TEAMING UP: Partypoker Expands 2021 WPT Online Schedule, Live Events in Russia

With major live tournament events still on hold, partypoker affirmed its continued partnership with the World Poker Tour on Monday. The two companies plan even more in 2021 with several online festivals already in the works.

Beyond that, the companies are teaming up for two live events as well. WPT Russia will run Feb. 19-28, with the partypoker LIVE event held at Casino Sochi. Online satellites are already underway.

The WPT and partypoker already partnered on live events before the Coronavirus pandemic. That now has expanded even further with co-branded online series.

“Despite ongoing uncertainly with regards to live events, we can promise players a schedule packed full of WPT festivals in 2021,” partypoker managing director Tom Waters said. “We are looking forward to working with the WPT team to produce schedules of the highest quality, both live and online.”

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Plenty of online partypoker/WPT events to look forward to

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of numerous WPT events and more live events could be moving online. This means even more action for players in the international online poker market.

To begin the year, the WPT Montreal Online will replace the normal live series and is set to begin Jan. 10. A $2 million guaranteed Main Event is planned with satellites already available starting at $0.01.

The WPT Online Series returns to the partypoker schedule in May and World Online Championships is also back in September.

Both series debuted in 2020 and found success. The Online Series paid out more than $52 million with the three flagship events all topping the guarantees.

The World Online Championships ran from July to September earlier this year and became partypoker’s biggest series ever. That festival paid out more than $100 million

Partypoker worked to appeal to players of all bankrolls and awarded 45,000 seats via satellites. In the $10,300 Main Event, seven of nine players at the final table qualified via satellites.

Those aren’t the only WPT plans at partypoker. The WPT500 Online joins the schedule in March and the WPTDeepStacks Online debuts in July.

Like the other events, these festivals are designed to replicate the format of a live series. That includes condensing events into a shorter schedule.

Partypoker bringing back WPT live poker to Russia and beyond

It should be a big year for WPT fans online at partypoker, but a couple live events have also been announced. WPT Russia is just the first of two live events on the schedule, with WPTDeepStacks Russia also planned for July.

Players can qualify for the $3,300 WPT Russia Main Event with a buy-in for as little as ₽3 (Russian rubles, equivalent to $0.04). There are four phases of daily satellites each week, feeding into a weekly final.

Satellite buy-ins are restricted to a maximum of ₽3,300/$43, allowing smaller bankroll players the chance to win. Winners earn a ₽300,000/$3,925 ticket and travel package to play the Main Event.

“Casino Sochi is delighted to host the WPT Russia festival again after its success in 2020,” the property’s director of poker Artur Voskanyan said.

“The casino has been thriving in the last few months, setting multiple poker records in the process, and we are sure hosting this WPT event during the winter snow season will be a roaring success.”

Russia will introduce an electronic visa border process in 2021, Voskanyan added. This is expected to make it easier for international travelers to visit the country and play in these events.

“As was the case in 2020, extensive satellite programs will be in place for all our events and it’s great to see such high entry numbers for the online satellites that are currently running for WPT Russia at Casino Sochi and the online edition of WPT Montreal,” Waters added.

“There were so many life-changing stories in 2020, and we are hopeful that 2021 will deliver even more.”

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Numerous partypoker series roll on

These announcements are just the latest for partypoker. Like other online operators, the site has offered numerous festivals as prize and players pools continue to soar.

The Caribbean Poker Party is already underway and runs through Nov. 25. That series features 10 championship events and $10 million guaranteed.

The Irish Poker Masters has also been moved online this year. The series kicks off Dec. 6 and the €1,100 Main Event brings a €1 million guarantee The site also wraps up the €1 million Monster Series today.

Beyond online events, Partypoker LIVE and WPT plan to grow their live event offerings around the globe in 2021.

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* Photos courtesy World Poker Tour