Las Vegas’s Bellagio Hotel and Casino has announced that it will run an in-house poker series, the Bellagio Kickoff Classic, spanning 11 days during the Labor Day season. The Kickoff Classic will begin on August 31 and run through September 10, 2023.
The Bellagio Kickoff Classic is highlighted by a $3,500 main event that begins on September 7 and offers a $500,000 guarantee. The series in its entirety will offer more than $800,000 in prize-pool guarantees. The Kickoff Classic’s official schedule shows 12 numbered events, though three of those events are satellites on September 5 and September 6 that feed into the September 7 main event. The three satellites are also “milestone” satellites, where players must reach a milestone level of chips during satellite play, at which point they’ve then qualified for the main event.
Other elements of the Bellagio Kickoff Classic include two mystery-bounty tourneys, one each for no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. Four separate $600 NLH events are scattered throughout the series, while one Seniors event (ages 50 and up) and one $400 Turbo NLH event complete the Kickoff Classic’s offerings.
It’s been over four years since the Bellagio has hosted an in-house series, that being the Bellagio Cup in July of 2019. That hiatus is partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and partly due to a scaling back of poker tourneys being offered by the Bellagio even before the COVID pandemic hit.
The “O” had continued to be a home for its prominent World Poker Tour offering, the WPT Five Diamond World Classic. That prominent series has been one of the longest-running WPT festivals, and it last ran in October of 2022. However, the Bellagio Five Diamond stop does not appear on the WPT’s current slate of 2023 fall events.