WPT Expands Main Tour, Announces Arena Final Tables
As is tradition with the World Poker Tour, each season of live tournaments begins in the summer months of one year and continues through to the spring of the following year. The current tour is in the middle of Season XVII, and as the first half of the schedule approaches, the second half is beginning to take shape.
The most recent announcement from the WPT offers stops at some casinos that have been long-standing partners of the tour, along with some new locations. In addition, there are several tournaments that will conclude with final tables playing out at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas, a 30,000-square foot arena dedicated to competitive gaming. The location at the Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip is welcoming the WPT during its first year in operation as the first dedicated esports arena in Vegas.
It seems that the WPT is going to wrap its Season XVII in grand fashion.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) November 19, 2018
Season 17 Thus Far
Season 17 of the World Poker Tour officially began in July 2018 with the WPT Gardens Poker Festival at the Gardens Casino in Southern California. The $5K buy-in event ran from July 21-26, attracted 584 entries, and paid out $2,944,800. And when it was over, Simon Lam beat players like Men Nguyen and Jake Schindler to win more than $565K and a 2018 Mercedes Benz SLC Roadster.
From there, the tour headed to Oklahoma for WPT Choctaw, then to the East Coast for the WPT Borgata Poker Open and WPT Maryland Live! Casino, and the October stops included the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble and WPT Montreal. The WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open is currently underway at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.
Happy Thanksgiving from the WPT family to yours! We wish you a great holiday. pic.twitter.com/O8CQsHgpLQ
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) November 22, 2018
In December, there is one tournament, but it is a big one, as the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will hit the Bellagio in Las Vegas from December 11-15. The popular stop will also have one of the highest buy-ins of the season at $10K, and it coincides with the Five Diamond series that begins on November 29 and concludes with the WPT Main Event.
The Tour Continues
That’s where the new information comes in. The second half of the tour will begin in January, and there’s no better time to announce some of the stops so players can begin to prepare their schedules. While there may be more stops added in as the season progresses, the second half of Season 17 is currently set up as follows:
–January 12-16 = $10K WPT Gardens Championship at Gardens Casino (Southern California)
–January 21-27 = $3K WPT Russia at Casino Sochi (Sochi)
–January 27-31 = $3,500 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open at Borgata (Atlantic City)
–February 23-25 = CAD$5K WPT Fallsview Poker Classic at Fallsview Resort (Ontario, Canada)
–March 8-12 = $5K WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino (Lincoln, California)
–March 10-17 = €3,300 WPT Barcelona at Casino Barcelona (Spain)
–April 7-14 = £3,300 WPT European Championship at Dusk Till Dawn (Nottingham, UK)
–May 17-20 = $3,700 WPT Choctaw at Choctaw Casino (Oklahoma)
–May 27-31 = $10K WPT ARIA Summer Championship at ARIA (Las Vegas)
–June 1-3 = $15K Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions at ARIA (Las Vegas)
The Gardens Casino, Borgata and Choctaw will each see their second visit from the WPT in the same season, but Sochi is a new stop on the tour and will be hosted in conjunction with PartyPoker LIVE. PartyPoker is also stepping in to cohost the Barcelona stop.
Televised Final Tables
For something new, some final tables will be played and filmed for television at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. This was originally announced in May, before the start of the current season, and it was met with some skepticism. The delay of a final table and the decision to require players to travel to Vegas to compete was somewhat controversial, but it remains to be seen how it will actually play out.
The final tables that will take place at the arena are:
–WPT Gardens Poker Championship
–WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open
–Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions
Those who make the final tables will receive travel and hotel accommodations to enable them to play.
WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael noted, “Our players and casino partners deserve the brightest spotlight poker has to offer and what better way to give them that than inside the new official home of poker at the HyperX Esports Arena. The WPT is excited to work with our Esports Arena final tablists to provide a true superstar VIP experience.”
— HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas (@HyperXESALV) November 16, 2018