Detroit native crowned 'King of the Palace' by, wins WSOP seat

Claude Mason, 35, from Taylor, Mich., was crowned "King of the Palace" Champion by June 6 after winning the four-month long "King of the Palace" Tournament, a series of online and live poker tournaments sponsored and organized by the poker site to find the best poker player in Michigan.

Mason was awarded a 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) prize package for his win, including the $10,000 Main Event buy-in, round trip airfare and accommodation.

He will represent the poker room alongside sponsored pro Kenna James, who has invited Mason to a private party for a few lessons before the Main Event.

Mason, a father of three, battled it out against thousands of other online poker players and beat out nine other WSOP hopefuls live at the Palace of Auburn Hills to win his seat to the WSOP.

"Playing in the World Series of Poker has always been a dream of mine" says Mason. "I'm playing very well right now and I plan on shocking the world by winning the event. I also look forward to sharing this trip with my family."

The "King of the Palace" Tournament was part of's year-long, nationwide tour to "teach American how to play poker like the pros." Throughout 2006, representatives of are traveling the U.S. giving players the chance to improve their skills by competing in live and online tournaments for a WSOP Main Event seat.

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