Boots set for final table

Oct 16, 2007 12:47 AM

There are many avenues to big time tournament poker. One of them is the World Poker Tour (WPT) Boot Camp, a series of seminars conducted by poker pros in card rooms and casinos throughout the year.

Boot Camps, which have been around for about three years, have never had an alum win the prestigious World Series of Poker’s main event. Last summer, they came close.

In the World Series’ championship event, which ESPN began airing last week, Boot Camp graduate Lee Childs made the final table (finishing ninth), while another former student, Bill Spadea, finished 13.

The two men credit their incredible performances to their schooling at a WPT Boot Camp, which features an integrated curriculum that includes live lectures, archived footage from the WPT, and interactive game playing.

For their efforts, Childs took home over $1 million while Spadea pocketed more than $400,000.

"WPT Boot Camp prides itself on offering premiere events for those who share that dream and want to fast-forward their game to the next level," said Steve Berman, WPT Boot Camp Vice President and Co-Founder.

"We always say that taking a WPT Boot Camp is truly your fast track to a final table, but this is almost unbelievable! Poker is such an intricate sport that takes years and years of learning and practice, but Lee and Bill are proof that a good education is the best investment."

In addition to smaller two-day camps, WPT Boot Camp offers the ultimate education with the ultimate payoff — the Battle for the Season Pass II. Held Dec. 3-8 in Cable Beach Resort & Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas, the WPT Boot Camp features private seminars and live learning labs taught by the pros.

After two days of poker study taught by the pros, including Scotty Nguyen, T.J. Cloutier, Tom McEvoy, Chad Brown, Chip Jett, Clonie Gowen, Mike Matusow, Kenna James, Todd Brunson, Shannon Elizabeth, Vanessa Rousso, and many others, students will have a chance to win 18 main event seats and other prizes totaling over $225,000.

WSOP dates announced

Speaking of the World Series, next year it will get off to a slightly earlier start at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. Tournament officials said the 39th annual World Series will be held May 30 through July 17.

"The team is still hard at work on the schedule of events for next year, but we’ve received so many requests for the dates that we decided to announce them now," said Jeffrey Pollack, WSOP commissioner.

One of the reasons for the earlier start is to avoid some of the delays and long lines that some players faced last summer.

"We’ll actually open the WSOP tournament room the week of May 26 for two special events," said Geno Iafrate, vice president and assistant general manager of the Rio. "This ”˜soft opening’ will give players a chance to register early and avoid the lines we had last year during the opening weekend — our busiest time."

To keep abreast of what’s happening with the upcoming World Series, as well as ongoing World Series circuit events, check out their web site at