Bay 101, California Swing Absent from 2018 WPT Schedule
Today the World Poker Tour released the remaining 2018 portion of its Season 16 Main Tour schedule, highlighting stops at Seminole Hard Rock, Borgata, Fallsview, Commerce and Thunder Valley.
"These five venues generated nearly 5,500 total entries and more than $23 million in total prize money during Season XV of the World Poker Tour, and we look forward to continued WPT success at these world-class properties during the second half of Season XVI," said WPT CEO Adam Pliska.
Conspicuously absent from the schedule, however, is Bay 101 Shooting Star, the fan favorite bounty event that has graced the tour for over a decade. Almost since the WPT initially came on the scene, Bay 101 Shooting Star has been one of its flagship events.
First appearing on the schedule in Season 2, Bay 101 started out as a $5,200 event with $5,000 bounties placed upon a select group of star players. It drew a field of 243 and Phil Gordon took it down for $360,000. The event remained thereafter as a mainstay on the tour, becoming popular among poker fans and recreational players alike, many of whom have long enjoyed bounty tournaments in their home casinos as one of the most popular tournament formats.
It soon morphed into a $10K event and then moved to the $7,500 price point in 2013, where it has remained the past few years. Past champions aside from Gordon include Nam Le, Ted Forrest, Brandon Cantu, Taylor Paur, Stefan Schillhabel and Sam Panzica, who won nearly $1.4 million last season en route to challenging for WPT Player of the Year.
The absence of Bay 101 from the schedule also likely means the end of the California Swing promotion for the time being. The WPT release outlining the 2018 schedule makes no mention of the Swing.
For years, the WPT held the L.A. Poker Classic and Bay 101 Shooting Star one after the other. When WPT Rolling Thunder, an event in Northern California, was added to the schedule in 2014, it made for three straight events in the Golden State.
The WPT introduced the California Swing promotion, offering players some added value to encourage them to attend all three events. Players competing in each event accumulated points for in-the-money finishes and the winner banked a bevy of prizes. Last year's champ, Rainer Kempe, won a package that included travel expenses and hotel accommodations to what was supposed to have been this coming California Swing.
That same Mercury News report had suggested "the casino will also continue its world-famous Shooting Star poker tournament," although it remains to be seen whether it will once again when the next season rolls around.
Here's a look at the 2018 portion of the WPT schedule, with the WPT also having promised to release details on the season-ending Tournament of Champions at a later date:
|Jan. 10-15||€3,300 WPT European Championship||SpielBank Berlin (Berlin, Germany)|
|Jan. 19-24||$3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open||Seminole Hard Rock (Hollywood, FL)|
|Jan. 28-Feb. 2||$3,500 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open||Borgata (Atlantic City, NJ)|
|Feb. 10-12||CA$5,000 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic||Fallsview (Ontario, Canada)|
|Feb. 24-March 1||$10,000 WPT L.A. Poker Classic||Commerce (Commerce, CA)|
|March 2-6||$3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder||Thunder Valley (Lincoln, CA)|
|April 13-18||$3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown||Seminole Hard Rock (Hollywood, FL)|
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