By partnering with Wynn, World Poker Tour (WPT) promised a historic guarantee of $15 million. The poker operator and players started hyping the December 2022 event, creating high expectations. However, no one thought the two gambling operators could surpass their goal.
Wynn and WPT have announced some good news. The two expected to collect and reward $15 million. Interestingly, the prize pool has almost doubled.
This means that six finalists for the Main Event will earn over $1 million each. WPT planned its 20th anniversary for a while. In fact, the celebration started at the beginning of the year.
Among many events, the poker operator decided to host end-year tournaments to close the season.
WPT started by partnering with Wynn Las Vegas. This was the first time the two partnered, with Wynn providing WPT a home to the World Championship.
Planning a big season during a holiday season was a huge gamble. This is because poker players are likely spending the holidays with their families.
The series was also scheduled during the same period as the PokerStars European Poker Tour EPT Prague. This would reduce the number of European poker players that would ignore the poker event in Prague for the Las Vegas tournament.
Yet, WPT officials choose a guarantee of $15 million, which would be achieved from a buy-in of $10,000. This historic guarantee would have been acquired from buy-ins or overlay.
There were rumors that the WPT officials were going for a $20 million guarantee to match the 20th anniversary. But, top officials refused to set the bar that high considering many unknown factors.
Reaching for the Stars
Several months before December, WPT applied several strategies to meet its expectations. The poker operator worked with WPT Global, its online poker site, to award players with Main Event packages through satellites.
The online poker site used a different approach than usual. First, WPT Global asked poker content creators to play satellites and promote them. However, WPT Global cannot operate for real money in the U.S.
Yet, most poker content creators engaged in the promotion were based in America. As such, they had to give up their win if they won satellite events.
Instead, poker content creators could create other systems to award Main Event seats. Some launched contests, while others decided to go with a random drawing.
WPT also worked with the ClubWPT subscription site to give seats. These investments did not go to waste. Hundreds of players won seats in the $10,000 Main Event.
Achieving the Goal
WPT World Championship kicked off on December 1, starting with a meet-up game (MUG) featuring Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Steve Aoki, Joey Ingram, and MUG creators Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen.
The event was a success. There have been other events that were also a success. These include:
- $1,000 buy-in WPT Prime Championship (GTD $2 million): the event created a prize pool of $5,267,100 from 5,430 entries.
- $10,000 WPT WC Championship Main Event (GTD $15 million): The event attracted $2960 entries, generating a prize pool of $29,008,000.
Several live-streamed events include book signings, cash games, contests, and other activities. Attending players are having the best experience, including massages, snacks, video games, hot meals, and much more.