SOURCE: Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa

January 27, 2006 13:38 ET

Borgata Winter Poker Open Begins Push to WPT Main Event

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 27, 2006 -- As the sun set outside of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa Thursday evening, play came to a close in Event Six, the $1,500 buy-in tournament final table. One of the more expensive buy-ins in the Borgata Winter Poker Open produced a field of 244 players and a prize pool of $366,000.

Some of the bigger names in Borgata poker history came out for this event. Players like World Series of Poker main event second-place finisher Steve Dannemman, Chip Jett, Arnold Spee, Paul Darden, Bill Blanda, and Chris "Triple Draw" Fargis, graced the tables of the Borgata Event Center. Only Dannemman survived to make it to the final table, but his luck didn't last long when he ran in to a set of fives. He collected $10,980 for finishing in eighth place.

Also joining the final table and once again proving he is a force to be reckoned with at any tournament was 2005 September Borgata Poker Open $1,500 buy-in event winner and World Poker Tour final table veteran, Robert "Action Bob" Hwang. The crowd favorite once again dispatched numerous players on his way to another final table. He finished one ahead of Dannemann and collected $18,000 for finishing seventh.

But in the end, it wasn't a big name player that took down the title. Konstantius "Charlie" Katikakis from Boston outplayed and outwitted many of the opponents who crossed his path on the way to the title. Displaying a keen knowledge of the game, he defeated Andre Rosskamm from New York City for the first-place bracelet and a tasty $113,460 payday. Rosskamm collected $64,050 for finishing in second place.

Thursday also saw the beginning of the Borgata Winter Poker Open ladies' event. Featuring a $300 buy-in, 270 women began the day with thoughts of winning a stunning Borgata champion's bracelet that would be a beautiful accessory to any outfit. The women players were just as aggressive as the men players. With a first-place prize of $25,104, the women took no quarter and no prisoners at the tables.

With tournament players continuing to arrive, the energy of Borgata is building considerably, as are the buy-ins leading up to the Winter Poker Open's biggest event.

Expected at this weekend's World Poker Tour main event are the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Mike 'the Grinder' Mizrachi, Kathy Liebert, Andy Black, Hoyt Corkins, Amir Vahedi, Erik Seidel, Freddy Deeb, Allen Cunningham, David Singer, Alan Goehring, Steve Dannemann, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Williams, and a host of other superstars from the poker universe.

With a 2006 Cadillac Escalade, $1 million in cash, and a $25,000 seat to the World Poker Tour's championship event in April at stake, the $10,000 buy-in main event is sure to elevate the blood pressure of even the best in the game. Considering that September's World Poker Tour main event winner, Al Ardiabelli, won his way into the tournament and a million-dollar payday by winning a satellite, players can take nothing for granted. Just like September's main event, once the cards hit the felt, it's anyone's game.

Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM). Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, it features 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 125,000 square feet of gaming, 163 gaming tables, 3,600 slot machines, 11 destination restaurants, 11 retail boutiques, a 54,000 square foot spa, 70,000 square feet of event space, and parking for 7,100 cars.

For more information on Borgata, and/or to obtain a copy of this press release visit www.theborgata.com or use AOL keyword: borgata. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at www.boydgaming.com, additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at www.mgmmirage.com.

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 more than 100 markets globally. WPT Enterprises 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. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to www.worldpokertour.com. The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc., a publicly held company. Photos and media information can be found online at: www.worldpokertour.com.

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