up to $2,000 for the finale set for April 23.

Newcomers to tournament action should like either tournament as there should be plenty of amateurs trying their luck. These tourneys are also a good way to build your bankroll for the upcoming World Series of Poker in May.

For those who want to play but don’t want to pay, there’s a new series of free poker tournaments that will tour the nation, culminating with a championship event at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.

Sponsored by Las Vegas-based Zen Gaming, the National League of Poker ( kicked off its "Live Across America" series of No Limit Hold’em poker tournaments last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The free tournaments continue in 11 other venues, leading up to the first NLOP Players Championship tournament set for Aug. 1 in the new Poker Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The top two finishers in the Live Across America tournaments will qualify for the Players Championship. They will join over 100 online qualifiers (from for the chance to win over $30,000 in tournament cash and prizes.

For its part, the Hard Rock has announced it has become’s newest partner with the launch of its partner poker site on the platform. That means Hard Rock players can now subscribe and play in tournaments for points, cash and prizes valued at more than $75,000 per month.

Here is the remaining schedule of Live Across America poker tournaments:

• May 2: Double Deck Poker League at Side Pockets, Kansas City, Missouri.

• May 3: Silks Poker Room at Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa Bay, Florida.

• May 16: Bingo City, Denham Springs, Louisiana.

• May 23: Turtle Creek Casino, Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse, Michigan.

• June 7: Silks Poker Room at Tampa Bay Downs.

• June 13: Foxwoods Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut.

• June 20: Double Deuce Poker League in Kansas City, Missouri.

• June 27: Double Deuce Poker League in Grand Junction, Colorado.

• July 11: Denham Springs, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

• Two dates to be determined at Harrah’s Casino in Tunica, Mississippi and Dayton Beach Kennel Club in Dayton Beach, Florida.

For details about the Players Championship or playing online, visit

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