The World Poker Tour (WPT) is one the top poker brands in the world as the WPT hosts mega poker tournaments all across the world that is attended by thousands of poker players. The WPT recently released the remainder of its 2018 WPT tournament schedule and dates, to enable poker players to plan their schedule in advance and slot in the poker tournaments they will attend in 2018.
Season 16 – Key Stops
The WPT confirmed that the final portion of its Season 16 Main Tour schedule will include all of the popular stops that it made in Season 15 while some of the less popular stops have been eliminated. The WPT will be making stops at the Borgata, Seminole Hard Rock, Fallsview, Thunder Valley and Commerce.
Adam Pliska, the chief executive officer of the WPT stated that the five venues had proved to be extremely successful for the WPT during Season 15. The five world-class venues reported close to 5,500 player registrations and generated over $23 million in guaranteed prize money. The WPT had no second thoughts in scheduling Season 16 stops at these properties and expects a bigger turnout during 2018.
Bay 101 Shooting Star Dropped
The WPT first introduced the Bay 101 Shooting Star event during Season 2 and it had a great response. This was a bounty $5,200 event which started out with $5,000 in bounties being placed a specific group of star players. The first ever Bay 101 Shooting Star event saw a total of 243 player registrations and poker pro Phil Gordon ended up winning and taking a cool $360,000. Since then the Bay 101 Shooting Star has turned out to be a very popular event for the company.
This fan favorite flagship event ran for over a decade as amateur and professional poker players were delighted to take part and play for a bounty. The Bay 101 Shooting Star was turned into a $10,000 event and eventually dropped to $7,500 in 2013 where it remained for the next few years. Some of the poker pros who have won the event over the years include Stefan Schillhabel, Nam Le, Brandon Cantu, Ted Forrest and Taylor Paur. The event in 2017 was won by Sam Panzica who took home $1.4 million in prize money and would later go on to challenge for the WPT Player of the Year.
No California Swing Promo
The WPT has decided to drop the popular Bay 101 Shooting Star for Season 16. The schedule also does not make any mention of the California Swing promotion which saw three events take place in the Golden State. The WPT has hosted the L.A Poker Classic, Bay 101 Shooting Star and the WPT Rolling Thunder for a number of years and the California Swing promotion was introduced as an incentive to get players to attend all three tournaments in California.
The winner of the California Swing promotion usually received a package that included travel expenses, accommodation and a buy-in to a WPT event. The 2016 California Swing promotion was won by Rainer Kempe who was supposed to awarded a buy-in to the California Swing promotion in Season 16. Since the WPT has not featured the promotion, it is interesting to see what the company offers Kempe in return.
2018 WPT Stops
The WPT has confirmed that the €3,300 WPT European Championship will take place from Jan 10-15 in at the SpielBank Berlin which will be followed by the $3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open from Jan 19-24 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida. The $3,500 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will run from Jan 28 to Feb 02 and take place at the Borgata in New Jersey. Then comes the CA$5,000 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic which runs from Feb 10-12 at the Fallsview in Canada followed by the $10,000 WPT L.A. Poker Classic which will be held from Feb 24 to March 1 at the Commerce Casino in California.
The final two WPT tournaments will be the $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder  Thunder Valley which takes place from March 2-6 in Lincoln, CA and the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown which runs from April 13-18 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida.