I’m just back from Vegas, where I participated in a new series of blackjack tournaments produced for TV. The new Ultimate Blackjack Tour adds some interesting twists to the usual formula of blackjack tournaments, and I think the new format will be great for TV.
Many viewers of previous events have pointed out that only the final few hands of a round hold any excitement. The UBT has added some twists that I think eliminate that complaint. One thing is for sure… The new format is TOUGH! Every single hand you play is important, and the angles and complexity go as deep as you can handle, and then some. I was absolutely exhausted after this week of effort.
I don’t know how much of the results information is supposed to be publicly available, so I won’t disclose any outcomes here. However, the events aren’t complete yet anyway. In Vegas, we filmed seven tournaments, but no final tables. The seven finalists in each event will compete a week from now in Los Angeles on a special set built for the show. Each winner of an event will pick up $50,000, and the top finishers in each event will then compete in a tournament of champions, for another $250,000 first place prize.
The long-term vision for this series is an ongoing World Tour concept, similar to the World Poker Tour. Once the shows begin to air, and the accompanying website launches, the public will be able to enter for a chance to play big money events under the television lights.
This is just the first of three big developments in the 2006 world of tournament blackjack. GSN’s series “World Series of Blackjack” is said to be coming back in 2006, with a satellite tournament process that will allow everyone to participate. The third horse in this Tournament Trifecta is an open event similar to the Hilton’s Million Dollar Tournament. The new “$2 Million Blackjack Tournament” is rumored to be getting set for events to begin in early 2006.
For more discussion and schedules of upcoming events, check out BlackjackTournaments.com.
It’s gonna be a good year. Start working on your tournament chops, and maybe I’ll see YOU in the finals, -Ken-