In the next few weeks, the World Poker Tour will be featuring two tournaments that show the best the poker world has to offer from the under 30 set as well as the female side of the game. One of the tournaments will be featured very soon on the Travel Channel, while the other will be shown later in the year.
On August 31st, the WPT will feature the "young guns" of the game as the best players under 30 (actually, all the players are under 25!) square off on the felt. Youth has been one of the driving forces in the resurgence of the sport of poker, and the six players they have chosen to feature in the event are definitely the face of the future of the game.
Coming to the table will be Joe Cassidy, a 24 year old former law student turned professional poker player. He has been called by 2004 Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu the "best poker player under the age of 25." Also coming to the table will be Full Tilt Poker's John D'Agostino (22), two time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Fischman (24), WSOP bracelet holder Thomas "Thunder" Keller (24), the talkative Pete Lawson (24) and 2004 WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams (24), touted as the "future of poker".
The action between these gentlemen should be furious. All are known for a hyper aggressive style and should bring their attacks against each other in the short handed format. The tournament will air August 31st at 9PM on the Travel Channel.
For those that would rather catch their poker in a live format, the women will step to the felt to compete and raise money for breast cancer research. On August 31st, the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA, will host the "Ladies' Poker Party", a $125 buy in women's only tournament with part of the proceeds going to benefit breast cancer research. The tournament has already received confirmations for play from some prominent Hollywood actresses, with WSOP Ladies' Event champion Jennifer Tilly, Shannon Elizabeth and Sarah Rue coming, and many other ladies will be competing in the game from the professional ranks and the local card room as well. The winner of the event will earn a seat in the WPT Ladies' Night III tournament.
The very next night, the WPT Ladies' Night III tournament will take place, with an entry in the 2006 WPT Championship up for grabs. Coming back to defend her championship will be Isabelle Mercier, who garnered acclaim for her aggressive and battling style in her victory in last year's Ladies' Night event. Trying to take the crown away from her will be the aforementioned Tilly, "The Grande Dame of Poker" Marsha Waggoner, two wives of professional players, Cecilia Mortensen, the wife of 2001 World Champion Carlos Mortensen, and Aidily Elviro, the wife of L. A. Poker Classic champion Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, and the winner of the Bicycle's Ladies' Poker Party tournament.
The winner receives some prizes, including the $25,000 pass to the WPT Championship and a commemorative pink WPT poker set, but the real winner is breast cancer research. Along with the proceeds raised from the August 31st tournament, the WPT and the Bicycle Club will donate another $10,000 in the name of the champion of the Ladies' Night III tournament. It will air on the Travel Channel on October 22nd at 9PM.
The Bicycle Club and the World Poker Tour must be commended for their philanthropic showing. By tying such a prestigious event as the Ladies' Night tournament to the cause of breast cancer research, the funds raised and the awareness raised to combating the disease can only be a benefit. Be sure to show your support on August 31st and September 1st as the ladies show their skills at the tables at the Bicycle Club!
Ed Note: Play with Gus Hansen, Tony G, and Erik123 every day at Pokerchamps.