Las Vegas, Nevada will host the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions festival from May 17-26, 2018.
The parties agreed in November to move the Tournament of Champions to ARIA from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.
The schedule runs from May 17-26 and concludes within a few days of the World Series of Poker start date of May 30.
The Bobby Baldwin Classic premieres
The final addition to the World Poker Tour schedule is the $10,000 Bobby Baldwin Classic. The single re-entry tournament precedes the Tournament of Champions and represents the last chance for players to qualify for the $15,000 event. Named after the ARIA COO and Poker Hall of Fame Member, the Bobby Baldwin Classic opens on Sunday, May 20. The final table is to be streamed on PokerGO.
WPT events return to Las Vegas for the second time in Season XVI. The Five Diamond Poker Classic ran in its usual time slot in December.
The Bobby Baldwin Classic plays inside the famed ARIA poker room and concludes on Wednesday, May 23. The single re-entry format replaces the $10,000 Seminole Hard Rock finale freezeout. A guarantee is not listed for the event.
Tournament of Champions formally moves to Las Vegas
The Tournament of Champions closes out Season XVI of the World Poker Tour. Play opens on Thursday, May 24 with the final table filmed for television on May 26. The taping takes place at the Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino, right down the strip from ARIA.
This is the third edition of the Tournament of Champions. Previous field sizes are 66 from Season XIV and 64 in Season XV. Daniel Weinman and Farid Yachou both turned their $15,000 freeroll seat into another six-figure score by winning the tournament.
The full ARIA series includes $25,000 High Roller tournaments and a $100,000 Super High Roller.
ARIA and the World Poker Tour established their partnership via the WPT 500 event. The Main Tour is making its first official stop there with this announcement. The two partners are pleased to expand their relationship.
“ARIA takes great pride in being the host of the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions. We have developed a tremendous festival of events, highlighted by the premiere of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, and are excited to welcome the biggest names in poker to Las Vegas in May,” said ARIA poker operations director Sean McCormack.
World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska commented by saying, “The World Poker Tour is thrilled to bring the illustrious WPT Tournament of Champions to the luxurious ARIA, as we close out a historic Season XVI. We look forward to returning to Las Vegas, the birthplace of the WPT and the global home of poker, to crown this season’s champion of champions.”
Lead image c/o WPT/Flickr