Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Hilton Sister Hosts New Year's Poker Tournament Bash

Nicky Hilton, the less visible of the Hilton “celebutantes,” and her boyfriend, actor Kevin Connolly helped break in the new poker room at Caesars Palace on New Year's Eve.

The pair co-hosted a poker tournament as part of the New Year's festivities at Pure, Caesars flagship nightclub, while Nicky's sister, Paris, was hosting her own “to do” across the street at the Venetian.

The Hilton affair didn't attract much of a Hollywood presence, interestingly enough. As far as professional poker clout is concerned, however, a significant delegation was present.

Big names included Mike Matusow, winner of the 2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions, 2004 WSOP main event runner-up David Williams, back-to-back WSOP bracelet-winner Scott Fischman, pro poker spouses Chip and Karina Jett, Joe Awada, Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, Evelyn Ng, Cyndy Violette, John Phan, as well as celebrity poker couple Jennifer Tilly and boyfriend Phil “Unabomber” Laak.

All in all, 92 players entered the tournament. Although she didn't win the tournament, the Hilton heiress reportedly put up a good fight, lasting over two hours into the competition, and making it further than some of the pros.

This is not Ms. Hilton's first foray into the gritty yet glamorous world of poker. Hilton is a regular at celebrity poker shindigs. Readers may recall Hilton's crash-and-burn Vegas nuptials, circa 2004.

Nicky and sister Paris were actually in Las Vegas that weekend for a celebrity poker tournament hosted by “Stuff” magazine. Hilton and Connolly were also in attendance at Doyle Brunson's recent player appreciation party, joining Leonardo DiCaprio, Charles Oakley and others.

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