Organizers of the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship yesterday announced that an estimated field of 600 players is expected to descend on the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to compete for the $12-$15 million prize pool which will offer a first place prize of $3.5 million and two follow-up payouts of over $1 million. The No-Limit Hold'em event will host the largest ever gathering of WPT millionaires and will take place from April 18-24, 2006.
The series is expected to host a roster of top pros, many of who have won millions at Freddy Deeb, Ming Ly, Hasan Habib, Barry Greenstein, Nam Le, Al Ardebili, Hoyt Corkins, Eric Brenes, Tony Licastro, Patrik Antonius, Rehne Pedersen, Mel Judah, and defending champion, Tuan Le, who won $2.8 million in 2005. Also expected is Paul Maxfield, 2005's second place winner of $1.6 million.
"The challenge for these players and all the WPT champions is to show that that they are not a one hit wonder," says Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. "There's a lot of pressure on these guys. They have to fight through the toughest field in poker with a veritable bulls-eye on their backs."