The World Poker Tour Announces $15k Buy-In Tournament of Champions Dates


Impatient World Poker Tour (WPT) fans who like taking a pew during Main Event Final Table action will be happy to know that the second tranche of final table schedules is in the public domain.

The WPT revealed two further final table dates, and the nitty-gritty details on the Season 18 Tournament of Champions (TOC), with the HyperX Esports Arena in the Luxor Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, continuing to host.

The Season 18 WPT TOC runs from May 31 through June 2. Baccarat Crystal returns as the event sponsor, and the buy-in is once again $15,000 with only WPT Champions Club members invited (Season 18 champions receive a free seat).

The poker community greeted the creation of the WPT TOC concept with divisive opinion after its birth in Season 14. The new format replaced the $15,400 buy-in WPT World Championships, and the restriction of the invite-only stipulation stung some who loved the event.

The first TOC event was a fairytale of Tangled proportions when Farid Yachou conquered a field of 64-entrants to win the $381,600 first prize and a variety of other gifts and prizes. The Moroccan-born, Dutch-based Yachou qualified for the event after winning WPT Amsterdam, his first-ever live tournament.

Yachou’s victory came during the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, as did Daniel Weinman’s Season 15 TOC win when he vanquished 66-foes to win the $381,500 first prize.

The TOC event moved to the HyperX Esports Arena in Season 16 when Matt Waxman defeated 80-players to win the $463,375 first prize. The German star, Ole Schemion, is the defending champion after culling a 76-player field to win the $440,395 first prize in 2019.

The entirety of the TOC plays out in the Luxor with the final table scheduled for June 2.

But Before the TOC…

On May 28, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown draws to a conclusion at the HyperX Esports Arena. The five-day event takes place in Florida May 1-5. Last year, James Carroll defeated a 1,360-entrant field to win the $715,175 first prize.

The next day, WPT Choctaw reaches its conclusion. The series runs from May 15-18 from the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK where the defending champion Craig Varnell will attempt a repeat of the 577-entrant victory that earned him $379,990. Varnell is the only player to win a WPT500 and WPT Main Event.

But Before Florida & Choctaw…

The first set of WPT Main Event final tables take place at the HyperX Esports Arena from March 31-April 2.

Here are the lineups.

WPT Gardens Poker Championship

Seat 1: Straton Willhelm – 435,000
Seat 2: Markus Gonsalves – 2,370,000
Seat 3: Qing Liu – 795,000
Seat 4: Tuan Phan – 2,070,000
Seat 5: Jonathan Cohen – 1,615,000
Seat 6: Chance Kornuth – 2,995,000

1st: $554,495*
2nd: $359,650
3rd: $263,090
4th: $195,085
5th: $146,655
6th: $111,795

*Includes a TOC seat

WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

Seat 1: Nathan Russler – 3,990,000
Seat 2: James Anderson – 10,040,000
Seat 3: Andrew Hanna – 6,730,000
Seat 4: Bin Weng – 8,890,000
Seat 5: Veerab Zakarian – 11,990,000
Seat 6: Brian Altman – 9,865,000

1st: $674,840*
2nd: $449,904
3rd: $333,012
4th: $248,913
5th: $187,900
6th: $143,264

*Includes a TOC seat

WPT L.A. Poker Classic

The $10,000 buy-in WPT L.A. Poker Classic runs February 29 – March 4.

“The World Poker Tour is proud to announce the next set of final tables to be played at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, home of the WPT,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “Players, spectators, and sponsors have all embraced having the WPT final tables at our state-of-the-art arena, and its cutting-edge production capabilities have enabled us to experiment with new creative ways to elevate the final table experience and take the WPT to new heights.”

If you don’t get to see the final tables live, then you can watch them on FOX Sports Networks once released.