Jan. 13, 2004 – Due to the overwhelming response to its upcoming February poker tournament, Divi Carina Bay Casino has added a second identical tournament. The winner of each event will receive a $10,000 entry seat and airfare to the Binion's World Series of Poker championship scheduled for May in Las Vegas.
However, recent developments in Las Vegas make it unclear if the Binion's tournament will ever take place.
On Jan. 10, Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas was closed due to debts owed the pension and welfare funds of workers there. According to a report published Tuesday in the Casino City Times, Binion's is to remain closed until state regulators agree that the casino has "sufficient funds on hand to cover gamblers' winnings."
On Monday, Fran Geocaris, Divi's casino marketing manager, issued a release confirming that the two St. Croix tournaments will take place regardless of Binion's troubles in Las Vegas. "Divi Carina Bay Casino will still host the satellite tournament for Binion's World Series of Poker," she said.
In the event Binion's is unable to host its tournament, Divi Carina Bay Casino will, in lieu of the entry seat prize, award $10,000 in cash to each of its tournament winners, Geocaris said.
Each of the two Divi Carina Bay tournaments will be limited to 100 players. The first event will begin Feb. 4, with the second to get under way the following day. Although the majority of players will be from within the territory, some players from the States have registered. Players will be competing in Texas Hold 'Em, a poker game recently featured on the Bravo network's "Poker Showdown," which features celebrities competing against each other with winnings to benefit their favorite charities.
According to Geocaris, televised poker has "greatly increased the game's popularity, as well as players' knowledge of the game."
On Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m., the casino will add Texas Hold 'Em to its lineup of table games. Free Hold 'Em poker lessons will be offered daily from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
As a way to help players prepare for the February competitions, the casino will host two-day mini-tournaments on Jan. 28-29 and Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Tournament winners will receive small cash prizes.
To register for tournament play, call 773-7529, ext. 118, or stop by the Beachcombers Club at the casino.
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