Tournament Trail: A Look at International Poker Events to Close Out Summer & Online Qualifiers

Players heading home from the World Series of Poker have plenty of tournament action to look forward to this August and September.

The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas may be over but the action is just warming up for international players. Players heading home from Sin City have plenty of tournaments to look forward to this August and September.

Many also come with numerous opportunities to win a seat in some live action via online poker qualifiers. Operators like PokerStars, PartyPoker, and the WSOP are hosting major events to close out the summer months.

Players can expect big fields and lots of solid guarantees.  Here’s a look at some of the international poker tournaments through September. 

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PartyPoker heads to the Czech Republic

King’s Resort in Rozvadov will play home to the PartyPoker Championship (PPC) Czech Republic Aug. 8-15. Currently King’s is the largest poker room in Europe boasting 160 poker tables. 

The event includes multiple tournaments with buy-ins ranging from €150 to €1,000. Highlights include the €300 main event that carries a €500,000 guarantee.

The PartyPoker Championship Czech Republic is set for Aug. 8-15 at King’s Resort in Rozvadov with online qualifiers and starting flights.

“This event marks the return of PartyPoker to King’s Resort after several years,” PartyPoker head of live events Dan Rose said.​ “We’re so excited to bring our brand new PPC brand to such a famous, high-quality card room, and it will be a perfect low buy-in, high guarantee event for our players to return to Rozvadov for.”

There are also online opportunities. Players can advance in Day 2 of the Main Event by playing in an Online Day 1. Online starting flights run July 31, Aug. 7, and Aug. 9. For more information on the series, click here.

Road to PSPC continues with PokerStars

PokerStars is running non-stop action in the next few months. The company will be hosting tours all throughout Europe.

The tour will also offer Platinum Passes to the PokerStars Player Championship in the Bahamas, which is scheduled for January. A Platinum Pass includes a tournament and travel package worth more than $30,000.

Some events and locations of Pokerstars official events include:

  • Aug. 8-21 – EPT Casino Barcelona (Spain
  • Aug. 25-29 – Dusk Till Dawn (Nottingham, United Kingdom)
  • Aug. 31 – Sept.1 – Casino Schenefeld (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Aug. 31 – Sept. 4 – Casino Admiral Sevilla (Spain)
  • Sept. 13-18 – Pasino de la Grande (Motte, France)
  • Sept. 19-25 – Okada, Manilla (Philippines)
  • Sept. 22-25 – Regency Casino (Thessaloniki, Greece)

For more information on winning a Platinum Pass, click here.

WPT goes international

The World Poker Tour has a few series lined up for the summer. The company has announced two official upcoming events in Asia, Europe, and Australia.

A Main Tour heads down under Sept. 23-27 at the Star Gold Coast for the A$5,300 WPT Australia. From Aug. 11-23, WPT Prime hosts more than 25 tournaments at Nagaworld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The $1,100 main event takes place on Aug. 18 with a $500,000 guarantee. 

In September, Prime takes over Casino Gran Via in Madrid, Spain. The $1,100 main event runs Sept. 15-19 and includes four flight flights.

For those heading to the Spanish event, cash players looking to jump in some side action will find a unique feature. Cash games at Casino Madrid play the button counter-clockwise compared to the conventional style of play. Tournaments run like normal however. 

Triton Series heads to Cyprus

For players looking for the big money events, Triton Poker has it covered. Merit Royal Diamond Hotel in Cyprus hosts the Super High Roller Series from Sept. 5-17.

The festival includes 13 events with buy-ins ranging from $25,000 to $200,000.

“We are excited to host the Coin Rivet Invitational, which will bring together a diverse group of passionate entrepreneurs and poker professionals to create an exciting event that will be streamed globally,” Triton CEO Andy Wong said.

The series will once again offer thorough, high-quality video coverage via Triton’s YouTube channel. For more on this series, click here.

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WSOP Europe on the horizon

For players still looking for a gold bracelet, the WSOP Europe is also approaching. The series is set for Oct. 12 – Nov. 3 with King’s Casino once again playing host.

Players will find 15 bracelets up for grabs. The highlights of the series include a  €10,000 Main Event and a €50,000 High Roller. Stay tuned to PokerScout for more WSOP Europe updates including a complete schedule.

WPT Announces Dates for Australian Gold Coast Events; Main Tour Heading Down Under

Australian poker players can look forward to a few upcoming World Poker Tour events and the tour recently announced dates for those stops. The company hosts two upcoming series at The Star Gold Coast. The first is a AUD$1,500 WPT Prime event, as part of a complete festival running June 9-20. The main event also runs June 16-20. Australia’s first Main Tour event then heads to the same casino in September. The complete WPT festival runs Sept. 15-27 with the inaugural AUD$5,400 Main Tour stop planned for Sept. 23-27. "With interstate and international travelers returning to our shores in search of incredible experiences and entertainment, we’re excited to announce The Star Gold Coast will welcome not one, but two, major poker events later this year,” Star Gold Coast COO Jessica Mellor said in a news release. [cta id=975 type=geo] “In a real coup for the city, the WPT Main Tour event will make its way to the Gold Coast for the very first time in September, bringing all the prestige of the best poker players in the world. Meanwhile, WPT Prime Gold Coast in June is expected to attract interest from thousands of poker fans across Australia and the Asia Pacific after our 2021 event set a new record with over 1,000 entries.” More details on the Australia events WPT Prime brings a new brand to the company. Prime is the company’s newly branded mid-stakes tournament. The series replaces the WPTDeepStacks tour later this year. The tour is promising an enhanced player experience at Prime events including: live streaming coverage on the WPT website as well the tour’s YouTube and Twitch channels the use of Action Clocks a Player of the Festival leaderboard Players earning points toward WPT Player of the Year “With the introduction of WPT Prime at The Star Gold Coast,” WPT Vice President of global tour management Angelica Hael said, “we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further elevate our global players’ experience.” The WPT announced official dates recently for the tour's upcoming stops in Australia. (photo courtesy WPT) Adding to WPT Australia events The two new tour events follow up on a couple other recent events in the region. The WPTDeepStacks festival at The Star Sydney boasted an all-time high for most main event entries at 2,023. The new WPT Asia-Pacific also recently saw records for: total festival entries – 6,392) total festival prize pool – $6.6 million main event prize pool – $2.7 million Along with the Australian events, the tour also announced this week that the WPT Venetian is heading back to Las Vegas beginning on July 12. The tour also announced an additional stop heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa in Florida.

Australian poker players can look forward to a few upcoming World Poker Tour events and the tour recently announced dates for those stops.

The company hosts two upcoming series at The Star Gold Coast. The first is a AUD$1,500 WPT Prime event, as part of a complete festival running June 9-20. The main event also runs June 16-20.

Australia’s first Main Tour event then heads to the same casino in September. The complete WPT festival runs Sept. 15-27 with the inaugural AUD$5,400 Main Tour stop planned for Sept. 23-27.

“With interstate and international travelers returning to our shores in search of incredible experiences and entertainment, we’re excited to announce The Star Gold Coast will welcome not one, but two, major poker events later this year,” Star Gold Coast COO Jessica Mellor said in a news release.

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“In a real coup for the city, the WPT Main Tour event will make its way to the Gold Coast for the very first time in September, bringing all the prestige of the best poker players in the world. Meanwhile, WPT Prime Gold Coast in June is expected to attract interest from thousands of poker fans across Australia and the Asia Pacific after our 2021 event set a new record with over 1,000 entries.”

More details on the Australia events

WPT Prime brings a new brand to the company. Prime is the company’s newly branded mid-stakes tournament. The series replaces the WPTDeepStacks tour later this year.

The tour is promising an enhanced player experience at Prime events including:

  • live streaming coverage on the WPT website as well the tour’s YouTube and Twitch channels
  • the use of Action Clocks
  • a Player of the Festival leaderboard
  • Players earning points toward WPT Player of the Year

“With the introduction of WPT Prime at The Star Gold Coast,” WPT Vice President of global tour management Angelica Hael said, “we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further elevate our global players’ experience.”

The WPT announced official dates recently for the tour’s upcoming stops in Australia. (photo courtesy WPT)

Adding to WPT Australia growth

The two new tour events follow up on a couple other recent events in the region. The WPTDeepStacks festival at The Star Sydney boasted an all-time high for most main event entries at 2,023.

The new WPT Asia-Pacific also recently saw records for:

  • total festival entries – 6,392)
  • total festival prize pool – $6.6 million
  • main event prize pool – $2.7 million

Along with the Australian events, the tour also announced this week that the WPT Venetian is heading back to Las Vegas beginning on July 12.

The tour also announced an additional stop heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa in Florida.

Online Poker Operators, WPT Schedule Special Events for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 and poker operators are offering some promotions to celebrate women in the game.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 and a few poker operators are offering some promotions in the coming days to celebrate women in the game.

The special day has been celebrated since 1914 and offers a day to reflect on gender equality and women’s role in society. In recent years, poker companies have worked to get more women in the game.

Those efforts continue as female players are recognized on International Women’s Day.

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PokerStars celebrates with big Sunday event

Sunday is the biggest day of the week for online poker players and PokerStars is using March 13 as part of the Women’s Day festivities.

The Women’s Sunday tournament will feature even more on the line including €11,500 in live tournament packages and qualifier tickets. On top of the usual prize pool, the top 20 finishers win:

  • 1st – €8,500 EPT Monte Carlo Main Event package
  • 2nd – €2,800 France Poker Series Monte Carlo package
  • 3rd and 4th – €55 live event qualifier ticket
  • 5th – 20th€5.50 live event qualifier ticket

“We know our community is excited to get back to the live felt and that women’s qualifiers to live events are something our players tell us they would like to see,” Stars associate director of consumer engagement and public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts said in a news release.

“We’ve taken this on board and to celebrate International Women’s Day as one day in many where we want to engage and improve, we’ve given our female players an extra opportunity to win their way to one of our most loved events. Rewarding and giving opportunities to our communities is something we’re passionate about, and this is just one moment in which we plan to do so, with plenty more to come.”

Even more planned for Women’s Sunday

The weekly $22 Women’s Sunday tournaments provide a platform for players wishing to play with other women. A number of satellites are also offered from Thursday to Sunday, starting at just $0.22.

As part of the festivities, PokerStars ambassador GJ Reggie will play and stream the event on Twitch.

A bounty is also on her head in the form of a $215 ticket to the Sunday Million 16th anniversary event. That event runs March 20 with a $10 million guarantee.

“PokerStars is committed to the growth of the game and to supporting women in poker,” the company noted, “encouraging more to sit down and have fun at the tables, as well as ensuring women have a comfortable and safe place to play both live and online.”

GGPoker teams up with FLIP for special event

The Fantastic Ladies in Poker (FLIP) is also again teaming with GGPoker to offer a special event.

The $25 International Women’s Day Bounty Celebration plays out tonight with a $50,000 guarantee.

The event allows the site to recognize women in the game. GG has also run freerolls over the last week for entries into the tournament.

WPT highlights women’s organizations

The World Poker Tour is also getting in the act for International Women’s Day. The company is spotlighting four organizations advocating for women in poker including:

  • Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS)
  • Poker League of Nations (PLoN)
  • Poker Power
  • Women’s Poker Association (WPA)

LIPS is a nonprofit organization providing greater access to poker for women through live events across the United States.

“LIPS is the first poker tour established for women and expands the game of poker through live and online events across the US,” founder Lupe Soto said.

Poker League of Nations works to increase the participation of women in poker. The organization runs special events, staking opportunities, and an active online community

“Our community welcomes all who are aligned with our goal of empowering women through the game of poker,” CEO and founder Lena Evans said. “We aim to make women more confident in all facets of life through honing the skills necessary to be successful at the poker table”

Reaching out to players

Poker Power focuses on the connection between lessons present in the game and real-life application.

“Our organizations share a commitment to bring more women to the table and to empower them with game-changing skills,” Poker Power general manager Erin Lydon said.

“The power of poker is that by playing a game of strategy, we learn to master the game of leadership. As more women learn and play, the impact will be transformational for generations to come. It’s time to stop playing not to lose and start playing to win.” 

The WPA advocates for women in the poker industry by increasing the exposure of current female poker players. The group also hopes to foster new women players in the game. 

“It’s crucial that women, at any stage of their poker journey, always feel welcomed and supported, plus know what resources are available to them within the poker community,” WPA Vice President Tara Windsor-Smith said.

“Through strategic and thoughtful partnerships within the poker industry and purposeful WPA programs, we continue to bring awareness to women in poker within our industry.”

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Recognizing women, special tournament

WPT management noted that it was proud to honor the women who have helped build and shape the company. Some of those include: 

  • Angelica Hael – vice president of tour management
  • Hermance Blum – vice president of marketing
  • Deborah Frazzetta – vice president of finance
  • Loc Sondheim – executive director of ad sales and distribution
  •  Cathy Zhao – senior director of tour management
  •  Mandy Glogow – supervising producer
  • Chelsea McGuire – senior director, business and legal affairs
  • Lynn Gilmartin – show anchor

The tour’s online subscription poker site, ClubWPT, is also hosting a special event with all those women above participating. The Women in Poker Bounty Tournament is set for Sunday and awards $9,000 in cash prizes and WPT Prime Passports.

The champion receives a $1,000 Passport. Each participating organization will also enter a designated player with a $1,000 Passport bounty.

The tour is awarding an extra $1,000 to the top tournament finishers. The action will stream live with Lynn Gilmartin as commentator, alongside WPT Honors recipient Linda Johnson and other guests.

“As we celebrate our 20-year anniversary, we are grateful to the women and men who continuously strive to increase the number of women in this game we love,” Hael said.

“We continue to be committed to increasing the number of people in our global poker ecosystem, and one of the ways we will achieve this is to energize, encourage, and empower more women to enjoy the game of poker.”

World Poker Tour Launches ‘WPT Prime’ to Replace DeepStacks; Three Stops Heading to Asia

The WPT has announced the launch of WPT Prime to take the place of the WPTDeepStacks. The tour has announced three new Asian stops.

Some big changes have come to the World Poker Tour as the series launches its 20th anniversary season. That included the company announcing a rebrand of the mid-major WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS) on Tuesday.

With that tour’s demise comes the launch of WPT Prime. The new brand “pairs the premier poker tournament experience of a WPT Main Tour stop with affordable buy-ins accessible to more players around the globe,” the company noted in a news release.

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What is WPT Prime?

Like WPTDS, Prime allows the tour to reach players with more modest bankrolls. However, the tour appears to be offering these players a more ramped-up experience they might see at a Main Tour event. Some of what Prime players can expect include:

  • the use of action clocks
  • winner trophies
  • in-depth event coverage from the WPT digital content team

Prime events also count toward the Player of the Year leaderboard, which awards $30,000 in prizes. Company senior director of global tour management Cathy Zhao oversaw the transition to Prime.

“Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX,” Zhao said in a news release.

“WPT Prime is the embodiment of our goal to provide the best possible poker tournament experience to players everywhere, and our strong relationships with our global partners will elevate the WPT experience around the world.”

DeepStacks Tour retired, Asian events planned

The DeepStacks Tour launched in 2014 and was acquired by the WPT in 2017. WPTDS as a brand will now be retired in mid-2022 following the conclusion of events in Amsterdam, Sydney, and Thunder Valley.

WPT Prime then debuts with three of events in Asia. Players can look for some of the first events in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan. 

“In celebration of our 20-year anniversary, we are thrilled to be able to deliver the high-quality WPT Prime experience in the Asia-Pacific region,” Vice President of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael said.

“As we announce more of our Season XX events around the world after a tumultuous period, we are absolutely delighted to be back in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan.”

A look at the stops in Asia

The first stop for the new brand is in Vietnam at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi from May 19-30. The series is headlined by the VND25,000,000 ($1,100) main event from May 26-30.

Prime Cambodia then runs Aug. 11-23 in partnership with Connaissance Management Group at the NagaWorld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh. The $1,100 main event runs from Aug. 18-22.

WPT hosted the largest live poker tournament in Cambodia in November 2019. The $727,500 prize pool nearly tripled the $250,000 guarantee. 

Taiwan is the next WPT Prime Asian stop and hosted by the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association in Taipei from Nov. 11-21. The TWD30,000 ($1,077 USD) main event then runs Nov. 17-21.

Additionally, all WPT Prime and Main Tour stops will feature a competition for the Player of the Festival. The company willrelease a scoring system soon. Each winner earns a trophy and additional prizes.

The company will announce more WPT Prime events on the Season XX schedule in the coming weeks.

* Dealer photo and logo courtesy WPT

Expanding Footprint: WPT Partners With New FanJolt Social Media Video Service; More Action Ahead

The World Poker Tour continues branching out in new forms of media distribution and fan engagement. From entering the world of NFTs to expanded streaming platforms, tour management hasn’t shied away from expanding its footprint in recent years.

The tour announced yet another partnership on Friday, teaming up with FanJolt. The company offers “a new interactive fan experience that directly connects users with their favorite faces from the worlds of poker, sports, and entertainment to support their charities and foundations.”

That now includes some of the WPT’s biggest names and most well-known poker players.

“FanJolt is a unique enhancement to our overall fan engagement,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said in a news release. “We look forward to sharing the opportunity for an exclusive WPT experience with poker players and fans around the world.”

Along with that deal, the tour also recently announced a new agreement for an NFT Poker Club involving online poker. Here’s a look at some of the latest news from the tour.

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How does FanJolt work?

FanJolt allows users to join live broadcasts with their favorite celebrities. Each live broadcast includes an opportunity for a participant to be “JOLTED” into personal, one-on-one conversations with the individual celeb host.

The company is a startup and the launch will now include WPT cast members Vince Van Patten, Lynn Gilmartin, and Tony Dunst.

Poker pros Daniel Negreanu, Maria Ho, and Antonio Esfandiari have also joined the FanJolt lineup. Ho and Negreanu make their FanJolt debut with a dual broadcast on Feb. 17.

Broadcast fees start at $1.99. A look at the launch showed upcoming streams with golfing legend Annika Sorenstam, tennis superstar Rafa Nadal, and actor/comedian Chevy Chase.

Other participants include Aaron Judge, Kareem Hunt, Kevin O’Leary, Jewel, Ashanti, and others. As part of the initial launch, all live broadcast fees in February will go to designated charities.

“Through FanJolt, World Poker Tour fans can instantly and easily gain access to their favorite players through a variety of upcoming events,” FanJolt founder and CEO Trevor Short said.

“In addition to bringing fans and their icons together on one platform, FanJolt and The World Poker Tour look forward to not only engaging with the community, but being able to use the platform to benefit a variety of charities and foundations with each interaction.”

Media presence expansion continues

Poker continues to see some mainstream interest in recent weeks. 16-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth headlined a celebrity event last week for the American Cornhole League.

The event had Hellmuth, who also hosts the WPT’s Raw Deal segment, paired with a pro and playing at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on ESPN.

Actor Laurence Fishburne also recently hit the screen in a television commercial for the free-to-play WSOP mobile game. The WPT now adds some of its own talent and players to a bit of the Hollywood ranks with FanJolt.

The tour also recently announced a deal with GAMAVRS. The company is launching the Poker Heroes Club, the world’s first NFT poker club.

“Club members will be able to use their Poker Heroes as in-client avatars with special abilities such as access to freeroll tournaments, exclusive celebrity tables, and access to WPT live VIP events,” the WPT notes in announcing the partnership.

Poker Heroes owners can upload their NFTs to use as avatars and unlock “poker superpowers.” These can be used as part of a new online poker offering known as WPTGlobal.

The companies are promising plenty of special events from $100,000 freerolls to live VIP events.

Alexander Yen at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open final table. (photo courtesy WPT)

More WPT events on the horizon

In January, the Lucky Hearts Poker Open kicked off the tour’s 20th anniversary season at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.

Alexander Yen came out on top for $975,240 after topping a field of 1,982 entries, which created a $6.4 million prize pool.

The 36-year-old University of Indiana graduate learned how to play in college. He’s now been playing professionally for 15 years.

“(My friends and I) started playing for beer money, and they would all beat me and take my money,” Yen told WPT.com after scoring the biggest win of his career. “By sophomore year, I started playing online poker, and that’s when things really started to click and take off.”

The tour again heads to Florida for the second stop of the season. The $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown runs from April 8-12 and features a $2 million guarantee. After that is the WPT Choctaw in Durant, Oklahoma, from May 13-16 and also with a $3,500 buy-in.

Tour officials announced earlier this year that WPTDeepStacks events would also qualify for the Player of the Year race this season.

A few of those events are also ahead, including two stops outside the US. The €1,100 WPTDS Amsterdam is set for March 29 – April 1. The WPTDS Sydney heads to The Star Casino in Australia from April 7-11 with a AUD$1,500 buy-in.

The WPTDS then returns to Thunder Valley Casino in California from April 28 – May 1 and comes with a $1,500 buy-in. More WPT events are expected to be announced soon.

WPT Announces Three Events Coming to Australia Including Country’s First Main Tour Event

Australian poker players can look forward to a few upcoming World Poker Tour events and the tour recently announced dates for those stops. The company hosts two upcoming series at The Star Gold Coast. The first is a AUD$1,500 WPT Prime event, as part of a complete festival running June 9-20. The main event also runs June 16-20. Australia’s first Main Tour event then heads to the same casino in September. The complete WPT festival runs Sept. 15-27 with the inaugural AUD$5,400 Main Tour stop planned for Sept. 23-27. "With interstate and international travelers returning to our shores in search of incredible experiences and entertainment, we’re excited to announce The Star Gold Coast will welcome not one, but two, major poker events later this year,” Star Gold Coast COO Jessica Mellor said in a news release. [cta id=975 type=geo] “In a real coup for the city, the WPT Main Tour event will make its way to the Gold Coast for the very first time in September, bringing all the prestige of the best poker players in the world. Meanwhile, WPT Prime Gold Coast in June is expected to attract interest from thousands of poker fans across Australia and the Asia Pacific after our 2021 event set a new record with over 1,000 entries.” More details on the Australia events WPT Prime brings a new brand to the company. Prime is the company’s newly branded mid-stakes tournament. The series replaces the WPTDeepStacks tour later this year. The tour is promising an enhanced player experience at Prime events including: live streaming coverage on the WPT website as well the tour’s YouTube and Twitch channels the use of Action Clocks a Player of the Festival leaderboard Players earning points toward WPT Player of the Year “With the introduction of WPT Prime at The Star Gold Coast,” WPT Vice President of global tour management Angelica Hael said, “we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further elevate our global players’ experience.” The WPT announced official dates recently for the tour's upcoming stops in Australia. (photo courtesy WPT) Adding to WPT Australia events The two new tour events follow up on a couple other recent events in the region. The WPTDeepStacks festival at The Star Sydney boasted an all-time high for most main event entries at 2,023. The new WPT Asia-Pacific also recently saw records for: total festival entries – 6,392) total festival prize pool – $6.6 million main event prize pool – $2.7 million Along with the Australian events, the tour also announced this week that the WPT Venetian is heading back to Las Vegas beginning on July 12. The tour also announced an additional stop heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa in Florida.

The World Poker Tour announced a major deal with The Star Entertainment Group on Monday that will see three events heading to Australia in 2022.

Details include the first Main Tour stop in the country later this year as well as the first WPT event in Sydney.

Poker players in Australia have always been passionate about the game and the partnership with The Star Entertainment Group allows us to expand our presence there,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said in a news release.

“Hosting the first WPT event at The Star Sydney puts us front and center in the largest poker market in Australia, one of the most iconic cities of the world, adding another element to our 20th anniversary celebration.”

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WPT heading to Sydney

Players down under can expect a trio of events heading their way this year. The first is a WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS) series at The Star Sydney from March 30 to April 11.

The WPTDS AUD$1,500 Main Event headlines the 12-tournament schedule from April 7-11. The  tournament offers three starting flights and unlimited re-entry.

A few highlights from the schedule include a $750 opening event, a two-day $2,000 event, and the $5,000 Challenge. In May, the WPTDS Gold Coast produced 1,113 entries for a AUD$1.5 million prize pool.

Star Sydney features five-star accommodations with excellent dining and entertainment options. Property management is pleased to host the WPT for the first time in Sydney and has big expectations for the event.

“The Star has hosted some of the biggest names in sport, music, and entertainment, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best poker players,” Star Sydney COO Damian Quayle said. “The Star is the home of poker in Australia, and we are thrilled with our partnership with WPT to host this globally-recognized tournament for the first time ever in Sydney.

“With the WPT celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, this event will be the first time that WPT sets a footprint in Sydney. This looks set to be the biggest ever staged in Asia Pacific and with the world’s best players here to compete, Sydney and The Star will be showcased as one of the best vacation playgrounds in the world.”

The tour recently announced that both Main Tour and WPTDS championship events will count toward the WPT Player of the Year race.

A look at The Star Casino in Sydney, Australia, that will soon host the World Poker Tour. (photo courtesy WPT)

More highlights from the deal

After Sydney, two more Australian stops will head to The Star Gold Coast. The WPT hasn’t released dates and details on those events yet, but one will be a Main Tour stop.

WPT officials will announce complete details for the series upon regulatory approval.

“I could not be more excited to be bringing a Main Tour stop to my home country,” WPT Vice President Angelica Hael said. “I look forward to greeting every single one of my fellow Aussies at the event and welcoming the world to an amazing host property, The Star.”

All Australian events will be streamed live at WPT.com as well as the WPT’s official YouTube and Twitch channels.

DJ Steve Aoki Signs With WPT, Continuing Trend of Poker Ambassadors from Outside Game

The World Poker Tour announced the signing of international DJ superstar Steve Aoki as a brand ambassador on Thursday.

The days of poker companies simply signing the latest poker young gun or big winner are gone. For most operators, the goal is to find a representative that can reach potential new players beyond the traditional poker community.

Those players sought out come with a unique brand or large media presence and following. The World Poker Tour certainly found someone with a large following onThursday in announcing that international DJ superstar Steve Aoki had joined the company as a brand ambassador.

“It’s such an honor to be joining the WPT family,” Aoki said in a news release. “I have watched and admired the WPT for many, many years and to now be part of the WPT family. It feels so surreal and I am incredibly grateful.”

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Turntables to poker table

The two-time Grammy-nominated musician and producer is no stranger to poker and has been playing for several years. In announcing the signing, the WPT noted that Aoki would play a “pivotal role in guiding a full revamp of the WPT for what promises to be a historic 20th anniversary season.”

“Having developed several brands of his own, Aoki’s new role will include helping the WPT raise brand awareness,” the company added, “while collaborating with the WPT as they develop a new look and feel. Aoki will also be engaging with poker fans at a number of WPT Tour special events throughout 2022.”

Plans so far call for Aoki and the WPT to host an invitation-only charity tournament in Las Vegas to benefit the Aoki Foundation in mid-2022. The foundation supports organizations working in brain science and research with a specific focus on regenerative medicine and brain preservation.

“The passion and energy in which Steve Aoki approaches every aspect of his life is both inspiring and very much in line with the new vision of the WPT,” WPT CEO Adam Pliska said.

“Steve’s love of poker and his dedication to inspiring others to live life to the fullest makes him the ideal WPT brand ambassador. We are honored to have him play an active role in our transformation and in the celebration of the World Poker Tour’s 20th anniversary.”

Growing the WPT brand

Aoki first made a name for himself in the world of electronic music. Since then, he’s also become a fashion designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and NFT futurist. 

The signing comes after the WPT announced additional US-based stops on the Main Tour this week. The company also announced three WPTDeepStacks events including two outside the US. Season XX kicks off this month with the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida.

Pliska has promised some new surprises and events for the tour’s 20th anniversary season. Adding Aoki seems to be the first of those efforts.

The musician seems like a nice fit for the tour. He is based in Las Vegas and has a long history with the game of poker. He counts several big-name players among his friends and also recently played in the WPT’s online Heads-Up Poker Championship.

Beyond his poker credentials, Aoki attracts plenty of eyeballs. That includes 8.2 million Twitter followers and 9.4 million on Instagram. In total, his social media accounts reach more than 35.2 million users.

The WPT notes that “Aoki has a devoted fan base with wide-ranging interests.”

The signing offers a chance for the WPT to bring some of those into the game. As part of the 20th anniversary year, it’s easy to see Aoki playing tournaments and participating in special events promoting the WPT.

A growing trend

Adding players outside the traditional world of poker has grown over the last few years. Operators seek players with an established platform that reaches a wide range of people.

PokerStars has added rap freestyler, poker player, and Twitch streamer Papo MC as an ambassador to the site's free-to-play platform.
Papo MC

That can range from Twitch to sports to the arts. Online poker operators have led these efforts. In August, PokerStars added Argentina’s popular rap freestyler and poker player Papo MC (aka Alejandro Andres Lococo).

That signing brought some extra headlines for Stars in November when Lococo made the final table in the World Series of Poker Main Event. He ultimately finished seventh for $1.2 million.

Brazilian soccer sensation Neymar Jr. also returned for his second ambassadorship with Stars beginning in December 2020.

Partypoker has its own share of representatives outside the poker world. That includes popular comedian and actor Kevin Hart and British four-time super-middleweight world champion boxer Carl Froch. Both have large social media presences.

GGPoker has signed some of the biggest names in poker to promote its brand, including Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier. However, the site also made some news in December 2020 with the signing of “King of Instagram” Dan Bilzerian.

Aoki becomes the latest brand rep in a growing and eclectic group of ambassadors from outside poker. How much impact do they have on these companies?

That remains to be seen but the WPT has generally seen growing fields as live poker makes its return. With the 20th season getting underway, tour officials are hoping for even more growth.

* Lead image courtesy WPT

WPTDeepStacks Wraps Up at 888Poker with Main Event Topping $1 Million Guarantee

The WPTDeepStacks Online recently concluded at 888poker after producing 15,660 entries and awarding $3.4 million in prize money.

The WPTDeepStacks Online series recently concluded at 888poker after 28 events. The series produced 15,660 entries and awarded $3.4 million in prize money.

The $1,050 Main Event highlighted the schedule with $1 million guaranteed and featured starting flights throughout the series. Here’s a look at some of the series’ action and big winners.

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Gerard Carbo grabs Main Event title 

In the Main Event, a total of 1,024 entries helped surpass the $1 million guarantee by an extra $24,000. Day 2 picked up on Dec. 20 with 175 players returning to the action and 117 making the money.

888poker ambassador Vivian “Vivi.888.” Saliba was one of those earning a cash, taking 69th for $2,765.

On the final day of the event, the remaining nine players returned to play to a winner. The final table was streamed live with David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall calling the action. The WPT’s Vince Van Patten and Matt Savage also made appearances on the stream.

In the end, Andorra’s Gerard “Panxetillo” Carbo faced off with Brazil’s Jesse “jessecesar” Cesar Fonseca for the title. Carbo held a 2-to-1 chip lead when heads-up play began. 

It took just one hand for both players to get all the chips in with Carbo’s Ace-Jack taking the final hand. He scored $184,320 for the title and Cesar Fonseca won $133,120 as runner-up. Here’s a look at the final table winners:

  1. Gerard “Panxetillo” Carbo (Andorra) – $184,320
  2. Jesse “jessecesar” Cesar Fonseca (Brazil) – $133,120
  3. Rodrigo “seijistar1” Seiji (Brazil) – $99,328
  4. Rodrigo “selouan1991” Selouan (Brazil) – $74,240
  5. Dalton “daltonhb” Hobold (Brazil) – $51,610
  6. “BetBetFck” (Ukraine) – $41,370
  7. Jerry “Perrymejsen” Odeen (Sweden) – $31,130
  8. “brudii030” – $20,992
  9. “ShinyMew2” (Malta) – $12,800

A look at some other action

A few other major events stood out on the later stages of the schedule. One of those was the $525 PKO Eight-Max, which featured a $100,000 guarantee.

The event attracted 168 players with 38 rebuys, surpassing the guarantee by $3,000. When the dust settled, Brazil’s “daltonhb” and Malta’s “SilzenziO” squared off for the title.

Each player locked up $9,594 in prize money but looked to collect an even bigger $14,445 in PKO bounty cash. After almost seven hours of play, “daltonhb” prevailed for a total payday of $24,040. “SilenziO” took home $10,089 for the runner-up finish.

In other action, “cupidon85”, of Belarus, topped a field of 392 entries in the $160 Mini PKO Eight-Max. The event featured a $50,000 guarantee with “cupidon85” winning $4,925 plus $5,494 in PKO bounties for a total of $10,418.73.

In higher stakes action, the largest buy-in of the series came in the $5,200 Super High Roller. The event brought a $200,000 guarantee and saw 30 players rebuy eight times.

The final table featured five players vying for the championship and $80,000 first-place prize. When play reached heads-up, Canada’sDosPoochies” matched up against Brazil’s “shitakemushu” for the top spot.

In the end, pooch got it done and added the six-figure payday after the final table played out over almost six hours. Here’s a look at the final table payouts.

  1. “DosPoochies” (Canada) – $80,000
  2. “shitakemushu” (Brazil) – $54,000
  3. “MBTCLOVE” (United Kingdom) – $30,000
  4. “Raegar97” (Sweden) – $20,000
  5. “Theelwild” – $16,000

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UK wins race among countries

When it comes to the final standings among countries, the United Kingdom came out on top with five titles. Winners also hailed from Finland, Romania, Germany, Russia, Malta, Belarus, Ireland, Ukraine, Brazil, Canada, Andorra, and Moldova.

Brazil also fared particularly well in the Main Event. The final table saw four Brazilian players, who also all made the final five.

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WPTDeepStacks Action Returns to 888poker to Close Out Year With $3M Guarantee

The WPTDeepStacks Online recently concluded at 888poker after producing 15,660 entries and awarding $3.4 million in prize money.

The World Poker Tour and 888poker announced a new WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS) online series on Thursday to close out 2021. The series runs Nov. 28 to Dec. 21 with 28 events and more than $3 million in guaranteed prize pools.

The $1,050 Main Event highlights the series with a $1 million guaranteed. The tournament offers players 10 starting flights throughout the festival.

“The World Poker Tour is excited to partner with 888poker again to give players around the globe the opportunity to take down a WPTDeepStacks title,” WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael said in a news release.

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Highlights from the WPTDS at 888poker

Plenty of action awaits players with something for every player level and buy-ins ranging from $55 to $5,200. The $525 Opening Event kicks off the festival on Nov. 28 and comes with a $200,000 guarantee.

The $5,200 Super High Roller is set for Dec. 19 and features a $200,000 guarantee. Players will also find several progressive knockout (PKO) events.

Most events also feature mini versions, allowing players of lower bankrolls to get in on the WPTDS fun. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

888poker WPT DeepStacks Online Poker Series

DateEventBuy-inGuarantee
Dec. 7#11 - $100,000 High Roller$2,100$100,000
Dec. 7#12 - $50,000 Mini High Roller$215$50,000
Dec. 7#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 9#13 - $80,000 PKO 8-Max$440$80,000
Dec. 9#14 - $30,000 Mini PKO 8-Max$88$30,000
Dec. 9#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 11#15 - $80,000 PKO$215$80,000
Dec. 11#16 - $30,000 PKO$55$30,000
Dec. 11#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 12#17 - $200,000 Crazy 8$888$200,000
Dec. 12#18 - $50,000 Mini Crazy 8$55$50,000
Dec. 12#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 14#19 - $100,000 9-Max$320$100,000
Dec. 14#20 - $30,000 Mini 9-Max$55$30,000
Dec. 14#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 16#21 - $100,000 PKO 8-Max$525$100,000
Dec. 16#22 - $50,000 Mini PKO 8-Max$160$50,000
Dec. 16#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 18#23 - $100,000 PKO 6-Max$440$100,000
Dec. 18#24 - $20,000 Mini PKO 6-Max$33$20,000
Dec. 18#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 19#25 - $200,000 Big Shot 109 Main Event$109$200,000
Dec. 19#26 - $75,000 Mini Main Event$55$75,000
Dec. 19#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 19#27 - $200,000 Super High Roller$5,200$200,000
Dec. 20#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 1$1,050$1,000,000
Dec. 20#28 - $1,000,000 Main Event - Day 2NA$1,000,000
 

Satellites, freerolls, & streaming coverage

888poker and the WPT are bringing plenty of extras to the series. Satellites run throughout the series for all events with buy-ins starting at just $0.01.

Beginning Nov. 25, the site will also be running daily freerolls awardin seats Main Event satellites. The no-ticket-needed daily freerolls will award over $200,000 in satellite and sub-satellite tickets.

Fans from around the world can also tune in online to watch six final tables from the series. These events will stream live on Twitch:

  • $525 Opening Event – Nov. 29
  • $525 PKO – Dec. 21
  • $2,100 High Roller – Dec. 21
  • $888 Crazy 8 – Dec. 21
  • $5,200 Super High Roller – Dec. 21
  • WPTDeepStacks Main Event – Dec. 21

WPT executive tournament director Matt Savage and commentator Tony Dunst will be calling the action. 888poker’s David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall will also be commentating on some of the events.

Dominik Nitsche

Several Team 888poker ambassadors should be in the field including Dominik Nitsche, Sam Abernathy, Vivian Saliba, and Sofia Lovgren.

“This will be another fabulous festival for 888poker and WPT,” said Nitsche, who’s also a WPT champion. “The beauty of events like this is that they provide genuine opportunity for casual players to win big, starting from one-cent buy-ins, all from the comfort of their own home.

“With an increasing number of online poker players emerging over the last year, I’m looking forward to witnessing the exhilarating action and the next WPTDS champion emerge.”

Adding to the WPT-888poker partnership

This marks the second time this year that 888 has hosted a WPT event. The most recent WPTDS event drew 1,087 entries to create a $1.1 million prize pool.

Brazil’s “paulinhoo00” came out on top as champion, earning $233,705 and a WPTDS trophy. The DeepStacks action now returns to the site.

“We’re delighted to partner with WPT to launch another WPTDeepStacks series,” head of 888poker Amit Berkovich said.

“Responding to the ever-changing needs of our players, the festival provides the prestige and the feel of the live circuit, while on a phone or laptop, and gives a shot of poker glory to casual and professional players alike.”

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Partypoker Roundup: WPTDS Wraps Up With Timothy Kelly Taking Main Event For $171,804

The WPTDeepStacks Online Series concluded at partypoker on Tuesday with Canada-based Timothy Kelly scoring the Main Event title for $171,804.

The WPTDeepStacks Online Series concluded at partypoker on Tuesday with Canada-based Timothy Kelly scoring the Main Event title for $171,804.

The series ran Oct. 7-26 with numerous events and some major guarantees. Kelly’s win capped a series that also saw one player turn a freeroll ticket into a nice tournament win. Here’s a look at some of the series action.

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A look at the partypoker WPTDS Main Event

The $1,100 Main Event created a prize pool of just over $1 million. Kelly held the chip lead going into the final table.

A wire-to-wire run saw him secure the win, but Kelly had some tough competition to overcome. He had to out play such top-notch players as third-place finisher Felix Stephensen, of Norway, and runner-up Jerry Ödeen, of Sweden.

The final table was streamed live across partypoker’s social media channels including Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook Live. 

Other partypoker series winners

The WPTDeepStacks Online included nine events with buy-ins ranging from $11 up to $5,200. Partypoker offered many free satellites and ticket giveaways for players to get in the action.

One Russian player freerolled his way to a big score. Sergei Brykalin was set to go on vacation, when he checked the partypoker Discord channel at the last moment.

Brykalin found a free ticket into the $11 Mini Turbo Knockout. After taking down a big pot with three tables left, Brykalin went on to claim the title. 

“A player with 45 big blinds sat down and opened to 4.5 big blinds,” Brykalin said. “He opened to 4.5 big blinds again from early position, and I had pocket Jacks in the big blind.

“All my 29 big blinds ended up in the middle of the table, and he called with eights. Miraculously, my Jacks held and I was now the chip leader. The rest is history.”

Brykalin outlasted 8,952 players, turning his freeroll into an $8,834 first place victory. 

Other players also found some big finishes. The series kicked off with Russia’s Aleksandr Zhilin winning the $215 Opener for $37,047. The event featured a $200,00 guarantee.

Another standout performance included Leonardo Nascimento Silva winning the $109 Mini Main Event for $32,261. The win continues a recent trend of dominating online poker performances from Brazilian players.

In the $109 Turbo Knockout, Jakub Wojtas grabbed a win for a top prize of $32,799

Christos Symeonidis also found a victory in the $320 Closer, which came with a $300,000 guarantee. The win came with a nice payday of $26,085.

More action in the works With Irish Poker Masters KO, MILLIONS Online

The WPTDS series may have come to an end, but more series are on the horizon. The Irish Poker Masters KO Online runs Nov. 5-24 at partypoker.

A complete schedule hasn’t been released, but the €1,100 Main Event features a €1 million guarantee.

The MILLIONS Online is also right around the corner, running Dec. 3-28. The series offers plenty of action to usher in the holiday season.

The €5,300 Main Event comes with a $5 million guarantee. Players can expect plenty of qualifying events for a large range of players.

Buy-ins ranging from mini versions of the bigger events to multiple high roller tournaments. Look for knockout events, turbos, Pot Limit Omaha, and more. The series should attract some of the biggest names in poker and a full schedule should be released soon.

* Lead image courtesy WPT

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