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The World Poker Tour is ready to wind down yet another successful season of tournaments. Season XIV just finished its California Swing – L.A. Poker Classic, Bay 101 Shooting Star, and WPT Rolling Thunder – and will soon head to Florida for a trio of season finale events.


Credit: WPT

The place to be is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Action will kick off on April 15 and offer top tournament action through April 24.

  • April 15-20: $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with reentries, $2M GTD
  • April 17-21: $10K Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, $2M GTD
  • April 22-24: $15K WPT Tournament of Champions (TOC)

The first two of those three events are self-explanatory and nicely round out the 2015-2016 season. There will also be a $25K High Roller tournament in the mix. And the TOC is a treat for players and fans alike.

Fans can also take note that all three of the major final tables listed in bullet points above will be live-streamed online.

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Champions, Start Your Engines

The WPT Tournament of Champions is a rare opportunity to put some of the biggest names in poker together in a poker event to battle for a prestigious title.

Previous WPT champions are all invited to play, which includes every player who has won a tournament in all of the 14 seasons played to date. The 21 winners from the current season are automatically qualified, and the late additions to that group will be the winners of the two tournaments played at the Seminole Hard Rock prior to the start of the TOC.

There is a $15K buy-in to the TOC but it is a rake-free tournament, meaning every penny of the buy-in will go toward the prize pool. The Season 14 champions are already qualified as their winnings included the $15K buy-in, and the same goes for the Season 13 WPT World Championship victor Asher Conniff.

According to the WPT, there has been significant interest from past champions to play, so a solid turnout is expected. The celebration of champions will be a historic event, and the resulting television show will pull it together complete with archived footage of past champions and their victories.

Fan Participation

To further celebrate the upcoming TOC, the World Poker Tour has comprised a bracket-style voting event online called the WPT Champions Challenge.

The crew at the WPT put together all of the past champions in bracket form, similar to the March Madness basketball action. All past champions were ranked based on their titles, final tables, and overall earnings with the WPT through the years, which earned four players top seed positions: Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Anthony Zinno for three titles each, and Daniel Negreanu with seven final tables and $5.8 million in WPT earnings. They represent the top spot in each of the four brackets: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs.

Round 1 is already closed, and the WPT reports that tens of thousands of people voted in that round. The voting resulted in the field whittled down to just 32 players, which are now as follows:

Spades bracket:

Gus Hansen v. David Williams

Alan Goehring v. Andy Frankenberger

Antonio Esfandiari v. Tony Dunst

Freddy Deeb v. Phil Laak

Hearts bracket:

Carlos Mortensen v. Erik Seidel

Marvin Rettenmaier v. Tuan Le

Dan Harrington v. Phil Ivey

Michael Mizrachi v. Nick Schulman

Diamonds bracket:

Anthony Zinno v. Ted Forrest

Mohsin Charania v. Cornel Cimpan

JC Tran v. Scotty Nguyen

Barry Greenstein v. Vivek Rajkumar

Clubs bracket:

Daniel Negreanu v. Gavin Smith

Jonathan Little v. Chino Rheem

Hoyt Corkins v. Nam Le

Darren Elias v. Doyle Brunson

Voting remains open until 2pm PST on March 16 for Round 2. From that point, the voting dates and times are as follows:

  • Field of 16 opens on Monday, March 21 at 2pm PST
  • Field of 8 opens on Friday, March 25 at 2pm PST
  • Field of 4 opens on Tuesday, March 29 at 2pm PST
  • Field of 2 opens on Friday, April 1 at 2pm PST
  • All voting ends on Friday, April 8 at 2pm PST

The overall winner will be announced on Monday, April 11, at 2pm PST.

Voting takes place on the World Poker Tour website or by clicking this link.

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.