The World Poker Tour (WPT), has become one of the highest ranking programs on cable TV, watched by tens of millions worldwide. It’s popularity increases year after year and shows no sign of falling back. It has certainly come a very long way since its initial airing on the Travel channel back in late 2002. That first series which started at the Bellagio casino in Las Vagas was watched by a select audience and didn’t really capture the imagination, but steadily through each series, more and more tinkering has developed the package to be a real TV experience.
By the time the seventh series began in 2008 it had switched to Fox Sports Net and by now the whole thing was so much slicker and had become a real must see, can’t miss TV gold. The technical advancements made each year, have allowed for the viewer to feel a real part of the game and with the lively commentary broadcast with typical extravagance, the event is now a real show. The greatest improvement is the specialist cameras which allow the watching public to know what the individual hole cards are, thus enabling them to get inside the heads of the players and analyse their strategies, plus highlighting the best and worst bluffers.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) features most, if not all of the leading professional players, but is also open to the general public, if they stump up the hefty entry fee. This option is taken up by many would be champions; often they’ll believe they have the ability to mix it with the big boys, but usually come unstuck early on. Others simply play for the experience, it certainly is something to tell the grandchildren, though no doubt the stories will get stretched to have them beaten in the final round by a royal flush!
Series 9 has just began and will continue right through to March 2011. The duration of each tournament in different locations range between 5 and 7 days, and will visit along the journey such glamorous places as Paris, Barcelona, Las Vagas, LA, Atlantic City and London. Previous series have been to Niagara Falls, plus other European destinations including Venice, Bucharest, Bratislava, Cyprus and the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.
The prize pools at these tournaments can be anything ranging between $500,000 and $7 million. Usually the winner takes home around a third of the money available. The season 5 winner Juasn Carlos Mortensen remains the holder of the record for highest aggregate in the WPT with a staggering $3,970,415. He is joint top with Gus Hansen for number of titles, both having triumphed 3 times each. He also sits at the top of the all time career earnings table, having won over $5.75 million, just ahead of Daniel Negreanu who is around $250,000 behind. Mortensen is a popular player on and off the table and keeps viewers entertained with his peculiar stacking patterns, some of which take more concentration than the hand itself!