What is WPT?

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The World Poker Tour or WPT is a organization that holds several Texas Hold em Poker tournaments across the world. It is held at casinos and card rooms alike, usually taking 1-2 days to complete. The WPT was founded in United States by Steven Lipscomb who was an attorney turned television producer. He now serves as CEO of WPT Enterprises, the organization that controls the WPT.

The first season of the WPT aired on the Travel Channel in 2003 and included 13 events and culminated with the WPT championship where Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest and Doyle Brunson reached the final table, but fellow pro Alan Goehring took down the million dollar first place $3,970,415 prize.

The WPT is in its sixth season where the number of participants in addition to the prize pools have increased tremendously. From thirteen tournaments in 02-03, to 21 in 07-08, the rise in popularity of Texas Hold Em definitely helped the WPT continued success and vice versa. The prize pools have ballooned as well, thanks to the increasing interest. In 2003 the first place prize for the L.A. Poker Classic was $532,490 dollars compared to the same tournament held in 2007 where the first place participant took home $2.42 million dollars.

Here is a list of the biggest tournament winners for each season since the WPT's inception.

Season 1: Gus Hansen- winning the LA Poker Classic and the Five Diamond World Poker Classic-$1,088,970
Season 2: Martin De Knijff- winning the WPT Championship- $2,728,356
Season 3: Tuan Le- winning the WPT Championship- $2,856,150
Season 4: Alan Goehring- winning the WPT Championship- $3,760,165
Season 5: Carlos Mortensen- winning the WPT Championship $3,970,415

The usual buy-in to these WPT tournaments is $10,000, and for the WPT championship its $25,000. Many players are able to enter the tournaments by winning satellites whose entry is a fraction of the original buy in. These are usually Sit N Go tournaments where the winner receives the entry fee for the WPT tournament.

In addition to the huge WPT prize pools, Player of the Year points are given out to the top 7 finishers in each tournament. The winner receives 1000 points, while the runner-up receives 700, 3rd place gets 600, and 7th place only receives 200 points. Past WPT POY has been pro/announcer Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Gavin Smith.

The announcers for the WPT for the duration that it has been on air have been Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten. Their commentary, although exuberant, are not able to be live because state gaming regulations prohibit them from observing a live feed of the "hole card cameras". Besides these two gentlemen, there have been very attractive WPT female hostesses over the past six seasons that included Shana Hiatt, Courtney Friel and most recently Kimberly

Lansing and Layla Kayleigh.

The WPT has had some controversy regarding the possibility of their organization violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Several players including professional poker pros, Chris Ferguson, Joe Hachem, and Howard Lederer accused the WPT's release forms to be able to play in their tournaments of being anti-competitive and interfering in their ability to have outside contracts with online poker rooms.

Currently, the WPT is being aired Mondays on the Game Show Network. Also the first three seasons are available on DVD. Reruns are also shown on cable TV.

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