New Orleans, LA – The final tournament of the 2007-2008 World Series of Poker Circuit season began today at the fifth annual Bayou Poker Challenge.  This is the last tournament of the final stop on the nine-month schedule, which began last summer and visited 12 different poker destinations.  The fourth season of the World Series of Poker Circuits was widely popular once again, attracting more than 30,000 entries nationwide.  More than $25 million in prize money was awarded to winners. 

 The $5,000 buy-in Bayou championship event attracted 249 entries.  The total prize pool amounts to $1,196,650.  The top 27 finishers in this event will collect prize money.  The tournament winner will receive $382,928 for first prize.  The winner will also receive a WSOP Circuit gold ring and an entry into the 2008 World Series of Poker main event, which will take place in Las Vegas in July.

At the end of Day One, David Fox is the co-chip leader with 102,100 in his stack.  Last year’s champion, Lou Esposito also has an identical count with 102,100.  There are only 69 players remaining.

The main event is being played at the Harrahs New Orleans Casino and Hotel.  This year’s tournament attracted several notable poker players, including former WSOP gold bracelet winners Josh Arieh, Steve Billirakis, T.J. Cloutier, and Bill Edler.  Other famous players included Gavin Smith, Steve Dannenmann, Chris Bell, Allie Prescott, Allen Kessler, Young Phan, and Matthew Stout.  Former Bayou Poker Challenge champions Lou Esposito, Peter Feldman, and Walter Chambers also participated.  Also worth noting was the participation of WSOP Circuit “unofficial MVP,” Doug Carli, from Alliance, Ohio.  Carli has more cashes and final table appearances than any other player. 

World-renowned chef and restaurateur Paul Prudhomme was in attendance and played in the main event.  Prudhomme opened this year’s tournament as the honorary emcee.  The owner of K-Paul’s restaurant in the famous French Quarter is a regular player inside the Harrahs New Orleans Poker Room.  He was one of the survivors at the conclusion of play in Day One.

The championship event will be played over the next two days.  On Day Two, the field will be reduced from 69 players down to the final nine.  Then on Wednesday May 21st, the nine survivors will take their seats at the final table.  Coverage of the final table will be shown at the official WSOP website (www.worldseriesofpoker) and will be carried by Bluff Media starting at 2 pm CST.


1   $382,928
2   210,610
3   107,699
4   83,766
5   71,799
6   59,833
7   47,866
8   35,900
9   23,933
10   14,360
11   14,360
12   14,360
13   11,967
14   11,967
15   11,967
16   9,573
17   9,573
18   9,573
19   7,180
20   7,180
21   7,180
22   7,180
23   7,180
24   7,180
25   7,180
26   7,180
27   7,180

Former Bayou Poker Challenge Champions:
2007 (winter) –  Andy Philachack
2007 (spring) –  Lou Esposito
2006 –  Peter Feldman
2005 –  Walter Chambers
2004 –  Boulos Estafanous


For more information, please contact: 
Nolan Dalla -- WSOP Media Director at (702) 358-4642
Or visit our official website:

Harrah’s New Orleans Poker Room Manager – Rick Korte
Bayou Poker Challenge Tournament Director – Raymond Gasser

Jeffrey Pollack – Commissioner, WSOP
Ty Stewart – Director, Sponsorship and Licensing, WSOP
Craig Abrahams – Director, Broadcasting and New Media, WSOP
Seth Palansky – Director of Communications, WSOP