The WPT, or the World Poker Tour, has announced plans to host its first online poker series via the PartyPoker platform. The announcement comes on the back of ongoing uncertainty surrounding the viability of traditional poker events due to the continuing COVID-19 outbreak and the effect it’s having on social distancing.
Millions Up for Grabs
The World Poker Tour Online Series is set to take place from May 10 to May 26 this year, featuring a guaranteed prize pool of some $7million (£5.6million) overall. The WPT Online Series is slated to comprise of the WPT Online Championship, the WPTDeepStacks and the WPT500.
Of the three, the main event is the WPT Online Championship which offers a prize fund of $5million, with a $3,200 buy-in for participants. This event runs right throughout the series, day one flights being available from May 10.
As well as the Online Championship, the WPT500 Online is due to take place between May 10 and May 18 with ten starting flights having been scheduled featuring a $1million guaranteed prize pot. The online series is due to be completed by the WPTDeepStacks Online, taking place between May 25 and May 26 with a further $1million prize fund.
Online Series is Breaking New Ground
After the announcement of the new online series, WPT chief executive Adam Pliska spoke out to inform players of his pride that WPT and PartyPoker, part of GVC, are now breaking new ground for both of their brands with this, the first ever WPT Online festival.
Pliska continued that he believes players from around the world will be looking forward to having the opportunity to play in World Poker Tournament events right from the comfort of their own homes, at all buy-in levels.
Allied to Pliska’s comments come those from the World Poker Tour’s European vice president, Hermance Blum, who stated that the $7million in guarantees for WPT events alone on PartyPoker is an exciting breakthrough for the partnership between the brands.
Furthermore, Blum says that WPT cannot wait to crown the first WPT Online Championship winner and see them in the scheduled World Poker Tournament of Champions which is to be presented by Baccarat Crystal no less.
Effects of Coronavirus on Poker Tournaments
The announcement of the first ever online tournaments by WPT comes at a time when both the sporting and gambling industries are struggling to cope with the effects of the current coronavirus outbreak, known as COVID-19.
A vast array of sporting events in most countries, particularly around Europe, have been cancelled including all major football leagues and all horse racing in Great Britain as efforts are redoubled in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus.
As well as this, regulatory bodies have restricted activities and even sent staff home leaving online the only way to go.