Live Poker Tournaments
Popular live poker tournaments broadcast on television on channels like ESPN and the Travel Channel are a major part of what pushed poker into the spotlight around 2003 to 2004, and they're also some of the main reasons why the online poker boom happened.
Below we look at some of the most popular poker tournament series out there. You can satellite into one of these events on the cheap on any of the major online poker sites.
|Series Name||Finals Location||Approximate Date||Main Event Buy-in|
|World Series of Poker||Las Vegas, Nevada, USA||May - July||$10,000|
|World Series of Poker Europe||Paris, France||October||€10,000|
|World Poker Tour||Various||All Year||$25,000|
|Asia Pacific Poker Tour||Sydney, Australia||All Year||AUD 6,300|
|Latin American Poker Tour||South America||All Year||$3,000*|
* The main event of the LAPT is a re-entry tournament which allows players extra entires for an additional buy-in if a player goes bust within the first several levels of play.
Anyone who knows anything about poker will know that the WSOP is the biggest stage of them all. This is a big event that spans multiple months in Las Vegas, and it's known as the center of the poker universe for good reason.
A Variety of Games
There are usually between 60 and 70 different events with buy-ins that range from $1,000 to a whopping $1,000,000. Most of the tournaments are no-limit hold'em events, but almost every type of poker that's even remotely popular is featured in one way or another. There are also a few very special events that happen at the WSOP each year including the following:
- The Big One for One Drop $1,000,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event with $111,111 of each entry going to charity.
- The Poker Players' Championship $50,000 buy-in tournament that consists of an eight-game rotation.
- Championship events for limit 2-7 triple draw, limit Omaha hi-lo, no-limit 2-7 single draw, razz, HORSE, pot-limit hold'em, short-handed no-limit hold'em, seven stud hi/lo, heads-up no-limit hold'em, limit hold'em, seven card stud, pot-limit Omaha, and no-limit hold'em with a $10,000 buy-in for each.
Each of the championship events are known as being the world championship for each particular game. The no-limit hold'em championship event is the main event of the entire World Series of Poker, and it typically pulls more than 6,000 players.
Update - CalvinAyre reports that ongoing the WSOPE will be merged with the WSOP-APAC (Asia Pacific), also held in October.
Each October, the WSOPE puts on between eight and 10 tournaments which all lead up to their own €10,000 main event. The player pools are fairly small with the main event usually getting between 350 and 400 entrants, but they're known as being full of big name professional players. Because of this, the WSOPE is a big favorite for watching on television. This series is ran by PokerStars.
Quality Over Quantity
While the standard WSOP is known for putting on a ton of events with thousands of players in most of the tournaments, the WSOPE is more about the quality of the events. Compared to the live tournament schedule in other series, the European extension of the World Series is not nearly as grueling, and it has a more formal atmosphere.
One interesting difference that makes the WSOPE stand out is that the age required to gamble in many European countries is 18 instead of 21 like it is in many other parts of the world. This led to Annette Obrestad becoming the youngest winner of a World Series bracelet when she won the main event of the 2007 edition the day before she turned 19 years old.
Known for being a program that helped to put poker on the map, all of the WPT events are televised with expert commentary. This helped to bring live poker tournaments strategy to the masses which made poker more popular than ever. This series is currently ran by PartyPoker.
Qualify for WPT events on PartyPoker. Qualifiers running 24 hours-a-day.
Wide Range of Locations
One thing that stands out about the WPT is that they have events in live poker rooms all over the world in a variety of awesome locations. To show you what we mean, here is a list of some of the events from the 2013-2014 season:
- A $4,400 buy-in event in Cyprus.
- A €7,500 buy-in event in Paris, France.
- A $3,600 buy-in event in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- A $3,850 buy-in event in Quebec, Canada.
- A $3,000 buy-in event in Jeju, South Korea.
- A €3,300 buy-in event in Prague, Czech Republic.
These events typically get between 300 and 500 people, many of which are professional players. This makes the fields particularly strong.
Founded in 2007 and sponsored by PokerStars, this tour typically features four or five events in somewhat exotic locations that really make them really special. There are typically events in major cities like Manila, Macao, Cebu and Seoul with the championship always being held in Sydney.
Bringing Poker to a New Audience
Something that the APPT has done is brought regulated poker tournaments to a number of places that did not have such formal events before. This has drastically increased the popularity of poker in certain parts of the world. The buy-ins are typically in local currencies that come out to being worth between $2,000 and $4,000. Professional players love to fly in to play against local favorites in these tournaments making for particularly strong fields.
In the same way that the APPT has brought more poker events to Asia and the Pacific, the LAPT has brought some major tournaments to Latin America and South America. There are typically five or six events in beautiful locations, and atypical destinations like the following have helped to make these events very popular in 2013:
- Vina del Mar saw 1,024 entrants with a $993,280 prize pool.
- Sao Paulo had a buy-in worth about $2,000 and 753 players for over $1 million in prizes.
- Columbia had 629 players come out with a $571,080 prize pool.
- The $2,500 Uruguay finals at the Mantra Resort and Casino had more than 500 players.
If you're a fan of high-quality live poker tournaments as a player or as a spectator, then you will absolutely love the LAPT events.