Seventh Annual Five Star World Poker Classic and WPT World Championship Returns to Bellagio April 1-25

The Five Star World Poker Classic tournament returns to Bellagio Wednesday, April 1 with the first of 13 No Limit Hold-em tournaments. The month-long event concludes April 18-25 with the Season VII World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship. To compete, players may either pay the $25,000 entry fee or earn a seat by participating in one of the seven super-satellite tournaments held throughout the first three weeks.

The WPT World Championship begins Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 at noon with two separate flights. The event continues Monday, April 20 with all competitors who have retained chips from their original allocation and concludes with the televised final table Saturday, April 25.

The Seniors No Limit Hold-em tournament also will return to Bellagio April 13-15 along with the Club WPT No Limit Hold-em tournament scheduled for Thursday, April 23. Entry fees for all of the tournaments range from $500-$5,000. Participants can register for all of the Five Star World Poker Classic tournaments in the Bellagio Poker Room.

Jack McClelland, director of poker tournament operations at Bellagio, is hopeful for another strong championship and said, “Our no limit tournaments and satellite events always have been well-attended and we hope to continue the trend this year. We anticipate more than 500 participants in this year’s championship including a heavy international contingent from countries including England, France, Denmark, Germany and Turkey, among others.”

California resident David Chiu captured the 2008 WPT World Championship at Bellagio in what was one of the largest comebacks in poker tournament history. He earned his first WPT title and the first place prize of $3,389,140 after two-and-a-half hours of heads up play against three-time WPT Champion Gus Hansen. Hansen, who finished second among the 545-player field, earned $1,714,800 for his second-place outing. The four players Hansen knocked out at the final table included former NFL Kicker John Roveto, well-known professional poker player Cory Carroll, Tommy Le (brother of WPT Champion Nam Le) and amateur Jeff King.