Classic set
for Thursday

Dec 12, 2006 12:13 AM

Poker action at the Bellagio reaches a peak this week with the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic that kicks off on Thursday, and is part of the

Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

So far, the WPT has already crowned nine event champions since the tournament began on December 1.

The champion will receive the first place prize money as well as an entry into the April 2007 WPT World Championship at Bellagio. Players can register at Bellagio’s poker room.

Last year’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio included a WPT-record 555 participants and a prize pool of more than $8 million.

Rehne Pedersen of Denmark was awarded $2.1 million for his victory. Pedersen defeated five players at the final table including Patrick Antonius, who came in second and earned more than $1 million, and Doyle Brunson who finished third.

"We look forward to hosting this year’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic and the World Poker Tour at Bellagio" said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations for Bellagio. "We anticipate a successful tournament and expect the world’s top poker players to compete."

The only other event scheduled this week is the $2,500 buy-in Seniors No Limit Hold’em event No. 11. That kicked off on Monday and continues through Wednesday.

The 11 events leading up to the Doyle Bronson North American Classic featured buy-ins ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.

The WPT is broadcast weekly on the Travel Channel Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST/PST. The WPT consists of 22 nationally televised poker events filmed in casinos around the world, with the finalists competing for multi-million dollar prize pools. Season four of the WPT is currently airing and culminates with the 2006 WPT World Championship, hosted this past April at Bellagio.