Take A Look Inside the Las Vegas Sphere; Will Poker Be Played There?

Take A Look Inside the Las Vegas Sphere; Will Poker Be Played There?

As the gambling and entertainment capital of the world, there is never a shortage of interesting things to do in Las Vegas. But a new attraction, a 366-foot tall, $2.3 billion ball wrapped in 560,000 square feet LED screens that looms in the horizon of the Las Vegas Strip, may have taken entertainment in the city to a whole new level.

The Sphere at the Venetian Resort, which opened on Sept. 29, is a giant spherical entertainment venue (it holds 18,000 people) that Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has billed as "a revolutionary venue to enjoy immersive shows, concerts, and events like never before."

With its rotation of bright, dizzying displays a gasping yellow emoji, a bright-white full moon, a hyperrealistic human eyeball it is difficult not to be enthralled by the captivating pull of the entertainment venue straight out of a sci-fi novel.

The interior of the giant mystical orb, which PokerNews got a glimpse of on Oct. 6 at the premiere showing of Darren Aronofsky'sPostcard From Earth, is equally as captivating and should be checked out by Las Vegas visitors, including the tens of thousands of poker players who find themselves in Las Vegas every summer for the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

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Into The Sphere

A week after the Sphere opened its doors with the first performance of U2's residency U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere, Postcard From Earth, an immersive blend of science fiction and wildlife filmmaking that explores Earth through the eyes of two humans, premiered for an audience of over 5,000.

Around 7 p.m. on a warm Friday evening in Las Vegas, those attendees couples, groups of couples and families, made their way through a winding line at the base of the massive ball that, at close proximity, appeared to have the porous texture of a glowing and pulsating strawberry.

Those who survived the line were ushered into the inner base of the Sphere, a blue-lit atrium guarded by a half dozen humanoid robots named Aura that serve as interactive guides. One of those metallic humanoids reached out a hand and locked eyes with a giggling child as cell phone-equipped spectators documented the extra-human interaction.

After a trip up a setof escalators (two or three escalators for those on the upper decks), attendees disappeared into another layer of the Sphere and through a black hallway plastered with soundproof foam and were greeted by a screen of oscillating pink and white light at the center of the futuristic coliseum.

"This Is A Real Historical Moment"

As 8 p.m. rolled around and the last of the attendees found their seats, Postcard From Earth Director Darren Aronofsky, who was in attendance for the premiere, prepared the eager audience for what he called "a real historical moment."

"No one has ever seen 18K images before," the Mother! and The Whale director told the crowd. "There (are) 500,000 gigabytes of data that were about to flood you with for the next 50 minutes."

What followed Aronofsky's introduction was a true flood of overwhelming imagery that made a Pink Floyd light show look like an ensemble of kindergarteners with a box of laser pointers.

The film begins with a man and woman, Fang and Byron (respectively portrayed by Arielle Jacobs and Brandon Santana), sleeping in pods as they float through outer space. They are awoken by a narrator who informs them Earth has become desolate due to overdevelopment and that all life on Earth has perished.

The narrator, Zaya, then takes Fang and Byron and the audience on a journey through the oceans, jungles and tundras of Earth's "past," made possible through stunning drone footage, 360 video and seat-vibrating technology that makes viewers forget they are inside a giant ball in the middle of the Nevada desert.

An endless school of fish moving through the water like a cyclone; a towering elephant inching toward the screen and appearing to "walk" over viewers; a green and red chameleon resting on a jungle branch before locking its eyes and shooting its tongue to capture its unsuspecting prey.

The imagery then breaks from nature and explores the wondrous creations of humanity, from pious temples to looming skyscrapers a state-of-the-art concert hall that give the film an appropriate meta aspect.

Things then take a turn as the church pillars transition to smoke plumes, pillaged cities and other visual representations of the dark side of humanity and modernity. However, the film concludes on a positive note, with Fang and Byron returning to Earth to replenish the scorched soil and save both humanity and life as a whole.

Is Poker In The Sphere's Orbit?

Given that it is located in the poker capital of the world, it shouldn't be surprising that a few prominent poker players quickly found themselves captivated by Las Vegas' latest novelty.

Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, a player with a deep passion for creative arts, attended one of the first U2 shows at the Sphere and said it was "like nothing else Ive ever seen."

Poker commentator and comedian Joe Stapleton, meanwhile, also expressed interest in checking out the new attraction.

Then there's the question of whether poker will ever be played in the Sphere, perhaps similar to the World Poker Tour (WPT)final table spectacles that take place inside the dazzling HyperX Esports Arena.

It is a possibility as the Las Vegas-Review quoted MSG Sphere President Lucas Watson in May 2022 as stating that the Sphere would be equipped to host esports tournaments and athletic events.

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