Poker fans in Las Vegas this fall are in for an unusual show based on their favourite pastime when "The Real Deal" hits the stage at The Venetian Showroom at the famous resort-casino of the same name.
Presented as the first ever live, interactive poker-themed stage show, "The Real Deal" will debut this fall, according to a joint announcement by entertainment industry icon Merv Adelson and the resort. Working in partnership with the world's top poker professionals, the show will introduce "a new paradigm in entertainment", establishing a completely original live show format that combines humour, the latest in wireless technology, and abundant prizes in fun, fast-paced action that will entertain poker enthusiasts and non-players alike.
"We are excited to add The Real Deal! to our existing line-up of world-class shows," says Jason Gastwirth, vice president of entertainment for Las Vegas Sands Corp. "When looking for a new concept to add to our entertainment lineup, we searched for an entirely new experience that would promote audience participation while incorporating well-known personalities that shine beyond the bright lights of the Strip — we found that in The Real Deal!."
Gastwirth promises that the show will empower the audience to participate both on-stage and from their seats through the use of wireless touch screen devices. The Real Deal! will use a revolutionary multi-player poker platform with interactive content in conjunction with technology from TimePlay Entertainment, Inc.
Playing both against and alongside the pros, audience members will earn points to vie for prizes ranging from The Real Deal! logo'd merchandise to spectacular home electronics and a chance to win a $1 million grand prize.
The roster of poker pros represents a Who's Who of the sport and includes the legendary Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen, and Todd Brunson.
The pros will participate in shows each month, taking on Vegas visitors of all poker skills and experience. Combined, these professionals have won 8 World Poker Tour Championships (WPT) and 35 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, amassing over $48 000 000 in tournament prize money.
"Never before has poker been so integrated with entertainment," boasts Adelson, the inspiration behind The Real Deal!. "The popularity of poker is unquestioned, as is the viability of live game show experiences in Las Vegas. The Real Deal! will keep guests laughing and give them the unique chance to get into the heads of the world's best pros as they share tips and strategy throughout the fast-paced game. We know it will quickly become a hot ticket."
Casting is underway for the show host, and the producers are talking with well-known comedians who they feel will bring an energised blend of humour and poker information to the audience while keeping the action moving. The chance to take on poker's superstars without having to risk big money is more than enough to drive interest, but the show goes beyond the action on the stage, hoping to appeal to both poker aficionados and those who have never thrown a chip in a pot.
Participating audience members will play along during the on-stage game with a wireless handheld console. The large collection of prizes will be awarded to individuals based on their game performance, such as their play of the virtual "ninth hand." However, there will be many other random winning moments! For example, audience members will be able to wager on simple instances that will occur during play, such as the suit of cards dealt on the flop. Every show, audience members will also have the chance to draw for a Royal Flush and win a million dollars.
An elimination process will result in the chip-leading pro, the final surviving amateur, and the point leader from the play-along audience, on stage for a three-handed finale.
"Poker fans have been able to view and enjoy professional poker action for years on television," said Doyle Brunson, The Real Deal!'s lead poker professional. "This is different. Everyone in the audience can be in the game and compete with the pros and other guests. It is a one-of-a-kind-poker experience."