The World Poker Tour (WPT) continue to ring the changes during Season XII, after the WPT President, Adam Pliska, announces that the $25,000 WPT Championships will not be held in The Bellagio for the first time in the tours history; and the Galaxy Gaming Group unveil plans to launch WPT Heads Up Hold’em at the G2E later this month.
The WPT and Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, have strengthened their bond after the WPT President, Adam Pliska, took to the mic at Day Two of the WPT Borgata Poker Open, to announce that it was going to be the new home for the Season XII $25,000 WPT Championships.
The event, due to be held in May 2014, is the climax of the WPT season, and it will be the first time since the WPT was formed, that The Bellagio would not be the venue of choice. Pliska also announced that the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open – scheduled for late January 2014 – would now become a televised event.
“We’re very pleased to name Borgata — now home to four of the five biggest tournaments in WPT history — the host of the Season XII WPT World Championship,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “With Borgata’s well-deserved reputation for running world-class tournaments and providing unparalleled service to its players, we believe this venue is perfectly suited to host our season-culminating event. We look forward to working with the team at Borgata to bring the WPT World Championship to new heights.”
In one sense the choice of The Bellagio was a perfect fit, because it gave the world’s top poker players a reason to head to Las Vegas slightly earlier, in preparation for their summer at the World Series of Poker (WSOP); and yet attendances have dwindled each year since Carlos Mortensen defeated a field of 639 players to take home $3,970,415 back in 2007.
Chino Rheem won the Season XI WPT Championship, and although he still picked up a seven figure score ($1,150,279), the field of 146-players was the smallest since the tour began in 2003. It’s dubious whether the venue is the reason players choose to stay away, and more likely that it’s the cost of $25,000 in a tough economic environment; but when it comes to large field sizes, the Borgata has never let the WPT down in the past. With bwin.party already locked into an online partnership with Boyd Gaming Corporation, and MGM Resorts International, this marriage makes perfect sense.
The WPT have also announced that PartyPoker will be the official sponsors of the Season XII WPT Championships.
“We are extremely pleased to be growing our long-standing relationship with the World Poker Tour and to be expanding our relationship with PartyPoker, especially as we look to launch Borgatapoker.com. Adding the WPT World Championship sponsored by PartyPoker is a welcome addition and an important new chapter in the history of this illustrious tournament.” Said Joe Lupo, Borgata Senior Vice President of Operations
Galaxy Gaming and the WPT Create WPT Heads Up Hold’Em
Galaxy Gaming and the WPT have collaborated to create a new table game that will be showcased at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) later this month. The game is called WPT Heads Up Hold’em, and the WPT team will be on hand at the expo to put their full weight behind the scheme, with the likes of Mike Sexton and the Royal Flush Girls set to make an appearance in Vegas.
“World Poker Tour and Galaxy Gaming are teaming up to provide an innovative and exciting product for the industry, and an in-demand game for millions of players all across the country and all around the world,” said Galaxy Gaming CEO Robert B. Saucier. “We know WPT Heads Up Hold ‘Em is a winner, and we couldn’t be more proud to join with an undisputed global leader like World Poker Tour to put this product in front of casinos and players alike.”
“We’re pleased to work with Galaxy Gaming to present an exciting new table game that is well-positioned to attract poker fans at every level, and everywhere it is played,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “WPT Heads Up Hold ‘Em is fast paced, quick to learn, and every player can win in a myriad of ways.”