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First Blackjack Finalist Crowned at Ute Mountain Casino

Monday, December 19, 2005

TOWAOC, Colorado - (PRESS RELEASE) -- Ute Mountain Casino – Hotel & Resort partnered with GSN, The Network for Games, on the broadcaster’s third year of the franchise series World Series of Blackjack 2006, crowned Patricia M. Nicholas of Durango, Colorado on December 2nd as its first of three representatives for the televised finals in Las Vegas. Ute Mountain Casino, the largest casino in southwest Colorado, is currently hosting three preliminary blackjack tournaments.

The top winner of each tournament will win one of the 40 seats in the World Series of Blackjack which will be taped early next year. A total of three seats will be awarded at Ute Mountain Casino, with Ms. Nicholas already claiming one of them. Not only will she be competing for a total prize pool in the finals in Las Vegas of $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars) with more than $500,000.00 (half a million) going to the grand prize winner, she also walked away with $3,150 (three thousand, one hundred fifty dollars) as first place winner in the Ute Mountain Casino’s preliminary event.

Patricia M. Nicholas joined six other players at the final table for the satellite tournament, and after the first round of play found herself in last place and short stacked. In fifteen minutes of amazing play and strategic wagering as if out of a Hollywood movie, Patricia came back to capture first place and a guaranteed prize from the Ute Mountain Casino of $3,150 (three thousand, one hundred fifty dollars) and a seat at the World Series of Blackjack to be held in Las Vegas.

“After the first round I only had $1,800 in chips. I thought to myself: don’t throw dirt on the grave yet,” said Patricia, owner of a well known Durango quilt shop. “I just had to dig in and I turned that $1,800 in chips into $16,000 to take first place. I’m so excited to be going to Las Vegas as a winner from Ute Mountain Casino. All my friends and family can’t believe that I won.”

Patricia Nicholas was not the only person to walk away with cash in her pocket. The other 6 final table players split a total of $10,000 (ten thousand dollars) from the Ute Mountain Casino. Many immediately signed up for the second and third tournament to be held January 6th and January 20th at Ute Mountain Casino Hotel & Resort.

Ute Mountain Casino – Hotel and Resort will be hosting their second and third tournaments on the 6th and 7th of January, and the 20th and 21st of January with GSN being on site taping some of the action and interviewing the winners for usage in the series.

Ute Mountain Casino offers a large variety of slot machines and table games with blackjack being one of its most popular card games. Blackjack enthusiasts who would like further information about the Ute Mountain blackjack tournaments can call toll free: 1-800-258-8007.

In addition to blackjack programming, GSN features extensive poker programming and has branded Friday as “Casino Night” from 10 PM to Midnight ET/PT. Residents near Ute Mountain Casino can enjoy GSN’s programming on Charter Cortez Cable (Channel 76), DirecTV (Channel 309) or Dish Network (116).

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 for some time. The recent launch of GSNi (GSN Interactive) has taken interactivity to the next level, affording viewers the chance to play-along with TV shows using only their remote controls. Reaching more than 57 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

Located only eleven lucky miles from Cortez, Colorado, The Ute Mountain Casino – Hotel & Resort is the gateway to Colorado, located minutes from Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners. Nestled in the shadow of the legendary Sleeping Ute Mountain, The Ute Mountain Casino – Hotel & Resort with its mix of Nevada-style casino games, dining options, and distinctive accommodations offers something for everyone. The Ute Mountain Casino – Hotel & Resort is owned and operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.

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