There are few events that are more “Las Vegas” than the World Series of Poker, and there are few celebrities who are more Las Vegas than Vince Vaughn. So it was appropriate that when the WSOP launched its main event in Sin City this week, the honoured Master of Ceremonies was none other than the star of Swingers and Dodgeball. Vaughn, a keen amateur poker player himself, turned up in Roman imperial attire to declare proceedings open.
This week will see several big-money events, culminating on Friday with the No-limit Hold’em World Championship on Friday. With a $10,000 buy-in, the contest will bring together a crowd of former winners along with some hoping to take their first winner’s bracelet.
With registration for that event due to close on Friday, Wednesday’s buy-ins alone exceeded 4,000 players. The tournament organisers have been open about their hopes of exceeding the highest total of entries, which has remained unbroken since 2006’s event saw 8,773 entrants. As of Wednesday afternoon, the total sat at 7,700, leaving the directors bullish about pushing the number over the record which has stood for 16 years.
The identity of this year’s winner is, at this moment, anyone’s guess, with the title not having been taken by a repeat winner at any point in the 21st century. Greg Raymer, Scott Blumstein and Hossein Ensan, winners in 2004, 2017 and 2019 respectively, have already been eliminated from contention, while last year’s winner Koray Aldemir and 2003 champion Chris Moneymaker remain among the hopefuls at present.
Wednesday’s festivities, though, centred on the MC, who revealed that he tends to visit Vegas at least a few times a year. Vaughn filmed a few games – with the results yet to be revealed – against defending champ Aldemir as well as other former winners Joe Cada and Phil Hellmuth, who remain in the running for this year’s title. Vaughn also said that he shares some characteristics with the character Double-Down Trent, who he plays in Swingers.
Asked if he always doubles down at the Blackjack table, he confirmed that he does so when he has 11, and went on to say that he doesn’t like to split eights when facing a 10 or an Ace. “I know the book says to do it, but that never seems to work out for me.”, said the Vegas icon, who did not confirm or deny any of the tactical advice given for potential Dodgeball players in his later Vegas-based movie.