WPT World Championship crushing it in Las Vegas, amasses over $10M at Prime Championship; World Championship $40M guarantee gets ready to takeoff


The World Poker Tour’s biggest year-end bash is in full swing at Wynn Las Vegas! Kicking off on November 29, 2023, the WPT World Championship has far exceeded expectations with massive turnouts and through-the-roof prize pools.

For the past five days, the spotlight shined on the highly popular WPT Prime Championship. Last year, this event guaranteed $2M and closed with a $5.2M prize pool. This year, the guarantee was bumped up to a confident $5 Million and once again it outshined. Its immense appeal drew a staggering field of 10,512 runners and generated a prize pool of $10,196,640 – that’s more than double the guarantee!

While the event is still several days from crowning, a couple of things are for certain, the eventual champion is guaranteed to pocket a seven figure payout of $1,386,280 (inclusive of a seat worth $10,400 to the 2024 WPT World Championship). This is over $300K more than last year’s top prize won by Stephen Song. A new champion will also be crowned with Song failing to advance.


Across the four entry days, there was no lack of high profile players that included Asia and Pacific players: Australia’s Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Crown Poker Club‘s Tobias Bui, and a large group of Taiwanese players.

Entering Day 2, the tournament floor was packed with 1,309 returnees all of them in the money. While China’s Weiyi Zhang brought in one of the biggest stacks of 100+ bb, he was nowhere to be found at the end of day. Other notable ITM players falling were WPT Prime Cambodia champion Reiji Kono, WPT Cambodia champion Brian Tougias, Taiwanese players Kitty Kuo, Shih Hsu Lei, Filipinos Florencio Campomanes, Czardy Rivera, Lester Edoc, Moses Saquing, India’s Sahil Agarwal, Sumit Sapra, Japan’s Mikiya Kudo, Viet-Am’s Duy Ho, Korea’s Seung Ho Lee, and China’s Qiang Xu.

Valeriy Pak

On the bright side, Uzbekistan’s Valeriy Pak closed the day with a very strong stack of 102 bb. He will enter Day 3 ranked second in chips. Australia’s Pham Nguyen also advanced with 41 bb. Only 128 players remain led by USA’s two time WSOP bracelet winner Calvin Anderson with 108 bb.

Calvin Anderson

Brief look back at WPT Prime

In 2022, in celebration of the WPT’s 20th year in the industry, the brand debuted its new Prime format at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam. From there, WPT went on to host four more Prime events – Gold Coast, Cambodia, Madrid, Taiwan – before the year ended.


This year, the WPT Prime events expanded to 12 stops. Several stops drew over 1000 entries with WPT Prime Liechtenstein earning the highest honors for its 1,644 entry field and SFr 1,644,000 (~$1,851,900) prize pool. In addition, the new WPT Prime trophy was revealed in Vietnam.

WPT World Championship $40 Million guaranteed begins!


After two weeks of pre-games, the highly awaited WPT World Championship takes center stage. Last year, there was some doubt on whether this event would meet its $15 Million guarantee. That was all quashed by the 2,960 entrants and the $29,008,000 prize pool.

Like the Prime Championship, WPT has upped this year’s offering, announcing an ambitious $40 Million guarantee… that’s $11 Million more than last year’s result. When the guarantee was first announced in a press release, WPT CEO, Adam Pliska said,

“The WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas is poised to reach new heights and we wanted to match that expectation with a guarantee that no live poker tournament has ever seen before. The journey to December begins now, and we plan on giving players another unforgettable experience at Wynn Las Vegas.”

Ethan Yau

With the festival’s daily attendance consistently on the rise since takeoff, expectations are high to once again deliver the biggest and richest year-ender. Many of the world’s elite have already been spotted at the tables. Players to expect are the WPT Ambassadors Brad Owen, Andrew Neeme, Ethan Yau, Jonathan Van Fleet, and of course well known personalities Bin Weng, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Joe McKeehen, Huck Seed, and Joe Hachem to name a few.

To enter the biggest event of the year, there are four Day 1 heats offered from December 12 to December 15, 2023. Buy in is $10,400. This is followed by five scheduled days – December 16 to 20 – to reach a champion. Starting stack is 100,000 which is 500 times the opening blinds Day 1 levels go up every 60 minutes. The next stages will see 90 minute levels.

For the complete WPT World Championship schedule, click here.

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*All photos by WPT 

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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.

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