Bayou Poker Challenge Returns to Harrah’s New Orleans

Two-Week Tournament Schedule includes 14 Major Poker Events, from December 2-12

New Orleans, LA – The Bayou Poker Challenge is back in the Big Easy!
Harrah’s New Orleans is hosting the 2010 Bayou Poker Challenge, which is taking place in the heart of the downtown district, adjacent to the famous French Quarter.  The two-week tournament series takes place from December 2-12, 2010.
This marks the fifth year of the Bayou Poker Challenge, which is held annually each December, at Harrah’s New Orleans.  It is one of the south’s largest and most successful poker tournaments, and has awarded in excess of $10 million in prize money since its creation.
This year’s schedule includes something for just about every poker player.  There are 14 major tournaments -- with buy-ins ranging from $150 up to $2,500 for the Main Event Championship.  There are also mega- and single-table satellites running for every event. 
Most poker tournaments begin at 1 pm daily and are played as two-day events.  Most day ones play down to a final table; then, the finale takes place on day two.  An added bonus this year:  All players who make it to a final table (Events 1-10) have a shot to win a free seat in the Main Event via a freeroll tournament, taking place on December 9th. 
There are also five 5 pm tournaments on this year’s schedule, as well as nightly 7 pm No-Limit Hold’em tournaments, which cost only $150 to enter.
Cash games are also expected to be busy.  The Harrah’s New Orleans poker room, with 23 tables, has a reputation for some of the best action in the country.  Games run 24/7 and regularly include Limit Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Omaha.
Hotel reservations can still be made through the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, which is walking distance to Harrah’s New Orleans.  Please call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667).  To receive the special players rate ($70 per night), please ask for code:  WWS


DECEMBER 2-12, 2010

Final Table (9 players) of Event's 1-10 all qualify for Tournament of Champions Freeroll -- Prize pool is TEN seats into Main Event

Dec 2, Thursday
Single-table satellites start at 12pm $35-$1075
Mega Satellite 7pm $300+$45

Dec 3, Friday
Event#1 No Limit Hold’em 1pm $300+$45
No Limit Hold'em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 4, Saturday
Event#2 No Limit Hold’em 1pm $500+$55
No-Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 5, Sunday
Event#3 No-Limit Hold’em (6 handed)1pm $300+$45
Event#4 NLH w/$100rebuys 5pm $300+$45
No-Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 6, Monday
Event#5 No-Limit Hold’em 1pm $300+$45
Event#6 PLO w/Rebuys $100 5pm $300+$45
No-Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 7, Tuesday
Event#7 No-Limit Hold’em 1pm $300+$45
Event#8 Pot-Limit Omaha 8/B 5pm $300+$45
No-Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 8, Wednesday
Event#9 No Limit Hold’em 1pm $500+$55
Event#10 Mixed Game 5pm $300+$45
No Limit Hold-em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 9, Thursday
Mega Satellite 1pm $250+$35
Mega Satellite $100rebuys 4pm $250+$35
Mega Satellite 7pm $250+$35
Tournament of Champions 8pm FREEROLL
Mega Turbo Satellite $100rebuys 9pm $250+$35

Dec 10, Friday
MAIN EVENT No-Limit Hold'em 1pm $2,500+$150
No-Limit Hold’em 5pm $300+$45
No Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 11, Saturday
Last Chance NLH 1pm $200+$35
Day 2 Main event 2pm
No-Limit Hold’em 7pm $150+$25

Dec 12, Sunday
No Limit Hold’em Seniors 12pm $150+$25
No-Limit Hold’em Ladies 12pm $150+$25
Main Event Final Table 2pm


The first major poker tournament held at Harrah’s New Orleans was called the “Cajun Poker Classic,” which took place in early 2004.  The three-day tournament attracted 536 players and inspired the casino to host more poker events in the future.  Later that year, the first Bayou Poker Challenge was held, which consisted of six tournaments. 

Next, Harrah’s New Orleans became a charter member of the World Series of Poker Circuits, which officially started play in 2005.  Since then, New Orleans has hosted the final stop on the circuit each year, which takes place in mid-May just prior to the start of the WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas.  The first two WSOP Circuit championships held at Harrah’s New Orleans were televised by ESPN and were among the most exciting tournaments broadcast at the time.  They still occasionally appear in re-runs to this day.

WSOP Circuit events in New Orleans proved to be so successful that a second tournament series was created, starting in 2007.  This became known as the “Bayou Poker Challenge” (a.k.a. the Winter Bayou Poker Challenge), which has since become a December attraction.  This tournament series is categorized as a World Series of Poker Satellite, since its Main Event winner earns an entry valued at $10,000 seat (plus expense money) into the WSOP championship, held the following year.  This year’s Bayou Poker Challenge Event Champion will win a seat into the 2011 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.

Bayou Poker Challenge results and statistics are not included in the historical records of WSOP Circuit events.  Nonetheless, the Bayou Poker Challenge (BPC) has proven to be a popular attraction for many poker players, who mostly come to the Crescent City from the states of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and surrounding areas. 

The menu of tournaments has steadily increased.  This year’s Bayou Poker Challenge offers a full schedule of 15-events, the most ever offered for any tournament held in New Orleans.  All tournament action takes place inside the Harrah’s New Orleans amphitheatre, which regularly hosts many of the most popular performers in music and entertainment.  But in December at least, the real stars at Harrah’s New Orleans are poker players.    


2004 – Boulos Estafanous (Darien, IL) won $74,496 in a field of 256 entrants
2007 – Andy Philachack (Garland, TX) won $274,860 in a field of 160 entrants
2008 – Justin Allen (Rockwall, TX) won $158,290 in a field of 103 entrants
2009 – Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler (Las Vegas, NV) won $70,976 in a field of 80 entrants


Event 1 -- $200 NLHE…212 players    Santiago Prats (Mandeville, LA)  -- $9,973
Event 2 -- $300 NLHE (6)…123 players Ali Jafari (Houston, TX)  -- $11,274
Event 3 -- $300 NLHE…198 players  Jay Dill (Donaldsonville, LA)  -- $15,268
Event 4 -- $500 NLHE…173 players Michael Catt (Orange, TX)  -- $22,234
Event 5 -- $300 NLHE…102 players Tripp Donaldson (Baton Rouge, LA) -- $7,895
Event 6 -- $300 PLO…66 players Michael Gebhardt (Boulder, CO) -- $6,145
Event 7 -- $300 NLHE…144 players Mike Silvas (Youngsville, LA)  -- $11,104
Event 8 -- $300 PLO (RB)…37 players Fred Scott III (Fairbanks, AK)  -- $10, 670
Event 9 -- $300 HORSE…32 players A.B. Suthoff (St. Rose, LA)   -- $3,724
Event 10 -- $1,000 NLHE…124 players John Dolan (Bonita Springs, FL) -- $31,874
Event 11 -- $3,000 NLHE…80 players   Allen Kessler (Las Vegas, NV)         -- $70,796
Event 12 -- $500 NLHE…45 players Bronson Tucker (Round Rock, TX) -- $8,730
Event 13 -- $300 NLHE…52 players Michael Husar (New Orleans, LA) -- $4,842
Event 14 -- $300 LADIES…41 players Trish Marks (Covington, LA)  -- $4,772
Event 15 -- $300 SENIORS..49 players Carl Miller (Biloxi, MS)   -- $5,703

Tournament Director – Steve Frezer
General Manager of Harrah’s New Orleans – Dan Real
Vice President of Marketing – Luann Pappas
Director of Table Games – Tosha Skipper
Shift Manager of Harrah’s New Orleans – Larry Barrett

About Harrah’s New Orleans
Harrah’s New Orleans is operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment.  Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada nearly 70 years ago, Caesars (formally Harrah')s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.  For more information, visit