World Poker Tour Returns to Bellagio for Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic

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The World Poker Tour (WPT) returns to Bellagio for the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic Friday, Nov. 28 – Friday, Dec. 19. The three-week event, created by Bellagio to pay tribute to Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, consists of 10 no limit hold ‘em tournaments, seven super satellites and a Senior’s No Limit contest.

The entry fees for all tournaments range from $1,500-$5,000 and the WPT main event, to be held Saturday, Dec. 13 – Friday, Dec. 19, requires an entry fee of $15,000. The champion will receive the first place prize money as well as a $25,000 seat in the April 2009 WPT World Championship at Bellagio. Player registration is now available at Bellagio’s poker room.

The ClubWPT event, which premiered during the Festa al Lago VI tournament in October, will be held Wednesday, Dec. 17 and is open to all professional and amateur poker players. The entry fee is $500 and for more information fans can visit www.worldpokertour.com.

Professional poker player and first-time World Poker Tour (WPT) winner Eugene Katchalov claimed the first place prize at the 2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic last December. The 26-year-old Katchalov, of Brooklyn, NY, took home $2,482,605 for his victory. The 2007 tournament attracted a Bellagio tournament-record 664 players for a total prize pool of more than $9.6 million.

“Doyle always has been a strong supporter and friend of Bellagio,” said Doug Dalton, director of poker operations for Bellagio. “We cherish our partnership not only with him but all of the players. We expect another strong turnout for December’s event and look forward to Eugene’s (Katchalov) attempt to defend his title.”

Brunson, who remains one of the most esteemed names in poker with five decades of experience at the table, captured the first of his 10 World Champion bracelets in 1976 and his first WPT win at the Season III Legends of Poker tournament. The Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic main event’s final table will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net (FSN) as part of the WPT Season VII television lineup, scheduled to begin airing during the FSN Sunday night sports block in 2009. For more information, visit www.worldpokertour.com.