World Poker Open hits Gold Strike on July 19

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The World Poker Open is about to kick off at the Gold Strike on July 19. This year is expected to be the biggest WPO in recent history, with more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. A guarantee this sizeable is all but unheard of in the Tunica market, so I expect record turnouts. The WPO is part of the Beau Rivage/Gold Strike MGM Tour, which is halfway through its most successful year, featuring five tournaments between the properties. The tournament schedule and structures have all been revamped to include huge guarantees and plenty of main-event seats included in the prize pools.

The guaranteed events start July 20 with a $200K guarantee. This two-day event also permits one re-entry. July 24 features a $75K guarantee, followed by another $200K guarantee on July 27. On July 31, there’s another $75K event.

Aug. 3-4 is the main event, with a $3,150 buy-in and a huge $500K guarantee. Every day there are also a number of non-guaranteed events with $200-$500 buy-ins. Seniors, ladies and Omaha tournaments also are on the schedule. As with all MGM tournaments on the Mississippi tour, a nightly $150 second-chance tournament kicks off at 7, only this year the top of the nightly point leaderboard will win a main-event entry.

As always, tournament director Eric Comer will be on-hand to make sure poker players are happy. Though this always has been a great event to play, the tournament staff and poker-room management have really worked hard to provide solid value for players, and it shows as the numbers continue to grow.
I’m hoping to be at the WPO, and if I’m not working the event, I’ll definitely be playing. Hope to see many of you there.

Promotions Part 2

This is Part 2 of my Mississippi promotions series, and this time I have two of the more prolific cardrooms in the Magnolia State.

Harrah’s Tunica, Get the Royal Treatment: Make a qualifying royal flush, (hole cards must play), and earn $250. If royals aren’t something you make on a regular basis, hop in the $4-$8 limit game where $25 will be given to each table every hour (2-9 p.m., Sun.-Thurs).

Harrah’s also is doing something impressive with its daily tournaments. … only $5 juice (the amount that goes to the house), on daily-nightly tournaments. This is advertised as the “lowest in Tunica.” Friday, a “player appreciation” tournament is featured with NO juice and the added value of a $60 spa or golfing gift certificate for first place. You have to love a poker room that listens to its players.

Beau Rivage, Biloxi, Get your poker gear here: All the way through the end of July, if you make a straight flush (at least one hole card must play), you’ll win your choice of a hoodie, windbreaker, shirt or hat. Free gear? Can’t beat that. Every Saturday, a $140 tournament with a $5K guarantee packs the house. This is a consistently busy weekly tournament on the Gulf Coast, and definitely worth a visit. One of the biggest monthly tournaments in the state is the first Sunday of every month. You can look forward to a $15K guarantee with a 6K starting stack and a $225 buy-in. This tournament starts at 1 p.m. If you prefer a larger buy-in, the first Saturday of every month (noon) offers a $340 buy-in, $20K guarantee with nice 30-minute blinds and a slow-moving structure.

As for me, I’m settled out in Vegas for the biggest shindig of the year. Ante Up will be around all summer in the form of various columnists and publishers. If you’re coming out to the sandbox to join us, drop me a line. Good luck at the tables, and let’s work on bringing some jewelry home to Mississippi.

— Jennifer Gay is Ante Up’s Mississippi Ambassador.She can be contacted at facebook.com/aceofjewels or at jennifergay80@hotmail.com.