WPT Spreads Wings Online Beyond PartyPoker to 888poker
It seems that 2021 will be a year of surprises for World Poker Tour fans. Little more than two months into the new year, we found out that Element Partners is buying the World Poker Tour, the WPT’s main tour is resuming live tournaments at various locations, and it is expanding its online poker offerings expand from PartyPoker to Poker King and 888poker.
After the World Poker Tour had to stop live poker tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, it almost immediately prepared a series of online poker tournaments in partnership with PartyPoker. It seemed like a natural collaboration, as they had worked together many times for live events. That WPT Online Series by PartyPoker was a success, offering 94 tournaments in less than a month and awarding more than $52M.
Decisions Amidst Change
Within the first few weeks of 2021, the World Poker Tour dropped bombshell news. Privately-held investment firm Element Partners was set to acquire the World Poker Tour for $78.25M from Allied Esports Entertainment.
Allied Esports Entertainment Announces the Sale of World Poker Tour to Element Partners, LLC.
Here is WPT CEO Adam Pliska (@pliska007) with more.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) January 19, 2021
The true repercussions of that deal remain unknown. The WPT had put a lot of work into customizing the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas for its final tables and other events, which likely will not resume. Other than that, the future of the WPT remained in question. The deal was supposed to close in early February, but everyone still awaits word of next steps.
Meanwhile, the WPT was hosting its WPT Montreal online poker festival on PartyPoker. And the WPT headed to Casino Sochi for its WPT Russia live festival in partnership with PartyPoker LIVE.
Days later, the World Poker Tour announced a WPT Spring Festival…online…at Poker King. Say what now?
Poker King, a relatively new online poker site catering to the Asian market, planned to run the February online tournament series with 13 events and more than $1.85M in guarantees. The site is best known for its ambassadors: Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan. The series had a tough time attracting enough players to meet the guarantees, but what’s done is done.
Congrats to DannyAce66 for winning the WPT Spring Festival on @PokerKingMedia for ¥1,750,000 (~$270,305)! 🏆👑
Watch the replay of the final table on Twitch 🎥
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) February 22, 2021
More with PartyPoker in March
One of the most recent announcements from the World Poker Tour pertained to its WPT500 series. Actually, the WPT only announced it on social media, but PartyPoker put all the information on its blog.
The WPT500 series will run from Sunday, March 7 to Tuesday, March 23. Across the schedule of 25 events (some with more than one buy-in level), two of them will guarantee $1M prize pools each. Buy-ins range from $55 to $5,200 and feature everything from No Limit Hold’em to Omaha, knockouts to mix-max, and, of course, PKOs (progressive knockouts).
In total, the WPT and PartyPoker offer more than $4M in guarantees.
PartyPoker lists the full schedule, complete with times, reentry and late registration information, level lengths, and starting chips.
-Event 1 on Mar 7-16: $530 NLHE WPT500 8-Max w/9 flights ($1M GTD)
-Event 1 on Mar 7-16: $55 NLHE Super50 8-max ($250K GTD)
-Event 2 on Mar 7: $265 NLHE PKO 6-Max Hyper PKO ($30K GTD)
-Event 3 on Mar 8: $215 NLHE 7-Max ($20K GTD)
-Event 4 on Mar 9: $3,200 NLHE High Roller 6-Max ($150K GTD)
-Event 5 on Mar 9: $1,050 NLHE High Roller 6-Max Turbo PKO ($50K GTD)
-Event 6 on Mar 10: $530 Omaha 7-Max ($50K GTD)
-Event 7 on Mar 10: $165 NLHE 6-Max Turbo PKO ($20K GTD)
-Event 8 on Mar 11: $5,200 NLHE High Roller 7-Max ($250K GTD)
-Event 9 on Mar 11: $1,050 NLHE High Roller Turbo 7-Max ($50K GTD)
-Event 10 on Mar 12: $320 NLHE Mix-Max Turbo PKO ($30K GTD)
-Event 11 on Mar 13: $215 NLHE 7-Max Turbo ($20K GTD)
-Event 12 on Mar 14: $265 NLHE 6-Max Hyper PKO ($30K GTD)
-Event 13 on Mar 15-23: $530 NLHE WPT500 8-Max PKO ($1M GTD)
-Event 13 on Mar 15-23: $55 NLHE Super50 8-Max PKO ($400K GTD)
-Event 14 on Mar 15: $215 NLHE Turbo 7-Max ($20K GTD)
-Event 15 on Mar 16: $3,200 NLHE High Roller 7-Max ($150K GTD)
-Event 16 on Mar 16: $1,050 NLHE High Roller Turbo 7-Max ($50K GTD)
-Event 17 on Mar 17: $530 Omaha PKO 6-Max ($50K GTD)
-Event 18 on Mar 17: $165 NLHE Turbo PKO 6-Max ($20K GTD)
-Event 19 on Mar 18: $5,200 NLHE High Roller 6-Max ($250K GTD)
-Event 20 on Mar 18: $1,050 NLHE High Roller Turbo 6-Max ($50K GTD)
-Event 21 on Mar 19: $320 NLHE Mix-Max Turbo ($30K GTD)
-Event 22 on Mar 20: $215 NLHE Turbo PKO 7-Max ($20K GTD)
-Event 23 on Mar 21: $265 NLHE Hyper 6-Max ($30K GTD)
-Event 24 on Mar 22: $215 NLHE Turbo 7-Max ($20K GTD)
-Event 25 on Mar 23: $530 NLHE Closer Turbo 6-Max PKO ($50K GTD)
World Poker Tour returns to @partypoker to offer a new festival!
The #WPT500 Online has not one but ✌🏻 Main Events!
Starting on March 7th with the WPT500 and it's $1M GTD!
From March 15th, the WPT500 KO edition starts with also a $1M GTD!🥊
See you on partypoker! pic.twitter.com/vpQZxiJwVV
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) February 23, 2021
WPTDS Partners with 888poker
Why not? In a new partnership, the World Poker Tour announced WPTDeepStacks will offer three series in conjunction with 888poker in April.
The three series will run concurrently from April 18-26 in three different markets: London, Portugal/Spain, and Italy. The WPT reported that the series will be “synced.” Each of the three will offer 16 events with a wide range of buy-ins and more than $3M guaranteed across all events. The triple series will award WPTDS trophies to 48 players.
WPTDS London Online will guarantee more than $2M in guarantees, with $1M of it saved for the Main Event alone. That $1,050 buy0in Main Event will offer numerous flights from April 18-25 and play to a winner on April 26.
WPTDS Iberia Online will aim for a smaller market and offer €400K in guarantees. Its Main Event will cost €125 to get in, offer just one starting flight on April 25, and guarantee €150K.
And the WPTDS Italy Online will spread €350K in guarantees across its series. The €125 buy-in Main Event will have one starting flight on April 25 and a €150K guarantee, too.
888 Holdings has launched @888poker in Italy, ahead of the introduction of European cross-border liquidity pooling. The new 888poker.it features a range of poker variants, suitable to players of all levels on all platforms. pic.twitter.com/yhxxjqDhiM
— Chad Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) January 5, 2018
888poker and the WPT will arrange livestreaming of the action for four days featuring Matt Savage, David Tuchman, and Nick Wealthall as commentators.
The schedule and dates for streaming are not publicly available yet.
WPT CEO Adam Pliska noted, “The World Poker Tour’s online presence continues to grow, and these three concurrent series mark further expansion of the WPTDeepStacks brand.”
888 SVP and Head of B2C Guy Cohen added, “As part of our ‘Made to Play’ approach, players will enjoy the experience of playing our best-in-class product along with affordable buy-ins and big guarantees to enjoy the highest level of online poker offering.”
.@WPTDeepStacks Announces Online Events with @888poker in April 2021 🏆
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) March 2, 2021