World Poker Tour #1 (Ultimate Guide to the WPT)

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Introduction to the World Poker Tour

Welcome to the #1 Ultimate Guide to the WPT  World Poker Tour Live and Online Poker Tournaments

WPT Offers Different Kinds Of Tournaments Around the World for Poker Players in All Countries and Cultures To Enjoy. Find out all about WPT Poker Tour Opportunity’s here at Pokerhands, your source for Poker Tournaments. Please help yourself to the table of contents and open to view sections by heading titles. We hope you like our general guide and cool facts put together here for you. 


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WPT Poker and the World Poker Tour is a series of high stakes international poker tournaments along with their TV broadcasts that started in 2002. WPT was started by the Casino Mogul, Lyle Berman and the TV producer Steven Lipscomb, CEO of WPT Enterprises (WPTE). WPT has earned itself the top spot in televising poker games and gave the poker industry a spectacular boom by making it available and popular in the homes of ordinary people.

WPT is currently running successfully in its 15th season that broadcasts in more than 150 countries of the world. WPT was acquired by PartyGaming from WPT Enterprises in 2009; later in 2015 Ourgame International Holdings Ltd. acquired WPT from PartyGaming.

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What is the WPT World Poker Tour?

WPT The World Poker Tour is a series of tournaments taking place all over the year at different places, the Final Table of which is broad cast worldwide. The World Poker Tour started awarding the winner of each event with a bracelet since 2008. The event champions from 2002 to 2008 were also awarded by WPT with a bracelet retrospectively.

Only the final table of each tournament is broadcasted on TV along with a professional commentary and explanation by industry experts on the player’s’ hands and what is going on at the table. They attempt to make decisions based on the proper poker procedures and then compare to what decisions the players actually make.


WPT History of High Stakes Poker Games


World Poker Tour was started towards the end of 2002 by Lyle Berman and Steven Lipscomb who wanted to create high stakes poker tournaments and broadcast its final table along with the hole cards of the players on TV. WPT played a major role in helping amateur and recreational poker players understand what goes on behind the scenes in high stakes poker games and the players’ psychology.


Television Debut of the WPT

The debut season of WPT in 2002-2003 had its Final Table played in April 2003 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada that was aired on The Travel Channel on American Cable Television. Since then the WPT has been a major competitor of yet another prestigious poker event- the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

World Poker Tour had its network debut in 2004 on NBC with a special “Battle of Champions” event that competed against the CBS Super Bowl XXXVIII pre-game show. The travel Channel aired the first 5 seasons of the Tournament Poker Live games from 2002-2007, in 2007, the sixth season of Live Poker (2007-2008) was aired on GSN.  Later, for its seventh season (2008-2009), Live Poker Tournaments at the World Poker Tour moved to Fox Sports Network and continues to air on FSN tol date.


Popularity and Appeal of the WPT

The World Poker Tour quickly gained popularity since its inception. The excitement and tensions prevailing at a poker table during a game and the chance to watch the event live is what kept poker players glued to the Live Poker Events and have them waiting eagerly for it every new Live Poker Season.

The World Poker Tour easily appeals to both sets of audiences- those who play poker and those who don’t. Poker players watch Live Poker Tournaments at the world poker tour to gain insight into high stakes poker games and improve their play while the non poker players watch Live Poker Tournaments to find out what poker is actually about. Every year the Live Poker season ends with a grand Tournament of Champions event.


What made it so popular?

The most essential feature that distinguished World Poker Tour from its competitors and made it popular, back in 2003, was the ability to see the player’s’ cards in real time by the audience. Each player’s chair was attached with a tiny camera that showed the player’s cards to the viewers without disrupting the game or revealing it to other players. Today, most live poker events coverage includes the ability to view the player’s cards in real time; back in 2003, the World Poker Tour was the first to introduce this feature.

The Poker Hall of Fame Honored, Mike Sexton and Poker personality Vincent Van Patten both give their commentary on the game and interact with players during the game as well. However, they are not allowed to comment on the player’s’ hole cards during the game to keep the spirit of the game intact. The commentary on player’s hole cards is recorded after the game by the commentators.


Important Tournament Tour Changes in 2008 Live Poker


Some of the major changes in the World Poker Tour took place in the year 2008. First was the awarding of bracelets to the winners of each poker events under the games in the series of poker tournaments. Another change was the shifting of the broadcast network to Fox Sports  that has aired all the seasons of the tour from season 8 onward.

Another major change of 2008 was the drop in buy in to $3,500 and making the format of the game a multi entry one to promote more players to participate in the poker tournaments, thereby increasing the prize pool, diversity and competition. This resulted in an abrupt shoot up of the participants in 2008.


Ladies Poker Event Addition

World Poker Tour also announced a Ladies Poker event in 2008, an all ladies exclusive World Poker Touring Event. The first season in 2008 started with 5 events with buy ins ranging from $300 to $1,500. Nancy Todd was the first winner of the inaugural WPT Ladies Tournament Series.

Seeing the effects of these changes on the world poker tour and its ever increasing popularity due to this, the tour decided to take poker tournaments online by introducing ClubWPT.  ClubWPT is a subscription based website where players play free poker tournaments after subscribing to the club membership and win cash prizes up to $100,000 each month.


Acquisition and Growth in Live Poker Tournaments


The World Poker Tour was acquired by PartyGaming for $12.3 million in November 2009. Prior to its acquisition, WPT kept its tournaments and tours within the boundaries of the United States, covering the major casinos and places within the country. After its acquisition, PartyGaming decided to make the tour a global level event and added international destinations and casino stops to its tour schedule and increased the number of events.

From 16 Main tour events, the poker tournament grew to 70 Main Tour events and introduced other successful tournaments like Alpha 8, World Poker Tour National, WPT 500 and a Deep Stacks tournament.  PartyGaming also created Regional Poker Tour Events alongside the  Regular Events to attract amateurs and recreational players with low buy in and smaller playing fields.


WPT History: Expansion

WPT dramatically expanded its boundaries, under PartyGaming, to include casinos from Europe, Africa and Asia. In 2014, WPT collaborated with Ourgame Holdings Inc, a Hong Kong based gaming business, to strengthen its position and expand in Asian markets. Shortly after that, in June 2015, WPT announced its acquisition by Ourgame Holdings Inc. for $35 million. Today WPT visits casinos in every continent, except of course Antarctica! WPT is played in over 50 casinos in over 20 countries.

Apart from the Events  Main Poker Tour, World Poker Tour has launched many other tours catering to different poker players across the world like the Alpha 8, WPTDeepStacks, WPT 500, World Poker Tour League and many other National Events, Special Events and Regional Events tournaments.


What is WPT Poker Alpha 8 ?


WPT Alpha 8 is a super high roller high stakes tournament started by the poker tournament giant in 2013. The first season of Alpha 8 premiered on August 26, 2013 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida with Fox News 1 as the official broadcaster of the series.

World Poker Tour Alpha 8 is the highest level of poker targeted at expert level poker players and poker elites with a buy in of $100,000. The Poker tournaments of WPT Alpha 8 tour takes place in prestigious casinos all over the world. This is the most serious level of poker with higher stakes, risks, and pressure which ensures participation of only the most serious poker players or those with big bank rolls.


What is WPT  DeepStacks Poker ?


This is a new poker tour created in partnership by World Poker Tour and DeepStacks Poker Tour. WPT DeepStacks combine the brand value of WPT in poker with the cutting edge approach of DeepStack to poker and came up with this fusion of two brilliant concepts in WPTDeepStacks Tour Series.


What is the WPT Poker 500 Event ?


World Poker Tour 500 is an affordable series of tournaments under the respected brand name of WPT with the buy in starting from $550. It is the complete opposite of high stakes poker  super roller World Poker Tournament Alpha 8.

The primary objective of the tournament 500 series is to let poker players compete against the professionals and experts and refine their skills without losing a fortune. The payout depends on the number of buy ins. World poker tour 500 attracts a large number of crowds due to its low buy in and respectable brand in addition to awarding a decent sum in cash prizes.


What is the WPT Poker League ? 


The Live Poker WPT League is the official league of the World Poker Tour that hosts free live Texas Hold’em Poker Tournaments on a nightly basis. This Poker Tournament League has taken the popular game of Texas Hold’em and made it available for everyone to play for free. Poker players can try their hands of Texas Hold’em at any of the World Poker Tour League casinos without the worry of purchasing the buy in and losing money.  


WPT World Poker Tour National What do they do ?


World Poker Tour National is a national level  poker tournament that tours and organizes events in various countries all over the world. The National League poker buy in ranges from $750 to $2,000 and is an affordable series for poker players wishing to participate in international level competitions without huge sums of money needed to participate.


WPT Poker Player of the Year


The World Poker Tour chooses the player of the year by awarding the Hublot WPT Player of the year points to them, which is based on the total prize pool of the tournament. In order to receive the Player of the Year Points, the player must finish in cash prize positions. Only the Main Tour points of of the poker tournaments are counted towards calculating the Player of the year points for a particular season.


WPT Player of the Year Points System

Points for Prize pool less than $500,000Points for Prize pool  $500,000- $999,999Points for Prize pool  $1,000,000- $1,999,999Points for Prize pool  $2,000,000- $3,999,999Points for Prize pool more than $4,000,000


WPT Player of the Year over different Seasons

SeasonPlayer of the Year
Season 1Howard Lederer
Season 2Erick Lindgren
Season 3Daniel Negreanu
Season 4Gavin Smith
Season 5J.C Tran
Season 6Jonathan Little
Season 7Bertrand Grospellier
Season 8Faraz Jaka
Season 9Andy Frankenberger
Season 10Joe Serock
Season 11Matthew Salsberg
Season 12Mukul Pahuja
Season 13Anthony Zinno
Season 14Mike Shariati
Season 15Benjamin Zamani


What is Club WPT Poker ?


Club WPT is a subscription based online poker room launched by World Poker Tour  in 2008 to tap the increasing online market of ever growing poker players. It is the official membership site of the WPT where members can play free poker and earn daily points. Eligible Club WPT VIP members can play for over $100,000 in cash each month; they also get a chance to win seats to the prestigious WPT.

Members do not need to buy in or deposit money separately to participate in various poker tournaments; they accumulate daily tournament points and use them to buy in various tournaments. The members can even participate in high stakes games if they have accumulated enough tournament points to participate in them. Club WPT also offers a 2 week free trial for prospective members with an option to play for cash.


Best Feature of ClubWPT

The best thing about ClubWPT is its members do not need to purchase tickets to participate in any poker tournaments. Club WPT encourages new poker players and players with little experience with high stake games to buy its membership so that they can improve their skills and learn poker strategies by competing against professional players without losing any real money.

It is the right place for new players to gain insights into the game and develop their poker skills.


WPT Poker Records


Every season the Poker tour crowns the  Player of the Year and the Money Leader of the Year. While the World Poker Tour Player of the Year is determined by the highest points earned by a player in a poker tournament season, the Money Leader is awarded to the highest cash prize winner in a World Poker Tour season.

  • Highest Player of the Year Points earned in over 15 seasons- Mukul Pahuja tops the chart with the highest Player of the Year Points- 3,450 in the 12th Season of tournament poker touring. He is followed by Daniel Negreanu with 2,600 points earned in Poker Tournament Season 3 of the Poker Series. . .
  • Highest Earnings in  over 15 seasons- Tuan Le has earned the highest prize money in the poker tour series with $4,442,738 earned in  Season 3. He is followed by Carlos Mortensen who earned $4,045,760 in Season 5.
  • Most Final Tables in the World Poker Tour over 15 seasons- Erick Lindgren (season 2), Daniel Negreanu (season 3), Gavin Smith (season 4) and J.C Tran (season 5) hold the record for making the highest number of Final Tables (3 Tables).
  • Highest number of Cashes in WPT over 15 seasons- Anthony Zinno holds the record for the most cashes in the World Poker Tour with 7 cashes in season 13. He is followed by Matt Salsberg with 6 cashes in season 11.


Poker Player Trivia 

Players of the Year and Money Leader of the Year

  • Faraz Jaka (season 8), Joe Serock (season 10) and Mukul Pahuja (season 12) won the Player of the Year without winning a single tournament.
  • Elky Grospeller is the only person to have won both the Player of the Year and the Money Leader of the Year award in season 7. He is the only person to do so still till date.


WPT Poker Passport


The World Poker Tour  Passport is launched in partnership with Partypoker providing additional options and flexibility to players to qualify for tour events with online qualifiers. Every day, the online poker room would host a World Poker Tour passport super satellite event where the winning player is guaranteed to win a package valued $5,000. The winning player would have 12 months to decide which  main event they want to use the package for.


Monster WPT Poker Tournament of Champions


Each Season concludes with a Monster Tournament of Champions event. The final table of this grand 3 days event is filmed for TV and live streamed as well, inside Hard Rock Live. This is a grand event with a $15,000 buy in featuring No re-entry and No Limit Texas Hold’em Game.

The WPT Season XV Monster Tournament of Champions took place from April 22nd to April 24th at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida that has 60+ entrants and a prize pool of over $1,060,000. Farid Yachou was the winner of the W P T Tournament of Champions Season XV and won $381,600 in prize money along with a $15,000 free buy in for the next same Poker Tournament of Champions.


WPT Poker Season XVI (2017-2018)


The World Poker Tour announced in February that the Main Tour for the year 2017-2018 would start from 15th April 2017 in Beijing. The tournament would take place at the NUO Hotel Beijing Casino along with and as a part of OurGame Chess & Card festival 2017.

The season would continue with various tournaments in different casinos all over the world through the rest of 2017 and in 2018. This is the first Main Event to be held in China and is a part of plan to expand WPT’s reach in Asian Markets. The Beijing Event on April 15, 2017 would be invitational in nature, so not anyone can buy in to the tournament.

The second tournament of the season is WPT Amsterdam, taking place on May 5 2017 at Holland Casino, Amsterdam. This tournament would have a buy in of €3,300. WPT is yet to announce the complete schedule of Season XVI, but it would be somewhat similar to WPT Season XV along with a few tweaks and improvements.

Meanwhile, have a look at the  Season XV schedule, along with the buy in prices, winners and their prize amounts.


WPT Season 15 (2016-2017) Schedule

DateEventBuy inCasinoWinnerPrize
29th April WPT Canadian Spring Championship$3,500Playground Poker ClubSeth Davies$226,893
10th May 2016WPT Amsterdam$3,300Holland Casino AmsterdamAndjelko Andrejevic$228,000
29th July 2016WPT Choctaw$3,700Choctaw Casino ResortJames Mackey$681,758
27th Aug 2016WPT Legends of Poker$4,000The Bicycle Hotel and CasinoPat Lyons$615,346
18th Sept 2016WPT Borgata Poker Open$3,500Borgata Hotel Casino and SpaJesse Sylvia$821,811
1st Oct 2016WPT Maryland Live$3,500Maryland Live! CasinoZachary Smiley$356,536
14th Oct 2016WPT Best Bet Bounty Scramble$3,500Bestbet JacksonvilleSamuel Panzica$354,335
2nd Nov WPT UK$2,200Dusk Till Dawn Poker and Casino NottinghamLuis Rodriguez Cruz$250,200
11th Nov WPT Montreal$3,850Playground Poker ClubMike Sexton$317,896
19th Nov WPT Caribbean$5,000Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta CanaNiall Farrell$335,000
2nd Dec WPT Prague$3,300Grandior Hotel PragueOleg Vasylchenko$145,420
5th Dec 2016WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic$10,400Bellagio Resort and CasinoJames Romero$1,938,118
29th Jan 2017WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open$3,500Borgata Hotel Casino and ResortDaniel Weinman$892,433
10th Feb WPT Playground$3,500Playground Poker ClubEmma Zajmovic$200,769
22nd Feb 2017WPT Fallsview Poker Classic$5,000Fallsview Casino ResortDarren Elias$335,436
25th Feb 2017WPT L.A. Poker Classic$10,000The Commerce Hotel and CasinoDaniel Strelitz$1,001,110
6th March 2017WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star$7,500Bay 101 CasinoSamuel Panzica$1,373,000
11th March 2017WPT Rolling Thunder$3,500Thunder Valley Casino ResortMichael Del Vecchio$284,638
31st March 2017WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown$3,500Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino- HollywoodTony Sinistaj$661,283
2nd AprilWPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale $10,000Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino- HollywoodRyan Riess$716,088
7th April 2017Monster WPT Tournament of Champions$15,000Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino- HollywoodDaniel Weinman$381,500


WPT Poker Main Tour Player of the Year (season 15)

1.Benjamin Zamani2,550
2.Sam Panzica2,500
3.Mike Sexton2,100
4.Simeon Naydenov1,800


TV Show for  World Poker Tour Fans


WPT Poker Tour only broadcasts the Final Table of The Poker Main Tour on TV as its Main Showing. The show started in 2003, at the conclusion the first event of 2002-2003. This year, the show concluded its 15th season with the crowning of Daniel Weinman as the winner.

Weinman won the title and $381,500 in prize money on his birthday no less. The show airs live on Fox Sports Network; however, subscribed members of Club WPT can also watch the show on demand. Each event is broken into 3 one hour episodes and is broadcasted all over the world in over 150 countries. Lynn Gilmartin of Poker News is the show’s host alongside the show’s commentators, Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten.

With the conclusion on season xv, the next season of the WPT Main Show would be broadcasted next year, after the conclusion of the WPT Main Tour 2017-2018.

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