With the explosion of online casinos, we have also seen a huge growth not only in online poker but poker tournaments generally.
One of the major drivers of this has been the World Poker Tour – often referred to as the WPT.
In this article we take a look at how the World Poker Tour works and what you need to do in order to be able to take a seat at that table.
What is the World Poker Tour?
Similar to most major international sports, the World Poker Tour is a series of international poker tournaments – with the final table of each tournament broadcast on sports channels.
The World Poker Tour began its first season 2002 – culminating in the final championship in early 2003 at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas.
The organisation behind the tour was WPT Enterprises. WPT Enterprises controlled the World Poker Tour until 2009 when it was acquired by PartyGaming. The rights to the World Poker Tour were subsequently acquired by Ourgame International Holdings Ltd in 2015.
Who can play?
One of the big draws of the World Poker Tour is that anyone can play. As long as you can afford the “buy-in” (which could range from as low as $2,500 to $25,000) then you can sit down and play against the best in the world.
Another way of gaining entry into the World Poker Tour is to win a satellite tournament – these satellite tournaments generally have a lower buy-in price.
How does the tournament work?
The entry fees from all participants are placed in the prize pool – this prize money is then shared among the winners. The winner generally takes around 40% of the total prize pool, while the top 10-20% of the field take a share of the remainder.
Once all of the players at the tournament are registered, then their table and their seat numbers are drawn at random.
The tournaments are described as a “freeze out”. This means that every player starts with the same number of chips and play doesn’t end until one player has won all of the chips.
Rounds of play are timed, with set “blinds” or forced bets. The blinds increase at the end of each round to ensure that the pace of the game keeps moving swiftly.
As players lose the last of their chips and are knocked out of the tournament, the gaming tables are consolidated until the last six players remain standing. This is then the final table of the tournament which is generally broadcast live.
Depending on the number of players, a World Poker Tour tournament will generally take around five days to complete.
The winner of the tournament not only collects the sizeable prize pool but also gets entry (worth $25,000 to the World Poker Tour Championship which is held each year at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
Are you ready to throw your hat into the ring? Are you ready to buy your place and put your chips on the table at the World Poker Tour? This could be your moment.