• WPT Main Tour Schedule 2024
  • WPT Prime Schedule 2024
  • WPT Online Qualifiers
  • WPT Season XXI Championship Event Winners
  • History of the WPT
  • WPT Business
  • WPT Television & Streaming
  • WPT Winners
  • WPT Player of the Year
  • WPT Champions Cup & Champions Club
When poker boomed during the early 2000s, the World Poker Tour (WPT) was in its infancy and became instrumental in helping to grow No Limit Hold’em and find its audience. More than two decades later the WPT is still one of the biggest things on the live poker landscape and has been there throughout the highs and lows of recent years. The WPT is not only one of the largest live poker event operators in the world, it has also expanded into other related areas, such as streaming of cash games, TV production and more recently online poker, via WPTGlobal and ClubWPT.

While WPT has run tours using several different event brands over the years, such as WPT Deepstack and WPT 500, it is now focused on two main properties: the main WPT and the lower-priced WPT Prime Tour.

The main WPT Tour features 8-10 festivals per year, each with several side events, live satellites and a main event buy-in ranging from $3,000-$10,000. Most events are held in North America, however the WPT also flies its flag overseas, with an event in Australia in 2023, while the opening event of the 2024 season is in Cambodia. 

The WPT Prime Tour, with 10-12 stops per year, is a mid-stakes tour with main event buy-ins in the region of $1,000.  Most of the WPT Prime events take place in Europe and Asia.

On occasion these tours combine, with both WPT Prime and WPT Main Tour main events taking place within a single festival, such as at the pre-Christmas WPT World Championship, at Wynn Las Vegas. 

A few times a year super high stakes WPT Alpha events also take place, with buy-ins ranging from a mere $25,000 to a somewhat mouthwatering $100,000!

WPT Main Tour Schedule 2024

 Highlights of the first half of the season include the inaugural WPT Cambodia, which nicely kicks off the year. The hotly anticipated WPT Voyage, also on its maiden cruise, sets sail from Miami at the end of March for poker with a Caribbean flavour, including stops in the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas during its week long trip. Both WPT Main Tour and WPT Prime events will take place during the cruise, with a varied side event schedule that looks to cater for low rollers, high rollers and everyone else in between. 

There are also WPT main tour stops in California, Florida  and Oklahoma during the first half of 2024, with the tour returning to favourite venues Thunder Valley Casino Resort (California), the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Florida) and the Choctaw Casino & Resort (Oklahoma).

The second half of the WPT Season XXII is equaly as packed as the first, with Montreal returning to the main tour for the first time in five years, with further international stops in Macau and Australia. The season concludes with two WPT Championships in Florida, at bestbet Scrambe in Jacksonville before a second event of the season at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The WPT World Championship is as yet unannounced, but presumed to be taking place once again in December at Wynn Las Vegas, where Daniel Sepiol will be the defending champion.

EventFestival DatesMain Event DatesLocation
WPT Cambodia ChampionshipJanuary 17-30January 25-29NagaWorld Integrated Resort, Phnom Penh
WPT Rolling Thunder ChampionshipMarch 7-26March 23-26Thunder Valley Casino Resort (California)
WPT KoreaMarch 25 - April 3March 28 - April 2Jeju Shinhwa World, South Korea
WPT Voyage ChampionshipMarch 31-April 6April 1-3Virgin Voyages Valiant lady
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker ChampionshipApril 3-23April 19-23Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood (Florida)
WPT Choctaw ChampionshipApril 17-May 6May 3-6Choctaw Casino & Resort (Oklahoma)
WPT Montreal ChampionshipMay 9 - 22May 16-22Playground, Montreal, Canada
WPT MacauJune 18-24June 18-24Wynn Palace, Macau, China
WPT AustraliaSept. 12-25Sept. 12-25The Star Gold Coast, Australia
WPT bestbet ScrambleOct. 31-Nov. 19Oct. 31-Nov. 19bestbet Jacksonville, Florida
WPT Seminole Hard RockNov. 20-Dec. 4Nov. 20-Dec. 4Seminole Hard Rock, Florida

WPT Prime Schedule 2024

The WPT also offers some other tours that feature lower buy-ins but still generate nice fields and payouts. WPT Prime is the tour’s mid-major tour and features lower buy-ins in the $1,000 range and hosts events around the world. Most final tables are usually streamed live.

EventFestival DatesMain Event DatesLocation
WPT Prime Aix-en-ProvenceJan 26-Feb 5Feb 1-5Pasino Grand, Aix-en-Provence
WPT Prime AmsterdamMarch 15-23March 17-22Holland Casino, Amsterdam
WPT Voyage ChampionshipMarch 31-April 6April 1-4Virgin Voyages Valiant lady
WPT Prime SlovakiaApril 5-15April 10-15Card Casino, Bratislava
WPT Prime Gold CoastApril 10-23April 18-23The Star, Gold Coast
WPT Prime Montreal ChampionshipMay 9 - 22May 12-21Playground, Montreal, Canada
WPT Prime SanremoMay 31-June 10June 6-10Casino di Sanremo
WPT Prime TaiwanAug. 6-19Aug. 6-19Asia Poker Arena, Taipei, Taiwan
WPT Prime UKSept. 11-16Sept. 11-16Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham, UK
WPT Prime LiechtensteinSept. 18-30Sept. 18-30Grand Casino LI AG, Liechtenstein
WPT Prime ParisOct. 14-27Oct. 14-27Club Circus Paris, France

WPT Online Qualifiers

The WPT has ramped up online qualifying opportunities in recent years. For several years, players at the WPT’s subscription poker site, ClubWPT, have been able to win seats for Main Tour and Prime tournaments. These prizes include complete tournament packages and winners are usually given a complete VIP experience.  The tour had also partnered with a variety of other online poker operators (such as Party Poker) for live and online events. That changed in 2021 with the launch of WPT Global, the tour’s own online poker brand. 

WPT Global offers a wide range of online tournaments and cash games, with liquidity growing steadily. WPT Global also regularly offers online qualifiers (satellites) to Main Tour and Prime events all around the world. Players can turn a small buy-in into a real poker dream come true. Look for these qualifiers throughout the year as major live tournaments approach. Packages to WPT poker events typically also include a stipend to cover travel and hotel costs. Online qualifiers are very well looked after at WPT events, including excursions and activities, free merchandise & apparel and player parties with chance to meet WPT ambassadors and other players.

Players on WPT Global can participate in online satellites to most WPT events, including 2024’s WPT Voyage, a full ship takeover taking place in April with Virgin Cruises. The site also offers frequent player promotions and online tournament series. Read the full WPT Global review for more info and details of how to claim a generous account opening offer.

WPT Season XXI Championship Event Winners

Championship EventChampionEntriesPrize Pool1st Place
WPT Rolling Thunder, LincolnScott Eskenazi590$1,888,000$361,660
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, HollywoodBin Weng2,290$7,328,000$1,128,250
WPT Choctaw, DurantJared Jafree612$2,131,600$400,740
WPT Gardens, Los AngelesKy Nguyen346$1,678,100$357,380
WPT Australia, Gold CoastRichard Lee600A$4,474,890A$854,8890
WPT bestbet Scramble, JacksonvilleFrederic Normand365$1,660,750$351,650
WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open, HollywoodIstvan Briski1,447$4,630,400$647,300
WPT World Championship at Wynn Las VegasDaniel Sepiol3,835$10,000,000$5,282,954

History of the WPT

After some initial forays into televised poker in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s, attorney and television producer Steven Lipscomb believed the game could be elevated even more. Along with poker player and businessman Lyle Berman, they launched the WPT in 2002.

They envisioned poker fans at home being taken on a tour of some of the biggest tournaments from exotic casinos around the world. Viewers could not only see players gambling for huge sums of money, but also how they played their cards. The “hole card camera” gave those at home an inside look into the betting and bluffing action for the first time.

When the show debuted on the Travel Channel in 2003, the cameras featured the final table of the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic with players putting up $10,000 to compete. That first event created a poker superstar with Danish poker pro Gus Hansen taking the title for $556,460.

Success was instant and the show became a hit with viewers, quickly becoming the highest-rated show on the Travel Channel. With online poker also becoming more popular, the poker boom began in earnest with poker fans across the country now heading to casinos to compete in tournaments.

The WPT featured top-notch production with poker pro Mike Sexton and actor and poker player Vince Van Patten providing commentary for every episode. The show helped vault No Limit Texas Hold’em into the No. 1 position among poker variants with players bringing the action to their home games and playing even more online.

Hansen became the tour’s golden boy in that first season, seemingly playing any two cards and winning a second title. In February, he took down the $10,000 L.A. Poker Classic for $532,490. Howard Lederer also won two events during that first season. 

Season 2 saw Hansen win yet again and several top payouts reach more than $1 million. In the coming years, the tour would help create some poker stars like Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier, Jonathan Little, Anthony Zinno, Brian Altman, Darren Elias, and more.

The WPT now runs tournaments throughout the world and is seen in 150 countries. In 2017, the tour officially reached the billion-dollar mark in prize money paid out.

WPT Business

As the popularity of poker continued to grow in the 2000s, the WPT also continued to grow. In 2009, PartyGaming (owner of PartyPoker) purchased the company for $12.3 million. PartyPoker was a regular advertiser on the show and owning the property allowed for some synergy between the two companies.

In 2015, Ourgame International purchased the WPT for $35 million. This came after Ourgame began licensing the brand throughout Asia. The company was once again sold in 2021 to Element Partners for $105 million.

Through the years, the WPT partnered with numerous online poker brands. That has included PartyPoker as well as 888poker and others. The company launched its own subscription poker site called ClubWPT in 2008. The site offers more than $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs each month. Users can also qin online qualifiers via ClubWPT to live tour events.

In 2021, new owner Element Partners delved even further into online poker by launching WPT Global, the tour’s own online poker brand. The platform is available around the world (excluding players in the United States) and offers a range of tournaments, cash games, and more.

Players can also qualify for live WPT events and earn complete tournament packages. The tour ramped this up even more in 2022 with the launch of the revamped WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas. ClubWPT and WPT Global sent more than 50 online qualifiers to the event.

WPT Television & Streaming

The WPT aired for five seasons on the Travel Channel for five seasons. The company then signed a deal with GSN (Game Show Network) for the sixth season before moving on to FOX Sports regional networks where it has remained for years, with the channels now known as Bally Sports.

When PartyPoker owned the company, some events were also held in Europe under the Party banner. The company has continued to expand in recent years. In 2019, WPT BT Sport began broadcasting the tour in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The same year the WPT announced a deal with TV Azteca, which givs the tour a major broadcast footprint in Mexico and Latin America. Poker pro Angel Guillen serves as the Spanish commentator.

After Mike Sexton’s death in 2020, Tony Dunst stepped into the commentary booth with longtime commentator Vince Van Patten. Dunst previously hosted the Raw Deal segment on the show and Phil Hellmuth was brought in to take over that portion of the show.

Lynn Gilmartin has served as the anchor and host of the show since 2013 after several years hosting poker content such as the Aussie Millions, World Series of Poker Asia Pacific, and more.

In recent years, the WPT has expanded the reach of its television product even more. The site has added significant syndication and also OTT (Over the Top) viewership through deals with streaming services like PlutoTV (where the tour has its own channel), SamsungTV, Xumo, and more.

WPT Winners

When it comes to champions, the WPT has seen some of the biggest names in poker grab a title. Form that first season in 2002-03, the tour has seen some amazon poker stars rise to the top. Here’s a look at a few of the tour’s biggest names.

Gus Hansen

The first season saw Hansen become one of the major phases of the tour. “The Great Dane” kicked the tour off by winning the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic for $556,460. He followed that up in the same season by winning the L.A. Poker Classic for $507,190. He grabbed a third win in the Caribbean Poker Adventure in the second season as well for $455,780. Hansen remains a well-regarded pro who regularly mixes it up in high-stakes Vegas cash games. Despite not playing many WPT events since 2008, Hansen remains among the top 15 players on the WPT all-time money list with $4.1 million.

Daniel Negreanu

Now seen as one of the biggest names in poker, Negreanu’s affable personality and table talk also came with some major poker skills. After already winning three World Series of Poker bracelets in 1998 and 2003, the Toronto native really burst on the WPT scene in 2003 with two wins in Season III after already chalking up a runner-up and third-place finish. The first win came in Borgata Poker Open in September 2004, scoring $1.1 million. In December of the same year, Negreanu added another title at theFive Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.8 million. The wins helped him secure player of the year honors. Negreanu now also has six WSOP bracelets and remains a force in the industry. On the WPT, Negreanu sits second on the all-time money list with $6.6 million.

Carlos Mortensen

This Ecuadorian poker star has scored some massive wins in his WPT career and sits at the top of the tour’s all-time money list with $6.7 million. Mortensen’s first win came in 2001 when he took down the WSOP $10,000 Main Event for $1.5 million. The WPT also proved to be a great environment for Mortensen as well and he won the North American Poker Championship in 2004 for $1 million. He followed that up in 2007 by taking the title at the WPT World CHampionship for almost a $4 million win. Another win came in 2010 with Mortensen again victorious at the Hollywood Poker Open for $393,820. He has numerous other big finished on the tour and remains  

Michael Mizrachi

“The Grinder” is a two-time WPT champion with $5.2 million in tour winnings. Mizrachi is one of the most respected players in poker and his first WPT win came in 2005, scoring a victory in the L.A. Poker Classic for $1.9 million. A year later he also won the Borgata Poker Open for $1.2 million. THat came right after a runner-up finish at the World Poker Open for $566,352. Mizrachi is still very much an active player and also has five WSOP bracelets including winning the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship a record three times (2010, 2012, 2018).

Phil Ivey

As one of the biggest names in poker, Ivey has won on numerous major poker stages including the WPT. After seven final table appearances in the tour’s early days, the New Jersey native finally broke through with a win in 2008 with a win at the L.A. Poker Classic for $1.6 million. In 2021, Ivey added his second WPT title in a 32-player invitational event, the WPT Heads-up Championship. The event featured a $25,000 buy-in and was played online at Poker King. He took home $400,000 for the title. Ivey has some huge finishes and was named a WPT ambassador in 2022. Beyond the WPT, Ivey also has 10 WSOP bracelets and remains a major force at the poker table.

Scotty Nguyen

This former dealer originally from Vietnam lived the dream of many poker players when he won the WSOP Main EVent in 1998 for $1 million. Beyond that, he also has four other WSOP bracelets, including winning the $50,000 HORSE World Championship in 2008 for almost $2 million. On the WPT, Nguyen also has a stellar record and won the $10,200 Aruba Classic in 2006 for $969,421. He has numerous other deep runs on the tour as well including four final table appearances.

Doyle Brunson

The 10-time WSOP bracelet winner and  poker legend still holds the record as the oldest person to ever win a WPT title. In August 2004, the Texan had been on a rough streak and was on the verge of his first losing year after 50 years of playing poker full time. At age 71, Brunson was concerned that his skills might not be enough anymore. That certainly changed with a win at the L.A. Poker Classic for $1.2 million. He has a total of three final table appearances on the tour and was announced as a WPT ambassador in 2022.

Darren Elias

Phil Hellmuth may have the record for most WSOP bracelets, but it’s this New Jersey-based poker pro who has the record for most WPT titles. That started in 2014 when he won back-to-back titles. The first came in September at the Borgata Poker Open, scoring $843,744. Only about a month later, ELias won the WPT Caribbean in Sint Maarten for $127,680. In 2017 he won the Fallsview Poker Classic for $335,436. Elias grabbed the title in the Bobby Baldwin Classic a year later in Las Vegas at the Aria for $387,580. A force on the tour, Elias now holds the tour record for most final table appearances (13) and most cashes (47), and is also fifth on the all-time WPT money list. The four-time champion also serves as brand ambassador for BetMGM Poker.

Anthony Zinno

This three-time WPT winner originally from Rhode Island has $3.2 million in tour winnings. His first title came in 2013 at the Borgata Poker Open, winning $825,099. That was followed in 2015 with consecutive wins at the Fallsview Poker Classic for $302,235and L.A. Poker Classic for $1 million. That earned Zinno player of the year honors. He also has a total of seven final table appearances and four WSOP bracelets on his poker record.

Biran Altman

After winning the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in 2015 for $723,008, Altman then grabbed two more titles in 2020. That included winning the Lucky Hearts again for $482,636 and then coming out on top at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa for $613,225. The poker pro originally from Massachusetts also scored two third-place finishes during the drawn-out pandemic season and earned player of the year honors. In total, Altman has eight final table appearances and 34 tour cashes.

Chino Rheem

This player from Los Angeles has quite a poker record. In 2008, Rheem finished seventh place in the WSOP Main Event for $1.8 million. He’s also shined on the WPT and is a member of the three-time winner club. That began in 2008 by winning the Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.5 million. He grabbed another seven-figure title in 2013 by winning the WPT World Championship for almost $1.2 million. In 2016, Rheen also won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale for $705,885. He also has two other final table appearances.

Eri Afriat

This is the final member of the WPT three-time winner club and isn’t a full-time player like the others listed here. The Canadian businessman brings plenty of poker skills, however, and won his first WPT title in 2014 at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1.1 million. He struck again at the Borgata Winter Poker Open in 2018 for $651,928. Two years later he won the Fallsview Poker Classic for $394,120. Afriat now has seven final table appearances and 23 final table appearances.

WPT Player of the Year

The tour has featured a Player of the Year race since the first season. The award has become quite a coveted title among regular players on the tour and includes some of the bigger names in poker.

The winner scores a $15,000 WPT Passport, which can be used to buy into tour events. The second-place finisher earns a $10,000 WPT Passport and third place rewards a $5,000 Passport. Here’s a look at all the grinders who have earned Player of the Year Honors.
SeasonYearsWinnerCountryTotal Wins
12002-2003Howard LedererUSA2
22003-2004Erick LindgrenUSA2
32004-2005Daniel NegreanuCanada2
42005-2006Gavin SmithCanada1
52006-2007J.C. TranVietnam1
62007-08Jonathan LittleUSA1
72008-09Bertrand GrospellierFrance1
82009-10Faraz JakaUSA0
92010-11Andy FrankenbergerUSA1
102011-12Joe SerockUSA0
112012-13Matthew SalsbergCanada1
122013-14Mukul PahujaUSA0
132014-15Anthony ZinnoUSA2
142015-16Mike ShariatiUSA1
152016-17Benjamin ZamaniUSA0
162017-18Art PapazyanUSA2
172018-19Erkut YilmazUSA2
182019-21Brian AltmanUSA1
192021Jake FerroUSA1
202022Chad EveslageUSA1
212023Bin WengUSA1

WPT Champions Cup & Champions Club

The tour has seen major growth in recent years, with some of the biggest names in the game being added to the tour’s Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

The Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup is the official tour trophy and can be seen on display at each event. The trophy was named after the longtime tour commentator, who passed away in 2020 and is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame. Known as the “ambassador of poker,” Sexton embodied the tour and was also a key figure in the early days of online poker as a co-founder of PartyPoker.

All winners see their names engraved on the cup, similar to the Stanley Cup in hockey. Each winner is also awarded a miniature version of the trophy. The group of players who have won a title are often referred to as members of the WPT Champions Club.