28 Dec 2014
Although JetSetWay is a travel blog, and the 2015 World Series of Poker doesn’t start for five months, that is where I travel to for seven weeks each summer and already I can’t wait.
Every year the World Series of Poker gets bigger and better. Kudos to Ty Stewart, the WSOP Executive Director, and his team, for once again understanding what players want and then giving it to them.
Recent tournament history has shown that players respond well to such things as 1) prize pool guarantees, 2) more chips to start, 3) extra starting heats in order to build the prize pool, 4) offer a chance to re-enter, and 5) also many players have felt somewhat left out since minimum buy-ins have been $1,000 for decades.
Although they will be running tournaments daily for over seven weeks, the WSOP will be using Friday and Saturday combinations to showcase their events that will attract the multitudes.
They kick off the first weekend of 2015 May 29 with a brand new event “The Colossus” which includes all five of the items I mentioned above. The buy-in is only $565 (lowest in 35 years) yet has 5,000 in starting chips, 4 starting heats (10 AM and 4 PM both days), and a whopping guaranteed prize pool of $5,000,000. That will certainly be the biggest player turnout ever.
The next weekend brings “The Millionaire Maker”, aptly named because the winner is guaranteed $1,000,000 for a $1,500 buy-in. The starting stack increases this year to 7,500.
The following weekend will bring the Monster Stack that gives a whopping 15,000 for a $1,500 buy-in. This gigantic success in its first year in 2014 attracted 7,683 entries and is sure to top that this year.
The next week is the Seniors Championship, which also will have a starting stack of five times the buy-in instead of the traditional three times.
Also many have said that 50 just seems too young for it to really be a Seniors event but it is so successful that it was tough to be messed with. So, wisely they have now also included a Super Seniors event, which will be a 65 minimum age. I’ll be there.
The following week will be the popular Ladies event, which will also have 5,000 starting chips this year.
And let’s not forget the Main Event, poker’s biggest and most prestigious. This year’s world champion again will be guaranteed $10,000,000.
18 Dec 2014
What a fun night. Somehow we were invited to a dinner for 10, celebrating two birthdays. Every person (except us) was a bona fide super star in his field. We had two academy award winners, the owner of the biggest/best restaurant in Orange County, CA, the world’s most famous surfboard maker (the only famous one?) and Chart House owners Yana Deaton and her husband, surfer legend, Joey Cabell
Years ago Cabell founded Chart House Restaurants, sold the rest of them off where they became another mediocre/ok public restaurant chain. He kept the one in Honolulu, which he opened in 1968 and it has been famous and fabulous ever since.
Even if you forget about the food (which you can’t), the ambiance and service make it all worthwhile.
Of course there is no way Allyn wouldn’t be lighting her Hanukkah candles, even there. We just brought along our menorah.
15 Dec 2014
So here we are back at the Royal Hawaiian for holiday time.
Allyn and I came a week earlier than the kids and grand kids to be certain that Waikiki is still here. :)
08 Dec 2014
In case you have been on a desert island for an extended stay, the hottest thing in sports fun and betting is fantasy sports, particularly daily fantasy sports.
A couple major players dominate this industry, but that might change now with a major new contender, Fantasy Draft. They will be doing everything right.
Unfortunately this weekend they did it so right that their servers were jammed and the site failed for hours.
You can understand why. They had three contests, $5, $10, and $25 that guaranteed $50,000, $100,000 and $250,000 respectively. They needed 10,000 players each just to break even.
Because of the problems, they only had about 4,000 players. The not only are honoring all of their guarantees, but ADDITIONALLY they are returning all entry fees to people who were not winners.
That is strong, impressive, and professional.
That first weekend $300,000 hit that they are taking will probably make them millions.
Sign up here – and get your picks in early.
Note to my Washington friends - It is not legal there. Silly laws.
07 Dec 2014
How fortuitous that Allyn was celebrating her BIG birthday the same weekend as her vary favorite singer, Andrea Bocelli, was performing for one night at The MGM Grand Arena.
Both of her kids and her best friend popped in to help her celebrate.
We grabbed a limo for the night so as not have to fight the traffic to say nothing of the alcohol issue. Given it was Allyn’s birthday I asked her to select a restaurant and she said SW Steakhouse at The Wynn. Awkwardly I had to turn her down saying I was not going to get a limo for a two block ride so I looked for a new deluxe place a ways away.
We opted for Michael’s Gourmet Room at South Point Casino. Who would have thought that a locals’ casino would have such a restaurant? The food, service and ambiance were all spectacular. We will be returning for certain.
Allyn made her best friend and daughter join her in wearing fascinators for the evening.
Bocelli was great of course.
The Grand Arena is a great venue in its own right. I need to go there more often.