This week the World Poker Tour announced it plans to deliver a holiday gift to New Jersey poker players. Coming December 27-29, the partypoker US network will host its first ever WPT Main Tour online event.
Called the WPT Online Poker Open, the $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament will feature a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. The World Poker Tour will live stream the final table on Dec. 29.
In addition to earning the first prize, the winner of the event will join the WPT Champions Club. The winner will also receive free entry into the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions. The winner’s name will also be added to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, joining the names of other winners dating back to the WPT’s start in 2002.
New Jersey event part of WPT’s continued ‘pivot online’
In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown of live poker forced the WPT to alter its live schedule. Live events were all postponed, and the tour found ways to continue online via partypoker‘s global site.
An initial WPT Online Series ran on partypoker in May. The series culminated with a $3,200 Main Event won by Christian Jeppsson. The Swedish player topped a 2,130-entry field to win nearly $924K.
The WPT World Online Championships followed, also playing out on partypoker’s global site from July through September. That one ended with a much larger $10,300 Main Event that drew 1,011 entries to create a prize pool of just over $10 million. Winner Phillip Mighall of the UK took away just over $1.55 million.
The late December tournament will be the first WPT event on the partypoker US network. Presently the network consists of three skins, all restricted to players physically located within New Jersey:
Satellites to the Main Event will run on all three skins with buy-ins as low as $5.
In the announcement, WPT CEO Adam Pliska characterized the event as part of “WPT’s continued pivot toward online.”
Meanwhile Angelica Hael, vice president of Global Tour Management, referred to the continued collaboration between partypoker and the WPT, suggesting “this $1 million guarantee will push our partnership to new heights.”
WPT joins other tours exploring online options
The WPT’s announcement comes less than a week after the World Series of Pokerannounced plans to conduct a hybrid online-live 2020 WSOP Main Event starting in late November and culminating Dec. 30.
That event will be played in part on the WSOP New Jersey site as well as on WSOP Nevada and the global GGPoker site before concluding with live action both in the Czech Republic and Las Vegas.
The WSOP already ran an 85-event online series on WSOP NJ, WSOP NV, and GGPoker from July to September.
Both the unusual circumstances presented by the pandemic and legal developments for online poker in the United States are encouraging the WPT’s plans in America going forward.
At present partypoker US hopes to expand its network to other states, including in Pennsylvania and Michigan. However no new sites will launch in those states until 2021.
Once they do, the forging of a multi-state agreement could enable partypoker US and the WPT to expand online player pools considerably for events such as the WPT Online Poker Open.
Partypoker has overhauled its mobile app, now adding support for MTT and Sit & Go tables to be viewed in portrait mode. This means that all upcoming events in the the WPT World Online Championships (WOC) can be played vertically on mobile devices.
New game listings and filters have also been tweaked as part of the upgrade. Features that were already available at cash game tables such as earning diamonds – partypoker’s social currency – are now available in tournament games.
All games on our mobile app are in portrait view – now including tournaments. Play the @WPT#WPTWOC on your mobile… https://t.co/6fkp4ZQ3ga— partypoker (@partypoker) August 14, 2020
“This marks a very important milestone for us, with all games now being available in portrait mode,” partypoker Head of Poker Product, Ross McQuater, said via a press release. “Tournament play presented a number of interesting challenges, and the team have done a great job in overcoming them.”
“The result sees a significant overhaul for tournaments that extends to the game lobbies too; not just the portrait game table. We have an exciting raft of new features that we will continue to add in the coming months, as we also work to improve the portrait experience for our other labels. We are confident our players will enjoy the latest experience,” McQuater went on to say.
The upgrade comes just in time for the ramp up for the WOC Championship Main Event, as satellites for the Micro and Mini versions are already underway.
Partypoker is giving away 3500 seats to the Micro Main Event via satellites, which have buy-ins for as little as $3. Satellites to the Mini Main Event can be entered for as little as $33, where 1000 seats are being given away.
We want everyone to get involved in the #WPTWOC. That’s why this week we have over 1,000 x $109 Micro Main seats GT… https://t.co/O5UmSdHpBx— partypoker (@partypoker) August 26, 2020
If players want to buy-in directly to the Micro Main Event Championship, they can do so for $109. $1 million is guaranteed for the Micro Main, and Day 1A kicks off on Saturday August 29.
Blackjack pizza federal blvd. The next day, Sunday August 30, sees the Mini Main Event Championship kick off.
The buy-in sits at $1050 and $5 million is guaranteed. On Saturday the 29th, partypoker is giving away an extra 100 tickets to the Mini Main Event.
Then September 6 marks the start of the WOC Main Event where $10 million is up for grabs. The buy-in sits at an eye-watering $10,300, but players can try to win their way into the event via satellites for $109.
Party Poker Online
Team partypoker’s Josip Simunic showed how players can turn satellites into high-value tickets.
“I am very happy that there are so many good satellites on partypoker,” Simunic said via press release. “I qualified for the $10,300 buy-in WPT World Online Championship Main Event starting from a $109 satellite and you can do it too. These satellites give so many more players the chance to play in this huge event, as they allow lots of opportunities to qualify from lower buy-ins. Good luck everyone and I hope to see you there.”
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WPT World Online Championships Main Event Details
- Micro Main Event: $1 million guaranteed. $109 buy-in. Satellite from $3.
- Mini Main Event: $5 million guaranteed. $1,050 buy-in. Satellite from $33.
- Main Event : $10 million guaranteed. $10,300 buy-in. Satellite from $109.
Brazilian poker pro Joao Simao, who is also part of Team partypoker, told pokerfuse how he was looking forward to playing the upcoming $10 million guaranteed Main Event.
“The WPT World Championship Online Main Event is always very special and I can’t wait for that. The mega satellites that will be running for this are events to look out for, as they will be giving so many opportunities to qualify for much less,” Simao told pokerfuse.
Partypoker is streaming side event coverage on their Twitch channel four times a week. The online poker operator has also partnered with ShareHand to “provide an experience as close as possible to watching a live series, while ensuring the core elements of online poker are not impacted”.
Party Poker Live Stream
Live streams are available on partypoker’s Twitch channel, their website and social media, including YouTube and Facebook.
Party Poker Live Events
The WOC is currently underway on partypoker and concludes on September 16, having been extended by a week.