MGM Poker Play Challenges Caesars Las Vegas Strip Dominance
The Las Vegas Strip has hosted some pretty impressive battles. Almost every major boxing title and every UFC championship has been defended on the iconic 4.2-mile stretch of road.
Additionally, the Strip hosted the Stanley Cup Finals when the Las Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the championship round in their first season and the Super Bowl will be contested in 2024.
Sin City’s biggest battle, however, may not take place in an arena or stadium. Its biggest rivalry has been between Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get the report from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get the MGM Resorts International Reportthe two main casino operators on the Strip.
Both companies compete for customers on the Strip, with each having casinos that cater to all levels of customers. In recent months, MGM has taken over the Cosmopolitan while Caesars intends to tackle dedicated gamblers in the mode by renaming its Bally casino under its gambler-friendly Horseshoe brand.
Caesars and MGM are like two heavyweight fighters trading punches with neither able to land a punch. Both companies are trying to outdo each other with celebrity restaurants, new entertainment options and concert headliners moving into their properties.
Now, MGM has decided to launch a rival to one of Caesars’ biggest properties.
MGM takes on Caesars World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has been the dominant series – sort of the major leagues – for the game of cards. And while poker isn’t the sensation it was a few years ago, when it seemed like a major draw on television, it remains popular, and the WSOP draws large audiences to Caesars properties.
Caesars owns the WSOP and uses the name not only for the series of poker events that ultimately crowns an annual champion, but also for its poker rooms. It’s a big brand that draws a following for the poker series and a crowd for the Caesars casino poker rooms.
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Now MGM, under its BetMGM digital gaming arm, has launched a rival poker series, according to Pokerfuse.com.
“BetMGM announced the first BetMGM Poker Championshipa $1 million guaranteed high stakes tournament to be held at the ARIA Resort & Casino next month,” the website reported. ARIA Poker Classic 2022. Other tournaments, including a $600 Mystery Bounty event, will fill a four-day period of BetMGM poker festivities taking place June 23-26.”
Why participate in the World Series of Poker?
The World Series of Poker attracts “hundreds of thousands of players” to Las Vegas each summer, according to Casino.org. The series has grown since its humble beginnings in the 1960s, according to the WSOP website.
“In 2006, the World Series of Poker consisted of 45 tournaments, all awarding gold bracelets to winners. Over $100 million in prize money was won, making the WSOP the richest event of all. Jamie Gold took down the biggest champ in poker history when he defeated 8,772 other players and won $12 million as the top prize last year, topping the payout at events such as Wimbledon, The Masters and Kentucky Derby – combined,” the site shared.
The WSOP has been a cash cow for Caesars, attracting huge crowds of players to its satellite tournaments and becoming the hallmark of poker worldwide. MGM now wants a slice of that pie and draw attention to its Las Vegas Strip resorts as well as
“The very first BetMGM Poker Championship is coming down to Las Vegas during one of the most exciting times of poker season,” BetMGM poker director Luke Staudenmaier said, according to PokerFuse.
Aria Poker Classic will run from June 1 to July 17 “with nearly 50 events spread over a six-week period.”
The dates coincide with the WSOP, which makes it very clear that MGM doesn’t just want to create its own poker series, but take some of the shine out of Caesars’ WSOP.
“ARIA is a legendary poker brand and we are thrilled that the championship has become an integral part of this year’s Poker Classic,” added Staudenmaier. “Through our relationship with MGM Resorts and its world-class US properties, we will continue to leverage event programming and connect with players online and at their favorite poker rooms.”