World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas

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World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas

From Comcast SportsNet
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The World Series of Poker opened in Las Vegas Monday with its first gold bracelet event. More than 2,000 players entered the 1,500 buy-in, three-day tournament at the Rio hotel and casino off the Las Vegas Strip. The World Series of Poker draws tens of thousands of poker fans to Las Vegas each year to compete for millions in prize money and 61 championship bracelets. This week's event stretches from noon to 2 a.m. Poker champions Phil Ivey, Allen Cunningham and Daniel Negreanu were among the players. For their 1,500 buy-in, players get chips worth 5,000 in game money. They can't cash out. The point is to not go bust and stay in as long as possible to make it to the final rounds on Wednesday, when the champion will win the first of the many bedazzled bracelets given out during the series and several hundred thousand dollars. Participants can only make money if they make into the final 10 percent of players. On Monday, the poker tables were filled with dozens of young men, a few older men and some women. Some players listened to music on headphones during the rounds and few drank alcohol, their focus mostly on the cards. The stamina required to play through all the rounds tends to draw young male participants, said WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky. "They are making it hard for the older players," Palansky said. Pius Heinz, 22, of Germany, won the 8.72 million top prize last year out of 75,000 participants. About 95 percent of them were men. The World Series of Poker will host a never-before-seen 1 million buy-in tournament this year expected to generate the biggest top prize in poker history at more than 12 million. Nearly 40 players have already entered. The charity-focused Big One for One Drop starts July 1 in Las Vegas. The final table will air live on ESPN. Admission to watch the games is free. The main event starts July 7. The finals are held on Oct. 28.

TSN coaches poll: Wild favored to win West over Blackhawks

TSN coaches poll: Wild favored to win West over Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2010, and have eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the playoffs three times from 2013-15.

But it's the Wild that NHL coaches believe will win the Western Conference this season as we approach the trade deadline.

In his annual midseason poll, TSN's Bob McKenzie surveyed 25 of 30 coaches to vote on multiple categories, such as the league's best player and the team most likely to win it all.

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

According to the survey, 11 coaches predicted the Wild will win the West while the Blackhawks and Sharks tied for second with four votes.

As for winning the Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals are the favorite, earning 10 votes, followed closely by the reigning champion Pittsburgh Penguins with eight. The Wild and Blackhawks rounded out the poll with three and two votes, respectively.

Joel Quenneville earned one vote as the NHL's best coach, which is three fewer votes than he had last year, despite this year being arguably his most challenging — and best — coaching job since arriving in Chicago, given the youth on the roster.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Excluding Jimmy Butler, who should Bulls trade?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Excluding Jimmy Butler, who should Bulls trade?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Phil Rogers (mlb.com) join Kap on the panel. Super Bowl LI is set. Can Bill Belichick slow down the Falcons historic offense? Will Tom Brady be able to pick apart Atlanta’s D?

Plus besides Jimmy Butler, who should the Bulls trade? And after winning in Columbus, is this the year Northwestern goes dancing?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: