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504 Moose Poker Players Jam the Golden Nugget
As Fraternity's 1st Texas Hold-'Em Tournament Begins


We host this casino's largest-ever private poker event!

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Some glimpses of the first day of action in the First Annual International Moose Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament. With 504 players, the turnout blew away all initial estimates and created the largest-ever private poker event ever held in the long history of the Golden Nugget Casino in traditional downtown Las Vegas.
In recognition of the record size of the First Annual International Moose Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament, our pre-event banquet was visited by two full-blown poker stars -- Phil Hellmuth (left), 11-time winner of the World Series of Poker; and Layne Flack (right), who has won more than $4 million in tournament play over the last decade..

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 11 – It sure seemed like a full room – and that wasn't because of some trick played in how things were set up.

When they all sat down to start playing on Monday morning, the participants in the inaugural Moose International Texas Hold 'Em Tournament packed the Golden Nugget's Grand Events Room. A total of 504 players registered for this event, coming from literally every corner of the fraternity.

That tournament, the newest of the competitions to take join the list of International Sports programs sponsored through the fraternity's Fraternal Programs department, kicked off at 10 a.m. PST on Monday (Jan. 11)

The breadth of support for the tournament could be seen in the shirts people wore as members proudly announced where they were from or what their favorite hometown sports team was. Certainly the California-Nevada Moose Association was well-represented. But it wasn't at the top when a count of registered players was made.

“California-Nevada has the fourth-most participants here,” Baile said. “North Carolina, Illinois and Florida-Bermuda had the most – with Florida-Bermuda leading the way. I joked (Sunday) that people from Florida came out because they wanted to get away from the cold. But I think it's great that people came here and it speaks to the fact that we put together a package that people liked with all the things that are included.”

The impact of the tournament was confirmed at Saturday's pre-event dinner when John Colville, the Golden Nugget's Director of Poker Operations, announced that the Moose event is the largest private poker event the casino has hosted. Then he had a surprise. Pro poker starts Phil Hellmuth and Layne Flack came in and said a few words to the gathered crowd. The pair then signed autographs and posed for photos with an excited crowd.

That crowd also involved a number of people making their inaugural foray into International Sports competition as sponsored by the fraternity. Men and women who had never competed in Bowling or Darts or Golf sat at the tables playing for their share of the prize money.

“When you go to Conventions and seminars, you see a lot of the familiar faces,” Baile said. “That's not something you see this week. You see it some. But this has given an opportunity for a group of people who may not have participated in a fraternity-wide event before. We're glad that they're here and that they have found something of interest they can take advantage of.”

In that spirit, Texas Hold 'Em is no different than Pool, Horseshoes, Softball or any of the other sports in which competition takes place at the International level.

“This speaks to the essence of the sports tournaments in having a variety of things that speak to different interests that are handled well,” Baile said.

Play continues all day Monday and Tuesday and concludes Wednesday.



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