Tournaments Game Guide

World Poker Tour

World Poker Tour Background of the WPT

The World Poker Tour is a popular poker tournament which has particularly grown in popularity due to its screening on national television.

Background of the World Poker Tour

The World Poker Tour (WPT) was launched by attorney/ television producer Steven Lipscomb in the United States in late 2002, early 2003. The inaugural WPT Championship event was held in April 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Bellagio Casino. It is a collection of Texas Hold'em poker tournaments that are held internationally, but primarily in the United States. In 2004, the WPT created a Walk of Fame. It aims to honor poker players who have excelled in the game and promoted it through media. The original inductees included poker legends, Doyle Brunson and Gus Hansen and actor, James Garner. There have been no new inductees since 2004. In 2008, the WPT started awarding bracelets to its champions. Bracelets were awarded retroactively to winners at the WPT prior to the bracelets release. Lipscomb is now CEO of WPT Enterprises (WPTE), the company that controls the WPT.

Entering the World Poker Tour

The WPT is a popular tournament among professional poker players and as such attracts many other players as well. Many satellite tournaments are held which award seats in the WPT and these are especially popular at online casinos. Any player who wins a satellite tournament into the event or is able to pay the buy-in amount, can enter the WPT. The buy-ins range from $2,500 to $25,000.

The Televised World Poker Tour

The first season of the WPT aired in spring 2003 on American cable television on the travel channel. A "Battle of the Champions" tournament then aired on NBC in February 2004. In spring 2008, the series moved to GSN for its sixth season and its seventh season will be aired by Fox Sports Net. The airing of the WPT on television has brought the game into homes across the United States and has led to a boom in the poker industry.

The World Poker Tour Ladies Event

In 2008, the WPT announced that they would begin a series of poker tournaments known as the WPT Ladies. The first season hosted five events with buy-ins ranging from $300 to $1,500.

Winnings from the World Poker Tour

The popularity of the World Poker Tour has increased dramatically since it began. In 2002, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic awarded the winner, Gus Hansen, $556,480. In 2007, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic awarded the winner, Eugene Katchalov, $2,482,605. In season I, the WPT Championship winner was Alan Goehring, who walked away with $1,011,866. The WPT Championship season VII winner was Yevgniy Timoshenko who took home $2,149,960. The highest win to date was the WPT Championship season V winner Carlos Mortensen who won $3,970,415.

Legal Action against the World Poker Tour

In 2006, seven poker professionals brought a lawsuit against WPT alleging they were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the California Cartwright Act and intentional interference with a contract. They claimed that the WPTE standard release forms were anti-competitive and interfered with their contractual obligations to their other companies. Five players accepted a settlement, including Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, Phil Gordon and Howard Lederer.

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