WPT to be featured in 'Deal'

The World Poker Tour (WPT) and its hosts are scheduled to appear in the new Burt Reynolds poker flick, "Deal," it was announced yesterday. The film, which began shooting in New Orleans, LA, this month, will feature co-hosts Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, and Courtney Friel playing themselves alongside the film's stars and select poker pros.

"Deal" is being produced by Michael Arata and Louisiana-based Crescent City Pictures. Poker pro and Studio City, CA, resident, Scott Lazar, is co-executive producing and consulting on the film, which is being directed by Gil Cates Jr.

"Deal" tells the story of an ex-gambler (Reynolds) who is lulled back into the world of high stakes action by a hot shot college student (Bret Harrison) who wants to learn the ins and outs of the game.

The plot unfolds just as you would expect it to in a Hollywood poker blockbuster: Mentor teaches protégé how to "play the player" in addition to the cards; Mentor and protégé have a falling out; Mentor and protégé settle their differences in a heads-up match at the WPT World Championship final table.

Other actors and poker personalities scheduled to appear in the movie include Charles Durning, Shannon Elizabeth, Phil Laak, and Antonio Esfandiari.

The WPT scenes in "Deal" will be filmed immediately after the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this April. Following the conclusion of the main event, the WPT World Championship set will be deconstructed and transported on the WPT 18-wheeler to New Orleans.

"We are very excited about the World Poker Tour leaping from the small screen to the big screen," says Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. "'Deal' will bring our enormously popular show on the Travel Channel to an even greater audience and we hope that it continues to fuel the explosion of poker worldwide."

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