About World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (also known as WPT) is one of the most famous series of international tournaments of poker and related TV series broadcasting each tournament's final table. A lot of poker amateurs and professionals participate in this series every year. WPT is almost as famous as World Series of Poker (WSOP). Of course WSOP is larger, but WPT also offers amazing experience and prizes. This article will tell you some information about the history of WPT.
Steven Lipscomb, a TV producer/lawyer, started this series in the United States, and his firm controlled this tour up to 2009. The tour started to give bracelets to its champions in 2008, and former champions received bracelets as well. Nowadays, WPT bracelet is one of the most valuable prizes a poker player can get during his career. It’s a very difficult task to get this bracelet and it’s a big honor to own it. Having a WPT bracelet is a dream of many poker players from all over the globe.
WPT tournament series started in 2002. The year of 2003 was very successful for WPT: Travel Chanel broadcasted the first season on America's cable television. Popularity of the show was growing. In 2008, the series was moved to GSN. The Mirage Poker Showdown was the first WPT tournament to be aired on GSN that same year. The Sevenths season was broadcasted on Fox Sports Net.
The Professional Poker Tour, which are some spin-off tournaments, began filming in the year 2004. However, disputes with the Travel Channel over rights delayed the event. In 2005, WPTE started to negotiate with Travel Channel to air its series as the cable channel that previously hosted the series withdrew its bidding for the famous PPT series. Travel Channel and WPTE dismissed all open lawsuits in 2006. Since WPTE was not able to find a television home for its second season, the series was suspended after just one season in 2006.
WPT on TV
The WPT TV show, which consists of WPT annual broadcasts, has been contributing to the Poker craze in America's casinos, homes and on the Internet. The show helped poker to become one of the most popular games in the USA and in many other countries. People started to watch WPT and started to search for a place where they can study and play this amazing game. That’s why online poker websites and casinos are the main sponsors of the series nowadays.
Actor Vince Van Patten and WSOP bracelet winner Mike Sexton comment and analyze in this TV show, which is broadcasted internationally. These two amazing commentators are well known in poker world nowadays and it’s impossible to imagine WPT without them. A female host provides sideline reporting and interviews. Different females were interviewing players during different seasons. Shana Hiatt served as the show's sideline reporter and host during the first 3 seasons. The fourth season was hosted by Courtney Friel and the fifth by Sabina Gadecki. Kimberly Lansing and Layla Kayleigh served as hostesses in the sixth season. The season seven was hosted by Amanda Leatherman, a reporter and poker player. Season nine through eleven was hosted by Kimberly Lansing. Season twelve was hosted by Lynn Gilmartin who remains the current host for season 13, broadcasted by Fox Sports Networks.
PartyGaming plc acquired the World Poker Tour in 2009, and they used the Party Poker brand name to televise a second series of WPT events. This series has focused on broadcasting the WPT's Eurpean spots. Jesse May, Denmark-based American commentator, has partnered with Mike Sexton to provide comments.
Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten are the hosts of the series occasionally talking to players during the game or providing commentary while sitting at a booth close to the final table. They are prohibited from commenting on the hole cards during the event as gaming regulations may be enforced. It’s always interesting to listen their thoughts about poker and situation at the table. It’s impossible to imagine WPT without their comments.
Player of the Year
A Player of the Year award is granted to a player that achieves high places on a consistent basis in the WPT events during the whole season. Special “Points System” was created to determine a champ. Player receives “Player of the Year” award if he is the first in total rating, based on a points system. The Player of the Year calculation also takes into consideration the season-ending WPT World Championship.
No player has won both the WPT Championship and the WPT Player of the Year award through the Season 9's end. Bertrand Grospellier was the closest to that situatoin when he finished third in Season 7's WPT Championship and also winning the WPT Player of the Year award.
Why WPT brand became so famous and well known? There are several reasons but one of the most important is that any player who can win a “satellite” tournament or pay a “buy-in” can compete against the top players. The “buy in” costs between $2,500 and $25,000.
Many online poker rooms offer special WPT satellites. Even an amateur poker player has a chance to win WPT package with a tournament seat included. Such satellites allow everybody to try to win World Poker Tour seat. It is a dream of many poker players to take part in such a big live event like WPT. It’s a great chance to become famous and try to play against other professional players.