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World Poker Tour Arrives in Aruba

1 Oct 2004

ARUBA -- (PRESS RELEASE) --Braving the fury of Hurricane Jeanne, hundreds of intrepid poker players made it to Aruba for the Poker Classic, the fifth stop on the acclaimed WORLD POKER TOUR. 647 players either won their entry online through a satellite or bought-in for $6,000, and tournament sponsor anted up an extra $118,000 to make the total prize pool a cool $4 million. That pot is $2,256,000 larger than last year's tournament, which drew 436 players. The winner of the Poker Classic will take home $1 million, double what last year's victor claimed, and then advance to the WPT Championship when the tour's season culminates at Bellagio in April 2005. The WORLD POKER TOUR is the highest rated series in the history of the Travel Channel, airing Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

"The WORLD POKER TOUR continues to average a "poker millionaire a month" in its 16-tournament season. In Season Three the total prize money has already reached $15,194,470, a $6,631,590 increase over Season Two Tour stops to date. The high stakes action is attracting increasing numbers of players vying for the prize money and fans eager to witness the minting of a millionaire at the Final Table. Projected to reach a total of $70 million, Season Three's prize pool is rising with every stop on the Tour.

Adding to the excitement, staged a pre-tournament "Celebrity Aruba Home Game" featuring Ben Affleck and a number of top professional WPT poker players, including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, and Antonio Esfandiari. Each star hosted a table, and 15 lucky winners walked away with sets of WPT-embossed poker chips in sleek wood cases. Affleck also played in the main WPT event, but was eliminated on the first day.

The tropical destination has not only attracted celebrities, but also players from a host of countries including Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. Unique among WPT events, the tournament format makes the most of the soft tropical breezes and warm Caribbean sun; the Final Table will be played outside amongst a backdrop of ocean and palm trees.

The next and sixth stop of the WORLD POKER TOUR'S 16-tournament season is the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship, from October 19-22 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. For the complete tournament schedule and casino contacts, please visit

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