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Femme fatales!

Dec 2, 2003 2:46 AM

For the first time ever on television, six of the top professional women poker players in the world will face each other in an exclusive new special, World Poker Tour Ladies Night, premiering on the Travel Channel on Wednesday, December 10.

The two-hour show that begins at 9 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific) will pit some of the toughest, most fascinating and enigmatic figures in poker against each other as they vie for a $25,000 entry fee into the World Poker Tour Championship.

The World Poker Tour series on the Travel Channel has been a huge success, and among the most intriguing players are the women, who use their charm, intuition and their remarkable poker acumen to outwit their male competitors.

World Poker Tour Ladies Night will be the first time that they play exclusively against each other on national television.

The player roster on World Poker Tour Ladies Night includes six women, five of whom have competed in WPT events: Annie Duke, a professional poker player who is studying for her Ph.D and is a mother of four; Maureen "Mo" Feduniak, a grandmother who began playing poker just nine years ago; Cyclona "Clonie" Gowen, who finished 10th in the World Poker Tour Costa Rica Classic during season one; Jennifer Harman, widely considered the best female poker player ”” if not poker player in the world; Kathy Liebert, a no-nonsense professional poker player who, among her many victories, has a million dollar poker tournament payout under her belt; and first time WPT finalist, Evelyn Ng, a former blackjack and poker dealer who plays poker five days a week for six hours or more each day. Both Duke and Harman are former World Champions.

The first season of the World Poker Tour revolutionized televised poker. Through expert analysis, varying camera angles and close-ups of the players’ hole cards, the WPT created a whole new element of high-stakes, high-anxiety excitement.

The series has been the most popular programming on the Travel Channel in 2003, and is the highest-rated series in the network’s history. The World Poker Tour is currently re-airing on Wednesday nights, and season two is scheduled to premiere in March 2004.

"The World Poker Tour series has been a runaway success for the network, and we’re excited to preview season two of the tour with the thrilling World Poker Tour Ladies Night special," said Travel Channel’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Rick Rodriguez. "Women have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in competitive poker, and this special WPT event features six of the world’s best female players all at one table, showcasing their formidable poker prowess."

The success of the women players on the WPT has helped attract a larger audience of women to the show. But the women pros have also proven to be a big draw for male players who are inspired by their play, and respect their ability to win despite being underestimated by their competitors. Collectively these six women have won millions of dollars in their respective careers.

"Once again, World Poker Tour and the Travel Channel are leading the way with innovative televised poker programming," said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of the World Poker Tour. "The great poker instincts demonstrated by the female players during the first season of WPT served as the genesis of the World Poker Tour Ladies Night — it’s high time they finally have their own spotlight."

The World Poker Tour series is produced for the Travel Channel by World Poker Tour, LLC, a joint venture between Lipscomb and Lakes Entertainment, Inc.