World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (Abbreviated WPT) is a series
of international poker tournaments featuring most
of the world's professional players. It was started
in the United States by attorney/television producer
Steven Lipscomb, who now serves as CEO of WPT
Enterprises (WPTE), the firm that controls the
World Poker Tour.
World Poker Tour is a collection of Texas hold
'em poker tournaments held internationally, but
mainly in the United States. The television show
has led to a boom in the table game across American
homes, in local casino poker rooms and online.
The key sponsors of the tour are casinos and online
poker sites. The show, which is syndicated internationally,
is co-hosted by World Series of Poker winner Mike
Sexton, and actor Vince Van Patten. Shana Hiatt
served as the show host and sideline reporter
in its first three seasons. Courtney Friel took
over the host role for the fourth season, and
Sabina Gadecki for the fifth. Layla Kayleigh and
Kimberly Lansing began serving as hostesses in
tour had its debut season in the latter part of
2002 and early part of 2003, climaxing with the
WPT Championship in April 2003 at the Bellagio
Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first season
aired on the Travel Channel on American cable
television in the spring of 2003. The show made
its network debut on February 1, 2004 on NBC with
a special "Battle Of Champions" tournament,
which aired against CBS coverage of the Super
Bowl XXXVIII pre-game show. The Travel Channel
aired the first five seasons of the Tour. In April
2007, WPTE announced that the series would move
to GSN for its sixth season in the spring of 2008.
The first WPT tournament to air on GSN, the Mirage
Poker Showdown, debuted on March 24, 2008.
show's hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten
give the impression that all of their commentary
is recorded live as the tournament happens, and
they have occasionally interacted with the players
during the game. However, their comments about
hole cards are recorded after the tournament takes
place because state gaming regulations prohibit
them from observing a live feed of the "hole
card cameras". Consequently, the broadcast
audio is a mix of the live recording, and commentary
recorded in post-production.
drawing power of the WPT and most other poker
tournaments is that anyone who can pay the "buy-in"
(an amount ranging from $2,500 to $25,000) or
win a "satellite" tournament is able
to compete against the top professional players.
of the show find it interesting because of technical
innovations such as the ability to see the players'
hole cards through a small camera in front of
them on the poker table (an innovation first seen
on the UK program Late Night Poker). With the
success of the show, special programs, such as
the "Hollywood Home Game" (featuring
celebrities playing for charity) and "Ladies
Night" (featuring six top women players)
2004, the World Poker Tour created a Walk of Fame,
inducting poker legends Doyle Brunson and Gus
Hansen as well as actor James Garner.
in its fifth season of broadcast, it still remains
among the highest rated television programs on
cable. It airs Wednesdays on the Travel Channel.
The first three seasons of WPT are also available
on NTSC DVD. (The second season DVD set features
audio commentary by several of the players. The
third season is only available in a "Best
Of" format, featuring just half of the episodes.)
CITY TV airs the WPT on Sundays at 4pm PST in
Canada with a rebroadcast at Midnight (or shortly
after depending on the length of their Sunday
Night Movie. The series will move to Monday nights
when it moves to GSN in 2008.
series of spin-off tournaments, titled the Professional
Poker Tour, began filming in 2004. Broadcast of
the series was delayed, in part because of a dispute
with the Travel Channel over rights. In the fall
of 2005, WPTE announced that "a cable channel"
(believed to be ESPN) had withdrawn from bidding
for the PPT series, and that WPTE was negotiating
with the Travel Channel to air the series. On
January 30, 2006, WPTE and the Travel Channel
announced that they had dismissed all open lawsuits.
The series began regular broadcast July 5, 2006,
but was suspended after one season as WPTE couldn't
find a television home for a second season.
January 2008, the WPT announced a set of tournaments
for women, known as WPT Ladies. The first season
will have five events, with buy-ins ranging from
$300 to $1,500. The final table of the final event
will be televised.
fictional WPT championship match is the setting
for the 2007 feature film Deal. Sexton, Van Patten,
and Friel are slated to play themselves and a
number of other poker professionals and poker-playing
celebrities are reportedly in the cast. The WPT
set was shipped to New Orleans for filming following
the season 4 championship. (Credit:
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World Poker Tour
Championship Begins Saturday - 16th April 2009
Poker News Daily)
Saturday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship
will kick off from the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The $25,000 buy-in tournament is the last stop
of Season VII and will crown a champion seven
year, David Chiu emerged victorious from a pack
of 545 entrants en route to victory. He pocketed
$3.4 million for his efforts, one of the largest
paydays in WPT history. The finale featured Chiu
take on Full Tilt Poker pro Gus Hansen, one of
the world’s most feared players. Hansen
landed a $1.7 million consolation prize. Also
at the final table were John Roveto (third for
$923,355), Cory “UGOTPZD” Carroll
(fourth for $593,645), Tommy Le (fifth for $395,725),
and Jeff King (sixth for $263,815). A total of
100 players finished in the money during the Season
VI WPT Championship.
a tournament series that has seen a bevy of events
come and go, the WPT Championship has remained
a staple. The annual end of year gala has seen
some of the world’s top poker players dominate.
During the Season V WPT Championship, “The
Spaniard” Carlos Mortensen triumphed over
a field of 639 players and cashed for $3.9 million.
He defeated World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet
winner Kirk Morrison heads-up; Morrison took home
$2.0 million for his efforts. Others who claimed
life-changing money were Paul Lee (third for $1.1
million), Guy Laliberte (fourth for $696,220),
Tim Phan (fifth for $464,110), and Mike Wattel
(sixth for $309,405).
Season IV final table will go down as one of the
most talented in the history of the WPT. In the
end, Joe Bartholdi, a poker player in his 20s,
bested Davidson Matthew heads-up and grabbed $3.8
million. Roland de Wolfe, James Van Alstyne, and
Men “The Master” Nguyen also made
the final table. During Season III, Tuan Le outlasted
Paul Maxfield heads-up in a tournament that attracted
453 entrants. The duo were joined by Hasan Habib,
John “The Razor” Phan, European Poker
Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo Grand Final winner Rob
Hollink, and Phil Ivey at the televised final
II saw Martin de Knijff battle Habib in the finale,
with the former coming out on top and earning
$2.7 million. Matt Matros and recent Bay 101 Shooting
Star Champion Steve Brecher were also at the final
table, taking third and sixth, respectively. The
first ever WPT Championship was held in 2003,
with Alan Goehring defeating Kirill Gerasimov.
Goehring earned $1 million for the win over a
final table that also featured Ivey, Doyle Brunson,
and Ted Forrest. The $25,000 buy-in event is the
richest of any WPT tournament. Each event’s
winner during the regular season takes home an
is the schedule for the seventh annual WPT Championship
at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. All times are local:
April 18th, 2009: Day 1A, 12:00pm
Sunday, April 19th, 2009: Day 1B, 12:00pm
Monday, April 20th, 2009: Day 2, 12:00pm
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009: Day 3, 12:00pm
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009: Day 4, 12:00pm
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009: Day 5, 12:00pm
Friday, April 24th, 2009: Day 6, 12:00pm
Saturday, April 25th, 2009: Final Table, TBA
addition to the WPT Championship, a $540 buy-in
ClubWPT side event will take place on April 23rd
at 2:00pm. ClubWPT is the tournament series’
subscription-based online poker room that accepts
customers from the United States. Super satellites
to the Main Event are also taking place daily.
The final opportunity for players to win their
way into the WPT Championship occurs on Saturday
at 10:00pm; super satellite tournaments boast
a $1,590 price tag.
Season VII WPT Championship will air on Fox Sports
Net, which also holds the rights to broadcast
Season VIII of the roving tournament series. New
episodes air on Sunday nights.
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