SOURCE: Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa

January 24, 2006 16:15 ET

North Carolina Man Cleans Up at Borgata Winter Poker Open

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 24, 2006 -- The third event of the Borgata Winter Poker Open, the $1,000 buy-in, is now complete, with 340 players having seen action over two days. There was no shortage of action throughout the tournament. By the end of day one, all but 20 players had been eliminated and sent back to their hotel rooms for the night.

Event three saw a prize pool of $340,000 and paid out the top 36 players. In the end, North Carolina's Rich Marshall bested Maryland's Vinod Vangimalla for the biggest cash prize and the Borgata champion's bracelet. For taking top prize, Marshall collected a well-deserved $103,700, while Vangimalla earned $57,120 for his efforts.

In addition to the climax of the $1,000 event, the fourth tournament, the $500 Limit Hold'em event, also got underway as well. In a return to the early days of the Borgata Poker Open tournament format, event four's $500 Limit Hold'em is the only non-No Limit Hold'em event in the series and had a great turnout of 343 players.

According to Borgata tournament director Tab Duchateau, the turnout for the Limit event was another positive sign that poker is here to stay. "Seeing this many players participating in a Limit tournament is rewarding because having a Limit event was one of the requests of players made during September's Borgata Poker Open. We are happy to see that the players are enjoying the change of pace."

If the number of players at the Borgata Winter Poker Open is an indication of the state of the game, Borgata's new 85-table poker room this spring will do very well. Players are coming in droves to get a taste of Borgata tournament action with the influx of players showing no signs of slowing. As the buy-ins increase and more professionals arrive for the bigger events, they are being greeted by a large number of non-professional players who want to compete with the best in the game.

In certain circles there is speculation that the game's popularity may slow in the near future, but Borgata sees no end to the world's insatiable demand to play poker. With its new 85-table poker room set to debut in the upcoming months, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is investing heavily in the sport and the multitude of players who have fallen in love with the game and the property.

One of September's money winners from the Borgata Poker Open, Dale Pinchot, said he can't wait for the new room and that he believes the Borgata will become synonymous with the word poker. "With the new room, Borgata's commitment to the game and its players will solidify its reputation as being one of the best poker venues on the planet."

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.

Contact Information