World Poker Tour World Championship Preview

The world’s biggest and best live poker tournaments are fast approaching. Some tours have already wrapped their seasons, as with the recent EPT Grand Final, while others like the World Poker Tour are already in the midst of their last hurrah, and still others (namely the World Series of Poker) are only days away from the beginning of the end. The WPT’s World Poker Championship tournament hosted its first event on May 6 and is now gearing up to begin its Main Event competition tomorrow. Last year’s Main Event winner, David Williams, took home an impressive pile of cash worth over $1.5 million.

For those that are unacquainted with the history of the World Poker Tour, this year’s World Championship will be the culmination of its ninth successful season. While it lacks the age of its biggest competitor – the WSOP – the WPT is well known not only for its ability to offer big prize pools and to attract pros but for its cutting edge live coverage. The tournament is currently going down at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and Events #15 and #16 will wrap today. A total of 21 different events are on offer this year, with the Main Event running from May 14 – May 20.

A seat at the WPT Championship comes with a big price – a $25,000 + $500 entry fee. In previous years, many of the Championship seats have been filled by satellite winners. While the WPT once again offered a number of online packages, it has yet to be seen if the ban on American players at three of the industry’s biggest sites will affect the tournament’s numbers. On a similar note, it should come as no surprise that many of the American pros that got their start online are now showing up at a lot more live tournaments. Indeed, many are predicting a strong turnout for the World Poker Championship’s new $100,000 buy-in High Roller event, which begins Wednesday.

As has historically been the case, the WPT Championship will finish several days before the WSOP begins, but you can expect to hear a lot about the high stakes ring game action in Las Vegas for those 11 days as many pros kill time between one tournament and the next. It would have been a good time for the new Federated Sports + Gaming poker league to fit their first tournament in, but the league has instead opted to push their original schedule back, so they won’t be hosting their first tournament stop until August (generally considered to be something of an off-season for poker players).

Related Entries