Posts Tagged ‘Tour’

World Poker Tour Announces Creation of WPT Japan

 World Poker Tour Announces Creation of WPT Japan

The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced Wednesday that for the first time, the Tour will be making a trip to Japan. Partnering with the Japan Poker Union Corporation, the World Poker Tour will launch the new WPT Japan in Tokyo November 23rd through November 26th.

“The Japan Poker Union Corporation is very pleased to partner with the World Poker Tour on this brand new event, WPT Japan,” Japan Poker Union Corporation’s representative, Yabuuchi Nobuhiro, said in a press release. “The World Poker Tour is the perfect brand to help launch a new chapter for poker in our country, and we look forward to hosting players from all over at WPT Japan and showcasing all that this great region has to offer.”

There will be just four events at WPT Japan, which makes sense, as the WPT likely wants to test the market before getting too ambitious. Qualifiers for the tournaments will be held at local poker clubs.

Interestingly, it looks like these events might actually be freerolls. Normally, when the WPT issues a press release about a new tour stop or even just one hyping the return to a location that has been on the schedule for years, some mention is made of what the buy-ins will be to the events, or at least to the stop’s championship event. In this press release, there is no such discussion of buy-ins. It is possible that they just haven’t been set yet, though one would expect the WPT to explain this in the announcement. Admittedly, I don’t know much of anything about Japanese gambling laws, but perhaps the reason for no buy-ins could lie there.

Further evidence of the tournaments being sans buy-in is that the WPT states, “Prizes for all WPT Japan events will consist of packages to future WPT events. The WPT Japan Main Event winner will receive a package to both the Season XVII WPT Main Tour event in Beijing, plus another WPT event of their choice in the Asia-Pacific region.”

If there were buy-ins, there would almost certainly be cash prizes and if there were no cash prizes, there would be an explanation as to why.

Participants in the WPT Japan tournaments will also earn points toward the WPT Asia-Pacific Player of the Year leader board. The winner of the POY race will get a $ 15,000 prize package for any WPT event in the Asia-Pacific region, including complimentary accommodation.

“The World Poker Tour is honored to partner with the Japan Poker Union Corporation for this momentous occasion, not only the history of the World Poker Tour, but for our industry,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Japan is a truly spectacular place, and the Japanese poker market is a flourishing one that deserves to be showcased on a global stage such as the World Poker Tour. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Japan, I strongly encourage poker players of all levels from around the world to come to Japan and experience first hand everything this beautiful region has to offer.”

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Changes Tournament Formats, Goes To “Shot Clock” For Events

 World Poker Tour Changes Tournament Formats, Goes To “Shot Clock” For Events

After experimenting with it during its closer of season event for the past two years, the World Poker Tour became the first tournament circuit to shift its tournaments to run on a “shot clock.” Furthermore, the Season XVI events will be played in an eight-handed format, a change from the nine or ten player tables of past years.

The World Poker Tour is proud to be the first to implement the Action Clock across all of its Main Tour events,” said Matt Savage, the WPT’s Executive Tour Director, during the announcement of the rule changes. “Many players, both recreational and professional, have expressed concerns that unnecessary tanking has taken a lot of the fun out of poker. Poker should always be fun, and it was a no-brainer decision to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events following its success in the WPT Tournament of Champions and WPT500 Los Angeles. With the Action Clock, more action equals more fun, and who doesn’t want more fun in poker?”

The “Action Clock” will be sponsored by Protection Poker and it will be used at all future WPT Main Tour events. The rule will not be utilized for the entirety of the tournament, however. It will be implemented when the tournament reaches the last table before the money bubble pops and last until the end of the tournament. There are also extensive rules on the options the players will have in making their decisions.

Once the “Action Clock” is implemented, each player will be given four “time extension” chips that are of 30 second value each. The players can use those as they see fit – one at a time or all at once for a critical decision – and if they use them all, they’re gone…for a bit. When the tournament reaches three tables, the remaining players are reset to six “time extension” chips with the same rules in effect. When the six-player final table is determined, those players will receive eight “time extension” chips to go to war with.

“Protection Poker is pleased to expand its partnership with the World Poker Tour to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events,” said Cavin Quintanilla, the Chief Executive Officer of Gaming Advancement Marketing Entertainment, LLC, the ownership behind Protection Poker. “The World Poker Tour is poker’s most player-friendly tour, and we look forward to players experiencing the ‘Action Clock’ on a global scale.”

This rule is only being applied to the players one table from the money, but another rule change being implemented by Savage could have even more of an effect on WPT events. Traditionally, the WPT starts at a nine-player table – the industry standard, for the most part – with an occasional step to a 10-player table should the tournament be bigger than normal. For Season XVI and moving forward, the WPT will be working with the casino properties that hold their events and change over to an eight-handed table.

The change to an eight-handed table versus a nine- or even ten-handed table is significant for a couple of reasons. First, the play will move around the table incrementally quicker for the players, perhaps forcing the action in places where it would normally have been more sedate. Second, the move will make for a more comfortable setting for the players, something that is more important than the public might think.

As stated by Savage, the “Action Clock” has been utilized at the WPT Tournament of Champions for its two-year history. The players in the event, former WPT champions all, have stated that its usage was excellent for those tournaments. Two-time WPT champion Daniel Negreanu has been a loud proponent of the usage of a “shot clock” in poker, saying that playing the Tournament of Champions and other “shot clock” events have spoiled him to the point that he doesn’t like playing No Limit Hold’em events without the device.

There are those who aren’t enamored with the idea, however. Some believe that having the “shot clock” will be detrimental to newcomers taking part in WPT events because of the added pressure. There is also the question of its implementation. Poker professional Ari Engel brought this point up (noting he has played in only three tournaments implementing the “shot clock”) in stating on Twitter, “Have not played many…but when I did the clock was not implemented universally fairly. Need A+ dealers for shot clock.”

No indication was given during the announcement that this is only a test period, so it appears that the “Action Clock” rule is now the norm with the WPT. Whether other circuits implement it remains to be seen.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Announces WPT European Championship

 World Poker Tour Announces WPT European Championship

Perhaps looking to partially fill the void left by the termination of the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced today the addition of the Season XVI WPT European Championship to the schedule, a poker festival culminating with the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event. The entire tour stop will run January 5th through January 15th next year at Spielbank Casino in Berlin, Germany, with the Main Event going January 10th through close.

“It is with great pleasure that the World Poker Tour announces the WPT European Championship and the return of a televised event to Europe,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “Much has changed since the WPT’s last televised European event in Season XII, but one thing that has remained certain is Europe’s incredible enthusiasm for poker. The continent is home to some of the world’s most talented poker players, including several WPT Champions Club members. We look forward to hosting the entire poker world in Berlin for the televised WPT European Championship.”

The World Poker Tour is also mixing its tours in a sense with the WPT European Championship, starting off the stop with a €1,500 WPTDeepStacks Event (by the way, why are there no spaces in WPTDeepStacks?).

“As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is excited to be the opening event of the WPT European Championship festival,” said Executive Director of WPTDeepStacks Chris Torina. “Offering our €1,500 buy-in WPTDeepStacks Berlin event in combination with the WPT European Championship €3,300 Main Event, plus all of the other great events we have filled the schedule with, will create one of the best festivals not only in Europe, but around the world.”

Interestingly, with as long as the World Poker Tour has been around, this will be the first time it has made a stop in Berlin. Marcel Langner, Director of Operations for Spielbank Casino, expressed his excitement in the WPT statement:

Spielbank Casino is honored to partner with the World Poker Tour to welcome the WPT to Germany for the first time in its rich history. Poker’s popularity in Europe is no secret. We are proud to welcome players not only from across all of Europe, but the entire world, and to showcase all that this amazing region has to offer on the global stage of the World Poker Tour.

As of right now, the WPT European Championship will slot in as the caboose of the WPT schedule, coming a month after the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

There have been just two WPT stops so far this season, WPT Beijing and WPT Amsterdam. The remaining seven – not counting the WPT European Championship – are all in North America, starting with WPT Choctaw in August. There will surely be more stops added, though, as mainstays such as WPT Bay 101 younger, popular stops such as WPT Rolling Thunder have yet to appear on the list.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

 World Poker Tour Expanding Operations into India, South America With New Partnerships

The World Poker Tour has, at certain points in its history, stretched their moniker as far as “world.” For a few years, the organization barely left the States of America and, if it did, it was still on the North American continent. Of late, however, the WPT has been stretching out into the international market, as demonstrated by their latest endeavors on both sides of the globe.

The WPT and India-based Adda52.com announced that they would be collaborating to expand poker in the billion-people strong country. This Asia-Pacific expansion between the two groups will be twofold, with a new tournament – the WPTDeepStacks India – as well as a brand-new honor for yearly performance in the WPT India Player of the Year award. Between both endeavors, the WPT and Adda52.com are looking to make poker even bigger in the country.

“With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape,” added Angelica Hael, the WPT’s Vice President of Global Tour Management. “Together with our partner Adda52.com, the WPT looks forward to not only sharing the WPT experience through the expansion of WPTDeepStacks to the region, but also giving Indian players incremental value with the WPT India Player of the Year award.”

“We are excited for WPT and Adda52 to take its partnership to new heights by bringing WPTDeepStacks to one of India’s most beautiful locations, Goa,” Anuj Gupta, the founder & Chief Executive Officer of Adda52.com, added. “WPTDeepStacks India will be an exceptionally unique event since the tournament will be held onboard a floating ship. As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is the perfect fit for the Indian poker community.”

As Gupta stated, the WPTDeepStacks India will be held from November 7-13 at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, India. The $ 1000 buy-in tournament will be the capstone to the other innovation produced by the partnership between the WPT and Addar52, the WPT India Player of the Year award. Along with the DeepStacks tournament, two other events in India will be held to find the best player in the country.

From July 20-24, the Deltin Poker Tour Goa will hold a $ 540 Main Event, with the people who cash in the tournament earning all-important points towards the WPT India POY. From September 6-11, there will be another $ 540 tournament for the Deltin Poker Tour Goa where players can earn more points. Along with the November WPT DeepStacks tournament, the player who earns the most points through the three tournaments will win the WPT India Player of the Year award.

Danny McDonagh, the WPT Live Events Specialist, commented, “Alongside the outstanding team at Adda52.com, the World Poker Tour is proud to introduce a dedicated WPT India Player of the Year award to showcase the region’s top talent and to bring WPTDeepStacks to this flourishing market.” In making this statement, McDonagh also brought up the prizes for those who vie for this title. The eventual champion will be named Player of the Year and earn a $ 5000 credit for WPT events and Deltin tournaments during Season XVII of the WPT.

Alongside their stretch into the Asia-Pacific market, the WPT is also looking southward for more poker action. Earlier this week the WPT announced that they had paired with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay to bring a televised poker event to the South American country. As a part of their Season XVI schedule, the new WPTDeepStacks Uruguay Main Event (with two opening day flights and a $ 1500 buy in) will play from November 1-5 this fall.

“With its entry into South America, the World Poker Tour is now on its fifth continent,” said Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, in announcing the new stop. “As the WPT continues its global expansion, we look forward to showcasing the abundance of poker talent across the globe and bringing the game to new audiences worldwide, starting with Enjoy Punta del Este in Uruguay.”

“It is an honor that a company as prestigious as the World Poker Tour has chosen Enjoy Punta del Este to co-host the tour’s first televised event in South America,” said Sebastián Truffello, the General Manager of Enjoy Punta del Este. “It is no secret that the WPT features the best televised poker tournaments in the world, and it is our great pleasure to partner with the WPT for this extraordinary event. We have no doubt that the combination of Enjoy’s expertise and infrastructure, plus the incredible experience of participating in a world-class WPT televised tournament, will result in an incredible event for all of those who attend.”

It seems that the WPTDeepStacks event won’t be the only tournament going on around that time. Although it has yet to be finalized, there is a full schedule of preliminary events that will surround the WPT tournament in Punta del Este, promising plenty of poker action for all. For those that don’t do so well on the tables, there is plenty of beaches and entertainment to take the mind off the losses – at least for a bit.

The WPT – the organization where “world” was once a funny joke – is truly striving to make it an integral part of its being. With the new events spanning the globe in India and South America, the reach of the WPT seems to only become greater.

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour, PokerStars Team for Unique “MonteDam Swing”

 World Poker Tour, PokerStars Team for Unique “MonteDam Swing”

For the first time in both organizations’ existences, the World Poker Tour and PokerStars are teaming up for a unique event. Called the “PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing,” it will combine two events, one from each organization, into a competition like the traditional WPT “California Swing” each spring in the States of America. For competing in the “MonteDam Swing,” eligible players (more on this in a minute) will have the opportunity to win tournament buy-ins for their efforts.

“Both PokerStars and the World Poker Tour are committed to growing the game of poker, and the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing was developed to benefit players competing at both PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo and WPT Amsterdam,” said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars Director of Live Events. “This exciting partnership allows players a natural transition from one world-class festival to another, and we encourage our players to head to WPT Amsterdam following their time in Monte Carlo.”

Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, echoed Stuchly’s thoughts in saying, “For many years, PokerStars and the World Poker Tour have collaborated behind the scenes to ensure the scheduling of our major events is done in the best interest of the players. We are proud to take the collaboration a step further with the creation of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing, and we welcome all players to kick off a spectacular three weeks of poker by attending PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo starting April 25.”

As Pliska stated, the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will kick off with the stop by the PokerStars Championship in Monte Carlo. There are two events there that players can choose from to be eligible for the MonteDam Swing, the €1100 PokerStars National Championship Monte Carlo (April 26-30) and the €5300 PokerStars Championship Main Event (April 29-May5). Two more legs of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will be held at the WPT Amsterdam, the €1500 WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam (May 5-8) and the €3300 WPT Amsterdam Main Event (May 9-13). To be eligible for the overall competition, a player must have one “in the money” finish at each location.

There is a very good list of prizes available for the players taking part in the event. After the points have been tabulated, the top five finishers will win these prizes:

1st:  PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event package (valued at €7500)
2nd: WPT Main Event package (€6000)*
3rd: WPTDeepStacks package (€3000)*
4th: PokerStars National Championship Barcelona buy-in (€1100)
5th: WPTDeepStacks buy in (€1500)*

(* – WPT prizes can only be used in European events)

There will also be prizes for those who simply participate in the Swing. If a player even participates in one PokerStars Championship tournament and one WPT event during the Swing, they will receive a freeroll ticket for an online tournament at PokerStars with a $ 30,000 prize pool. If a player participates in both Main Events on the Swing schedule, they will receive a $ 300 voucher for buy-ins at the 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).

It sounds good overall, but there are a couple of issues that present themselves for the “MonteDam Swing.” Cramming the four events into a 17-day period – and then expecting players to cash in two of them, one at each location – is a bit draining even for the best of players. When it started, however, people gave little credence to the “WPT California Swing” (and its three tournaments in three weeks’ schedule); now it is a staple of the WPT when it hits the West Coast and, along with collaborating with PokerStars, the WPT is looking for lightning to strike twice, but this time in Europe.

If nothing else, it draws eyes – and potentially players – to tournaments that may have gotten lost in the mix as players prepare for the World Series of Poker at the end of May. Beginning in 10 days, the PokerStars WPT MonteDam Swing is a shot at publicizing the events while announcing a first-ever partnership between two of poker’s most powerful entities.

Poker News Daily



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