WORLD POKER TOUR World Championship(TM) April 18-24 at Bellagio Lures World’s Best Players With Possible Record Prize Pool

Nearly 600 Players From Around the Globe to Converge at Bellagio for WPT’s Season IV Finale

Winner Hopes to Pocket More Than $3.5 Million – Three Top Spots May Exceed $1 Million

LOS ANGELES, March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — If you have the desire to play with poker’s cream of the crop, then the place to be is the WPT World Championship(TM), April 18-24 at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Then, of course, there’s the other incentive — a possible whopping WORLD POKER TOUR(R) prize pool of close to $12-$15 million — with a potential $3.5 million for the winner!

Pay the $25,500 buy-in along with such WPT stars as Phil “The Unabomber” Laak and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari — or enter via a satellite. Either way, you’ll be side-by-side with the world’s best players assembling from potentially 40 different countries.

Players’ odds of going home with big prize money are among the best in the game. The WPT World Championship(TM) is expected to draw a record 600 players, however, the tournament could pay 100 deep … so 1 in 6 would be in the money. If the payout reaches $15 million, all three of the top spots will pay more than $1 million.

The WPT World Championship crowns the WPT’s fourth record-breaking season, bringing the total prize money for the 17 tournaments close to $85-$95 million. The riveting shows currently airing on the Travel Channel every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. have revealed the 20 newest WPT Poker Millionaires.

Last year’s WPT World Championship winner Tuan Le of Los Angeles, topped a field of 452 players and pocketed $2.8 million. Runner-up Paul Maxfield of the U.K. cashed for $1.6 million. Previous victors include Martin De Knijff of Stockholm, Sweden, in Season II and Alan Goehring of Las Vegas in Season I.

“We are excited to host the WPT World Championship for the fourth consecutive year,” said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations for Bellagio. “The pots are getting higher and the number of participants is growing with every tournament. Bellagio is proud to be a part of this phenomenon.”

Among those marquee players scheduled to take to the felt for the WPT World Championship will be defending champion Le and Goehring, plus T.J. Cloutier, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, David Williams, Allen Cunningham, Men “The Master” Nguyen, Phil Ivey, Kathy Liebert, Chip Jett, Ted Forrest, Gavin Smith, Barry Greenstein, Paul Darden, Nick Schulman, Freddy Deeb, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Gracz, John D’Agostino, Hasan Habib, Cyndy Violette and Scott Fischman.

The international contingent also may include DeKniff, Maxfield, Gus Hansen, David Benyamine, Juha Helppi, Chris Bigler, Mel Judah, Humberto Brenes, Juan Carlos Mortensen, Johan Storakers, Marcel Luske, David “Devilfish” Ulliot, John Gale and Finnish heartthrob Patrik Antonius, among others.

“In our four short years, the WPT World Championship has really become the tournament players’ tournament,” says Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WPTE) . “The $25,000 buy-in insures that these players are among the world’s best. However, what’s fun is that this championship is still an open event and anyone with the heart, the courage and the skills can find themselves at the final table, cashing in for millions of dollars.”

Satellite tournaments for the WPT World Championship are being run by more than 49 land-based and online casinos, many with small buy-ins. For information on who offers satellites, go to Bellagio will run tournaments daily beginning April 5 that will award seats in the event and will offer two $2,500 Super Satellite Tournaments Sunday, April 16 and Monday, April 17. Two years ago actor James Woods was among those who won a seat on the final day.

The WORLD POKER TOUR is the global leader in poker. The WPT introduced poker to a worldwide audience through its innovative and riveting brand of televised poker, now seen in more than 147 countries and territories. Capturing all the excitement and sizzling action at its 17 Tour stops around the globe, the show sets the gold standard in poker programming. The WPT inspired a global poker phenomenon that has attracted millions of men and women to the game and legions of devoted followers to the poker lifestyle. It has transformed poker into the sport of choice for vast numbers of viewers and players, and the hundreds of millions of dollars of prize money on the WPT have rekindled the promise of “The New American Dream.” The WORLD POKER TOUR airs on the Travel Channel, every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT in the U.S. and on ITV4 in the U.K. For more information, go to

About WPTE

WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WPTE) is a company engaged in the creation of internationally branded entertainment and consumer products driven by the development, production, and marketing of televised programming based on gaming themes. WPTE is the creator of the World Poker Tour(R), a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on the Travel Channel in the United States and more than 147 markets globally. WPT Enterprises currently licenses its brand to companies in the business of poker equipment and instruction, apparel, publishing, electronic and wireless entertainment, DVD/home entertainment, casino games, and giftware. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. Photos and media information can be found online at:


The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements. Certain information included in this press release (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by WPT Enterprises, Inc.) contains statements that are forward-looking, such as statements relating to the expansion of WPTE’s brand licensing, the development of new television and film projects, the development of WPTE corporate sponsors and other business development activities, as well as statements regarding other capital spending, financing sources and the effects of competition. Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect anticipated results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of WPTE. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, WPTE’s significant dependence on the Travel Channel as a source of revenue; the potential that our television programming will fail to maintain a sufficient audience; the risk that competitors with greater financial resources or marketplace presence might develop television programming that would directly compete with WPTE’s television programming; the risk that WPT may not be able to protect its entertainment concepts, current and future brands and other intellectual property rights; risks associated with future expansion into new or complementary businesses; the termination or impairment of WPTE’s relationships with key licensing and strategic partners; and WPTE’s dependence on its senior management team. For more information, review WPTE’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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