Star-Studded Meet-Up Game Kicks Off WPT World Championship This Week at Wynn Las Vegas; Complete Series Preview & Details

November 30, 2022
Star-Studded Meet-Up Game Kicks Off WPT World Championship This Week at Wynn Las Vegas; Complete Series Preview & Details

The World Poker Tour World Championship festival at Wynn Las Vegas is shaping up to be one of the biggest poker events of the year. On Dec. 1, the “Premier Meet-Up Game” kicks off the 20-day series featuring poker legends Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius, and others.

WPT Ambassadors and poker vloggers Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen host a live cash game at the Wynn Las Vegas poker room.  

“We’re really looking forward to the Dec. 1 meet-up game,” Wynn executive director of poker operations Ryan Beauregard said. “Having Ivey, Hellmuth, Doyle, Brad, Andrew, and the entire WPT crew in the poker room meeting and playing with their fans and the Wynn Las Vegas community is going to be amazing. I’m sure this is going to be the ‘MUG’ by which all futures MUG’s are measured.”

Celebrity DJ Steve Aoki will take part along with WPT Talent Lynn Gilmartin, Tony Dunst, Vince Van Patten, and Matt Savage. USPoker recently caught up with Neeme ahead of the Dec. 1 MUG.

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Influencers growing meet-up games popular events

Late in 2016, Neeme began showcasing his experiences as a low-stakes poker pro in Las Vegas on YouTube. His audience quickly grew as more poker players and fans found it easy to relate to him and his content.

Inspired by Neeme’s work, fellow low-stakes grinder Owen launched his own poker vlog two months later. The pair eventually connected and formed a friendship that has taken them around the world to play poker and share their experiences with the ever-growing audiences.

The two are now some of the biggest influencers in poker. Neeme has 179,000 YouTube subscribers while Owen’s audience has grown to 641,000

As their audience grew, the vloggers looked for a way to monetize their audience beyond YouTube revenue. Putting their heads together, they created the meet-up game (aka, the MUG).

Working with various casinos, Owen and Neeme hosted MUGs at various casinos where players and fans could come and play poker in a meet-and-greet type setting. The events allowed Owen and Neemeto build camaraderie in the poker community. 

Earlier this year, in recognition of their reach and ability to connect with their audience, WPT brought both Neeme and Owen on board as ambassadors. The WPT MUGs have grown into sellout events in Cambodia, Australia. and the US.

“The WPT MUGs have been fantastic,” Neeme says. “It’s great having extra hands on deck that can help with logistics, or get us to new locations that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to sort on our own. I couldn’t have imagined playing the Stand Up Game with vlog watchers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, but I’m now able to say that is a thing that actually happened and I have the YouTube video to prove it.

“The vibe is super casual. I think each player is trying to win, and different tables have different personalities, but overall this is far from serious poker.”

WPT ambassadors Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen.

What to expect at the Wynn MUG?

“We’ve got special guests beyond Hellmuth, Ivy, and Doyle who will be very familiar to the YouTube poker audience. We’ll be playing $2/$5 No Limit Hold ‘em and the vibe will be casual and fun as we dish out exciting vlog content.

“Viewers can expect higher-than-average VPiPs (voluntarily put in pots), bomb pots and a few straddles with each table showcasing different players and personalities in an entertaining and fun environment.”

How will it be playing with Doyle? Is that something you’re looking forward to?

“Having Doyle there will be amazing for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that we’ll have the legend himself participating in a concept that we came up with is mind blowing in itself.

“But I’m also incredibly excited for all the other individual players who attend and get a chance to play with Doyle as well. It’s an absolute dream to sit at the table with Doyle Brunson and that is going to become a reality for a bunch of people at the MUG.”

What are your thoughts on the upcoming series overall?

“Seeing the WPT and the Wynn partner up for an event is a very cool thing. I think both teams do a phenomenal job of being professional while also personable.

“Whether you play high stakes or low stakes, you’re treated with respect when you interact with these brands. That sort of unpretentious vibe is the one we’ve always gone for with the MUGs, while still offering a proper poker experience.”

 

WPT World Championship details

The WPT World Championship Festival runs Dec. 1-19 and features 23 tournaments. The action is located in Wynn’s Encore Ballroom with about 120 tables.

Guaranteed prize pools of more than $22 million is highlighted by the $10,400 WPT World Championship. The event features a massive $15 million guarantee and begins Dec. 12. The WPT will film the final table for television on Dec. 20.  

“Our goal is to develop the WPT World Championship into one of the most talked about poker events of the year,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said. “Partnering with Wynn Las Vegas has allowed us to put the player experience first and the festival schedule reflects that.”

Players can participate in satellites to win their way into major WPT festival events including: 

  • $1,100 WPT Prime Championship
  • $1,100 WPT Ladies Championship
  • $1,600 Mystery Bounty
  • $3,000 NLHE Six-Max
  • $10,400 WPT World Championship

The fact that we have so many online satellite winners making their way to Las Vegas, in conjunction with the hundreds of live satellite winners from both Wynn and other WPT stops around the world, is going to make this event extra special,” Beauregard said. “It will be so exciting to see online winners from ClubWPT in the field. I have no doubt it will be an unforgettable experience for all of them!”

Here’s a look at the complete series schedule.

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2022 WPT World Championship

DateEventBuy-inGuarantee
Dec. 1No Limit Holdem Day 1A$600$500,000
Dec. 1No Limit Holdem Day 1B$600$500,000
Dec. 2No Limit Holdem Day 1C$600$500,000
Dec. 2No Limit Holdem Day 1D$600$500,000
Dec. 3No Limit Holdem Day 1E$600$500,000
Dec. 3No Limit Holdem Day 1F$600$500,000
Dec. 4No Limit Holdem$600$50,000
Dec. 5H.O.R.S.E.$600$50,000
Dec. 5No Limit Holdem Day 1A$600$200,000
Dec. 6Limit Omaha 8/B$600$50,000
Dec. 6No Limit Holdem Day 1B$600$200,000
Dec. 7Seniors Championship (50+, 2 Day)$1,100$200,000
Dec. 75 Card PLO$600$50,000
Dec. 7Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Prime Championship$20010 Seats
Dec. 8Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Prime Championship$20020 Seats
Dec. 8WPT Prime Championship Day 1A$1,100$2,000,000
Dec. 88-Game Mix (2 Day)$3,000$200,000
Dec. 8Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Prime Championship$20020 Seats
Dec. 9WPT Prime Championship Day 1B$1,100$2,000,000
Dec. 9PLO Turbo$600$50,000
Dec. 9Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Prime Championship$20020 Seats
Dec. 10WPT Prime Championship Day 1C$1,100$2,000,000
Dec. 10NLH $1k Bounty Turbo$600$50,000
Dec. 10Milestone Satellite to $10,400 WPT World Championship$1,10010 Seats
Dec. 11Milestone Satellite to $10,400 WPT World Championship$1,10050 Seats
Dec. 11NLH High Roller (2 Day)$25,700N/A
Dec. 11Milestone Satellite to $10,400 WPT World Championship$1,10010 Seats
Dec. 12WPT World Championship Day 1A$10,400$15,000,000
Dec. 12Milestone Satellite to $10,400 WPT World Championship$1,10010 Seats
Dec. 12H.O.R.S.E. Championship (2 Day)$1,100$100,000
Dec. 12Milestone Satellite to $10,400 WPT World Championship$1,10010 Seats
Dec. 13WPT World Championship Day 1B$10,400$15,000,000
Dec. 13Limit Omaha 8/B Championship (2 Day)$1,100$100,000
Dec. 14WPT World Championship Day 1C$10,400$15,000,000
Dec. 14Milestone Satellite to $3,000 NLH 6-Max$40010 Seats
Dec. 14No Limit Holdem Bounty Turbo$1,600$100,000
Dec. 15Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Ladies Championship$20010 Seats
Dec. 15No Limit Holdem (2 Day)$3,000$500,000
Dec. 15Milestone Satellite to $1,100 WPT Ladies Championship$20010 Seats
Dec. 16Mystery Bounty Day 1A$1,600$2,000,000
Dec. 16WPT Ladies Championship$1,100$200,000
Dec. 16NLH 6-Max$3,000$250,000
Dec. 17Mystery Bounty Day 1B$1,600$2,000,000
Dec. 17NLH Progressive Bounty$5,200$250,000
Dec. 17Milestone Satellite to $1,600 Mystery Bounty$30020 Seats
Dec. 18Mystery Bounty Day 1C$1,600$2,000,000
Dec. 18NLH High Roller$10,500N/A
Dec. 19No Limit Holdem$1,100$200,000
Dec. 19Tag Team Bomb Pot - Double Barrel$600$50,000

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