World Poker Tour
The development of the World Poker Tour has been widely credited as one of the key elements in the huge increase in the popularity of the game over the last five years. The WPT is a series of tournaments which climaxes with a main event. There are several elements that make the WPT appealing to the public, and we’ll take a look at them below.
All of the tournaments played on the WPT circuit are no limit Texas hold ‘em matches. Texas hold ‘em is by far the most popular variation of poker in the world today. There are a few reasons that this might be so. The first is that Texas hold ‘em is a fairly straightforward version of the game; it’s not complicated to learn, but it does not compromise as far as the skill level that is needed to play. Because it’s so popular, many people will watch hold ‘em tournaments on television in order to improve their own play.
Probably the biggest mark in the favor of the WPT as far as popularity goes is the fact that it was conceived and designed specifically for broadcast on television. There are other televised poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, but most are older than the WPT and weren’t designed with television as their main marketing tool.
The creator of the World Poker Tour took poker to a new level by recognizing that people wanted to watch not only for entertainment’s sake, but also to develop skills and strategies of their own. As a result, many innovations were included in the broadcast, such as the hole camera. This camera is placed in front of each player at the table, and it can show viewers which cards the players are holding. This, along with the commentating, makes it easier for those watching to understand strategy and apply it to their own game.
Of course, all this information wouldn’t be worth much if a viewer wasn’t watching some of the most skilled players in the game, so it is also great for poker fans to see some of the very best players in the world competing in the WPT year after year. The circuit includes a fixed amount of money for every match won, thus there are not only tournament champions but overall champions as well. Past winners include Daniel Negreanu, Howard Lederer, and JC Tran.
Not all the players on the WPT circuit are thrilled with the company; a recent lawsuit filed by several pro poker stars alleged that the agreement they had to sign in order to play on the tour conflicted with agreements they had with other companies. Joe Hachem and Annie Duke were in this group as well as first season champ Lederer.
Legal issues aside, the World Poker Tour offers a great opportunity for anyone interested in poker to see how the professionals play. With relatively low buy-ins, there is even the chance that a person viewing today could find themselves viewed tomorrow!