Although they just wrapped up a highly successful Season XVI schedule, the World Poker Tour isn’t sitting back and letting the World Series of Poker steal the spotlight. Instead, the WPT recently announced the roster of events that will carry them through the end of 2018 and to approximately the midpoint of their Season XVII schedule.
“As the WPT closes out a historic 16th season, the World Poker Tour is proud to announce the 2018 leg of the Season XVII schedule,” Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, said. “Season XVI was our most tremendous season yet. We held our first-ever stops in Beijing, Japan, and South America, returned a televised WPT Main Tour event to Europe, and broke ground in the burgeoning region of India. Additionally, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew a record-setting field for the second consecutive year, Art Papazyan won two WPT titles en route to winning the Hublot WPT Player of the Year award, Darren Elias won an unprecedented fourth WPT title, and the World Poker Tour awarded its one-billionth prize dollar. The bar has never been higher for the WPT, and we look forward to even greater success this upcoming season.”
As the rest of the tournament poker world battles their way through the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the WPT has put together a roster of events that will see them enter a new location. That “new location” starts with their very first event of the Season XVII schedule, the WPT Gardens Poker Festival at the Gardens Casino in California. The Main Event for that tournament will be a $5000 buy in event, kicking it up a notch from when the Gardens Casino hosted a WPT500 last year, and marks the first time that the WPT Main Tour has visited the Gardens Casino. That Main Event will run from July 21-26.
Two familiar stops take their place on the schedule next. The WPT Choctaw (which opened the U. S. roster of casinos last year) will run from August 3-7 and features a buy in of $3500. Following that stop, the WPT will once again head east to Atlantic City, NJ, for the WPT Borgata Poker Open. That tournament, with its $3500 buy in, will be held from September 16-21 and routinely has drawn a four-figure field.
The staff and trucks from the WPT don’t have much time to rest following their trip to the Boardwalk. Maryland Live! will be the next stop on the Season XVII run, as players venture to Hanover for a $3500 tournament that will run from September 21-25. Then it is on to the Sunshine State as Florida plays host to two of the bigger events on the first half of the schedule.
The first stop will be what has become the only bounty event on the WPT schedule (with the departure of the Bay 101 Shooting Star last year) in Jacksonville. The WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble, a $5000 buy in tournament, features bounties placed on certain professional poker players that have entered the tournament. The “bounty hunt” will be on starting on October 19 and end with the crowning of a champion on October 23.
The second stop has quickly become one of the favorites for tournament pros and amateurs alike. The WPT Seminole Rock & Roll Poker Open will be a $3500 buy in tournament that should see a sizeable number of players looking for some holiday cash. The event runs from November 23-28 and will be the next to last tournament on the 2018 portion of the schedule.
To finish off the calendar year, the WPT ventures back to one of its traditional home bases. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic has been a part of the WPT schedule since the inception of the tour and features one of the bigger buy-ins on the circuit. The $10,400 Main Event tournament will be the part of one of poker’s great festivals, running from December 10-15. Because of the higher buy in, the extremely popular tournament has set records in the last two seasons and, in 2017, saw the top two places pay the recipients a seven-figure payday.
If you look at this list, you can see that there are a couple of familiar names not on the roster. One is the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, while the other is ANY stop associated with the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. “The Bike” will play host to a WPT500 stop during the traditional time (mid-to-late August) of the Legends event, but the Playground’s omission is difficult to figure out. There are plenty of holes in the remainder of the 2018 calendar year – and the 2019 schedule has yet to be announced – so those venues may yet find their way into the rotation.