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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis


The 2010 Daytime Emmy Awards Red Carpet at the Las Vegas Hilton - Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwLUfPETVQc

Brandon Harper Won WSOP Seat

For every player in the World Series of Poker, the WSOP, there’s a back story.  Some saved for years for their seats.  For others, it’s petty cash to put in the $10,000 entry fee to compete against the world’s best poker players.

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Brandon Harper won his seat in the main event.  A resident of Antioch, California, Brandon sat down at the computer to play in a $200 satellite game on Full Tilt.com. He never imagined that the decision would bring him to Las Vegas and the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.  One thing for sure, no matter how he places, Brandon will be a life-long lover of Full Tilt Poker, an on-line poker site.

It was the day of the Rashad Evan and Rampage Jackson UFC event and Brandon and his wife Farrah were having company.  Not just company, about 40 people.

“I hopped into the $200 Tournament. There were only 81 players.  Well,” he said, “one thing led to another. The fight was starting. Forty people including kids were in my house.  The tournament went from 80 to 50 to 40 players and I ‘m still there.  I’m still alive.”

Brandon admits he wasn’t as focused as he usually is when playing on line. “It was so  effortless.  I kept catching good hands, doubling up.”  A few more players were knocked out. The next thing he knew, there were only three players remaining.

“I got it!”, he told me.  “I even knocked out a pro.”  Brandon later googled her player name and discovered that she is Svetlana Gromenkova, formerly of Moscow and now living in the US. She has listed total winnings of $429,984 and has one WSOP bracelet. With five WSOP cash finishes.  She plays only at Full Tilt Poker.

More important than beating one pro, that win earned Brandon the entry into the famed World Series of Poker.  When I met him last Sunday, he told me, “I’m still alive after two full days.” He started in a field of 7319 and said they were, at that point, down to 2557.

I asked him if he had a strategy.  “I play a very patient game.  I fold a lot.  And I try to relax.”  As the game continues, he knows that he’ll have to be more aggressive.

I asked him if he had any plans for the money if he should win. “If I make $20,000 to $30,000 I’ll use it to pay off some debts.  If it’s over $100,000, I’ll buy a new car for my wife Farrah.”

Brandon couldn’t praise Full Tilt highly enough.  “I’m so impressed with Full Tilt, the way they treated us, comping rooms, giving us spending money.” Brandon and Farrah’s children, Devanie and Nicholas are fans as well since they got some perks of their own.

Just before publication, I spoke with Brandon again and he regretfully was knocked out when his pair of Queens lost to quad 6’s.  But Brandon had a great experience and has only high praise for Full Tilt Poker.

When it comes to next year’s WSOP, he used a quote that we’ve heard before when he told me that one way or another, “I’ll be back.”

 

Greg London Brings Talent and Fun to Strip

Greg London’s Icons stars a personable talented entertainer who is now where he wants  to be – on the Las Vegas Strip. London has moved his critically acclaimed show into the Mardi Gras Showroom at the Riviera Hotel after two and a half years at Harrah’s in Reno.

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Impressionists come and go in Sin City, but I expect this one to stay well beyond his one year contract.  The subjects of his impressions are fairly standard, including Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Dean Martin, and Louis Armstrong.

His ZZ Top was delightful and William Shatner was out of this world. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)  Then he paired Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias.

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But wait, how many impressionists do you know who put together Ozzie Osburne and Kermit. It’s not surprising to learn that this charming multi-talented performer was voted Nevada Magazine’s 2009 Entertainer of the Year.

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Greg’s back up dancers, Amy Geldhof, Christine Richards and Sarah Jessica Rhodes, add the pre-requisite eye candy, but are refreshingly all American types.  London’s life story acts as the thread which takes us along his more than three dozen impressions, His guitarist Danny Leoni brings an additional comic touch to the act.

Along with Barry Manilow, Sammy Davis, and Neal Diamond, no impressionist in Vegas can dare to forget Elvis.  Don’t worry, Greg London will give you Elvis with Satisfaction.

When I spoke with Greg after his show, he told me that, “I never planned on being an impressionist.”  His grandfather was a trumpet player in West End shows in London, and Greg planned to follow in his footsteps.  Lucky for us, he realized his true calling and found his way to the Vegas strip.

Greg was thrilled when the Queen Victoria Pub opened in the Riviera with a menu which includes many traditional English dishes.  Fans will be able to find him there most nights after the show.  He looks forward to chatting with the fans there as he enjoys a taste London home where he lived for some time.

Greg loves doing impressions, but ultimately, he says, “I’m a singer who does a show about impressions.”  What’s his dream, I asked.  “To be successful, “ he said, “to be the next great entertainer.

Greg London wants people to know that down at the end of the strip is a darn good show that will appeal to all ages.  “Greg London’s ICONS - Entertaining the World One Impression at a Time” runs Wednesday – Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Mardi Gras Showroom at The Riviera (2901 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, Nevada). Regular ticket prices are $39.99, $59.99 (preferred seating) and $69.99 (VIP) before applied discounts. All prices are base plus tax and fee. For more information, call The Riviera Box Office toll free at (877) 892-7469 or visit www.rivierahotel.com

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