Hundreds invited, $15 million in prizes to be awarded at TD Garden ‘poker’ tournament

It’s a strange event, a simulated poker tournament at the TD Garden with hundreds of “players,’’ where skill — the artful bluff, the stony poker face — will play absolutely no role.

Call it a glitzy publicity stunt by the Massachusetts State Lottery. But say this: The people who are invited will end up winning $15 million in prizes.

In the Hold ’Em Poker Tournament, slated for the evening of April 6, 560 players and their guests will go to the Garden.

The elaborate event, which officials said has not been tried by any other state, will be the grand finale of one of the Lottery’s instant ticket games.


Two cards will be preassigned to each player, officials said. Three more cards, which all the players will share, will be drawn in each of three rounds.

Whoever has the best hand advances to the next round. Sixty-four people will win in the first elimination round, 12 of them will advance in the second, and four of them in the third.

Lottery officials said there will be no skill involved. Spokeswoman Beth Bresnahan said the Lottery has designed the drawing so there will be a set number of winners.

The 560 have already won a $2,000 prize; the 64 who advance in the first round get $10,000; the 12 who advance in the second round win $50,000. In the final round, three people will win $1 million and one will win $10 million.

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