Speaker Series at 36th Annual World Series of Poker to Provide Counsel to Main Event Hopefuls

LAS VEGAS, July 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — As a record number of poker enthusiasts from around the globe gears up for the main event of the 36th annual World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, some of the game’s brightest minds are putting together lesson plans designed to raise the level of play at this year’s tournament.

Mike Caro, Chris Ferguson, and Phil Gordon each will host a free tutorial session prior to the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em World Championship. The sessions, which are open to the public, are designed to help players compete amidst the unprecedented field of participants registered for the 36th annual World Series of Poker main event.

The sessions will be held in the Scintas Theater in the Masquerade Village the mornings of July 7, 8 and 9, prior to the start of play in the main event.

“We’ve arranged for a top professional player to provide unique insight into tournament play before each of the first three flights of the main event,” said Gary Thompson, director of operations and communications for the World Series of Poker. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many players to learn first-hand from some of poker’s greatest pros how to adapt and elevate their games to tournament play.”

Mike Caro, whose seminar is scheduled for July 7, is regarded as the world’s foremost authority of poker strategy, psychology and statistics. He is also a noted gambling authority, industry consultant and spokesperson, respected odds maker and author of seven books. He is known professionally as “America’s Mad Genius,” “Gambling’s Mad Genius” or “The Mad Genius of Poker.” Caro is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gambling and Life Strategy and is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World.

The July 8 session will be conducted by Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, the 2000 World Champion of Poker, who received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, specializing in artificial intelligence. His analytical mind serves him well at the poker table, and at UCLA as a guest lecturer in Game Theory. Ferguson has a total of five World Series of Poker gold bracelets in his collection and recently won the World Series of Poker Circuit event at Harrah’s Rincon, securing a seat in the $2 million free-roll Tournament of Champions taking place later this year.

Phil Gordon, a world-class poker player and co-host of “Celebrity Poker Showdown” on the Bravo cable network, will present July 9. Gordon has won nearly $1.2 million in poker tournaments since the 2001 World Series of Poker, in which he finished fourth and took home $400,000. In 2002, Gordon followed up his performance with two final table appearances, including a sixth-place finish in Pot-Limit Hold ‘Em and a third-place finish in Omaha 8/Better. He is widely regarded as one of the game’s best teachers.

The World Series of Poker is owned and operated by Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) , which purchased the tournament early last year. All but the final two days of the 36th annual World Series of Poker will be played at the Harrah’s Rio casino. The tournament’s final days will be played at Binion’s in downtown Las Vegas, which hosted the World Series of Poker for its first 35 years.

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada 67 years ago, Harrah’s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. On June 13, 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment acquired Caesars Entertainment, Inc., and now owns or manages through various subsidiaries more than 40 casinos in three countries, primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names. With nearly 4 million square feet of casino space, more than 40,000 hotel rooms and nearly 100,000 employees, the Harrah’s portfolio is the most diverse in the gaming industry. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.

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