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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mike Matusow to play in the North American Poker Tour (NAPT)

It was announced today that Mike Matusow will join fellow pro poker players Annie Duke, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak, Layne Flack and actress/poker champ Jennifer Tilly, among dozens of other top players on this new tour ala the PGA for golfers. With poker fields today numbering in the thousands an argument could be made that televised poker is losing it's glitter. Let's face it, would you rather watch a table full of internet qualifiers play for a million bucks (think about the horrible Ultimate Bet show on Fox Sports) or a table with recognized pros? The NAPT addresses that issue by only allowing the top 200 ranked poker players to play on their tour.

Frank Weber, President of Hansen Gray said, "This is truly an exciting time for NAPP Tour as it continues to expand its array of world renowned poker players who will generate greater interest and excitement in the world of competitive poker. We are delighted that an industry leading publication likeBluff Magazine has featured NAPP Tour in its current issue."

The Bluff Magazine article focuses on how NAPP Tour will be changing the face of televised poker by limiting participation in the $10,000 main events to the top professional poker players in the world. To qualify for a NAPP Tourevent, players must be in the top 200 as ranked by Bluff Magazine and CardPlayer Magazine or they can earn their seat through a qualifying tournament.The NAPP Tour will continue its effort to change the perspective of poker from a game to a sport. By modeling the tour after the PGA, focusing on the player's skills, high-lighting player personalities and bringing in corporate sponsors, NAPP Tour is on its way to achieving its goal.

With its high-stakes competition, national reach, and the commitment of over 50 of the world's best players, the North American Poker Tour will launch in May 2006, offering a concept tantamount to a royal flush. Distinguished as the first professional, standardized poker tour, with a limited number of qualified competitors in each of its main events building up toward a multi-million dollar championship, the Tour is currently finalizing its agreements with sponsors and a broadcast partner, fulfilling its intention to televise each event.

Tournament events include $200 No Limit, $300 No Limit, $500 No Limit,$1000 No Limit, $5000 Chinese Poker, $5000 Mixed Game and $10,000 No LimitHold'em. The playing format developed by Matt Savage will allow the professionals to showcase their abilities in a fun-filled competitive environment.

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