The Mirage to host first-ever WPT tourney

Jul 27, 2004 6:09 AM

For the first time ever, The Mirage has landed a spot on the World Poker Tour. The tournament begins Thursday, and the casino is hoping that the winner in the finals, which will be taped for a showing on television, will walk away from the table a $1 million winner.

The finals, scheduled to be played on Aug. 1, will be taped for showing as part of the Travel Channel’s broadcast of the World Poker Tour, according to Donna Harris, the hotel’s director of poker operations. The only other Las Vegas casino to host a WPT event is the Bellagio.

The World Poker Tour kicked off its third season last week with an event at the Aviation Club casino in Paris. The tour continues for 15 weeks; broadcast of tour events will begin next March.

At The Mirage, poker players will be able to play their way into the championship round at satellite tournaments with buy-ins that start at $55. Satellite tournaments started on Monday, July 19, and some of the world’s top poker players are expected to compete. Harris estimated that it would take 279 entrants for the top prize payoff to reach $1 million.

The Mirage poker room, which has been in operation since the hotel opened its doors in 1989, has 31 tables and 25 more are being added so that 560 players can be accommodated, Harris said. Late last week players on the World Poker Tour were flying into Las Vegas after competing in Paris, where some of them might have witnessed an armed robbery of the cashier’s cage. Reports indicate the poker tourney wasn’t affected.

Harris said seating of spectators will be on a first-come, first-served basis and The Mirage is making an overflow room available.