MGM Grand launches new poker series Oct. 13

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Go big or go home. That’s the slogan splashed across MGM Grand ads, and it captures its poker room’s re-emergence into the tournament series market quite well.

MGM has been doing well as a 22-table poker room catering mostly to tourists, but manager Robert Moore wants more than that these days. Lately he has been striving to cater to locals (MGM will pay for your valet service, the valet tip and will call down to make sure you’re next up for your car), and the Grand Challenge Tournament Series is a great way to do that.

The series runs Oct. 13-23 and features all no-limit hold’em events, culminating with the three-day $2,620 main event on Oct. 21. There will be two events per day, the featured event (likely a two-day tournament) at noon followed by a second-chance event at 7 p.m. Except for the main event, no tournament in this series costs more than $550, with most of the events being $340 or $125 for most second-chance events.

The opening tournament, a $340 event on Oct. 13, will be unique to the series in that it’s a three-day event where players who bust on Day 1A will be allowed to re-enter on Day 1B (Oct. 14). Players remaining from Days 1A and 1B will come back on Oct. 15 and the final table will be Oct. 16.

One of the second-chance time slots is sponsored by AllVegasPoker.com, which should really bring out the locals as it features a $100 buy-in and no rake. That NLHE tournament, which has an optional re-entry, is Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.

If the main event is a little too steep for your bankroll that’s OK because there will be two $230 super satellites on Oct. 20 (noon, 7 p.m.). Speaking of the main event, which will be an official Ante Up Poker Tour stop (schedule and points leaders on Page 36), the winner of the Grand Challenge Main Event also will receive a $10,300 non-negotiable, non-transferable, non-refundable seat into the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond Main Event at the Bellagio, which runs Dec. 10-15.

The series schedule is on mgmgrand.com, and if you’re traveling and need a place to stay MGM is offering special room rates for poker players.