Harrah's New Orleans Hosts Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown - Monday 10th of April 2006

LAS VEGAS The NBC cable network Bravo begins taping today the new season of its hit series "Celebrity Poker Showdown" at Harrah's New Orleans and announced plans to donate $1 million to charities benefiting victims of Hurricane Katrina, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) and Bravo announced today.

Phil Hellmuth, winner of nine World Series of Poker® bracelets, will serve as the series' new poker commentator and co-host, along with comedian Dave Foley. The all-new eighth tournament, featuring a million-dollar prize pool, will premiere this spring.

"For the new season of 'Celebrity Poker Showdown,' we have decided to take the series in a new direction and we could think of no better way than to support the people of New Orleans," said Frances Berwick, senior vice president of programming and production for Bravo. "In Phil Hellmuth we have found an engaging, proven and renowned poker champion who we are confident will complement Dave Foley's comedic commentary and provide the insight our viewers rely on."

"New Orleans is a city with a heart and soul like no other American city and is widely considered the birthplace of poker in America, making it the ideal place for our show," said executive producer Marcia Mule. "We are particularly proud to be able to donate $1 million to charities that will help The Big Easy recover from Hurricane Katrina."

"This alliance with Bravo adds to our global entertainment portfolio and deepens our relationship with NBC Universal," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker and vice president of sports and entertainment marketing for Harrah's. "'Celebrity Poker Showdown' is fun and entertaining and we're proud to host the upcoming season at Harrah's New Orleans."

With nine World Series of Poker victories and more than 50 tournament titles under his belt, Hellmuth's poker legacy is secure. His list of achievements began in 1989 when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event title at the age of 24, becoming the youngest person to ever accomplish the feat, a record that stills stands to this day. He has since amassed dozens of major tournament wins internationally, including wins at The World's Biggest Seven-card Stud Tournament in Austria and Late Night Poker in Great Britain.

Bravo will be teaming up with Harrah's to make Harrah's New Orleans the new official casino of "Celebrity Poker Showdown." The land-based casino closed shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall near the city on August 29. The building sustained storm damage, and was used by first responders as a base of operations in the days following the storm. Repairs to the facility have been completed and the casino re-opened on February 17.

"Hosting the Celebrity Poker Showdown is a great way to demonstrate to a national television audience that New Orleans is open for business and ready to receive guests," said Jim Hoskins, vice president and general manager of Harrah's New Orleans. "We know that Bravo will put on a good show, send a positive message about our city, and create significant funding for hurricane relief programs."

Filmed in front of a live audience, each episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown" features five celebrities competing against each other for the chance to win thousands to donate to the charity of their choice. Each week, a new group of celebrities meet at the table to go head to head until only one remains. The winner from each week's game will advance to the championship sixth game. To date, "Celebrity Poker Showdown" has given away $2,450,000 to charities around the world. All celebrities will be playing for charities benefiting victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"Celebrity Poker Showdown" is produced by Picture This Television in association with Bravo. Marcia Mule, Bryan Scott and Lisa M. Tucker are the executive producers.

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