Poker’s best to play on Professional Tour

Jun 26, 2006 2:58 AM

The highly anticipated Professional Poker Tour (PPT) from the creator of the World Poker Tour kicks off on the Travel Channel on Wednesday night, July 5.

The tour will showcase poker’s 250 leading stars in a new format destined to ratchet up televised poker to a whole new level.

The first season of high-stakes action will stretch over 24 weeks, spotlighting a stellar lineup of poker’s champions.

Famous poker faces include Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Chris Moneymaker, Antonio Esfandiari, Bobby Baldwin, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Sammy Farha, Mel Judah, Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, Huck Seed, Tom McEvoy, Layne Flack, Carlos Mortensen, Chip Reese, Erik Seidel, Lyle Berman, Kathy Liebert, T.J. Cloutier, and Linda Johnson.

The shows will take viewers through the tournament from start to conclusion, focusing on one featured table each day of the event. However, every time a player goes "All-In" anywhere in the room, cameras rush to the table to catch the action. As many as 15 tables will get their moment in the sun with "All-In" action throughout the preliminary rounds.

Enticed by five "freeroll" tournaments with a total of $2.5 million in prize money provided by the PPT, the game’s best players — young and old — face off in four grueling quarters of tournament play and one championship round.

The final table will be distinctive as well. Players at the final table must beat a 90-second clock in making their play or surrender their hand. A player may invoke his "time bank allowance" to extend that time period only once during the final table play.

The hosts of the show include two-time World Series bracelet winner and WPT finalist Mark Seif, an accomplished and well- regarded player, who left law to play professional poker, and talented actor Matt Corboy, a veteran of such shows as JAG, Malcolm in the Middle, West Wing and Spin City, along with field reporter Kaye Han, a lovely and exotic beauty who has played poker for much of her life before embracing work in front of the camera.

The five PPT tournaments were filmed at some of America’s true palaces of poker — Foxwoods Resort Casino, Commerce Casino, Bay 101, Bellagio and The Mirage.

"With the Professional Poker Tour we’ve created a feast for poker fans," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises. "Just about anytime they turn on the show, they’ll see one of their favorite poker heroes or poker villains ”¦ the Best of the Best. They’ll see career-long rivalries played out against the background of multiple-table action. And the 90-second final table clock ratchets up the tension, making every decision a possible make-or-break situation. Heated rivalries, larger than life personalities and millions of dollars on the line make the PPT a sure bet."

With the inauguration of the PPT on Wednesday nights, immediately on the heels of the conclusion of the WPT season, poker fans will be treated to 44 weeks of first-run poker action on the Travel Channel.