Elise Amendola/The Associated Press
Friday, Aug. 12, 2011 | 9:27 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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It will be the tennis event of the decade that no enthusiast of the sport will want to miss, and, with fiery John McEnroe competing against arch-nemesis and our hometown hero Andre Agassi, an attraction to bring in fans and tourists from around the world.
The Champion Tennis Series also featuring Pete Sampras and Michael Chang is the brainchild of Las Vegas resident Daren Libonati of the Justice Entertainment Group with longtime Las Vegas PR executives Steve Flynn and Ken Langdon, formerly with Caesars Entertainment.
It takes place Oct. 15 at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center that Daren used to head up. Daren also will present the largest soccer event in Las Vegas history, the Winter Kick, that will star the New York Cosmos at Sam Boyd Stadium next February.
Don’t for a minute think this is going to be aces and overhead smashes from a bunch of creaky veterans! Andre told me at the white party grand opening of Club Nikki/Nikki Beach at the Tropicana Las Vegas: “There’s some lingering issues from all those years of playing, but when you get back out on the court, you forget all the pain and just go for it with the best performance possible.”
*Upcoming events: Basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman returns next weekend to celebrate his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame with a huge party at Club Nikki/Nikki Beach, and talk show host Jerry Springer brings America’s Got Talent winner Michael Grimm and other fan favorites to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace from Oct. 28-30, the only dates in the U.S.
*Clarification: In our story yesterday about mermaid Hannah Fraser’s premiere of her new underwater swimming with the sharks” movie I wrote that it was filmed in 3D. It was -- but I need to clarify that the regular version of the film will be shown at this weekend’s World Mermaid Awards and Convention at the Silverton, as there are no 3D glasses or screens at the casino lodge.
*The second annual Las Vegas Dancing With the Stars challenge is Sunday at the Palms benefiting five cancer charities. Peepshow knockout Cheaza competes against Paris hypnotic headliner Anthony Cools, country singer Adam Tucker (Tim McGraw at the Golden Nugget) and Channel 13 weathercaster Ashlee De Martino, with local dance duke Tony Delgado as chairman of the judges panel. My pals Chet Buchanan and Stephanie McKenzie host, and The Rat Pack Is Back performs. For more details, go to DancingWiththeLasVegasStars.com.
*With almost daily breaking news in the political arena, there has been ever-increasing interest in mentalist The Amazing Kreskin’s prediction made two weeks ago as to who will be the Republican candidate and the presidential winner. I am one of the four people, including Jimmy Kimmel, selected to guard that prediction and have it locked away in a steel vault box until November 2012. Kreskin returns to Monday morning’s Fox & Friends to talk more about his predictions.
*Play resumed today at 2 p.m. in the Palms after a dramatic third day in the debut Epic Poker League Main Event. At stake is the $1 million cash prize with Huck Seed, Gavin Smith, David Rheem, Hasan Habib, Erik Seidel and Jason Mercier still in contention.
*More than 1,000 top magicians from around the globe arrive here this weekend for the four-day Magic Live world convention at the Orleans, and the biggest names of the Las Vegas conjuring community will welcome them. There will be magic shows, showbiz speakers and a tradeshow. Ed Alonzo, Dirk Arthur, Kevin Burke, Nathan Burton, Joseph Gabriel, Mac King and Jeff McBride are among the hometown heroes presenting or performing.
*Congratulations to Daniel Diaz Lanser from Barcelona, Spain, on becoming the 300,000th guest at CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand. Marg Helgenberger and George Eads sent autographed photos and CSI memorabilia to the lucky kid.
*Congratulations to the executives and staff of the Venetian and Palazzo this morning on being awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond for the fifth and third consecutive years, respectively. To celebrate, the resorts are hosting a Five Day, Five Diamond Scavenger Hunt from Aug. 22-26 ,with guests and visitors searching for the day’s hidden diamond to win prizes.
*Congratulations to Bill Feather, president of Planet Hollywood Worldwide, on his son Cameron’s Outstanding Actor Award at Stage Door Manor, the prestigious acting academy in upstate New York where alumni include Natalie Portman, Mandy Moore, Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Cryer. Cameron, who returns home to Vegas after his summer back East, won for his song and dance performance in Chicago Gypsies.
*You’ll find our Weekend Celebrity Preview posted earlier today on Vegas DeLuxe, but a few late notes: Tyga performs tonight at Jet as it nears the end of its epic run on Labor Day weekend. … Kaci Battaglia performs tomorrow at the Beatles Revolution Lounge in the Mirage. … Santana lead singer Andy Vargas takes on DJ duties at Gold Lounge in Aria. … And our favorite nightlife commentator Jack Colton celebrates his birthday at The Bank in the Bellagio on Sunday.
*Congratulations to Academy Award nominees Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, who celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary this weekend as they perform in Lovers & Other strangers at the Suncoast on a pre-Broadway tour. It’s the first time they’ve revived the show about their 46-year love story since its successful debut on Broadway in 1968.
*The best bantamweight boxer in the world will emerge tomorrow night when Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko and Abner Mares clash in The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Showtime from The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Rapper Tinie Tempah hosted at Tao in the Venetian last night, signing autographs on the red carpet, then dining with friends before taking over a VIP table on the dance floor in the nightclub. He enjoyed the sounds of DJ Five and then at 1 a.m. performed his hits "Pass Out,” “Frisky,” “Miami 2 Ibiza” and “Written in the Stars." … Rapper Rev Run entertained the crowd at Lavo’s Old School party in the Palazzo with an energetic set featuring DJ Ruckus. Ex-NBA pro John Salley was among the revelers. … Lisa Ling, host of Our America on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, dined at Joe’s Stone Crab in Caesars Palace last night. Ling, in town as a guest speaker for Cox Communications, was joined by a group of 27.
Over the weekend, we’ll post our photo galleries from the sexy Carmen Electra and Midsummer Night’s Dream parties and the dueling Jersey Shore stars DJ Pauly D and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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