Poker news | Nov 21, 2023
Verstappen Wins Inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix
By RTR Alex
On Saturday night, Max Verstappen won the first-ever F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. The victory marks a record-extending 18th win of the season for the Red Bull driver.
The night took the thrill of Formula 1 to the iconic Las Vegas Strip, providing a perfect opportunity to merge the worlds of poker and racing.
Red Bull Dominates the Track
Poker Personalities and Fast Laps
As the engines roared to life, poker enthusiasts were treated to a special evening that not only featured high-speed racing but also welcomed poker legends like Phil Hellmuth.
I was cocky until I ran into @MichaelPhelps, I thought 17 @WSOP Bracelets was a lot of gold. But, Mike has 23 Gold Medals (listen to the video for how many races he entered to win them, sigh). Mike is a great guy!! #POSITIVITY pic.twitter.com/A4mqpRvU0l— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) November 19, 2023
The atmosphere was electric, with the three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished seventh in the race, and the ever-charismatic Fernando Alonso adding to the spectacle.
In a twist of fate, Verstappen's journey to victory was not without its challenges. Red Bull's Sergio Perez faced early setbacks, requiring front wing replacements. Not to mention Ferrari's Charles Leclerc making his best efforts to deny Red Bull the top spot.
Despite these hurdles, Verstappen overcame a five-second penalty early in the race, securing his 18th win and a bonus point for the fastest lap.
Poker and Racing Unite
Before the Grand Prix kicked off at 10 p.m., PokerStars' Red Spade Pass winners indulged in a delightful pre-race brunch at Alexxa's inside Paris Las Vegas Hotel Casino. The atmosphere was vibrant as winners sipped mimosas and espresso margaritas, mingling with poker personalities like Phil Hellmuth.
The Red Spade Pass winners, including Paul Hunn from New Zealand, winner of the PokerStars x Oracle Red Bull Racing VIP Invitational, enjoyed a feast that included massive buttermilk pancakes and savory huevos rancheros. The brunch set the stage for a day of poker and racing excitement, giving participants a chance to explore the famous Las Vegas Strip casino.
PokerStars Charity Event Drama
Back at Resorts World, the poker action heated up with a $200 buy-in PokerStars Charity event. The stakes were high, with two Red Bull VIP Suite tickets and a signed PokerStars x Oracle Red Bull Racing Las Vegas Grand Prix Wheel up for grabs. PokerStars commentators Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan were in the mix, alongside poker enthusiasts and former PokerNews employees Jesse Fullen and Connor Richards.
The highlight of the charity event was the heads-up battle between Connor Richards and Ronald Haverkamp from the Netherlands. Richards, aiming for back-to-back PokerNews victories, faced tough competition. The dramatic final hand saw Richards open-jamming with seven-five suited, only to be called by Haverkamp's ace-six. A seven on the flop gave Richards a momentary lead, but a rivered ace secured Haverkamp's victory for $1,440, VIP passes, and the coveted PokerStars Spade.
The Grand Finale in Abu Dhabi
As the poker drama unfolded, Max Verstappen's win in Las Vegas set the stage for the grand finale in Abu Dhabi. With the championship battle intensifying, every point matters.
In the end, Verstappen's triumph in the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix left an indelible mark, not only for racing enthusiasts but also for the poker community. As the cars zoomed past the iconic landmarks of the Las Vegas Strip, it was a night to remember, blending the adrenaline of Formula 1 with the strategic thrill of poker. The blend of these two worlds leaves fans eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this thrilling saga.