LV Hilton crowns
$1M BJ winner

Apr 17, 2003 1:56 AM

The Las Vegas Hilton on Saturday crowned its first-ever winner in its Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament. Edward Rhoades of Ramsey, New Jersey won the tournament, which began a year ago, and took home a cool $1 million.

All weekend, excitement was at a fever pitch as 200 finalists were narrowed down to seven players.

Four of the final seven players were "wild card" entrants who were not able to qualify in previous sessions and instead won their spot at the table through wild card drawings.

The remaining three players qualified through previous tournament play for their position in the finals. Participants have been qualifying for the past 12 months, and last Saturday one individual walked away $1 million richer.

Rhoades was not a wild card and earned his position in the final tournament last October.

Obviously, he was elated by his new status as a millionaire.

When asked how he will spend the money, he was not sure yet but stated, "I know my wife and grand kids will help me spend it."

Mrs. Rhoades was not able to attend the tournament; however, Edward Rhoades is already planning his trip back to Las Vegas for the Hilton’s Pai Gow Tournament in May.

"The Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament is the first of its kind and has been very well received by our players," said Jimmy Wike, vice president of casino operations. "This historical tournament will lead to a new tradition at the Las ­­Vegas Hilton."

That tradition continues almost immediately. "Million Dollar Blackjack II" begins in May at the Las Vegas Hilton. Call the casino for details.