The game of poker attracts new fans and players every day, as more people continue to discover that there is an entire world of poker tournaments and games being played live and online. Someone may hear about a tournament from a friend or be invited to a home game for the first time, or he or she could flip television channels to stumble upon a poker television show.
One of the most well-known names in poker is the World Poker Tour. And despite having hosted tours for 15 seasons and planning for more, the WPT never seems to forget about those new players and fans, the aforementioned people who take a newfound interest in poker. Many of them need to start at the very beginning when learning to play, as they may not yet have a bankroll or the skills to build on with a training site.
The WPT recognizes this and offers several tools on its website for said players. PlayWPT is a free-play site that serves as a learning tool for many players, and LearnWPT offers several free tutorial videos and a $5 first-month offering for access to an entire library of poker lessons. There is the WPT League that is free to play and gathers players from around the world, and ClubWPT is a subscription site for those with a bit of experience and the desire to play more competitively.
Play, Learn, and Compete
PlayWPT is a social poker platform that just launched in the summer of 2016 for players around the globe. Since play is free, it is legal everywhere and available via desktop, mobile apps, or Facebook. The site offers a platform for players to compete for chips only but serves as an ideal tool for applying basic concepts and implementing strategies throughout a player’s growth.
LearnWPT is akin to poker training sites but offers something for every level of player. Beginners can try out the entire library of videos at the price of $5 for the first month, and those who wish to continue learning can pay $29 per month for subsequent access. Nick Binger is the primary instructor, and his successes in the poker world are a testament to his ability to play. He has also taught numerous poker courses prior to creating content for LearnWPT, where he now helps players create a game plan.
Players who want to compete on a regular basis can subscribe to ClubWPT. The first 14 days are free, but players can then pay a monthly subscription rate for access to the complete library of WPT shows, poker publications, and the chance to win up to $100,000 in monthly cash and prizes, including seats to live WPT Main Events.
No Cost to Join a League
The WPT League is new to many players but a fantastic way to meet other poker players in live settings, though places without live games offer the ability to compete in online leagues. It is predominantly for entry-level players who want to meet and play live in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Bars and restaurants participate and typically offer food and drink specials for those attending the WPT League tournaments, while some even offer prizes.
Players compete for points on a leaderboard, and the top players at the end of a season win invitations to compete in a live WPT League Championship tournament. This year, it will be held from April 6-9 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida amidst the other end-of-season WPT events. The winner of the WPT League Championship will win a $10K Main Event prize package
WPT League President Kurt McPhail told PokerUpdate: “It is easy to find a game near you, and we welcome players to come to one of our events to experience a fun and entertaining night of poker. WPT League venues host back-to-back 12-week series, awarding invitations to the annual WPT League Championship where you can win a $10,000 WPT prize package as well as play for a share of the incredible prize pools that will be on offer.”
With regard to this year’s event, WPT League Vice President Shane McCullough noted: “We are thrilled to be part of such a phenomenal event. More than 1,000 players have been invited to participate, and while there will be some amazing prizes to be won, this event is all about bringing together WPT League players from across the globe. WPT League players love to come together each year to meet other members and play in what truly is an international championship event. The atmosphere is extremely fun, and we are proud to see the comradeship of all of our members.”
The League seems to be a perfect option for poker fans and players who don’t live near a casino or card room, and who don’t have friends who share their love of the game. It can be tough to organize home games with like-minded friends, but the League sets it up and pulls those people together. Friendships are formed, and it becomes a chance to socialize while improving one’s skills at the tables.
Author’s note: I have no affiliation with the WPT, nor was I asked to write this. I simply admire the many options provided by the company for its players to get into the game and follow their passions for it.