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PokerStars joins WPT

Jan 27, 2004 1:07 AM

Lakes Entertainment, Inc., founder of the World Poker Tour (WPT), announced last week that Royal Caribbean’s "Voyageur of the Seas" is the latest event on the WPT to demonstrate the domino effect of the television show’s huge popularity.

Records have been set in each of the tour stops and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, hosted by PokerStars.com, is no exception with its debut featuring a huge number of players, prize money and first place payout.

A total of 219 players signed up for last week’s event, which culminated on January 24 with the filming of the final table for broadcast as part of the WPT series on The Travel Channel.

World Poker Tour events air every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific) on the network.

The number of entries catapults the total prize money to $1,642,500, with the winner walking away with $451,685. The prize pool is determined by the number of players "buying in" to the tournament -in this case the entry fee is $7,500 per person.

With such an enormous prize pool for the tournament, players down to 27th place will go home with a nice payday, and the winner will capture a top prize of $451,685.

"We are thrilled that PokerStars.com can join our WPT family and is experiencing such enormous success in its first year," said CEO of the World Poker Tour, Steve Lipscomb. "This continues to expand the impact that the World Poker Tour is having on people who are looking to poker as a way to spend their leisure time."

The World Poker Tour, over 80% owned by Lakes Entertainment, is a television hit of the year. More than five million people tune in each week to watch the high stakes drama of the tense competition where millions of dollars change hands across the table, all chronicled by "WPT Cams," that reveal the players hidden cards. The show is the highest rated series in the history of The Travel Channel.

As the newest addition to the World Poker Tour, PokerStars.com , is helping drive the WPT’s total prize money for the year to an estimated $30 million, triple the prize money in the previous season, which in turn is attracting many newcomers to the game of poker and to WPT tournaments.

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure concluded Saturday. WPT fans aboard the ship were welcome to come watch the action and see who will go home with the millions laid forth on the table before the final hand.

The next stop on the tour will be the Jack Binion World Poker Open on January 29, in Tunica, Mississippi. To play in a WORLD POKER TOUR event, go to www.worldpokertour.com for the complete 2003-2004 Tournament Schedule and casino contacts.