The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino celebrated the grand opening of its $2.6 million poker room on Sunday, April 2, unveiling the new and luxurious card venue to a group of high profile poker pros, celebrities and media personnel, and hosting a tournament for their playing pleasure. A red carpet affair, the night began at 7:30 p.m. with a VIP Reception at the Venetian's famed nightclub, Tao, a new favorite of Hollywood's elite, and was followed by a 30-table poker tournament, The Venetian Poker Grand Opening Face-Off, at 9 p.m.
Poker personalities in attendance included Patrik Antonius, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Eli Elezra, Shannon Elizabeth, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Layne Flack, Willie Garson, Jennifer Harman, Chip and Katrina Jett, Thomas Keller, Martin de Knijff, Howard Lederer, Liz Lieu, Phil Laak, Jack McClelland, Carlos Mortensen, Jeremy Piven, Chip Reese, Joe Reitman, Gavin Smith, Jennifer Tilly, Marco Traniello, Barry Shulman, and Nick Stahl, among others.
The poker tournament awarded first place finisher and local pro, Beatrice Stranzinger, with a 2006 Lotus sports car. Following the event's kick-off, live games were opened to the public and play lasted into the early hours of Monday morning.
This is the third time the Venetian has attempted to run a poker room on the premises, with both previous endeavors failing due to a general lack of interest in poker in Las Vegas.
In addition to cash games, the Venetian will be running a slew of daily No-Limit Hold'em tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $540.
Please see The Venetian To Debut Poker Room In April for additional details.