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WPT Announces Alpha8 Stops In London And Johannesburg

The Alpha8 Tournament Series is the World Poker Tour’s ambitious attempt at popularizing Super-High-Roller tournaments and bringing them to a wider, mainstream audience. After a fairly inauspicious debut at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida, the WPT has now announced two more Alpha8 tournaments; one a very safe stop in London, and the other a not-so-safe-stop in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The addition of London to the Alpha8 schedule was almost a certainty, but the decision to host a $100,000 buy-in tournament in Johannesburg is a far more intriguing proposition, and a far riskier venture. While there is always the risk of a poor turnout for one of these events, it seems unlikely that less than a dozen players would participate in a Super-High-Roller tournament held during the WPT London series. On the other hand, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a $100k buy-in event in South Africa could draw just a handful of players, which could be disastrous for the fledgling tour.

The Alpha8 tournament in London will once again be a two-day tournament with reentries, and will take place on October 28th and 29th. The Johannesburg tournament will take place in February of 2014, and will be hosted by the Emperors Palace Hotel & Casino Resort.

Here is a look at the full press release on the two new Alpha8 stops:

Los Angeles, CA (September 26, 2013) – Following its successful launch with WPT Alpha8 Florida, World Poker Tour® is adding two new super high-roller tournaments to its schedule with the £100,000 WPT Alpha8 London starting October 28, 2013 and the US$100,000 WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg starting February 14, 2014.

A two-day event with re-entry, WPT Alpha8 London is designed specifically for an international field consisting of the best-known professional players and wealthiest recreational enthusiasts. Held in Mayfair’s beautiful Palm Beach Casino, the tournament will be played on the glamorous WPT Alpha8 set and filmed for broadcast on FOX Sports 1 in early 2014.

We are very excited to name London as the second stop for our new Alpha8 series,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “With its long-standing reputation as one of the world’s premier cities and financial capitals, London offers all of the amenities any high-stakes poker player could possibly desire. Its combination of culture, fine dining, nightlife, and enthusiasm for high-stakes poker make it the perfect venue for a unique event such as Alpha8.”

Hosting WPT Alpha8 suits the exclusivity of both the tour and the Palm Beach Casino.” said Tony Pearce Managing Director – London Genting Casinos UK Ltd. “We are extremely excited with the expected high-stakes cash games surrounding the event, which will be bigger than anything seen before in London and which will recreate the famous big game held in Macau.”

On February 14, 2014, World Poker Tour’s cameras will travel to the Emperors Palace Hotel & Casino Resort in Johannesburg, South Africa for WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg. Featuring a US$100,000 buy-in with re-entry, this two-day tournament will also be filmed for broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

South Africa is home to one of the most enthusiastic poker communities anywhere, and the gorgeous Emperors Palace Casino is truly a one-of-a-kind gaming destination,” Pliska said. “The resort offers everything the discerning, high-stakes player wants, whether it’s world-class poker or the chance to enjoy an unforgettable vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive destinations. Emperors Palace truly epitomizes what Alpha8 is all about.”

Poker is one of the fastest growing games in South Africa and an event like WPT Alpha8 is going to be a huge draw for players from all across the country,” said Peermont & Emperors Palace Chief Operating Officer for Gaming, Bob Yearham. “Combine that with the fact this event is taking place at the height of summer in South Africa, and this will truly be a must-attend event for players seeking an unforgettable poker experience.”

The magnificent resort and its five-star hotel is located less than five minutes from OR Tambo International Airport and all players at WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg will receive VIP ground transportation to the resort, one week’s complimentary accommodation at the Doreale Grande Hotel, a dedicated VIP host, and an invitation to a free, two-night safari where they can enjoy the natural beauty of the South African wilderness.

For more information on upcoming WPT Alpha8 events, please contact events@wpt.com.

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