World Poker Tour to Make Silver Screen Debut
By Andrew B
It was only a matter of time – poker has hit Hollywood. The World Poker Tour will get its first Hollywood close-up with a starring role in the upcoming movie 'Deal', which films this month in New Orleans. Alongside the film's stars Burt Reynolds and Bret Harrison, filmgoers will be able to see WPT hosts Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten and Courtney Friel who will all be playing themselves.

Produced by Michael Arata and Louisiana-based Crescent City Pictures, 'Deal', directed by Gil Cates Jr., can be characterized as 'The Color of Money' meets the poker world. It tells the story of an ex-gambler played by Reynolds, who teaches a hotshot college student how to 'play the player,' instead of just the cards.

Veteran actor Charles Durning is part of the cast, along with poker aficionado Shannon Elizabeth and WPT stars Phil 'The Unabomber' Laak and Antonio 'The Magician' Esfandiari.

'Deal' will film its WPT scenes immediately after the April 18-24, 2006 WPT World Championship(TM), the $12-$15 million finale to the 17-event World Poker Tour Season IV.

Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc, said, 'We are very excited about the World Poker Tour leaping from the small screen to the big screen.'

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