Justo Guerra has spent the past few days in Las Vegas trying to play his way into the main event for the 38th World Series of Poker, which seats its first tables at noon today at the Rio.

Since his arrival from San Angelo in west Texas on Monday, the construction company owner has spent his time playing in various tournaments to try to raise the $10,000 buy-in stake required to enter the no-limit Texas hold ’em event that will run through July 17.

"It’s just the excitement of it," said Guerra, after registering for one of the satellite tournaments. "It’s the experience of playing in it and maybe winning some money."

The Rio is also running a variety of satellite tournaments with entry fees ranging from $300 to $1,000..

The main event is the culmination of the World Series of Poker tournament, which began five weeks ago and has already awarded 54 tournament champions with gold and diamond encrusted bracelets, including all-time bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth, who won his 11th on June 12.

"We’ve been running hard since June 1," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker for Harrah’s Entertainment. "But the World Series is unique in its ability to capture the world’s attention."

Pollack said he would not speculate about whether the main event will approach last year’s record 8,773 entrants.

He said the final total "doesn’t matter" because of the event’s long history and because it is still considered the top poker tournament in the world.

"We’ve been around for a long time," Pollack said. "We’ve grown very organically within the poker community."

Guerra was one of hundreds of hopefuls standing in line waiting to register for the world championship event or one of the many cheaper satellite events that could help contestants avoid paying the full $10,000 buy-in.

Cory Kuchenberg, a manager of a food distributor in Escanaba, Mich., won a satellite tournament in Michigan to play in his first World Series event.

He said the lure of playing in the main event tournament is the opportunity to win "life-changing money."

"Anybody can win," said Kuchenberg, who has been playing poker for four years. "You don’t have to be a pro."

Amateur Jamie Gold came from the entertainment industry and won last year’s main event worth approximately $12 million.

Guerra said he has already won $5,000 since he hit town. However, he noted, his girlfriend has spent most of the winnings.

If his satellite strategy doesn’t pan out, he said he will pay the $10,000 so he can experience the main event for the first time.

Pollack said media coverage and sponsorship of the tournament have helped the World Series grow.

"We really just begun to modernize the tournament," said Pollack, who joined Harrah’s in October 2005 from NASCAR, "With the backing of Harrah’s, we’re not going anywhere."

Wider marketing of the tournament is also helping lure players from all over the world.

Internet poker friends Daan Slütter and Mark van der Voorden arrived from Holland hoping to catch a run of luck that could get them to the final table.

Slütter and van der Voorden are having their buy-ins paid by Team PokerNews after playing in satellite tournaments back home.

"This is the biggest tournament in the world," said Slütter, carrying a duffle bag with the Team PokerNews logo. "The main thing is to play in the main event."

Thursday was also the beginning of the newly reconfigured 2007 Gaming Life Expo, which runs through Sunday.

The Rio-sponsored expo focuses more on men’s lifestyle outside the world of poker, offering a mix of golf clubs, energy drinks, clothing and apparel, hard liquor, poker industry booths and strippers.

The convention is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the Rio Pavilion, but guests must be 21 to enter.

The expo made news earlier this year when it banned Internet poker sites, which were some of its some of its largest exhibitors in the past.

Expansive booths from Web sites such as PokerStars, Bodog, Full Tilt, Paradise Poker and Ultimate Bet were apparently replaced in part by a few local gentlemen’s clubs.

The Sapphire Club booth near the front entrance included a stripper pole complete with a scantily dressed stripper.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like