WPTDeepStacks to Retire with WPT Prime to Replace
This year isn’t even through its second month, and the World Poker Tour is already making waves upon waves.
When Allied Esports Entertainment sold the WPT to a Element Partners in the summer of 2021, few people knew what that meant. Most people still don’t know the names behind the purchase. What is clear is that the WPT is flaunting its newfound freedom from its former corporate boss. It is also clear that the World Poker Tour is celebrating its 20th year of business this year, setting the stage for an exciting Season XX. The schedule has been light so far, but it leaves much room for additions and speculation as to what the new ownership will bring to the table.
The WPT has already outlined some changes, the first of which was making its tour seasons follow the calendar year. The second was combining all WPT events under one umbrella, with both WPT main tour and WPTDeepStacks events contributing toward a single WPT Player of the Year leaderboard.
The latest announcement explains that the company will retire the WPTDeepStacks name and replace it with WPT Prime. And it will debut the new name and action in Asia this year with stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan.
More Than a Name Change
The name is a big deal. The World Poker Tour bought the DeepStacks business in 2014 and renamed it WPTDeepStacks. It has been a popular part of the WPT tour group because it offers lower buy-ins and travels to more destinations than the World Poker Tour’s main tour.
That name will soon change from WPTDeepStacks to WPT Prime. WPTDS will complete the three events that have been and remain on the schedule:
WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam at Holland Casino Amsterdam (March 25 – April 2)
–€1,200 buy-in NLHE Main Event: March 29 – April 1
WPTDeepStacks Sydney at the Star Sydney in NSW, Australia (March 30 – April 11)
–AU$1,500 buy-in NLHE Main Event
WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California (April 19 – May 1)
–$1,500 buy-in NLHE Main Event: April 28 – May 1
The company is previewing a few of the changes that players will see in the WPT Prime series. The press release mentioned new winner trophies, Player of the Festival trophies and prizes, in-depth online coverage of the events, and action clocks. WPT Prime will then issue points for in-the-money finishes, and players will compete side-by-side with those in WPT main tour events.
WPT Prime Launch
The new series, which will take the place of WPT Prime in May, will officially kick off in Asia. The first three stops are on the calendar, though may be subject to change if the pandemic mandates it. As it stands, though, the three Asian stops on the new tour are as follows:
WPT Prime Vietnam at Crown Poker Club in Hanoi (May 19 – May 30)
–25,000,000₫ buy-in NLHE Main Event: May 26-30
WPT Prime Cambodia at NagaWorld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh (August 11-23)
–$1,100 buy-in NLHE Main Event: August 18-22
WPT Prime Taiwan at Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association in Taipei (November 11-21)
–NT$30,000 buy-in NLHE Main Event: November 17-21
Cathy Zhao formerly oversaw WPTDeepStacks but then helped develop WPT Prime. Now Senior Director of Global Tour Management Zhao said, “Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX.” She emphasized that the goal is to provide the best possible poker experience for players.
It's Prime time on the WPT.
Starting this year we're debuting the WPT Prime series. The first three stops we're announcing on the tour will be in Cambodia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, bringing the Main Tour experience worldwide.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) February 23, 2022