WPT’s Classic returns to Bellagio

Dec 3, 2007 5:10 AM

Big time tournament poker has returned to Las Vegas.

This time it’s the World Poker Tour (WPT), which set up shop at the Bellagio for its Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, which kicked off last week and continues through December 18.

The three-week event, created by Bellagio to pay tribute to Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, consists of all no limit hold ”˜em tournaments including a senior’s no limit contest.

The entry fees for the no limit hold ”˜em tournaments range from $1,500-$5,000 and the WPT main event, to be held Wednesday, Dec. 12 through Tuesday, Dec. 18, requires an entry fee of $15,000. The champion will receive the first place prize money as well as a $25,000 seat in the April 2008 WPT World Championship at Bellagio. Player registration is now available at Bellagio’s poker room.

"Hosting the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio is the perfect way to end 2007," said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations for Bellagio. "It has been another successful year for us and we are honored and privileged to have Doyle Brunson as our host. Doyle’s desire to participate further strengthens the quality of the tournament and we look forward to another successful event."

The 2006 Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio set a WPT-record for this event with 584 participants and a prize pool of more than $8.4 million. Joseph Hachem of Australia took home $2.18 million for his victory. Hachem defeated the five other players at the final table including Florida resident Jim Hanna, who came in second and earned more than $1 million. Former WPT Bellagio Champion Daniel Negreanu finished third and won $592,000 for his efforts.

Bellagio will host the Sixth Annual Five-Star World Poker Classic beginning Wednesday, April 2, 2008. The three-week event culminates with the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship Saturday, April 19 through Saturday, April 26. The WPT’s Season V currently airs on the Travel Channel every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST/PST. WPT Season VI will begin airing Monday nights on GSN in early 2008. For more information visit www.worldpokertour.com.

WPT Enterprises, Inc. is the creator of the World Poker Tour, a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on the Travel Channel in the United States and is scheduled to begin broadcasting on GSN in early 2008.

WPT is licensed for broadcast globally. WPT also operates a real-money online gaming website, www.wptonline.com, which prohibits wagers from players in the U.S. and other restricted jurisdictions.

WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO).