As border restrictions ease up and international tourists now welcome in many countries, it is full speed ahead for the World Poker Tour. Having recently released half of its Season XX live event schedule, the brand has just announced its newest tour experience, WPT Prime, which will first launch in Asia. In the announcement, Senior Director of Global Tour Management, Cathy Zhao stated,
“Our continued efforts to improve the WPT live tournament experience will benefit more players than ever during Season XX. 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.”
According to the release, WPT Prime offers all the perks of the brand’s Main Tour such as action clocks, trophies, and in-depth coverage, at more affordable buy-ins. In turn, this puts an end to the brand’s distinguished mid-major poker tour WPTDeepStacks with one of its final stops taking place in Sydney, Australia this April.
WPT Prime officially launches in Asia with Vietnam getting a first taste. This will be followed by stops in Cambodia and Taiwan. VP of Global Tour Management, Angelica Hael expressed,
“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. 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.”
Here’s a look at the upcoming WPT Prime schedule.
WPT Prime Vietnam
Through the years, WPT Vietnam festivals have been one of the most popular in the region, driving Main Event prize pools to as high as VN₫ 18+ Billion (~US$ 780K). The tour’s return this May marks its sixth ever visit to the country and second to the city of Hanoi. Players in attendance will be the first to experience everything WPT Prime has to offer. The twelve day event is highlighted by the first WPT Prime Main Event with buy in of VN₫ 25,000,000 (~US$ 1,100). For those looking to fly in for this event, Vietnam borders are expected to open for international tourists by mid-March.
Location: Crown Poker Club Hanoi
Dates: May 19 to 30
Main Event dates: May 26 to 30
Main Event buy in: VN₫ 25,000,000 (~US$ 1,100)
WPT Prime Cambodia
In November 2019, the WPT set foot at NagaWorld Integrated Resort, Phnom Penh for the first time. Players from all over the world poured in, amassing a WPT Asia Pacific Main Event record turnout of 750 entries. Following its huge success, a second edition was announced for July 2020 but due to the global health crisis it was postponed. With borders now open to travelers, the brand returns in mid-August with thirteen days of festivities highlighted by the US$ 1,100 Main Event.
Location: NagaWorld Integrated Resort, Phnom Penh
Dates: August 11 to 23
Main Event dates: August 18 to 22
Main Event buy in: US$ 1,100
WPT Prime Taiwan
One of Asia’s youngest and most vibrant markets is Taiwan. For most of the pandemic, Taiwan has kept its covid-19 cases fairly low allowing for live poker events to run nonstop. Amid the ongoing pandemic, the WPT staged its first event in Taipei on December 2020. A large crowd of locals attended for a shot at the first WPT titles on home soil. An impressive 526 turned up for the Main Event for a prize pool of nearly NT$ 6.8 Million (~US$ 274,300).
The brand returns in mid-November with the third ever WPT Prime festival to be held at the highly popular Chinese Texas Hold’em Association Taipei (CTP Club) card room. The eleven day series is headlined by the NT$ 30,000 buy in (~US$ 1,077) Main Event. Although border restrictions are still in place for international tourism, the brand hopes it will be lifted in time for this upcoming event.
Location: Chinese Texas Hold’em Association Taipei
Dates: November 11 to 21
Main Event dates: November 17 to 21
Main Event buy in: NT$ 30,000 (~US$ 1,077)
In addition to festival rewards, WPT Prime events will introduce Player of the Festival races with Main Events earning players points towards the WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. POF scoring system and prizes have yet to be revealed.