Athletes, actors and musicians joined hundreds of poker enthusiasts when the first weekend of the main event of the World Series of Poker kicked off at the Rio Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10.
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 headliner Holly Madison showed her bubbly personality as she performed the ceremonial Shuffle Up and Deal on Sunday, July 10, alongside Phil Hellmuth, who is currently in the lead for 2011 WSOP Player of the Year and tied for earning the most career WSOP Gold Bracelets, and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel.
Click on the photos below to enlarge.