For some, the field of dreams this weekend is in Miami for the Super Bowl. For a big chunk of the American Midwest, however, it's the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as preliminary tournaments are won, delusions of grandeur lost and Jesus ultimately arrives to take his seat at the buffet.
For those with cash, connections, and a messianic lust for fireworks-accompanied football and Americana, all roads lead to the Super Bowl this weekend.
For those with a lust for poker, they lead to the barren, windswept cornfields of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the $5,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Circuit main event.
Up for grabs: up to $1 million and an automatic seat in the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.
Among the notables expected are T.J. Cloutier and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, with three days of No-Limit Hold'em action beginning tomorrow and wrapping up Wednesday.
Also among the notables attending: PokerListings.com's tournament reporters Matt Showell and Owen Laukkanen, who will have up-to-the-minute live tournament coverage, analysis and player interviews for the PokerListings.com Live Tournament Section.
In the meantime, however, the pre-lims have seen heated battle from the locals, playing out some of their own poker championship fantasies along the way.
Lawrence, Kansas; Bismarck, North Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; Danbury, Wisconsin: All some of the hometowns represented at the latest final table in Council Bluffs, a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event that drew 183 players and a $177,510 prize pool (coincidentally or not, roughly equivalent to Prince's sequin and fireworks budget for today's Super Bowl halftime show).
These are the final table results for the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event, where Bismarck pro Justin Sellers took down his biggest win ever: