May 21th will be a historic day for Chicago poker as the biggest name in poker Doyle Brunson arrives at Harrah’s Joliet. With the opening of new WSOP poker room on May 2nd, Harrah’s quickly showed their commitment to Chicago poker players by announcing Doyle Brunson would be at the Grand Opening May 21st & 22nd. Poker room player’s can now play to earn entries until May 17th to win a chance to compete with eight other players against Doyle Brunson. The winner will receive a seat at the WSOP Main Event plus $1500. Winner has a $5000 cash option in lieu of WSOP Main Event prize.
Poker room players will receive one entry for every hour played until May 17th. Players can also go to Facebook www.facebook.com/Harrahs.Joliet, enter “Like” and download the entry form, than bring the entry form to the Total Rewards Center. Forty seats will be given to WSOP poker room patrons with the remaining forty from Facebook. Drawing will be held on Friday May 20th, you must be present to win. Drawing entries must be activated by swiping your Total Rewards Card at the Promotions area from 8:00 am – 10:55 am. Tournament will start Friday at 1:00 pm, final table begins Sunday at 5:00 pm. For more details listen to ESPN AM 1000.
Meet Doyle Brunson at his book signing Saturday May 21th at 5:00 pm at Stage 151. Doyle’s books can be purchased starting at 8:00 am. Only books purchased at Harrah’s will be allowed for signing. On Sunday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Doyle Brunson will be at a question and Answer session hosted by ESPN radio personality Carmen DeFalco. Starting at 1:00 pm Wristbands will be issued for the Q & A Session. Space is limited and is available on a first come, first serve basis.
Promotions are subject to change. Players can call Harrah’s Joliet poker room 815-740-7480 for updates.
It’s hard to imagine, but if Faraz Jaka, the reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year, had lost $20 more in a dorm-room card game some years ago, you never would have heard of him. That’s right, one of the most exciting and talented young players in poker was down to his last Andrew Jackson. But more on that later.
Articulate and fun, Jaka puts on a show every time he plays. But he’s not just about poker. If you had asked him a decade ago what he wanted to be when he got older, his answer then is the same as it is today … an entrepreneur. The 25-year-old phenom started playing cards while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The San Jose, Calif., native had starred in track at Piedmont Hills High, once running the mile in 4 minutes, 29 seconds. There were scholarship offers, but he chose business school instead. His decision to attend Illinois was a bit “random,” but he wanted to expand beyond what he knew as a child.
“I was beginning to mature into the person I wanted to be and sometimes it is hard to express the new you when you are surrounded by people who knew the old you.”
This is Faraz Jaka, a never weary traveler with a healthy curiosity about positive energy, people, places and business.
He began playing $10 capped no-limit hold’em with 10-cent and 25-cent blinds in the student dorms. “At the time I didn’t even know what Texas Hold’em was. I had never heard of it. After a few weeks I was down $180 and that was a lot of money to me,” he said with a laugh.
One morning, in an elevator on his way to class, Jaka gave himself an ultimatum. If he lost another $20 in the dorm game he was swearing off poker forever.
“I thought poker might not be for me. I remember giving myself that lecture in that elevator. And for whatever reason from that point on, I went on a huge run.”
His competitive side took over and he began playing in bigger games in Champaign. It was during these times he saw an advertisement for Royal Vegas Poker online. Faraz was drawn to a Royal Vegas promotion that offered to pay your college tuition if you won a freeroll tournament.
“I never did play that freeroll. I began to deposit $25 at a time and before you know it I was buying in for $500 deposits.”
Jaka started off at Royal Vegas by taking $500 shots at $25-$50 NLHE cash games. It didn’t work. He switched strategies and began to grind $1-$2 and $2-$5 no-limit games. Within a few months, he built a $15,000 bankroll. He then returned to the $25-$50 one night and doubled his bankroll. He continued like a madman at even higher limits and within a week Jaka would win $175,000.
But this happy story takes a sorted twist.
The following is a press release from Harrah's Joliet, received by Chicago Poker Club on Monday, May 2, 2011.
Go “All In” for the New LIVE Poker Room at Harrah’s Joliet!
Throw your chips in the pot and go “all in” for the new poker room at Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel. Opening May 2nd at 10am, the poker room will offer Limit & No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud.
And starting May 2nd, (through May 17th), you can play to earn entries** to win the chance to compete against poker legend Doyle Brunson and 8 other finalists. If you win, you’re going to Vegas, Baby! Plus, you’ll get $1,500 for travel expenses and a seat at the World Series of Poker Main Event**, a total value of $10,000!
In addition to earning entries through poker play, you can also get the chance to win through Facebook. “Like” Harrah’s Joliet on Facebook to download an entry form. Then, bring your form to the Total Rewards® Center and you’ll be entered in the drawing for the chance to play.**Meet poker legend Doyle Brunson on Saturday, May 21st at 5pm at Stage 151. Purchase a book beginning at 8am to receive his autograph.**