Las Vegas isn’t just about casinos, poker lounges, and camp cabaret acts. The entertainment capital of the US also hosts some of the highest-profile events in entertainment and sport. With the possible exception of the world’s other major casino city, Monte Carlo, there are few places better than Sin City to mix with the rich and famous and maybe even rub shoulders with an A-list star or two. These are some of the events that will be drawing them out from their mansions in Malibu and the Hollywood Hills to the neon-lit streets of Sin City over the course of 2023.
The World Series of Poker attracts pros and celebs
Traditionally, pro/celebrity has been most associated with golf. Over the past decade or so, however, a growing number of big names have decided to try their luck at poker against the genuine pros of the game. There’s no bigger stage to do it than the World Series of Poker, which will be in town between the end of May and the middle of July.
The action takes place at the Paris and Horseshoe casinos, and there will be 95 bracelet events taking place. Keep an eye on Tight Poker – WSOP updates for up-to-the-minute information on the exact tournament schedule. Of course, all the usual poker royalty will be in town, such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Maria Ho. Hopes are also high that 89-year-old poker legend Doyle Brunson will put in an appearance as he did in 2021, after missing last year’s event.
But what about the “guest stars”? You never know who might appear, but some famous names to have shown up in the past include Ben Affleck, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Tilley, and Johnny Depp.
UFC Fight Night gets everyone’s heart racing
Over the years, Las Vegas has hosted some classic fights of various disciplines, from Muhammad Ali vs. Larry Holmes in the boxing ring in 1980 to Stephan Bonnar vs. Forrest Griffin in the octagon at Cox Pavilion in 2005. The latter event propelled UFC into the stratosphere and made fight nights the combat sports events that everyone who’s anyone wanted to attend.
UFC Vegas 71 will take place on April 23 at the UFC Apex Arena. Heavyweight contenders Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes are expected to headline, with middleweights Brad Tavares and Bruno Silva plus a women’s strawweight bout between Iasmin Lucindo and Brogan Walker-Sanchez on the main card.
UFC always attracts plenty of celebrity fans with Justin Bieber, Drake, Jared Leto and Addison Rae all in attendance at recent fight nights.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix will reinvent F1
Or it might be more accurate to say F1 will reinvent Las Vegas. A little like the Monaco Grand Prix, the heart of Las Vegas will be transformed beyond recognition into an F1 circuit for the weekend of November 16 to 18.
There are some amazing packages on offer, giving spectators access to specified zones and including food, drink, and traditional Las Vegas entertainment, but you’ll need to have an A-list budget. The best VIP packages run well into five figures, but there is no weapon than an F1 VIP pit lane pass for meeting celebrities.
If bumping into the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and Fernando Alonso is not enough, some other famous F1 fans are certain to be in attendance. These include Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Lucas, and Will Smith, to name just a few.
The Billboard Music Awards are the ones that matter
There are numerous music award ceremonies around the world every year, but the Billboards are among a handful of events that the industry really takes seriously. This year’s event is on November 19 at the MGM Grand Arena, so the dust will barely have settled after the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
As well as seeing the nominees and winners, there will be live entertainment from Ed Sheeran, Megan Thee Stallion, P.Diddy, Florence and the Machine, and others. Last year’s big names on the red carpet included Taylor Swift, Drake, Mary J. Blige, and BTS. This year’s event is expected to be equally star-studded. Unsurprisingly, the MGM Grand says VIP tickets are selling fast despite the $2,000 price tags.