The World Poker Tour (WPT) is looking for a wider global reach. In order to achieve its goal, it has announced the launch of WPT Prime, a global poker tournament circuit that will include stops in several Southeast Asia countries. The inauguration also means the end to one of the WPT’s longest-running series.
WPT Becomes Global Poker Playground
WPT Prime launches with three events in Asia in 2022. This will help to strengthen its upcoming tournament schedule in Asia, one of the most popular markets in the poker world. WPT Prime events will be attended by players from all over the globe in Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan. This is a return to previous successful events on the continent.
From May 19 to 30, players will be competing at the Crown Poker Club, Hanoi. The VND25-million ($1,100) buy-in main event is the highlight of the series. It will be held from May 26 to 30.
The next event will be in Cambodia, where the WPT will host a series of tournaments at NagaWorld integrated Resort in Phnom Penh, from August 11 to 23. From August 18 to 22, the $1,100 buy-in main event will mark the series.
The WPT hosted the previous largest live poker tournament held in Cambodia in November 2019. The prize pool of $727,500 almost tripled the $250,000 guarantee.
From November 11 to 21, the third WPT Prime event for Asia in 2022 will take place in Taiwan at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association in Taipei. November 17 to 21 will see the TWD30,000 ($1,077 US) buy-in main event.
The End of an Era
WPT Prime’s launch means that the WPTDeepStacks, which was launched in 2014, will be retired. It will officially end in mid-2022 after the conclusion of WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam and Sydney.
Sydney was only just added to the circuit. The WPT announced the stops at the beginning of February, adding Australia to its WPTDeepStacks tour.
The first WPTDeepStacks will be held at The Star Sydney from March 30 through April 11. The tournaments will include 12 events, culminating in an AUD$1,500 ($1,070) main event).
The WPT will then head to The Star Gold Coast. Last year, a WPTDeepStacks event was held at the Queensland casino. While there were restrictions, the main event attracted 1,113 participants and paid out over $1 million in prize money.
The organizers hope to translate that success into two additional events later in the year. Although the details have yet to be disclosed, a WPT press release from January confirmed that one tournament at the Star Gold Coast would be a championship event, subject to regulatory approval.
If approval is granted, this will be the first WPT main tour stop to take place in Australia. There is one problem: Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions may limit the number who can participate in Sydney or Queensland.