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WPT Season #7: Bellagio Cup $15,000 No-Limit Hold'em

WPT, 2008-07-18, by Ozone

World Poker Tour Enterprises reversed some of their struggles yesterday by announcing a deal with Fox Sports Net to air the seventh season of their show. This announcement came at an appropriate time: just hours before final table action got underway on the tour's first stop of the season.

A $15,000 buy-in didn't seem to detract from the Bellagio Cup. Taking place on the heels of the WSOP Main Event, 446 players showed up hungry for a second-chance tournament. Oddly, tournament officials opted to pay the top 100 finishers yet still give 25% of the prize pool to the winner. This resulted in some irregular payouts. For example, 6th place finisher, Gabriel Thaler, won $129,000 which was about 8% of the winners prize of $1,673,000.

That lucky winner was Michael "SirWatts" Watson. A Canadian well known by his online poker handle, Watson shattered his previous personal record of $61,000 for largest score in a live tournament. David Benyamine continued his blazing hot summer with a 2nd place finish for $840,000. In this year's WSOP, Benyamine had cashes of $316,000 and $535,000.

Luke "IWEARGOGGLES" Staudenmaier recorded the largest cash of his career with a 3rd place finish for $452,000. Pros Ralph Perry and John Phan will appear on Fox Sports Net's first airing of the World Poker Tour for their 4th and 5th place finishes, respectively.

The next WPT event takes place August 23rd through 28th in Los Angeles at the Bicycle Casino for the Legends of Poker. Dan Harrington comes in as the reigning champion.

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