Athletes, actors and musicians joined hundreds of poker enthusiasts at the first weekend of the main event of the World Series of Poker kicked off at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10 (Pictured above: Holly Madison, Jack Effel and Phil Hellmuth).
Celebrities spent the weekend betting and bluffing in pursuit of one of the most coveted prizes of all sporting events. “Everybody Loves Raymond” actors Brad Garrett and Ray Romano came out to play on Saturday, July 9 and provided some pre-game laughs for the anxious crowds.
NBA players Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks hit a lucky streak and were among a few of the stars who survived day one of the event.
Poker proved to be a universal language as appearances by foreign celebrities included Australian cricket star Shane Warne, UK football star Teddy Sherington, and French singer Patrick Bruel. Other noticeable sightings were rapper and musician Nelly; Rene Angelil, Celine Dion’s husband and manager; actor Jason Alexander and actresses Jennifer Tilly and Shannon Elizabeth.
Vegas’ own headlining Planet Hollywood “Peepshow” showgirl, Holly Madison, showed her bubbly personality as she performed the ceremonial Shuffle Up and Deal on Sunday, July 10, alongside poker pro Phil Hellmuth and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel.
Photos courtesy of World Series of Poker.