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King of Vegas

Spike TV Gambling Reality Show - King of Vegas

First airing on Spike TV on January 17th, 2006, King of Vegas was a gambling competition where players competed in a variety of different games to win a million dollars. It was hosted by former ESPN boxing guru Max Kellerman and co-hosted by respected handicapper Wayne Allen Root, who provided commentary and odds for each match. The tournament director was Matt Savage, who was best known for his work with the World Series of Poker.

The show featured twelve contestants, each carefully selected by the show's producers. Six of the competitors were professional gamblers of some kind, while the other six were amateurs who has never competed on the professional circuit. One player was eliminated each week, going home with nothing for their troubles.

The players were:

  • Ken Einiger, respected tournament blackjack player.
  • Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, a poker player who more than lives up to his nickname.
  • Evelyn Ng, poker player.
  • "Hollywood" Dave Stann, tournament blackjack player and the "undisputed bad boy of blackjack."
  • David Williams, poker player.
  • Joanna Wlodawer, blackjack player.
  • Alan Borman, producer of TV and radio commercials.
  • Jerry Goldberg, retiree.
  • "The Chainsaw" Steve Dempsey, plumber.
  • Todd Haushalter, casino administrator.
  • Brandon "Big Boy" Newsome, college graduate.
  • Katie Porrello, professional card dealer.

King of Vegas included competition in eight different areas of gambling, which were broken up into four games per week, always starting and ending with a game of No Limit Texas Hold 'Em. The games included:

  • Roulette
  • Red Dog
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Horse Racing
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Mini-Baccarat
  • Caribbean Stud Poker

When a new game started, each player received a fresh set of $10,000 in chips (the format of the show changed slightly as players were eliminated, but the $10,000 remained until the final show). All games were played with limited hands/rounds to fit the show's one hour time slot, and there were no limits on the amount of money that could be wagered on a single hand.

By scoring high enough, players could earn the right to go the "Sitting Pretty" couch, meaning they were safe from elimination that week. The show would close with a four-player "Texas Hold 'Em Death Match," and the first two players to bust would move to a sudden-death match, with the loser being eliminated from the tournament.

When only three competitors were left on the show, the Sitting Pretty seats were discontinued. Instead, the player with the lowest chip count was eliminated from the tournament after the first three games, and the remaining two players duked it out in a Texas Hold 'Em Death Match with $500,000 in chips each.

The contestants were eliminated in the following order:

  • Joanna Wlodawer
  • Todd Haushalter
  • Ken Einiger
  • Mike "The Mouth" Matusow
  • Brandon "Big Boy" Newsome
  • "The Chainsaw" Steve Dempsey
  • Evelyn Ng
  • Katie Porrello
  • "Hollywood" Dave Stann
  • David Williams
  • Jerry Goldberg

Which left Alan Borman as the last man standing and the 2006 King of Vegas. He received a see-through suitcase filled with one-million dollars, as well as a new cane to commemorate his never-say-die attitude. As the episode ended, a waitress soaked his trademark shirt in champagne and he celebrated his incredible win.

Be sure to also visit our recaps from the World Series of Blackjack:

World Series of Blackjack Episode Recaps, by Season
WSOB Season 1 Recaps
WSOB Season 2 Recaps
WSOB Season 3 Recaps
WSOB Season 3 Recaps Part 2
WSOB Season 4 Recaps
WSOB Season 4 Recaps Part 2 and 3

You might also be interested in these episodes of The Ultimate Blackjack Tour:

Index of Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode Recaps
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 1 - September 16, 2006
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 2 - September 23, 2006
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 3 - September 30, 2006
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 4 - October 14, 2006
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 5 - November 4, 2006
Ultimate Blackjack Tour Episode 6 - November 18, 2006
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