Record Prize at WPT - Sunday 19th of March 2006

LAS VEGAS – If you have the desire to play with poker's cream of the crop, then the place to be is the WPT World Championship™, April 18 – 24 at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Then, of course, there's the other incentive—a possible whopping World Poker Tour 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™ is expected to draw a record 600 players, however, the tournament could pay 100 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

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