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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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WPT Announces Major Change To $25k Championship Tournament

The changes are continuing on the World Poker Tour. In the course of the past few months the WPT has announced the creation of the Alpha8 Super-High-Roller tournament series; replaced Kimberly Lansing with Lynn Gilmartin as the WPT host; launched a five-stop UK National Series Tour; and this week the WPT announced that the WPT Championship will be moving from the Bellagio in Las Vegas to the Borgata in Atlantic City.

Since Season 1 (back in 2002) the World Poker Tour’s $25k end of the season championship event has been held at the Bellagio, but all that will be changing for Season XII, as the WPT issued a press release stating that the Season XII Championship will be moving to the Borgata.

The move to the Borgata almost certainly has to do with the partnership between bwin.party (the parent company of the World Poker Tour) and the Borgata in the soon to be launched online gaming industry in New Jersey.

The Borgata has also been one of the few stops on the World Poker Tour that has managed to draw sizable crowds and maintain their attendance numbers since the tour started to wane around 2008. There will now be three televised WPT events held at the Borgata during Season XII of the WPT

Below is a look at the press release issued by the WPT to announce the historic change:

World Poker Tour’s Season XII World Championship Moving to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

Tournament Marks WPT’s Third Televised Event from Borgata in Season XII

Twitter: @WPT



Los Angeles, CA (September 17, 2013) – For the first time in its history, World Poker Tour’s prestigious, season-ending World Championship will be held outside Las Vegas at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Together with the currently running WPT® Borgata Poker Open and January 2014’s WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, this event will make Borgata home to three televised WPT tournaments in Season XII.

“We’re very pleased to name Borgata — now home to four of the five biggest tournaments in WPT history — the host of the Season XII WPT World Championship,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “With Borgata’s well-deserved reputation for running world-class tournaments and providing unparalleled service to its players, we believe this venue is perfectly suited to host our season-culminating event. We look forward to working with the team at Borgata to bring the WPT World Championship to new heights.”

Along with the change of venue, World Poker Tour is pleased to welcome PartyPoker as the official sponsor of the Season XII WPT World Championship. “The partnership of WPT, PartyPoker, and Borgata brings together three of the most respected names in poker, and we look forward to making the World Championship more impressive than ever before.” Pliska said.

“We are extremely pleased to be growing our long-standing relationship with World Poker Tour and to be expanding our relationship with PartyPoker, especially as we look to launch Borgatapoker.com,” said Borgata’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Joe Lupo. “Adding the WPT World Championship Sponsored by PartyPoker is a welcome addition and an important new chapter in the history of this illustrious tournament.”

Borgata’s first televised WPT touranment of the year, the WPT Borgata Poker Open, is running now. With 1,189 entrants, this year’s event surpassed last year’s impressive turnout and genrated a massive prize pool of $3,923,700. Sponsored by ClubWPT.com, the tournament’s final table will be recorded on Friday, September 20 and will air on FOX Sports Network in March 2014. World Poker tour will return to Atlantic City for its second televised event of the season when the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open begins in January 2014.

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WPT Season XII Ones to Watch Revealed

I’m a big fan of “Rising Stars” and “Ones to Watch” lists, but to be quite honest, it seems like the World Poker Tour (WPT) is about a year behind on their selections. I’m not sure what they think they are accomplishing when they select players who are already on the radar, but it seems every year that most of their “Ones to Watch” list is made up of known quantities in poker.

Take last year for example. Jason Somerville, Shaun Deeb, Xuan Liu, Jason Koon, and Brian Hastings were on the “Ones to Watch” list along with legitimate “Rising Stars” like Amanda Musumeci, AP Phahurat, and Dee Dozier. Really, do we need to be told that Shaun Deeb, Jason Somerville, or Xuan Liu are strong tournament players?

So who is on the list this year? Just four players with between $900k and $2.5 million in career tournament earnings in Jeff Gross, Kyle Julius, Aaron Massey and Loni Harwood (now if they had picked Harwood BEFORE the 2013 WSOP I’d be pretty impressed) as well as Christina Lindley and the relatively unknown Athanasios Polychronopoulos. The final member of the “Ones to Watch” list is Danny Suied who I have never heard of before.

  • Jeff Gross: Career Tournament Earnings – $1,516,829

Gross is a regular on the tournament trail, playing virtually any and every tournament available from smaller buy-ins to Super-High-Roller events. It probably doesn’t hurt that he can count Michael Phelps (yah, that Michael Phelps) amongst his friends.

  • Loni Harwood: Career Tournament Earnings – $981,927

Harwood had a breakout performance at the 2013 WSOP, capturing a bracelet and making three final tables. It will be interesting to see if Harwood is able to travel the WPT circuit or if she decides to keep honing her craft in events like the WSOPC and Heartland Poker Tour.

  • Kyle Julius: Career Tournament Earnings – $2,590,313

Julius is a former online player who has transitioned nicely to the live tournament scene, attested to by his $2.5 million in career tournament earnings. Despite his monetary success Julius has yet to win a live tournament, having finished second in the 2012 PokerStars PCA and a 2012 WSOP tournament.

  • Christina Lindley: Career Tournament Earnings – $197,722

Lindley is still an unproven commodity in the poker world, but she has put together a fairly strong resume of live and online success since taking up the game a few years back.

  • Aaron Massey: Career Tournament Earnings – $1,389,626

Massey is one of those tournament grinders that quietly plugs along year after year, and with nearly $1.4 million in career earnings he is probably due for a big breakout win.

  •  Danny “Miami Boss” Suied: Career Tournament Earnings – $226,494

I’m pretty stumped on this one. Suied is definitely colorful, that goes without saying, but I’m not really sure he belongs on a “Ones to Watch” list unless the WPT knows he intends to play multiple events this season.

  • Athanasios Polychronopoulos: Career Tournament Earnings – $518,755

This is one of the selections I actually agree with this year. Polychronopoulos is a definite rising star in tournament poker so it should be fun to watch his name get butchered throughout the course of the season. Play at the best online poker room today, check out our detailed review on Titan Poker here.


WPT Hosting Tourney in Honor of Jerry Buss This Monday

This weekend the World Poker Tour will host a special charity tournament in honor of the late Dr. Jerry Buss. Buss, best known as the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, was also a fairly regular participant in high-stakes poker games, with Seven-Card-Stud being his preferred poker game. Buss passed away in February after battling cancer; he was 80 years old.

As a poker player, Buss was known to be a competent and extremely likable practitioner of the game, and was probably a favorite in virtually any stud game in the country with the exception of the ones he chose to participate in. Buss was also willing to help promote the game, as he did when he appeared on two of the games most popular shows: High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark.

While he preferred cash games, in poker tournaments Buss was no slouch, winning five poker tournaments during his lifetime, including his largest tournament score when he won the $200 NLHE tournament at the 2005 Winning O’ the Green series.

Buss also had two very notable finishes: First he finished 3rd in the 1991 Seven Card Event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) which seems to have really kindled his love affair with the game. And as most poker fans know, finished second to Layne Flack in the 2003 World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational –Flack was regular in Buss’s poker games and the two put on a memorable show for the viewing audience.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

On Aug. 25 at 4 p.m., the World Poker Tour Foundation will hold the Frank Mariani & Jerry Buss No Limit Hold ‘em Poker Tournament at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens.

The guaranteed prize for the tournament is $20,000.

The entry fee is a $365 buy-in, with 25% of the tournament’s prize pool donated to the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation, which focuses “on the use of sports to promote education, teamwork and self-esteem among Los Angeles area youth.

The tournament was added to the 2013 Legends of Poker tournament series schedule (the Legends of Poker series began back on July 28) and should draw a pretty nice crowd, considering the tournament lines-up nicely right before the Main Event gets underway on August 29th.

You can see the full 2013 WPT Legends of Poker tournament schedule here: http://www.thebike.com/poker-tournaments-los-angeles/legends-of-poker-2013-2013.html

Buss was also honored during the 2013 World Series of Poker, with a special video message from Kobe Bryant delivered before the start of the Seven Card Stud event; a tournament Buss participated in whenever he had the chance, dating back to his 3rd place showing in 1991.

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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.

For the latest news around the poker world visit our Titan Poker News page.

The 5 Players Who Owned the 2013 WSOP: Dan Kelly

At every World Series of Poker a few players indelibly leave their mark on the summer poker series, and this year was no exception. Out of all the competitors and the entire list of WSOP bracelet winners, the following five people were in my opinion the best of the best:

  • Dan Kelly
  • David “Bakes” Baker
  • Tom Schneider
  • Marco Johnson
  • Matthew Ashton

In this series I will give a little back-story to each of these players and detail their accomplishments during the 2013 WSOP, beginning with Dan Kelly.

Dan Kelly

Dan Kelly is no stranger to poker success considering the man best known as djk123 at the online poker tables is one of the most successful online tournament players in the history of the game. Kelly has also had his fair share of live tournament success, winning a WSOP bracelet back in 2010 in the first $25k Six-Handed No Limit Holdem event ever held at the WSOP. Kelly also finished in 3rd place at the 2012 WPT LA Poker Classic, and came into the 2013 WSOP with about $2.3 in career live tournament earnings.

All Dan Kelly has done at the 2013 WSOP is cash eight times, including two final tables and seven Top-20 finishes. While he hasn’t managed to breakthrough with another WSOP win, Kelly began the WSOP so hot that he looked like a shoe-in to better Konstantin Puchov’s cashes in a single WSOP record that was set last year, after cashing eight times in the first 29 tournaments before coming back to earth during the second half of the series.

Over the course of the 2013 WSOP Kelly has earned nearly $500k. Here is a look at each of Dan Kelly’s eight 2013 WSOP cashes:

  • Event #2 $5,000 No Limit Hold’em – 8 Handed: 6th place for $83,532
  • Event #6 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em – Millionaire Maker: 5th place for $302,104
  • Event #14 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em: 180th place for $2,774
  • Event #15 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.: 16th place for $8,378
  • Event #19 $5,000 Pot Limit Hold’em: 12th place for $16,011
  • Event #21 $3,000 No Limit Hold’em – 6 Handed: 10th place for $33,090
  • Event #25 $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo: 20th place for $9,741
  • Event #29 $5,000 H.O.R.S.E.: 17th place for $10,304

*Resources: www.wsop.com, www.thehendonmob.com

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First Half of the World Poker Tour Season XII Schedule Released

Is this really going to be the 12th season of the World Poker Tour? Has it really been 12 years since Gus Hansen burst onto the poker scene and ushered in the LAG generation? Apparently so, considering the first half of the schedule for Season XII of the WPT was released this past week by the World Poker Tour.

There are some new stops on the WPT, with the tour heading to some far-flung destinations like South Korea and St Maartens, as well as the usual cadre of tournaments like the Legends of Poker, Borgata Poker Open, and Grand Prix de Paris. The WPT will also be returning to Montreal during Season XII, after two well-attended stops north of the border during Season XI.

So far the WPT has announced 12 stops on the main WPT tour, beginning with the opening tournament of Season XII in Cyprus. The WPT has also announced 10 stops on the Regional and National tours. In addition to the schedule the WPT also announced that it has renewed its deal with Fox Sports for three more years, which means poker fans will continue to have plenty of new poker tournaments to watch for years to come. Don’t want to be left behind on tournament schedules just check out Titan Poker Tournaments.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to grow the World Poker Tour over the past few seasons,” said World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage in a press release from the WPT. “With our new schedule and expanded global presence, it’s more important than ever to provide our partners and players with the best experience possible at every stop the WPT makes. I’m looking forward to working with both constituencies to make this happen and to continue our worldwide growth.”

Here is a look at the first half of Season XII of the WPT:

WPT Main Event Tour Stops

Event Venue Dates Buy-In
WPT Cyprus Merit Crystal Cove Casino
Aug. 16 – Aug. 21 $4,000 + $400 = $4,400
WPT Legends of Poker Bicycle Casino
Bell Gardens, CA
Aug. 29 – Sept. 4 $3,500 + $200 = $3,700
WPT Borgata Poker Open Borgata Hotel & Casino
Atlantic City, NJ
Sept. 15 – Sept. 20 $3,300 + $200 = $3,500
WPT Grand Prix de Paris Aviation Club de France
Paris, France
Oct. 25 – Oct. 30 €7,500

(5% withheld)

WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Emperors Palace Hotel Casino
Johannesburg, SA
Nov. 7 – Nov. 11 $3,300 + $300 = $3,600
WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Poker Scramble bestbet Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL
Nov. 15 – Nov. 19 $3,200 + $240 + $60 = $3,500
WPT Caribbean Casino Royale
Maho Bay, St. Maarten
Nov. 19 – Nov. 24 $3,200 + $300 = $3,500
WPT Montreal Playground Poker Club
Quebec, CA
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5 C$3,500 +C350 = C$3,850
WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic Bellagio
Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 6 – Dec. 11 $10,000 + $300 = $10,300
WPT Prague Card Casino
Prague, CZ
Dec. 15 – Dec. 21 €3,300

(10% withheld)

WPT South Korea Ramada Plaza
Jeju, South Korea
Dec. 16 – Dec. 19 $3,200 + $300 = $3,500


WPT Regional & National Event Tour Stops

Event Venue Dates Buy-In
WPT Regional Florida: WPT Summer Tampa Bay Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa, FL
June 7 – June 9 $1,325 + $125 + $50 = $1,500
WPT Regional Florida: WPT Fall Tampa Bay Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa, FL
Sept. 12 – Sept. 15 $1,325 + $125 +$50 = $1,500
WPT Regional Nevada: WPT Western Poker Challenge Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Reno, NV
Sept. 20 – Sept. 23 $1,500 + $90 +460 = $1,650
WPT Marrakech Casino de Marrakech Morocco Oct. 3 – Oct. 6 €1,350 + €150 = €1,500
WPT National Barcelona Casino Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
Oct. 10 – Oct. 14 €1,500 = €150 = €1,650
WPT Regional Florida: Stax Poker Lounge Fall Poker Classic Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
Coconut Creek, FL
Oct. 30 – Nov. 4 $442 + $38 + $20 = $500
WPT National China MGM Grand Sanya
Hainan, China
Nov. 5 – Nov. 10 Invitation Only

(Contact Events@WPT for details)

WPT National Gruissan Casino Le Phoebus
Gruissan, France
Nov. 7 – Nov. 10 €1,350 = €150 = €1,550

(4% Withheld)

WPT Regional Florida: Seminole Hark Rock & Roll Poker Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, FL
Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 $1,500 + $100 + $50 = $1,650
WPT Regional Florida: Seminole Hard Rock WPT Tampa Bay Open Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Tampa Bay, FL
Dec. 12 – Dec. 15 $1,325 + $125 +$50 = $1,500


For more information on the WPT and their Season XII schedule you can visit the www.worldpokertour.com website.

PokerStars Releases Schedule for Historic Season X of the EPT

On August 28, 2013 The European Poker Tour (EPT) will turn 10, when Season X of the popular poker tour kicks-off with a stop in Barcelona. While very little was made of the historic 10th Anniversary of the tour when PokerStars released the Season X schedule on Monday, going by the site’s history with their own 10th Anniversary it’s a good bet that PokerStars has some special events planned for Season X of the PokerStars EPT.

Once again the EPT schedule has been streamlined, with the tour focusing on its most popular destinations and building full tournament series around the EPT Main Events. The only real changes to the schedule were the EPT San Remo and the EPT London, both reverting back to their usual dates on the calendar. Click this link for the latest Titan Poker bonus today!

“During a successful Season 9 where we decided to host fewer and bigger events incorporating the national tours, we listened to an enormous amount of player feedback who valued less time spent travelling, and more time spent playing. Since the Sanremo tournament will be held immediately before the EPT Grand Final in April, it will mean players can spend the whole month of April on the beautiful Riviera,” said EPT President Edgar Stuchly in the press release on the PokerStars blog.

Here is a look at the current dates for the Season X stops on the European Poker Tour:

Tournament Country Festival Dates Main Event Dates Buy-In
EPT BARCELONA SPAIN Aug 15-25, 2012 Aug 19-25, 2012 €5,000 + 300
EPT SANREMO ITALY Oct 3-11, 2012 Oct 5-11, 2012 €5,000 + 300
EPT PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC Dec 5-15, 2012 Dec 9- 15, 2012 €5,000 + 300
2013 PCA BAHAMAS Jan 5-14, 2013 Jan 7-13, 2013 $10,000 + 300
EPT DEAUVILLE FRANCE Jan 30-Feb 9, 2013 Feb 3-9, 2013 €5,000 + 300
EPT LONDON UK Mar 5-16, 2013 Mar 10-16, 2013 £5,000 + 250
EPT BERLIN GERMANY Apr 17-27, 2013 Apr 21-27, 2013 €5,000 + 300
POKERSTARS AND MONTE-CARLO®CASINO EPT GRAND FINAL MONACO May 6-15, 2013 May 6-12, 2013 €10,000 + 600


Remarkably, after nearly nine full seasons the European Poker Tour has yet to see a player win multiple titles. Compare this to the World Poker Tour’s track record of 19 players with multiple championship titles, and two, Gus Hansen and Carlos Mortensen, having three championships on their resume. So, in 120 tournaments the WPT has crowned 19 repeat winners, and in 90 tournaments the EPT has crowned ZERO!

*Resources: www.pokerstarsblog.com, www.europeanpokertour.com

Why Poker Needs Fewer Tournaments

European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour, World Series of Poker, World Series of Poker Europe, World Series of Poker APAC, LAPT, ISPT, Heartland Poker Tour, MSPT, Estrellas Poker Tour, Aussie Millions, UKIPT, GUKPT, IPT. Do I need to go on? There are simply too many poker tours and poker tournaments.

When poker first started “Making It” on TV, poker fans and enthusiasts were greeted with an ongoing progression in the size and scope of the tournaments they watched. From 2003 through 2006 the WSOP Main Event first-prize money went from $2.5 million to $5 million to $7.5 million to over $12 million! WPT tournaments started off with six-figure and some low-seven-figure prizes, but by 2006 had reached the point where winners were receiving $2 million or more at each stop. It’s almost as if poker tournaments have regressed in recent years, and one of the reasons (not the only one) is that there is simply too much competition.

On any given day poker players are scattered across the globe, repping their sponsors tournaments or chasing some tour’s Player of the Year award. Instead of one event, with all of the best tournament players in attendance, the poker world ends up with little more than a handful of middling events, each with a dozen or so big names in attendance.

What the poker world needs is consolidation. The poker world needs these tours to condense their schedules and create tournament series in lieu of the current model. Let a hosting casino market a WPT event as a month long event, culminating with a final week that will see the biggest names in poker in attendance.

Unfortunately, over the past five years there has been little movement in the way the poker tournament industry does business. The market is super-saturated, with the over-crowding hurting every poker tournament and poker tour, and keeping even the most prestigious events like the WSOP in a virtual holding pattern, with attendance ebbing and flowing at random with no sign of sustained increases on the horizon.

What I would like to see, although this is more wishful thinking than anything else, is for the WPT and the EPT to absorb their smaller cousins. Instead of trying to compete with the EPTat European venues the WPT should cede that market and work hand-in-hand with the EPT to design schedules that do not conflict with one another. Let the Euro locals play in their events and the US locals play in theirs, and let the pros travel from event to event.

With this consolidation we could have the WSOP run their three big tournament series, Las Vegas, Europe, and APAC, the WPT host 10 legitimate tournament series across the US; the EPT do the same in Europe; and even create room for an HPT or WSOPC tour in smaller out of the way casinos.

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Mohegan Sun Deepstacks Begins Next Week

With their chief rival in Connecticut, Foxwoods, no longer hosting a World Poker Tour event, Mohegan Sun is looking to capitalize on this void and set themselves up as a serious player in the Northeast market by hosting their own major tournament series. Mohegan Sun first attempted this in 2010 and 2011 with the short-lived North American Poker Tour hosted by PokerStars, and now Mohegan Sun will host a Deepstacks Poker Tour event beginning Friday, November 22, 2012.

The first tournament on the schedule will be a $400 No Limit Holdem tournament featuring a $125,000 guarantee. The tournament will feature two starting days to accommodate the huge field of players expected to participate, as well as utilizing Deepstacks University pros Mike Mizrachi and Mike Matusow as hosts for the tournament.

The tournament series will culminate on December 1st, 2012 with a $2,500 buy-in Main Event featuring a $500,000 guarantee. A number of well-known poker pros have already booked their reservations for the Main event, including Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Randal “RandALLin” Flowers, Matt Glantz, Chip Jett, Aaron Massey, Jason Lee, Vinny Pahuja, and David Baker, and you can expect that list to grow right up until the cards are dealt.

In all, the 32 scheduled tournaments for the Deepstacks Poker Tour stop at Mohegan Sun will feature over $1,000,000 in guaranteed money, and should be one of the biggest tournament series on the east Coast this year.

Here is a look at the press release from Mohegan Sun including a link to the full schedule and structure of each event:

Next Friday will mark the start of the DeepStacks Poker Tour at Mohegan Sun. A $400 No Limit Hold’Em Tournament gets the action started at 11:00am hosted by Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi. This tournament is a $125,000 guarantee. From there, multiple tournaments follow, all the way up to the main event with the DeepStacks Poker Tour Mohegan Sun National Championship starting on December 1st. $500,000 makes up this main event prize pool and plenty of big names will be on-hand for this huge tournament. The full schedule of the series of tournaments, which combined will total $1,000,000 guaranteed, can be viewed here: http://mohegansun.com/img/active/pdf/DeepStacks-schedule.pdf

All the tournament action takes place inside Mohegan Sun’s Convention Center and the final table will be televised regionally with announcer Joe Stapleton and analyst Tristan “Cre8ive” Wade.

The Mohegan Sun Poconos location also announced their own Deepstacks Poker Tour tournament series this week, scheduled to take place in April of 2013, pending approval from Pennsylvania regulators.

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