| World Series of Blackjack Returns
January 13, 2006 - PASADENA, California (PRESS RELEASE) -- GSN, the network for games, is breaking new ground with its third installment of television's only blackjack program, 2006 World Series of Blackjack. For the first time ever, the signature series is incorporating top players from sanctioned qualification casinos who have competed and won one of the 40 seats in this exclusive nationally televised tournament. Additionally, the historic Las Vegas Hilton will serve as the host casino for the 13-episode series produced by Planet Grande Pictures with John Watkin and Eamon Harrington as executive producers. The announcements were made today by Rich Cronin, President and CEO of GSN at the company's Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour presentation.
"We are excited to be the home of blackjack on television, and this new tournament structure will bring together top players from across the country," said Cronin. "The World Series of Blackjack will feature the best players from qualification tournaments held at casinos nationwide. The popular series, produced by Planet Grande, will bring viewers hours of exciting blackjack strategy and action for its third season in a row."
The new qualification structure introduced this year opened the doors on this elite tournament, creating a new promotional opportunity for participating casinos. Several major casinos in the U.S. are sending their top players to Las Vegas in February including Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in New York, Ute Mountain Casino, Hotel & Resort in Colorado, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Minnesota and Lucky Eagle Casino in Washington. Others are Casino Del Sol in Arizona, Cherokee Casino Resort in Oklahoma, Thunder Valley Casino in California, Pearl River Resort in Mississippi, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino in California and host casino Las Vegas Hilton in Nevada. Additional participating casinos will be announced prior to the finals.
Seats in the first two seasons of the event were by invitation only and featured some of the industry's top expert professionals. This season's tournament is the first to be opened to the casino public. The series will include eight one-hour preliminary rounds leading to two semi-finals and two wild card shows concluding with the final. The 40 person player roster will compete for a share of the $1 million prize money.
The Las Vegas Hilton is the new home of the World Series of Blackjack which is being taped in February for a June premiere. Famous for its high end play and championship tournaments, the Hilton is home to superstar Barry Manilow and recently signed Reba McEntire for her exclusive Las Vegas engagements in 2006. The Hilton recently completed a multi-million dollar construction and renovation enhancement project that includes a stunning new lobby and casino. As the home of the competition the Las Vegas Hilton will also send their top players to compete in the tournament.
2006 World Series of Blackjack is being produced by Planet Grande Pictures with John Watkin and Eamon Harrington serving as executive producers. In addition to World Series of Blackjack, Planet Grande is producing the series "Small Town Secrets" about the under-belly of America's heartland as well as their first movie for television, "Arbor Springs."
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Source: Press Release
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