On Thursday, the North American leg of the World Poker Tour’s 10th season got underway with the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in southern California. Day 1A of the $3,500 buy-in main event attracted 322 players, and another 424 showed up for Day 1B. The six-handed final table is scheduled for Aug. 30, with an estimated $800k+ going to the winner.
The WPT bigwigs used the Legends platform to announce the revamped and expanded schedule for Season 10. Two new American stops are on the itinerary – Jacksonville, Florida this November and Philadelphia, PA sometime in 2012. Over in Europe, Malta will host the WPT beginning Sept. 20, Prague gets underway in December and an unspecified location in Ireland sometime next year.
Fox Sports Net will broadcast highlights of these events beginning early in 2012, but the WPT has added a (kinda) new wrinkle. Similar to this year’s World Series of Poker, WPT final table action will be aired live (with a slight delay) over worldpokertour.com, with hole cards visible, plus Ali Nejad and Tony Dunst providing poker insights and (presumably) lame attempts at humor.
Another change is the launch of Champions Club, membership in which can only be gained by taking down a WPT main event title (past winners will be grandfathered in). Champions Club members will receive VIP treatment at all WPT events as well as getting their names engraved on a shiny WPT Champions Cup, plus a smaller version to take home and display on their mantle (or the back of a closet, your pick). In other WPT bling news, the main event winners’ silver bracelets are out, while Tiffany and Co. silver WPT engraved card protectors are in. Too bad Lil Jon bought up all the Tiffany pimp cups during his last swing through town, cuz the WPT logo would have looked swellegant on one of those puppies.