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World Poker Tour — The Beginning of a Phenomenon

World Poker Tour high stakes poker tournaments started a
revolution in the way the game is viewed, enjoyed, followed and
played. Even though the World Series of Poker had been televised
for years before the World Poker Tour (WPT), the game of poker
was elevated when “WPT cams” were placed around the table so
that the world could experience seeing what hand the players
were playing and become emotionally involved in the decisions
that were being made. When you add the fact that hundreds of
thousands of dollars are laid out on the table with watching a
few “instant millionaires” being made at these events, the world
was hooked. But when word got out that anyone could challenge
the planet’s top poker player for six to seven-figure piles of
money, individuals from all over came out to take up the
challenge.

The WPT is made up of a number of high stakes poker tournaments
held in different locations all over the globe. They are open to
anyone willing to pay the entry fee, sometimes as high as
$25,000 per seat. A person who wishes to enter any of these
events can simply contact the casino hosting the event to do so.
WPT CEO Steven Lipscomb started the idea of televised poker
events with the WPT cams on cable back in February 2002. The
breakaway success of this idea spawned many similar ideas and
has inspired numerous land based casinos that had closed their
poker rooms after dismissing poker as financially not worth the
effort, to reopen them. Today, on top of seeing the best of the
best in poker you can see millionaires, CEO’s, rocket scientists
, software kings, mathematicians, women and actors at the tables
shoulder to shoulder competing to see who is the best. And on
occasion, you can see an amateur beating a seasoned professional
which sends out a resounding message that anyone can win.

Having been rewarded for staying a step ahead of the pack by
reaching for new levels in the arena of poker, in September 2004
the WPT announced the tournament schedules for seasons 4, 5 and
6 that covers up until 2008 to a waiting public. (Those
schedules are subject to change as more and more casinos and
online poker rooms vie to host WPT events.) For season 4 the
WPT has also announced the creation of a special poker tour for
professionals only called the Professional Poker Tour. The
difference is that the criteria for entry will be based on
success in previous tournament play verses the WPT where anyone
willing to pay the fee can enter regardless of past performance
or skill level.

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Another innovation is that WPT has partnered with land based and
online poker rooms to establish satellite tournaments that can
allow a player to win a seat to a WPT event without having to
pay the pricey seat fees. These satellite tournaments often have
entrance prices of under $200.00, which makes it more affordable
for those seeking to play in a WPT event.