Championship Features Match Up of WPT Millionaires

12 April 2006

LAS VEGAS –- (PRESS RELEASE) -- You could see it as an opportunity for the rich to get richer ... should any of the World Poker Tour's millionaire champions survive the estimated 600-field shootout for the $12-$15 million WPT World Championship(TM). If the prize pool reaches those lofty heights, three people will be bagging $1+ million paychecks.

On the other hand, it could also be an opportunity for an unknown to spoil their day and snatch the estimated $3.5 million dollar prize.

In the largest gathering of WPT poker millionaires ever, fans will be looking out for their favorite when the event begins April 18 - 24 at Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The showdown of the WPT's Millionaire Poker Brat Pack (those who won their millions while under the age of 30) includes: Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari (Las Vegas and Bay Area), Steve-Paul Ambrose (Waterloo, CAN), Michael Gracz (Raleigh, NC), Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas and Burney, CA), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (Hollywood, FL), Nick Schulman (New York City), John Stolzmann (Madison, WI) and $2.8-million winner in 2005, defending champion, Tuan Le (Los Angeles).

Other WPT millionaires above the age of 30 include Paul Phillips, Daniel Negreanu, Gavin Smith, Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Carlos Mortensen and Freddie Deeb, (all from Las Vegas); Alex Kahaner, Ming Ly, Hasan Habib , Barry Greenstein and Nam Le (all from Southern California); Al Ardebili (New Jersey); Hoyt Corkins (Las Vegas and Alabama); David Minto (New Mexico); Eric Brenes (Costa Rica); Tony Licastro (New Jersey); Patrik Antonius (Finland); Rehne Pedersen (Denmark); Mel Judah (England);and Paul Maxfield (England). Maxfield was the runner-up in 2005, with $1.6 million-not bad for a consolation prize!

Two other returning WPT World Championship winners are Martin DeKnijff ($2.7 million) and Alan Goehring ($1 million)-both of Las Vegas. Goehring is a retired junk bond analyst who says that poker is still a hobby for him. DeKnijff, a poker pro and professional sports bettor originally from Sweden, said he felt "the prestige of winning the WPT Championship was overwhelming."

"The challenge for these players and all the WPT champions is to show that that they are not a one hit wonder," says Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: WPTE). "There's a lot of pressure on these guys. They have to fight through the toughest field in poker with a veritable bulls-eye on their backs."

With nearly $100 million in prize money at stake on the WPT, men and women want to reach out and grab their share of the New American Dream, a dream made possible by one of the hottest series on television. Since the WPT went on the air in March 2003, more than 50 people have become WPT Poker Millionaires. Many of these WPT millionaires were unknowns when they made it to a WPT Final Table.

Who will be this WPT World Championship's big surprises?

Satellite tournaments for the WPT World Championship are being run by more than 49 land-based and online casinos, many with small buy-ins. 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.


Related Links
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

Featured Vendors
Gaming Tickets, Inc.
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Gaming Tickets, Inc.
35 years in the gaming industry - premium quality slot tickets, lottery tickets on time under budget
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
TribalHub
RSA Executive Search
TribalHub
22nd Annual TribalNet Conference & Tradeshow Nov 8-11, 2021 Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine TX
RSA Executive Search
A Boutique Search firm specializing in the Recruitment of Hospitality and Gaming Entrepreneurs
Broadband Hospitality
Slot Machines Unlimited
Broadband Hospitality
Improve these critical guest-facing amenities: In-room TV, Wi-Fi, Mobile App. Priced right. All here
Slot Machines Unlimited
Exporter of IGT, Williams, AVP, Trimline, Aristocrat, Konami, Bally, & parts over 20 yrs experience
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
Bar Maid Corporation
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
GLOBAL TOUCH SOLUTION PARTNER OF CHOICE,10+ years OEM manufacturing,100+ thousand units application
Bar Maid Corporation
Clean and dry thousands of chips, dice and tiles per hour with the high-speed CHIP CHAMPION machine!
Casino City Press
Castle Merchandising Inc
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
Castle Merchandising Inc
Brand Name Products for your Player Rewards and Loyalty Programs
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Casino Network
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Your one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
Casino Network
20+ years experience selling refurbished slot machines, parts & glass for all major brands


Your Guide to 15,425 Gaming Industry Suppliers