World Poker Tour Announces First 20 Stops of Season XII
The World Poker Tour (WPT) will head to four continents during the first half of its upcoming 13th season according to a press release sent via Twitter to the WPT’s 58,600 followers.
Keven Stammen became the long-running tour’s 193rd champion in late April when he won the $15,400 WPT world Championship ate Borgata Spring open in Atlantic City. Although Stamman’s victory only occurred a month ago, the officials at the WPT have wasted little time in unveiling the first half of their 13th season’s schedule.
Nine of the opening 20 events are part of the popular National series, a cut-price version of the main tour that often take place in venues not reached by the main tour. The first of these National events takes place June 5-9 in the Italian municipality of Campione before heading to Aspers Casino in the heart of London, United Kingdom.
Other stops on the National tour include Valencia, Spain; Brussels, Belgium; Marrakech, Morocco; Paris, France and Hainan in China.
WPT President Adam Pliska is delighted with the expansion of the tour: “Season XII was a monumental year for the World Poker Tour and our partners around the globe. From the WPT World Championship held for the first time at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a 1,795 record-setting field at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and a greater than 50% increase in our viewership on FOX Sports Networks to our new collaboration with DeepStacks Poker Tour and three multi-year partnership deals with DraftKings, Monster Headphones, and Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot, we couldn’t be happier with our expansion during Season XII or more excited about our plans for Season XIII.”
World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage mirrored Pliska’s earlier words: “Coming off a very successful Season XII highlighted by some record-setting numbers and fantastic new locations, the World Poker Tour marches into lucky Season XIII with more new global stops and many of the great tournaments that have made the WPT the most player-friendly tour in poker.”
The first Main Tour event of Season XIII is the WPT Legends of Poker held at the famous Bicycle Casino in bell Garden California. The $3,500+$200 buy-in Main Event is a permanent fixture on the WPT calendar and is set to run from August 23 through August 29.
Season 12’s edition of the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event saw 716 players buy in and create a prize pool of $2,430,820. Jordan Cristos helped himself to the largest slice of that impressive sum, leaving Los Angeles with $613,355 and the coveted Champions Cup after defeating Missouri’s Dan Heimiller heads up to secure victory.
From California, the Main Tour sets sail for Europe, North Cyprus to be exact, for the partypoker sponsored $4,000 WPT Meric Classic North Cyprus. It was Season 8 when the tour first visited Cyprus, Back then, French pro Thomas Bichon outlasted 180 opponents in the $10,300 buy-in Main Event, scooping the $579,165 winner’s purse.
Cyprus didn’t feature on the WPT circuit for three seasons before returning in Season 11. It was in this tournament that Marvin Rettenmaier became the first player in WPT history to win back-to-back WPT Main Event titles, having emerged victorious in the World Championship a couple of months earlier.
Although attendances in Cyprus are much lower than some of the Stateside events, it is a stop enjoyed by everyone thanks to the location being an all-inclusive resort that hosts lavish beach parties attended by and often DJ’d by the Mizrachi brothers.
There are two glaring omissions from the schedule, namely the WPTDeepStacks and WPT Alpha8.
WPT recently joined forces with the DeepStacks Poker Tour yet have not added any of the mid-stakes events to its roster at time of writing. The same is true for the supr-high roller series known as Alpha8.
Only five of the high buy-in events have taken place since its creation, the last of which attracting only 10 players to Johannesburg, South Africa, in February 2014. Could it be the WPT has dropped the Alpha8 tour so soon after its creation, or are they saving a busy schedule for 2015?