|From Albuquerque, NM to Verona, NY casinos and international online poker rooms are getting in on the action by providing poker enthusiasts a low-cost way to potentially play their way into the prestigious $25,500-seat World Poker finale. It is anticipated to draw more than 1000 players and a whopping estimated prize pool of $25 million. |
The international online poker rooms include PartyPoker.com, UltimateBet.com, PokerStars.com, bodog.com, TigerGaming.com, and PokerChamps.com. Currently, the online casinos start their satellite buy-ins anywhere from $5 to $50.
“Poker is the ultimate democratic sport; anyone can rise to the occasion,” said Steve Lipscomb, founder and president. “We are pleased to bring the opportunity to win a seat in our World Poker Championships to so many properties across the country, enabling thousands more players to get a shot at our record prize money. We tip our cap to the satellite affiliates and thank them for helping us grow this grassroots entry system.”
In April 2004, Martin de Knijff of Stockholm, Sweden, prevailed over 342 players, to take home a first-place $2,728,356-cut of the $8,342,000 pie. However, he sat at a Final Table with three relative unknowns, including two college students who collectively took home $1,164,311, once again proving everyone has a serious shot at the WPT World Championship prize pool.
Should a player win one of the coveted satellite spots at a regional or online casino, he or she will receive from the hosting poker room the $25,000 + $500 buy-in, round-trip airfare and accommodations at the Bellagio.
The World Poker Tour, the show that reinvented poker as a televised spectator sport, will broadcast 16 new tournaments filmed at leading casinos and exotic locales from Las Vegas to Paris, beginning with the launch of its Third Season in March 2005.