After an exciting week of preparation, which included the unveiling of PokerStars-Hubcaps that say “Poker Chip” and an RB19 car hanging from the ceiling Omnia nightclubThe F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas began Thursday evening with two training sessions around the Las Vegas Strip.
The highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix got off to a rocky start as the first practice session was postponed after just 8 minutes Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr crashed into a drain cover and severely damaged his multi-million dollar vehicle.
Still, there were plenty of highlights on the opening night of the Formula 1 celebrations, including the PokerStars x Oracle Red Bull Racing VIP Invitational at Resorts World Las Vegas Celebrities were also seen in it Simpsons Voice actor Hank Azaria and CEO of Red Bull Racing Christian Horner.
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Red Spade Pass winner outperforms next gen
The mood was good and there was plenty of laughter at the celebrity-filled VIP Invitational, one of the tournaments held that same evening as a PokerStars charity event at the Resorts World Poker Room Dylan Erks Winning the coveted PokerStars Spade.
PokerStars commentators Joe Stapleton And James Hartigan Hosted the VIP event, which featured various racing personalities and the aforementioned Azaria, who spoke poker lingo in his classic Moe Szyslak style to the delight of his overwhelmed tablemates.
The PokerStars crew was also out in full force Maria Ho, Maria Konnikova, Parker Talbot, Arlie Shaban and that Next generation poker Guys all getting in on the VIP action. The next generation Jack hit the railing next door PokerNews’ own Chad Holloway in a double knockout shortly after the event was reduced to two tables.
Jack’s next generation comrade, Frankiehad a better run and found himself heads-up against him Paul HenA Red Spade Pass The winner who defeated the poker vlogger went on to win a racing suit signed by Red Bull Sergio Perez.
“It’s great to win,” Hunn said PokerNews after the victory. “I’m really excited about everything. Great experience.”
The New Zealand native, who said he mostly plays “a bit of online and pub poker,” was also pleased with his Red Spade Pass victory that took him to Las Vegas for the spectacular race weekend.
“It was unreal to win that,” he said. “At first I didn’t believe it, but now it’s amazing and definitely real.”
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F1 Las Vegas finds its footing
After the VIP Invitational, Resorts World attendees and thousands of others in Las Vegas headed to the track in anticipation of the first F1 practice session.
Around 8 p.m. on the cool fall evening in Las Vegas, the roar of several million-dollar racing cars could be heard across the track as spectators enthusiastically cheered on the driver of their choice.
That excitement turned to confusion after just a few minutes when the Jumbotron displayed the message “Race Control: Meeting will not continue” as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. pulled to the side of the track.
“I can’t explain why they don’t want to send the cars out again despite what appears to be a perfectly operational track,” one commentator noted.
“The engine appears to have been a quick, unscheduled disassembly,” another commenter added. “You saw some sparks on the backstretch.”
Not long after, Formula 1 announced on social media that “a concrete frame around a manhole cover had failed during FP1,” causing significant damage to Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari.
“The FIA will begin reviewing all other coverage across the circuit,” the announcement said. “Any scheduling changes will be announced in due course.”
With several hours until FP2, participants indulged in a range of complementary food options and checked out the F1 simulator as music blared and lights flashed across the racing area.
Participants in the race with PokerStars and Red Bull Racing, including Ho, Stapleton and Hartigan, kept the party going before FP2 was pushed back from midnight to 2am before it was announced that practice would take place without fans in attendance.
After a smooth but fanless FP2 that ran late into the morning in Las Vegas, eager fans are certainly ready for the start of FP3 on Friday at 8:30pm local time ahead of the qualifying race at midnight.
PokerNews is on site and will continue to provide updates on the Las Vegas Grand Prix and all surrounding festivities. Check out poker players and cryptocurrency investors Wesley Feis A suite on the Las Vegas Strip now costs $400,000 per night.