World Poker Tour announced its $15,000 buy-in, rake-free WPT Tournament of Champions event and the rest of its Season XVI festival schedule last week.
Sean McCormack, director of poker operations for ARIA, had this to say:
“ARIA takes great pride in being the host of the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions. We have developed a tremendous festival of events, highlighted by the premiere of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, and are excited to welcome the biggest names in poker to Las Vegas in May.”
The Tournament of Champions event starts May 24 and is exclusive to members of the WPT Champions Club.
The three-day tournament plays out its first two days at ARIA Resort & Casino . The final table will be filmed at the new Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino.
The rest of the schedule runs May 17-26 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. As part of the schedule, WPT will film the final table for its television broadcast.
Bobby Baldwin event is new finale for the Main Tour event
New to the tournament this year: the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic. The first of its kind, this four-day event features a $10,000 buy-in. Its namesake, Bobby Baldwin, is the president and COO of ARIA.
Baldwin’s background is on the felt and in the casinos, namely, in executive positions of Golden Nugget, Bellagio, and The Mirage. He also won the 1978 WSOP Main Event and was the event’s youngest champion at the time. Additionally, he was more than $2.3 million in lifetime poker earnings.
His event will give other players the chance to win their way into the WPT Tournament of Champions. The PokerGO-streamed event allows single re-entry.
Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, said this tour is a thrilling end to the historic Season XVI.
“The WPT Tournament of Champions is our most prized event, and the winner will join Farid Yachou and Daniel Weinman as a WPT Tournament of Champions winner. We look forward to returning to Las Vegas, the birthplace of the WPT and the global home of poker, to crown this season’s champion of champions.”
Featured on the schedule:
- One-day ARIA $25,000 High Roller events
- May 18, 19, 22, 23
- Two-day ARIA $100,000 Super High Roller events
- May 24, 25
The WPT of the past
In Season XIV, the World Poker Tour replaced its season-ending Championship event with the invite-only Tournament of Champions. The change came from dwindling attendance. Now the event is only open to players who have previously won a WPT Main Tour event.
The following year, this past year, the tournament called many to attention with its value add to the prize pool. It included a Corvette, Monster Headphones, hotel stays, and poker tables, to name a few.
At the tail end of 2017, WPT and DraftKings partnered up to run qualifiers for the WPT European Championship.
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