The people behind the World Poker Tour, which has made pretty compulsive TV viewing, have launched a Professional Poker Tour, with invitations to the 200 highest-ranking pro players.
The crème de la crème - WSOP winners and the like - got invitations to the first three years of the new event. These include Tony G, Noel Furlong, Gus Hansen, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Gordon, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Chris Moneymaker, Antonio Esfandiari, Bobby Baldwin, Daniel Negreanu, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Samy Farah, Mel Judah, Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, Huck Seed, Tom McEvoy, Layne Flack, Carlos Mortensen, Chip Reese, Erick Seidel, Lyle Berman, Kathy Liebert, T. J. Cloutier, Ted Forrest and Linda Johnson.
In its first year, the PPT will feature five $500,000 free-roll tournaments with a total $2.5 million prize pool. The opening tournament will take on November 9 at Foxwoods (Connecticut). The others will be at the Las Vegas Bellagio and Mirage, Tunica Goldstrike and LA's Commerce.
More than a dozen of the PPT qualifiers are women.