By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise indicated.


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Luke's Lobster is now open in Las Vegas
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma Photos

Okay, let's start with the name – Luke's Lobster. Hokey? Maybe, but Luke exists.
The location – The Fashion Show on Las Vegas Boulevard facing the Strip.
The boast – a shack where you can get fresh seafood directly from Maine from a fast food establishment.
The owner – One of four is actually named Luke and looks like a kid but brings years of experience.
The draw – hey, I'm willing to accept a free meal with the understanding that if it doesn't live up to my reasonable expectations, I won't write about it.
The result – I loved it! And I met the real Luke (Holden) who flew in for the opening of the company's 19th location.

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The menu is in full view
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma Photos

So, why did I like it you ask. I expected little tiny pieces of  barely recognizable lobster in the roll. How wrong I was. The lobster roll had sizable chunks that tasted like –lobster. Good lobster. I ordered the Taste of Maine combo which includes ½ lobster, shrimp,  crab rolls, and two crab claws as well as drinks chips and a pickle. The seafood is served chilled on a buttered and toasted New England-Style split top bun with a swipe of mayo, a dab of melted lemon butter and a bit of spices. The seasonings can be left off on request.

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The staff was friendly and attentive
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma Photos

I also opted for the lobster bisque which was delicious and includes chunks of lobster. . My spouse sampled the New England Clam Chowder.  It was thick and contained lots of clams and potatoes.  You won’t find many restaurants in Vegas serving soups of this quality.

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The combo
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma Photos

Each of the rolls was tasty and distinguishable. I was pleased to learn that the lobster roll contains only 380 calories. It tastes rich and flavorful.

The 300 square foot shack includes very limited outdoor seating. The evening we were there was unseasonable chilly, but Luke says they are already discussing plans to deal with the cold as well as with the Las Vegas heat.

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Dianne Davis and Luke Holden
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma Photos

I asked Luke why they selected Las Vegas for their newest location. “They came to us,” he told me. The Fashion Show people believed that this was a good match for their demographic and Luke and his partners agreed. He is proud to remind us that while the menu is a relatively simple one, the company is know for its sustainable ingredients as well as good taste. Zagat gives the chain high ratings.

Luke shared some of his back story. He was a lobsterman in his youth and his family has more than 40 years in the industry. The seafood is shipped direct to Luke's Lobster locations with no middlemen. The Holden family has a long relationship with fishermen.  Luke feels that, “people all over the country are more excited than ever to know where their food comes from, how it's harvested and how it's cared for on the way to their plate. We're giving Vegas folks the opportunity to indulge in something they actually can talk about when they get home.”

Luke's Lobster actually first launched in 2009 in New York's East Village. Other locations include Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and Chicago.

Luke's Lobster, a rustic, sustainability-driven lobster shack, is located on the Plaza facing Las Vegas Boulevard South at Fashion Show, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd South. Hours are 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 A.M.to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. So stop by there for a bit of Maine.  I do plan to return to satisfy my hunger for a bit of lobster – or crab or shrimp.

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The lobster roll
Photo credit: ira Kuzma Photos

Joe McKeehen Wins World Series of Poker® Main Event

Philly’s McKeehen Wins $7.683 Million and his First WSOP Gold Bracelet

He’s no ordinary Joe any longer.  Philadelphia’s Joe McKeehen, 24, became poker’s world champion on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 when he captured his very first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet and the top prize of $7,683,346 in gaming’s richest and most prestigious event.

Winner Joe McKeehen 2015 WSOP EV68 Nov 9 Day 10 Furman FU8 8268
Photo Credit: Jayne Furman/WSOP

The chip leader entering the final table, the North Wales, Pennsylvania resident managed to extend his lead during each of the three days of final table play, until he won the coveted bracelot.
 
McKeehen used his chip advantage throughout, constantly putting pressure on his opponents and having a hand in their demise time and time again.  He ended play in July by knocking out the noted professional Daniel Negreanu in 11th place, and then proceeded to knock out the 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd place finishers on his way to poker’s top crown.
 
The runner up was 25-year-old Marlton, New Jersey resident Joshua Beckley. Beckley’s terrific run ended after besting 6,418 other hopefuls, but he leaves with $4,470,896 for his efforts.  He entered the final table in seventh place with just 29 big blinds, but he picked his spots very well, always seeming to make the right move at the right time, and came within one spot of becoming the world champion.
 
McKeehen’s Ace-Ten bested Beckley’s pocket fours, when a ten came on the flop, giving McKeehen a pair of tens, and Beckley couldn’t improve on the turn or river card.  McKeehen, a well-respected pro, finished runner up in a WSOP event in 2014 for $820,863, and now has his signature breakthrough victory at the WSOP, joining the esteemed list of Main Event champions and WSOP gold bracelet winners.  With the victory, McKeehen, despite his young age, has now won nearly $11 million playing poker for a living.
 
“I was just focused and I didn’t want to get ahead of myself, I have been that way the whole tournament because it was working,” said McKeehen shortly after the victory when asked about his calm demeanor throughout.  “I feel pretty good now of course.”
 
From an event that began way back on July 5, 2015 with 6,420 hopefuls who each ponied up the $10,000 entry fee and received 30,000 in starting tournament chips, McKeehen, wearing a Philadelphia 76ers jersey on the final day, similar to past winners in 2012 and 2013, who also sported sports jerseys, ultimately outlasted them all, capturing all 192,600,000 chips in play and winning the $7.683 million first place prize and the Josten’s-crafted half-million dollar WSOP gold bracelet.  The total prize pool up for grabs in the event was $60,355,857.
 
McKeehen captured the WSOP world championships late this evening at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in the famed Penn & Teller theatre.  The event took nearly 40 levels of play to complete, which equates to nearly 80 hours of poker play to reach a victor.  In real time though, the event took 10 playing days, spread out over 128 days to become the champion.  When play began in July, players started with 30,000 in chips and the blinds were at 50 and 100.  When play completed at 8:00 pm in Las Vegas with 24 minutes, 22 seconds left in Level 39, blinds were at 500,000 and 1,000,000 with antes of 150,000.
 
Three-handed play began Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm PT and lasted exactly 90 minutes before Neil Blumenfield was eliminated.  Blumenfield, 61, from San Francisco, California, was looking to become the event’s oldest winner since Johnny Moss (66) won the title 41 years ago.  The recently-laid-off software executive from the Bay Area, almost didn’t enter this event after having second thoughts about paying the $10,000 entry fee just weeks after his layoff.  But he made the decision to play, turning the $10,000 investment into a $3,398,298 payday.  Blumenfield would have also become the first amateur to win the event since Jerry Yang took the crown in 2007.
 
It took another 30 minutes before McKeehen defeated his final opponent to make history.
 
Rounding out the final table were:
 
4th place: Max Steinberg, Las Vegas, Nevada, $2,615,361
5th place: Ofer Zvi Stern, Herzliya, Israel, $1,911,423
6th place: Tom Canulli, Cape May, New Jersey, $1,426,283
7th place: Pierre Neuville, Knokke-Heist, Belgium, $1,203,293
8th place: Federico Butteroni, Rome, Italy, $1,097,056
9th place: Patrick Chan, Brooklyn, New York , $1,001,020
 
Monday’s action was carried on a 30-minute delay on ESPN2. The finale was carried on the flagship ESPN on 30-minute delay.  The 2015 WSOP Main Event began in July with a total of 6,420 entrants. The event’s total prize pool was $60,355,857, with nearly $25 million going to the final nine players. A record total of 1,000 entrants cashed in the event.

As has become tradition in recent years, Main Event play was suspended in July when the tournament reached its final nine players. It resumed with the “November Nine” taking to the felt 117 days later, on Sunday with 57 minutes and 36 seconds remaining in Level 35, with antes of 50,000 and blinds at 200,000 and 400,000.  Play lasted nearly 5 hours and 45 minutes in real time on Sunday, but consumed 4 hours, 10 minutes of tournament clock play and led to the elimination of three players.

Monday’s action started with 47 minutes and 26 seconds left in Level 37 with blinds at 300,000 and 600,000 with a 75,000 ante.  Three more players were eliminated in Monday’s play that spanned 3 hours, 45 minutes and ended in Level 39, with 1 hour, 52 minutes and 31 seconds left in the level.
The 2015 WSOP attracted a record 103,512 players from 111 countries to its 68 events, generating a total prize pool of more than $210 million.

To view the hand-for-hand recap of the final table play, visit
http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/updates.asp


The World Series of Poker® is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, having awarded more than $2.2 billion 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 2015, the event attracted 103,512 entrants from 111 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and awarded more than $210 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of the World Series of Poker Circuit Tour in 2005, the World Series of Poker Europe in 2007 and the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in 2013. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.wsop.com.

 

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