World Poker Tour Does Away with WPT Championship in Favor of Tournament of Champions
The World Poker Tour has announced the second-half schedule for Season XIV, which includes a major change. The WPT Championship is out, and the WPT Tournament of Champions – a $15,400 buy-in invitational reserved for Season XIV champions and WPT Champions Club members only – will serve as the season finale.
The WPT Tournament of Champions will be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida from April 21-23 immediately following the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
"By combining Season XIV winners and WPT Champions Club members, the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions will truly be a championship event," said WPT President and CEO Adam Pliska. "We will promote the ‘champion of champions’ to our millions of television viewers and to the thousands of players in the community for seasons to come, solidifying the winner’s place in the World Poker Tour’s rich history."
Every Season XIV Main Tour champion is automatically entered into the WPT Tournament of Champions, and will have their airfare and hotel accommodations covered. Past WPT champions will have the opportunity to put up the $15,400 buy-in for the televised event.
Aside from that major change, the WPT announced seven more Main Tour events, including WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, and the third-annual California Swing. The 2016 California Swing kicks off with WPT L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino from February 27 – March 3, then continues with WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star at Bay 101 Casino from March 7 – 11, and concludes with WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino Resort from March 12 – 16.
"The World Poker Tour continues to innovate and evolve, most notably with our global footprint," added Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for WPT. "We are proud that WPT continues to emphasize our international offerings, with second-half stops in the Philippines, Belgium, Malta, Vienna, San Remo, and Johannesburg, and we will be kicking off Season XV of the World Poker Tour in beautiful Holland."
Finally, the WPT also revealed that Season XV will once again kick off outside of the United States in May, this time in Holland with WPT Amsterdam.
Here's a look at what's in store for the second half of Season XIV:
Season XIV Second-Half Schedule
|Main Event Dates||Event||Casino||Location||Buy-in + Entry|
|Jan. 4 - 8||WPT National Philippines||Solaire Resort & Casino||Manila, Philippines||$1,500 + $150|
|Jan. 8 -11||WPTDeepStacks Hustler||Hustler Casino||Gardena, California||$1,000 + $100|
|Jan. 14 - 18||WPTDeepStacks Hollywood**||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||Hollywood, Florida||$1,000 + $100|
|Jan. 29 - Feb. 1||WPTDeepStacks Malta**||Dragonara Casino||St. Julian's, Malta||€500 + €50|
|Jan. 31 - Feb. 5||WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open**||Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa||Atlantic City, NJ||$3,300 + $200|
|Feb. 21 - 24||WPT Fallsview Poker Classic***||Fallsview Casino Resort||Ontario, Canada||CAD $4,700 + CAD $300|
|Feb. 25 - 28||bwin.be WPT National Brussels||Grand Casino Brussels||Viage, Belgium||€1,100 + €100|
|Feb. 26 - 29||WPTDeepStacks-BigStax**||Parx Casino||Bensalem, Pennsylvania||$1,500 + $100|
|Feb. 27 - Mar. 3||WPT L.A. Poker Classic*||Commerce Casino||Commerce, California||$9,600 + $400|
|Mar. 7 - 11||WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star*||Bay 101 Casino||San Jose, California||$7,150 + $350|
|Mar. 8 - 13||partypoker WPT Vienna||Montesino Vienna||Vienna, Austria||€3,000 + €300|
|Mar. 12 - 16||WPT Rolling Thunder**||Thunder Valley Casino Resort||Lincoln, California||$3,200 + $300|
|April 8 - 11||Gioco Digitale WPT National San Remo||Casino San Remo||San Remo, Italy||€900 + €90|
|April 15 - 17||WPT National Johannesburg||Emperors Palace Hotel Casino||Johannesburg, South Africa||R10,000 + R1,000|
|April 14 - 20||WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown**||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||Hollywood, Florida||$3,200 + $200 + $100|
|April 21 - 23||WPT Tournament of Champions*||Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||Hollywood, Florida||$15,000 + $400****|
* Denotes televised event
** Denotes live-streamed event (WPT Tournament of Champions will also be live-streamed)
*** Pending regulatory approval
**** Only WPT Champions Club members
"The show that started it all continues to evolve after fourteen years, with the exciting new WPT Tournament of Champions," said the WPT's Mike Sexton. "I love that the WPT is going to a TOC format for the season-ending event – it will be the best of the best to determine the ultimate champion!"