This is the
second of three interviews with directors of successful
blackjack tournaments. Our guest this month is Jimmy Wike, the current
table-game manager at Caesars Palace, who designed and implemented the
Vegas Hilton's famous Million Dollar Tournament, which has grown into
most profitable tournament event in table-game history.
The design was relatively complex and had several innovative
elements, which virtually insured that a large number of entrants would
both remain on property throughout the three-day monthly events, then
return for the grand finale.
The format: 200 entrants (maximum) pay $1,000 each to enter
qualifying events each month.
First round: On Friday, there are four sessions of 10 tables with
five players each. The top two money winners from each table advance
Saturday morning's second round, for a total of 80 winning qualifiers.
Second round: On Saturday morning, 20 "wild cards" are drawn
the pool of 120 non-winners to bring the total playing pool to 100 players.
Two sessions of 10 tables with five players each follow. The top two
winners from each table advance to the third round to make a winning
Third round: At 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, eight wild cards are
drawn from the pool of 160 non-winning entrants to bring the field to
players to join in one session of eight tables with six players each.
top two chip leaders from each table advance to the semi-finals and
chance to play for the monthly prize pool of $57,500. Each of these
leaders also earns a seat in the $1,000,000 grand finale.
Semi-finals: At 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, two wild cards are drawn
from the pool of 184 non-winning players to bring the field to 18 players
to compete in one session of three tables with six players each. The
two money winners from each table advance to the monthly finals.
Monthly finals: On Saturday evening, one wild card is drawn from
the field of 194 non-winning players to fill one table with seven players.
First place pays $20,000.
Grand finale: After 12 months, there are 192 winning entrants.
Eight more are selected via wild cards (each player gets one entry for
monthly event they participate in) to bring the total to 200 players.
format then mirrors the monthly events with the winner picking up $1
million out of a $1.1 million prize pool.