Year-End Bonus as WPT World Championship Sees An Overlay; Wai Kiat Lee, James Chen, Masato Yokosawa, Kitty Kuo, David Erquiaga among 480 ITM Day 3 players


The WPT World Championship set out with an ambitious guarantee of 40 Million USD, and nearly got there. Needing 4,081 entries, the biggest year end event pulled in a respectable 3,835 entries. This meant a sweet year-end bonus for players in the money with an overlay of $2.4 Million and the champion marked to win a life-changing $5,678,000. Despite not meeting the magic number to backstop the ambitious stakes, WPT CEO, Adam Pliska remained optimistic,

“We are growing this franchise and we want to make this something that lasts for many, many years.” Pliska added, “The $40 million guarantee is our way of making a truly stretch goal and to say that we are committed. We’re not going any place. We’re building this up. We’re going to continue to make positive changes.”


The CEO remains focused on his vision for the World Poker Tour and its partnership with Wynn Las Vegas: to be the tournament not to be missed. Some observers have pointed out though that WPT was too ambitious with its guarantee given that players were scattered in tournaments in Prague (European Poker Tour) and in the Bahamas with the World Series of Poker.


Still, the players and the tournament crowd liked what they were seeing with some sharing praises on social media. On X, Professional Poker player and TV Host Maria Ho posted,

“The WPT continues to raise the bar, and your careful consideration and understanding of what the players want from their experience makes you a premier brand in poker. The community is lucky to have you at the helm of this brand, and you are so appreciated and respected!”

Another player, David Lapin adds, “Kudos for putting skin in the game. The poker community massively appreciate what WPT are doing.” 

Day 2 Ends with Money Bubble Bursting

As planned, Day 2 ended with Tyler Hirschfield eliminated on the stone cold bubble in 481st place. Dealing the harsh blow was Italy’s Alesandro Sienna who bagged up the chip lead. The remaining 480 players are now all guaranteed a minimum prize money of $18,700 each.

Notables into Day 3

Brad Owen

The hunt continues with 480 players entering Day 3. A long list of notable players are among the contenders: defending champion Eliot Hudon, WSOP Main Event Champions Hossein Ensan (2019) and Joe Hachem (2005), 10 Golden Bracelet owner Erik Seidel, Professional Poker couple Alex and Kristen Foxen, WPT Ambassadors Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme, WPT Commentator Tony Dunst, Darren Eilas, David Peters, and American actress / recreational player Arden Cho among others.

52858813748 2429ea3868 k
Wai Kiat Lee

A strong Asian representation was seen throughout the early stages with a lineup of decorated pros still in the field namely, Malaysia’s Wai Kiat Lee, Taiwan’s James Chen and Kitty Kuo, Masato Yokosawa, and WPT Prime Cambodia champion David Erquiaga.

It’s anybody’s game with the overlay making the path to the first place finish of $5,678,000 just a little more easy plus all six players at the final table going home with seven-figure winnings. A Wynn-win solution for WPT and Poker? One thing’s for sure, it will be the season to be jolly for the remaining 480.

Sign up to WPT Global – softest fields!

wpt global 2

Did you know that WPT brand launched WPT Global? WPT Global is one of the fastest growing rooms, has a soft field, and offers action in every limit.

Read our WPT Global review or register here:

Or contact us for any questions.

*Article by Mike Alcazaren 

Avatar photo

Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Special EmailTwitterFacebookFlickrYouTube