Nine month wait

All of Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas properties have now reopened, as the last holdout, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino finally welcomed back guests on Tuesday, December 22 and 10:00am. The casino will be open around the clock, while the hotel will only be open Thursdays through Mondays.

Unlike many casinos in other states, the Rio is making plenty of services and amenities available immediately. Reopening are seven restaurants, five bars and lounges, seven shops, the fitness center, and KISS by Monster Mini Golf. The Penn & Teller show is also expected to return, but no performances have been scheduled yet.

Also opening is the new William Hill Race & Sportsbook, complete with both live tellers and self-service betting kiosks.

There was no lavish grand reopening celebration. Instead, Caesars company leaders and volunteers handed out 20,000 frozen turkeys and cookies to Las Vegas employees. Don’t worry, it was all done via drive through, so COVID-19 risk was minimal.

Penn Jillette was one of the people on hand to pass out the goodies.

“In two weeks, Penn & Teller will celebrate its 20th anniversary at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino,” he said in a company press release. “As the longest-running headliners in Las Vegas, part of that success is owed to our amazing colleagues at Rio, and we are pleased to join today to thank them and all of my hard-working Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas co-workers.”

WSOP Main Event coming up

The Rio opened just in time for the finale of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event. The property has been home to the WSOP since 2005, but this is the first time it has only hosted the final two players of the Main Event.

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional World Series of Poker was postponed. Not wanting to cancel it outright, Caesars created a hybrid online/live $10,000 Main Event, which it is considering the official WSOP Main Event this year.

Players outside of the United States began their quest for the bracelet on GGPoker with three starting flights spanning late November and early December. Day 2 on December 7 played down to the nine-handed final table. Those final nine traveled to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, to complete live for the “International Bracket” title (one player opted not to travel and automatically claimed ninth place money).

Over in the United States, the “US Bracket” ran on December 13 and 14. The final nine of that competition will meet at the Rio on December 28 to determine the US champ. That winner and Damian Salas, the International Bracket victor, will then play heads-up at the Rio on December 30 to see who becomes the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion. The winner will also receive an additional $1 million on top of what they won for their portion of the tournament.

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