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Poker News: June 8, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 North Jersey

HEADLINE: Professional Poker Tour to debut

Unlike most shows of its kind, the Professional Poker Tour can guarantee that you'll see the best players in the world. And only the best players.

"We've created a feast for poker fans,'' said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of World Poker Tour Enterprises. "Just about anytime they turn on the show, they'll see one of their favorite poker heroes or poker villains ... the best of the best.''

The PPT boasts 250 of the game's top players, who, much like professional golfers, must earn their "tour card" with consistently strong career performances, including WPT and World Series of Poker championships.

The lineup is a who's who of poker: Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington, Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Scotty Nguyen, Chip Reese and Erik Seidel to name a few.

The show, which will run for 24 weeks on the Travel Channel beginning July 5, will take viewers through tournaments from start to finish, focusing on one featured table each day.

Whenever a player goes all-in anywhere in the room, cameras will be there to catch the action. The other innovation will be at the final table, where players must beat a 90-second clock to make their play or fold the hand.

The PPT debuts at the conclusion of the 2006 WPT season, which will allow the Travel Channel to air 44 weeks of first-run poker.

Learn poker, blackjack

Phil Gordon, poker professional and former host of "Celebrity Poker Showdown," and Andy Bloch, managing member of the infamous M.I.T blackjack team, will hold a seminar on poker and blackjack in Las Vegas on June 24.

Gordon will teach poker's pot odds, position, tells, domination and bluffing, while Bloch, will teach basic blackjack strategy, card counting, optimal betting, team play and more.

Following the seminars, Bloch and Gordon will hold a question and answer session about gambling and the Vegas lifestyle. The eight-hour seminar costs $299. For information, log on to

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