WPT Launches the Professional Poker Tour

12 November 2004

MASHANTUCKET, Connecticut – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Season One of The Professional Poker Tour(TM) (PPT) is jampacked with a stellar line-up of All-Star players, 134 of which turned out for the Tour's inaugural competition on November 9-10 at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Many of the game's favorites played a hand in the elite competition, but only six prevailed. Chris Bigler, Jennifer Harman, Daniel Harrington, John Juanda, Casey Kastle, and Ron Rose will advance to the PPT Final Table on Nov. 19 where only one will capture the very first PPT victory.

That's like saying you won the first PGA tournament in history, or ensnared the first Wimbledon title. In addition to being entitled to bragging rights and becoming the latest answer on the next generation of Trivial Pursuit, the winner will go home with $200,000, a $25,000 seat to the WPT World Championship, and some serious respect from the poker world. The tournament at Foxwoods is the first of five free-rolls that will offer a total sponsored prize pool of $2.5 million over the inaugural 2004-2005 Season. After its debut at Foxwoods, the PROFESSIONAL POKER TOUR will move on to Commerce Casino (Los Angeles), Bellagio (Las Vegas), and The Mirage (Las Vegas) in Season One of the Tour.

Launched by WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WPTE), the creator of the World Poker Tour(TM) (WPT), Professional Poker Tour reflects the evolution of poker as a sport. Whereas anyone can play on the WPT, only the game's professional elite that qualify will compete on the PPT. The PPT is unique because players can earn PPT Tour Cards throughout the WPT season and begin free-roll tournament play immediately. To be eligible to play on the Professional Poker Tour Professional Poker Tour, players must have proven themselves in past poker competition: By winning or making a Final Table at a WPT event or a WPT Championship, by scoring as a top 10 point leader in WPT Player-of-the-Year rankings, by winning or placing highly in the $10K buy-in event at the World Series of Poker, by securing a spot on either CardPlayer Magazine's Card Player of the Year Top 10 list or Poker Europa's Top 10, or by being a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.

These are the players who made the first PPT final table:

Chris Bigler- From Fislisbach, Switzerland, Bigler was a business-man until he discovered his true calling-poker-just six years ago on a trip to Vegas. He has already made it to more than one World Poker Tour Final Table, including placing fifth at the Bellagios' World Poker Classic in Season One.

Jennifer Harman: To many, Harman is not just the best female player on the planet, but one of the best payers, period. She is the only woman who can claim two World Series titles, and is a regular at the biggest poker game in the world at Las Vegas' Bellagio. Harman was recently featured on WPT "Ladies Night," the WPT Final Table of the Ultimate Poker Classic.

Daniel Harrington: A former attorney who currently resides in Santa Monica, CA, Harrington began playing poker more than a decade ago mainly for the excitement and enjoyment of the game. Harrington has gone from winning state chess championships to winning a World Series title and placing in the money at several final tables.

John Juanda: A thirty-something poker player originally from Indonesia, Juanda is called a "class act" by fellow poker pros and amateurs including celebrities, who appreciate his cool demeanor at the table. He won his first of three World Series titles in 2002. Juanda became instantly famous when he placed second in the first-ever WORLD POKER TOUR tournament: the 2002 Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic. In both 2001 and 2002, Juanda was runner-up to Card Player Magazine's Tournament Player-of-the-Year.

Casey Kastle: A Slovenian American from Chicago, Kastle is the man who spearheaded the efforts to make poker tournaments non-smoking. Kastle first got involved with the game of poker by helping a church group host a charity casino night where he volunteered to deal at a blackjack table. When the event concluded, Kastle played in a $2-$4 poker game which kicked off his love of poker. Kastle placed tenth in last season's LA Poker Classic.

Ron Rose: This retired executive calls the Northwest home, though he and the WPT's own Mike Sexton, have a common link--they both went to the same high school in Dayton, Ohio. Rose is an accomplished tournament player and successful businessman who once held a seat on the stock exchange. The father of three, Rose captured first place in WPT's Battle of the Champions that aired on Super Bowl Sunday in 2004.

For more information on the Professional Poker Tour or WPTE, please visit www.worldpokertour.com.


Related Links
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