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Online Poker News Archives - June 28, 2005

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Business Wire

June 28, 2005 Tuesday 5:14 PM GMT

HEADLINE: Players Shatter Record; More than 1,000 Qualify for World Series of Poker (WSOP) Championship; World's Largest Online Poker Tournament Site is Training Ground for Best Players

The 2003 AND 2004 WSOP Champions Honed their Craft at, home of the last two World Series of Poker (WSOP) champions, announced today that the online poker site's satellite tournaments have qualified over 1,000 players to participate in the WSOP Championships beginning July 7 in Las Vegas. The WSOP Main Event Championship is the world's largest poker event, generating the largest purse and attracting more than 6,000 players. This year's top players will share a prize pool expected to be in excess of $60 million. gained worldwide attention in 2003 as the site that launched the meteoric rise of Chris Moneymaker, now one of the best known poker players in the world. An unknown player, participating in his first land-based tournament, Moneymaker became the first online qualifier to win the prestigious WSOP Championship bracelet, earning a then-record $2.5 million first place prize. Moneymaker was one of 33 players to qualify for the WSOP on in 2003, a record at that time.

Moneymaker qualified to play in the WSOP Main Event by winning a $39 satellite tournament on He went on to defeat the 839 player field to capture the 2003 WSOP Championship. then qualified 316 players for the 2004 WSOP championship event, which had grown by more than 200 percent in terms of players. Lightning struck once again - Greg Raymer, a player who had won his WSOP entry in a $160 satellite tournament, defeated 2,575 players for first place in the 2004 WSOP Championships in Las Vegas, taking home the winner's bracelet and a record $5 million.

And that was not all. Four of the nine final table players, including runner-up David Williams, qualified on In all, the 2004 WSOP paid out more than $11 million in prize money to players.

Raymer attributes the huge numbers of WSOP qualifiers on the site to the variety and frequency of tournaments and the high quality of support that PokerStars players receive.

"The World Series of Poker is the biggest and most prestigious tournament in poker, and it's the one everyone wants to play," Raymer said. "PokerStars players can win the poker dream of a lifetime for as little as $3 - in fact, PokerStars has two players this year who won $10,000 WSOP entries, cash and hotel stays for an investment of $6. And when players have questions or need help, PokerStars is there for them. You can call around the clock, and get speedy, correct information."

This year, is giving away more than $2 million in WSOP entry packages, to 125 players via the site's innovative Frequent Player Point system (a system similar to airline frequent flyer points in which players can use their points as a substitute for real money to enter preliminary WSOP events.) An additional 900 players have qualified via the site's satellite tournament system. The number of players who have won 2005 WSOP entries on exceeds the total number of players who played in the WSOP in 2003.

About PokerStars

PokerStars (, 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.

In four short years, PokerStars has become the world's leading tournament site. To date, PokerStars has dealt nearly two billion hands and run more than nine million poker tournaments, awarding over $1 billion in prize money since its founding. 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. Money covering player's balances is held in segregated accounts managed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, ensuring that PokerStars can fulfill its obligations towards players at all times.

PokerStars is the title sponsor of the European Poker Tour and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. also hosts the World Championship of Online Poker, the world's largest online poker tournament, with a 2004 prize pool of more than $6 million. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Champions of Poker won entries into the World Series of Poker, thus earning the trademark -- "Where poker players become World Champions."

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