August 25, 2010
Pechanga Resort & Casino, in partnership with HDNet and The Leiweke Companies, will host the newly revamped FullTiltPoker.net's World High Stakes Golf Championships - The Open at Journey. Recognized as one of the newest and exciting innovations in the game of golf, the game merges the rules of Texas hold 'em poker with those of golf. The mixture brings high stakes wagering to a format that allows players to bluff, bully, strategize and ultimately rely on their ability to execute a golf shot in order to outplay their opponents. The original first-run programming on HDNet is shot in true high definition (full 16:9 format) and allows any golfer who buys-in to prove his skill at the game on a televised international stage.
"This is our fourth year of operating high stakes golf events. We pride ourselves on creating a level playing field for amateur players of all skill levels," said Commissioner of World High Stakes Golf Championships Terry Leiweke. "The last innovation in golf was the Skins game, almost thirty years ago. This hit-and-bet format has energized players from all walks of life -- men and women alike, who like to play in competitive, organized events."
The winner-take-all format of each hole means that, much like a hand of poker, a hole does not have to be fully played in order to win it. Fulltiltpoker.net's title sponsorship of the event ensures that a number of well-known professional poker players will be folding their cards and picking up their drivers to compete. Past events have included a number of other celebrities competing for the grand prize (as well as the bragging rights) in the world's ultimate wagered golf tournament for amateurs. Any golfer of any skill level may pay the $5,000 entry fee to enter the tournament.
While it may seem as if bogey golfers will be quickly eliminated by the scratch golfers, Leiweke explains that players are originally matched according to their skill level and, "the hold 'em format can quickly even the odds. A player skilled at betting and psychologically reading their opponents can win holes against players more skilled at golf by simply bullying them out or creating tension that affects their game. It's very exciting."
Airing in the first quarter of 2011 on HDNet, the event has up to $430,000 in cash prizes, including a $100,000 grand prize. In this hit-and-bet game, each player is allowed to bring a financial advisor/caddy on course with them. Players will go to the tee with an arbitrary purse. A percentage of the purse is an automatic ante that doubles every three holes. Once players have hit their tee shots, they bet against other players in their group on whether or not they will win the hole. If players do not like their shot, don't like the bet, or want to protect their purse, they may fold their hand, pick up their ball and move on to the next tee, losing what they have committed to the pot. When a player can no longer match the ante on the upcoming tee box, they are eliminated from the match.
There are six qualifying events in September (two in Las Vegas and four at Journey at Pechanga). Players that advance out of the qualifiers go on to the championship in December, held at Pechanga. Players are being registered now.
For more information on The Open at Journey, please visit www.worldhighstakesgolf.com.
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