With live poker returning to normal, the World Poker Tour officially released its schedule of 2021 events on Wednesday. Players will find seven live events in the tour’s 19th season with several North America-based events returning to the schedule.
Following a record-breaking Season XVIII, the new live campaign kicks off with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa from June 18-22. The new event is one of three events held in Florida in 2021 with two events also heading to Las Vegas.
The extended Season XVIII included several massive turnouts in some of the tour’s final events earlier this year. Tour officials are hoping that signals even more interest in returning to the live tournament felt.
“As we emerge from restrictions throughout North America,” CEO Adam Pliska said in a news release, “we have bolstered the momentum from last season’s historic numbers and are eager to meet the great demand for WPT events leading up to our twenty-year anniversary in 2022.”
A look at the WPT schedule
After the Tampa stop, the tour heads to Las Vegas for the WPT Venetian from July 2-7. With the World Series of Poker moved to the fall, the tour has added some summer dates for players to fill that void. The Venetian also hosts a WPTDeepStacks event from July 9-13.
Next up is a stop in Oklahoma with the WPT Choctaw running July 23-27. The bestbet Scramble closes out the summer action in Jacksonville, Florida, from Aug. 27-31. That event remains a favorite as the venue adds several bounties on players in the field.
As fall rolls around, the action shifts to the East Coast for WPT Maryland at Live! Casino from Sept. 24-28. Players will then find a two-month break as the WSOP plays out in Las Vegas from Sept. 30 to Nov. 23. This allows WPT players to get in both series’ major events.
Back to the WPT action
The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown closed out Season XVIII in May and exemplifies the demand for live poker. That event became the largest WPT Main Tour field in history with 2,482 entries and a $7.9 million prize pool. Intensive care unit nurse Brek Schutten claimed the title for $1.3 million.
In Season XIX, the action returns to the Seminole for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open from Nov. 26-30. The last event set a record for this tournament as well with 988 entries.
The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic closes out 2021 at Bellagio in Las Vegas from Dec.15-19. This event has become the Super Bowl of the WPT, setting attendance records for each of the last five seasons.
The Five Diamond remains a hallmark on the tour calendar dating back to the first season. Some of the biggest names in poker have won this event including Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Joe Hachem, Eugene Katchalov, and others.
The last Five Diamond was held in 2019 with Alex Foxen topping a field of 1,035 entries to score $1.6 million.
“Live poker is back at full strength on the World Poker Tour and we are ecstatic to once again be able to provide a full and exciting schedule of events for our players,” WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael said.
“We want to sincerely thank the players and global casino partners for their unwavering support during a challenging year and look forward to showcasing some of the best casino properties in North America.”
Online events also still in the works
Along with live tournaments returning to the WPT felt, more online poker offerings are also in the works. The WPT World Online Championships are also provisionally scheduled at partypoker from Sept. 1-30. The WPTDeepStacks Online is also set to play out on the site from July 18-28.
The new season actually kicked off on partypoker in May with the WPT Online Series. The championship event wrapped up on Tuesday with Christian Rudolph to become the first champion of Season XIX.
Rudolph topped a field of 1,065 for $487,443 in an event that saw a $3.2 million prize pool.
More Season XIX events including stops planned for 2022 are expected to be announced at a later date. Here’s a look at the complete schedule:
WPT Season XIX (2021)
Date Buy-in Event Guarantee Casino Location
June 18-22 $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa $2 million Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa Hollywood, Florida
July 2-7 $5,000 WPT Venetian $3 million Venetian Resort Casino Las Vegas, Nevada
July 23-27 $3,700 WPT Choctaw $1 million Choctaw Casino & Resort Durant, Oklahoma
Aug. 27-31 $5,000 WPT bestbet Scramble $1 million bestbet Jacksonville Jacksonville. Florida
Sept. 1-30 (provisional) NA WPT World Online Championships NA partypoker NA
Sept. 24-28 $3,500 WPT Maryland at Live! Casino NA Live! Casino & Hotel Hanover, Maryland
Nov. 26-30 $3,500 WPT Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open $2 million Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood Hollywood, Florida
Dec. 15-19 $10,400 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic NA Bellagio Resort & Casino Las Vegas, Nevada