The Real Deal

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Miscellaneous, Nevada, Travel 11 Comments

Of all the poker players I photographed last week, it is interesting that the two I posted photos of were Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu. Of course I picked them because they are two of the most famous and popular players – but get this – last night, Janine sat down and played Texas hold’em with the legendary Doyle Brunson! I’m serious – this isn’t April Fools!

And if that wasn’t enough, I did some side gambling on a prop bet with Daniel Negreanu! Now granted, I’m a gambling wimp, so it was only for a dollar, but still!

So how did this happen? We went to a new show at the Venetian called The Real Deal where 6 members from the audience get to join 2 famous pro poker players on stage, for a game of Texas Hold’em poker. Meanwhile, the rest of the audience plays along from their seats with some special computer device.

Since this is a brand new show that hasn’t been advertised much because they are still working out the kinks – we thought there was a pretty good chance one of us would get selected, and we were right!

The two pros were Doyle and his son Todd, and Daniel Negreanu was subbing in for the regular MC. At the opening, Daniel looked right past me and immediately picked Janine to go on stage with Todd and Doyle – I can’t blame him. 🙂 Doyle was really nice to Janine – he even played a hand to help keep her at the table, but eventually her AK lost to a pocket pair.

Afterwards, we got to go backstage and meet the three players – they couldn’t have been nicer. Of course Daniel and Doyle had to make there share of Alaska and Palin jokes. I told Daniel I had to bet him on something, even if I lost, just so I could tell my poker friends in Alaska that I had a prop bet with him. He quickly came up with a fun game that involved Janine, a game I actually won. Daniel said you can even tell your friends I paid you as he pulled a buck from his pocket and handed it to me!

I gotta say Daniel was a perfect MC – very funny, and of course extremely knowledgeable – unfortunately, he isn’t usually the host, they usually have a professional comedian.

At the end of the evening, a member of the audience actually won the event beating Todd Brunson heads-up, and winning a $1,500 bracelet. This guy had been at the early show and saw what a unique opportunity this was, so bought tickets again for the late show and won.

So if you like poker, and find yourself in Vegas, check out the Real Deal. Of course, not everyone gets a chance to play directly with the pros, but they do pull members from the audience throughout the evening, so I would say at least 9 people got a chance to, and even if you don’t, it is still really fun.

I think this is the first post in about two years that didn’t include a photo – but it was a cool enough evening, that I think you will understand.

Comments 11

  1. Hey Ron,

    3 posts in a row on this subject? You might wanna check this out.

    Just trying to help ya out, buddy. 🙂

    Sounds like guys had a fun night.



  2. That’s a cool story! I’m glad you both had such a good time! Don’t worry, Ron.We like your stories as well as your pics! We can live without a pic this one time! Hi Janine. How was it? Were you nervous?

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    Hey Carl – thanks a lot for your concern man! But actually, even if I had lost the dollar bet, I would have been ok. 🙂 LOL

    Thanks Beth!

    Hi T. I kinda does, but that still would have been cool!



  4. I was nervous at first. But once we were sitting at the table and playing it was pretty fun. It is not a very “serious” game of poker so it was hard to take it very seriously. I had a lot of fun. And being a big poker fan, and a player, it was amazing to be sitting next to, and playing with, Doyle Brunson.

  5. I’m glad you had a great time.I bet Doyle Brunson didn’t want you to leave the table! You’re a pretty woman! Watch out, Ron!!!

  6. Wow, this was very cool Ron. I just booked tickets to Vegas for Sonny’s 40th so we’ll be heading down that way in February. I tried to pick up the link for the “real deal” in the body of your entry but it came back as “error”. We’ve talked about trying to get into a couple of tournaments when we are down there, but this would be a fun break in the action. I would like to see Sonny goes heads up with Mike Matusow, they would have to bleep the whole tournament…not enough money in the world for an experience like that!!! Do the pros change or is it always Doyle and Co? Janine, was it a little more intense than the Pit? lol, I can only imagine. I took second earlier in October at the Legion, not often I get out but I seem to hold my own when we do. Your experience sounds very cool!!!!
    Thanks for sharing,

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    Hi Beth,

    I know – I’m glad Doyle is up there in the years!

    Hi Sarah,

    Hey great to hear from you! I think Sonny would love that show! I updated the link, it now works. I suppose I should test those things eh?

    Mike Matusow and Sonny – that would be trouble. They do have different pros, but I don’t think Mike is one of them.

    We found a great deep stack poker tournament at the Venetian – you started with $7,500 in chips. We can talk more we we get home after this weekend.

    Awesome to hear you took second at the Legion – I didn’t know you played – you would be a hoot!

    See you soon – we fly home Saturday night.


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