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September 21, 2014

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Photos: World Poker Tour’s 10th anniversary and return to Bellagio

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Tom Donoghue/WPT Enterprises Inc.

The World Poker Tour Main Event at the Bellagio in December 2011.

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WPT Main Event at Bellagio: December 2011

The World Poker Tour Main Event at the Bellagio in December 2011. Launch slideshow »

Vince Van Patten and WPT

The World Poker Tour that revolutionized poker on television is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a return to the Bellagio for the final events of Season 10. The last two stops on the tour also are the biggest: a $100,000 buy-in for the WPT World Championship super high-roller event May 23-25 and the $25,000 buy-in world championship’s Final Table on May 26.

Both events will be filmed for television to air Sept. 16 through Oct. 25. My pal, commentator Vince Van Patten, talks about the 10-year-run and how poker became big-time television in a video posted on YouTube.

Meantime, last December’s Bellagio WPT Five Diamond World Classic will air over three weeks on Fox Sports starting Sunday. I joined contributing photographer Tom Donoghue to watch the cameras film the high-stakes session.

Highlights of the WPT include three-time champion Carlos Mortensen crossing $6 million in earnings, Las Vegas hero Phil Ivey making nine consecutive WPT final tables and Erik Seidel cashing in over nine consecutive seasons of play.

I can’t give away who won and lost because you have to tune in for those thrills, but suffice to say it was an exhilarating afternoon -- and made all the more exciting with the gorgeous WPT beauties raising the stakes and temperatures!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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