24/02/2010

Vegas Insider: 2010 February

Steve Hall 'A Brit in Vegas'

Kara Scott
Kara Scott (left)

Kelly Kim (right)
Kelly Kim (right)

Winner Circle St. Trinians
Winner Circle St. Trinians

A poker player's February calender in Las Vegas is usually as empty as a meeting of the Gary Megson fan club. However, this year, thanks to an injection of online money, the PartyPoker Premier League brought some top players to the trendy M casino. As Warren Lush moved his party, thanks for the invite, to L.A., PokerStars moved into Vegas and invaded the upscale Venetian with the first NAPT event. 872 players paid the $5k and Samuel Stein, looking to improve on his second place in the Bahamas last month, is the final table chip leader. PokerStars bought the hearts of the media with free rooms and $50 per day food credit.

Only tea bags and hot water for me at the stingy Matt Savage LAPC where Al Barbieri is listed as having won three events. Al informed me today that he also won the Seven card stud event but let the second place finisher have his photo taken and take home the trophy. Al is a poker gypsy and doesn't want to carry the trophies to his next destination. Look out for the other three on eBay soon.

Dave Colclough and Liv Boeree have been seen upstairs in the tournament room, Ben Roberts downstairs in the cash games. Chris Bjorin manages to do both.

Kara Scott has moved to Santa Barbara and the lovely Canadian has a busy schedule. She is hosting on High Stakes Poker and was interviewing players during the Commerce celebrity invitational at the weekend. She has a chance to show off her poker skills on March 4th in a very tough field for the NBC Heads Up at Caesars Palace. I counted eleven former WSOP champions in the field of sixty four. Some of those look to be the weaker opponents!

The final six for the WPT celebrity invitational to be filmed at the Commerce on Wednesday 3rd include Thor Hansen, like Chris Bjorin a 24/7 poker pro, up against Trish from the "Real World" Las Vegas. When asked what he would do if he won the tournament Thor said he would pay off some of his debts. "What about the rest?" "The rest will have to wait" joked the Norwegian.

After playing the Media Event (sixth of twenty seven), then drinking Pomegranate Martinis with Warren Lush, I attended a charity event at the Bike casino for the Fallen Heroes charity. This was a tough field in more ways that one. Kelly Kim and Linda Johnson finished first and second with a member of the LAPD SWAT team fourth. After helping Kelly Kim move his 55" TV prize into his home I was off to the races at Santa Anita where I saw a horse named after my favourite movies, "St Trinians", win.