Monday, January 28, 2008

World Series of Poker Circuit Event - Harrah's Rincon

2008 WSOP Circuit Event Rincon
Image courtesy of

SAN DIEGO, CA, January 28, 2008 – I'm back in California, close to home, for the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah's Rincon. We've got our first champion here, Frank Lin of Los Angeles, CA won Event #1 today.


SAN DIEGO, CA, February 4, 2008 – It's been a great week here at Rincon thus far. Lots of familiar faces and people I've known forever stopping by to say hello. Many locals have won Circuit rings for the first time which is what the circuit is all about, giving local players a chance to compete against the traveling pros. We had a great day of mega-satellites today and the Main Event starts tommorrow....

Below is a slideshow of various pics from the preliminary events.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

World Series of Poker® Available To More Than 200 Stations


Weekly Nationwide Broadcasts Will Introduce WSOP to New Audiences

LAS VEGAS, NV January 22, 2008 – Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: HET) today announced the launch of World Series of Poker® Radio, the official weekly radio show of the World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light.

WSOP Radio is produced by Bluff Media and is available to more than 200 stations of the Sports Byline Radio Network. The broadcasts can be heard every Monday from 8 p.m. Eastern Time to 10 p.m. Eastern.

“World Series of Poker Radio is the latest addition to our broadcasting and new media portfolio and opens up a new way for us to connect with our fans and players,” said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “We’re now ‘on the air’ every week with the biggest names in the game, news from the WSOP and insights from top poker analysts.”

Listeners can participate in the show by calling 1-866-925-TALK. Guests will include celebrities, past and present WSOP champions, tournament officials and up and coming players from around the world.

World Series of Poker Radio will be hosted by Nick Geber, a regular commentator on “World Series of Poker Live” and three-year host of Fox Sports World TV’s “Fox Football Friday.” Geber began his broadcasting career at Fox Radio in Los Angeles and has been heard on Sporting News Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, Sports Byline Radio and the American Forces Radio. He is an avid poker player and regularly plays tournaments and cash games throughout the Los Angeles area.

"I'm very excited to bring poker’s ‘Major League’ to the airwaves," Geber said. "Now sports radio and poker fans can follow and participate in the action of the World Series of Poker every Monday!"

In addition to and, World Series of Poker Radio can be heard on American Forces Radio affiliates,, Cable Radio Network (CRN) and a variety of local radio affiliates in major markets nationwide, including:

KFCD 990 AM, Dallas
KGOW 1560 AM, Houston
KELA 1470 AM, Seattle
KSLG 1380 AM, St. Louis
WMOH 1450 AM, Cincinnati
KCXL 1140 AM, Kansas City
KSHP 1400 AM, Las Vegas
WSFN 790 AM, Jacksonville
KASR 92.7 FM, Little Rock
KPUA 670 AM, Honolulu
WNKT 107.5 FM, Columbia, S.C.
WXRB 1350 AM, Savannah
KSOO 1140 AM, Sioux Falls
KGNC 710 AM, Amarillo

More stations will be added weekly. World Series of Poker Radio also can be accessed over cell phones using Upsnap beginning January 28.

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The Company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit

Source: WSOP Press Release

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

STATS LLC and World Poker Tour® Partner


STATS LLC and World Poker Tour® Partner to Offer Poker Industry’s First Ever Sports-Style Breakdowns and Analyses

Analysis and Stats of Every WPT Final Hand Played Will Be Featured on, Allowing Fans to Study the Game Like Never Before

Los Angeles and Northbrook, IL – January 22, 2008 – STATS LLC, the world’s leading sports information provider, and WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE), the leader in worldwide poker entertainment, announced today a partnership to deliver the first ever in-depth analyses and strategic breakdowns for the poker industry.

STATS—which provides data collection and analysis for 85 sports leagues and more than 55,000 events per year, including Major League Baseball, National Football League, and National Basketball Association—will deliver stats and information from every past and present World Poker Tour® (WPT) final table. WPT STATS data results are now available in the WPT player database exclusively on with new updates following each tournament, allowing poker fans and players to study intricacies of the game in ways never available before.

STATS will compile the aggregate actions of each final table hand in the company’s proprietary databases featuring over 100 tournaments in World Poker Tour history, as well as all tournaments going forward. STATS’ information will detail “playing style” along with situational analysis, breakdowns and trends for a more complete portrait of each World Poker Tour star. Examples include how often a player plays a pot; how often they take a hand to “showdown”; and the average bet size relative to the pot by player.

“This is an incredibly exciting move for us, as it will really change the way the game is studied and played,” said Ken Graiwer, Vice President of WPT Interactive. “This partnership with STATS will really bring poker information up to the level of sports analytics, giving fans and players a whole new perspective on the game. Before, you could watch the show to see how players play and speculate on why—NOW you can actually access statistical information on why they played a certain way and the success of their particular methods. Players can study each other and themselves.”

“We’re excited to partner with the World Poker Tour and unveil new insights for one of the world’s most popular games,” said Steve Byrd, Executive Vice President at STATS. “STATS enjoys a proven history of providing an alternative way for both fans and media alike to view and understand sports. We strongly believe this type of analyses will make the game more enjoyable for the growing legion of World Poker Tour fans.”

In 2003, WPT revolutionized televised poker and brought Texas Hold'em, the “Cadillac of Poker,” to the forefront of international excitement. WPT has turned poker into a sporting event that draws the young and old, men and women and people of all nationalities into the game; it has reshaped the face of poker and has raised the competitive bar to a new level. Now in it’s sixth season, WPT has made over 100 tour stops around the globe, has been licensed for broadcast in over 150 countries and territories, has awarded over $300 million dollars in prize money, created over 80 WPT Poker-Made Millionaires™ and recently announced a partnership with the Chinese Leisure Sports Administration Center to build the first ever National Traktor Poker Championship in China.

Contact: Nick Stamm

Lyndsay LaGree
World Poker Tour
323-330-9876 (o)

With more than 25 years experience in mission critical sports data collection, processing and distribution - STATS is the world's leading sports information, content and statistical analysis company. STATS offers a world-wide portfolio of sports information solutions - including the company’s hallmark of real-time scores, historical sports information and turnkey fantasy sports operation along with AP editorial content, breaking sports news and photos. STATS’ innovative sports information solutions are utilized in numerous business segments: professional teams; sports broadcast production, cable and satellite networks; interactive television; broadband, wireless and internet; game developers and fantasy sports providers; print media and wire services. STATS has offices in Bangalore, Barcelona, Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan, Mumbai, Münster, New York, The Hague and

About WPT Enterprises, Inc.
WPT Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: WPTE) is a company engaged in the creation of internationally branded entertainment and consumer products driven by the development, production, and marketing of televised programming based on gaming themes. WPTE is the creator of the World Poker Tour®, a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on the Travel Channel in the United States and is scheduled to begin broadcasting on GSN in early 2008. WPTE is licensed for broadcast globally. WPTE also offers real-money online gaming on its website,, which prohibits wagers from players in the U.S. and certain other restricted territories. WPTE currently licenses its brand to companies in the business of poker equipment and instruction, apparel, publishing, electronic and wireless entertainment, DVD/home entertainment, casino games, and giftware. The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to WPTE is a majority-owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO). Photos and media information can be found online at:

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

World Series of Poker Circuit Event - Tunica

wsop circuit

TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI, January 9, 2008 – I am in Tunica, Mississippi this month for the WSOP Circuit Event, which is being held at the Grand Casino Tunica. It has been a great tournament so far. The Tournament Director is Jimmy Sommerfeld and the Tournament Coordinator is Robert McGovern who is also the Regional Poker Room Manager for this area. Noted poker writer/humorist Max Shapiro is also on hand reporting writing the daily tournament summaries.

We're doing many player friendly extras such as dinner at LB's Steakhouse for final table players and generous comps for all entrants. Starting chip stacks for all events have been increased to 10,000 for extended "deep stack" play. This Main Event will be televised and there is also a $100,000 Best All-Around Player award. Additionally, when booking a room, mention that you are playing in the poker tournament and you will receive a $49 room rate. Come on down, were having a great time.


January 11, 2008 – Today we had 1,000 entrants for the $300 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournament. This was the largest turnout in the history of the Grand Casino Tunica. You can read the final Tournament Report for Event #11 tommorrow to see who comes out on top.

January 19, 2008 - Main Event (Day 1) - The Main Event drew 180 players with 1st place receiving $428,210, each started with a deep-stack of 20,000 in chips. Many recognizable pros were in the field like Michael Mizrachi (6th in this event last year), Tom Schneider, Kathy Liebert, Josh Arieh, Gavin Smith, Bill Elder, David Ulliott, John Phan, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, Gavin Griffin, Chris Reslock, Alex Jacob, Shannon Shorr, Lee Markholt and Darrell Dicken to name a few. Day One played down to 29 players with Mark Garner of Little Rock, AR ending the day as the chipleader with 263,500 in chips.

January 20, 2008 - Main Event (Day 2) - On Day Two we made it into the money and played down to the final nine players. Eighteen places got paid, 10th-18th were as follows:

10th: Jesse Maupin (Rockwall, TX)
11th: Tom Franklin (Gulfport, MS)
12th: Jeremiah Vinsant (Murfeesboro, TN)
13th: Dustin Bailey (Center, TX)
14th: Charles Horvath (St. Clair Shores, MS)
15th: Charles Dwayne Cardin (Madisonville, TN)
16th: Tim Frostad (Regina, SK, Canada)
17th: Josh Arieh (Atlanta, GA)
18th: Jesse Dean (Bonita, CA)

The final nine will return on Tuesday for the final table. Here are thier names and chip count:

John Devia (West Palm, FL) 929,500
Ryan Young (Torrance, CA) 521,000
Giovanni Marcacci (Brooksville, FL) 465,000
Tom Schneider (Scottsdale, AZ) 422,000
Ben Sabrin (Atlanta, GA) 417,000
Donald Nicholson (Oak Ridge, TN) 325,000
Mark Garner (Little Rock, AR) 213,500
Bart Tichelman (Atlanta, GA) 164,000
Jordan Rich (Portland, OR) 147,000

January 22, 2008 - Main Event (Final Table, Day 3)

1st: Bart Tichelman (Atlanta, GA) $428,210
2nd: Donald Nicholson (Oak Ridge, TN) $236,163
3rd: Giovanni Marcacci (Brooksville, FL) $129,760
4th: John Devia (West Palm, FL) $103,808
5th: Ben Sabrin (Atlanta, GA) $77,856
6th: Mark Garner (Little Rock, AR) $64,880
7th: Ryan Young (Torrance, CA) $51,904
8th: Tom Schneider (Scottsdale, AZ) $38,928
9th: Jordan Rich (Portland, OR) $25,952

For additional articles and information regarding the Main Event check out the following links to sites that have live blogging:

WSOP Circuit Grand Tunica (Martin Derbyshire, PokerListings)
World Series of Poker Circuit 2008 (Kaelaine Minton, PokerPages)
WSOP Circuit Tunica Main Event (Logan Leatham, PokerNews)


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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Open Letter to Poker Players

Open Letter to Poker Players from Jimmy Sommerfeld

TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI – First of all, I would like to wish all of the players a Happy and Profitable New Year. I would like to take this time to welcome all of the poker players that will be playing at the Grand Casino. For those of you that do not know me, my name is Jimmy Sommerfeld. I will be your tournament director at the Grand. I was hired to be the tournament director by Robert McGovern, Regional Poker Room Manager for Harrah’s and Sherri Pucci, Vice President Table Games Harrah’s. When approached by Robert and Sherri, I was asked to put together the best poker tournament possible. I was told to present them with any changes, suggestions, or any other request that will make this tournament an EVENT to remember. The following were my suggestions and they were committed and agreed to ALL of my request.

1) My first goal was to bring in the most respected staff available. The staff will include:

Jimmy Sommerfeld – Tournament Director (Assistant Tournament Director WSOP)
Charlie Cirese – Day Shift Tournament Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Steve Frazier – Swing Shift Tournament Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Brooks Turk – Restart, Final Table Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Bill Bruce – Day Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
David Missildine – Day Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP Circuit)
Amy Litchfield – Swing Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Kevin Ferguson – Swing Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Robin Fisackerly - Swing Shift Assistant (Poker Room Supervisor Horseshoe)
Lisa Crompton – Pay-Out Director (Assistant Poker Room Manager Horseshoe)
Steve Batewell – Registration Director (Registration Director WSOP Circuit)
Sheree Bagden – Registration Assistant (Assistant Tournament Director Grand)
Sue Phillips – Dealer Coordinator Director (Dealer Coordinator Director WSOP)
Jason Boswell – Assistant Dealer Coordinator (Assistant Dealer Coordinator WSOP)
Dale Carden – Tournament Coordinator (Poker Room Supervisor Horseshoe)
Joe Mendoza - Tournament Coordinator (Assistant Poker Room Manager Grand)
Teresa Sommerfeld – Single Table Satellite Director (Single Table Satellite Director WSOP)
Rena Williams - Single Table Satellite Director (Assistant Tournament Director Grand)
Sherri Lindsay - Single Table Satellite Director (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Steve Reed - Single Table Satellite Director (Poker Room Supervisor Grand)
Sonja Coley – Administrative Assistant (Administrative Assistant Grand)

I believe that these Staff Members are the BEST STAFF MEMBERS in the Poker industry.
These staff members will show their ability to make fair, honest and correct floor calls and will be available to implement the very best in customer satisfaction.

2) My second goal was to have an affordable room rate for the players. At $49 a night throughout the tournament, I believe that this is the least expensive Hotel rooms for any major tournament in the Country.

3) My third goal was to give the players a good promotion. I asked Robert and Sherri to stand behind a Best all Around Players award. I told them that if we would take $5 per player from the prize pool then we would have approximately $40,000 to fund the Best all Around. So, I asked them to guarantee a $50,000 Best all Around. I was turned down. Sherri Pucci replied, “You bet on a $50,000 Best all Around?” I Replied, “Yes, it will only cost us approximately $10,000.” She replied, “I understand, Son, You have just been RAISED, I am all in with a $100,000 Best all Around.” I folded…So there it is poker players…..Harrah’s is guaranteeing a $100,000 Best all Around.

4) My fourth goal was to present the player with a competitive schedule. I added $700 tournaments, I added short handed tournaments, I added a Nightly Turbo. I tried to include any and all buy-in levels on a daily basis to ensure that all players will have a tournament that they can enjoy and afford. I also raised the buy-in of the Championship Event to $7,500. It will be aired by Bluff on a tape delay. (The black Box will not be present, Spectators will have access)

5) My fifth goal was to give the players the BEST STRUCTURE possible. I decided to give all tournaments $10,000 in chips to start with. I also added many levels and slowed the tournament down to a crawl in the middle and late stages of the tournament. So, not only do the players start with more chips they also have added levels. Many players think that if you just double the chips in a tournament, that this makes it a great tournament. What happens when you add chips to the tournament is that it takes longer to bust the players out. Therefore, when the blinds catch up to the amount of chips in play, There are too many players left in the tournament. Therefore, the tournament then becomes a shoot-out because no player has enough chips to have skill play a part. To combat this, I have added many levels to the later rounds, giving the players ample time to play bad and bust themselves out. Each tournament will last approximately 20 -24 hours to complete (approximately 27 players will return on day 2) . These are 2 Long days of play. This is what you have asked for.

To wrap up this letter, I would like to thank Robert McGovern, Sherri Pucci, and Harrah’s for allowing me to be the Circuit Tournament Director at the Grand. I would also like to thank them for allowing me to set up, direct and promote this tournament as I saw fit. If we have problems at this tournament there is only one person to blame, that is ME. They stood by EVERY decision that I made. I hope each player will enjoy their experience at this Circuit Event. If there is anything that I can do to make this tournament better, PLEASE tell me, I WILL LISTEN.


Jimmy Sommerfeld

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