Ladies Day! WPT breaks ground at Bellagio

Apr 8, 2008 7:00 PM

Concluding its first official season, the World Poker Tour (WPT) Ladies tour arrives at Bellagio this weekend for the inaugural WPT Ladies Championship.

The $1,500 buy-in tournament, which is expected to draw hundreds of amateur and professional players, will be filmed for broadcast as part of WPTs Season VI, now airing Monday nights on GSN.

"The goal of this league is to provide opportunities for female players to step up their game, and that mission has been validated through the amazing turnout and feedback weve received during our first four stops," said Robyn Moder, executive vice president, WPT Studios. "Almost 800 women have competed so far and for many of them, it was their first live tournament. With so much excitement and support behind the league, we look forward to hosting the first WPT Ladies Championship with our long-time partners at Bellagio."

The Ladies championship event precedes by one week the overall World Poker Tour championship, which will also be held at Bellagio, April 19-26. The main event features a $25,000, No Limit Holdem tourney.

The inaugural Ladies division of the World Poker Tour kicked off in January at Borgata in Atlantic City. Ensuing tour stops included the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, Bay 101 in San Jose, California and Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut.

Buy-ins at previous tour stops ranged from $300 to $970.

"Women are a rising force in poker," Moder said. "By bringing a WPT ladies league and tour stops to top gaming destinations across the US, we hope to support and perpetuate evolution of the sport and recognition of the women who play."

Tournament organizers expect to attract at least 250-400 entrants into the Ladies Championship Event. From the $1,500 buy-in, 15 percent is earmarked for donation to the WPT's official charity.

Registration for the tournament is on-site only, starting Saturday. Bellagio also will begin $350 satellites into the WPT Ladies Championship on Saturday at 1 p.m., running through the next morning.

WPT and Bellagio will kick off the WPT Ladies Championship at 10 a.m., Sunday, with a champagne brunch at The Bank Nightclub.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to donate and bid in an online auction at to benefit WPT Ladies official charity and long-time partner, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the worlds largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to end breast cancer forever.

Immediately following the brunch, WPT Ladies Championship Day 1 shuffle up and deal begins at noon. The remaining players at the end of the day will return April 14 to play down to six. The final six players will head to the WPT final table set for April 25 to battle it out in front of WPT cameras for the chance to win a WPT title and the first place cash prize.

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