SOURCE: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

January 25, 2006 17:58 ET

No Limit for Borgata Winter Poker Open Winner

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 25, 2006 -- Limit poker may not be today's most popular form of poker but the game is still alive in Atlantic City thanks to the strong die-hard player base that is willing to come out and support this kind of event. Many of Borgata's limit cash game players and several more well known pros took to the felt for two days, Monday and Tuesday, in the only non-No Limit Hold'em event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open.

Event Four drew 343 competitors to Borgata's beautiful event center, all hoping to secure a big payday. Unfortunately for 342 of these competitors, lady luck quashed their dreams of a champion's bracelet. For some, the day's event ended quickly. For others, playing their way to the final table would mean dodging a few bullets and hitting the right cards at the right time.

Once again, what started out as a sea of players on the first day was narrowed to 36 eager competitors by the end of play at 2:00 AM. Play continued at 2:00 PM Tuesday afternoon and continued until the final hand, which was logged at 11:37 PM.

The long walk to the winner's circle was finally taken by Stephen Benton of Leesburg, Va., when he defeated Tim Dalessandro of West Chester, Pa., for the title of Borgata Winter Poker Open Limit champion and a first-place cash of $52,301. For finishing second, Dalessandro earned $28,812 and a round of applause from the crowd and players who stuck around to see the conclusion of this limit final table.

The Limit event also saw the highest finish of a woman player at this year's Borgata Winter Poker Open. Svetlana Gromenkova of Brooklyn, NY, finished the tournament in third place, proving she had the goods to challenge her predominantly male competition. She raised the bar for female players at this year's event and reminded the field that a good player is a good player regardless of gender, race, or nationality.

In addition to the finals of the Limit event, Tuesday also saw the start of the Event Five, the second $1,000 buy-in event. 362 players stepped up to the plate for the event and were greeted by a sizeable prize pool of $362,000, with $110,410 going to first place.

A feeling of electricity is running throughout the tournament floor as more and more top players continue to arrive, ready to take their shot at possibly winning two Cadillac Escalades, a World Poker Tour title, a $25,000 seat into the World Poker Tour championships in April, and possibly a payday worth $1 million.

Robert "Action Bob" Hwang, one of the September's Borgata Poker Open $10,000 main event finalists, said he's glad to be back at Borgata and hopes to take down the first-place prize and a 2006 Cadillac Escalade this time around. "I'm really excited to be here. To me, the tournaments were run so well the last time and the structure they're giving us for the main event looks incredible. I'm really looking forward to playing in the $10,000."

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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