The World Poker Tour, also known simply as the WPT, was founded on May 27, 2002 and was founded in the US. Its founder was Steven Lipscomb, whom is an attorney and a television producer. Lipscomb was working as the CEO of the company that was in charge of the WPT, which was WPT Enterprises. The WPTE remained in control of the tour up until the end of 2009. The World Poker Tour is a series of poker tournaments that invite players from all over the world to participate. The initial stages of these poker tournaments are not televised, but as the final table approaches, the WPT broadcasts the final matches. As most poker tournaments are concerned, they are all governed and regulated by an entity or person; in the WPT’s case they have a commissioner, Steve Heller, in charge of this.
As stated before, the World Poker Tour is actually a fairly new poker tournament, comparing it to older tournaments such as the WSOP. It all began in 2002, when the WPT Enterprises decided to televise a live poker tournament, and saw that it was a big hit. The WPTE continued throughout the years, but in November of 2009, they were bought by PartyGaming. PartyGaming is part of the bwin group, which is notorious for acquiring anything that has the possibility of being great. They bought the WPT for $12,300,000, which seems to be a low amount. Before they got bought out, the organizers of the WPT decided to start offering a prize to the event winners, a bracelet. They gave a bracelet to the previous winners as well. Although the WPT is a series of tournaments, they do only play one type of poker game, Texas Hold’em Poker. Hold’em has unofficially become the poker of choice when it comes to these big tournaments both live and online. The WPT has wrapped up their 10th season World Championship, with Marvin Rettenmaier being the winner (2012).
The Poker Tour
Although the WPT is technically a tour, they usually play within the US; however, they have had some international events in Paris, Aruba, and the Bahamas. The World Poker Tour is split up into two different parts, the regular events and the World Championships. They usually have the regular events first and then end the season with the WPT World Championship; which is a $25,000 buy-in. The regular events are played throughout the US and in other countries all together. The championship is solely played in Las Vegas, at the Bellagio casino. While the final tables are being played, they are being broadcasted as well – increasing their popularity of course.
Pros vs. Cons of the WPT
The WPT has gained the fame of being a name-maker for many hopeful poker players. However, just as easily as it can make dreams come true, it can also shatter them. The poker tour takes place in various locations throughout each season, with the regular events being spread out, and finally the championship being in one place. This helps to expand the number of international poker players that want to participate, but could also limit the players that do not have the bankroll in order to travel so much. With the high status that they place on the tour, anyone that makes it to the final table has a good chance of being recruited or sponsored by any poker organization and/or casino, but for those that do not make it, it can be disastrous. With the high entry fee, there are not as many underdog up and comer stories as we would like to hear.
Winners Circle for the WPT
From the 10th seasons that the WPT has been active so far (2012), there has been a good amount of different winners; whether it is during the regular events or the championships. The winnings for first place for the events range from $550,000 up to $2.4 million, and the range for the championships are from $1 million up to $3.9 million. The big pay-out goes along with the popularity, and the amount of players that participate in the WPT poker tour, as well as the increase in status that it has gained. So far, the biggest pay out was of $3,970,415 that was won by Carlos Mortensen during the 5th season WPT World Championships. Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen currently have the most titles, 3 each, from the WPT tour.