Poker finds seat at G2E table

Sep 28, 2004 11:23 AM

The gaming industry’s premier event, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), has been expanded to include forums for world-class poker experts and celebrity chefs. G2E takes place next week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The events include the Neon Chefs competition, annual state of the industry panel moderated by Larry King, and a roundtable discussion focused on the renewed popularity of poker.

"In producing G2E, our goal is to provide a forum where everyone involved in gaming can come together to reflect on the state of our industry," said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). "These keynote events will help attendees gain a greater understanding of some of the exciting changes taking place within our industry in the areas of food & beverage (F&B), poker and the business overall."

The opening keynote event of G2E will showcase the Neon Chefs competition, a new event featuring two teams of Las Vegas chefs in a live competition modeled after The Food Network’s popular Iron Chef series. 

The Neon Chefs competition will pit David Robbins, executive chef and managing partner of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, and Peter Woo, executive chef at Hard Rock Hotel’s NOBU Restaurant, against Marc Poidevin, executive chef at Bellagio’s Le Cirque, and James Benson, executive chef at Bellagio’s Circo. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Emmy Award-winning talk-show host Larry King will reprise his role as moderator of the popular state of the industry keynote panel.  King, who moderated the event at last year’s G2E, is the host of CNN’s Larry King Live, the first worldwide phone-in television talk show and the network’s highest-rated program.

The State of the Industry roundtable discussion will feature a panel of gaming industry leaders, including Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of AGA; Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage; Gary Loveman, president and CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment; Rebecca Paul, president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery; and Ernie Stevens, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Topics will include the impact of consolidation among major casino companies, the ongoing debate on state gaming tax increases, the evolving relationship between commercial and Native American casino interests, the impact of upcoming state and national elections on the gaming industry, and the expansion of racetrack casinos and recent decisions by some states to add slot machines at existing tracks.

G2E’s final keynote event — the Poker Power panel — is also new to G2E.  Scheduled for Thursday, the event will involve a discussion about the issues and intricacies surrounding the renewed popularity of one of the world’s favorite card games.

The "Mad Genius of Poker," Michael Caro, widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority of poker strategy, psychology and statistics, will facilitate G2E’s Poker Power panel.

Panelists will include Lyle Berman, CEO of Lakes Entertainment and one of the world’s leading poker players; Jack Binion, former host of the World Series of Poker and founder of Horseshoe Gaming and the Poker Hall of Fame; Jennifer Harman, one of the top female poker players in the world; and Phil Hellmuth, Jr., a top World Series of Poker money winner.

All three keynote events will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Keynote Room located in the registration area on the main level of the Las Vegas Convention Center.