The World Poker Tour’s Ladies’ Night returns to Southern California this month, packaged with a few exciting new ribbons and bows — in fact with the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.
The event, one of the most popular events on the World Poker Tour (WPT), has become the prestige tournament in women’s poker. This year, it will be a star-studded celebrity event at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles and will benefit breast cancer research.
The activities begin on Wednesday, August 31, when the Bicycle Casino stages its Ladies’ Poker Party open tournament, inviting all women over 21 to play in the $125-buy-in event, with $15 of that buy-in being donated to the cause.
It is anticipated that a number of women celebrities will join the field — expected to exceed 400 — playing for fun and charity. Among those already committed are Shannon Elizabeth, Andrea Parker and Sara Rue. The victor from that event will earn a seat in the televised WPT Ladies’ Night III tournament the next night, Thursday, September 1.
Spectators are encouraged to come out to watch the taping of Ladies’ Night III, which will also feature a variety of poker celebrities that include:
”¡ Defending Ladies Night Champion Isabelle "No Mercy" Mercier — a fiercely competitive French Canadian lawyer-turned-poker pro.
”¡ Academy Award nominated actress Jennifer Tilly who recently won the No-Limit Hold’em Ladies Event at the 2005 World Series of Poker.
”¡ Marsha Waggoner, playing the game since 1976, will defend her title as the Grand Dame of Poker
”¡ Cecelia Reyes, wife to WPT champion Juan Carlos Mortensen, Cecelia has made a name for herself placing in the money in several major tournaments.
”¡ Aidiliy Elviro — with WPT champion Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi as her poker coach and husband, Aidiliy is an aggressive new player, and one of WPT season three’s top woman competitors.
The women will be competing for a $25,500-seat in the WPT World Championship to be held in April 2006 at Bellagio in Las Vegas. The winner will also receive a specially created one-of-a-kind pink ribbon WPT Poker Set with 300 pink co-branded clay chips and two decks of cards.
The WPT and the Bicycle Casino will donate $10,000 to Breast Cancer Research in honor of the event winners.
"This year we are especially pleased to add this charitable aspect to the Ladies’ Night," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises. "We created Ladies’ Night to ensure that women poker players get their just due in the limelight. The increasing number of women we see playing on the World Poker Tour reinforces our belief that — given the opportunity — women can play at the highest levels of the game and grow to be a major factor in tournament poker. We hope that Ladies’ Night will demonstrate to female poker enthusiasts that the WPT is interested in opening doors for them and increasing their visibility."
Women interested in registering for Bicycle Casino’s Ladies Poker Party on August 31 should call (562) 806-4646 or go to www.thebicyclecasino.com.