Poker Hits the Big Screen

The World Poker Tour will get its first Hollywood close-up with a starring role in the upcoming “Deal,” filming this month in New Orleans. WPT hosts Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten and Courtney Friel will all be playing themselves, alongside the film’s stars Burt Reynolds and Bret Harrison.

Also making appearances in the film will be Phil ‘The Unabomber’ Laak, Antonio ‘The Magician’ Esfandiari, Shannon Elizabeth and veteran actor Charles Durning.

Produced by Michael Arata and Louisiana-based Crescent City Pictures, “Deal” tells the story of an ex-gambler played by Reynolds who teaches a hot-shot college student how to “play the player,” instead of just the cards. Bret Harrison, who stars as the college student/online wiz, is the star of Fox Network’s comedy “The Loop.” The film concludes at a fictional WPT World Championship event.

“Deal” will film its WPT scenes immediately after the WPT World Championship on April 18-24. At the close of the tournament, after the new WPT World Champion is crowned at Bellagio in Las Vegas, the set will be loaded up for transport on the WPT 18-wheeler and trucked down to New Orleans.

“We are very excited about the WORLD POKER TOUR leaping from the small screen to the big screen,” says Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises, Inc. “‘Deal’ will bring our enormously popular show on the Travel Channel to an even greater audience and we hope that it continues to fuel the explosion of poker worldwide.”

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