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.

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.

Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:

That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.

Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.

Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.

Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.

It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.

Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.