WPT Series Growing Popularity Poses Challenge to WSOP's Dominance in Poker
The World Poker Tour stormed into 2023 with a bang, successfully hosting the first-ever WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in late 2022. This event was later recognized as the "Event of the Year" at the Global Poker Awards – after that, the popular poker festival began to gain momentum.
The WPT teaming up with the Wynn Casino, considered the best place to play in Las Vegas, has proven to be a powerful alliance. This year, the festival has become so influential in the field of offline poker that some enthusiasts are already calling the WPT "the next WSOP".
Let’s recall the recent $10,400 buy-in WPT World Championship. The event, with a very ambitious $40,000,000 guarantee, was about $2.4 million short of breaking even. But at the same time, the tournament with a rather expensive buy-in was able to collect 3,835 entries – many participants specially flew to Vegas from the Bahamas WSOP Paradise Series to take part in the historic event.
It is also worth mentioning this year's WPT Prime with a buy-in of $1,100, which also took place in the walls of Wynn. The tournament more than doubled its $5 million guarantee, with 10,512 entries and $10,196,640 in prize pool.
What's next? Next year, the organizers of the series have already announced twelve WPT and WPT Prime tournaments, which will be held in the USA, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia.
WPT Voyage and WPT Prime Voyage deserve special attention – these events will take place aboard Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady. Already on March 31, the cruise liner will leave Miami with "cargo" in the form of participants in the series. And this ship will return on April 6 with new champions and numerous prize winners of the festival.
Will the WPT series overtake the traditional "Goliath" of the poker world in the form of the WSOP in popularity? Time will show. But the high level of tournament organization and openness to experimentation can help the relatively young series achieve its most ambitious goals.