Palms to host online poker stars

May 26, 2009 5:03 PM
The Inside Straight by Joe Awada |

With the World Series of Poker landing in town this week, I’ll be lining up interviews with several world-class players and – hopefully – report on some positive personal experiences of my own.

In the meantime, if you want to meet up with several of poker’s biggest stars, check out the Palms over the next few weeks.

The Palms was named by PokerStars as its official hotel for World Series players who are affiliated with the online poker company.

That list of players is at once impressive and extensive. They include, among others, former world champions Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem, as well as dozens of other top-notch pros.

Last year, Chris and others actually took time out to play in the Palms poker room, as well as chat and mingle with fans in many of the Palms’ fine restaurants.

PokerStars is one of the biggest sources of World Series players. You may recall that Moneymaker won the WSOP main event in 2003 after winning his seat in a PokerStars satellite tournament. Prior to the WSOP, he had never played in a live poker game.

In the early years of online poker, PokerStars and other Internet poker sites contributed hundreds if not thousands of players to the World Series.

And, although changes in banking and money transfer laws have cut back on those numbers, the online poker rooms are still a valuable source of players.

You can even win a seat into the WSOP championship event for absolutely no cost whatsoever. PokerStars, for instance, is giving away dozens of $12,000 main event packages ($10,000 for the buy-in and $2,000 for expenses).

Every day through June 20, PokerStars will run 14 freeroll tournaments. If you finish in the top 10 you qualify for a weekly final, which awards a main event package to the winner.

A player can enter as many of these freeroll tournaments as he wants, giving you an even better chance of making it to the final.

To register, visit and look for the "WSOP Freeroll 4X Shootout" under the "Tourney" and "Regional" headings.

I’ve had online players tell me it’s no easy task navigating through thousands of other players, but if you survive you’ve gained considerable experience along the way.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Joe Awada