There will be no rest for the professionals even though the holiday season is upon us. The 2005 poker tournament trail will wrap up for the season in a couple days, and a short two weeks later they'll have to have their games in shape to kick off the 2006 season. The World Poker Tour is going to be a major part of that kickoff!
PokerStars and the WPT will be kicking off the 2006 season by taking a trip to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. All of the major players on PokerStars, including the last three World Champions in Joseph Hachem, Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker, will be in attendance for the event from January 4th through the 11th. It is expected as well that 2005 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion John Gale will be back to defend his WPT title. Currently satellites are running for the event at PokerStars, where you can earn your $12,000 prize package to be able to participate in the event.
As there are still twenty days left in the month, the WPT also is offering the Seventh Annual World Poker Open at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, MS. The World Poker Open has been a charter member of the tour since the inception of the WPT and, starting January 9th, the World Poker Open will offer some of the best poker action east of the Mississippi as 2005 champion John Stolzmann attempts to reprise his championship run. The entirety of the event will be no-limit tournaments ranging in buy-in from $1,000 to the $10,000 WPT event, which will be contested from January 19th to the 23rd.
If that wasn't enough, the WPT will debut its seventeenth tournament at the end of January. The Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ, will play host to the Borgata Winter Poker Open from January 20th to February 1st. 515 players came to the felt back in September for the first stop for the WPT in Atlantic City and it is expected that the crowds will be similar for the newest event on the tour, as it is one of only four stops on the East Coast for the WPT.
So far, the action for Season Four of the World Poker Tour has been outstanding. It is expected that this season alone will have in the neighborhood of $100 million in purses up for grabs between professionals and amateurs alike. This would double what the WPT prize pools have been for the first three seasons of the tour combined!
The action won't be stopping anytime soon for the World Poker Tour, either. Of their seventeen event schedule, over half of it (nine tournaments) will be contested in the first four months of 2006. With the plethora of tournament action currently existing in the poker world the professionals will have to keep on their best game, as they will be truly tested by amateurs seeking their shots in many of these early tournaments. Satellites for all of these WPT events are running on many sites, so be sure to step up to the plate and take your shot and, perhaps, we'll see you on the WPT stage sometime early in 2006!
Ed note: Vince Van Patten of the World Poker Tour plays at Hollywood Poker