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Sometimes, no matter how much preparation and anticipation go into an event, things don’t work out the way we plan.

Such was the case with the opening of Phil Ivey’s poker room, hosted by the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The initial event, a $1,000,000 Freeroll was attended by some of the biggest names in the game. Chino Rheem, a member of the 2008 WSOP’s Main Event Final Table, took home an extra $100,000 bounty for taking out Ivey.

Not to be outshone, however, the room’s namesake did manage to defend his home court. Part of the freeroll prize package was an immediate $250,000 heads-up battle with the night’s host, in which Ivey triumphed over Larry Linton.

“I love Aria,” said Ivey, “and I’m looking forward to playing here regularly. It’s my new No. 1 in Las Vegas, and I think my room will bring the same kind of magic to the game that the hotel itself has to the Strip.”

The room itself has all of the trappings players will need for a high stakes poker hangout: One table, a single 42” flat-screen TV, and immediate access to the cashier’s cage (and their 480 safe deposit boxes). Among its other amenities are 24-hour tableside dining, which will provide players with almost everything they need for an extended session.

The guest list sported a veritable who’s-who of the game, with names like Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Johnny Chan, Erick Lindgren, Jennifer Tilly, and Phil Laak (who apparently raved over the croissants), just to name a few.

So, congratulations to Phil Ivey, who seemed genuinely honored by the event. His rise to poker stardom has been well documented, coming up from nothing to become the best player in the game.