Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: WSOP, ‘The Situation,’ ‘Bizarre Foods,’ Frank Marino
By Don Chareunsy
The numbers are in for the 2012 World Series of Poker, and they are jaw dropping. This year, 6,598 players took part in the Main Event, down from 6,865 last year. However, consider Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s $48 million Big One for One Drop poker fundraiser, and the total prize pool easily surpassed $200 million for the first time (it was the eighth consecutive year that the purse eclipsed $100 million).
The Main Event of the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker at the Rio on Monday attracted Hollywood, sports and poker VIPs Jason Alexander, Jennifer Tilly, Jonathan Duhamel, Phil Ivey, Ben Lamb, Sam Trickett, Shane Warne with fiancee Elizabeth Hurley there for moral support, Big One for One Drop champion Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari and Rick Salomon. (Trickett finished second to Esfandiari in One Drop.)
Thanks to always-hard-working photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery of 888 Poker play featuring Warner, Hurley, Ivey and Tilly. By the numbers, this year’s WSOP records include total prize pool, $222,035,192; largest seniors event (4,128 players); biggest single-day attendance (4,128 players); and Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (91) and Final Table appearances (46). He also added to his WSOP gold bracelet lead, winning his 12th WSOP gold bracelet.
In its 43-year history, the WSOP has awarded more than $1.6 billion in prize money. Players from more than 100 countries competed this year, and the Main Event winner will receive $8,527,982 and the champion’s gold bracelet.
‘BIZARRE FOODS’ 100TH SHOW: Reaction from foodies in Las Vegas and nationally to Andrew Zimmern’s one-hour look at extravagant foods on and off the Strip on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods USA” on Monday night was overwhelmingly positive. Watch clips from the celebratory 100th episode at TravelChannel.com/video.
NEW STRIP NIGHTCLUB: “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his awesome abs celebrate their 30th birthday at the grand opening of Senor Frog’s second-floor nightclub at Treasure Island on Saturday. The birthday boy, family and friends plan to dine at the first-floor restaurant before heading upstairs to the venue’s rooftop club overlooking the Strip and the Sirens of T.I. show.
1,000 SHOWS: Advance congratulations to Frank Marino and the cast of his “Divas Las Vegas” on their 1,000th performance at Imperial Palace on July 21. Frank promises to unveil his latest and greatest production to date -- we expect that it would be no less than fabulous!
CHANGE OF VENUE: House of Blues Las Vegas has announced the move of the Demi Lovato concert Saturday from Planet Hollywood Resort to HOB in Mandalay Bay with guests Hot Chelle Rae. Tickets from the all-ages Planet Hollywood show will be honored at HOB; guests in need of a refund can visit the original point of purchase.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers partied at a VIP table in the main room of Marquee in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas during Party Rock Mondays. His group included Jermaine O’Neal of the Boston Celtics and 2012 Miss Nevada USA Jade Kelsall. Bryant met Redfoo of LMFAO before the latter hit the stage to host the weekly party.
Esfandiari, poker’s new $18 million man (he reportedly picked up his fat check Sunday), took over a table on the dance floor as a big presentation and shout-out from Redfoo topped the night as clubgoers congratulated him on his big win.
Kris Jenner was seen taking a quick tour of Party Rock after dinner. New grandmother to daughter Kourtney Kardashian’s second child with Scott Disick, Jenner also had lunch at Sushi Roku in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace while in town.
Dining with his family at STK in the Cosmopolitan, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers used the diamond-encrusted pink sapphire steak knife by Jason of Beverly Hills. Season 5 “American Idol” winner and Bally’s headliner Taylor Hicks dined with his band and friends at Old Homestead Steakhouse in Caesars Palace.
UFC 148 champion Anderson Silva and his family watched the Jabbawockeez at Monte Carlo. It was the second time Silva has seen the “America’s Best Dance Crew” Season 1 champions, and his son was even pulled onstage for an interactive segment of the performance.
And singer Kimbra and her bandmates, who opened for Foster the People at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan on Saturday night, dined at nearby Scarpetta before the show. After the concert, she returned to the restaurant to pick up her leftovers for a late-night snack.
Chef Rick Moonen hosts a viewing party at his RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay for his appearance with Dan Rather on the HDNet show “Rather Reports” about the preservation of Bristol Bay, Alaska, as one of the world’s most pristine sources for sustainable salmon.
MMA legend Randy Couture joins the Steve Cyr summer tour for an air hockey and foosball battle poolside at Hooters Casino. Bob Zany, Daryl Wright and Alysia Wood headline at the Improv in Harrah’s through Sunday. And punk rockers Lucero are at Beauty Bar.
In Robin Leach’s absence, our guest columnists are Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond and Smith Center for the Performing Arts President Myron Martin, plus, Part 1 of a round-table discussion with the four principals of “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” marking the sixth anniversary and unfortunate Sept. 2 shuttering of the Venetian show.
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and senior editor, arts and entertainment, of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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