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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne or Burt Davis

I love poker. I love the excitement of the game, the potential for winning, the suspense of not knowing what kind of hand you will be dealt, the strategy of studying your opponents and how to play against them.

I'm a leisure player, but approximately 7,000 players decided to put up $10,000 each to enter the Main Event of the World Series of Poker which began at the Rio on Saturday, July 7,2012. Each of the men and women from about 80 countries believes that he or she has the ability to win the most prestigious prize in poker – The Main Event of The World Series of Poker. Last year's winner, Germany's Pius Heinz won $8.7 million.

Ellen Deeb, at 92 the oldest player, started the play, but warned the other players that they would be competing for second place!


It's a sight to behold as the banquet rooms at the Rio are filled with players. If you are a local or tourist who will be here between now and July 16 , then come down to the Rio to see the action. You may have the chance to meet some of the players during breaks or before or after play. At the least, you will see the best of the best in action.

Kevin Pollak

Ray Romano

A number of celebrities from the entertainment and sports world are there as well. Ray Romano and Kevin Pollak were among the players on Saturday when the first of three days of the first round began.

Phil Hellmuth

2011 Mai Event winner Pius Heinz

Joe Hachem 2005 Main Event Winner

Mike Sexton

In addition to the main event, side games continue at the Rio

To learn more about the World Series of Poker, check out





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