WPT Forges Partnership with 888poker
When the World Poker Tour formally acquired WPTDeepStacks at the start of 2017, it brought in a partner to utilize for “mid-major” stops across the United States and parts of Canada. Season 4 of the WPTDeepStacks tour has seen an expansion into Europe with events in Portugal, the Netherlands, and currently, Belgium taking place in recent months.
The European audience has full access to online poker and the WPT is utilizing that by bringing in 888poker to assist with the facilitation of online satellites.
The first event players have the opportunity to qualify for on 888poker is the €1,500 WPTDeepStacks Berlin Main Event that runs from January 5-8, 2018. The event opens the WPT European Championship festival which also includes a €3,500 main event.
Every Monday from present time through December 24, a $109 qualifier will run with a seat given away for every $1,750 in the prize pool. In addition, a $160 satellite takes place every Thursday through the same date.
Super satellites to qualify for the main qualifiers are running on 888poker as well. Whether the online poker giant plans to include online poker satellites in New Jersey is yet to be seen.
Next Steps for WPTDS and 888
This news comes on the heels of online poker being regulated in the state of Pennsylvania. A state that 888poker is likely to join forces with. As more states become regulated, watch for the World Poker Tour, WPTDeepStacks, and 888poker to offer similar qualifiers in their respective states.
With four WPTDeepStacks stops in California taking place in Season 4, there is fair chance that WPT and 888poker will be doing business in that state should regulation ever break through.
Tournament of Champions moves to ARIA
The WPT has been methodical with their release of the 2018 portion of the Season XVI schedule. The latest addition to the calendar is the announcement of the season-ending Tournament of Champions now being played in Las Vegas, Nevada at ARIA. The WPT press release indicates the TOC will take place in May 2018, but a formal date is yet to be decided.
The WPT partnered with ARIA starting in Season 2014, with the WPT 500 event. The TOC moving to Vegas is the first Main Tour event to be held in the city outside of the Five Diamond Poker Classic at Bellagio since 2013.
The TOC first entered the WPT lexicon in Season XIV. The tournament was added to the season-ending Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Farid Yachou defeated 64 entrants in his first ever trip to the United States to walk away with $381,600. Last season, Daniel Weinman overcame a field of 66 to win his second WPT event of the season and claim the first place prize of $381,500.
Due to ongoing construction on the Seminole property in an effort to expand hotel rooms for the 2020 Super Bowl, poker is on the backburner for available space. As a result, the WPT moved the Lucky Hearts Poker Open back onto the schedule after a few years away and will run the event in January 2018. The Seminole Hard Rock Showdown $3,500 event remains but the $10,000 finale, it appears, is being moved elsewhere.
What will wrap up the WPT Season XVI schedule?
Given the gradual rollout of the schedule for Season XVI, it appears the World Poker Tour is waiting toward the end of 2017 before formally announcing the last open event. In recent seasons, the year-end championship has lowered its buy-in from $25,000 to $15,000 when the event took place at the Borgata, to $10,000 in latest iterations in Florida.
Bein in Las Vegas could see the event raise the buy-in once again, but it’s yet to be seen. The last time the buy-in was $15,000 came in Season XIII when Asher Conniff emerged on top of 239 entries.
The next few weeks should be full of anticipation as the last event on the Season XVI calendar nears its unveiling.