Somuchpoker is in Las Vegas, Nevada this week to bring you the action at ARIA Resort and Casino where the World Poker Tour has taken over the poker scene since the month began. The tour’s Season XVI games, which began in Beijing a year ago, will conclude with the highly anticipated WPT Tournament of Champions taking place from May 24 – 26 with the final table playing out at the grandiose Esports Arena inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
Pete Chen among the WPT Tournament of Champions contenders
The WPT Season XVI saw a total of 18 players rise as champions with each player winning their ticket to the tour’s finale event, the WPT Tournament of Champions. The first winner to start the list was Taiwan’s Pete Yen Han Chen after he overcame a field of 400 players at the WPT Beijing. This was a huge achievement for Chen who captured his first major title and his first-ever six-digit payout worth US$299,485.
For his victory, he etched his name into the WPT champions cup, the first player to do so for the season. As Asia’s only representative to this prestigious event, Chen told WPT.com
“Being able to compete with the best poker players from the world in this big buy-in event should be a very good opportunity to study and exchange ideas”
This will truly be a unique opportunity for Chen who will be competing against other champions for the first time in his career. No matter how he places, Chen is already guaranteed to receive special honors as the Hublot WPT Asia Player of the Year with the awarding taking place during the opening ceremony of the event.
WPT Tournament of Champions US$300,000 added value
The WPT Tournament of Champions is on its third year and this time the WPT has beefed up the prizes with an astounding US$300,000 in added value. If the past two years saw the champions speed off with a nice ride, this year definitely brings much more to the table starting with a pad up of US$100,000 in cash to the prize pool.
If that doesn’t get every champion scrambling for the felt, how about the added prize to the eventual winner who will receive US$50,000 in cash, one of the finest Swiss Hublot watches, plus a JetSmarter membership worth US$50,000 of traveling around the world in a private jet. Now that’s pure luxury.
All of the participants will also receive a gift bag worth US$1,000 and all champions opting to buy-in the US$15,000 are rake-free.
Phil Hellmuth and Kitty Kuo still in the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic
With the WPT TOC still to come, currently underway is the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic. This is the first tournament honoring the legendary poker player and casino mogul Bobby Baldwin. The event began on May 20 and will conclude on May 23. The winner will be the last player to win a seat worth US$15,000 to the upcoming WPT TOC. Several big names are still in such as Phil Hellmuth and Kitty Kuo with two-time WPT champion Jonathan Little entering Day 3 in the lead.
For Hellmuth and Kuo, both players are seeking their first major WPT title. Hellmuth got close at the WPT Legends of Poker back in July 2017 but fell in runner-up to two-time season winner Art Papazyan. Other players in the field are Stephen Chidwick (second-in-chips), Sam Panzica, Manig Loeser, Joe McKeehen, and Dietrich Fast.
The event saw a total of 162 entries with 20 left into Day 3. They will play down to the final six players. The final table will take place at the PokerGo Studio on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
Article by Tricia David