The Venetian is bringing poker and entertainment together as never before with the launch of the first ever live, interactive poker-themed stage show, "The Real Deal!" Opening this fall, the show will bring to the Venetian showroom some of the biggest names in poker and will combine humor, technology, prizes, and poker in what is described as a "wildly-fun, fast-paced action that will entertain poker enthusiasts and non-players alike."
The show will provide audience members with a unique opportunity to play against and alongside the biggest names in poker both on-stage and from their seats through the use of wireless touch-screen devices. The roster of pros who will take part includes Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen, and Todd Brunson.
"Poker fans have been able to view and enjoy professional poker action for years on television," said Doyle Brunson. "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."
The audience will have a number of different ways to play and win prizes. Six members of the audience will be selected to compete on stage against two of the poker pros in a Texas Hold'em tournament format. At the same time, the rest of the audience will compete for points via mobile touch-screen devices mounted on their seats through wagers on the action and various prop bets, such as the suit of cards dealt on the flop. Audience members also earn points for their play of a virtual "ninth hand" which will compete against the eight players on stage.
The points earned by audience members can be turned into prizes ranging from "The Real Deal!" logoed merchandise to home electronics and more, including a chance to win a $1 million grand prize. During each show, the pro with the most chips, the last surviving on-stage amateur player, and the point leader from the audience will compete in a three-handed finale.
"The Venetian sets the standard for entertainment in Las Vegas and we are excited to add 'The Real Deal!' to our existing line-up of world-class shows," stated 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!'."
The top prize, $1 million, can be won at each show. Four times during the show, audience members will select five face-down cards from a standard 52-card deck on their hand-held device; the ten with the highest-valued poker hand will advance to a final round. The 40 qualifiers will then pick one more five-card hand on their hand-held device. If anyone hits a royal flush – a 1-in-649,740 chance - they will win the million dollar prize.
The announcement of "The Real Deal!" was made jointly by the Venetian and veteran Hollywood producer Merv Adelson, creator of such shows as "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest." "Never before has poker been so integrated with entertainment," said Adelson (no relation to Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and CEO of The Venetian's parent company, Las Vegas Sands Corp.). "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."
The show's producers are currently looking for a well-known comedian to host the show and bring both humor and poker information to the audience. The current schedule is for the show to run six days a week with shows at 4 pm and two additional performances at 7 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition to regular tickets, a limited number of VIP packages will be available which will include a chance to meet the poker pros after the show.
A site dedicated to the production has been launched at www.therealdeallv.com.