DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, Aug. 17, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- PokerStars.com (www.pokerstars.com), the world's largest poker tournament web site, has once again solidified its position as the gateway to the most prestigious events in poker. Thousands of PokerStars players participated in this year's World Series of Poker (WSOP). In fact, PokerStars sent nearly 19 percent of the total playing field to this year's main event -- more than any other venue outside of the WSOP itself. Out of the record-breaking field of 8,773 entries, 1623 members of the PokerStars team participated in poker's world championship. Overall, PokerStars players won more than $21 million in the 46 open events at the World Series.
Three PokerStars players made it all the way to the final table, slugging through eight grueling days, battling for the grand prize of $12 million. The three finalists departed Las Vegas with combined winnings of $5.9 million:
Joe Hachem, 2005 WSOP champion, also went deep into this year's competition along with fellow Team PokerStars member Humberto Brenes who exited in 36th place with $329,865. Humberto also distinguished himself by cashing eight times over the six-week duration of the entire World Series, tying Phil Hellmuth, Jr. for the most money finishes during the 2006 WSOP.
PokerStars amplified its team of All-Star players with the recent additions of Barry Greenstein, Victor Ramdin, Katja Thater, Humberto Brenes and Bill Chen (Chen was one of only two players to win two gold bracelets during this year's WSOP). Also donning their PokerStars gear were comedians Norm MacDonald and Louie Anderson and PGA tour member and golf commentator Paul Azinger.
"This has been one of the most spectacular years of my life, and a phenomenal year for PokerStars as well," said 2005 World Series Champion Joe Hachem. "The excitement around poker continues to grow stronger and stronger each year, thanks largely to an increasing number of online players who are making this sport so exciting."
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) is the world's most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce features that became industry standard such as sophisticated multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and big bet ring games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more.
To date, PokerStars has dealt out nearly 6 billion hands and run more than 30 million poker tournaments, awarding well over $5 billion in prize money. PokerStars is the world's largest poker tournament room, with over 6 million registered player accounts. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and assistance is available around the clock from people who know and understand the game of poker and the importance of impeccable customer service.
The PokerStars.com site is also one of the most secure. PokerStars uses 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 to players at all times.
In February 2006, PokerStars.com became the first poker website ever to reach the 100,000 simultaneous player mark. That watershed achievement marked the largest poker event in history. Every week, the PokerStars.com "Sunday Million" is played, which is the largest weekly tournament on the planet with a $1 million guaranteed tournament prize pool.
PokerStars is an official member of the World Poker Tour, and the title sponsor of the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In the fall, PokerStars hosts the world's largest online tournament, the 5th World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). PokerStars also sponsors major events around the globe, such as the World Cup of Poker and other exciting tournaments.
During the last three years, PokerStars.com sent more players to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) than any other source or website. A whopping 1,116 entrants (19 percent of the field) qualified to play in the 2005 WSOP via PokerStars satellites. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker champions won their entries into the WSOP. The 2005 world poker champion, Joe Hachem, has also been an active player at PokerStars since 2001. He joined Moneymaker and Raymer as official representatives of PokerStars.com, thus fortifying the company trademark, "Where Poker Players Become World Champions."
Lotus Public Relations Kerry Johnson/Susan Lindner (212) 922-5885 Kerry.email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
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