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Annie Duke to host one-day tournament in Pala’s new poker room

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PALA, Calif. – Southern California poker players can win a share of $25,000 and test their skill against poker pro Annie Duke when she hosts the “$25,000 Annie Duke Free Roll Poker Challenge” starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 in the new Poker Room at Pala Casino Spa & Resort.

Duke, one of the world’s leading professional poker players, a 2004 World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a recent star of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” television show, will spend the day at Pala Casino Spa & Resort greeting casino guests and the public, and playing poker at each table in the Free Roll Poker Challenge.

“We opened our new 15-table Poker Room in June and play has been growing on a weekly basis. Everyone is really excited that Annie Duke will be here to host and play in our first major poker event,” said Bill Bembenek, Pala’s chief executive officer.

Players can qualify for the “$25,000 Annie Duke Free Roll Poker Challenge” by registering for a Pala Privileges players’ card. The first 117 players who play 100 hours in the Pala poker room between 12 a.m., Monday, Nov. 16, and Midnight, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010, will win entry into the tournament. Pala Privileges cards are available at the Privileges Center in the casino. Tournament entry selections will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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The 10 final table players will each win a share of the $25,000 tournament jackpot. First place will win $8,000; second, $4,900; third, $3,500; fourth, $2,000; fifth, $1,700; sixth, $1,500; seventh, $1,200; eighth, $1,000; ninth, $700, and tenth, $500. Duke will play at each table during the tournament. The first player to win a hand after going “all in” with Duke will win an additional $1,000 bonus.

Duke will greet the public starting at 9 a.m. with an autograph and photo session in the poker room. The Free Roll Poker Challenge will start at 10:30 a.m. and she also will be available to meet the public after the tournament.

Starting at 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30, until 8 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 31, the Pala Poker Room also will hold a Lucky Seat promotion. One player per hour, who is playing live poker during that time, will be electronically selected and will win $300 during that hour. In addition, the first 200 players who play live poker Saturday, Jan. 30, will receive a free Pala Poker Room T-shirt.