The Bellagio Resort & Casino announced the schedule for its highly anticipated Bellagio Kickoff Classic tournament series that took place from August 31st to September 10th. With over $800,000 in total guarantees across 12 events, the series attracted poker players from around the world to experience world-class competition and luxury accommodations at one of Las Vegas’s most iconic destinations.
Highlighting the series was the $3,500 buy-in Main Event, which took place from September 7-10. With a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000, this high-stakes tournament drew players from around the world.
The Bellagio Kickoff Classic tournament was concluded before the casino and sister MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas were hit by a widespread cyber-attack, according to Forbes Magazine.
The Bellagio Classic Main Event offered $500,000 in Guarantees
Headlining the series was the $3,500 buy-in Bellagio Classic Main Event, with a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000. The three-day tournament took place from September 7th through 9th, with Day 1A and 1B flights on the event’s first two days.
Players returned on September 9th for Day 2, and the final table was scheduled for September 10th. With such a substantial guarantee for the marquee event, the Main Event drew top professionals looking to etch their names in poker history alongside past champions of this prestigious tournament.
The main event had the same atmosphere as the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, which denied Erik Seidel his tenth WSOP bracelet at Horseshoe Las Vegas.
Satellite Tournaments Provide Main Event Seats
For those seeking to play in the high-stakes Main Event at a discounted rate, the series offered three $400 buy-in Milestone Satellites on September 5, 6, and 6, each guaranteeing five seats to the $3,500 Bellagio Classic.
The satellites took place at 5:00 PM each day and provided players a cost-effective path to the potential life-changing payouts of the Main Event. With starting stacks of 25,000 chips and 25-minute levels, the satellites also offered stand-alone value for recreational players.
Players started with 30,000 in tournament chips. Each level lasted 30 minutes, with a 10-minute break at the end of every three levels. Ante was posted from the big blind only, often after the big blind had been posted.
Late Registration and re-entry were open until the start of the tenth (10th) level. Payout structure was based on the number of entries and ended up being approximately 12.5% of the field.
For mixed-game enthusiasts, there was a $800 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Mystery Bounty tournament carrying a $30,000 guarantee scheduled for September 3. A $400 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Turbo event with a $20,000 guarantee also took place that day.
Variety of Additional Events
Aside from the flagship Main Event, the series schedule was rounded out by nine additional tournaments catering to different player preferences. This included two high roller events – a $600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament on September 1st with a $30,000 guarantee, and a $600 buy-in event on September 2nd with an identical guarantee.
Prestigious $600 No-Limit Hold’em Tournament
The Bellagio poker room had announced details of another marquee event that was set to take place as part of its highly acclaimed September series. Scheduled for Friday, September 1st at 12:00pm, Event #2 of the series featured a $600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool.
With a modest buy-in of $600, this tournament provided an affordable opportunity for recreational players to test their skills against top competition. At the same time, its $30,000 guarantee ensured those who found success were well-compensated for their efforts.
30,000 starting chips and 30-minute levels also combined to offer generous structure for the field to maneuver strategically. This structure paid homage to the hybrid tournament format that WPT set for Mexico City in May.
Pot Limit Omaha Mystery Bounty Tournament
The Bellagio Kickoff Classic schedule continued on September 3 with Event #4, an $800 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha Mystery Bounty tournament guaranteed at $50,000. This unique format introduced an exciting layer of strategy for players.
Held on a Sunday afternoon with a 12:00 p.m. start time, this event was structured with 30-minute levels and starting stacks of 30,000 chips. Playing Pot Limit Omaha, a popular mixed game variant, ensured diverse action from the outset.
However, it was the mystery bounty element that made this tournament truly compelling. Players were anonymously assigned another participant as their “bounty,” with a cash reward paid to whoever eliminated that opponent. This stealth format rewarded predatory play and the ability to make reads on opponents.
$400 Buy-in No Limit Hold’em Turbo
On Sunday, September 3rd, the Bellagio poker room played host to one of the marquee tournaments of their highly successful Kickoff Classic series. Event #5 of the schedule, a $400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament, promised to deliver fast-paced, high-stakes poker action.
The event represented an excellent opportunity for profit-seeking players. Its turbo structure featuring 15-minute levels was designed to accelerate the action. This format rewarded those who could maintain intense focus and implement aggressive strategies over the course of a long day.
Special Seniors Event for Over 50
In an effort to welcome poker players of all ages and experience levels, the series featured a $600 buy-in Seniors No-Limit Hold’em event for those aged 50 and over on August 31st, guaranteed at $50,000. This provided an opportunity for experienced recreational players to compete against their peers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Luxurious Accommodations and Amenities
Players participating in the Bellagio Kickoff Classic were treated to a truly world-class experience. Among the first to open after COVID-19 shutdowns, Bellagio offered exquisite accommodations, renowned restaurants, entertainment including the iconic Bellagio fountains, a lavish casino floor, and more across its 63-acre property.
Situated in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, the resort provided an unparalleled setting for the series and a chance to enjoy all that Las Vegas had to offer during breaks from the felt.
Bellagio Las Vegas played host to a highly anticipated poker tournament series starting at the end of August. Dubbed the 2023 Bellagio Kickoff Classic, the festival spanned from August 31st to September 10th and featured 12 events with more than $800,000 in total guaranteed prize money up for grabs.