For about $1,799 you could buy a ticket to Las Vegas and play poker in the vice capital of the world. Or for considerably less, you can get a piece of genuine, adrenaline-pumping action right here in the Holy Land - if you play your cards right.
The Israel Poker Association's Pokerface 2006 tournament commences February 7 at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds. Over 13 weeks, a league of approximately 320 players pay NIS 500 each to compete in a combination of sit-and-go's and multi-player tournaments, playing No-Limits Texas Hold 'em to earn a place in the 90 player, three-day championship in April. The Israel Poker Association and an online poker Web site, www.pokerschool.co.il, partnered to organize the league in response to Hold 'em's astronomical rise in worldwide popularity. It is a game that according to the tournament's organizers combines entertainment, strategy, and of course, a little bit of luck.
Players who make it to the final table of the championship will vie for $50,000 in prizes, including the first prize - a buy-in at the World Series of Poker, June 25 to August 10 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Last year's World Series of Poker, held at the Harrah's in Las Vegas, boasted a top prize of $7.5 million. The annual tournament, the largest and most prestigious of its kind, attracted 5,619 entrants, the most ever.