A trio of tales from the World Poker Tour including contrasting fortunes at the recent WPT500 in Barcelona and a new content distribution deal with Unreel.
Back in August when the colour green hung from the limbs of trees, the morning sunshine quenched its thirst on the dewy grass, and an army of shorebirds followed the blueprint of life, partypoker Live cut a deal to partner with the World Poker Tour (WPT) for the next four years.
Part of that deal was a joint event in Europe’s most successful live tournament venue: The Casino Barcelona – a place that must lie at the end of all of poker’s rainbows.
But it seems with vast numbers comes a lack of attention to detail.
First up, the WPT500 and a barrage of people will be happy after turning €550 into a princely sum, with others visibly angry.
Good news and bad news, first the good.
Lukasz Fraczek, a 24-year-old Pole, took down the 2,763-entrant, €1,340,055 prize pool WPT500, after beating Federico Piroddi, heads-up, to bank the €215,000 first prize.
It was a life-changing win for Fraczek who had never won anything like this before, but winning is a familiar feeling after taking down two Maltese side events carrying similar buy-ins in the past few years.
“I was not the best player, heads-up. I got lucky.” Said Fraczek.
Humble to go with it.
From a numbers perspective, beating the €1m guarantee by €340,055 feels like an unmitigated success. But it seems not everything went to plan.
Dave Lappin, Unibet Ambassador, went to Twitter to vent his frustration at how the Casino Barcelona staff ran the WPT500. The Chip Race co-host made it clear that partypoker Live staff seemed to be doing the best they could, given the large field, but felt the Casino Barcelona staff were ‘inept and rude.’
Lappin also voiced concerns over the lack of communication around the management of the ‘Alternate List’ with players standing in line for many hours blissfully unaware of their plight. The decision to hold a Turbo leg at the start of Day 2 also angered Lappin, with 42% of turbo leg players progressing against 15% of non-turbo players. There was also a 45-minute delay to the start of Day 2, and a much later bubble period than previously anticipated affecting the way that Day 1 incumbents had played towards the end of the day, therefore changing the integrity of the game.
You can read Lappin’s thoughts, right here.
Thoughts on the issue of game integrity at @WPT Barcelona 500?
I want to stress that the @partypokerlive staff have been doing their utmost under pressure with huge numbers but I want to post this because I think getting rid of these turbo legs might be best. pic.twitter.com/e9QSs9fm6M
— 🃏David K Lappin🃏 (@dklappin) March 12, 2019
One man who likely doesn’t give two hoots about the way the Casino Barcelona staff treated him was Fraczek, who is now €215,000 the richer.
Final Table Results
1. Lukasz Fraczek – €215,000
2. Federico Piroddi – €145,000
3. Alberto Ah Line – €99,405
4. Josep Galindo – €75,000
5. Toni Lazo – €56,000
6. Raffaello Locatelli – €44,000
7. Sergey Petrushevskiy – €34,000
8. Paul Romero – €28,000
World Poker Tour Partner With Unreel
The WPT continues to send their brand flying as far and wide as the epic flight of the Monarchs after inking a new deal with the OTT (over-the-top) distribution giants Unreel.
The deal allows Unreel to show 250-hours of footage from 17-seasons of WPT Main Event Final Table coverage and the corpse of the once mighty WPT Alpha8.
You can tune into the action via the WatchWPT app, which is available in the App and Google Store. You can also tune into the action via Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and the WorldPokerTour.tv website.