World Poker Tour - WPT Challenge

The World Poker Tour, or WPT, is a chain of international poker tournaments. It also involves broadcast of the final table of every tournament. It was Steven Lipscomb, a lawyer and TV producer, who started the WPT in the United States. He became the CEO of the WPTE or World Poker Tour Enterprises, the company that took control of the WPT until November of 2009. After which, Party Gaming acquired the World Poker Tour from the WPTE.

In the US, the WPT TV show paved way for poker to become very popular in homes. The show is mainly sponsored by casinos and poker websites. It is shown internationally, and presents analysis by an expert in poker himself, Mike Sexton, with his partner, actor Vince Van Patten. Sidelights are provided by the other female hosts. After the acquisition of Party Gaming, the company added another series of WPT TV show that mainly featured European tours. Sexton then accompanied by Jesse May for the commentaries.

How It Started

The World Poker Tour started its first season in 2002, which had a climax in April 2003 for the Championship held at Las Vegas Nevada. Back then, it was shown at the Travel Channel. The first network show was aired on NBC, and had the battle of champions’ game. It was in July 2008 when Fox Sports Net took over the broadcast for the seventh season of the WPT. A player who can pay the initial buy in, or wins at a satellite tournament can compete with the top players. In 2004, it created the Walk of Fame, recognition to honor professional poker players who have won and contributed much to the prestige of the game. The first inductees were Doyle Brunson, James Garner and Gus Hansen.

Introduction of Club WPT

In 2008, the World Poker Tour introduced Club WPT. It allowed players to become a member who pays monthly fee to be able to participate in tournaments where he/she can win up to a hundred thousand dollars ever month. It was also in the same year when they launched WPT Ladies, to open doors for women players. Nancy Todd became the first champion.

Player of the Year

The World Poker Tour also recognizes outstanding players via Player of the Year Award. The title holder is the one who consistently acquires high finishes in the events for the whole season. It is determined through a points system. If you won a championship, that adds to a point to become a Player of the Year. The first 8 seasons awards 1000 points for the Winner and 700 points for the runner-up. The third placer gets 600 points, the fourth placer 500, the one at fifth place receives 400, and the sixth placer gets 300 points. The seventh placer receives 200 points. Changes in this points system were made with Season 9. Number of entries and prize pool for an event were begun to be recognized. To date, the largest win in a World Poker Tour event was received by Carlos Mortensen on season 5. In 2007, WPT was featured fictionally in a movie called Deal.

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