[toc]Last season (Season XIV), the World Poker Tour replaced its season-ending Championship event with an invite-only Tournament of Champions.
The inaugural TOC was successful enough that for the second consecutive year, the WPT will host a Tournament Of Champions. Once again there will be plenty of added value.
The upcoming TOC will take place after the season-ending Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, capping off Season XV of the tour.
Why the WPT switched to the TOC
The change from the $15,000 Championship event to the TOC was spurred on by dwindling attendance numbers for the higher buy-in season finale. But even with the zeitgeist moving in that direction, the shift wasn’t without skeptics and criticism. This is because the Championship went from an open event to an invitation-only affair.
In the end 64 players participated in the inaugural event. This was in part due to the tournament being rake-free and the slew of additional prizes that WPT sponsors added, including a Corvette.
Who can play in the TOC?
By virtue of winning a WPT Season XV Championship event, the following 17 players have already punched their ticket to compete in the tournament.
So too will the winners of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event on March 31 and the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale on April 2:
- Seth Davies, partypoker WPT Canadian Spring Championship
- Andjelko Andrejevic, WPT Amsterdam
- James Mackey, WPT Choctaw
- Pat Lyons, WPT Legends of Poker
- Jesse Sylvia, WPT Borgata Poker Open
- Zachary Smiley, WPT Maryland Live!
- Sam Panzica, WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble
- Luis Rodriguez Cruz, partypoker WPT UK
- Mike Sexton, partypoker.net WPT Montreal
- Niall Farrell, partypoker WPT Caribbean
- Oleg Vasylchenko, partypoker WPT Prague
- James Romero, WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
- Daniel Weinman, WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open
- Ema Zajmovic, partypoker.net WPT Playground
- Darren Elias, WPT Fallsview Poker Classic
- Daniel Strelitz, WPT L.A. Poker Classic
- Mike Del Vecchio, WPT Rolling Thunder
In addition to the automatic qualifiers, all former WPT champions are welcome to enter the $15,000 buy-in tournament. And there are plenty of reasons for them to do so.
Plenty of added value for the TOC
Not only is the tournament rake-free, but it’s one of the few poker tournaments with value added to the prize pool. Players can thank the WPT’s generous sponsors for that.
Monster Headphones has added $100,000 to the prize pool. The winner of the 2016/2017 TOC will also receive:
- A pair of Rose Gold Wireless Over-Ear Element Headphones from Monster
- A Hublot® King Power Unico Carbon and Red watch
- A custom premium poker table from BBO Poker Tables
- A seat in Tiger’s Poker Night Presented by World Poker Tour
- A one-week stay with Wyndham® Extra Holidays
- 2018 Audi S5 Coupe courtesy of Monster
Said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour:
“It is the World Poker Tour’s honor to celebrate its winners with the season-ending Monster WPT Tournament of Champions. We are incredibly thankful to all of our great partners for their significant contributions to the Season XV Monster WPT Tournament of Champions prize pool, as they have allowed the WPT to create an impressive overlay of cash and prizes in this rake-free event.
The WPT Champions Club is composed of the game’s most prestigious champions, but only one will be crowned the champion of champions this April and drive off in a brand new Audi S5.”
In addition to the winner’s package, all participants in the Season XV Monster WPT Tournament of Champions will receive a custom-fitted pair of sunglasses from Maui Jim®. Each member of the six-handed, televised final table will also receive a Monster Superstar Ravebox.
Action Clock will return
Another interesting wrinkle from last year’s TOC will also return: the Action Clock, which limits all decisions to 30 seconds.
Per the WPT:
“The Monster WPT Tournament of Champions will once again be played with the Action Clock created by Protection Poker. Players will have a 30-second clock for each action to help ensure an efficient pace of play and increase the strategy element for the Monster WPT Tournament of Champions.
Each player will receive five, 30-second time extensions that they can use at any time leading up to the final table. At the televised final table, all six players will reset with four, 30-second extensions.”
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