Thursday, December 17, 2009

Schedule Announced for 41st Annual World Series of Poker®

World Series Of Poker

Set to Run From May 27 - July 17, 2010 at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV (December 17, 2009) – The 41st annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) -- a set ofpoker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older -- returns Thursday, May 27, 2010 when live action and satellites begin. The annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular variations running from May 27-July 17, 2010.

A total of 57 coveted gold bracelets will be up for grabs in 2010 – equal to last year’s total. July 4th is the tournaments sole “off day”, and will be dedicated to satellites for all those seeking another entry option into poker’s biggest event.

On Friday, May 28, the first open bracelet event will be the $50,000 buy-in Player’s Championship – the most expensive buy-in event to ever open up the World Series of Poker. Playing for the bracelet and the prestigious Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, the event will follow an eight-game format made popular by the late poker legend, and those participating in the mythical “Big Game” around Las Vegas card rooms. Over the first four days, Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball will be played, with the Final Table being No-Limit Hold’em, as was the case when Reese won the inaugural $50K buy-in event in 2006. ESPN will provide television coverage of this event under the new format.

The opening weekend (May 29-30), features a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which last year established a non-Main Event record of 6,012 entrants. The four-day event includes two starting flights, one each on Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon.

Another first at the WSOP this year, the first 5 weekends of the series will feature $1,000 buyin No-Limit Hold’em tournaments with two starting flights. May 29-30, June 5-6, June 12-13, June 19-20 and June 26-27 will offer No-Limit Hold’em players from the weekend warrior to the most advanced player the opportunity to compete in some of the largest fields of the year for huge prize pools and a gold bracelet. A sixth event on July 1-2, will also offer the same event at the same buyin level, just days before the Main Event commences.

The 41st annual WSOP will conclude, as is customary now, with the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (aka the Main Event) which begins play Monday, July 5 and should reach its final table (nine players) on Saturday, July 17, at which time play will be halted for the third consecutive year. The famed tournament’s culmination will be held with the “November Nine” from November 6-9, before a live audience with special primetime coverage from ESPN.

"Whatever your game and whatever your bankroll, the 2010 WSOP schedule offers something for everyone,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the event for the fifth consecutive year. "We are planning for the largest WSOP ever and look forward to welcoming all players to the Rio in Las Vegas next summer."

The entire convention center of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino will be exclusively dedicated to the 2010 World Series of Poker for the first time, with tournament tables in the 58,000 square foot Pavilion and the 38,000 square foot Amazon Room. The final number of tables in play is subject to regulatory approval, given just prior to the tournament commencing.

Player comfort is also being addressed by new rules regulating the daily amount of play. Excluding the Main Event, gold bracelet tournaments will begin at 12 noon and 5 PM Pacific Time each day, with a maximum of 10-one hour levels being played for the noon starts, while the 5 PM events playing a maximum of 8 one-hour levels. Day 1 play is expected to conclude at 12:45 AM for noon starts and 2:45 AM for the 5 PM starts. For those advancing past the first day, re-starts for noon bracelet events will be at 2:30 PM, and 5 PM tournaments will restart at 3 PM, with a maximum
of 10 levels being played each day until a champion is crowned. The Main Event features two-hour levels and play begins at 12 noon each day.

Registration for all bracelet events will remain open until the start of the third level(approximately 2 hours, 20 minutes after start time) – or until all available seats have sold. Preregistration for the 2010 WSOP is now available on-site at the Main Cage of the Rio in Las Vegas and online through This is the earliest registration has ever opened, as players now have more than five months to register for the first event, and more than six months to register for the Main Event.

Players are encouraged to register in advance to avoid being shutout of their favorite events. Any foreign entrants who wire transfer monies will receive the exchange rate into U.S. dollars at the time of the wire transfer, thus locking in their exchange rate in advance.

New policies and procedures regarding Main Event registration will be detailed in the future, but entrants can expect to be assigned starting days after a certain date. The only way to guarantee your starting day will be to pre-register prior to the determined cut-off date.

All Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas offer special reduced room rates for entrants of WSOP bracelet events. Rates start as low as $69 for players staying at the host property, the Rio. Imperial Palace offers rates as low as $30, and Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris and Caesars Palace provide WSOP player rates as low as $45-$100 a night. Click here for the special WSOP player hotel rates.

The 2010 WSOP marks the 41st running of the game’s most prestigious annual tournament. In 2009, the WSOP generated the most entries ever (60,875) from 115 different countries that competed for more than $174 million while awarding 57 championship gold bracelets, globally recognized as the game’s top prize.

To view the entire schedule, visit where you can download event
structures, pre-registration forms or save the schedule to your calendar and even link it to your Facebook, Twitter or other social network sites. Media can add a WSOP schedule widget to their websites, by going to

Among the highlights of the 2010 schedule:

· 57 gold bracelet events over 51 days.

· Expanded footprint – The giant Pavilion Ballroom (58,000 sq. feet) will be in use this year for poker in the Rio Convention Center. The Pavilion is the largest ballroom at the Rio, and along with the famed Amazon Room (38,000 sq. feet), will make-up the playing rooms for this year’s WSOP. The entire convention space will be used.

· Expanded capacity – Along with expanded footprint, comes more poker tables. A
record 295 tables were utilized last year, and this year’s configuration is still being plotted, but expected to offer about 20 percent more tables.

· No Food Tent – The outdoor food tent will now become an indoor food court
experience. The Miranda Ballroom, last year used as a room for play, will be converted into a food court with a variety of popular food items for players and spectators.

· Sensational Structures & Starting Chips – Drafting off last year’s success, all gold bracelet events in 2010 will feature triple the buy-in in starting chips and deep structures, providing plenty of play.

· $25K 6-Handed No-Limit – A new event this year will be a $25,000 buy-in 6-handed
No-Limit Hold’em 4-day event. Event #52 begins on Wednesday, June 30 at 12 noon.

· $50K Players Championship – The Chip Reese Trophy is up for grabs at the $50,000
buy-in eight-game mixed event, dubbed the Players Championship, which is being
morphed from the $50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament run the past four years. This new eightgame format will serve as the true test of the game’s greatest all-around player and receive star treatment, with ESPN cameras covering the five-day event for television.
Event #2 starts on Friday, May 28 at 5:00 PM.

· Still Plenty of H.O.R.S.E. – A new $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. Championship
tournament will be offered, to go along with $1,500 and $3,000 buy-ins to the popular

· The 4th annual Ante Up For Africa Celebrity-Charity Tournament -- $5,000 buy-in
No-Limit Hold’em celebrity and charity tournament on Saturday, July 3, (two days
before the Main Event begins) featuring the opportunity for anyone age 21 or older to
enter and be seated at the same table as A-list celebrities and top poker pros.

· The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 11, featuring a
$1,000 buy-in and helping to raise awareness for the Nevada Cancer Institute, the
official community relations partner of the World Series of Poker.

· The Seniors Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 18 , featuring
a $1,000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older.

· June $550 No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments – Every Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday at 1:00 PM throughout June, the Rio will host new $550 No-Limit Hold’em
tournaments for those looking for a Hold’em fix. These are one-day structured
tournaments, and not bracelet events.

In addition, a complete array of satellites, from single-table to mega, will be offered beginning from May 27-July 8. Nightly No-Limit Hold’em tournaments will be offered from May 27-July 4 at 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM.

All winners will be required to provide a valid picture ID. Tax forms will be completed for those with winnings in excess of $5,000 net of event buy-in. Players without a Tax Identification Number and foreign players from non-tax treaty countries are subject to up to 30 percentage tax withholding. WSOP reserves the right to cancel, change or modify the tournament or any tournament event, in part or in whole, without notice.

ABOUT THE WSOP: The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2009, the event attracted 60,875 entrants from 115 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $174 million in prize money. The WSOP in December, 2008 was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Sports Survey, trailing only the older and more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker EuropeSM. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit thier website at

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, This and That or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ESPN, WSOP Extend with a 7-Year Deal

Harrah's Entertainment - (August 18, 2009) – ESPN and Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment today announced they have reached a new seven-year agreement that will keep the World Series of Poker (WSOP) airing on ESPN through April 2018.

The WSOP, the world’s richest sporting event and longest running poker tournament, attracts a total audience of nearly 82 million U.S. viewers each year. ESPN has broadcast WSOP events every year since 2003 and was operating under an agreement set to expire after the 2010 WSOP.
Under the terms of the new deal, ESPN will telecast a minimum of 32 hours of event coverage from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas annually, including WSOP gold bracelet events and the “November Nine” Championship.

"The WSOP is proud to call ESPN home for another nine years," said Jeffrey Pollack, President of Harrah's Interactive Entertainment and the World Series of Poker. "This long-term agreement ensures that our content will continue to reach sports fans around the world through a wide variety of platforms."

WSOP content will appear on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Classic,,, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN International platforms outside of the United States.

“We are very excited to continue our relationship with Harrah’s to deliver the largest, richest, and most prestigious gaming event in the world to fans across a variety of our platforms,” said Doug White, senior director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “Poker continues to be a solid ratings performer for us and allows us to continue offering diverse programming to our viewers.“

ESPN’s coverage of the 40th Annual World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky airs every Tuesday night on ESPN. Norman Chad and Lon McEachern call the action. Tonight at 8 PM ET, coverage of the game’s richest tournament, the No Limit Hold’em Main Event begins as 6,494 players compete for $61 million in prize money with the winner walking away with $8.5 million – more than the U.S. Open golf, U.S. Open tennis, Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 winners received combined this year. Main Event coverage continues each Tuesday through November 10.

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with this blog or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ante Up For Africa

More Big Name Stars Come Out To Play At The 3rd Annual Ante Up For Africa Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 18, 2009) – Stars Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brad Garrett, Mekhi Phifer, and top poker professional Phil Hellmuth have joined the growing list of celebrities who plan to play in the Ante Up For Africa charity tournament July 2 at the 40th annual World Series of Poker. Some of Hollywood's biggest stars are expected to go all in for the 3rd Ante Up For Africa (AUFA) Celebrity-Charity poker tournament.

Annually, the largest celebrity poker tournament in Las Vegas, the event is accessible for the public to play with their favorite stars or watch as spectators. A full house of celebrities will join Academy Award Nominee, Don Cheadle and “Celebrity Apprentice Star” and WSOP Bracelet winner Annie Duke at the event taking place during the 2009 WORLD SERIES OF POKER® (WSOP) at Rio in Las Vegas on Thursday, July 2 at 2 PM.

This No-Limit Hold’em poker tournament has an entry fee of $5,000 and provides entrants the opportunity to walk away with a six-figure payday. The event allows players to rub elbows with top Hollywood stars, athletes and poker professionals while contributing to a great cause. Celebrities and athletes will join poker’s most notable players to raise public awareness and funds to support the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

Among those confirmed to participate, subject to availability, are Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Brad Garrett, Cedric The Entertainer, Charles Barkley, Danny Masterson, Herschel Walker, Jason Alexander, Kenny Smith, Montel Williams, DEan Cain, Tia Carrere, Sarah Silverman, Mike Tyson, Nelly, Rob Schneider; Poker Professionals Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Tiffany Michelle, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth with more to be confirmed.

The tournament will feature a fast-paced structure designed to complete the competition within five hours. Seating for the tournament is open to anyone age 21 or older. Players can register in person at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, or online through June 18, 2009 at under the registration tab.

This event, as is every World Series of Poker tournament, is open to the public for viewing and admission is free. The event will take place in the famed Amazon Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center, just one day prior to the start of the WSOP Main Event, the game’s most prestigious poker event.

Cheadle, an accomplished poker player, and Duke, who has more than $4 million in tournament winnings, are committed to raising both public awareness about the tragedy in Darfur and funds to aid its victims. As the world’s richest sporting event, the WSOP awarded more than $180 million in 2008 and attracted participants from a record 124 nations.

In the previous events, many of the in the money finishers volunteered to donate half of their winnings to the charity. Proceeds from the event will go to the ENOUGH Project and Refugees International, organizations whose goals include raising public awareness and providing aid to the survivors of Darfur.
More information about the tournament is available at If you would like more information regarding the organization, please log onto and follow us on twitter at

For more information, please contact:
Danika Berry for Ante Up For Africa
db Agency Public Relations

Seth Palansky for WSOP

Deanna Pettit for Rio

About the World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2008, the event attracted 58,720 entrants from 124 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $180 million in prize money. The creation of the new delayed Main Event final table more than doubled ratings on ESPN year-over-year. In December, 2008 the WSOP was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Team Brand Index trailing only the more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at
* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, This and That or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

Ante Up For Africa (AUFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein. We are dedicated to raising money and awareness for Africans in need. To date, Ante Up For Africa has raised close to $2 million for the cause and has donated to organizations such as Not On Our Watch (NOOW), ENOUGH and The International Rescue Committee. For more information, please log onto


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

California Bullying Case Costs Families Thousands

CA - June 11, 2009) – The Stockdale High ninth-grader thought he was going to a poker game.

Instead, five upperclassmen from his debate team pinned him down, encased him ankles-to-shoulders in plastic wrap and bound him tightly with duct tape, including thick layers over his mouth.

A full half-hour of mockery and threats followed before a trickle of blood from the boy's mouth frightened some of the older students who freed their captive.

Two-and-a-half years later, fallout from the incident in a Stockton hotel room continues.

Five upperclassmen were expelled. They and two other students, their parents and the Kern High School District paid $260,000 to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the boy's father.

The case illustrates the degree to which students, including minors, and their parents can be held financially accountable for bullying allegations.

It also shows that students can be held financially responsible even if they are witnesses or simply know about such incidents, but don't tell authorities.

Two upperclassmen paid the highest settlements: $45,000 apiece. Each student's parents paid an additional $10,000.

Four other students paid $12,500 to $20,000, with parents again ponying up $10,000. The school district paid $42,500.

The case stemmed from an October 2006 incident in which Stockdale's forensics debate team -- many of them honors students -- traveled to Stockton to compete in a three-day tournament at University of the Pacific.

The suit was filed in Kern County Superior Court in October 2007 by Tim Denari, the boy's father. Denari's son is referred to in most filings as John Doe.

The final settlement concluded Monday.

Several parents of accused students said the allegations were overblown and the incident was more a prank than bullying. Insurance companies, in at least four cases, paid the settlement monies.

One set of parents were upset their son, who was not involved in restraining the boy, was punished by the school and dragged into the legal case.


The night of Oct. 27, 2006, John Doe and a sophomore -- later to become a defendant -- were lured by the promise of a poker game to the upperclassmen's room at the Courtyard by Marriott Stockton.

When Doe and the sophomore walked in, "five other students took physical hold of (Doe) and began to wrap him up in plastic wrap and duct tape," a Stockdale High investigation determined.

The sophomore and a ninth-grader already in the room -- who also became a defendant -- ran out when they saw what was happening to the boy. Neither told adults what they'd seen.

The five older students held Doe's hands, feet, stomach and head as they bound him in Saran wrap and tape. One student held his jaws shut to seal his mouth, up to the nostrils, with duct tape.

Then they "made a mockery of Doe, taking pictures of him, all the while laughing, as he lay there mummified and gasping for air," the original complaint said.

They told the boy they were going to tape him to the wall and leave him alone in the room for a few hours. The upperclassmen made several attempts to attach him to the wall.

The boy struggled and fell to the floor each time.

His hands, balled against his belly under the wrappings, "plunged into his stomach, knocking the wind out of him" every time he fell, the complaint said.

The students then flipped him on his back. Brian Wright, who later settled for $45,000, repeatedly dropped a roll of duct tape onto the boy's chest from shoulder height.

The boy panicked and started to cry.

At one point, when the supervising teacher called the room to check on students, Wright held the boy's mouth shut to silence him.

When the boy managed to open a small breathing hole for his mouth, Wright slammed his mouth shut, causing him to bite his tongue.

"Blood then began trickling out of the side of his mouth," according to the complaint, at which point several students worried something was wrong and let him go.

The incident lasted about 30 to 45 minutes.

The next day, two upperclassmen showed off their cell-phone pictures of the taped-up ninth-grader to other students at the tournament.

One of them, Conor O'Sullivan, who settled for $12,500, urinated on Doe's shirt.

The complaint says the high school district was liable because the trip was a school-sponsored event that counted for class credit and the teacher in charge didn't properly monitor and control students.

The district settled months before parents and students reached an agreement with The boy's father. Attempts to reach Richard Bookout, the teacher in charge, on Thursday were unsuccessful.

The district's defense attorney, Anthony DeMaria, termed the settlement as "reasonable" but wouldn't comment further.

DeMaria estimated he has handled six or seven bullying cases in California in the past decade and said it's rare for this kind of case to go to trial.

He also said choosing to sue the parents as well as the students was "unique" and a "strategic decision."


The boy didn't tell his parents or school officials about the wrapping incident until four months later -- after he received a three-day suspension for bullying fellow ninth-grader Yash Patel.

That incident, in February 2007, shows how bullying allegations often are far from clear-cut.

Doe called Patel a "terrorist" and other derogatory terms and touched his face with a fly swatter, a countersuit filed by Patel's family showed.

Denari and his son paid $4,500 to settle the Patels' countersuit.

The Patels paid $5,000. Yash Patel, also a ninth-grader at the time of the Stockton incident, had run out of the room after the upperclassmen began restraining Doe.

Doe told his parents and school police he held the secret because he worried about being an outcast on the forensics team and feared retribution.

While suspended, he told his mother and father about the Stockton trip and other bullying incidents at school.

The Denaris e-mailed a letter to school officials detailing the allegations and demanding a school investigation, saying they would file a criminal complaint and a civil suit "if the truth does not come out."

Less than three weeks later, the school reported the five upperclassmen had admitted to their actions in Stockton and been expelled.


One set of parents involved in the case spoke to The Californian on the record.

William and Greta Lydecker maintain their son Henry, a sophomore at the time, didn't know about the plan and left the hotel room as soon as he saw what was happening.

Lydecker "was not involved with the restraining or wrapping," a school police report concluded.

In the days after the incident, Henry and John Doe were debate partners and won medals, Greta Lydecker said.

Yet the Lydeckers' insurance company paid $27,500 to settle out.

"We feel wrongfully accused," said William Lydecker. "We didn't like the notion of settling. We would rather have had our son cleared of this, but from a financial perspective, here's where we are."

They were disturbed by Stockdale's rush to judgment that "summarily" lumped Henry in with the other students, he said.

Greta Lydecker said Henry was suspended for five days after being "interrogated" by district police and told to write and sign a statement, which would later become evidence in the case.

The school needs to provide an environment where verbal bullying is not allowed, said Greta Lydecker.

"And I think parents need to step up and know that verbal bigotry is every bit as harmful as physical bullying," she said.


The Kern High district and families could very well have been on the hook for more damages if the case had gone to a jury trial.

Last October, the California Court of Appeal (Fourth District) upheld a jury's finding that the Poway Unified School District in San Diego County took little to no action when two high school students were harassed relentlessly because they are gay, according to Lambda Legal, which represented the plaintiffs.

The students were awarded $300,000.

The Poway and Kern incidents should be a wake-up call for school districts, said Lambda attorney Tara L. Borelli.

"These cases should send a strong signal to educators that they have an important obligation to make sure students are safeguarded on campus and at school events," she said.


At least four defendants' settlement payments in the Stockton incident were made by their homeowners insurance policies -- even though the bullying took place in a hotel room 230 miles from Bakersfield.

How can you tell if you'd be covered in a similar situation?

Tully Lehman, spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California, an industry group, said "it really does behoove parents" to understand the liability portion of their homeowners or renters policies.

Typically, a homeowners policy provides $150,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Renters often opt for less.

As to whether you'd be covered if your kid bullied or witnessed the bullying of another student, that's trickier. Lehman recommended calling your carrier and asking if you'd be covered.

Even that's not a guarantee. There may be exclusions for willful intent, for example.

Or, he said, something that sounds similar at first might not play out the same way.


Obviously, at a minimum, these kids used poor judgment, said Rick Phillips, director of Community Matters, which developed the Safe School Ambassadors anti-bullying program taught in four district high schools (but not Stockdale).

"It doesn't look like a prank to roll someone up in duct tape in today's world," said Phillips.

But it's the bystanders that are of greater concern for Phillips.

"Where are the kids who knew and didn't do anything? That's my bigger concern than about the guys who made the poor judgment and are paying the penalty now," he said.

With most data showing an increase in bullying, Phillips said, the greater degree of meanness displayed by students, and the lessening of holding peers accountable, is the larger question to which adults should pay attention.

Especially now, he said, because cell phones and social networks allow bullying evidence -- like the pictures of the mummified John Doe -- to spread rapidly, and may even motivate some kids to bully for the thrill of spreading it around to a large audience.

"Kids are confused between fun and reality," Phillips said.

"Is there an opportunity for adults to learn some lessons and realize there is an ethical dilemma here for students about being responsible to speak up when they know there's something unjust going on?" Philips asked.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Official World Series Of Poker® (WSOP) Launch Party Saturday, May 30

Lacey Jones To Host Official World Series Of Poker® (WSOP) Launch Party at ND's The Club, Saturday, May 30 at 10:30 PM inside the RIO

LAS VEGAS, NV – With the 40th Annual World Series of Poker, the world’s largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event, set to kickoff at the end of May at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, there’s no better way to celebrate the milestone event by throwing a party at one of the hottest new spots in the city. Everyone 21 and older is welcome to attend the celebration on Saturday, May 30th at ND’s the Club inside the Rio. Festivities begin with a VIP cocktail mixer at 9:00 PM “invite only” and the event officially kicks off at 10:30 PM. “We’re excited that the World Series of Poker chose ND’s The Club as the official launch party venue,” said ND, owner of ND’s The Club. “We welcome all the poker players, poker fans, tourists and locals to this much anticipated event.”

Professional poker player and model, Lacey Jones, is hosting the party, and special guest DJ Digital Boy will provide the music. Do It Right Productions, a full service marketing and PR firm will serve as the event organizer. Event is open to the public, all poker players, pokers fans, tourists and locals are welcome to attend this event. Capacity is limited.


About the World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2008, the event attracted 58,720 entrants from 124 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $180 million in prize money. The creation of the new delayed Main Event final table more than doubled ratings on ESPN year over year. The WSOP in December, 2008 was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Sports Survey, trailing only the older and more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker EuropeSM. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at
* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, This and That or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

About ND’s The Club
ND's The Club debuts a multi-faceted club experience at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Combining the elements of an interactive production with live performances, ND's introduces an exciting and unique evolution of nightlife to Las Vegas. This nightclub provides a total sensory experience with state-of-the-art technology and integrated performances by talented dancers and singers backed by live music. Interludes with surreal characters, elaborate costumes, and high-tech digital imaging make "ND's The Club" a premier nightlife destination. For further inquires please visit

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Harrah's Rincon WSOP Circuit #7: Adam Hannula – From Worst to First!

Harrah's Rincon WSOP Circuit Event #7 winner Adam Hannula 26-Year-Old San Diego Business Owner Makes Dramatic Final Table Comeback and Wins First Poker Tournament Ever

Hannula starts final table lowest in chips, then wins WSOP Circuit gold ring

Harrah’s Rincon (March 26, 2009) – It’s intimidating enough to sit down at the final table of a major poker tournament and play for what amounts to thousands of dollars in prize money. But when the player is making his first-ever final table appearance in a World Series of Poker-related event, the pressure is even more so. Complicate matters by giving the player the lowest stack at the table and the task ahead might seem daunting, if not impossible.

But Adam Hannula wasn’t intimidated. He didn’t feel pressure. He wasn’t even concerned by having the fewest chips of any of the final nine players. Hannula simply played his best game, made wise strategic decisions, and then outlasted and ultimately pulled off the biggest upset of any player at this year’s WSOP Circuit series at Harrah’s Rincon. Hannula, a 26-year-old business owner booked a win worth $14,185. He was also presented with a gold ring, the ultimate prize given out on the WSOP Circuit.

The $300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament won by Hannula attracted 195 entries, generating $56,754 in prize money. The top 18 players collected payouts. In an interesting anomaly, three of the top ten finishers were from Omaha, Nebraska. All had come to Rincon separately, yet managed to take three of the top money spots. All the action took place over a two-day period inside the Rincon Pavilion Showroom.

After 186 players were eliminated on the first day, nine survivors took their seats at the final table. David Kruger, visiting Rincon from his home in Missouri, started day two with the chip lead. The top nine finishers were:

9th Place – Just a few hands into action, Michael Hook busted out when he made top pair, but ended up losing to trip jacks. Hook was dealt Q-8. He moved all-in after the turn showed Q-J-2-J. But Nick Manganaro had J-8, good for three jacks – which scooped the sizable early pot. Hook, who works as a police sergeant in El Cajon, CA, was playing in his first WSOP event ever. He collected $1,702 for ninth place, a nice start to his poker tournament career.

8th Place – Three hands later, Stacy Kimbrel became the next tourney casualty when he moved his short-stack in with A-5 suited against Thomas Hover’s A-Q suited. Kimbrel’s hand was dominated from the start and failed to improve, which meant an eighth-place finish for the poker dealer from Omaha, NE. Kimbrel received a payout totaling $2,270.

7th Place – Five minutes later, Thao “Scratch” Thiem was scratched-off the final table faster than a losing lottery ticket when he lost two consecutive pots. First, Thiem lost much of his stack to Hannula. Then, he busted out holding K-4 against David Kruger’s K-Q when the higher hole cards played and scooped the pot. Thiem, who has made 12 final tables at various tournaments over the past year and has over $100,000 in prize money earnings, added $2,837 to his poker bankroll.

6th Place – David Kruger suffered a miserable hour at the final table. The early chip leader never seemed able to generate the momentum needed to close out victory. First, Kruger got trapped for most of his chips when he tried to steal a pot, which was snapped called by Yasha Terlissi -- who just so happened to be sitting on the stone-cold nuts. Terlissi had A-Q of diamonds and could hardly contain his delight when three diamonds flopped. Joy turned to ecstasy when Kruger moved all-in hoping to steal the pot. Terlissi feasted on Kruger’s aggression like a starving wolf, which left the early chip leader with the lowest stack. He went out a few hands later. Kruger, who has made four previous WSOP Circuit final tables including a second-place finish earlier this year at Council Bluffs (Iowa), earned $3,405 for sixth place.

5th Place – Thomas Hover came to the final table with the most experience of any player. He seized the chip lead early but lost a heartbreaking race holding Q-Q against A-K (an ace flopped) which very likely ruined his chances for victory. Hover then went out holding A-5 against Hannula’s A-K. Hover, who has 30 cashes in major tournaments (all since 2006), including eight in-the-money finishes in WSOP-related events collected $3,972 for fifth place.

4th Place – Play tightened up considerably when play became four-handed. In fact, the quartet battled for an hour before the next elimination. That came when Yasha Terlissi moved all-win with A-Q suited and was called by Hannula, holding pocket nines. The middle pair held up, which knocked Terlissi out in fourth place. The project manager from Toronto, Ontario received $4,767.

3rd Place – Steven Monheim went out in third place when he moved all-in with K-Q against Hannula’s A-Q. Monheim’s hand was dominated and he failed to improve, which ended the tournament for the 24-year-old poker player. Monheim, from Pittsburgh, PA, received $5,675 in prize money.

2nd Place – When heads-up play began, Hannula enjoyed a 3 to 2 chip advantage over Manganaro. The players battled for about a dozen hands during which Manganaro seized the chip lead. Then, the most decisive hand of the tournament took place when Hannula got all his money in with pocket nines, against Manganaro’s pocket queens. It couldn’t get much better than that for Manganaro, holding a dominant overpair. But a nine on the flop was a dramatic reversal of fortune for both players. Hannula caught his magic card (good for trip nines), which left Manganaro low on chips.

The final hand of the tournament was even more brutal for Manganaro. He moved all-in with pocket jacks. Hannula called the raise and tabled Q-10. As though he could do no wrong in the finale, the final board showed K-10-8-7-A, giving Hannula a straight. The event was over and while Hannula received applause and congratulations from well-wishers, Manganaro walked the death plank to a disappointing second-place finish. The 27-year-old poker pro from America’s heartland in Omaha, NE received $9,079.

1st Place – The tournament winner was Adam Hannula, who lives in San Diego. He has previously cashed in a few small tournaments in the area. But this marked his biggest payday ever and his first victory. Hannula is a graduate on the University of San Diego, where he played both college football and basketball. In fact, he says he loves sports. While his alma mater continues to enjoyed mixed success on the court and the gridiron, Hannula ultimately won his own championship – playing poker.

With seven events now completed at Harrah’s Rincon, the tournament has now attracted more than 3,393 entries and has awarded in excess of 765,745 in total prize money. Still to come are six more events and three nightly daily double tournaments which begin at 4 pm. The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s Rincon continues through April 1st.

For more information, please contact:
Nolan Dalla -- WSOP Media Director at (702) 358-4642
Or visit our official website:

Jeffrey Pollack – Commissioner, WSOP
Ty Stewart – Director, Sponsorship and Licensing, WSOP
Craig Abrahams – Director, Broadcasting and New Media, WSOP
Seth Palansky – Communications Director, WSOP

Executive Staff, World Series of Poker Circuit – Harrah’s Rincon

Jimmy Sommerfeld – Tournament Director
Bill Bruce – Assistant Tournament Director
Janet Beronio – General Manager
Robert Livingston – Assistant General Manager and VP of Operations
Jill Barrett – VP of Finance
John Sebastian – Director of Casino Operations
Lee Torres – Director of Marketing
Alexia Alsop – Poker Room Manager
Elizabeth Liemandt – Public Relations Manager
Michelle Becket – Table Games Supervisor

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, This and That or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

San Diego WSOP Circuit Poker Series Includes 22 Tournaments

world series of poker circuit logo

Big Turnout Expected at Rincon's Sixth-Annual WSOP Circuit Competition

Valley Center, CA - February 23, 2009 – By Nolan Dalla - (PRESS RELEASE) -- The world's largest and most prestigious poker tournament series is returning again to Southern California. For the sixth consecutive year Harrah's Rincon, the San Diego area's premier gaming and resort destination, will be hosting a World Series of Poker Circuit event. This year's 13-day tournament series takes place from March 19th through April 1st, 2009.

The World Series of Poker is the world's richest sporting event. Last year, the WSOP competition in Las Vegas alone awarded nearly $170 million in prize money to winners - more than Wimbledon, the Masters, and the Kentucky Derby combined. Five years ago, the WSOP hit the road for the first time in history. Poker tournaments were offered at multiple Harrah's properties spread throughout the United States. Rincon was one of the first casinos ever to host a WSOP-related event held outside of Las Vegas. Turnout has been strong every year, making Rincon one of the Circuit's most popular attractions.

This year's action-packed schedule includes 12 major daily tournaments, plus ten more late afternoon tournaments - bringing the combined menu to 22 total tournaments. This makes the upcoming Rincon series one of the busiest poker destinations of the season. In addition, the Rincon Poker Room will offer multiple satellites and around-the-clock cash-game action.

The Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort is nestled in a quiet valley between the mountains 45-miles northeast of San Diego. Rincon, which has multiple dining, entertainment, and spa/fitness options for guests of all ages, is a convenient destination for poker enthusiasts throughout Southern California. In years past, Rincon's WSOP Circuit tournaments have attracted thousands of poker players with all levels of experience, from recreational competitors to world champions. Former WSOP champions Doyle Brunson, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, and Jerry Yang have attended in recent years. Rincon has also been visited by other poker greats, including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Berry Greenstein, Phil Gordon, Chris Moneymaker, Annie Duke, Howard Lederer, Scotty Nguyen and many other superstars.

This year's poker tournament schedule includes a wide variety of poker games, including Limit Hold'em, No-Limit Hold'em, Pot-Limit Hold'em, Omaha High-Low, Seven-Card Stud High-Low, and H.O.R.S.E. In addition, there will be a ladies-only poker tournament and a special tournament for seniors. Tournament buy-ins start as low as $125. The Rincon championship event will be played on the final three days of the series (March 30th through April 1st) and will cost $5,150 to enter. Super-satellites for the championship event costing as little as $65 will be held daily, 24-hours a day.

"Harrah's Rincon is proud to be a fixture on the World Series of Poker Circuit," said Robert Livingston, Vice President & Assistant General Manager at Harrah's Rincon. "I know all our casino and hotel employees look forward to the excitement of this big-time tournament coming to Southern California. This year, we really intend to roll out the red carpet for everyone, whether they just want to play a little poker for fun or strive to become a world champion."

This year's tournament director is Jimmy Sommerfeld, one of poker's most respected and experienced gaming officials. The Harrah's Rincon poker room manager is Alexia Alsop, who will be working with her staff to coordinate San Diego's premier poker event. Additional staffing will be provided by the elite and prestigious Poker Tournament Consultants group.

To kick things off, Harrah's Rincon will host a "World Series of Poker Boot Camp," held on March 15th. The hands-on instructional series has proven to be wildly popular and immensely helpful to poker players of all levels. The special $399.99 package includes poker lessons from experts, entry into two daily poker tournaments (to be held Sunday, March 15th at 7 pm and Monday March 16th at 12 noon), a seat into a WSOP satellite tournament, a choice of hotel room accommodations, and a $50 food and beverage credit. This tremendous package value can be booked online at: Later, on March 27th, Eric Lynch will be in attendance for a book signing. He is the author of "Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time."

Rincon is also providing special luxury hotel accommodations to poker players for as low as $81 per night. In addition, entrants who purchase a tournament buy-in $500 and greater will receive a $15 food coupon which can be used at several casino restaurants.

More about Harrah's Rincon

Winner of the 2007 SHRM Workplace Excellence Award (Marble Award in the Large Company category) and owned by the Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians and managed by HCAL, a subsidiary of Harrah's Operating Company, Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort is located at 777 Harrah's Rincon Way (33750 Valley Center Road) in Valley Center, CA, 20 minutes northeast of Escondido. With approximately 1,600 employees and an identity as a top resort-gaming destination, the casino offers state-of-the-art amenities and the unparalleled customer service that has made Harrah's a nationally recognized brand.

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with, This and That or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

Interview with Tournament Director Jimmy Sommerfeld

February 23, 2009 – Jimmy Sommerfeld is the Tournament Director of the 2009 Oklahoma State Championships of Poker. A major player in the world of tournament directing, Sommerfeld works with Poker Tournament Consultants, a group dedicated to being “the industry leader in the coordinating, directing, and executing of the most prestigious poker tournaments worldwide.”
Read entire article by Deanna Goodson here on

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Christina Lindley Meet and Greet

Harrah's Tunica

Actress, Model, Professional Poker Player / Blogger, and Former Tennessean Christina Lindley to Play in Harrah’s Tunica World Series of Poker Circuit Event

TUNICA, MS - January 23, 2009 – Fresh from filming “Best Damn Poker Show 2” on ESPN actress, model, poker player / blogger, and former Nashville, Tennessee resident is making her way to Tunica, Mississippi to compete in the World Series of Poker Circuit Event at Harrah’s Tunica. Lindley will meet and greet fans and sign autographs Saturday, January 31, 2009 from noon to 2 p.m.

At the early age of fourteen, Christina got her first big break when a photographer discovered her at a mall in Georgia. He entered her in the Seventeen Magazine/JCPenney Cover Model Contest and Christina was one of the finalists. She appeared in her first layout in Seventeen Magazine followed by YM. Since then she appeared in countless national and international magazines including: “Maxim,” “Stuff,” :FHM,” “Celebrity Interview in Playboy,” “Fitness RX,” “Muscle And Fitness,” “TV Direkt,” “Olympian News,” “Ironman Magazine,” Boss,” “Muscular Development,” “MuscleMag,” “In Touch Weekly,” “People,” and “Star Magazine.”

Her national campaigns for print, commercial, and endorsements have included: Penta water, Vizio Flat screen Televisions, Pantene Pro-V, Strut, BSN,,,, and several others.

Once she found success in the modeling and fitness industry, naturally, the road led west. Christina packed up and moved to Hollywood intent on pursuing a career as an actress in film and television.

No stranger to hard work, she hit the ground running immediately engrossing herself in training with the best acting coaches in Hollywood including: Howard Fine, Larry Moss, and Eric Morris. She also began honing her comedic chops at the world famous Groundlings in Los Angeles. The Groundlings is the famous launching pad for the likes of Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell, and countless other SNL Alum.

In the short time since her arrival in LA, she has extensive film and television credits to her name. She just wrapped on three projects that will be released in 2008: A guest starring role on the all improv non-scripted "Head Case" on STARZ! Network starring Alexandra Wentworth, and she costars alongside the likes of Tom Cavanaugh in the first ever Lifetime miniseries produced by Emmy award Winning producer Stanley Brooks called "The Capture of the Green River Killer", as well as cameo in the feature film "Playboys" starring Trever Moore and Zach Creggor.

Her past film and television credits include: a costarring role in the 20th Century Fox film "The Marine" starring John Cena and Kelly Carlson, a national promo for the NFL and NBC promoting the FLEX SCHEDULE, "Campus Ladies" for Oxygen and famed “Curb your Enthusiasm” director Robert B. Weide, HBO's “Entourage,” appearing in the second season on MTV's popular tv show "Wild N'Out" with Nick Cannon as a "Wild N'Out" girl, GRB Entertainment's "Princes of Malibu". A guest star on Bravo's “Blowout,” Spike TV's “Video Game Awards” assisting Snoop Dogg in giving geeks there cheat codes, SPIKE TV's guide to dating for men called "The Playbook.” “Undiscovered” starring Ashley Simpson (The Hot Chick), Carrie Fischer (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) and Kip Perdue (Thirteen), as well as a Nick Cassavettes film (he directed “John Q and The Notebook”) called “Alpha Dogs,” featuring Bruce Willis (The Whole Ten Yards), Justin Timberlake (Longshot), and Sharon Stone (Catwoman).

A native of the South, Christina grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and attended high school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Christina currently resides in Los Angeles, and is a contributing writer to several national fitness magazines.

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment through operating subsidiaries. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada over 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names; Harrah’s also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. More information about Harrah's is available at

Contact: Patrick Collins 662-357-6924,

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Site Hoping Dominoes Next Big Thing


OAKLAND, California -- January 15, 2007 -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- With the launch of a web site and national television show, the owners of are betting that dominoes is the "next big thing" in gaming entertainment. Modeled after the success of online and televised poker tournaments, DominoChamp looks to follow poker's successful transition into mainstream entertainment. Online poker burst onto the Internet in the late 1990's and grew into a $2.4 billion business by 2005. Celebrity and professional poker tournaments are now the third most-watched televised sport on cable TV - behind only car racing and football.

How can an up-start domino web site have a chance against the established poker giants?

DominoChamp's founder John Biddle sees success coming from dominoes' most passionate rivalries: family members. "Poker may be popular, but it's not family-friendly," asserts Mr. Biddle. "You don't see many families gathered around a poker table. At DominoChamp, you'll find husbands playing wives and parents playing their children. We have soldiers in Iraq meeting family members at our domino tables instead of making long distance calls." He is also quick to add, "The chance to be on TV doesn't hurt, either."

The DominoChamp television show will air nationwide this fall on WGN's cable network. The first season is "in-the-can" and the producers have already found that dominoes attracts pop-culture's biggest celebrities. Contestants will be a mix of well-known celebrities and the best players from The show will feature weekly tournaments that end in one player being crowned the DominoChamp on the season finale.

Unlike illegal gambling web sites that allow players to bet on each game played, is not a gambling web site. It is legal in thirty-two states in the United States. operates on a subscription-based model, like and MSN Games. Any adult resident of a legal state can compete in the cash and prize tournaments for free. Subscription players are given extra features and can compete in more tournaments for larger prizes.

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