Posts Tagged ‘The Rio’

Off to a Slow Start

by , Jun 5, 2011 | 6:14 pm

Jon Katkin


Glitz. Glamor. Excitement. So far, the 2011 WSOP has had none of these things, and honestly, I’m finding the whole thing kind of sad. It’s not the World Series of Poker we all know and love… it’s more like the World Series of Meh.

The thing is that after spending a number of hours wandering around the Rio during the first week, it’s hard to put a finger on what’s different about this year’s event. Maybe it’s fallout from Black Friday and the fact that sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker don’t have their usual suites. Maybe it’s the fact that the first week’s events were tailored more toward professional players and featured more mixed games and higher buy ins than the casual player is comfortable playing.

Or maybe I’m just jaded.

The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. Event numbers have been good, but no one appears to be having any fun.

Still, jaded or not, the fact remains that the Rio just doesn’t have the same excited vibe that I’m used to feeling during the first week of the Series. The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. What makes the feel of this year’s Series even stranger is that the event numbers have been good. People are playing cards, but no one appears to be having any fun.

So, is there anything that the Rio and WSOP staff can do to loosen things up and pump some more excitement into the proceedings?


Semi-ironic Horsepower

by , Jun 1, 2011 | 4:49 pm

Ahhh … though Vegas is crawling with poker-related license-plate culture on any given day, the World Series is when the finest work from the Nevada Department of Corrections really comes out.

Seen outside the Rio today, this high-performance Mustang either being offered up as a gift by someone trying to recruit WSOP exec Ty Stewart over to the WPT or it’s probably the ride of an appreciative WPT champion at the WSOP going after a different brand of bracelet.

Even More WSOP License Plates

by , Aug 10, 2010 | 10:47 pm

You can’t be sure from the 7-max tags that these guys play poker … but factor in when and where they were spotted — Rio, WSOP — and yeah … someone we know probably knows at least one of these guys … and depending how big they play, may have helped pay for the car.

License Plate Scandal at the Rio?

by , Aug 8, 2010 | 10:41 am

Got an email the other day from an entity @WickedChops … a pic of a distinctly pokery license plate, taken “w/ iPhone before leaving WSOP from players parking lot where RVs were”, to which I thought cool, thanks, awesome! gahdammit you always gotta be showing off with your fancy photography and special rail-girl cameras …

Then I saw the plate and thought, pfft, dude we so already got that one … but it is a nicer pic, I guess. Just an iPhone, really?

Then I went back to the original post about this specific license plate, also spotted at the Rio during the WSOP, shortly before the main event … and WTF?


The Layne Flack of South Dakota

by , Aug 7, 2010 | 10:41 am

Seen on one of the Day 1s at the 2010 main event in the WSOP valet lot …

Corvette-ness makes the hedline seem plausible. Would have to cross-reference Clark County impound records with arrest reports from Las Vegas Metro to be sure … and though the presence of stripper-glitter in the passenger seat could be a telltale sign, windows were too tinted to be certain.

UPDATE: Or you could just check Wikipedia … to be reminded that Layne Flack does indeed hail from the state that some people consider the Oklahoma of Nebraska.

Rumorati: Harrah’s Sale of the Rio Complete

New home for 2011 WSOP almost 100 percent unofficially semi-confirmed

by , Aug 4, 2010 | 3:42 pm

UPDATE: Little of what’s below, if any, is accurate. [Link]

The end of an era is upon us … with Harrah’s finally selling the Rio — that horrendous dump of a property at 3700 W. Flamingo Rd. that reminds us how quickly Las Vegas luxe can deteriorate …

But also a place that the World Series of Poker and so many of us connected to it have long called home — at least for most of our 21st century summers.

More details TK.

Credit @LasVegasMichael for getting the pseudo-confirmation and other info as it emerges.

Our extra-reliable sources at Pokerati confirm as much. Everyone knew it was coming, but supposedly the actual sale went down yesterday. To “one of those name name and ampersand venture capital companies.”

I’ve long held that Caesar’s would be the most likely new home of the brick-and-mortar equivalent of CaesarsCasino and CaesarsBingo dot coms. But early word without having talked directly to all those people we know extremely well and would be the ones who actually do know … Planet Hollywood … that will be the new home.

Again, all of this technically unconfirmed, but place your bets on the wherabouts of the 2011 WSOP-Ho here.

Re: Andy Bloch returns to Rio to defend Internet freedom

It’s about more than just poker, but poker important part of it

by , Jul 23, 2010 | 10:16 am

Thursday morning at the Rio, Andy Bloch was part of a panel at Netroots Nation titled Internet Freedom: Protecting Rights in the Digital Realm. Many in the poker community have heard Bloch’s points about how the government is infringing on the freedom of poker players (UIGEA), but to most in the audience, it was new information to them.

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom (Photo by BJ Nemeth)

Bloch stated three reasons why they should care, even if they’re not an online poker player: Basic freedom, the implications and side effects a ban on Internet gambling would have and how it could move to other areas of the Internet, and that people need to be organized and actively defend their rights. Bloch related a story about how he was playing a $1 SNG online (not mentioning Full Tilt Poker, but he was wearing a PPA patch) with an individual who was visually impaired. He stated that the person he was talking to, and others like him, would not be able to play in a brick and mortar casino. He also described how the UIGEA was passed in the middle of the night in 2006, attached to a must-pass bill. At the time, the PPA and poker community weren’t as mobilized as they are today in the effort to regulate Internet gambling.

The other two individuals on the panel, James Rucker of discussing net neutrality and Amelia Donoley of the Center for Media Justice discussing how Internet freedom affects migrant and Latino communities. Most of the audience questions (which were difficult to hear on the video) appeared to be geared toward the net neutrality issue, with the fear that big corporations would control the flow of the Internet, forcing out smaller companies and non-profit groups. Andy stated that there are big corporations supporting net neutrality, as well as to help regulate online poker.

At the end of the panel, each panelist had one final opportunity to promote their efforts. Bloch brought out a poker chip with a bar code to enter into a drawing for an Ipad. The other two panelists seemed impressed with his offering as they each picked up a chip. To watch the hearing, it’s available below:

Bloch returns to Rio to defend Internet freedom

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 8:29 pm

Andy Bloch played over 30 tournaments at the Rio during the WSOP this summer, but he’ll make one more visit to the Rio Thursday morning as part of Netroots Nation (formerly known as the YearlyKos Convention). Netroots is a gathering of progressive voices to help better influence public debate on a variety of issues taking place at the Rio through Sunday, July 25th. An example of what you can expect during the weekend include these panels: Tweeting the Revolution: How Hip-Hop Transformed 140 into 360, Deepwater Disaster: Response and Recovery on the Gulf Coast and Bringing the Snark after Winning Elections. A variety of social events include a poker tournament sponsored by the PPA on Friday evening at Buzio’s.

Bloch will be part of a panel entitled Internet Freedom: Protecting Rights in the Digital Realm in a section of the Brasilia Room, home of the Bad Beat Bar during this year’s WSOP.

The description of the panel:

Freedom must be protected everywhere it is threatened. The FCC has an opportunity to protect Internet users from telecom interests seeking to exploit them. This session will dissect the fight for an open Internet to this point and share strategies for building grassroots support to achieve real Internet Freedom.

The description of Bloch mentions his work with the PPA as part of a grassroots effort to protect the rights of poker players live and online. How much of that will be mentioned during the panel is unknown, but you can watch the discussion from 10:30am-11:45am PT on

License to Douche

by , Jul 10, 2010 | 3:40 am

Spotted this California beemer in the Rio front valet … so there’s no guarantee it belongs to a poker player. But all those dBags who’ve shown up en masse this year have to draw their inspiration from somewhere:

(I take it all back, of course, if this car happens to belong to Webber Kang.)

World Series of Dork Cars

by , | 2:38 am

Not sure what the 3N means. All I can figure is maybe he’s trying to say “Broadwayin'”?

Seen in the WSOP-valet lot at the Rio:

Beet-Red Poker

by , Jul 9, 2010 | 3:46 am

Today’s parking lot report comes from the Rio, by a mysterious player who apparently has a message of product disappointment for Dwight Schrute. Or maybe he’s just talking to his beloved New York Rangers?

We don’t have a make on this vehicle — “it was dark,” says our Lot C correspondent, who was filling in for Goldfarb — but we can be pretty sure it’s not a Bentley or a Hummer.

Two Chips and a Chair

by , Jul 5, 2010 | 1:40 am

Today is the day. Here’s what it takes to play. The fact that 90 percent won’t get them back is part of what makes the body do things on the inside.


The License Plate Beat

by , Jun 23, 2010 | 7:49 pm

I can’t seem to convince anyone that this concept would make a great podcast, but still, I think there’s a lot to be learned from a person who decides to personalize their license plate with something pokery. And you know it’s only a matter of time before Poker News Daily assigns someone to start covering these stories.

Today’s plates were spotted in the valet lot at the Rio. This first one I think I’ve seen before:

UPDATE: We have.
And thought the license-plate frame suggests otherwise, if this one belongs to Seth Palansky, well, let’s just say he and I need to have a talk about those food comps …

World Series of Parking

by , Jun 15, 2010 | 3:39 am

Our Team Pokerati player-correspondents may not be giving us much to talk about at the tables, but they do have the parking lot beat at 3700 W. Flamingo covered. Check it out … a few new vanity spottings seen (Just) Outside the WSOP … can you guess which one might belong to Scotty Nguyen?

Also … think there’s any connection that ♥2BLUFF is driving the PT Cruiser, not a Bentley or a Jag?

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 8 Evening Edition

by , Jun 4, 2010 | 9:13 pm

Breaking down the Friday afternoon WSOP action:

Hellmuth falls short in quest 12th bracelet

The $1,500 NL Holdem event that started on Wednesday is down to the final table of ten, but Phil Hellmuth is not among them, finishing in 15th for $25,472. The final 10 when they return from their dinner break are:

Pascal LeFrancois – 4,000,000
Kevin Howe – 1,780,000
David Aue– 1,300,000
Max Steinberg – 900,000
Saar Wilf – 855,000
James Andersen – 665,000
Kurt Disessa – 651,000
Jose Gatmaitan – 640,000
Josh Brikis – 375,000
Daniel Wjuniski – 350,000

Follow all the final table action over at PokerNews.

Day 2 of 10k Stud W.C.

Less than 50 remain in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship with Ray Dehkharghani the current chip leader at 275,000. 2009 November Niner Eric Buchman holds down 2nd place with 270,000, while 50k Players’ Championship runner up Vladimir Schmelev is in 3rd with 230,000. Other notables: 50k Players’ Championship winner Michael Mizrachi (165,000), Men Nguyen (155,000), and Brandon Adams (120,000). Six more levels of play awaits the field or the final table of eight, whichever comes first. You can follow the progress of this event over at

Pot-Limit Bubble Pops

The $1,500 Pot-Limit Holdem event burst its bubble early on day 2, with the field now down to just 25 players. James “Flushy” Dempsey is the current chip leader at 290,000. Other notables: Joe Serock (140,000), JJ Liu (100,000), Melissa Hayden (95,000), and Christian Harder (75,000). Play will end when the final table of nine is established or at the end of ten levels of play. Team Pokerati’s Tom Schneider earned $3,352 for his 52nd place finish, his second cash (in three tries) at the WSOP.

$1,500 NL Day 1

A field of 2,563 started at noon in the third $1,500 No-Limit Holdem bracelet event. Less than 800 remain in action at the moment, with Tom Dwan the unofficial chip leader with 56,000. Other notables with healthy stacks include Blair Hinkle (43,000), Shaun Deeb (36,000), Annette Obrestad (25,000), and Liv Boeree (23,000). Less than four levels of play remain for day 1, with the top 270 players cashing, with the winner taking down an impressive $614,248. For the Team Pokerati fanbase, Pat Poels was the lone entry for this event.

$1,500 Limit Holdem Day 1

A field of 625 took to the felt for the $1,500 Limit Holdem event, and around 550 remain as the field takes their dinner break shortly. The duo of Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown are the unofficial top two with Rousso (10,800) holding a slight lead over brown (10,100). For the online poker community, Jimmy “Gobboboy” Fricke is third with 8,500 and other notables such as Jeff Madsen (6,250), Team Pokerati’s Tom Schneider (5,600), and Chris Ferguson (5,400). Team Pokerati also has Julie Schneider, Danny Noam, Robert Goldfarb entered in this event. The top 63 players make the money, with first place $189,870 along with a coveted bracelet, follow for further updates and chip counts.