World Poker Tour rolls into LA's Bicycle Casino

Aug 27, 2002 3:19 AM

The next stop on the World Poker Tour’s globe-trotting circuit is the Legends of Poker, No-Limit Texas Hold’em Championship, to be held Aug. 31 at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens.

In addition to offering high-stakes poker, the World Poker Tour brings the tournament to national television. Scheduled for broadcast is the Legends of Poker final table, which will surely be an exhilarating showdown between the game’s most skilled players who have the guts to ante up $5,000 and compete for a prize pool in excess of half a million dollars.

The public will be permitted to attend the final table action and taping.

Poker is one of the most popular forms of gaming in California, represented by such games as Texas Hold’em (the choice of champions!) and Seven Card Stud (buy-ins range from $20 to $2,000), which are played in card rooms throughout the state.

Typical of many modern card rooms, the Bicycle Casino is a modern affair, smoke-free, well-lit and capable of serving a full menu of gourmet food to players while they’re seated at one of the 135 poker tables.

Poker enjoys a national and worldwide popularity, with more than 50 million players in the U.S. alone. The World Poker Tour is the first regularly scheduled TV series of poker events in history. The season consists of 13 nationally televised poker events, filmed in casinos and card rooms around the world, from Los Angeles to Paris, where finalists compete for millions of dollars in prize pools.

The Tour debuted its concept in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic in June. Some of the world’s greatest players were in the field, including Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, and Los Angeles residents Johnny Chan (of Rounders fame) and John Juanda.

The Bellagio tourney featured five strenuous days of poker in which Gus Hansen of Copenhagen bested 146 of the world’s greatest players. In the final hand, Hansen moved his chips "all in" with a pair of kings in the pocket against John Juanda and took home the top prize of $556,480.

The Championship Event at the Bicycle Casino is sure to hold the same kind of drama. "It is only fitting that our second show be the Legends of Poker tournament at the Bike," said Steven Lipscomb, founder and CEO of the World Poker Tour. "More than a tournament, Legends is an event ”¦ the world’s next great spectator sport."

The World Poker Tour is a joint venture between Lipscomb and Lyle Berman’s Lakes Entertainment, which develops and manages tribal casinos throughout the country.

Lakes Entertainment common shares are traded on the Nasdaq National Market.