GM of Toronto’s latest casino-resort: “WSOP helps put us on the map”

Home » GM of Toronto’s latest casino-resort: “WSOP helps put us on the map”

The World Series of Poker is an effective way to help put a new casino on the map.

Not that the new Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto needs any more public relations. Adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack, it’s a massive property, with  328,000 square feet of gaming space, 4,800 slot machines, 175 live table games, VIP rooms, dedicated poker rooms, and sports-betting kiosks. The property also features a new 400-room hotel and a 5,000-seat entertainment venue.

The casino in late March hosted the inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit Event, the first of its kind in Toronto and the largest international WSOP Circuit Main Event of this season, with more than 6,000 poker players descending on the casino over 11 days. The total tournament prize pool was $5.5 million, exceeding the initial estimate of $3.9 million, according to a statement from Great Canadian.

For Robert Katsavelos, General Manager of the Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, the power of the WSOP brand turned out to be a great promotional tool for the new casino.

“The WSOP brand is world renowned and the leader amongst the poker community,” he told CDC Gaming Reports.  “We’re incredibly proud to have collaborated with GG Poker and hosted a WSOP circuit event here on site.  We’ve done so within seven months of opening up our poker room.  It demonstrates what kind of draw our property has and suggests even bigger things to come.”

Khaled Aljoma, from Burlington, claimed the WSOP Championship Ring in the Main Event, taking home $427,191 in winnings. Aljoma works as a mechanic Monday through Friday. Toronto native Daniel Negreanu also participated in the Main Event, finishing in the money in 230th place.

“I’ve been playing WSOP events around the world for over 25 years and there’s something quite special about being able to finally compete in one in my hometown,” he said in a statement.

Katsavelos said to look for more WSOP events. “We can confidently state the event greatly surpassed our initial expectations. We had nearly double the number of participants we projected and sold out six of the eight events two weeks prior to kickoff. We received great reviews and comments from our players. We endeavour to host more WSOP events on site. Stay tuned.”

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