Ute Mountain Casino hosts BJ tourney trials

Dec 6, 2005 1:15 AM

Ute Mountain Casino Hotel & Resort is partnering with GSN, The Network for Games, on the broadcaster’s third year of the franchise series World Series of Blackjack 2006.

Ute Mountain Casino, the largest casino in southwest Colorado, is currently hosting three preliminary blackjack tournaments. The top winner of each tournament will win one of the 40 seats in the World Series of Blackjack which will be taped early next year.

A total of three seats will be awarded at Ute Mountain Casino. The total prize pool for the finals in Las Vegas will be $1,000,000 (one million dollars) with more than $500,000 going to the grand prize winner.

For the first time in the series’ history, players representing casinos will compete for a chance to earn a seat in the 2006 show through a series of qualification events held at casinos nationwide.

Seats in the first two seasons of the event were by invitation only. The new qualification structure opens the doors on this elite tournament and creates a unique opportunity for participating casinos.

Ute Mountain Casino held its first tournament last weekend, but will host additional tourneys on January 6-7 and January 20-21.

GSN plans to tape some of the action and interview the winners for broadcast in the series.

"We are looking forward to having three of the winners from Ute Mountain’s tournament take on the best blackjack players in the ”˜World Series of Blackjack 2006’ on GSN," said Ian Valentine, senior vice president of programming, GSN.

"The staff and guests of Ute Mountain Casino Hotel and Resort are very excited to be the exclusive home of the World Series of Blackjack in the state of Colorado and the Four Corners area," said Robert Mudd, general manager of the casino-hotel, "By bringing this national event here we are continuing to prove that we are a premier destination resort; we are Colorado’s place to play."

GSN’S World Series of Blackjack debuted in March 2004 when 25 world-class blackjack players competed for a prize pool of $250,000.

Blackjack players who participated in the inaugural year included Stanford Wong and Anthony Curtis, among others.

The second season of World Series of Blackjack premiered January 2005 and included a larger playing field, 40 players, and a larger prize pool, $500,000. Ken Einiger emerged as the champion, beating such greats as Ken Smith, Joe Maloof, and "Hollywood" Dave Stann.

Ute Mountain Casino offers a large variety of slot machines and table games with blackjack being one of its most popular card games. Blackjack enthusiasts who would like further information about the Ute Mountain blackjack tournaments can call toll free: 1-800-258-8007.