It seems that the poker-themed live show called The Real Deal will be opening at The Venetian Resort, Hotel, and Casino this fall, and the date of the grand opening has been officially set for October 22nd, 2008. And along with the very notable poker pros already signed on to participate - Brunson, Negreanu, Harman, et al - the show has pegged comedian Paul Rodriguez to host the six-days-per-week performances.
When the show was first announced, there was a bit of skepticism in the poker community, especially on the heels of the failed poker musical that started - and possibly finished - during the 2008 WSOP at the Rio. However, the poker pros involved have been quite confident that this is a different type of show that will appeal directly to a game-show type audience, and the Venetian has put a great amount of confidence behind the project. Thus, The Real Deal’s opening will be on October 22nd with newly-signed longtime comedian Paul Rodriguez on the microphone.
Executive Producer of the Real Deal Merv Adelson commented, “Paul Rodriguez was a natural choice to be the host of The Real Deal. Funny, charismatic, and engaging, he knows how to connect with an audience and keep them on the edge of their seats. With more than 20 years on the comedy circuit, Paul has a huge fan base and we’re very excited to add his level of star power to our already exciting ensemble.”
The premise of The Real Deal is to present an audience-interactive experience that is entertaining, funny, and offers prizes up to $1 million to inspire that audience participation. Two poker pros will battle against audience members using a hand-held computer device, and in the final round of the game, the last amateur standing will compete against the winning poker pro and the member of the audience with the most accumulated points. The three-handed final table will be played for prizes.
On stage alongside host Rodriguez will be a rotating roster of poker pros that includes Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Eli Elezra, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Todd Brunson, and Scotty Nguyen. Brunson noted, “Poker fans have been able to view and enjoy professional poker action for years on television. This is different. Everyone in the audience can be in the game and compete with the pros and other guests. It is a one-of-a-kind poker experience.”
The Real Deal is scheduled to run six days per week. Tickets are available at the Venetian, as are VIP packages that include the chance to go backstage at the show to meet the poker pros.