Move over hold ‘em, there’s a new game in town

Photo: Scott Den Herder

Every year at the Gaming Life Expo, new forms of poker are touted as the Next. Big. Thing. Casino execs don’t seem to pay much attention to these new gimmicks as the mainstays in Strip poker rooms are still limit and no limit Texas hold ‘em, and the occasional 7 Card Stud or Pot Limit Omaha game. Dream Team Poker is a new type of card game designed to let players develop poker strategies in a team format. On Saturday, November 8, Dream Team Gaming will premiere their new game at the Dream Team Poker Tournament at the Hard Rock’s new Poker Lounge.

The most popular form of poker around the world, the premise of Texas hold ‘em is simple, the execution far more nuanced. In hold ‘em, a player tries to make the best hand using his or her two hole cards and the five community cards face up on the table. Once the hole cards are dealt, a round of betting occurs. Another round of betting occurs after the first three community cards are dealt, known as the flop, and then again following the fourth (turn card) and the fifth card (the river). Knowing the mathematical odds for each poker hand can help you immensely in your strategy but your mannerisms and “poker face” can often be the most important factors. In a typical poker game, a player is competing against all the other people at the table. Dream Team Poker is a new form of poker hoping to change the way the game is played.

Poker Room @ Hard Rock Hotel

First, Dream Team is, as its name suggests, a team game. Though each player plays individually as they would in a standard tournament, Dream Team Poker puts a new spin on things by scoring the teams together, based on player elimination. A point value is assigned to each player based on his or her elimination number. The team’s combined score determines the overall winner, with both team and individual prizes being awarded. This ups the ante (pardon the pun) for players by giving them an increased chance of winning money. The team aspect also brings new challenges and opportunities to poker strategy.


Another difference from the average poker game is teams are allowed timeouts to discuss strategy with other teammates who have been eliminated. If you’re wondering about collusion, the folks at Dream Team Poker have that covered too. Their patent pending seating structure is designed to help prevent players from the same team from sitting next to each other in the early rounds of play.

If you aren’t one of the few on the list to check out the final table action of the November Nine at the World Series of Poker Main Event over at the Rio, check out the celebrity-studded action at the Dream Team Poker Tournament instead. Celebrity players hoping to make the most out of this team-based format include Jamie Gold, 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event winner, David Daneshgar, Kenny Tran and David Benyamine, all 2008 WSOP bracelet winners, Erica Schoenberg, from the show Poker After Dark, Jean Robert Bellande of Survivor China , pro poker players Roy “the Oracle” Winston and Chris Bigler, Actor Mekhi Phifer of ER fame, E! Daily 10 host Sal Masekela, actor Roger Cross from Fox’s 24, actor Yancey Arias of NBC’s Knight Rider, The Hills star Holly Montag, former NBA star Chris Mills and writer and producer Sam Simon of The Simpsons. The tournament is set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Hard Rock Poker Lounge with an after party at Body English.


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