WPT lands at Bellagio

Apr 6, 2004 6:59 AM

The World Poker Tour landed at Bellagio on Saturday for the start of the Five Star World Poker Classic, which continues through April 23.

The final event of the tournament, the WPT Championship, is the richest in tournament play with a buy-in of $25,000. The event will be filmed for broadcast later this year on the Travel Channel.

So far, more than 115 players have already paid their $25,000 entry fee or earned their seat via satellite tournaments. Players may still register at Bellagio or earn a spot by winning one of Bellagio’s satellite tournaments that will be conducted over the next two weeks. The World Poker Tour Championship begins Monday, April 19.

In addition to the WPT Championship, Bellagio will host 16 other events, including Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pot Limit Hold’em, to name a few. Buy-ins range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Some of the best poker players in the country kicked off the tournament on Saturday as 361 contestants bought into the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em Event 1. The total prize pool was $875,425.

Taking first place and the $339,000 prize was Howard Lederer of Las Vegas, a long-time pro and World Series winner. Other top names to compete were T.J. Cloutier who took third place ($80,762), and Scotty Nguyen of Henderson (15th place).