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With the WPT World Championship, WSOP Paradise Main Event and EPT Prague Main Event all clashing on the calendar, which of poker’s biggest three brands will win the attendance war before the presents are handed out?
Last year, the World Poker Tour launched the WPT World Championship. With 2,960 entrants, the guarantee of $15 million at the Wynn Las Vegas was smashed, with $29 million in the prizepool when late registration closed. This year, the tournament, which costs $10,400 to play – comprising a $9,800 entry, a $400 registration fee and a $200 staff fee – will have a record $40 million guarantee.
That guarantee means that the event needs to achieve a record tournament buy-in for any major event outside the WSOP Main Event. Whether it can do so will largely depend on whether enough players turn up for the initial Day 1a flights that it looks like the total will exceed the numbers needed to make the guarantee – a massive 4,082 players.
In a poll on X, formerly known as Twitter, we asked which of the three tournaments players would be attending if they only going to one – and 62.5% of those who replied chose the WPT World Championship – it’s currently the betting favorite. Last year’s champion, Eliot Hudon, won $1.4 million when he took the title in the biggest-ever field ever for a non-World Series event costing $10,000 or more to enter. This year, that top prize could be $2 million, and the World Championship takes place between December 12th and 21st.
“It’s going to be an absolutely amazing experience.” ~ Daniel Negreanu, six-time WSOP champion.
If Las Vegas isn’t your scene, then you might fancy the sun, sea and sand of Atlantis Island. Yes, the World Series of Poker is heading to The Bahamas in December and the WSOP Paradise festival is at the heart of Atlantis. Previously home to the European Poker Tour’s island excursion, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), this year’s WSOP Paradise festival is sure to be a hit with anyone who attends. The first-ever WSOP bracelet event series to hit the island has a $5,000-entry WSOP Paradise Main Event with a $15 million guarantee.
Players such as GGPoker ambassadors Daniel Negreanu can’t wait for the action.
“GGPoker is delighted to launch WSOP Paradise and welcome hundreds of players from all over the world to Atlantis Paradise Island this December,” Negreanu said. “It’s going to be an absolutely amazing experience, the best of poker at one of the world’s most luxurious resorts.”
As well as the Main Event, other standout events include a $1,500-event Mystery Bounty, the $25,000 buy-in GGMILLION$ and not one but two PLO WSOP bracelet tournaments. GGPoker and WSOP have also combined for the WSOP Paradise Parlay, which offers players with multiple cashes in the WSOP in Las Vegas last summer along with a cash in the Bahamas to receive a bonus prize depending on how successful they have been, with at least one cash at both the WSOP Las Vegas and WSOP Paradise festivals required.
Ten cashes would yield a player $5,000 in free cash, making three final tables yields $25,000 and anyone who wins a bracelet in Paradise to go with one they won in Las Vegas will be awarded an extra $100,000!
With the WSOP Paradise festival taking place between the 3rd and 15th of December and the Main Event taking place from December 9th – 14th, everyone is excited about the festival, and it’s sure to be a hit if legendary WSOP commentators Lon McEachern and Norm McDonald and chess queen Alexandra Botez are going to be there.
See you in @WSOP Paradise, @alexandrabotez! 🌊 pic.twitter.com/ayFpLSVetT— GGPoker (@GGPoker) November 14, 2023
See you in @WSOP Paradise, @alexandrabotez! 🌊 pic.twitter.com/ayFpLSVetT
— GGPoker (@GGPoker) November 14, 2023
Finally, but by no means least, the Eiiuropean Poker Tour returns to its traditional winter welcome in bringing players to the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic is sure to be the go-to location for most European players, with the season-ending EPT stop in one of Europe’s most historic and stunning cities taking place between December 6th and 17th.
With 11 days of consecutive action taking place in the Czech capital, the €5,300 ($5,750) buy-in EPT Main Event is going on between December 11th and 17th. The €1,100 Eureka Main Event: (December 6th – 11th), €50,000 EPT Super High Roller (December 10th and 11th) and €3,000 EPT Mystery Bounty (December 13th – 15th) are all sure to be a hit with poker fans wrapping up their year on the live circuit with the perfect pre-Christmas festival with the markets in the center of town a wonderful way of enjoying winter.
Players could juggle attending two events if they bust a Main Event early or prioritise one tournament over another but travel from close by to their initial stop, such as Vegas-based players who the travel to either the Bahamas or Central Europe. For most poker players, however, the choice they face will be which festival to attend.
There will only be one winner.
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