November Nine Set in World Series of Poker

Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column.

July 20, 2010

The final-table players in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event have been determined. The nine players who are about to become household names in poker circles are led by Martin Staszk with more than 40 million in chips, seven million more than the second-biggest stack. Last in the field is Sam Holden with 12 million. The biggest name on the table is Ben Lamb, who’s already won one event in this year’s tournament, and posted several other high finishes. Lamb is in fifth with 21 million. Seven nations are represented, with the players ranging in age from 21 to 49. The final table will reconvene on November 5.New Operators: Station Casinos is taking over management of the race and sports book at the El Cortez, which was previously run by the South Point casino. It’s the first time the casino group has operated a sports book outside of its own properties.

La Cage Returns: An Evening at La Cage, the long-running female impersonator show that played for many years at the Riviera before closing in 2009, has reopened at the Four Queens downtown. The new star is from the former cast, but the show no longer features Frank Marino, who now stars in Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace.

Early Hour: Tacos & Tequila at Luxor has a happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday with $5 drinks and appetizers. It’s the early timeframe that’s interesting here; most Las Vegas happy hours don’t begin until around 5.

Question: I’ve heard that the World Series of Poker is the “richest sporting event in the world.” Assuming it really is a sport, is this based on the first prize, the entire prize pool, or something else? 

Answer: This year’s tournament had 75,672 entries in 58 events creating a prize pool of $191,999,010. In the Main Event, the winner will take home $8.7 million, while all others, except the ninth-place finisher, will win at least $1 million. While you can debate its classification as a sport, no sporting event anywhere produces prizes anywhere near these.

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