WPT lands at Bellagio

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The World Poker Tour (WPT)
returns to Las Vegas this week to conclude its third season with the biggest
poker tournament on the tour.

The Five-Star World
Poker Classic at Bellagio kicks off on Tuesday, April 5, with the first of 10 No
Limit Hold’em events as well as satellite and super-satellite tournaments.

The three-week tournament
concludes April 18-24 with the third annual World Poker Tour World Championship,
which begins at noon on Monday, April 18.

Players can register at Bellagio
for all of the Five Star World Poker Classic tournaments. Entry fees for
the No Limit Hold’em events range from $1,500 to $5,000.

To compete in the WPT World
Championship, players must pony up the $25,000 entry fee or earn their seat via
winning one of the daily satellite tournaments held throughout the first two
weeks.

The World Championship is the
culmination of the 16-tournament World Poker Tour, and officials are hopeful to
have more than 400 participants competing for a prize pool worth at least $8.7
million.

Martin Deknijff defeated 342
other participants in the 2004 WPT World Championship at Bellagio and took home
more than $2.7 million for his victory. The final table for the WPT World
Championship will be filmed and will air at a later date on the Travel Channel.

The WPT has transformed poker
into a televised mainstream sensation, creating record-setting ratings and
capturing millions of new fans. The WPT is broadcast weekly (Wednesday) on the
Travel Channel at 9 p.m.

This year’s championship will
feature the winners from the previous 15 events as well as Daniel Negreanu,
winner of the December 2004 Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio.
Bellagio is a charter member of the World Poker Tour.

“We are excited to host the
WPT World Championship for the third consecutive year,” said Doug Dalton,
director of poker operations for Bellagio. “The increased popularity in the
sport of poker and the demand for more tournaments makes us proud to be a part
of this spectacular event.”

“You couldn’t script a
more gripping drama than the one that will be played out at the WPT World
Championship this year,” says Steve Lipscomb, president and founder of WPT
Enterprises, Inc. “The field of players has never been better, the stakes
have never been higher, and the millions of fans who now follow the WPT on
television every Wednesday night can’t wait to see if one of their favorites
or an unknown talent will capture the crown. The results are totally
unpredictable, and it will be a great ride all the way to the end.”

The Five Diamond World Poker Classic held last
December at Bellagio featured 376 participants and a prize pool of more than $5
million. Negreanu, a local Las Vegan, earned more than $1.7 million for his
victory.

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