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PartyPoker.com and Lavalife Offer Freeroll Poker Tournament

9 March 2006

PartyPoker.com and Lavalife are teaming up to offer a free 11-week long No Limit Texas Hold'Em tournament series that offers single poker players a chance to meet new people while playing cards online.

Players interested in participating must be members of both Lavalife, which provides both land-based and online dating services, and PartyPoker.com, a leading online poker casino. Both memberships are free.

Once registered, players are given a tournament date where they can compete for prizes and spend time chatting with potential dates. The theme of the tournament is "Play on Thursday. Have a date on Saturday."

The tournaments begin Thursday, March 23 at 9:30 p.m. and will run at the same time each subsequent Thursday for 11 weeks. Players who finish in the top 20 of a Thursday night qualifier will be invited to participate in the final tournament on June 9th.

The 220-player final tournament offers players a chance to win $25,000 worth of prizes, including an all expenses paid vacation for two to the Club Med Turkoise in the Turks & Caicos Islands, a 50-inch plasma screen TV, an X-BOX 360, iPODs, and gift certificates to various leading online vendors.

Players can enter multiple qualifiers, but can only receive one entry into the final tournament in June. Everyone who qualifies for the final tournament will win a prize.

"We have already experienced plenty of interest in this with hundreds of players signing up for the tournament well before the first qualifier," PartyPoker.com spokesperson Warren Lush said. "It is not necessary that a participant must be single although the idea is targeted at singles. Whoever wins they will receive a vacation for two to take whoever they want."

The announcement for the Lavalife/PartyPoker.com Challenge came this week, but officials from both companies said the plan for this mutual free-roll tournament has been in the works since mid-January.

The decision was made after PartyPoker.com officials announced that two of their online players, 27-year old attorney Gary Suffir and 27-year old Las Vegas artist Jackie Johnson, decided to get married after a courtship began at a PartyPoker.com Omaha table.

The couple, who tied the knot on March 7 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, will spend their honeymoon as guests of honor aboard the PartyPoker.com Million V cruise on March 12th.

While cruising the Caribbean, Lush said the couple would play some poker, watch the main gambling events boasting more than $5 million in prize money, and receive a special toast from an event celebrity.

"We look forward to welcoming them on to the Partypoker.com Million V for their honeymoon where company spokesman and leading poker ambassador Mike Sexton (World Poker Tour) will toast to their future happiness," Lush said.

Suffir and Johnson met online in September of 2004. The couple told PartyPoker.com that their relationship began when Suffir came to new player Johnson's defense after watching her be the victim of a trash-talking player.

For the next few days, the couple communicated via the buddy chat option at PartyPoker.com. From there, the blossoming couple moved to instant messenger and found they had similar interest in music.

Suffir told PartyPoker.com that he entered a $20 multi-table tournament with Johnson and told her that if they were seated at the same table - it was fate. When the cards were dealt, the couple was seated right next to each other.

From there, Suffir said he was headed to Las Vegas for business. Included in his itinerary was a visit with his newest poker friend.

"The day before we met, we actually spoke on the telephone for the first time," Suffir said in a PartyPoker.com press release. "I knew we had a connection, but I didn't know where it would go. I never met anyone on the Internet before, let alone a poker site. We only used IM for such a long time, but I felt the closeness between us."

The Las Vegas rendezvous went so well that six weeks later, Johnson packed up her things and moved East to Suffir's New York apartment to live with him full time.

By August, the couple was engaged. PartyPoker.com said they are proud to host the first successful online poker marriage. The couple even told PartyPoker.com that they plan to give their first child a poker-related name.

"We thought that if the baby is a boy we could call it Mike after Mike Sexton but in honor of the way we met we'll call him Chip," Suffir said in a PartyPoker.com press release. "If our baby is a girl we may call her Linda after Linda Johnson, the first lady of poker, but Queenie is a possibility."

When asked why the two companies decided to use this union to start a single's tournament, Lush said "it seemed like a logical step to make and it provides Lavalife members with a unique opportunity."

Partypoker.com said there are no safeguards in place to ensure that everyone who plays in the tournament is looking to meet someone, however, there is already interest from both genders for the event.

"Although there are no assurances of this due to Lavalife's audience and promotion we expect to receive and have already started to get a good mix of male and female players," Lush said.

Interested players should visit www.lavalifepokerchallenge.comto get started. Once there, the Web site will guide participants through the sign-up process.

Ryan McLane is a gaming industry reporter for Casino City and is assigned to the poker beat. Email your comments and questions to him at ryanmclane@casinocity.com .

PartyPoker.com and Lavalife Offer Freeroll Poker Tournament is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.