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Posts Tagged ‘Alpha8’

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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World Poker Tour Alpha8 Series Adds to Commentary Team

When the World Poker Tour first announced their Alpha8 series they also announced that PokerNews.com’s Lynn Gilmartin would be handling the anchor duties for the series of Super-High-Roller tournaments. Today the WPT announced the men who will be joining Gilmartin as commentators, Olivier Busquet and Ali Nejad.

Unlike Gilmartin –who brings tons of experience conducting interviews and other segments with PokerNews—Nejad and Busquet are both veterans in the commentary booth: Nejad was the voice of Poker After Dark and the NBC National Heads-Up Championship, while Busquet has been a part of ESPN’s WSOP broadcast team over the past two years.

A monumental undertaking, the Alpha8 series will feature tournaments with buy-ins of at least $100,000, beginning with a $100,000 buy-in event at the upcoming Hollywood Hard Rock Poker Open. The Alpha8 tournaments are expected to begin airing on Fox Sports 1 sometime in 2014.

Here is a look at the full Press Release announcing the addition of Nejad and Busquet:

World Poker Tour® Names Ali Nejad and Olivier Busquet as WPT Alpha8™ Commentators

Popular Poker Personalities to Join Anchor Lynn Gilmartin When WPT Alpha8 Premieres on FOX Sports 1 in 2014

Los Angeles, CA (August 1, 2013) – When WPT Alpha8™ premieres on FOX Sports 1 in early 2014, World Poker Tour’s brand new series of super high-roller tournaments will introduce two of poker’s most popular personalities – Ali Nejad and Olivier Busquet – as the show’s commentators working alongside anchor, Lynn Gilmartin.

We are thrilled to welcome two of poker’s most thoughtful and outspoken voices to the WPT Alpha8 family,” said World Poker Tour President, Adam Pliska. “Over the past decade, both Ali and Olivier have made undeniable contributions to the game of poker, both on and off the felt. With their combination of unsurpassed poker knowledge and outgoing personalities, Ali and Olivier will provide viewers with insightful and entertaining commentary that will ensure the show appeals to a wide audience including both serious poker players and casual fans of the game.”

One of the most recognizable faces – and voices – in poker, Nejad brings nearly 10 years of experience to WPT Alpha8. A successful player in his own right, Nejad is best known as the off-screen announcer for Poker After Dark and as the color commentator on NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Challenge. Nejad’s other credits include serving as a correspondent for ESPN’s World Series of Poker coverage, and as a commentator for CBS/Velocity’s Epic Poker League.

Busquet first made his mark on the poker world as one of the game’s most successful online players. Playing online as livb112 and Adonis112, Busquet earned fame and fortune by becoming the most profitable Sit & Go player in online history with more than $4 million in heads-up SNG profits. Busquet also proved he can play the live game by posting impressive tournament finishes around the world, including a WPT Championship won at the 2009 WPT Borgata Poker Open. In recent years, Busquet has made a mark off the felt as well, providing expert commentary both online and on TV during ESPN’s World Series of Poker coverage.

World Poker Tour has a strong history of identifying dynamic talent and creating fun and engaging on-air teams whose personalities help draw viewers into the drama inherent in every televised final table,” Pliska said. “With this new cast, we’re confident that Ali, Olivier, and Lynn will continue the tradition created by Mike, Vince, and the rest of the WPT cast over the past 11 seasons.”

The highly anticipated WPT Alpha8 Florida begins August 26 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and marks the series’ inaugural, televised event. The first episodes from WPT Alpha8 Florida will air on FOX Sports 1 in early 2014.

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