WPT expands tourney stops

Jan 30, 2006 5:08 AM

The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced last week that Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas hahaves added poker tourneys on the prestigious tour.

Foxwoods will join the tour for one of the final stops in its fourth season, March 27 through April 9, for the Poker Classic, which becomes the second WPT stop at Foxwoods, joining the longstanding World Poker Finals, which is held each November.

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has joined the WPT’s roster of host casinos for a new event that will be staged as the second stop of the Season V calendar.

The Mandalay Bay Poker Championship, to be held June 4 - 8, will become the next big event on the WPT’s storied 17-stop tour, which is expected to surpass the Quarter Billion Dollar mark in prize money.

Formerly the New England Poker Classic, the newly-branded event brings Foxwoods into the international spotlight, with WPT cameras rolling for the Travel Channel and poker’s biggest professional superstars battling top amateur players.

The tournament is initially expected to draw over 4,000 entries and surpass the former cumulative prize pool of $3.8 million to well over $5 million. The goal is to turn this tournament into as much of a success as the World Poker Finals held each November, which had nearly 6,000 entries and a prize pool in excess of $12 Million.

"We’re thrilled that the Foxwoods Poker Classic is the second WPT event hosted by Foxwoods for season four," said Kathy Raymond, director of poker operations at Foxwoods. "It really raises the bar for the event and takes it from a regional tournament to a national one. This gives Foxwoods yet another chance to host one of the world’s most prestigious poker events and enables our players to compete against the best of the best."

The Foxwoods’ Poker Classic will replace the PartyPoker Million on the WPT calendar. After several great seasons together in which the WPT helped build international awareness for these now prominent online sites, the WPT will bid adieu to both PartyPoker and Ultimate Bet.

Regarding the addition of Mandalay Bay to the tour, Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises, said, "This continues to build our solid relationship with the MGM MIRAGE family of destination resort casinos. We have scored a trifecta with Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and Bellagio, the best Las Vegas has to offer."

In announcing the WPT’s full Season V calendar, poker players may now begin planning their tournament schedules and their shot at the $100 million prize money up for grabs on the World Poker Tour — a tour with the slogan "Anyone can play; Anyone can win."

In just four years, the WPT has transformed poker into a career destination for touring pros, just like players on the PGA, while also enabling newcomers to get a piece of the estimated $200 million prize money offered over the WPT’s four seasons of riveting play.

With the announcement of the tour dates, the satellite contact information will also be accessible on the newly re-launched website: www.worldpokertour.com.

Season V begins and ends in Las Vegas, initially with The Mirage Poker Showdown May 14, 2006 at The Mirage and concludes April 27, 2007 at Bellagio for the exciting and much heralded WPT World Championship.