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Wynn swings for fences with $10M poker tournament guarantee

Updated June 24, 2021 - 6:55 pm

Wynn Las Vegas is offering what is believed to be the largest guarantee ever for a poker tournament prize pool in Las Vegas: $10 million.

As the event approaches, Ryan Beauregard, executive director of poker operations for the Wynn, said he finds his mood shifting by the week and sometimes by the day as he thinks about the pressure.

“I think it depends on which side of the bed I wake up on,” he said.

The Wynn Millions, a $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em tournament with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool, begins Friday with the first of three starting flights. After the three Day 1s, two Day 2s will be held Monday and Tuesday. The remaining players will combine Wednesday, and play will continue daily until the final table July 3.

The Wynn needs 1,000 entrants to meet the raw guarantee, but needs 1,064 to cover the $10 million and allow the casino to take its planned $600 fee per entry ($400 for the house and $200 for staff) listed in the tournament rules.

Beauregard said he’s confident of getting more than 1,500 entries and wouldn’t be surprised to get 2,000.

“Let’s hope I’m not wrong,” he said.

Regardless of the outcome, he said he’s happy to host a large-field, $10,000 buy-in event with the World Series of Poker delayed from its usual summer slot until September.

“With that big gap in the schedule, we said, ‘This is a great time,’ ” Beauregard said. “Players are going to want something to play.”

Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) is widely known in the poker world as a one-stop resource for information on events past and present. He said he could not recall a Las Vegas tournament having a guarantee of more than $5 million. (The WSOP Main Event has prize pools that are much larger, but there is no official guarantee.)

Mathers recalls three tournaments outside Las Vegas having $10 million guarantees, and only one of them surpassed it, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Florida in 2013.

The tournament, part of the ongoing Wynn Summer Classic, will be held in the area in front of the Wynn poker room (actually located in the Encore). The Wynn is hosting $1,100 multitable satellite tournaments Friday and Saturday and $1,500 single-table satellites upon demand to give players a chance to win their way into the event.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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