The World Series of Golf: Best of golf and poker returns to Las Vegas

By William K. Wolfrum, Contributor

"For any golfer who's ever said 'I'd bet anything that I can make this shot,' now is his chance to prove it," said Terry Leiweke, president of the World Series of Golf.

World Series of Golf - Las Vegas
With big money on the line, every shot counts at the World Series of Golf in Las Vegas.
World Series of Golf - Las VegasMark EwingWorld Series of Golf

Combining the skill of golf with the white-knuckle betting of Texas Hold 'Em poker, the World Series of Golf is returning to Las Vegas May 12-15 at the Paiute Golf Resort. Up to 125 amateur golfers - including some of the biggest names in poker - will compete for the top prize of $250,000 on CBS Sports.

"The World Series of Golf is a completely new way to experience the game of golf. It demands skill on the links, betting savvy and nerves of steel," Leiweke said.

The World Series of Golf uses its patent-pending style of play that allows golfer-gamblers to make high stakes bets on every shot of the tournament. Using a system similar to poker, players must ante up before teeing off at each hole. Depending on the outcome of the tee shots, the player can then raise, call, check or fold on subsequent shots, with the winner of each hole collecting the pot. The end result of such a unique playing and betting system makes proper wagering as big or a bigger factor than actual play. The winner of each group moves onto the next round until the thrilling final round, where the second World Series of Golf champion will earn his quarter-million-dollar payoff.

Last year's exciting inaugural event saw Mark Ewing, a 31-year-old day trader, take out poker pros Phil Ivey and Rhett Butler to take home the winning prize of $250,000 in an event watched by more than 2 million people on NBC Sports. Expect more of the same in 2008, as golfers and poker stars fight their nerve and each other in golf's most groundbreaking event.

Leiweke said that he expects to see strategy playing a much bigger part in the action this year, with returning players learning from the 2007 experience.

"Last year, nobody had ever played our format in an organized event," said Leiweke. "I think 30 guys have played this event last year. Those 30 guys have a much better sense as far as the strategy."

He added that the second World Series of Golf will also benefit from last year's tournament, as the coverage on CBS Sports will focus more on player personalities.

"Last year we struggled a little with whether we were a golf show or a reality show," said Leiweke. "We expect A little better pacing and a little more about the characters playing and - let me tell you - we have characters."

Spots are waiting at the "table" for the World Series of Golf, where your caddie is also your financial adviser, as registration is now open at with a final field pegged at 125.

The buy-in is $10,000, but players can immediately recoup that by making it past the first stage. Not only will participants at the World Series of Golf receive the competitive thrill of a lifetime, but they'll also be ensconced in luxury over the weekend, with a VIP stay at The Mirage Hotel & Casino. Registration will also ensure players are involved in a host of other tournament events and perks, like an opening night pairings party, transportation to and from the course, special entertainment and a closing night awards banquet.

You don't have to be a low-handicapper to take the big prize, as each registrant will have their game tested to ensure proper handicaps and an even playing field.

For More Information

The World Series of Golf
Phone: (702) 740-1740

William K. WolfrumWilliam K. Wolfrum, Contributor

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • World Series of Golf

    John wrote on: Apr 24, 2008

    I had a chance to play this format earlier this week, and I have to say it was the most captivating round of golf I have ever played!!!!!


    • RE: World Series of Golf

      steve wrote on: Jun 28, 2009

      The golf course is terrible it is one big wind tunnel, you cannot play a normal round of golf there because of the constant wind gusts