Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 8:41 pm

Imperial Companies, a real estate company based out of New York City, purchased the Rio for $516.3 million from Caesars Entertainment. Imperial will lease back the Rio to Caesars for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Rio will continue to host the World Series of Poker through 2021.


Well it's official. The Imperial real estate junta swooped up the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. What will they do with it in two years is the big question. For now, the Rio stays where it is because Imperial is leasing it back to Caesars for $5 million per year.

In the meantime, the World Series of Poker will continue its business as usual... at least for the next two summers. The lease is good for two years so who knows what will happen at the end of 2021? The WSOP will stay at the Rio until it most likely migrates to Caesars new convention space.

Eric Birnbaum and Michael Fascitelli are the masterminds behind Imperial. In NYC real estate circles, they were involved in one of the Hudson Yards projects. Michael Fascitelli is a former Goldman Sachs bankster from their real estate floor. He's also a part-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.

That's where the rumors get weird. Wasn't a baseball stadium supposed to be built at the Rio? What the heck will an NBA guy want to do with MLB? Does that mean he's moving the Milwaukee Bucks to Vegas? Will the Greek Freak become a Vegas Freak?

Not so fast... there's plenty of rumors and speculation, so why not stir the pot some more.

The Sacramento Kings have been rumored to be going to Seattle for a while. For a hot minute, Anaheim almost snagged the Kings. But why not Vegas? The Vegas Kings sound pretty dope. They'd be in the same Pacific Division as the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.

The NBA would love to expand to Seattle but they'd need another team to even it out at 32 teams. Currently, there are 30 teams with 15 in each conference and broken up into 5-team divisions.

With 16 teams in each conference, there will have to be some reshuffling. First of all, divisions will either be expanded or contracted. You can have two divisions per conference with 8 teams in each division. Or you can go smaller and opt for a four-team division with four divisions per conference, similar to MLB or the NFL.

Since Seattle and Vegas are out West, one current team has to move East. The New Orleans Pelicans or the Minnesota Timberwolves are the obvious choices with Zion and NOLA getting the nod out East.

Pauly's Half-Baked NBA Expansion/Realignment


  • Northeast: Boston, Toronto, NY Knicks, Brooklyn
  • Mid-Atlantic: Philly, Washington, Charlotte, Cleveland
  • Central: Chicago, Indiana, Detroit, Milwaukee
  • Southeast: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans


  • Northwest: Portland, Seattle, Minnesota, Sacramento
  • Pacific: LAL, LAC, Las Vegas, Golden State
  • Southwest: Utah, Denver, Memphis, PHX
  • Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, OKC

As you can see, the Las Vegas expansion team would be automatic rivals with LeBron and the Lakers and Kawhi and the Clippers.

But let's say the NBA connection to the Rio is nothing but a dead end. There's still the MLB rumor. The baseball people know multiple franchises with horrible attendance that would love a new city and spanking new stadium. The Man would love to move teams to where fans will actually show up. Tampa, Detroit, and Miami are among the worst-attended games in MLB. Things are so bad in Tampa that the MLB is exploring splitting the season between Tampa and Montreal. That's silly, just move Tampa to Montreal and be done with the Rays.

As bad as the Big D might be, they'll never give up the Tigers. The Lions are up for debate, but the city of Detroit will cut everyone involved before they let the Tigers bounce... especially to Vegas.

Realignment is the problem. If a team wants to move to Las Vegas, it will be easiest of there's a western-based team involved, or at the least somewhere in the middle of the country. That means the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals are most likely teams to move to Sin City.

The KC Royals are up for sale and they used to be in the AL West so it's not too weird for them to swap, but they'd just leave them in the AL Central when one of the Texas teams should bounce over the AL Central.

The NL West seems the logical choice to target. Would the city of San Diego let their beloved Padres leave after the San Diego Chargers bailed for LA? The Las Vegas Padres as a nice ring to it. The most probable candidate are the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs already play under desert conditions, so it wouldn't be much of a change for them. Just that Vegas is waaaaay crazier than Phoenix.

Maybe Derek Jeter is pulling a move out of Major League and he's tanking on purpose so he can move the team to Las Vegas. But the Las Vegas Marlins sound weird. It should be the Scorpions or better yet, the Las Vegas Jeters. With the LV Jeters in the NL West, that means the Colorado Rockies would have the bad luck of moving to the NL Central. In return, the Pittsburgh Pirates would return to the NL East.

Latest news
Saturday February 4, 2023 at 7:35 pm
Aliaksandr Shylko wins 2023 PokerStars Players Championship for $3.1 million

Aliaksandr Shylko from Belarus shipped the second-ever PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) for a $3.1 million score after he worked out a three-way money chop with Germany's Max Menzel and Philipe Pizzari from Brazil. Nacho Barbero went deep in the 2023 PSPC with a fourth-place finish at Baha Mar in the Bahamas. Shylko outlasted 1,014 runners who generated a prize pool worth over $24.8 million

Wednesday January 25, 2023 at 6:21 pm
LAPT Returns: PokerStars brings back Latin American Poker Tour

After a seven-year layoff, PokerStars will relaunch the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). The LAPT returns to Brazil with a stop in Rio de Janeiro on March 2, 2023. There will be an event in Montevideo, Uruguay in April, plus two more events planned in Sao Paolo, Brazil in July and November. And there's other LAPT dates and locations that will be announced soon.

Thursday January 19, 2023 at 7:03 pm
PokerStars to Host Sunday Million 17th Anniversary on March 26

PokerStars wants you to save a special date on Sunday March 26, 2023. PokerStars s celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Sunday Million. Yes, the Sunday Milly turns 17 in March! The buy-in is only $215, and this year's celebration will have a $7.5 million guaranteed prize pool. This year's winner will bank at least $1 million. Germany's Blackbeaty won the Sunday Million's 16th anniversary special.

Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 11:11 pm
PokerStars Launches PSPC Online starting Jan 13

PokerStars will launch a special virtual version of the PokerStars Players Championship for American online poker players in New Jersey and Michigan with the PSPC Online. The special series runs from January 13 through Jan 30 on PokerStars for a combined player pool in New Jersey and Michigan. The PSPC Online has 85 events and a guaranteed prize pool worth $2.5 million. Oh, and there's a special PSPC Online for online grinders in the state of Pennsylvania as well with 72 events.

Friday December 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm
PokerStars announces new EPT Season with stops in Paris and Cyprus

PokerStars announced their 2023 live tournament events schedule for the European Poker Tour which includes five stops including two first-time destinations. The EPT kicks off in February 2023 with their EPT Paris debut. In the fall, the EPT heads to the EPT Cyprus for the first time. There's also usual stops at the EPT Monte-Carlo, EPT Barcelona, and the EPT Prague.

Monday November 28, 2022 at 11:17 pm
Win PokerStars Platinum Passes at Gotaga Poker Night or at Resorts World La Vegas

The Road to the PSPC continues. Here's your chance to snag a Platinum Pass to get a free trip to the Bahamas to play in the PokerStars Players Championship at Baha Mar Resort during the return of the PCA in January 2023. You can win a pass through a freeroll hosted by Gotaga, aka France's #1 Twitch streamer. Americans have a chance to win a Platinum Pass at a $400 buy-in tournament at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Thursday November 17, 2022 at 11:07 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Sweden's Omar Eljach wins Main Event for €1.38 million

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event at the King's Casino in Rozvadov has come to an end with Sweden's Omar Eljach edging out France's Jonathan Pastore to win the bracelet and €1.38 million in cash. The €10,350 buy-in affair attracted 763 runners. The final table also included Shaun Deeb, Barny Boatman, Alexandre Read, and Tim Adams.

Tuesday November 15, 2022 at 2:12 am
2022 WSOPE: Turkey's Orpen Kisacikoglu wins €50K Diamond High Roller

Orpen Kisacikoglu from Turkey won his first bracelet with a victory in the World Series of Poker Europe Event #11 €50,000 Diamond High Roller at the King's Casino in Rozvadov. Kisacikoglu won €748K and outlasted a stacked final table that included Sam Grafton, Shaun Deeb, Nick Petrangelo, Timothy Adams, Daniel Pidin, and Daniel Dvoress. Last week, Paul Phua secured his first bracelet with a victory in WSOPE Event #8 €25,000 Platinum High Roller for a €482,433 score.

Friday November 4, 2022 at 8:12 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Anson Tsang Ships Event #4 €2,000 PLO

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe is underway at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, and Yan Shing 'Anson' Tsang was the last player standing in 2022 WSOP Europe Event #4 €2,000 PLO to win €95,461 and his third-career bracelet. Tsang outlasted a final table that included Tomasz Gluszko, Shawn Stroke, Dario Alioto, Oswin Ziegelbecker, Vivian Saliba, Farid Jattin, Pavel Izotov, and Jorryt van Hoof.

Saturday October 8, 2022 at 5:44 pm
Daniel Negreanu wins 2022 Super high Roller Bowl for $3.3 Million

After whiffing in numerous high rollers, Daniel Negreanu outlasted 23 runners to win the $300,000 buy-in 2022 Super High Roller Bowl VII in Las Vegas. Negreanu banked $3.3 million for the victory, which marked the second-highest payout of his illustrious career. Negreanu edged out a final four at the SHRB VII that included Nick Petrangelo, Justin Bonomo, and Andrew Lichtenberger.

Thursday September 15, 2022 at 8:20 pm
Punnat Punsri wins Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event

Thai pro Punnat Punsri banked over $2.6 million with a huge score at the 2022 Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel in Cyprus. The Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event attracted 99 runners to the $100,000 buy-in high roller event. Punsri defeated Wayne Heung heads-up for the title. The final table also included Jason Koon, Artur Martirosian, Wiktor Malinowski, Henrik Hecklen, and Gregoire Auzoux.

Tuesday August 30, 2022 at 12:33 am
2022 WCOOP runs September 4-28 on PokerStars with $85M guarantees

Get ready for the 2022 World Championship of Online Poker (WSOOP) on PokerStars starting this upcoming Sunday, September 4 and running through 28. The 2022 WCOOP has 104 events across three buy-in tiers and includes $85 million in prize pools. The 2022 WCOOP Main Event aka Event #92-High has a $10,300 price tag with a $6 million guarantee. There's also the first-ever Women's Event in WCOOP history.

Friday August 5, 2022 at 3:39 pm
2022 WSOP Europe set for October 26 with 15 bracelet events

Yes, the 2022 World Series of Poker returns to the King's Casino in Rozvadov aka RozVegas in the Czech Republic which includes 15 bracelet events from October 26 to November 16. The WSOP-Circuit also continues its 2022-23 season with 10 international stops including the King's Casino along with stops in Aruba, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Holland, Uruguay, Canada, Morocco, and St. Maarten.

Free tournaments and added prizes

The Club Poker organizes freerolls and special tournaments with added prizes.
To qualify for free, register on our poker partners websites:

Tournaments Club Poker
Big Poker League
today at 8:04 pm
$125 added
Big Poker League
Thursday February 16, 2023 at 8:04 pm
$125 added
Big Poker League
Thursday February 23, 2023 at 8:04 pm
$125 added