A Winning Hand – The Real Deal! Invites Audience Members to Take on Poker

Posted on Dec 02, 2008 under Archives, Uncategorized | No Comment

In The Real Deal!, the Venetian’s new poker-themed stage show, audience members get a chance to play against some of the world’s best poker professionals.  The show features elements of a live game show along with comedy and celebrity participation, all centered around a game of Texas hold’em.

The Real Deal poker pros

The Real Deal poker pros

Six lucky audience members are chosen at the beginning of each 90-minute show who sit at the poker table on stage with two poker pros.  Revolving poker celebrities include Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen and Todd Brunson.  Each theater seat is equipped with a wireless handheld touch screen device allowing every audience member to play along.

The audience members become the virtual ninth player, as every person in the theater is electronically dealt a hand on the device to go along with the cards dealt onstage.  Big screen monitors keep track of the action.

Each audience member starts off with 100,000 points.  At the end of the show, the surviving professional player and the final amateur from the original six are joined by the audience member who accumulated the most points in a showdown.

“You don’t have to be a poker player to enjoy The Real Deal,” said Merv Adelson, co-creator of the show.  He explained that audience members can add to their total by making simple bets, such as the suit of the next card, via the handheld devices.

“I think it is a great concept,” said Doyle Brunson.  “We are committed to the fact that we are trying to establish contact with the audience and are also having a good time.”

Poker legends Doyle Brunson and Scotty Nguyen during our interview

Poker legends Doyle Brunson and Scotty Nguyen during our interview

Fellow poker pro Scotty Nguyen agrees.  “I love being able to play against my friends in a more relaxed environment.  I can really relax and get a chance to meet some of my fans.”

Adding fuel to the poker fire is the show’s comedic talent, hosts Paul Rodriguez and Vinny Favorito.  “I love to play poker.  The combination of mixing comedy with poker, plus the opportunity to work with a live audience was an opportunity I could not turn down,” said Favorito, who also performs a nightly comedy show at the Flamingo.

Audience members will be awarded prizes, from logo merchandise to jewelry to plasma screen televisions, at random and for play performance.  At the end of the show, a $1 million grand prize jackpot will be up for grabs when select audience members are dealt a royal flush.

The Real Deal! Plays six days a week at the Venetian Showroom in Las Vegas, with shows at 5 pm and primetime performances at 8 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Tickets start at $75 and VIP packages, including an opportunity to meet the stars after the show

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