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Best of John G. Brokopp

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This World Series Pairs Golf and Poker

16 May 2007

If you're dealt pocket aces in a game of Texas Hold'em, you're in good position to call and raise your way to winning the pot.

But what if your tee shot on the Par-3, 175-yard fourth hole lands two feet from the pin? If you're an amateur golfer playing in the upcoming World Series of Golf, the strategy will also be to go for the money.

It was bound to happen. Golf, a game in which friendly wagers have been known to be placed on the outcome, is about to become more of a gamble than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The upcoming World Series of Golf at the Primm Valley Golf Club in Las Vegas is scheduled for May 13 - 17. The tournament will pit amateurs from around the country in a three-round competition in which success will be measured by a unique combination of golf and poker skills.

Participants buy into the tournament with $10,000. Wagers are made on every shot. Players ante up before each hole, then, depending on the outcome of their tee shots, they raise, call, check or fold their "hands" on all subsequent strokes. The winner of the hole takes down the pot.

Bets are made contingent upon each player's position relative to the position of his opponents. A shot off the tee into the rough will likely mean folding. On the other hand, a long drive down the middle of the fairway will keep the player in the game with a check or a raise on the next shot.

Players are eliminated when they go broke or when they're unable to come up with the ante for the next hole. The ante doubles every three holes.

Participants who make it beyond Round 1 will win back their buy-in. Those who survive the second round will win a minimum of $30,000. Golfers must defeat only three players on Day 1 of the competition and four players on Day 2 to make it to the finals.

The total prize money will be $750,000. The final group of six players will be competing for $450,000 with the winner taking home $250,000.

The concept was intriguing enough for NBC to obtain broadcast rights. Video taped coverage of the World Series of Golf will be televised nationally by the network June 23 and 24.

Golf and poker may be an odd couple, but World Series of Golf president and CEO Terry Leiweke is hoping these opposites will attract a big following:

"It's a completely new way to experience the game of golf," Leiweke said. "For any golfer who has ever said, 'I'd bet anything I can make this shot', now is his chance to prove it."

Registration was open for up to 180 amateur players. Participants were subjected to an accreditation process to verify their golf handicap and ensure golfers of similar skill would be pitted against one another.

It's an intriguing concept, the results of which will be analyzed closely. If the World Series of Golf proves as popular as the World Series of Poker, it's possible the format could be expanded into a tour.

For more information (registration fee includes a VIP stay at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, the official host hotel of the event) visit www.worldseriesofgolf.com.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp