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Caesars Now Primed for Poker

21 Dec 2005

By Howard Stutz

Hoping to ride the current wave of poker popularity, Caesars Palace will open a $12 million poker room today, the casino's first poker room in 16 years.

Caesars Palace, now operated by World Series of Poker owner Harrah's Entertainment, will offer a permanent 30-table poker room next to the resort's race and sports book.

Eleven original LeRoy Neiman paintings showcasing nearly 40 years of Caesars Palace history decorate the entrance to the poker room.

Caesars Palace follows other Strip and downtown casinos, such as the Las Vegas Hilton, The Mirage and the Golden Nugget, that have reopened poker rooms recently to capitalize on the game's growing popularity.

Poker is televised almost daily on various sports-oriented cable channels and the World Series of Poker this year drew a record 30,000 participants to 45 events.

"We are very excited to debut the Caesars Palace poker room especially considering poker's incredible rise in popularity over the past few years," Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner said in a statement.

The poker room consists of an 8,500-square-foot main playing area and an additional 6,000 square feet for tournaments that can accommodate 33 additional tables. The tournament area is expected to be used in March for Harrah's recently-purchased Heads Up Poker Championship and in April for the World Series of Poker Circuit.

Selesner said the tournament space allows Caesars Palace to have a tournament without shutting down regular play.

"Adding the additional 6,000 square feet of space for tournament play means guests at Caesars Palace will always be welcome for a game of poker," he said.

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