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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis

World Series of Poker® World Championship Begins Thursday

$10,000 buy-in Main Event Runs July 7-19, 2011 at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

ESPN to Provide Live Coverage; Winner to Become Instant Multi-Millionaire

The 42nd annual World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Links Beef Jerky at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has been an unqualified success already. A total of 65,066 entrants have participated in the first 55 WSOP gold bracelet events and been awarded a total of $121,238,460 in prize money. 94 different countries have been represented.


Participation is up 7.4% year-over-year, and on pace to become the largest and richest poker series in its 42-year history. The 2011 WSOP has already broken 16 world poker records – an all-time high.

“It has been a truly memorable 2011 World Series of Poker,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “When all is said and done we will have awarded nearly $200 million in prize money, crowned 58 new champions and provided a tremendous boost to the local economy. That said, there is nothing like the WSOP Main Event and we hope players and spectators alike will come down to the Rio this week and experience this worldwide global phenomenon in person.”

Only three events remain and of course the World Championship of No-Limit Texas Hold’em, commonly referred to as the WSOP Main Event, which starts officially on Thursday, with the first of four starting flights.

Thousands are expected to pay the $10,000 entry fee or qualify via a more affordable satellite entry with the hopes of becoming the next Jonathan Duhamel. Duhamel is the reigning World Champion who bested a field of 7,319 players in 2010 en route to his first WSOP gold bracelet victory and the $8,944,310 first place prize. The young Canadian poker ambassador has spent the last year traveling the poker tournament circuit worldwide.

Players can choose from the following start days for the Main Event (all times 12 noon in Las Vegas):

· Thursday, July 7 – Day 1A

· Friday, July 8 – Day 1B
· Saturday, July 9 – Day 1C
· Sunday, July 10 – Day 1D

Those that start on Thursday or Saturday and make it through five levels of play with chips will return on Monday, July 11 for Day 2A. Fields from Day 1B & 1D on Friday and Sunday are combined to form Day 2B which resumes play on Tuesday, July 12 at 12 noon for those that have chips after Day 1.

Players will play five two-hour levels on both Day One and Two, and then the format switches and players will play four two-hour levels from Days three on. The final scheduled day, July 19, will continue until just nine players remain – known as the Final Table of the WSOP Main Event – or the “November Nine.”

The November Nine will see the action paused until November 5, 2011, when they will return to Las Vegas to contest the remainder of the tournament in front of a live audience.

ESPN television plans comprehensive coverage of the 2011 WSOP Main Event, including telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and For the very first time, coverage with hole cards is planned on a 30-minute delay basis. Players should familiarize themselves with the planned coverage by visiting this FAQ HERE.

The 2011 WSOP will be remembered as the most-participated poker festival ever, as live action, daily deepstack tournaments and satellite offerings have all seen record-setting attendance as well. To follow the tournament live, visit

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars 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 2010, the event attracted 72,966 entrants from 117 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $187 million in prize money. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit

The 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards is Not Just a Broadcast

The 38th Annual Daytime Emmys is not just a broadcast. While the presenters and celebrities are in town, they may have book signings such as the one Susan Lucci did at the Las Vegas Hilton the day before the award show for her new book “All My Life: A Memoir. They may be enjoying the pre parties such as the one held at Club Nikki at the Tropicana. They also show up at some of the town’s hottest nightspots. There are pre-parties and after parties galore..

Susan Lucci
Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

I walked past the LV Hilton ballroom where the 500 plus after party was being held. It was beautiful. And on every seat, there was a gift bag! So, I wondered, what could be in the bag? Who decides what goes in the bag? Well, it took a little doing, but I found out.

I tracked down Val of Off The Wall at and got the answer. And she even gifted me with a bag! So, here’s a photo of some of the items and a full list as well.


And now, we all know, “What’s in the Bag?”

Zany Zak - Dog Collar Certificate

Poparazzi Popcorn - Popcorn
Women's Bean Project - Dip
Natrabliss - soap
Fazzino - Artwork
Just In Case - Condom Compact
Enchanting Quotes - Wall Art
JD Stems - Interchangeable Headband
Michele's Pies - Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Kasia Blue - Lotion/Fragrances
Hangover Gone - 2 pack
Kathryn The Grape - Autographed Children's Book
If The Shoe Doesn't Fit - Necklace
Jill E Bags - Clutch Gift Cert
Herbal Answers - Aloe Products (3)
Paws Over Tradition - Dog Treats
Suzy Skarulis - CD
Annie Band - Jewelry
Five Factor Diet - Nutrition Bars (3)
Catoctin Popcorn - Popcorn
Off The Wall Gifts - Gift Bag & Gift Cert
Rouge & Co - Monogrammed Products
Endure Jewelry - Jewelry Gift Cert
Larosa Innovations - As Seen On TV Products (Eye & Thigh Lifts)
Floating Bed - Gift Cert
Hydroxatone - Creams (3)
Sweet Slips - Gift Cert
Margartiaville Coupons

Mark OToole Debuts CD at M Resort

Crooner Delights Audience & Relates Personal Success

Mark OToole is a crooner. Hence, “Mark OToole The Crooner”, the title of the CD he debuted in the Ravello Lounge at the M Resort in late June. Let’s amend that. He is a real crooner, a soft singer who sells the stories in the songs, a throwback to the tuxedo days of Las Vegas. So, it’s no surprise that Mark was in his tuxedo for his special performance.

Mark O'Toole

Some of the special guests in the audience included Dennis Bono and Lorraine Hunt Bono, Vera Goulet, Mary Wilson, Ronnie Rose, Wesley Eure, Clint Holmes, and Kelly Clinton Holmes.

Mark’s first introduction came from a long, long succession of local performers on a video projected to the packed room of supporters and invited guests. Some of the video bits were humorous, others serious. That was as it should be. This was a celebration of two successes. One, that the handsome debonair Mark was releasing his CD. The other, that the soft spoken man who would be singing his heart out, is alive.

OToole has been performing since his teens and has been in Vegas for more than 18 years. But in July of 2007, he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and given a diagnosis of a few weeks to live. Following months of intense treatment, he is in remission.. And he is honoring a pledge that he made to himself that when he got back on his feet he would use his God-given talents as a Crooner.

Mark told the audience that this was, “The most important night of my career.” So there was Mark OToole, singer and survivor, on stage celebrating music and life. A guy who is beating the odds. That’s something to sing about.

No less a fabulous performer than Clint Holmes along with his talented wife Kelly Clinton Holmes took the stage for the personal endorsement and introduction. Behind Mark was a seven piece ensemble led by Michael Clarke, Kelly Clinton Holmes’ conductor.

The Crooner entertained the enthusiastic audience with a song list that included Don’t Wait Too Long, You Don’t Know Me, and What Kind of Fool Am I. His rendition of Maybe This Time from Cabaret was particularly poignant. . He introduced us to One Last Time, an original song written by Jason Scheff, lead singer of Chicago and concluded his encore with the beautiful We’ll Meet Again.

Inside Mark’s CD is a definition of a crooner. 1. one who sings with warmth, conviction, intensity, feeling, emotion, intimacy. 2. Mark OToole. 3. one that croons, a singer of popular songs who uses a soft voice technique …” That’s Mark OToole.

“The Crooner” is available for purchase online at, on Amazon and at his shows. The digital version is available on iTunes and other major digital distributors.

You can find Mark OToole singing the great standards of artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Barry Manilow at the Ravello Lounge at the M Resort. See him on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., Fridays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and most Sundays from 3:30 -7:30 p.m. For more information, call the M Resort, 797-1000.

Kelly Clinton Holmes and Clint Holmes

Lorraine Hunt Bono, Kelly Clinton Holmes and Dennis Bono

Ronnie Rose

Mary Wilson

Wesley Eure
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