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.