The World Poker Tour
Just as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), introduced the world to big-time poker tournaments, so has the World Poker Tour revolutionized the game as seen on television. The World Poker Tour is not only entertaining, but is a valuable source of information for new players. Take, for instance, the “WPT Cam”, an amazingly innovative camera about the size of a lipstick tube. This little device, introduced on the WPT in 2003, allows viewers to see the player’s hole cards, adding to the drama of the game by revealing the strategies behind the player’s high stakes bets and bluffs.
Then there are the WPT hosts. Whenever the hosts speak to the audience using specific poker terms, a drop-down box appears with an explanation of those terms so that viewers new to the game will gain a better understanding of their meaning. As a result of this type of programming, the WPT as seen on the Travel Channel, has undoubtedly recruited literally millions of new fans and players worldwide.
World Poker Tour face-to-face tournaments are held each year from May to the following April, ending with the World Poker Tour Championship Event being held at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Sixteen preliminary WPT tournaments are held at various locations world-wide which lead to the final championship event.
Final tables at each of the preliminary WPT Tournaments are televised, and the winners receive, in addition to their prize money, a paid entry fee - worth $25,000 - to the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio.
These preliminary tournaments are one way to obtain a seat at the WPT final event. Players can enter directly into the championship games by paying the $25,000 entry fee up front, or enter various satellite tournaments - for a smaller buy-in - that will prepay the WPT Championship entry fee for the winners. In fact, the Bellagio hosts a satellite tournament during the weeks preceding the final event with a prepaid entry fee to the WPT Championship awarded to the winner.
The final table at the World Poker Tour Championship Event is televised from the Bellagio by the Travel Channel and viewed by a live audience. The prize money has increased considerably since the WPT’s beginnings with the prize pool for the 2006 WPT Tournament expected to exceed $12 million, and the first prize over $4 million.
Consisting of Texas Hold’em No-Limit tournaments, the World Series of Poker is heading into it’s fourth season as one of cable television’s most popular shows. The WPT is the brainchild of television producer Stephen Libscomb, who is the CEO of WPT Enterprises, a publicly traded entity controlling the World Poker Tour.
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Kenneth Bateman writes numerous articles on the subject of poker and its players. To read more player profiles, visit this Poker Room at XL Poker.com.
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