The third event of the second season of the Hollywood Poker Open (HPO) is now in progress at the Penn National Race Course at Grantville in Pennsylvania. The $1,800 buy-in HPO Regional Main Event is just round the corner and PokerNews will cover the event live.
Recently, Brett Collson, poker journalist for PokerNews, interviewed Bill Bruce, the director of HPO. When asked about how he got associated with the HPO, Bruce said that he was asked to recruit additional staff as two Penn Gaming properties were planning to organize 10-day poker festivals, including promotions to help players qualify for a final championship tournament at the Las Vegas based M Resort last year.
Speaking on how the series was expanded to include a number of regional stops, he said: “The event at the M was so well received by the players. There was an enormous amount of requests for more HPO tournaments at more locations.”
Stating that “it is fantastic to have Chris on board with the HPO brand,” he said that he couldn’t have asked for a better name to be associated with the HPO. Further talking about how wonderful it is to have Chris Moneymaker as the brand ambassador, he said, “Chris really takes his role seriously, and it’s been a pleasure to have him promoting the stops and committing to playing in the Regionals. It should signal to the players that Penn Gaming and the Hollywood Poker Open are serious about poker.”
When asked about his job, he said that most of his time is spent on organizing, planning, and coordinating the regional events. Bruce also said that his job includes hiring the required staff, coordinating with various state gambling commissions, training, budget planning, auditions, and so on.
Last year, over 200 poker players qualified for the final HPO championship tournament at various Penn Gaming properties in the country. Bruce said that he expects more players to qualify this year as they are running qualifiers at most Hollywood and Penn Gaming properties. This year, the regional series will be held at six places and they will include a number of promos such as leader board races.
Speaking about the biggest advantages of HPO tournament structures, he said, “The HPO Regionals have 60-minute levels, 20,000-chip starting stacks, and every level imaginable. Players can find a copy of each structure on the HPO website.”
Players can also find the complete schedule at the official website of the HPO.