Fifth annual Binion’s Poker Classic runs May 30-July 11

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The fifth annual Binion’s Poker Classic at Binion’s Gambling Hall in downtown Las Vegas kicks off at the end of this month, again mimicking the World Series of Poker schedule, but at a fraction of the cost (generally about a 10th of the WSOP buy-in price).

Most events in the May 30-July 11 series will offer a $10 add-on and feature 2 p.m. start times and 35-minute blinds.

“Our poker players are happy with the way we have developed the Classic with things like the improved structure and longer levels,” Binion’s tournament director Paul Campbell said. “So with the tournament itself in good shape, this year we are adding value in other ways with a very good hotel rate at the Four Queens and a $25 live-play promotion.”

Some of the highlights of this series include not one, but two H.O.R.S.E. events (June 7, $200 and June 23, $500) and three $200 PLO/8 tournaments (June 2, 21 and 28).

The series’ two-day $1K main event, which has 60-minute blind levels and 30K starting chips, begins June 30. The add-on is not available for this event. Super satellites ($125) will run 2-6 p.m. June 29.

After the main event there will be more NLHE events and then the series wraps up with an interesting $150 limit dealers-choice event on July 11 at 2 p.m.

WSOP STAGES HEADS-UP CLASSICS: The WSOP is reliving some of its main event’s most important heads-up finales on June 2.

In a made-for-TV event, the WSOP will pit Chris Moneymaker against Sammy Farha in a best-of-three match. The first match will feature the same starting stacks the duo had in 2003 when they reached heads-up play in the main event (Moneymaker had nearly a 2-1 chip lead).

After that match they will switch starting stacks, giving Farha the larger stack. If they split the matches a deciding match will give them equal starting stacks to determine who wins.

“Winning the WSOP main event was a life-altering moment,” Moneymaker said. “Even though I’m agreeing to run it again against Sammy, I have been assured they can’t take away my title if my bluffs don’t work as well this time.”

In the second heads-up match, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan will relive their 1989 battle, but it will be one-and-done as the players will start with equal starting stacks.

The final match will be determined by the fans. They can go to the WSOP Facebook page and choose among these matches:

• 1988 Chan vs. Erik Seidel
• 2004 Greg Raymer vs. David Williams
• 2006 Jamie Gold vs. Paul Wasicka
• 2010 Jonathan Duhamel vs. John Racener

HARMAN CHARITY EVENT: On May 21 the Peppermill Resort Casino in Reno and the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will host Jennifer Harman’s fifth annual charity tournament.

This individual and 10-player team competition will vie more than 150 poker pros, Hollywood celebrities, athletes and industry VIPs against each other.

The $230 event takes place during the Nevada State Poker Championship, which will be broadcast to more than 100 million homes. For more information go to peppermillreno.com.

— Christopher Cosenza