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Copyright 2004 PR Newswire Association,
August 10, 2004 Tuesday
HEADLINE: PokerStars' World Championship of
Spreads Wealth Around the World; Players From All 50 States and
More Than 40 Countries Battled for Record $6 Million+ in Total
DATELINE: LOS ANGELES Aug. 10
With more than 10,000 entries and $6 million
in prize money awarded in 12 events held between July 28 and August
8, PokerStars' Third Annual World Championship of Online Poker
(WCOOP) now rivals the biggest and most prestigious land-based
poker tournaments in the world. As thousands of poker fans watched
on their computers this past Sunday, a 30-year-old financial analyst
from Oslo, Norway, known by the screen name "Ragde"
won $424,945.26 in the main event.
The total prize pool for the main event alone
exceeded $2 million dollars -- a higher figure than most of the
biggest poker events shown on television -- and the top 81 finishers
received prize money. No Internet-based competition of any kind
in history has ever awarded such a large cash prize. All of the
top five spots won more than $100,000, an unprecedented payout
for an online
The WCOOP tournament series, hosted online
at PokerStars.com, consists of the most popular forms of poker
-- Texas Hold 'em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low,
Omaha and Omaha High/Low -- with four events featuring the world's
most popular version of tournament poker, No Limit Texas Hold
'em. Players from all 50 states and more than 40 countries took
part in this year's event.
"There's no denying that poker
is emerging as the world's new favorite pastime," said Lee
Jones, PokerStars poker room manager and best-selling poker author.
"The global participation and tremendous prize money for
our World Championship of Online Poker -- totals that dwarf most
successful land-based tournaments -- show that online poker is
a vital part of the worldwide poker boom."
The grand finale of the tournament was the WCOOP main event, otherwise
known as the official World Championship of Online Poker. The
feature game was a No-Limit
Texas Hold 'em Tournament with an entry fee of $2,500
-- a significant figure that attracted some of the biggest names
in poker, including Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker, the past
two World Series of Poker (WSOP) champions. Both won their WSOP
seats for their championship runs through PokerStars.com.
Many of the participants in the main event
paid the entry fee themselves, but for others, the entry fee came
at a bargain -- a sizable number of players qualified through
online satellites held regularly at PokerStars.com, where players
could enter a tournament for a chance to win a seat at the main
event for only a fraction of the cost. Many more players gained
their entry into the tournament from PokerStars' "Frequent
Player Points" alone, meaning the entry fee essentially cost
nothing other than time already spent playing at PokerStars. The
company gave away more than $500,000 in free entries through the
Frequent Player Point program.
Based on the huge success of this year's tournament,
in both the number of players and total prize money, it is expected
that the WCOOP will continue to
grow in size and stature, especially as more players come to
realize that anyone can sign up and participate, and perhaps end
up as a "world champion."
PokerStars set the poker industry on fire in
2003 by producing the first World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion
who won his entry online. Chris Moneymaker, an accountant from
Tennessee, entered a $39 satellite tournament on PokerStars.com
and went on to win $2.5 million in the world's biggest and most
prestigious poker tournament. Almost all of his tournament poker
experience came from playing on PokerStars.
In 2004, PokerStars sent 316 players to the
WSOP, more than any other source besides WSOP on-site satellites.
Four PokerStars players made it to the final table, and Greg Raymer,
who won his seat in a $160 satellite on PokerStars, took home
the world's largest prize ever in poker -- $5 million and the
coveted WSOP championship bracelet. In all, PokerStars players
took home almost $11 million in prize money from the 2004 WSOP
For more detailed information about PokerStars'
World Championship of Online Poker, including recaps of all 12
events, please visit www.pokerstars.com.
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com), an official
member of the World Poker Tour, is the world's most innovative
online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce
advanced multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics,
players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments
and ring big bet games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit
and go tournaments, and much more.
PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and support
is available around the clock from people who know and understand
both the game of poker,
and the importance of impeccable customer service.
To date, PokerStars has run more than two million
poker tournaments and dealt more than 600 million hands. PokerStars
utilizes industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity
of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and
preventative measures against cheating and collusion.
PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Champions
of Poker won their entries into the World Series of Poker, thus
earning the trademark -- "Where poker players become World
CONTACT: Johner Riehl of Edelman, +1-323-202-1072, email@example.com,
for PokerStars.com; or Nolan Dalla of PokerStars.com, +1-703-786-6038,
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