This week the World Poker Tour announced a new poker tournament offering: WPT Prime. According to the press release, WPT Prime will look to pair, “…the premier poker tournament experience of a WPT Main Tour stop with affordable buy-ins accessible to more players around the globe.” The first of three announced WPT Prime events, all of which are to take place in Asia, will kick off in Vietnam in late May.
The beginning of the WPT Prime era also marks the end of the WPTDeepStacks™ brand. The mid-major staple, which debuted in 2014, will host its final few tournaments in the next few months before the branding is officially retired.
The plan is for this lower buy-in offering to include the perks of the flagship WPT events, such as event coverage from the WPT online content team, trophies for event champions, and the action clocks which help keep up the pace of play.
The main events from upcoming WPT Prime stops will also count towards the tour’s Player of the Year leaderboard, which is set to award $30,000 in prizes this year.
“Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX,” said Cathy Zhao, Senior Director of Global Tour Management for the WPT. “_WPT Prime_ is the embodiment of our goal to provide the best possible poker tournament experience to players everywhere, and our strong relationships with our global partners will elevate the WPT experience around the world.”
In addition to WPT Prime’s announcement and the shuttering of WPTDeepStacks, the press release also revealed that all WPT tour stops moving forward in 2022 will feature a ‘Player of the Festival’ competition with an upcoming proprietary scoring system, with each winner to earn a trophy and other prizes.
The first WPT Prime event will be headlined a five-day main event tournament held at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 26-30. The tournament will feature a VND25,000,000 ($1,100 USD) buy-in.
Next up on the agenda is an event at NagaWorld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The tour is teaming up with Connaissance Management Group to host a series of tournaments, with the $1,100 USD main event running from Aug. 18-22.
The third WPT Prime event will be held at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP) in Taipei. The TWD30,000 ($1,077 USD) main event is scheduled for Nob. 17-21.
“In celebration of our 20-year anniversary, we are thrilled to be able to deliver the high-quality WPT Prime experience in the Asia Pacific region,” said VP of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael in the WPT’s press release. “As we announce more of our Season XX events around the world after a tumultuous period, we are absolutely delighted to be back in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Taiwan. Now that international borders are opening up, the incredible hospitality of Crown Poker Club, NagaWorld Integrated Resort and Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association will once again be on display for regional and global players.”
More WPT Prime events are expected to be announced soon.