[01/13/06 - 12:00 AM]
GSN's 'World Series of Blackjack' Adds New Level When Casinos from Around the Country Send Top Players to Compete in Televised Finals at the Las Vegas Hilton

[via press release from GSN]

GSN's 'WORLD SERIES OF BLACKJACK' Adds New Level When Casinos From Around the Country Send Top Players to Compete in Televised Finals at the Las Vegas Hilton

40 Top Players From Casinos Nationwide Compete for the $1 Million Prize Pool

Planet Grande Pictures Will Produce Third Season of the Series

Series Tapes in February and Premieres in June

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 13 -- 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."

More information about the series, specific premiere date and talent will be announced at a later date.

About GSN

GSN, the Network for Games, is the only U.S. television network dedicated to game-related programming. The network features game shows, reality series, documentaries and casino games. As the industry leader in interactivity, GSN has allowed viewers to play-along with on-air programming via their computers and GSN.com since 2002. Reaching more than 58 million Nielsen homes, GSN is distributed in the U.S. through all major cable systems and satellite providers. The network is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Corporation. For further media information, visit GSN's press website at corp.gsn.com.

About The Las Vegas Hilton

The Las Vegas Hilton ranks among the world's most famous and popular resort destinations, located blocks from the Las Vegas Strip and adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center, offering 3,000 luxurious rooms and suites situated on 59 acres. The property is one of the largest hotels in the world and features top-name entertainment, 14 distinctive restaurants, a full-service health club and spa, Star Trek: The Experience (TM) and much more.

Resorts International is an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC and is the only privately held gaming company licensed in four gaming jurisdictions: Indiana (Resorts East Chicago), Nevada (Las Vegas Hilton), New Jersey (Resorts Atlantic City, The Atlantic City Hilton), and Mississippi (Resorts Tunica and Bally's Tunica.)

About Planet Grande Pictures

Planet Grande is a television production company based in Malibu, California, specializing in high profile documentaries, series and entertainment specials. Over the years, Planet Grande has been honored with numerous industry awards including Emmys, Aces, Clios and several Festival Golds. Their client roster includes both broadcast and cable networks.


Web Site: http://www.gsn.com http://corp.gsn.com

  [january 2006]  

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