World Poker Tour (WPT)

Joseph MacNaughton

What is the World Poker Tour and How you can Enter a WPT Event

Brief History of the WPT

The World Poker Tour, otherwise known as the WPT, is a huge poker tournament brand that hosts many different poker tournaments around the world. The World Poker Tour was founded on May 27th, 2002 in the United States. It has changed ownership over the years with PartyGaming buying the WPT in November 2009. PartyGaming merged with bwin and eventually sold the company to Ourgame international. The WPT is hosted annually and broadcast on TV in over 150 countries. As of 2016, the World Poker Tour signed a five-year contract with Fox Sports for them to have exclusive broadcasting rights.

The tour is played in seasons as opposed to years and has a variety of different events running throughout the year. What's great about the World Poker Tour is you have the option to play in each event in the series if you wish to. This can be a great way to see the world while playing in fun poker tournaments along the way. Winners of any of these tournaments will be awarded a WPT Champions Cup, and the champions will have their name engraved on the trophy. Winning a tournament will also give you membership to the WPT Champions Club.

How To Enter the World Poker Tour

Most of these tournaments are generally open for anyone to enter. Some WPT events, however, are exclusive and invite-only, but the vast can be entered by anyone that is interested, including all the events on the main tour. The buy-in for each tournament can vary depending on which World Poker Tour series you would like to enter. The cost of buying into a competition from the main tour ranges from $3,500-$20,000.

The WPT offers cheaper tournaments at their Deep Stacks and 500 tours. The WPT Deep Stack tours provide a great format where everyone will start the match with quite a lot of chips and big blinds offering more playability at the beginning. The buy-in range is also more reasonable ranging from just $50 - $2500 depending on the venue. The WPT 500 also offers very reasonable buy-in tournaments, all roughly around $500. Actually, the total buy-in will usually be a little more than $500 when you include the rake on top that casinos charge on all of their tournaments that they host.

Buying in the full amount isn't the only option to enter one of these tournaments. You may also gain entry via a satellite or qualifier tournament. A satellite is essentially a mini-tournament where the winner or winners will have the first and sometimes second prize be in the form of a ticket to a larger WPT event. A lot of these satellites will be available to play both online and at live casinos across the world. Sometimes these satellites give the winners a package to the WPT. A package can sometimes include hotel accommodation, free food, flights and even some spending money!

Online satellites will have a greater range of buy-in options. Satellites with a small buy-in option with the chance of a big WPT package will mean the field will be huge or you will need to win the ticket in stages. Winning a WPT package in stages means you will win tickets to bigger satellites with the last satellite being the one offering the WPT ticket or package.

How much Money can you Win at a WPT Event?

The total purse at a WPT event will depend on a few things, such as what the buy-in is, how many players entered, and how long you can stay in! The Main Tour will generally have the biggest prize pool and the biggest payouts. However, the buy-in amount and number of players entering will usually be the highest as well. If you win any tournament in the Main Tour, you will be guaranteed at least a 6 figure payout.

Successful Players

Daniel Negreanu.

A lot of you may have heard this name, he is one of the more famous poker players around and is one of the personalities representing the Pokerstars brand. Daniel has made deep runs and cashed in WPT events many times winning the 2nd highest amount in revenue in WPT history, earning just under 6 million dollars in his WPT tournaments alone. While these are amazing results from his WPT tournament play, it is only a small fraction of the near 40 million dollars he's won through his career.

Carlos Mortensen.

Not too many people would have heard of this name, but he is famous when it comes to winning at WPT events. He is the player that has won the most amount of money from WPT tournaments. He has won the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas Nevada and the 2004 WPT American Poker championship, making him the first player to win two poker world championships.

World Poker Tour Player of the Year Leaderboard

The World Poker Tour has a leaderboard for each tour that they offer. The leaderboard will contain players that have earned points through playing in WPT tournaments and events. WPT tours come in seasons which will generally last close to 1 year. Some may start in the summer and end the following year in the summer, while others might begin and end at different times of the year. The winner of the leaderboard will be the player with the most points at the end of the season. The 1st place prize can vary depending on the tour and which season.

Winners will get the player of the year title which includes a player of the year trophy. They will also receive a WPT passport which is a set amount of money that they may use to buy into next season's tournaments. Free accommodation is provided at some of the events, free ground transportation, free food and usually some sort of award ceremony as well. Placing second or third on the WPT leaderboard can also give you a cash passport for a smaller sum to most WPT events around the world.

The player of the year points are calculated based on the prize pool of the tournament and what place you were able to achieve. If you finish in the money, meaning you didn't lose all your chips before the payouts begin, you will automatically receive 50 points, regardless of the total prize pool. You must be in the money to earn points. If the prize pool is $500,000 or less, 1st place will give you 600 points. If the prize pool is $4,000,000 or more, 1st place will provide you with 1400 points. There are a number of different tours and leaderboards, some running simultaneously.

WPT Player of the Year tours

  • WPT Main Tour
  • WPT Deep Stacks North American Tour
  • WPT Deep Stacks European Tour
  • WPT Asia-Pacific Tour
  • WPT India Tour

Ranking well in any of the WPT leaderboards can get your name noticed fast. You could very well get sponsored by a poker or gaming company that could potentially help cover your tournament expenses, in exchange for promoting their brand.

Reasons Why you should consider Entering a World Poker Tour Event

The WPT has something to offer every type of poker player. There are events across the globe, so no matter where you live you have an opportunity to play in one. The different types of tours and buy-ins make it easy for players to enter and enjoy their desirable tournament structure. WPT events can also be included in your holiday experience or give you a good reason to travel to various destinations across the globe.  The Player of the Year is an excellent way of recognising the players who do well in the WPT and lets them continue to play in future WPT tournaments. It is also a fun way to compare you and any of your friends who also enjoy playing in WPT events. 

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