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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Poker and casino additions edition

10 Jun 2022

By Dan Ippolito
This year’s edition of the World Series of Poker is well underway and off to a great start in its first year in a new location. But before we get into the details, we can’t forget about other top stories that took place this week, including another massive live poker tournament coming to Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Atlantic City ready for new enhancements, Choctaw Nation breaking ground on a new property and the first ground-up casino coming to northern Nevada in decades.

Let’s begin with some live poker action on The Strip:

5. Poker’s first $15 million guaranteed prize pool to hit Las Vegas Strip
The World Poker Tour World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas is taking poker to new heights this December with poker’s first $15 million guaranteed prize pool, the largest single live tournament guarantee in the history of poker.

The WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas runs from 1-20 December. The marquee event of the multi-tournament festival will be the $10,400 buy-in championship event which will culminate with a televised final table. The festival will consist of more than a dozen tournaments including three primary events: the Prime Championship, the Wynn Mystery Bounty, and the World Championship.

“This is one of the most ambitious initiatives the World Poker Tour has undertaken in our 20-year history,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of World Poker Tour. “We expect this to be a highly anticipated festival and are elated to be partnering with Wynn Las Vegas to bring this concept to life.”

4. Choctaw Nation to break ground on Choctaw Landing
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will officially break ground on its new entertainment and resort development Choctaw Landing on 14 June in Hochatown, Oklahoma.

Set to open in late 2023, Choctaw’s newest entertainment destination will be built in southeastern Oklahoma near popular vacation destinations Broken Bow Lake and Beavers Bend State Park.

The four-story, 200,000 square-foot Choctaw Landing will cost $165 million to construct and will include 100 hotel rooms, 600 slot machines, eight table games, several restaurants and bars, a pool, an outdoor venue with an amphitheater, beer garden and a family-friendly game zone.

3. More property enhancements coming to Caesars Atlantic City
On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment announced additional property enhancements set to arrive at Caesars Atlantic City this year, including upgrades to its valet, hotel lobby, and casino floor, along with a new outdoor pool experience.

Enhancements will transform the Caesars Atlantic City valet and hotel lobby and the redesigned first floor lobby will also feature a new Starbucks.

Caesars will unveil a renovated pool experience with beach and ocean views from the rooftop of Qua Baths & Spa. The pool will feature two levels of seating with modern lounge chairs, daybeds and cabanas, as well as a bar.

These changes are part of a $200 million resort transformation at the property, which also includes Nobu Atlantic City, a restaurant and distinct hotel experience within Caesars Atlantic City’s hotel; Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, the first restaurant of its kind on the East Coast; and over 750 newly-renovated rooms and suites in Caesars’ Centurion and Ocean towers.

2. Legends Bay Casino coming to Nevada
Set to open in August, Legends Bay Casino Resort will become the first new casino built in Northern Nevada from the ground up in more than 20 years.

The new property will feature a casino floor with the newest and popular slots, table games, live keno, as well as Northern Nevada’s only Circa Sports sportsbook, a rewards program, and promotions tucked into a location at The Outlets at Legends.

Legends Bay Casino will also include the Reno-Sparks debut of Duke’s Steak House – consistently voted Carson City’s best steak house, a unique assortment of street eats at the Food Truck Hall and LB Grill, a 24-hour dining destination.

1. News from Las Vegas and WSOP
The 2022 World Series of Poker is historic for one major reason. In the 53 year history of the event, this is the first time it’s being held on The Strip. This year’s event is hosted at Bally's – Las Vegas and another Caesars property, Paris Las Vegas.

Among the bracelet winners thus far, Chad Eveslage secured a marquee first WSOP win with victory in the $25,000 High Roller event.

Jake Schindler was also vying for his first bracelet but fell just short, as Eveslage scooped his maiden title along with $1,415,610 in prize money.

There’s more news out of Las Vegas with a few casinos deciding to remain closed. With at least three Station Casinos still closed in the Las Vegas area, the company has announced that they could remain shuttered for at least another year. Fiesta Rancho Casino Hotel, Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel, and Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel are all still closed, and Station says that two of those properties have been approved by The North Las Vegas City Council to stay closed until at least 4 June 2023. Like so many others, these closures all began when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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