Binion's returns to poker roots with televised games

Binion's Horseshoe Gambling Hall and Hotel, the famed home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), is making its way back to its poker roots to help bring some life back to its tables.

Binion's signed on to host the "Ultimate Poker Challenge" this season after the Plaza Hotel and Casino opted to give it up after hosting the poker series for the past two years. Tournaments already began filming last month at the casino and will run through Dec. 11.

The producer of the "Ultimate Poker Challenge," Dan Pugliese, is creating another poker show called "Cash Poker" that will also be filmed at the casino. Pugliese compared the show to the Game Show Network's "High Stakes Poker" in which poker players will play in a $25,000 minimum buy-in cash game.

The show is scheduled to begin filming in December and will feature a cast of amateur players mixed in with big-name pros. To accommodate the shows, Binion's allowed a permanent set to be built in the property and has also been marketing the tournaments.

David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Business Press that the move is a good one for Binion's.

The Binion name is tightly tied to poker because it was the creator of the WSOP, so even though it doesn't host that tournament anymore, returning to its roots can help it compete with the mega-resorts in the city, and the poker boom that was facilitated by Binion's could end up making the casino famous once again.

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