Most fans of professional poker tend to look at the World Series of Poker as the premier event –– both for exposure and for prestige. When it comes to raw stakes, however, it looks as if the World Poker Tour may be about to eclipse the WSOP.
Bigger prize pools
In 2021, USAToday.com reported that Koray Aldemir took home $8 million when he won the main event at the World Series of Poker. This was the lion’s share of the total $24,125,000 that was in play at the main event final table. And without a doubt, it represents an incredible sum for a pro competitor to win at a single table. At the same time, however, it may end up paling in comparison to what the World Poker Tour has in store for later this year.
According to recent reports at Poker.org, the WPT has committed to a record-breaking $15 million guaranteed prize pool for its World Championship event this coming December. The full event will feature $10,400 buy-ins, and will consist of a 21-day series of games, culminating in a World Championship final table. Now, the winner at said final table will not necessarily net $15 million exactly. However, the number marks the biggest baseline guarantee for winnings in the history of live tournament play.
That in and of itself may attract more viewership than the World Poker Tour World Championship has seen in the past. However, the record-breaking prize pool isn’t the only move the WPT is making with the aim of generating more exposure. The tour is also splitting up its World Championship series, such that the bulk of the competition takes place at the Wynn Las Vegas, with the main event moving to the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.
This arena opened in 2018 as part of a global expansion of major events built for competitive gaming. According to an article at ReviewJournal.com, Allied Esports Entertainment created this 30,000-square-foot space, which was custom-built to accommodate the flashy, massive events that have come to define the eSports world. Poker is not such an event in the same sense; it tends to be more low-key, and there are fewer visual elements in play. What matters here though is that the Esports Arena Las Vegas was also designed specifically to bring about “in-house network TV quality.” The arena functions like a studio, with 24 cameras and a “two-story LED TV wall.” This effectively makes it a compelling staging area for any competition held there –– and should lead to a compelling TV broadcast filled with all the angles and visual appeal fans could ask for.
All things considered, this makes for an aggressive move by the World Poker Tour. While the WSOP is likely to maintain its reputation as the defining competition in professional poker, for now, record prize money and an arena optimized for televised gaming could bring fresh and significant attention to the tour. The players themselves are also drawing attention, such as Darren Elias, who holds the current record for most WPT main event wins as reported by MetroWestDailyNews.com. Elias is attempting to extend his record to five wins, so players can expect tough competition in their tables.
All that remains is to see how the competition plays out later this year. And with this kind of prize money at stake, we won’t be surprised if some of the biggest names in poker –– Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey, and more –– are gunning for that final table.
A huge prize pot is up for grabs at this year’s World Poker Tour, making the competition even more exciting. To learn about other top trending news, check out our latest articles at StatusCorner.com. Our news reports about sports and gaming cover high-stakes betting events, such as the Satta King and much more.