Chiu wins WPT title

30 April 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- In what was one of the largest comebacks in poker tournament history, David Chiu captured his first World Poker Tour® (WPT) title Saturday night by defeating three-time WPT Champion Gus Hansen to win the Season VI WPT World Championship at Bellagio. After trailing by more than $18 million chips, the 47-year-old from Rowland Heights, Calif., made a furious run to earn the first place prize of $3,389,140 as well as a seat into the Season VII WPT World Championship at Bellagio in April 2009.

Prior to going head's-up with Chiu, Hansen knocked out the first four final table players in only 72 minutes. However, Chiu, who defeated 544 other competitors, was not going to let Hansen push him around in much the same fashion. "I wanted to lay low, sit back and hope Gus knocked everybody else out," Chiu said. "Gus is a great player, but I felt confident that I could make a comeback considering I had nothing to lose as a 5:1 underdog."

Having played only two of the 22 hands prior to their head's up battle, Chiu patiently grinded through another 58 hands and another two hours and 31 minutes. "I took my time and waited for my hands to come to me. I knew anything could happen so I wasn't going to just push it all in. I played my heart out in what I know was the toughest tournament I have ever played."

The 545-player WPT Championship wrapped up the month-long Five Star World Poker Classic event at Bellagio, which began Wednesday, April 2. Entry fees for the 12 No Limit Hold 'em tournaments ranged from $2,000-$5,000. To compete in the WPT World Championship, players either paid the $25,000 entry fee or earned a seat by competing in one of the seven super-satellite tournaments held throughout the first two-and-a-half weeks.

The Seniors No Limit Hold 'em tournament, with an entry fee of $2,500, returned to Bellagio along with the inaugural WPT Ladies™ No Limit Hold 'em Championship. Bill Baxter won the Seniors' event and cashed in $138,990 while Nancy Todd Tyner captured the Ladies' event and earned $68,640. The Ladies Championship featured a $1,500 entry fee.

Doug Dalton, director of poker operations at Bellagio, was ecstatic following the final table. "I can't think of a better way to end Season VI and the WPT World Championship at Bellagio," said Dalton. "The tournament was a tremendous success for all of us and I am thrilled that after six seasons we continue to create multiple millionaires with each event. We are already looking forward to Season VII."

Hansen, from Copenhagen, Denmark, earned $1,714,800 for his second-place finish. The four players Hansen knocked out at the final table included Georgia resident and former NFL Kicker John Roveto, who won $923,355 for third; Cory Carroll of Halifax, Nova Scotia, won fourth and $593,645; Tommy Le, the brother of well-known professional player and WPT Champion Nam Le, hailing from Orange County, Calif., finished in fifth place and took home $395,725; and Jeff King of Colchester, Conn., cashed $263,815 for sixth.

The WPT World Championship is the premier event on the poker circuit, drawing poker legends and top pros from around the world to battle it out for the prestigious championship title and season's richest prize pool. The WPT taped its 100th episode during the Season V WPT World Championship final table at Bellagio in 2007, the same location where the first final table was filmed six years ago. The WPT World Championship has celebrated more than 97 WPT Champions, 86 WPT Poker-Made Millionaires™ and more than $300 million in prize money awarded over the six years of WPT competition.


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