The gaming series King of Vegas was a competitive survival show that had caught attention among the audience for its unique games and player participants (both professional and amateur). Aired in January 2006, the show was hosted by boxing commentator Max Kellerman and handicapper Wayne Allyn and broadcasted on Spike TV.
The series involved 8 different games ranging from blackjack, poker, baccarat to Texas Hold ‘Em, and roulette with participants who were either professional players or dealers or amateurs belonging to different professions.
This show is excellent for you if you a fan of standalone operators, those sites offer umteen entertaining games and regularly run events for their players. The series ended with TV and radio producer Alan Borman winning the coveted title of the King of Vegas and a suitcase full of $1,00,000 after defeating Jerry Goldberg at the last deathmatch.
Arrangement of the Game
With a cast of 12 players and 8 games, the King of Vegas had a starkly different arrangement compared to other tournaments or survival shows. A set of 4 episodes a week was broadcasted and the series continued airing for 10 weeks. The series consisted of different games including blackjack, poker, mini-baccarat, roulette, craps, red dog, stud poker, and much more.
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The money allotment consisted of $10,000 chips given to each player to bet with and a tight limit of 1 hour per game along with lesser rounds, dubbing it a game of swiftness and wit.
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The players, all of them recruited by the producers, were all of different ages and professions, among whom 6 belonged to everyday professions and 6 were pros in their category of games. The 6 inexperienced players had to go against the experts in each game.
The elimination consisted of one contestant being sent home at the end of each week till there was one winner remaining at the end. In general, the game was divided into rounds where the player would be deemed safe if they doubled the amount given to them in chips.
The victors of each round get the option to be safe that week and the defeated move on to the next round till the 4th round where finally the one in the last position that week is chosen to be sent home. This process of rounds continued every week till only one remained to claim the position of the King.
Apart from the elimination system, there was a system to ensure safety for the week by earning the highest scores and being qualified for “Sitting Pretty”, to escape from elimination.
Although the arrangement was maintained more or less throughout the series, it changed slightly when the number of players dwindled to 6. All players would now need to partake in the games despite their performances that week.
The original $10,000 chips are given to all players but only one who has the highest number of chips could be declared safe, the rest would have a deathmatch. The one with the lowest number of chips would be dropped in this case without more rematches. The two remaining players would then battle it out for $1,00,000 and the titular King of Vegas name.
Players and Games
A total of 12 people were the contestants of this survival series, hailing from either renowned gaming backgrounds or day-to-day jobs. Some of the contestants also belonged to the world of media. The central idea behind this show was to have a face-off between experts and beginners, to see how they fared against each other.
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This show is quite informative and may be accompanied by other instructive gaming movies. The tables turned in favor of the beginners was quite sensational to the audience as it happened with Alan Borman, a rookie in the world of gaming who managed to defeat the retiree player Jerry Goldberg (though he was still considered a rookie player).
The central feature of the game also included the factor of unpredictability as most of the players who advanced to the later round were mostly amateur players. This was an added spice to the already mysterious outcomes.
The professional players included Ken Einiger, Mike Matusow, Evelyn Ng, Stann, David Williams, and Joanna Wlodawer – all of them being trained poker and blackjack players.
The amateurs included Alan Borman, Steve Dempsey, Jerry Goldberg, Todd Haushalter, Gerald Brandon Fanning, Katie Porrello, and Josh MacDonald – mostly being teachers or plumbers or students or TV producers and some having connections to the gaming world.
The games included Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Horse Racing, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog, Roulette, and Texas Hold ‘Em.
Most of the rounds included blackjack and poker which may have facilitated the trained players but most of them did not benefit from the rounds of these games. With $10,000 chips as a starting bid, the ones who lost that sum were eliminated had to return home empty-handed.
Overview of the Rounds
The 10 weeks had 10 different rounds, each round held through a week. The first round involved different games of blackjack, poker, and roulette and 4 rounds including the deathmatch which was between Katie and Joanna. Joanna lost to Katie and was the first to be eliminated.
The next week featured round 2 with games of blackjack, red dog, and craps. Jerry and Todd ended up facing each other in the death round where Jerry turned out to be the winner. The 3rd round had Katie eliminating Ken from the show by winning the deathmatch.
This round involved blackjack, mini-baccarat, and craps. The 4th round had games of blackjack, Horse Racing, and Pai Gow Poker and the deathmatch between Evelyn and Mike resulted in Evelyn’s win.
Round 5 blackjack, red dog, and roulette. The deathmatch involved Katie and Gerald, both rookies, where Katie won the game with her usual streak. By now, the probability of professionals sweeping the prize had changed in the show, the rookie players turn out to be able to keep up with the experts with ease, as seen from these rounds.
The expectations for the game to have a predictable result had shifted drastically. Rounds 7, 8, and 9 had games of blackjack, poker, roulette, horse racing, red dog, and baccarat where Steve, Evelyn, and Katie are eliminated respectively.
The 9th round featured the last four standing- Alan, Dave, Jerry, and David. Dave was eliminated by Alan in the deathmatch. The last three players- Alan, Jerry, and David moved to week 10 and the last round of King of Vegas, the round featuring the classic blackjack, roulette, mini-baccarat.
David lost in this round for not having adequate chips leaving Jerry and Alan to face off at the end. After an intense deathmatch, Alan emerged victorious at the end, claiming the title of King of Vegas and the prize of $1,00,000 while Jerry received a cane at the end.
Why You Should Watch King of Vegas
The reason is simple, for entertainment. King of Vegas as a TV show is one of rule-breaking, unpredictability, and fun, where players can experience the thrill of gaming without investing their own bucks. There is no loss involved and winning may get you a whopping amount of $1,00,000 just by playing regular games.
The best part of the series lies in the chance each and every participant gets despite their backgrounds. The result of the rounds makes it clear how amateur players can also have a chance at winning fair and square. Viewers can therefore feel the thrill of the game unbiasedly.