World Series of Poker tournament kicks off in Tunica, Miss. - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

World Series of Poker kicks off big in Tunica

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Ten-thousand poker players are in Tunica from around the country to participate in the World Series of Poker. Ten-thousand poker players are in Tunica from around the country to participate in the World Series of Poker.
TUNICA, MS -

(WMC-TV) – Revenue is down for casinos in Tunica, not only for the month of December, but for the entire year of 2013. But the World Series of Poker tournament is in town this weekend, which could be one of many events that may help turn things around.

Ten-thousand poker players are in Tunica from around the country to participate in the World Series of Poker.

"A lot of people come in from the outside in to big events like this," said poker player Will Adley. "I know it draws a lot of local people, but it draws a lot of players from the outside in as well."

Betting on the success of casinos in Mississippi was a gamble last year. December was one of the worst revenue months for casinos across the state. Organizers hope events like the WSOP will help stack up profits.

"It really put Tunica on the map, so I think poker is a great way to do that and it's a great way to start off the year," said Jesse Keaveny, Caesar's Entertainment.

Tunica was the choice place to play for many of the competitors for one reason.

"This place was actually more affordable, as far as coming down for the 12 days for the full event," said Chris Rizzo, who traveled to Tunica from Portland, Maine.

Local businesses hope the thousands of players go all-in when it comes to spending money in the community over the next few weeks.

As the tournament continues to garner national media attention, players say it is no wonder the games draw big crowds.

"I definitely would come down when something big like this is happening instead of just your normal run of the mill poker tournaments," said Lori Gray, who is in town from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Events on the circuit run through February 3 and there are new events that locals can register for at the casino each day.

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