World Poker Tour Running $2 Million GTD Tourney vs. WSOP

Dustin Gouker : April 7th, 2015

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For the second straight year, the World Poker Tour will run a low buy-in tournament in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker, with a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million this time around.

Once again, the tournament will feature a buy-in of just $565 and will take place at Aria in Las Vegas, but the prize pool will be doubled for this year. The tournament features ten different starting flights, with the first scheduled for May 31, and the last slated for July 5th. The second day, which combines the entire remaining field from the various starting flights, takes place on July 5th, while the final table takes the next day, on July 6th.

Here is the full schedule:

Day 1A, Sunday, May 31, noon
Day 1B, Monday, June 1, noon
Day 1C, Tuesday, June 2, noon
Day 1D, Saturday, June 6, noon
Day 1E, Sunday, June 7, noon
Day 1F, Monday, June 8, noon
Day 1G, Thursday, July 2, noon
Day 1H, Friday, July 3, noon
Day 1I, Saturday, July 4, noon
Day 1J (Turbo), Sunday, July 5, 8:00 am
Day 2, Sunday, July 5, 1:00 pm
Day 3, Final Table, Monday, July 6, noon

Last year, the event took place only in July and guaranteed $1 million. There were 3,599 entries in 2014, generating a prize pool of nearly $1.8 million.

WPT President Adam Pliska had this to say in a press release on the announcement:

“After experiencing great success last summer, we are proud to announce our return to Las Vegas for the partypoker presents: WPT500 at ARIA in Las Vegas. In order to create more value for the thousands of players who will flock to Sin City in the coming months, we have doubled the previous guarantee and scheduled more starting flights across three different weekends. In addition, we will be awarding at least one package a day in May on ClubWPT.com, creating more than 40 opportunities for players to win a Las Vegas experience and compete in this massive event.”

One re-entry is allowed for each starting day. Players can also enter multiple starting flights, and then carry their largest starting stack to day 2. According to the WPT, players advancing to day 2 will have made the money, with five percent of the flight remaining.

It will be interesting to see how the new format does and plays out. Obviously, for pros or even amateurs who are staying in Las Vegas for the duration of the WSOP — which starts on May 27th and runs through July 14th — the early dates would be doable. And if players have made the money, they are far more likely to plan the return trip for a chance to make the final table.

But one would imagine that the largest turnout would be for the July starting flights, which take place just prior to the starting flights for the WSOP’s $10,000 buy-in main event and around a $777 WSOP buy-in event. Last year, the prize was generated entirely from five starting flights in July. Players playing in the earlier flights might have the handicap of playing against smaller fields and encountering against larger chip stacks from later starting flights on day 2.

Here are some of the overlaps and the biggest potential conflicts for players with the WSOP schedule. The starting days were obviously designed to attract players who likely would have availability. July 4th appears to be the day that will have the largest starting field, as no WSOP events start that day.

May 31: Day 2 of the WSOP’s $565 Colossus event; day 1 of $1,000 Hyper Hold’em.
June 1: Day 3 of the $565 Colossus; day 2 of $1,000 Hyper Hold’em; start of $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em and $1,500 razz.
June 2: Day 2 of $1,500 events; start of $1,500 Limit Hold’em.
June 6: Second starting flight for Millionaire Maker $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (first starting flight on June 5).
June 7: Day 2 of Millionaire Maker; start of $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em, $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Handed.
June 8: Day 2 of $1K, $3K events; start of $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
July 2: Day 3 of $1,111 The Little One for One Drop; day two of $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em, start of $1,000 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em and $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better.
July 3: Start of $777 LUCKY SEVENS No-Limit Hold’em, day two of $1,500 stud.
July 4: Day 2 of $777 event; no events start.
July 5: First of three starting flights for the main event.

There are a variety of ways to satellite into the tournament:
– ClubWPT.com will host qualifiers every day in May.
–Online qualifiers will be held at partypoker.com, partypoker.net, and PartyPoker NJ, as well as at bwin and partypoker sites in Belgium, Denmark, France and Spain.
–Satellites will also take place in May, June and July at Aria.

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