The World Poker Tour announced the first half of its 2022 schedule this week as the company’s 20th season gets underway. The additions bring the total number of events on the Main Tour to four, including one online poker event in Asia.
The $3,500 Lucky Hearts Poker Open kicks off the season on Jan. 13 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, with $2 million guaranteed. The tour also announced three WPTDeepStacks events including two stops outside the US.
Beyond the announced events so far, WPT officials have promised additional special events to celebrate the tour’s 20 anniversary.
“We could not be happier to be launching our historic 20th anniversary with an amazing partner in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said in a news release. “We have a number of special initiatives planned for the rest of the year to give the poker community amazing ways to celebrate with us.”
Additional events, Las Vegas final table filming plans
After the Lucky Hearts, the WPT again offers an online event on Poker King. The WPT Spring Festival runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 with ¥12,000,000 ($1.9 million) in guarantees.
The ¥2,200 ($345) Main Event highlights the series from Feb. 1-7 and comes with an ¥8 million ($1.25 million) guarantee. The site is available mostly to players in Asia.
The second live Main Tour stop finds the WPT returning to the Seminole. The $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown runs April 8-12 with $2 million guaranteed.
In 2021, the event broke the record for the largest live WPT field with 2,482 entries and a $7.9 million prize pool. Brek Schutten scored the title for $1.3 million.
The third WPT Main Tour stop sends players to Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma. This is the seventh year the tour has held an event at the property.
The $3,800 WPT Choctaw is set for My 13-16 with no guarantee announced yet. Last June, the event produced 964 entries with a $3.3 million prize pool, easily topping the $1 million guarantee.
The WPT also has plans for upcoming televised final tables of the Hard Rock Showdown and Choctaw events. The final six players will be filmed on May 25-26 at HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas.
WPTDeepStacks returns to action
Along with Main Tour dates, the WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS) returns for another season in 2021 with three stops now on the schedule. The €1,100 WPTDS Amsterdam runs at Holland Casino from March 25 to April 2.
WPTDS Sydney then offers players in Australia some major tournament action from March 30 to April 11, The series’ highlight is the (A)$1,500 buy-in Main Event.
The tour then returns to the US poker scene with an event at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California. That series is planned for April 19 to May 1 with a $1,500 Main Event. More Season XX events will be announced at a later date.
Jake Ferro wins Player of the Year
The WPT closed out Season XIX in December with the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio in Las Vegas. After the season’s conclusion, Jake Ferro emerged as Player of the Year.
Originally from Syracuse, New York, the 32-year-old ended the season with a deep run in the Five Diamond. He finished 14th for $80,245, which came after an earlier runner-up in the Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open for $573,605.
“I’m thrilled to have won WPT Player of the Year for Season XIX and am definitely looking forward to playing more WPT events in 2022,” Ferro said. “It would have been a dream come true to have etched my name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, but coming so close only makes me hungrier for the coming season.”
As the winner Ferro earned a WPT Passport worth $15,000 that can be used on any Season XX events. He also received VIP treatment throughout the upcoming season, including complimentary accommodations and ground transportation.
Rok Gostisa took the runner-up spot after winning the WPT World Online Championships Main Event in September at partypoker. He earned a $7,500 WPT Passport.
Chad Eveslage finished third and scored a $2,500 WPT Passport. Albert Knafo earned the (WPTDS) North America Player of the Year title for a $10,000 WPT Passport.
Taylor Black takes Five Diamond title
At the Five Diamond, Taylor Black topped field of 715 entries for $1.2 million. The win was a dream comes true and the Californian now has $3.9 in live tournament winnings.
“It’s cool to be on the list of Five Diamond winners with guys like them who are my friends and incredible players … it’s just a special tournament,” he told WPT.com. “You don’t control which tournament you get to run well enough to win so for it to be in this one for all the tournaments I play, it’s surreal.”
The event produced a $6.9 million prize pool with the action filmed for broadcast at HyperX. Vik Shegal finished runner-up for $827,620.